Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Roland Gent, Journalist, Comedian, Presenter and Music nut: Is the Zombie Apocalypse going to be this boring?

Roland Gent, Journalist, Comedian, Presenter and Music nut: Is the Zombie Apocalypse going to be this boring?: No football.... Football fans by nature re creatures of habit, doesn’t matter who you support you usually have a matchday routine. Fo...

Is the Zombie Apocalypse going to be this boring?

No football....

Football fans by nature are creatures of habit, doesn’t matter who you support you usually have a matchday routine. For most home games, I usually drive through the Peak District whilst swearing profusely at whichever driver is causing the log jam of traffic in front of me. Get to the ground, have a pie; and a well known locally brewed beer, then sit there biting my nails for 90 minutes. Go home, write my column, pop out to the local for a couple of drinks and then watch Match of the Day.

Seeing as the World just turned upside down, I could actually enjoy a drive through the Peak District with absolutely no traffic in front of me, then just not go to the match, not go to the pub and watch nothing on TV. People often ask me why do I go to football on a Saturday, I usually say, “What are you going to do? Spend Saturday doing DIY?” sadly this grim reality is now staring many of us in the face.

We have been discusing the forthcoming zombie apocalypse but it just seems that in a typically British way, we are all tut tutting at bog paper hoarders, is it really this dull? Maybe we could raise a lynch mob for anyone known to hoard loo roll, go round with flaming torches and chant obscenities every time the bathroom light goes on.

I was hoping me and my family could pass the hours with a nice conversation, but once that's been exhusted by 8am we could be in trouble

How will bookmakers cope? They make millions each week from silly punters like me, who nearly win an accumulator every week, if only it wasn’t for minor details like the results. Bookies need to find a new sport to get people to gamble on, how about betting on all the things you were supposed to do round the house without actually getting round to them?

We could have live online link ups to International “Blokes working out how to bleed a radiator” Pro/Am “Finally getting round to creosoting the fence” or The British Open “Taking all that stuff down to the tip that your other half has been telling you to do for months” I’m pretty good at tip runs so I think that’s the one for me, I even know which skip to chuck the general household items into. But why is it every time I get back there’s always one bag of rubbish that I should have taken to the tip that I forgot to take, do these things multiply of their own accord? I might lose points in that aspect of the competition.

On a serious not however Barnet have put all their non-playing staff on notice of redundancy in order to save the club, worrying times for every team in this non league division

Sunday, 8 March 2020

Chorley away, is there a joiner in the ground?

Chorley away, is there a joiner in the ground?

From a fan’s perspective our day out on the train to Chorley, was one of those unique experiences, which will live long in the memory but hopefully we’ll never repeat. Going past Bolton Wanderers’ ground was fairly sobering as it wasn’t too long since we were playing there. Whilst I may commend Chorley for giving the world the Chorley Cake and the quality of the pies in the ground was tremendous, some of the other facilities inside Victory Park could best be described as inadequate. 

Amazing grass bank action incorporating broken fence

The toilets looked like a breeding ground for a tropical virus.The general consensus was that a decent joiner could have a field day doing up the ground and most agreed that if they’d had better knowledge of the layout of the place, they might have been tempted to clamber over the grass banking on one side of the pitch and get in for free. 

Top allotments action.

On the bright side there’s not many grounds in the Premier League where you can have a look at someone’s allotments as you walk to the match, however those are the peculiarities of non-league football.

Out of the relegation zone for the first time since November is a good place to be after everything the club has ben through, if there’s one thing John Pemberton knows how to do it’s bringing home the bacon in a relegation six pointer.

The Blues have faced a series of mini cup finals against relegation rivals, since the former Leeds United centre back took over; Chorley, Ebbsfleet, Wrexham, Eastleigh were all beaten and a draw against Fylde, have turned the club’s fortunes around. The next home game against Maidenhead is another one of these do or die fixtures and Chesterfield must be getting used to them, whereas our opponents clearly aren’t.

Ooh nearly

Dover away next week and I’d be more than happy with a point from that one. Dagenham and Redbridge play AFC Fylde in midweek, Maidenhead play Stockport on Saturday and Wrexham are away at Barrow, so there’s certainly a big hope that points will be dropped by our rivals and it is a cliché but Chesterfield’s season is now in our own hands whereas at Christmas it looked like it wasn’t.

