Saturday, 28 February 2009

Salisbury Podcast

The Supporters Association's podcast is now up at featuring Dean Saunders, John Curtis and Salisbiry boss Nick Holmes.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Geoff Moss Podcast

I've just put another podcast up at interview with Geoff Moss and Paul Retout on the Kop redevelopment.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

New Dragon Talk Podcast

There's another new Dragon Talk podcast up at today, featuring a chat with a Salisbury fan ahead of Saturday's game and an interview with the head of youth development at Weymouth, whose young lads look like they'll have to play out the rest of the season-as long as Weymouth don't go under. He wrote a terrific, impassioned essay on the future of the club which is still on the front page of their club site and speaks with real emotion about the future of his club.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Monday, 23 February 2009

New Dragon Talk Podcast

There's a new Supporters Association podcast up at featuring a look at the politics at Lewes and the European Football Weekend website's off-beat view of our game at Lewes.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Help Save Weymouth

Just read the following from Weymouth's website: it's incredibly powerful and certainly reminds you of how awful the prospect of losing your club is. We got such remarkable support from around the country when we were in desperate trouble-we owe it to Weymouth to return the favour. I'm interviewing Tim tomorrow for the podcast to try and spread the word further.

Message from Tim Davis: - Weymouth FC Youth Development OfficerThe Players
Full credit goes to the ex first team players who have represented the club this season but now sadly departed. You have given your all for the team and each and every one of you will hopefully be welcome back at the Wessex Stadium if you ever play against the Terras in the future for whatever club you may join. Hopefully you will all have long and fruitful careers and my best wishes to you all.Now we come onto the young lads who were so gallant yesterday. Firstly I would like to praise Jordan Collins for not turning round and saying he was injured or could not play for any other reason. He manfully stood up to be counted as a captain and his all round performance was exceptional for one so young. Secondly Scott Dixon was also a rock yesterday and showed maturity well above his tender age. Finally the boys form my under 18’s who stepped up to the plate and gave their all for the cause. They were so nervous in the dressing room before that Marcus, Alan and I couldn’t hardly get a word out of them.They ran their hearts out and I was so proud of each and every one of them for the way they applied themselves. Yes they got beat badly, yes we must be careful not to smash their confidence, yes we must be careful of their safety against better, bigger, stronger opponents but they now know what is required to play at Conference level. Football is a great learning curve and these boys have some quick learning to do. If we are clever we will get some decent young players out of this crop of kids. They are getting experience that you cannot buy and thanks to the way things are at the club at present this is invaluable in their development. If they were at any other Conference club or indeed ours before the trouble they would never ever get the opportunity to play. In an ideal world the boys will get two or three games then you take them out of the firing line before introducing some of them back into the team before the end of the season. One thing is for certain though nobody will ever be able to take away the fact that on their CV they have played Conference football and they all want to badly play for Weymouth FC not any other club.
The Supporters
What can anyone say about the support each and every one of you gave the boys before, during and after the game. Again it was very emotional for all concerned and I saw several people in tears. This for me was the first time since the two epic encounters with Nottingham Forest that the supporters have really got behind the team and it was brilliant to see and hear. With supporters like this how can we ever let OUR club die. Yesterday showed me truly that Weymouth as a town does deserve to have a football club and that people really care about it.We now have a platform to build from and have the opportunity to progress. Again reading all the messages of support on the forum from supporters of other clubs showed how complete strangers feel and we can use this remarkable show of solidarity to our advantage if handled correctly. What do I mean by that you might ask? Well each of these supporters from other clubs should be contacted and thanked for their kind words and then asked if they could highlight our plight by writing an article either for their local press or match programme. This would assist in getting thousands of new supporters to be aware of the Terras and hopefully many will be converted into making Weymouth FC their second team. They should also be asked whether they would approach their own club and ask if they could send us a signed shirt or match ball for us to auction to raise badly needed funds. Finally they could also ask about the possibility of their team playing us maybe at pre season again to generate income. This must be a co-ordinated project though and not just done in a scatter gun approach.
Rushden & Diamonds
Different class yesterday in the way that they handled themselves as a club. Forget the Tomlin incident the Rushden players were great in encouraging our lads and ensuring they kept going right to the end. They were a credit and I personally wish them every success.
The Club
Finally we come onto the thing closest to all our hearts Weymouth Football Club and more importantly the governance of. Yesterday proved beyond all doubt to me that the team and the supporters were pulling in the same direction so now the time has come for those people charged with running OUR club to do the same. I for one cannot live with myself if I don’t have one big go at accomplishing the impossible. In my time working at the club I have had five chairmen and a host of Directors who have all tried their best in their own way to take the club forward.This unfortunately has left us in the desperate situation we find ourselves in. Time has now come for people who say they care about the football club and its future to do something about it. What I am proposing is simplistic that I would like to see the following people Malcolm Curtis, Ernie Battey, Ian Ridley, Martyn Harrison, Gary Calder, Dave Higson, Pete Saxby, Mark Golsby or a representative from the Terras Trust, Ian Winsor, Ian White or a representative from the Supporters Club, Mark Rogers, Grant Leighton, Stuart Barnes, William Ronald, Ramin Hidari, Tristan Murless, Paul Cocks, Shaun Hennesey, Tom Singh, Matthew MacGowan, representatives from the Council and 25 top local businessmen to come to a meeting during the day as soon as possible with me at the Wessex Stadium which I will chair to strive to find a solution to all the problems. For too long egos have taken over and whoever has been in charge of the Terras since we moved to the Wessex Stadium has faced similar problems. The team and fans yesterday proved they can work together now its up to you guys and others to prove the same.Forget about back stabbing and points scoring the time is upon us to bury the hatchet once and for all. The agenda will consist solely of positive thinking how everybody can work together and honesty. We all owe it to the fans and the town to have one last try and if all the combined brains in that room cannot come up with a workable solution then we have failed everybody. Not having the time to attend is not an excuse, make the time I am going to. I will also keep fans updated about who says yes they will attend the meeting and who says no as I feel its important to communicate.I will be working all week to try and make this happen irrespective of what happens to the club over the next few days and I urge each and every one of the above people to contact me as soon as possible so we can get the meeting on. For further details you can contact Tim Davis on the numbers below07974885259 (mobile) or 01929 401392 (home) ring anytime of the night or day its that important.

