End of August Blues!!!!


After a promising start the wheels may have appeared to come off. Should we be concerned for the long term future?

Being the eternal optimist, the results against Stevenage and Carlisle maybe didn’t come as a great surprise. Since Stevenage came into the Football League, we’ve never beaten them – in other words, they’re a bit of a jinx side.

Carlisle are a club with whom we’ve had mixed results and their record at the end of August provides interesting reading. OK, they’re in the lower reaches of League Two and whilst they have shipped in most goals (12) the fact is that only Leyton Orient (13 against Carlisle’s 10) have scored more goals. Against Cambridge, for example, Carlisle were behind three times but forced a 4-4 draw. Thus the danger signals were there and whilst Pools could have made more of their chances, there was always the chance that Carlisle would bounce back – and this they did. Although Pools’ first goal came from a corner, it does seem that the delivery from set pieces could be improved. Too many are being over hit.

Quite a bit has been said about the behaviour of Carlisle fans regarding the damage to seats in the Rink End. Like Arsène Wenger I didn’t see anything, but if its true then Pools should be seeking some form of redress – either through Carlisle United or the FA. Trouble is, if the referee didn’t report anything there’s probably not a lot that can be done.

Let’s hope we don’t get into a losing run. We all know what these can mean – and two long away trips – Wycombe and Exeter – will test our nerve. The present squad will need to take us forward – the days of IOR supporting the club on the back of a booming oil industry are gone and we can’t afford to compete with the Lutons of this world (notice where they are in the table, by the way). Possibly the two positions where we might have to tap the loan market are at full back. I’m more than satisfied with the centre of the defence but teams are building up their attacks too easily down the flanks. Rakish Bingham is definitely showing his skills and is worthy of more hits – don’t panic, I’m sure the goals will come.

On to other things and two caught my attention. The first was Bury’s equalising goal against Doncaster Rovers on the opening day of the season. The situation arose when Harry Forrester scored for Doncaster when, deep into stoppage time, he overhit an attempted back-pass as he tried to return the ball to Bury, after Bury had put the ball out of play to allow one of their injured players to receive treatment. As you can imagine, all hell was let loose as Doncaster boss Paul Dickov ordered his side to allow Leon Clarke to walk unopposed from the kick off to score. I’m sure that Paul Dickov and Doncaster come out of this very well, but I wonder what will happen if Bury’s goal is crucial in the relegation/ promotion stakes at the end of the season. I shall watch any events with interest!
"Let’s hope we don’t get into a losing run. We all know what these can mean"

Secondly, there was the spat by Jose Mourinho over his medical staff, Dr Eva Carneiro and Jon Fearn. As the Premier League Doctors’ Group pointed out “the Chelsea medical staff were clearly summoned on to the field of play by the referee to attend to the player. A refusal to run on to the pitch would have breached the duty of care required of the medical team to their patient.” One suspects that Mourinho’s rant was to deflect attention away from the fact that Chelsea had failed to beat ‘little’ Swansea.

He even suggested that Dr Carneiro and Jon Fearn did not “understand the game” but do they have to? As the statement added, “The General Medical Council issue clear guidelines on good medical practice that need to be met in order for a doctor to maintain a licence to practise and satisfy the criteria for professional revalidation every five years.” In other words, we have certain standards and guidelines – if Mourinho’s not satisfied with these then sod off back to Portugal and leave us in peace.