Sunday, 23 February 2020

Tyson Hat Trick gives hope to the Blues

John Pemberton Post Ebbsfleet match (click on the text)

Nathan Tyson talks about his hat trick  (click on the text)

There's more than light at the end of the tunnel after Saturday's amazing turnaround, a scrppy game being ruined by the wind and one substituiton makes all the difference and we all know what came next from Nathan Tyson. We've had 3 six pointers at home Fylde, Wrexham and Ebbsfleet, if you'd have offered the average fan 2 wins and a draw from those 3, most people would have snapped your hand off.

Saturday's result effectively condmens Ebbsfleet to the National League South, I can't see how they can get out of it now. Our opponents were one of the least effective sides we've seen at the Proact all season, their first shot on target in the 88th minute tells anyone how effective they were. Ebbsfleet could play a bit when they wanted to, tactically they came to keep things tight but once Nathan Tyson's first one went in, they had to gamble going forward and were left with gaps at the back.

Post match comments from Nathan Tyson about how hard the team trains and even pre match how competitive the warm up is tells a story, so do the comments from John Pemberton that even though the surafce at the training ground has suffered, the team are raring to get into practice early. John Pemberton also said about Tom Denton that when he arrived at the club 7 weeks ago, the giant striker "Could have walked in under the door with a top hat and tails on, he was that low"  It's comments like those that make you wonder how bad things had got under the previous regime.
Pemberton had praise for all the three centre backs post match and said it was Josef Yarney's best game for us he looked calm and assured and was doing the right things, it was certainly good to see the centre back making runs to overlap Cropper in the second half, it adds another dimension to our attacking play that we've not seen for a while.

Realistically Chesterfield need 4 wins to stay up, but after Saturday most of us hope we can do better than that
On to the Harrogate game John Pemberton says he's watched them and they are very good, certainly they deserved to beat us in the previous fixture and they hve now won nine out of their last eleven games and are pushing Barrow hard for the title. I'm also looking forward to our next away game at Chorley just to see the idiosyncratic nature of the ground, which boasts a very small stand perched a top a grassy bank on one side of the pitch

The table lookes brighter now with Chesterfield within 3 points of every team up to 15th in the table; post match Nathan Tyson was quite up beat as you'd expect, saying that teams can often find it hard when they think they've done enough only for sides in the relgation zone to go on a winning run and drag them back into the mire. It's all about momentum now and Chesterfield have the wind in their sails so here's hoping we can end up nearer half way than the bottom 4.

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Everything Falls Apart for Chesterfield

Just when you thought there was light at the end of the tunnel, Chesterfield manage to shoot themselves in the foot by gifting Eastleigh probably 2 of the easiest goals they will ever score, the highlights of that one will be an absolute horror show for anyone who dares to watch.

Message boards are full of people either directing dire abuse at players and management or fans simply saying they’ve had enough. One statistic highlighted is that 5 years ago Chesterfield beat Sheffield United 3-2 in a league game, and frankly gave them a good hiding on the day, right now there are 100 league places between us. 
That’s how far the club has fallen and if the team keeps playing like this, we will be losing a local derby to Alfreton Town in 12 months’ time.

Ron Atkinson once said “It’s the midfield, it’s always the midfield” when referring to what goes wrong with a football team. For 25 minutes on Saturday it looked as though it would be an easy home win, but once again the opposition simply out works The Blues in the middle of the pitch and leaves us stretched in defence and unable to create anything except a long ball to go forward with. 
On that note, Tom Denton came out of the game against Eastleigh with credit although it would be more appropriate if he wore a mask and a cape as the opposition centre backs spend as much time as they can wrestling with him rather then trying to play football.

It might not be around much longer

Last year John Sheridan turned things round with this formation, but with no real right wing back it’s not working. Last season we had 3 in midfield usually Smith, Weston and Rowley who worked well together as a unit. This time Joe Rowley is asked to play right wing back and seems to have lost all confidence especially in his ability to cross a ball and Liam Mandeville is playing just behind the front 2. 

What happens time and again when Chesterfield lose the ball is that Mandeville doesn’t track back leaving 2 defensive midfielders up against superior numbers and we then put no pressure on the ball. This leaves the defence exposed and they are slow really slow.
Ooh we got a corner

The most galling thing is that we come up against sides who are simply fitter and better organised than Chesterfield. Eastleigh were no great shakes, but only had to work harder than the Spireites and after half an hour the game started to unravel for us. Apart from buying 2 midfielders who actually have pace, or simply swamping the midfield I can’t see a way out of this.