I Can't Help Looking Back!

Having watched us look rather thin on options up front yesterday, I didn't need to see Neil Roberts' performance for Rhyl on Sgorio when I got in!

He scored two early goals and was ludicrously unfortunate not to get a first half hat trick whe a shot from the edge of the box hit the left post, span across the face of goal and went narrowly wide of the other!

He hit the post again in the second half and the keeper fumbled another long ranger but managed to get back and grab it before it crossed the line.

I've never argued he should have been kept as a striker, although I've constantly said he should have been retained as a midfielder, but bearing in mind how little bite up front we had in the absence of Marc Williams yesterday, I might revise that opinion.

I'm not a Louis-basher; in fact I was very surprised he was taken off yesterday as I thought he was giving the Ebbslfeet defenders something to think about. However I'd say Jon Brown, who I think you can argue is one of the most effective players in the Conference, is more dangerous on the right than through the middle from what evidence I've seen so far. With Patrick Suffo admitting he still only has about an hour in him and Michael Proctor clearly not on Dean Saunders' radar, we need another striker. Once more Brian Little's remarkable decision to jetison Roberts looks ludicrous.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Ebbsfleet Podcast

The Supporters Association's podcast from the Ebbsfleet game is now up at featuring Dean Saunders, Aurelien Collin and Liam Daish.

Excited Yet?

It's cup quarter final day! How exciting is that? Well, it'll be interesting to see how many people agree, and not just on the terraces. The crowd when we played the first round of this competition was massively down on what we attract to league games; I wonder if the passage of two further rounds and the close proximity to Wembley will tempt people out, although it is part of a sequence of four home games in a fortnight, so it could suffer as fans prioritise.

