Any Other Business


So, the bubble would seem to have burst, or at least wobbled a bit, but we experienced Poolies can at least see that having points in the bank is probably more important than being in the top seven - it helps the relegation fight.

Criticism has been levelled at Matthew Bates for his sometimes strange tactics and substitutions, but he's a young manager, still feeling his way, and the big question is whether he'll learn from his mistakes. Will he again use Luke James as a lone striker despite him being about a foot shorter than his markers? Will he, as a defender himself, continue to tolerate late goals being conceded?

When you look at the league table one factor becomes apparent. The top teams all score lots of goals. While it doesn't matter whether midfielders or strikers put them away, Pools miss lots of chances and don't score often enough. Perhaps if Bates addressed that then conceding late wouldn't be so much of a problem, but addressing both would be useful. 

The last few matches may have been disappointing but those same results last season would have had us enthusing so perhaps there are reasons for not being too disappointed.

We saw this on the BBC 1 red button channel, where it often shows continuously updated details of current football matches (but usually only when some of those matches involve Premiership clubs.)

Two weeks later it was still showing Manarama rather than Vanarama as the sponsors of the National League. Perhaps the BBC knows something we don't.

Anyway, that screen also shows a warning for Pools, who at the time of writing face Boreham Wood at the Vic in their next match. Boreham were a goal up in 3 minutes, 2 up in 6, and three up in 23 minutes. Mind, Sutton are currently above Pools and Boreham aren't, so we're not sure if that proves anything

Last month's edition caused a bit of a kerfuffle on one of the internet's Pools messageboard due to the number of match reports we included.

In actual fact there was the same amount of non-match-report content as usual, it's just that the combination of a lot of matches in a short time, coupled with most of them being nearby for some of our contributors, meant that we were spoilt for choice, and our choice, for good or ill, was to use the lot. 

Now that the "winter timetable" is in operation, there won't be enough matches to cause a similar problem again this season.

And finally, Arthur Pickering's article from the Mail about Len Ashurst hanging up his boots was written in August 1972, an amazing (for us oldies, at least), 46 years ago.