Going Nowhere

How WAGGA MOON sees it

After some miserable away performances followed by the shambles at home to Mansfield, the play-off hopes finally went down the the toilet. Indeed the second half performance at home to the Stags was as bad as anything that has been seen at The Vic for a number of years.

This was the game that Flapper Flinders, allegedly the highest paid player on Pools books, finally proved to the fans how inept he really is. That performance on Tuesday was the worst from a Pools goalkeeper since the days of Steve Jones.

Even the experts on that well-known message board were calling for his head after that performance. They may be hard of thinking but they get there in the end. Maybe they spend too much time trying to explain the offside rule to the old women on their board.

Chairman Ken's astute decision to sell our star defender at the last minute on transfer deadline day and not bother about signing a replacement was undoubtedly a decisive blow in our play-offs bid and at the time a lot of us said that move might come back to bite him on the bum.

And on March 25 against very average Mansfield side it did precisely that. But what the hell, Ken had pocketed the cash and hadn't bothered to invest any in the team. When you see a poor side like York forcing their way into the play-offs you realise what a weak league this and how easy it should have been to get out of it.
"Some of Cooper’s substitutions recently have beggared belief. Tony Sweeney brought on and played up front as a striker. What is all this about?"
After years of doing not too bad in League One we are now a very ordinary League Two side at best and look like staying down here for a long time if not dropping lower.

The following game at home to a mediocre Cheltenham side gave us the excellent chance to redeem ourselves but again another miserable failure and not being able to score a goal.

Again the opposition can grab a goal from two efforts on target. A bunch of carrot crunchers there for the taking and we are incapable of scoring against them.

Colin Cooper is struggling on his own at the moment without the assistance of Craig Hignett, who, looking at the upsurge of Borer had a lot more input at Victoria Park than he was given credit for.

Some of Cooper’s substitutions recently have beggared belief. Tony Sweeney brought on and played up front as a striker. What is all this about? No wonder he has released Nialle Rodney.

Bringing in two defenders on loan and neither even gets a place on the bench against Cheltenham. He has to recall Greg Rutherford from Ireland to fill his bench up. Two tiny strikers up against giant defenders. Men against boys. It is beginning to look like he does not know his bottom from his elbow. Which makes the need for us to appoint an assistant to him all the more urgent. Because I fear the man appointed No 2 will be in the hot seat before Christmas.

Why is there a delay in this appointment. Surely not another of Ken’s wheezes to save some money for a few weeks.

If we are that hard up maybe we can ask a question at the Fans’ Flannel if we can organize a whip round to get a few bob in. Or has that been forgotten about due to lack of interest.

And Cooper was very unprofessional responding to chants from the Cyril Knowles Stand against Mansfield by shouting to those concerned "Come on then". I don't know whether he was asking the fans to come and do better or was offering to take them all on. Either way he should keep his gob shut and try and get his team selection out on the pitch to try and do what he wants them to. Bizarre, I hope it is not the start of him losing the plot.

Hopefully he will get his finger out and bring in a No 2 and hopefully one with an attacking mindset. The manager appears to have the defensive mentality of his predecessor, both former centre backs incidentally, when the main aim appears to keep things tight and keep the score down . But neither managed to get their teams to produce clean sheets on a regular basis.

Six games to go this season. I can see us losing all three away ones. Of the three at home I reckon we will lose to Chesterfield much to Ritchie’s delight and win against Morecambe and Exeter.So we are looking to next season and a big improvement but I am certainly not holding my breath.

Looking ahead to the retained list for next season, hopefully we have seen the last of Neil Austin and Andy Monkhouse in Pools shirts. Should never have been retained by Ken last summer but he does like to think he could do the manager's job. Here are my ideas on who stays and who goes.

Scott Flinders - bin
Andy Rafferty - keep
Michael Duckworth - keep
Sam Collins - bin
Christian Burgess - sign
Darren Holden - keep
Brad Walker - keep
Simon Walton - keep
James Poole - bin
Andy Monkhouse - bin
Luke James - keep
Marlon Harewood - keep
Jon Franks - bin
Jack Compton - bin
Jordan Richards _ bin
Neil Austin - bin
Dan Jones - keep
Josh Rowbothom - bin
Antony Sweeney - bin
Lewis Hawkins - keep
Greg Rutherford - bin
Zak Boagey - bin