Likewise, how will Dean Saunders view the game? Obviously he's close to a cup final in his first half season in charge, but promotion is clearly his priority. Marc Williams isn't available-he looked off his game for the first time this season at Burton anyway so maybe a rest isn't such a bad thing. After all, if anyone's earned one it's him! But will Saunders leave out any more of his regulars?

Ashley Westwood's a likely character as his thigh strain is nursed through the season, especially with a game against play-off rivals Kidderminster on Tuesday, and the Gaffer might be tempted to try out his new signings Aurelien Collin and Jamie McCluskey.

What worries me a little is that if Saunders shuffles his pack, he'll be doing it against an Ebbsfleet side which is getting back in form after an alarming collapse over the Christmas period, and seem to be inspired by their defence of the trophy.

Furthermore, they were dominant in the abandoned game against Burton, a feat which we now know is not to be sniffed at. The league leaders showed their resolve in fighting back against us, but never looked like coming back at The Fleet.

Today will be a fascinating test of Saunders' squad, and with so many of the sides pushing for promotion already out of the competition, I hope we can pass it.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Burton Podcast

The Supporters Association Podcast is now up at featuring Dean Saunders, Jeff Louis, Mike WIlliams, Andy Crofts and Kevin Poole.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Remember Us Robbie?

Robbie Savage isn't all that keen on playing in The Conference after all, it seems!

I said in an earlier blog that Savage tends to speak whatever happens to be in his mind without a great deal of consideration for what he's previously pronounced, so I shouldn't be too surprised to see him announcing his horror at the notion of playing in The Conference, just a couple of months after he spoke of his desperation to sign for us.

It's no great surprise that he has forgotten about us really; yesterday seemed to be his dream come true; his links with Manchester United meant he was the centre of media attention when Derby played them live on TV. He loved every second of it, as indeed he should, and I doubt if swapping that for a monthly pitchside Setanta rendezvous with Rebecca Lowe's going to tempt him away from that.

Unless ITV stick an advert over his post-match ruminations, of course!

Fantasy Football

Obviously at a bit of a loose end (I'm entitled-I'm on holiday!) I thought I'd have a look at what sort of impact Dean Saunders has made at The acecourse since he took over. We all know what he's done to the atmosphere around the place, but how does it all translate into cold hard statistics? The answer is rather well!

I'd been think for a while just how would we be faring if Saunders had been boss since the start of the season and we hadn't been forced to operate under the handicap Brian Little hobbled us with. We'll never know, of course, as Saunders had to operate, to an extent still has to operate, with the disadvantage of inheriting a squad which isn't what he wanted.

However, on the left is how the table would look if the season began the day Saunders took over. We'd be second, still a fair way behnd Burton Albion, although winning our games in hand would put us just four points behind them.

Furthermore, we'd be in second despite the fact that only one side, Kettering Town, have played less games than us over this period.

We've gone up ten places under Saunders, from fourteenth to fourth, we're one of four sides averaging better than two points per game, and our goal difference is the second best in the table, again after Burton. Let's beat them tomorrow and then the imaginary table will really close up!

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Grays Podcast

The Supporters Association Podcast from the Grays game is now up at featuring Dean Saunders, Jon Brown, Nathan Fairhurst and Grays boss Gary Phillips.

Friday, 13 February 2009

No Burton Catastrophy Thanks To Ebbsfleet

It's a forlorn hope that we might catch Burton-I know that. The desperate optimist in me refuses to accept it though, so I watched their match at Ebbsfleet last night with a far-fetched but encouraging theory in my heart.

I could see Ebbsfleet winning it; the conditions weren't great and Ebbsfleet have been picking up lately (if only we could have played them when we were scheduled to, and they were in freefall). My theory ran that once they'd lost that they then face the only side of the same calibre in the division: us. They haven't lost at home this season, so they're due a defeat, and they'd be coming off three games in a week. Once we'd beaten them, they'd be forced to confront the terrifying possibility of their own mortality. Their following two games are away from home and awkward, against a Woking side that showed their stubborn side at the Racecourse earlier this season, and Cambridge. One point out of twelve, tailspin, they'd be lucky to stay out of the bottom four!