Last minute free kick

What summed it up for me on Saturday was with virtually the last kick of the game Chesterfield played a very clever free kick routine to Gevaro who fluffed his shot when given a chance to redeem himself for the howlingly bad pass, which led to Eastleigh’s winner. The Notts County match live on TV now has potential for national embarrassment.
we lost to these

Saturday, 31 August 2019

Chester no-mid Field

One all against Dagenham and Redbridge and the stats have an all too familiar look about them, it’s now 12 games without a win since a pre-season victory against Matlock Town.  After the Dagenham game Chesterfield sit in in the relegation places with 5 points and will need to hit promotion form in the next month just to drag themselves out of the mire.
Everyone can see the glaring problem and it’s midfield. Any side starting at home with 5 centre backs on the pitch, as we did at home to Dagenham, has got a problem. John Sheridan says he’s been enquiring about players, but until we get a loan player in the same scenario is going to keep repeating itself. Recruitment under Martin Allen was awful, we are still stuck with some of his side and it’s obvious that things could also have gone a lot better this close season.

In Mike Fondop’s interview he commented that the club has some amazing talent on its books, we do, its just that we have far too many players in some positions and none in others, meaning it’s a lop-sided team. It’s OK for the club and various fans to say we should all stick together, everyone wants a win, but until the shape of the side is sorted out I can’t see improvement.
Marvellous Aluminium Ladder Action at Stockport, £18 for this view? shocking

Stockport away was an example, of the fact that Chesterfield are going to have to put players out of position because we have no obvious left sided midfielder. The side looked neat in the first half, played some good stuff and restricted Stockport to one half chance, despite only creating 2 good scoring opportunities ourselves. It was a 451, but unfortunately that meant Scott Boden had to play on the left when we need him in the middle. Second half Stockport put 5 across the centre and pressed Chesterfield who were reduced to missing out the midfield and booting it in the air to Mike Fondop who was isolated, the result was, we created no chances second half from open play.

Our message boards are full of fans cogitating on what our best centre midfield pairing is, everyone’s come to the conclusion it’s Jonathan Smith plus somebody else. No one can decide who the other player should be, as none of Weston, Weir and Wedgebury fit the bill as none of them are the type of player to accurately pass the ball to the strikers and boss the game.
A view from the Barrow Game we should have been 5-0 down at half time. Worst performance in 45 minutes of football I have ever seen at home.

Woking FC sit proudly on top of the table, having come up from the southern section, one of the main reasons for their improvement is a loanee from Nottingham Forest, Toby Edser, he will soon return to the City Ground once his spell for the Cardinals is over and it’s maybe that type of signing John Sheridan is looking for. Let’s hope it’s sooner rather than later.

Sunday, 4 August 2019

We can nearly see the pitch, sadly

Like most fans I await the start of a new football season with a mild amount of optimism knowing that we finally have a manger who has a proven track record and has shifted players in and out during the close season and has presumably a decent plan of how to play a style of football that’s going to see us win more often than not.
We can nearly see the pitch...

In the summer break every team in the division has had a huge clear out and influx of players, with no fees being exchanged at all, every transfer is a free, so it would seem that all the teams will need time to bed in and get some form together. However it’s not so much about transfer fees as wages AFC Fylde managed to capture Matty Kosylo from Halifax, he’s one player who impressed me last season for the Shaymen, they’ve also got our ex loanee centre back Alex Whitmore, so I’d expect the side from the motorway junction to be there or thereabouts at the end of the season. 

Stockport County have had the fewest incoming, having only signed one player on loan since getting promoted from National League North although Conor Dimaio seems to be impressing for them in pre-season matches.

Our maiden voyage of the season started sluggishly, improved after half time and then went down like the Titanic as soon as the opposition made changes. I have to say I was slightly disconcerted by John Sheridan saying words to the effect of the fact that he has too many midfielders who are too similar, well it’s obvious for all to see, that the side had no width and players looked a little out of sorts. Our manager has commented that if Anthony Gerrard had been playing, we would not have lost, presumably he’s inferring that the ex-Oldham player will be able to organise the team better once he’s out on the pitch and head away from corners.. Many fans have commented despite being pleased that Gerrard has joined us, he might want to focus on shedding a few pounds in order to be fully effective.
 Best seats in the house?

You have to feel sorry though for some fans who have bought season tickets for the centre stand only for the club to build an extended dugout right in front of them, meaning that their welcome to a new season is a restricted view. Hopefully the club will manage to sort out this problem soon enough and put something on the pitch that is worth watching, although this may only happen after key players some back from injury and illness. I’m looking forward to seeing what Anthony Spyrou can do when he gets a good run in the side