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View from Afar Part 2

By: Matt Westcott
Date: 20/01/2001

Well, in my opinion the die was cast long before Lennie Lawrence took up residence. The last board and previous manager had already set us on the way downwards, but it's in danger of becoming a nosedive now.

We were all more than a little excited when Lawrence came in and announced fresh faces would be arriving at the club. Who wouldn't have been after the way Town had been allowed to stagnate during Buckley's reign.

And maybe we were all sucked in my Lenny's `I'm just one of the lads' type persona. Many of us perhaps expected too much. A new renaissance brought about by the introduction of our foreign stars.

But how fast the light at the end of the tunnel faded and how quickly those very players brought in to save us, have become the ones responsible in part for our current demise.

Lawrence should have seen this coming, or at least been alert to the possibility. He's a savvy manager, he's been around the block and surely he's been in similar situations in the past.

But you wouldn't necessarily think so having seen how he's handled a number of negotiations involving the loanees. The Nielsen saga is a particularly bad example of the shambolic way matters were conducted.

First it's all sweetness and light, he scores a few goals and he's on his way to become a Freeman of the town.

But then the subject of wages rears its ugly head, transfer deadlines come and ago, there's backbiting between boss and player and eventually the whole thing turns sour. It's now got to the point where many fans, certainly those I talk to, wish the Dane had never washed up on our shores.

But Nielsen is not the only foreign faux pas. In the hope of a quick fix, Lawrence has brought in all manner of renegades from abroad, only a couple of which, admittedly viewed from afar, would appear to have been worth the gamble.

Willems strikes me as a decent player and Enhua, once he understands how to travel from Italy to England in one day, will be a good asset.

The rest however would appear to only be here for the money and when they realise they are not going to get what they think they deserve their desire wanes. All that this influx of loan players has served to do is drive a rift between the manager, said players and those that were plying their trade at BP before they arrived.

As to the answer? I don't know. If I did I wouldn't be writing about football, I'd be getting measured for my sheepskin coat. I can't see a change being brought about by the end of the season and by then it might be too late.I have a nasty feeling it's going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better.

Maybe my Island exile isn't such a bad thing.

Matt Westcott (aka Bermuda Pontooner)

Matt's Cod Head Interview, before he departed for Bermuda can also be seen on the site.

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