Well, maybe that's a touch far-fetched, but it looked like the theory was panning out nicely after 63 minutes. With the snow coming down, Burton were 1-0 down and frankly not really at the races. And then the ref rescued them by calling the game off.

My initial reaction was to feel he'd got it badly wrong. Okay, the lines were getting covered in snow, but the actual playing conditions were okay: you couldn't play the beautiful game on it, admittedly, but the players weren't slipping around and certainly weren't in danger, and the ball wasn't stopping in the snow. So why not halt the game for five minutes, get people on the brush the lines, and start again in five minutes?

That seemed to be the opinion of a furious Ebbsfleet team and bench too, but once he'd calmed down Liam Daish seemed to offer a different opinion. Instead he appeared to imply the game could have carried on if his own team had been properly prepared. This fitted in with the referee's behaviour on halting the game; at first he appeared to merely be called a brief hiatus to clear the lines.

So were Ebbsfleet guilty of a slack approach, just as they were when our match was called off at such late notice last January? It's ironic if this time they suffered for it; I'm sure their form meant they were glad to get the game off when we were due in town (correction: when we were ALREADY in town!) but it didn't help my crazy little theory much, did it?

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Good Old Weymouth!

What a tremendous result for us tonight! After the Kidderminster-Cambridge game was called off last night, Torquay crash at home to Weymouth and we remain in the top five. Feels like fate's on our side at last!

That's a hell of a result tonight. How Weymouth are holding it together when they've got terrific off-field problems which are impacting on the squad as key players leave, is beyond me. But as long as they're safe by the last day of the season when they come to The Racecourse, and are happy to roll over and let us tickle their tummies, I'll be happy!

WST's stance on the development

For those unable to attend the WST meeting last night here is their presentation on the proposed development, and while their site features a detailed account of the subsequent Q & A session.

It is, as many have already remarked, a most thorough and professional presentation, and clearly their questions need to be answered.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Crowd Trouble

Here's a fascinating site to work out attendance stats for the Blue Square Conference. I've been playing with it for a bit, but you'll have to wait until Friday's Leader to read my fab conclusions!

It certainly confirms a notion I've held all season, namely that we're big hitters at this level. Our attendances outstrip most clubs in the division by a considerable amount.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Now That's A Novel Solution!

Romford have the right idea when it comes to dealing with the fixture backlog! Thye've arranged, with the blessing of the Essex Senior League, to play two games on the same day! Apparently they've got a big squad and can field two sides, so they're going to go for it! Can Little's signings be scraped together to go to Burton and get us a result?

As it stands, if we win against Ebbsfleet in the next round of the FA Trophy, then next midweek will probably be the last empty midweek we have all season, so make the most of it!

Where There's Strife There's Hope

I'm feeling a little embarrassed by the amusement I initially felt when I read this. Richard Hope being released after just seven fames for Grimsby can hardly be much of a shock to us.

The thing is, at least they only had to put up with him for that short length of time; as a result he won't have damaged them enough to send them to The Conference. The blind faith we showed in the bloke, in the face of constantly inept performances, was a key factor in why we didn't beat the drop.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Lewes Podcast

The Supporters Association's podcast is now up at featuring Dean Saunders, Wes Baynes, Marc Williams and Lewes boss Kevin Keehan.

Wes Has Left The Doghouse!

As tales of redemption go, that was a good one! The way Dean Saunders reacted to Wes Baynes' transfer request it looked like a promising Wrexham career was over almost before it began, but the gaffer's pragmatic enough not to cut off his nose to spite his face, and he was rewarded at Lewes!

Wes Baynes is not only back in the fold, but he's a match winner! His prodigious set piece delivery has already been valuable to us this season, but to hit his first goal of the season just days after coming off the list...for it to be a screamer...for it to secure a win in a tough away game. Mustn't grumble!

It certainly made the long journey home seem palatable, although the bloke opposite me on the train is talking to himself a little more than I'm comfortable with, to be honest!


