The first game of the new season was greeted by suitably autumnal weather in the environs of Amersham. However the rather inclement conditions could not excuse the collective breach of solemn commitments made by the squad during the week to ensure that everything was done to an appropriately professional standard, which clearly fell on deaf ears, as virtually half the side arrived late for the pre match meeting.
We were, as ever, fortunate to be heavily supported by Messrs Medium and Large who had taken up position next to the coffee bar in the well appointed home clubhouse which provides a panoramic view of the pitch. Unusually they were engrossed in a game of "Who knows most about Africa" which established, inter alia, that Somalia is the horn of Africa and there are lots of countries in Africa that neither had heard of. During this fascinating game (invented by Oxfordshire's leading accountant) Medium very kindly agreed to operate the video filming of the match on the promise of more exotic and interactional (is there such a word?) video assignments in the future.
It's at this stage of the season - namely the opening League game - that I routinely am convinced that we will win the league and roll over the other 11 sides by just turning up. I imagine Herr Klopp probably has much the same mindset on Merseyside. The major difference between the German Maestro and myself is that his belief is based on realistic expectation whereas mine - on the evidence of the 2's shambling performance on Saturday afternoon in rural Buckinghamshire - is utterly delusional.
Jurgen's unwavering belief still survives intact after 7 Premier League games whereas mine lay in pieces on the Amersham pitch after just 7 minutes - which was as long as it took the home side to go 2-0 up against Hawks 2's. To say our boys really hadn't got out of their cars by then would be more complimentary than is appropriate because you don't exit a moving vehicle when it's still on the motorway.
The boys deserve some credit for clawing their way back into the game and picking up a point - thanks to ferocious strikes from Kit Cutter and Tom Godding - but this was by no means the season start that we were looking for. Amersham were compact, combative and well organised and this wasn't an enjoyable watch by any stretch of the imagination. In fact I'd rather have been trying to remember what is the capital of Botswana than endure the 70 minutes I had to suffer at Amersham.
We need to do better.