Bugger it!

GREAT GRANDAD SHOUTY looks to the future

I’m writing this on the day of Jack Charlton’s 82nd birthday. “Bugger it” was a phrase Big Jack used when things went wrong and there are plenty of times when we could have used those words this season.

I used that when Newport County got the winner against Notts County but I bear them no ill feelings. They wanted League Two footy more than we did and their final run in was a credit to them. Instead, we seemed to throw in the towel, losing against Leyton Orient youth team and then making Barnet look like Real Madrid.

Let’s be honest. We’ve been skating on thin ice for three years and the ice finally broke this season. Obviously, the appointment of Dave Jones was a total disaster and three days after his appointment I was having a drink with a Sheffield Wednesday fan and he told me it was a bad appointment. Jones wasn’t particularly liked at Wednesday and one of the complaints was that he was a lazy sod. No, Jones didn’t lose his job because of Jeff Stelling’s rant; he lost it because of his record and general attitude.
"Maybe it's too early for Matthew Bates to be given the job but Sam Collins might just be right."

Sadly, the downturn in the oil industry meant that IOR had to offload Pools and what a collection of odds and sods we ended up with. Ken Hodcroft was, for the most of the time, based in Aberdeen but at least he had North-East connections and had Russ Green to provide the leadership at local level. One of the first casualties of the new regime was Russ Green and hopefully he’s enjoying his time at Rochdale. If we ever get the present owners out, how about inviting him back as Chairman? Its worth a thought.

Mistakes were made on the playing side. Jake Carroll, Josh Laurent and Aristole Nsiala were all sold without any replacements. In terms of the loan market, we did of course obtain the services of Louis Rooney from Plymouth. Yet, despite a promising start he spent most of his time on the bench. Probably not what Plymouth intended.

What about the future? The National League isn’t going to be easy and its essential that a manager is appointed as soon as possible. We also need to sort out the retained list as quality is going to be more important than quantity. Maybe it's too early for Matthew Bates to be given the job but Sam Collins might just be right. He knows the club and any incoming manager needs to know something about the place. I always remember when Danny Wilson got the job. He’d been to Pools and said he’d found Pools an intimidating place to come to. He knew the fans.

In general terms, its not been a good time for clubs in the Football League. In addition to Pools, complaints have been made about the owners of Coventry City, Blackburn Rovers, Charlton Athletic, Blackpool, Morecambe and, of course, Leyton Orient. There’s something wrong somewhere and it seems there is little supervision from the FA and the Football League. Some months ago, I suggested that the FA had lost all credibility and should be replaced by a supervisory board which would police the game. I excluded the Football League but have now come to the conclusion that they should be included. A lot of criticism has been made of the ‘men in blazers’. But give me them any day rather than the sharp suited whizz kids who are making a complete mess of things.

Anyway, try and enjoy the close season. Don’t get too stressed out being dragged round Asda, Tesco, Primark and Gateshead Metro Centre. You’ve got enough to worry about.