Friday, 28 May 2010
Nothing to do with Wrexham, but a wonderful story of taking on the corporate takeover of football. When Saturday Comes has an excellent article on this story this month, some of which is featured here. What isn't mentioned is that Kulula's latest, brilliant response to FIFA's heavy-handed approach is to copyright the sky and threaten to sue FIFA for unauthorised use of their workplace in their literature and advertising (although they're generously going to allow them to feature images of the sky below 10,000 feet!
Sunday, 23 May 2010
Pity this, but the result is irrelevant in some senses; the key battle lies ahead as we see whether we can actually hang onto a talented crop of lads.
Baynes clearly has ability. His ability to strike the ball cleanly and his delivery from set pieces make him a useful attacking option, and he chipped in with a few handy goals in a side which struggled creatively.
Of course, it would be interesting to know just how the circumstances changed to allow Saunders to bring Baynes back into the fold. On the indispensible Red Passion's thread on his assumed return it was suggested this might represent a hitch in Saunders' recrutiment plans, the failure to snag his intended targets freeing up the funds to pay for Baynes. That's clearly a possibility, but hopefully there's another explanation.
As I've suggested previously Saunders might have saved some money with the departure of Sam Russell; if he replaces him with back-up for Chris Maxwell, then he ought to have a bit of spare chage jangling in his pocket. If that has lead to the return of Baynes, then I'd say it has worked out pretty well.
Saturday, 22 May 2010
Last Summer we saw him bring in young lads like Curtis Obeng, Nathan Fairhurst and Adrian Cieslewicz. Now he's focussed on players who are established at our level or higher. It seems like a wise move to me.
Chris Blackburn, like Dean Keates, has enjoyed recent success in the Football League, and assuming they're fit they appear to be very astute signings. Of course, the one question when bringing players in from the higher levels of the game is their motivation. I'm not suggesting any doubt about either of the two we've snagged; I've never met either of them and have only heard good things about their atitude. There is a danger that players arrive dissaffected from the higher levels though, and perhaps feeling they've nothing to prove as their achievements are behind them. It's the one factor Saunders needs to watch out for as he looks to augment the squad with some experience and quality.
Monday, 17 May 2010
A gradual geographic shift has accelerated this year, and the division looks more northern than ever. Of the six sides which have left the division only one is northern, albeit a convenient neighbour in Chester. Of the other five, four are from the south-eastern heartland of the Conference Premier in Grays, Ebbsfleet, Stevenage and Oxford, Forest Green being the others. If, as many predict, they are reprieved by Salisbury dropping out, our petrol bills will be slashed even further.
Despite any understandable sympathy we might feel for York City, with Mike Ingham, Levi Mackin and Martin Foyle in their ranks, it was undoubtedly a good thing for us that they lost in the play-off final, and not only because a weekend in York’s an attractive prospect.
Oxford are one of the powerhouses of the Conference, a club which has marshalled its resources and used its size and earning potential to create a side capable of bullying the division. With Luton cottoning on under Richard Money in the latter half of the season, a York win would have left the prospect of next season turning into a two-horse race, with The Hatters and The Us pulling away from the rest of us. York have done well, but they aren’t likely to dominate the division like that.
The other impact on the Conference is the number of basket cases dropping out of the Football League. Hard as it might be to believe, we’re one of the more stable set-ups to drop into the Conference, as the financial backing the club gave Brian Little and Dean Saunders in our attempt to bounce back up showed. Contrast that with Chester, who failed to last the season, or Darlington, who come down with all sorts of endemic problems accumulated over the years.
The process of churning up the sediment of the Conference, as healthy clubs like Stevenage are replaced by diseased ones dropping off the backside of the Football League, must surely be a good thing for us. With plenty of small clubs who aren’t really equipped to sustain a promotion push to add to those who are limping down to our level, there should be only so many clubs capable of compiling a side capable of going for promotion. That ought to be in our favour, as long as we can get organised ourselves!