Arrived thirty minutes early in Euston! Some sort of miracle!!

So far so good!

A fortnight ago I felt so proud of myself when I booked a train ticket to Lewes-I didn't imagine for a second you could make it down there and back in a day by rail! For the last week I've not been feeling half as clever though!

The weather of the last week left me assuming the game would be off, and there was no way I'd get a refund on my train ticket just because a football match had been called off-I found that out the hard way at the Ebbsfleet game!

Still, at the moment the signs are good, thanks to a combination of geological and meteorlogical good fortune-Geraint sent me a text at 815 to say the pitch was ok. Let's hope it stays that way, and the trains arrive on time! With only Crawley of the teams above us playing today, and they're only above us because their points deduction has gone to appeal, here's hoping we can get a win today and make an impact on the table.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Has Dean Found His Collin?

Have a look at Aurelien Collin, the guy Dean Saunders is looking to sign. Looks like he's big, two-footed and likes hurting opponents. Cool!

Tosh Stability Is Good For Us

Here's a piece of good news I've been waiting to hear for a while! Toshack has been contemplating whether he wants to commit himself to the Welsh job for three and a half more years for a while now, and there has been a real possibility that if he decided to retire, his successor will be our very own Dean Saunders.

Saunders' work with Toshack has apparently impressed in the corridors of power at the Welsh F.A., and his efforts at The Racecourse can only have solidified their high opinion of him.

Now we don't have to worry about him getting an offer he can't refuse; for a couple of years at least! Still, if Toshack goes at the end of this contract, which seems likely, will Saunder want to abandon our promotion push as we try to get into The Premiership?

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Reports of Evans' Demise No Longer Exaggerated

Rumours that Steve Evans had played his last game for Wrexham have been circulating widely over the last few weeks, but finally they have proven to be true.

If I had a pound for every time someone gave me the exclusive inside information that Evans was signing for Rhyl in the transfer window, I'd have been able to afford Kaka.

Now he finally has gone, apparently back to TNS rather than The Lilliwhites. The inaccurate oracles were putting two and two together in a clumsy manner, but they were onto a winner. Eventually, it had to happen.

Evans has sadly been accident-prone throughout his time at The Racecourse. While his physical attributes were seductive to four managers (well, three of them certainly), his lapses of concentration meant he couldn't fulfil the potential these advantages offered him. If he had, he never would have had to start his full time career in his late twenties, and certainly would never have ended up with us.

I recall an early game when, while others purred about his forthright aggression, I worried about a couple of instances when he'd lost concentration while marking and let his man get behind him rather too easily. He got away with it both times, but it was a sign of what was to come.

There were times when he was magnificent, the game at Birmingham when he and Danny Williams repelled City until extra time stands out. Also, he tended not to let himself down when playing for Wales, which perhaps suggested that playing isolated one-offs against better opposition focussed his mind.

However, he had accumulated too many accidents to convince those who watched him week in and week out, a problem which would curtail his international career when Wales' assistant manager got the chance to work with him daily. In his first season with Wrexham the problem was the number of red cards he incurred; last time it was the regularity with which he put the ball past his own keeper. Either way he was error prone, and having lost his place at the start of this season only to claim it back as Nat Brown struggled with his fitness, he soon found his goose was cooked with Saunders' arrival.

It didn't take long for Saunders to drop him, and despite an excellent cameo at Mansfield when Saunders brought him on to counter the aerial threat of Jason Lee, the writing was on the wall. Between then and his final game, at Workington, Evans' chances were limited and the facts were stark: we let in five goals when he was on the pitch in that period, and each of them could be attributed to him! His grotesque error against Southport led to a penalty and his final red card in a Wrexham shirt; he conceded the free kick from which Basingstoke Town got a late goal; and all three of Northwich's goals were down to him losing his man, who scored two and headed the ball into the goalmouth to set up the scramble which led to the other.

His last hurrah, at Workington, saw him suffer another highly shaky afternoon, his position as right-sided centre back alongside the equally insecure Silvio Spann meaning that every time the ball was played into that side of the box there was a real possibility of disaster.

