Some Consistency Needed


As at 5pm on 1st February, Pools’ record was: Played 33, Won 11, Drawn 11, Lost 11. There must be some consistency there somewhere. But it’s the other kind of consistency that’s the worrying part. We seem to take one step forward towards the play offs and then one step back.

DC has done his best with the loan signings but there seems to be a discussion about the quality of our goalkeeping and the replacement of Ben Killip with Mitch Beeney would indicate a problem. However, there is one encouraging aspect to Beeney’s play and that is his ability to set up attacks with his throwing to players in open spaces. This is far better than hoofing the ball down field only for it to come back and put our defence under pressure. Nowhere was this more evident than in the Stockport game and this contributed to Stockport’s defence being under pressure.

I have another reason why we seem to struggle at times. Poolies who follow our fortunes away from home often comment on the state of the pitches. Pools must have one of the finest pitches in the National League and some visiting teams must think they’re playing at Wembley. All to Pools’ disadvantage!

We had the achievement of getting to the third round of the FA Cup – one of only two non-league teams to get there. It was always going to be a tall order to beat Oxford – still we had the achievement of beating League Two high flyers, Exeter City.

All this discussion about what to do about replays is now taxing the minds. Some say that when the draw is made, the lower placed league clubs should be able to decide where they want the tie to be played. In other words, would they want a chance of winning a home tie or making a lot of money by playing away? I would say it depends. If we were to draw a club like Spurs or Chelsea then play the game at Pools - let’s risk freezing weather and a strong wind with a chill factor.
" how badly they need someone like him now."

On the day of Pools’ game at Oxford we had national publicity in the sports pages of the Daily Telegraph. Their excellent North East football correspondent, Luke Edwards, recalled how Cloughie sorted out the club both on and off the field. He wrote, “Clough’s success as a manager at Derby County and Nottingham Forest are tales exhaustively told. Even the embarrassingly short 44–day stay of “Old Big Head” at Leeds United has been given prominence in book and film. He would not have been able to do any of that, however, had it not been for the opportunity he received at a small cash-strapped club in the fourth tier of English football… .  It is a reminder of the excellent job he did and how badly they need someone like him now.” It was a refreshing article – and lacked any patronisation.

Finally, towards the end of the year, Pools got something right. You’ll be aware that for this year, the government changed the day of the May Day Bank Holiday from Monday, 4th May to Friday, 8th May to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day. This messed things for the publishers of diaries and calendars who printed their wares before the change was made. No such problem with Pools – they got things right with their 2020 Legends Calendar. Sometimes it pays to wait until the last minute.

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