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Question of the Week

Will you attend any Checkatrade Trophy games next season?

All of them
All home games
The odd game
Knock out games
Final only
Total boycott


 

The Fans' View

By: Andy Swaby
Date: 23/04/2001

Two good wins since Martin Handsley wrote his article - so is all the doom and gloom justified? Well - we're not out of the woods yet - despite those two wins I still wouldn't put our survival chances at better than 50/50.

we're probably going to have to rely on continued poor form from Palace or Portsmouth to stay up - all our other rivals seem to be getting a few results.

But what about Martin's view of the longer term prospects?

THE BOARD - I share his views about the current Board - But when was it any different? Their predecessors were no better. The club's been dogged by boardroom problems for as long as I can remember. Even the successful period in the early 80s ( still the best post war team we've had) was dogged by boardroom infighting. One thing the current board have got right is their commitment to a new stadium. I just hope they can deliver it without bankrupting the club.

ALAN BUCKLEY - Yes he was the best post-war manager we've had, but I'm afraid the emphasis is on the WAS. By the beginning of this season he was simply washed out - tired of delivering miracles year after year with no resources to work with and precious little thanks from the Board or the fans. The signings of Jeffrey and Raven show that he had run out of ideas. Having said that nothing should take away his achievements - he was the best we've had by far and I don't think his record will ever be equalled. ( I used to think that about Keith Jobling's appearance record wouldn't either and Macca's just beaten it!).

LENNIE LAWRENCE - This is where I disagree most strongly with Martin's assessment. Yes he's got a different style to Buckley - he's more willing to take risks and wheel and deal in the transfer market and probably less loyal to exiting (and former) players but his judgement of players appears sound and apart from a few disastrous experiments with 3 at the back his tactics seem OK. He's not going to panic when things get difficult a la Laws or Lyons.

ARE THE FANS TO BLAME ? - No - Its nothing to do with lack of commitment - there simply aren't enough of us to sustain a First Division team in the long term. Look at smaller clubs like Gillingham and Tranmere - even they manage gates around the 9000 mark.

WOULD GOING DOWN BE A BLESSING IN DISGUISE ? - Not at the moment. We've spent the TV cash received in advance and having to pay that back would be a disaster. We also need to build the new ground - even if our longer-term future is as a second division club. Poor old Blundell Park isn't even half decent by modern standards - only the Smiths stand is up to scratch.

THE FUTURE ? - Basically as I see it we've got to hang in there in Division 1 at least until we get the new stadium built but realistically its becoming harder and harder to survive at this level with the resources we've got. Not much better than Martin's gloom laden predictions - but I remember when we were languishing at the foot of the old 4th Division in the late 60s/early 70s - now those really were hard times.


What is your View? Do you agree with Andy? Replies to the Pontoonites Message Board


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