After a well-earned rest from the stresses of last season, we are now just a few short days away from our first fixture of 2018/19, away at Fleetwood. So, I’ve crunched the numbers, and this is how history suggests we will fare against our 23 League One rivals this year.

The first thing of note is that we are playing 23 clubs this season – not 22 and an abbreviation.

Moving on from that, we can see from this table that, theoretically, we should have a pretty decent season. We are expected to achieve 45 points at home and 21 away, giving us an overall total of 66 points that would have put us, comfortably, in eighth place last year.

Last season, on the basis of the teams we were to play, we were scheduled to accumulate 64 points, but we only achieved 53 – 83 per cent of our projected total.

So why should we have confidence in these stats that this season might be better? Well, it’s the averaging process. Simply put, one bad season should be offset by a good one. Overall, we are pretty average since we got into the league: in fact, over the longest term, our average does come out at around 15 wins, 16 draws, and 15 defeats – a season total of 61 points. So you can see we are owed a bit in terms of getting the average back on track! Of course, that promotion season helped …

In terms of individual games, not a lot has changed for those teams we play this year compared to last. Even good results, like the 4-0 at Bradford, do not counter what has gone before too much; history still says we should lose that one but by a smaller amount!

The uplift in fortunes this season compared to last lies in the teams promoted and relegated. Will we face two teams this year that we have not played before in the league as AFC Wimbledon: Barnsley, and Sunderland. As it happens, we play them both in the first month!

As usual with these ‘new’ opponents, I have assumed a 1-0 win at home and a 1-0 defeat away. In some respects, these might be the most interesting games of the season, stat-wise.

So we start with:

  • Fleetwood, which should be a loss;
  • Coventry, a draw;
  • Barnsley, a loss;
  • Walsall: draw;
  • and Sunderland, which goes down as a win.

If that pans out as predicted, we’ll pick-up five points from five games – only a point a game and not good enough over the full season at that rate. Sort it out, Ardley!!

We will see though, won’t we? And hopefully I will be checking our progress with updates during the season, if the podcast team lets me …

// Jim Potter – @JamPot44


Wes Daily Chief Football Writer,

AFC Wimbledon manager Bill Hardly will field questions from supporters of the south-west London club at a special event this evening.

Over 200 100 50 fans will be in attendance to put Hardly on the spot about how preparations are going for the team ahead of the 2018-19 season.

The “Bleat the Manager” function, held in the Gas Your Golf Flow bar at Wimbledon’s Cheery Red Corduroy stadium, is an annual event that attracts the same old faces a range of supporters – from men to other men, old to not quite as old – who are all eager to interrogate Hardly with insightful tactical questions and analogies with their time as managers in the Modern and District Under-16s Little League.

The event starts at 1930pm, but if you can’t make it there, do not worry! The meeting actually took place earlier in the week, exclusive to members of the Stew and Mellow Club, and tonight’s show is merely a screening of that Q&A session. Therefore, as we have seen the video, we can give you all the insight and gossip from the event – before it’s even meant to have happened!

The key highlights were / will be:

Question: “Bill, why don’t we leave a man forward when we’re defending corners?”
Bill Hardly: “The statistics and data analysis show that this is not the best way for us to be successful.”

Q: “Bill, our players often look tired. Shouldn’t we be doing more hours on the training ground?”
BH: “The statistics and data analysis show that this is not the best way for us to be successful.”

Q: “Bill, why do our players never shoot?”
BH: “The statistics and data analysis show that this is not the best way for us to be successful.” (That’s actually fair – Ed.)

Q: “Bill, shouldn’t we have kept George Francomb? He was an outstanding players for us!”
BH: “The statistics and data analysis show that this is … wait, what?”

Q: “Bill, hahaha, I think we all, haha, wish you could, hahaha, still play for us!”
BH: “Me too. Me fucking too.”

Q: “Have you thought about bringing Rob Ursell back to the club?”
BH: “You’re an idiot.”

The evening promises to be another very successful one at Lynn’s Meadow, and fans can also take the opportunity to purchase the club’s new CHEETAH kits, competitively priced at just £48.

Hardly himself praised the new outfits – “The statistics and data analysis show that this kit is selling somewhat well” – before he was led crying from stage after fan John Monelotts, a 48-year-old credit controller from Carshalton, enquired – for the fifth time on the night and 27th time over the past five years – why we had not looked at getting some Chelsea youngsters in on loan.