Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Nothing In Reserve

I've got to say that, looking at our relegation logically, there shouldn't be too much to fear. So why is the club in such a panic?

I'm not naive. I know it'll be harder to convince players to stay or sign for a Conference side. I know crowds will be down, if only because away support will be virtually non-existant. And I know other revenue streams will be reduced or stopped. But it's not the end of the world, yet we're acting like it is.

Quite apart from Brian Little's cull of the squad, which runs the risk of throwing the baby out with the bath water, there's the decision to axe the reserves. What on earth is the logic behind that? Isn't it valuable for players to have competitive matches? If we have the squad of twenty four we were promised last week (though that figure appears to have shrunk to eighteen according to the club website today) don't we need to be keeping them match fit? Bearing in mind how long it seemed to take for injured players to return to fitness under Little, wouldn't a reserve side be a useful tool in getting future injuries back on the pitch? It's bizarre.

If anyone can tell me the thinking behind this, please let me know! Isn't the best way to bounce right back-and considering the fact that we get a small parachute payment this season, we should be looking to do exactly that-to keep going as normal? To be a big fish in a small pond? I'm not advocating living beyond our means, but if we're able to operate normally, we should. Don't all the best run clubs have reserve sides? Do we really know something Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool don't?

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