Many felt his disaster against Southport, when the most one-sided game I've seen for a long time was trtansformed by his dreadful error, which wasn't the first despite the fact that the ball was barely in our half until he was sent off.

Likewise, many were surprised he got a chance against Northwich, and his poor marking allowed the visitors to snatch a point in an absolute farce of a game. Let's hope those dropped points don't come back to haunt us.

It's a shame in many ways that things have ended like this. Evans' commitment to the club shouldn't be questioned, and a lot of the internet gossip about his off-field behavious seemed actionable to me. However, too many errors were occurring for Dean Saunders to tolerate, a fact which in itself shows that he seems to be the right man for the job of turning our fortunes around.

At least Evans left us with a parting gift. Ironically, in getting us knocked out of the Setanta Shield Evans might have done us the greatest favour he ever managed in his two and a half years with us.

Reasons To Be Cheerful

There were a lot of lessons to be learned last Saturday; not all of them were taught at Borough Park, but they all point towards a positive conclusion to the season.

Ever mind the excitement of being two steps from Wembley, although I can't deny that I'm fighting unsuccessfully against the temptation to get carried away! After all, when the final whsitle went round the country on Saturday there were only two sides from the top half of the Blue Square Premier into the last eight, with the two sides that, along with us, are seen by the bookies as the class acts of the division both going out.

It was the nature of their defeats which encourages me most though, and it has nothing to do with our cup run. On seeing that they'd both been hammered my assumption was that they'd prioritised, resting players with an eye on their promotion campaigns. A look at the sides they fielded swiftly disabused me of that notion though. They both played strong elevens but were hammered, scoring none and conceding seven between them!

I'm not daft enough to draw conclusions on a team from just one game, but I do think the concurrence of these results tells us something. This just isn't a great division. The NonLeague media would be horrified to hear this as their line is that The Conference is on a par with League Two, and I don't want to sound too critical, as I've really enjoyed myself this season and have been impressed by the way teams set out to do their jobs. Clearly there has been a huge rise in standards in The Conference in recent years, reflected by the culture shock we experienced when Northwich turned up at The Racecourse with such a distressingly ugly game plan last week; I think a lot of us expected all the strugglers to play like that but instead the likes of Woking and even Lewes came up here with the intention to play football.

However, there's clearly nothing to fear in this division, and we should bear this in mind as we push on for promotion.

Another indication of the slip in standard can be seen when we look at how players we've rejected have fared. Adam Smith, who didn't impress on pre-season trial here, has made an impact at York. Mind you, amazingly you could substitute the word Christian for Adam in that last sentence and be equally accurate! Likewise, Rob Duffy has made a good start to his spell at Mansfield Town, which is an interesting one. He didn't cover himself in glory last season for us, although one might argue that Brian Little, having brought him in to a great fanfare, hardly gave him much of a chance to show what he could do! Instead he opted to use Drewe Broughton at the sharp end of our attack, and we went down.

I suspect the success of players who the fans I'm sure would be unaninmous in agreeing wouldn't improve our side shows that The Conference isn't the toughest league in the world. I'm not for a moment suggesting we'll catch Burton, they'd have to pull off a Devon Lock to let us do that (or more likely The Conference would have to find a cupboard-full of unregistered players locked away at The Pirelli Stadium!) However, I am saying that the squad Dean Saunders has assembled is at the very least the equal of anyone at the top of the table. If only he'd been here from the start of the season!

What Next For Whalley?

Shaun Whalley's move to Southport on loan makes perfect sense, but I'll be interested to see just how things pan out from here.

There can be no question that Whalley has the ability to be a fine player. We saw that at The Racecourse last season when he slaughtered us in an Accrington shirt. Remember how he curled a beauty in with the outside of his right foot coming in from the left, then on the other flank set a goal up with a brilliant run and cross which started with a bit of impudent skill which dumped Steve Evans on his backside? I mean, I know the latter feat maybe wasn't so tricky, but he still did it with panache!

