Mid-table Mediocrity


From the heady heights at the top of the table we go into December smack bang in the middle of the table in 12th position. Two constants in our inauspicious slide down the table are our captain Donaldson and Xavi, a member of losers in his five seasons at the club with very few highlights. Only manager Dave Challinor could explain why these two are worth their place every week as it is beyond the comprehension of most fans, And the sad fact is, they don't improve or even look like improving week upon week.

What is without question is we are at least two players away from being a play-off challenging team. A Tommy Widdrington-type midfielder with an Ernie Phythian-type striker should be the main items on Challinor's Christmas present list but with the state of the club's finances there appears little chance of getting either.

The four strikers we have currently at the club are certainly not up to it as their lack of goals this season confirms. Mason Bloomfield looks the part with his height and strength but his finishing lets him down. Loanee David Parkhouse for whatever reason hasn't worked out at Pools and should be sent back to his parent club. Joe Grey with few opportunities has shown some promise and given time could do something and would be worth persevering with, which brings us to Rhys Oates who most of us can remember from his first spell at the club. Runs around like a headless chicken but couldn't hit a cow's arse with a banjo. Try him on the wing if we are stuck but otherwise forget him.

I am impressed with Challinor's loan signings of Lewis Cass, Tyler Magloire and goalkeeper Henrich Rivas. All quality players and a big improvement on what we have. In fact I would be tempted to give Magloire a run up front. As Challinor said when he brought him in, he is nearly as quick as Usain Bolt and he took his goal against Yeovil with real aplomb. He is surely a better bet as a striker than we have at the moment and we have two centre backs in Ryan Johnson and Timi Odusina to cover, with Gary Liddle to come back.
"...a play-off space is definitely there for the taking. Whether we have the right players in place remains to be seen"

It's unfortunate that Luke Molyneux has not returned to the form he showed last season because on song he is a real threat. And if we could keep Luke Williams fit and having a good run in the team, it would be a massive boost to our chances.

With the government putting Hartlepool in tier three the chances of fans returning to the Vic anytime soon look remote. If they are going to rely on streaming they really need to look at getting it right. People I know have been paying £9.99 to watch a home match and not seen a minute of it. And an email to the club complaining of it received no reply or refund.

As for the National League, Torquay are having a real good run at the top, including their hammering of Pools, and are looking good for automatic promotion. Notts County also appear to have found a bit of form and I would expect them to be there or thereabouts. Apart from those two there is not much else of any note in the division and a play-off space is definitely there for the taking. Whether we have the right players in place remains to be seen.

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