April 06, 2012

Time for the Crap - It Can Be Catching

GREAT GRANDAD SHOUTY offers his take on things


The day after we registered a 1-0 win over Yeovil, I decided to go on to the Yeovil website to see what they had to say - and, by God, they came up with some cracking bits.

They weren’t happy chappies as the following indicate:

 “Styles of approach as different as chalk to cheese”

“they (Yeovil) found their visitor’s agricultural clearances and time wasting tactics robbed the encounter of any real tempo”

“Hartlepool’s tactics … slowing the game at every opportunity”

“… striker Noble was trying his hardest to get booked with several displays of petulance and niggly behaviour while the time wasting from keeper Flinders and his lace tying defenders was annoying the Glovers’ faithful at goal kicks”."Oldham did their homework and got their tactics right in hanging on to their rather strange goal. Don’t know who was more surprised - Oldham or Pools!"

After the 5-0 drubbing at Wycombe, it was about time we showed a bit of true grit. Had we tried to play open and attacking football then Yeovil would have no doubt taken us to the cleaners. I certainly don’t want home fans saying “What a fantastic game. Best there’s been here for a long time. Oh, by the way, thanks for the three points”. Our mission in life is surely to win footy matches and not necessarily to entertain home supporters.

Like everything in footy, crap evens itself out and we’ve had a fair share of it at The Vic in March. Take the MK Dons game. A fair result against a good side, but why did we have to get several previews of what Tom Daley will be doing at The Olympics? Luckily the referee was wise to their tactics - pity he didn’t get the yellow card out for their diving. Then there was the Stevenage game. Not a dirty side by any means but they had the propensity to nudge in the back at every opportunity. Not a case of ’nod, nod, wink, wink’ - more a case of ‘nudge, nudge, wink, wink’. Unfortunately, the referee let them get away with it - which encouraged them even more. Another thing about the Stevenage game - have you ever seen so many throw-ins at a game of footy?

The game which we didn’t deserve to lose was the encounter against Oldham. We saw enough of Ryan Noble to know that his loan signing has possibilities. However, it must be said that Oldham did their homework and got their tactics right in hanging on to their rather strange goal. Don’t know who was more surprised - Oldham or Pools! Tony Sweeney was obviously seen as the man to be curbed and what a good job they made of it. More often than not they had two players marking him out on the right and this nullified any effectiveness he might have had. Sometimes, you can get frustrated when things don’t go right but when a team, by fair means, gets things right tactically you have to have a sneaking admiration for them.

So we come back to Yeovil. I never thought I’d use a quote from the bible in Monkey Business. But here goes: Let him who is without sin cast the first stone. Couldn’t have put it better myself.

Barring a disaster of catastrophic proportions, we’ll be playing League One next season. and the indications are that Neale Cooper is already planning to improve the squad. Arriving in December, he had the dismal home record to turn around and the encouraging signs were not long in coming. When the injuries start piling up, it shows what a threadbare squad we have. No problems for the moneybags of League 1 like Huddersfield Town who can cover themselves for such eventualities. Still, a good finish will encourage still further the sale of season tickets.

Once the season’s over, everybody (??) will be turning their attention to Euro 2012. I’ve never known such a lack of enthusiasm before an international tournament - the last World Cup has obviously blunted everybody’s expectations - which is not a bad thing. And there is the travelling army. Ukraine is hardly the tourist centre of Europe and the would-be fanatics seem to be voting with their feet by stopping at home. Let’s hope there is the same kind of resistance come The Olympics. One way of curbing high prices is to refuse to pay them.

And then there is the manager’s job. Will he, won’t he? Frankly, I have my doubts as to whether Harry Redknapp will take the England job. Some years ago, when Terry Venables resigned as the England coach, some guy in one of the broadsheets said that the ideal qualifications for the job were to have a thick skin and not be too bothered about what was written in the tabloids. He offered the view that the only man around with these qualifications was the former England cricket captain, Ray Illingworth. Still, if Harry refuses to take the England job, I wouldn’t blame him. As someone who is nearing state retirement age, why should he have to take all the crap that goes with the job. (There’s that word again).

Another thing about the FA was a recent report by the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee on the governance of the English game. Most of it went over my head and quite possibly the Committee missed the point. What is probably at fault is the actual people running the game and I see that Sir Dave Richards has been making a fool of himself yet again. At a recent conference, he said: “England gave the world football. It was the best legacy anyone could give. For 50 years, we owned the game. We were the governance of the game. We wrote the rules, designed the pitches, everything else. Then 50 years later, some guy came along… and stole it. It was called FIFA. Fifty years later, another gang came along called UEFA and stole a bit more.”. Its this kind of arrogance that’s given the FA a bad name - can’t we have people who live in the real world? In addition, Sir Dave fell into a swimming pool on his way to dinner. Up to his ears in water - or was it crap? If you want to talk in terms about stealing things - how about the ability to win international competitions? This is, of course, something which England have singularly failed to do - with the exception, of course, 1966.

As this is the last Monkey Business of the season, it remains for me to say : enjoy the close season. May you not get too bored with Euro 2012, going shopping on Saturday afternoons to Asda, Tesco’s, Morrison’s, Primark and Gateshead Metro Centre. As the build up to Euro 2012 gets under way, I’ll be travelling around a place where they’re not bothered about England and that’s Scotland. You don’t have to get on an aeroplane to escape it all.

Remember, its only three months before the start of a new season. Keep the faith everybody. It won’t be long before we see more crap to keep us amused.