Shown the Door

The view as seen by WAGGA MOON 

So wins are still proving elusive for Pools with only two in the last 15 games meaning we are entrenched in the bottom half of the table. 

And it seems that some of the decisions from our beloved chairman are coming back to bite him on the bum.

Rejecting Phil Brown for the manager's job has seen him go to Southend and take them into a promotion place. Sacking John Hughes has seen him take up a position in the Scottish Premier League. Evan Horwood was shown the door when we did not have a manager and found employment at a club in a higher league. Richie Humphreys was shown the door after a decade of loyal service and is now leading his new club to promotion and regularly getting a game.

And the players he gave contract extensions to have hardly set the division alight. Collins has hardly played a game, Monkhouse has forgotten where the net is while Austin is doing a steady if unspectacular job.

And last week Hodcroft's latest decision was to sell the family silver letting Jack Baldwin go to the mighty Peterborough for an "undisclosed fee". Why is it that he is never prepared to divulge a transfer fee. What has he got to hide?

"It was nice to see three players coming in but they were certainly needed with Hartley, Howard, Dolan and Baldwin leaving the club"
The Hartlepool Council's reluctance to sell the ground to him and his cronies looks a sound decision as I do not think the ground would be in safe hands if our present owners got hold of it.

After all the years of IOR running the club what progress has been made? When they arrived we were within a few points of the bottom of the Fourth Division and did not own our ground. All these years later and it looks pretty much the same position from where I am looking.

It was nice to see three players coming in but they were certainly needed with Hartley, Howard, Dolan and Baldwin leaving the club. We are looking a bit short at the back with Baldwin going and Duckworth injured, and Sam Collins is certainly not the answer. Not on a long-term basis. He has spent most of the season warming the bench and has no pace and the turning circle of an ocean-going cruise liner. With Dolan going we could do with a Tommy Widdrington-type midfield enforcer to bring some experience and bite into the side.

But one of the most worrying things is the slump of goalkeeper Scott Flinders. His form has been atrocious and it seems any shot on target will get past him and into the net. His indecisiveness almost caused a punch-up with Christian Burgess in a recent game. He is showing the command of a drunken sailor in a free bar in our penalty area at the moment and his ability to unerringly kick a clearance directly out of play is uncanny.

And yet we have some "experts" on a well-known Pools messageboard claiming he is the best goalkeeper outside the Skybet Championship. Yeah, right. He is not even the best goalkeeper at Victoria Park.

In a division where there is not an outstanding team we are struggling to make the top half. The honeymoon period is over for Colin Cooper and though he has got some promising young players playing some nice football his tactics and substitutions leave a lot to be desired.

I think Marlon Harewood will prove a shrewd signing when fully fit but a couple of players in the mid-twenties with a fair bit of Football League experience are needed to get us up to speed.

I see the Fans' Flannel has reared its ugly head again. I thought it had been discontinued due to lack of interest but there appeared to be a meeting last Saturday.

So maybe we can expect a bit more meat in the pies and some proper tops on the lemonade bottles. But if you wanted to know who was dishing out contracts and releasing players last summer when we did not have a manager I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for an answer.