All Change


I know that Dave Challinor has only just got his feet under the table, and soon to be hopefully on top of the table, but already he seems like a massive breath of fresh air when compared to his predecessors.

I thought he was the right appointment for the job mainly because he has had no previous connection with the club or for that matter Middlesbrough FC - think Cooper, Harrison, Bates and Hignett.

With absolute total respect for Tony Sweeney and Ian McGuckin I felt that the job was too early for them and at this juncture in the club's history Hartlepool United required someone with experience and who knows the lower leagues inside out. That said I am sure that their time will deservedly come.

Craig Hignett allegedly said that what the average football fan knows about the game can be written on the back of a postage stamp, which I felt was an arrogant statement. Even before he became manager of Hartlepool United Dave Challinor had done his homework on Pools and identified a number of things which most fans had already written on the rear of that postage stamp. He pointed out that we have too many players that are similar. I take that to read the midfield and central defence. Similar in style as well as in lack of pace.

He also said that the team needs to play with an intensity. That is a word which has been lacking in previous Hartlepool United managers' vocabularies.
"He also said that the team needs to play with an intensity. That is a word which has been lacking in previous Hartlepool United managers' vocabularies."

Here's hoping that we are going to see a different brand of football with a higher-octane level putting an end to passing the ball back to the keeper and across the park and to get the ball up front in two or three moves instead of the usual twenty three. Above all for the team to move with pace and get forwards into the box at speed. It is heartening that the first signs of this style have been seen away at Yeovil, Chesterfield, and in the second half against Exeter in the Cup. I am not his biggest fan but Nicky Featherstone looks a transformed player. If we can replicate this form at home there is no reason why we cannot make the play-offs.

Myles Anderson and Adam Bale have been loaned out either to get minutes under their belt or possibly they are being put in the shop window as deemed surplus to requirements as perhaps they fall into the 'Too similar type of player' bracket. Allowing players to go out on loan gives the option of bringing in other players which Challinor has already hinted at.

Give Craig Hignett his due, with a few exceptions Dave Challinor has inherited a decent set of players to work with. I have to say that this is the best squad of players that we have assembled in many a year.  I would argue that most of the current squad would have walked into any Hartlepool United side in their last three seasons of league football, replacing any of them (Amond and Carson aside.) I would even go on to say that they would have probably avoided our descent into the National League

For Dave Challinor the trick will be to, unlike Craig Hignett, get these players to work as an effective unit and if they play the entertaining style of football Challinor's former club Fylde served up I for one will be delighted.

Welcome to Hartlepool Dave Challinor. It is a bit like Blackpool but without the lights and a damn sight colder, But the town has a passion.

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