Here We Go... The Wagons Are Rolling Again!

GREAT GRANDAD SHOUTY looks back - and forward

Yep, here we go. The start of another season and let’s hope we don’t go through the trauma of last season. 

Certainly a lot of activity on the ins and outs front and whilst there were a lot of grumbles after the 4-0 defeat against Scunthorpe I thought we more than redeemed ourselves in the Chesterfield game.

What were the pluses during this game? Starting at the back, I thought that Adam Bartlett came out of the game very well. Should Trevor Carson be called up into the Northern Ireland squad then it looks as though we’ve got the position well covered.

The defence seemed to cope reasonably well but the midfield performance was particularly pleasing. Michael Woods and Nicky Featherstone look capable of taking games by the scruff of the neck; Michael Woods certainly made his presence felt in the Chesterfield game. Indeed, there were times when I thought he’d forgotten it was only a friendly!
"Bingham certainly has the pace... Paynter can hold the ball... and, well, Scott Fenwick is Scott Fenwick."

At last, we have some striking options in Billy Paynter, Rakish Bingham and Scott Fenwick. Bingham certainly has the pace and Paynter can hold the ball and bring others into play – and, well, Scott Fenwick is Scott Fenwick. A recurring nightmare is the 2005/6 season when Adam Boyd and Joel Porter were out injured for most of the season and we just didn’t know where the goals were coming from. Hopefully, with a striker being out injured this season we should be ok.

How will we finish this season? Despite some crackerjack from Newport suggesting that we will be relegation candidates I have a hunch we’ll be mid table or thereabouts. Two of the automatic promotion places could well go to Luton and Portsmouth who have the necessary gates to mount effective recruitment.

An interesting development at Newport is that their main backer – a guy who won the Euro lottery – has pulled out. So maybe they will struggle. Another club who could struggle are Accrington who must be on the breadline with the gates they get – around a thousand. And, don’t forget, they only brought just over twenty fans for their visit to The Vic last season.

All in all, its been an interesting close season off the field as well. IOR were good for Pools and when it really mattered they gave Ronnie Moore the support that was necessary to mount The Great Escape. Now, with new owners, let’s hope we can look forward to better times ahead. Just from reading the financial press, companies which serviced the oil industry were living in difficult times and I’m sure this affected IOR. The season ticket sales have been impressive once again and maybe there will be price reductions for pay at the gate sales for selected games.

On to general matters and this close season has resembled the ones we used to get years ago when attention turned to other sports. However, we did have the Women’s World Cup and, at last, we beat Germany in a game that mattered. Of course, we have had the nonsense with FIFA and I see that even the Russian President Vladimir Putin has been getting in on the act by suggesting that Sepp Blatter be awarded a Nobel Prize for his contributions to world footy. Yikes, Blatter has been angling after that for years! Still, it took the Yanks to sort out the seedy little corrupt empire and I’ve never known them be so popular in this country.

Anyway, enjoy yourselves this season. Our fame does spread. When talking to a Portsmouth fan in Scotland during the summer he said ‘The Monkey Hangers’ when learning me and my good lady come from Hartlepool. And then there were the locals who said ‘Yes, Jeff Stelling’s lot’. You can’t keep us down!!*