Questions, Questions...


The monthly musings of
DARREN KNOWLES' TASH


Covid hasn't gone away, and football is again at a right crossroads.

No, I don't mean that 70s and 80s comedy which masqueraded as a soap opera and was set in Birmingham or the great song recorded by Cream amongst others. You know what crossroads I mean.

Anyway I've been thinking and there are a few things that I know some Pools fans have been wanting answers to. The following are entirely my opinions on them:

1. Jamie Sterry

Alongside Luke Armstromg, this lad has certainly been a great signing for DC and Pools. We might not have seen him play in the flesh this season, webcasts only, but he's proven to be a cracking pick up. In fact he's that good that one hopes that there will be enough money in Raj's biscuit tin to keep him for a few more seasons yet.
"Torquay can still be caught, but only if the season is allowed to continue."

We've been blessed to have so many good full backs in all the time I've watched Pools; Phil Brown, Keith Nobbs, Darren Knowles and Rob McKinnon to name just four. This player could go on and become another. Newcastle's decision to release him is at the moment their loss and Pools' gain. Stay Sterry, please.

2. Lewis Cass

Talking about Newcastle, this is another decent defender we have acquired from them albeit on a season long loan with this one. He's stepped up to the mark when needed and we have suffered a crisis in a certain position. Since his move to central defence, Pools have moved certainly in the right direction. Newcastle obviously see something about him too as he has just penned a new 2 year deal at SJP. Perhaps they see him as a potential first team central defender? Or have they just given him the new deal to see how his development goes?

With Lidds in the latter stages of his career, he's 34 now, Cass should remain on the radar for the future in case Newcastle don't retain him further along the line. That's my opinion on this matter. Didn't do us any harm with the aforementioned Mr McKinnon did it?

3. Halifax

This is becoming more farcical as the season goes on. Every time we are down to play at the Shay, the game gets postponed. I think we're the third or fourth time now and to be honest; it's a joke that is quite simply no longer funny anymore. Sure there has been snow in West Yorkshire this week, but where was the plea from FC Halifax Town to ask people to get the pitch playable? When Pools had a similar situation a few weeks back, players and staff helped Dave Brown and co. to get the pitch ready to give the game a chance. Supporters used to do that back in the day; I think I remember doing it. Do they not think of that in Halifax or is that too much like common sense?

One Pools fan had a good idea though, clear the snow off the pitch and mark the lines blue so they're visible then play with a yellow ball. Perfectly viable. Worst thing: you play on a white pitch with lines marked out and the coloured ball bursts. That happened here in Northern Ireland actually on Boxing Day 1995 when the "Big Two" of Glentoran and Linfield played. Just search "White ball in snow" on YouTube if you don't believe me.

4. The League

As I pen this column, the National League clubs have been given a resolution to vote upon. With coronavirus still prevalent, there is a possibility that the league season could be curtailed if the clubs vote that way. Nobody knows how Pools have voted as there's a deadline of 28 days in which to respond.

Should the teams decide to end the season, does this mean they are going to go on points per game again to decide the final placings? If so, this wouldn't benefit Pools as it would see the team slide down from third to fifth by my calculations. Considering how well the team have responded in recent weeks, that loss at Weymouth might have hurt more than anything now. Torquay can still be caught, but only if the season is allowed to continue. It's been tough for all but this might be the bitterest pill ever to swallow.

There are also other questions that we would love to know the answers to, but these seem to ones that I seem to be hearing more often than most. Being an exile isn't an easy job, I miss rolling up to the Corner Flag at noon on a Saturday then having 2-3 pints of Strongarm (nothing less will do). I'm then rocking into the Vic quarter of an hour before kick-off, will watch the game from the Town End and head back to the Corner Flag to watch the rest of the scores roll in before heading home. Pools are for life, not for a short term fix.

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