Playing Catch-up


We stumble along in mid-table, unable to get on a run to get us in the top seven with our lack of consistency.

Of course it is never a good thing to sell your two best players or to lose to your nearest challengers if you are serious on making the play-offs. It may have been necessary to get rid of Nicke Kabamba and Peter Kioso if they were intent on leaving for free in the summer so to get fees for them both would make sense, although the two strikers we brought in were young and inexperienced and not ready for this league at the moment. Players like Danny Rowe, Paul McCallum and Jon Stead, who have been round the block a few times, are the types we should be looking to, not a couple of kids with no first team experience.

One problem still with us is the goalkeeping position. With four keepers on the books we still have not replaced Scott Loach, who evidently was too expensive for us. The points he would have saved us could have seen us up in contention. We have a goalkeeping coach although what he teaches during the week does not show itself on match days. None of the keepers are up to the required standard.

In our defeat at Barnet we had Hawkes, Mafuta and Molyneux sat on the bench while Xavi fannies about in midfield. Eh? How Featherstone is an ever-present under Challinor is one of life's great mysteries. If he got fit it might help and lost a few clem but having said that he can't run, can't tackle and can't head the ball. Yet he is quoted in the local rag this week saying that the team are getting there and understand what the manager wants. Although I don't think losing at Barnet and letting their striker score with his first touch after coming on despite Challinor warning them of the danger that Paul McCallum possessed before the game was what the manager meant. The thoughts of a football genius indeed.
"A goalkeeper, left back and striker should be on the wanted list"

Gavan Holohan must have had a rush of blood to the head to get a red card. The first yellow was for a foul near the touchline with the Barnet player going nowhere and thed to get a second for a tackle from behind was just brainless.

So changes in midfield this Saturday and my four would be: Hawkes, Mafuta, Shelton and Molyneux, with Harker and Toure up top. Not that I think Challinor will go for that attacking formation and he will stick with Donaldson and Featherstone - two players who will never get us promotion no matter how long they play for Pools.

I think there is definitely room for a couple of players to go out on loan and I expect Adam Bale and Frazer Kerr to be on their bikes as soon as they are fit again, which would give us the opportunity to bring in some more new blood. A goalkeeper, left back and striker should be on the wanted list and the hope is that Luke Williams is soon fit to be back for first team duty. Now there is someone who could make a big difference to our play-off chances.

When you see a team like Barrow pushing on at the top of the table and little Harrogate up there in the top seven it tells you that this is not a strong league. A team with our resources and playing staff should be up there all day long.

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