A Week Is a Long Time


Harold Wilson is famously quoted as saying that a week is a long time in politics. When I cast my eyes on the then forthcoming fixtures of Mansfield and Exeter in the league and Sheffield United away in the JSP, I thought 'that is going to be one bloody long week', especially on the back of the home defeat against Oxford.

Bottom of the league and out of the cup was my initial thought. The rest as they say is history. Then the first few days of the following week saw us despatch Plymouth and Wimbledon. In total that is 5 wins on the bounce, 14 goals scored and two against, and both of those were penalties - one from what I heard being extremely dubious indeed (I am writing this ahead of the Scunny fixture so I hope I do no put the mockers on things). The likes of Cheaterfield and Rochdale, and perhaps even Arsenal, are starting to look over their shoulders, as the Exocet Missile that is Hartlepool United hurtles up the division(s).

That being said, I still stand by what I said in the last edition of MB, that we have a very average side, albeit Colin Cooper and Craig Hignett have performed wonders. I no longer believe that we will be paying the Conference a visit next season but I am fairly optimistic that if we bring in bring in a decent target man of the Richie Barker ilk and a speedy midfielder we might just miss the play-offs ...and gain an automatic promotion spot. At one point I think we were 17 points off top spot; now it is down to single figures (Scunthorpe permitting) ."I have got to say Simon Walton has been a revelation not only by leading by example but particularly in motivating and cajoling his troops."

I have got to say Simon Walton has been a revelation not only by leading by example but particularly in motivating and cajoling his troops. After Duckworth's lung breaking run from his own box to Plymouth's to put a cross in, Walton went over to him afterwards and put an arm round him and ruffled his hair giving words of encouragement. I can't recall who was subbed during that game (probably due to a combination of being jet lagged after a long flight along with several tinnies being knocked on the head to boot) but Walton gestured towards the Town End by raising his arms in the air to give the lad a decent round of applause as he ran to the bench. Mind, he would have to wear a clowns outfit and do cart wheels to get a similar reception for Stevie Howard in some quarters in the same circumstances. I am also led to believe he does a bit of sledging, to use cricketing parlance, and winding up the opposition. Not only that, he is playing out of his skin. And long may it continue.

I am still of the mind, despite recent results, that we can't play Dolan and Walton in the same set up. We really lack a pacey box-to-box midfielder who can get about the pitch and make himself available. And to that end, along with a decent target man, IOR should, circumstances permitting, get their hands into their pockets and make a statement of intent, and hopefully bring back the good old days which not only would benefit 'Pools, but the owners themselves.