Steady as She Goes!


When Jim Callaghan was Prime Minister, he outlined his strategy for running the country as ‘Steady as she goes’. The phrase was a throwback to his navy days and he used it to emphasise that he wouldn’t be taking any risks given the state of the economy in the 1970s. In some ways, we could apply that to Pools, particularly after the ordeal of last season when we nearly went out of business.

Under performing players have been shown the door and they’ve been replaced by relevant signings. One in particular is Andrew Davies who, hopefully, will bring stability to the defence given his experience over the years. Last season, I said that most teams in this league seem to have 6’ 3” centre halves; well, Pools have joined the club with one. The fact that Andrew Davies has been appointed captain shows that Matthew Bates wants leadership on the field – a favourite topic of mine. On the other side of the coin, we’ve gone for youth and Niko Muir and Marcus Dinanga should give us encouragement up front. Add to the fact that Michael Woods is remaining with Pools then we can look forward with some optimism.

Pools' ‘steady as she goes’ contrasts sharply with Salford City who seem to be signing all and sundry to get into the Football League. When a club like Salford City can pay higher wages then Aberdeen then you know they’re pushing the boat out.

In addition, we seem to be getting things right off the field – the open day, the fans’ forum and a hands on approach from Raj Singh. And then there’s been a good response to the new replica shirts – a snip at £38 when you compare the prices being charged by bog standard Premier League clubs. The fact that Pools seem to be getting things right is borne out by the fact that there’s been very little criticism of the club on social media. There’s always some people will moan to their hearts content but at the moment the moaners are far and few between.
"The only way WE can punish the FA is to boycott the purchase of England replica shirts ...How about it Poolies?"

Just in case you missed it, England reached the semi-finals of the World Cup. Seriously, though, they excelled themselves and this was achieved in spite of, and not because of, the FA. They were remarkably silent on England’s achievement and I now know why - they were busy clobbering Pools with a £25,000 fine over breaking rules on payments to intermediaries relating to transfers. The fact that these indiscretions took place during the tenure of the previous owners mattered little; the FA had to be seen to be throwing the rule book at someone and Pools were in the firing line. I wonder what the FA will waste the £25,000 on! The only way WE can punish the FA is to boycott the purchase of England replica shirts – over a period of years the FA might just lose more than the £25,000. How about it Poolies?

Two comments need to be made about the refereeing of two England games. In the Colombian game the American referee, Mark Geiger, was criticised for not being in control of the game. But how can you control a game when around seven players are surrounding you questioning every decision? Had I been in Mr Geiger’s boots, I would have gone over to the Colombian manager with an instruction to control his players - or else the game would be abandoned. Fortunately, there were no complaints over Bjorn Kuipers in his handling of the England v Sweden game. As one scribe put it “Three bookings, but the Dutchman won’t have had many easier afternoons”. Any chance of having him at Pools this season for a few matches?

Anyway, Have a good season – and stay happy!!

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