We've seen snatches of Whalley's ability at the start of this season too. The way he dinked a terrific chip over the Stevenage keeper to score on his debut, repeating a goal he'd scored in pre-season, suggested we had something special on our hands; he looked like the best finisher we'd had since Juan Ugarte.

We also saw what he had to offer from the flank, particularly at Salisbury, where he twice ran at the heart of their defence from the half way line and scored with shots from outside the box.

But why was he playing on the wing if he was such the sharp goalscorer he appeared to be on the first day of the season? Therein lies the problem. Whalley is capable of excellence only sporadically. Furthermore, being something of an individualist he never looked like he could strike up a partnership up front as he failed to read the target man play of Jeff Louis. Louis' success in combining with Marc Williams shows the problem didn't lie with him.

Understandably Little tried to persist with Whalley; after all, he was his signing. Furthermore, he offered the possibility of creativity in a rather moribund side. However, when you look back you realise that if he didn't show he was in the mood early on then the liklihood was that it wasn't going to be his day.

Whalley has genuine ability, and will surely show it at a lower level, although dropping a division for the second time in six months surely wasn't something he'd planned for. Seeing the number of Wrexham players who looked nowhere near as capable as him, yet are making an impact in the Blue Square Premier, surely he will punish Conference North defences, not least as he's joining a side in fine form, as we can attest, along with plenty of other sides from our division who have fallen foul of their two impressive cup runs.

Could his sojourn on the coast send him back to us a better player? Perhaps not, and we've had too many years of holding out in the hope that a player will finally justify his promise. Saunders' hard-nosed realism is what the club has needed for a while. This looks like a deal which we're unlikely to lose out on either way as Saunders carries out the necessary streamlining of his squad.

Baynes Remains

Looks like Wes Baynes has had the most predictable rethink since Rafa Benitez decided Robbie Keane isn't the second coming (although as that happened yesterday I guess it isn't the best example!)

We need Baynes: he offers depth at right back, the area of our squad which is looking most threadbare at the moment, and his quality from set pieces is invaluable.

However, he needs us more: he could develop into a quality player, but he's not there yet, and both playing regularly and working under a quality coach aid development, as Nathan Fairhurst, Angelos Tsiaklis and Jon Brown will attest.

Reading between the lines of Dean Saunders' comments, the obvious conclusion that Baynes had been badly advised seems to be accurate. Now he has a chance to be his own man, and develop into the man he ought to be. It's the decision which will ultimately benefit both sides most.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Wembley Dreams

I know it's irresponsible, but I can't help it-I'm dreaming of Wembley!

Yesterday's results certainly opened the path to the final up, with Torquay, Kettering and Burton going out, and Kidderminster held to a draw at home. As Crawley's game was postponed, that means us and Stevenage Borough are the only sides in the top half of the Blue Square Premier who are through to the last eight!

Wrexham (8th in Prem with millions of games in hand!)
Stevenage Borough (3rd in Prem)
AFC Telford (4th in BS North)
Southport (3rd in BS North)
Ebbsfleet United (16th in Prem)
Forest Green Rovers (22nd in Prem)
Havant & Waterlooville (19th in BS South) or Crawley (6th in Prem prior to points deduction)
York City (17th in Prem) or Kidderminster Harriers (5th in Prem)
Roll on Monday's draw!

Wrexham Rejects Still Do The Business!

First Adam Smith, then Christian Smith and now Rob Duffy! It seems it doesn't take all that much to make an impact in opposing penalty areas in The Conference, as those three Wrexham cast-offs are all finding it no problem to hit the net. Duffy has popped up at Mansfield and seems to be a big hit, posing the question whether Brian Little, who brought him in but never game him a start, ought to have allowed him more of an opportunity to show what he could do for us. His career stats suggest he's a goalscorer, but Little preferred Drewe Broughton to lead the line in our attempt to stay in the Football League. And look where that got us.

Okay, I'd better stop being hypocritical and admit I rather liked Broughton, and was one of the few who was sorry to see him go. However, he was hardly full of goals, and who knows what might have happened if Duffy had been given a run?

Wrexham Calendar