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Wanderers Ways. Neil Thompson 1961-2021


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Everything posted by paulhanley

  1. Just to be clear my original post was not trying to say I'm glad we didn't go up. Nor was it really about trying to identify silver linings. It was more about putting a historical BWFC context around these things and pointing out that in the longer run sometimes these disasters end up sending us via a path that leads us to good things in the end. I wish we'd gone up on Saturday like everybody else and if we'd struggled next year I'd have snatched your hand off for 4th bottom in the knowledge that this time when finishing there we'd be with a safe board and not Mr Anderson. The one parallel from history I didn't draw was with the last time we had an ex central defender of a manager who loved pretty football. He had one fabulous season and then two that were affected by bad luck and us often being bullied. Colin Todd's sacking led to the arrival of one Mr S Allardyce, the rest was history.
  2. Just about all of the other threads are very understandably very negative and that's my over-riding emotion since Saturday too. What a bunch of bottlers. Any year Bolton Wanderers spend out of the top two divisions is a year too long. We are now going to spend a sixth consecutive season in the lower divisions. Slowly but surely we're escalating towards the full decade we endured in the 80s and early 90s. However ... taking the long view, are there reasons why a further year in League 1 might prove to have been the right thing? 1. This team bottles big games. In the Championship there are big games far more often. Quite apart from debating the balance of the squad and the quality in the side they simply seem to lack to the big game mentality. The Championship would surely have chewed up and spat out our lily-livered playing staff. 2. Ipswich are an outlier. It's not often promoted teams thrive at tier 2 these days. You have to get a foothold and scrap your way to safety. That would be a problem linked to (1) but how many of the current squad can we honestly say are Championship ready in terms of playing standard alone? Going back to the late 1980s and early 1990s, we would not have been ready for tier 2 with a forward line of Storer/Philliskirk/Reeves - as much as they did good things for us. However we were ready with Walker/McGinlay/Lee. Things sometimes just need to evolve a bit more before they align. 3. There are scores to settle in League 1. We still want that win at Bloomfield Road (hopefully while preserving our own long unbeaten home run against the orange wankers). Then there is Wigan. That run of misfortune v them has to stop. Next season we get at least two more shots at it. I recall the double over Wigan in 92/3 when Bruce got us promoted. It felt like the right way to be saying goodbye to them (for what proved to be more than a decade). A much lesser local issue but Stockport fans are a mouthy lot and like to point out they've never lost at the Reebok. Be nice to sort that. 4. Combining the themes of derby matches and whether we were Championship ready this year - I'm not so sure I'd have fancied having to play Burnley, Blackburn and PNE with this present lot. It could have been carnage. Hopefully we will come to view our failure this season as a necessary evil as we develop/evolve further so that when we do hit the Championship we are properly equipped.
  3. Yep. Not of note that nowt has been said yet but each day that passes without word from tomorrow onward makes things a little more interesting.
  4. Well we are pretty much 48 hours on now and with chatter among the fans absolutely rife there's been nothing to quell it by way of the old fashioned board of directors "vote of confidence". That's probably not of note just yet but if there's been nowt over the next 24 hours it'll start to become interesting.
  5. I know the following was 2,000 down on Plymouth last year but 32,000 was a brilliant effort. It's such a shame the players let that following down. I hope it doesn't have a long term impact on our upward trajectory with gates. Taking the long view, the last time we had a tier 3 play off final was in 1991 v Tranmere. We took 20,000 to that one. That's a big expansion in fanbase. In fact I'm pretty sure we've never taken a bigger following to a play off final (Tranmere, Watford, Reading, Preston).
  6. He's been a good un but I don't think this is a bad thing. None of the other midfielders are out of contract. This leaves the slot in the squad for the midfield bastard we are crying out for. Someone with physicality and leadership.
  7. Parallels with the early 1990s. After the Tranmere defeat at Wembley in May 91 we didn't pot Neal and 91/2 was a lame mid-table season. That's the horrible scenario in the back of my mind for next season. I think Evatt will stay. Unless he addresses the lack of nous and leadership on the pitch and adds some pragmatism and physique I fear a 91/2 scenario. More distant parallels? The late 70s, an age before the play offs. But we needed two near misses for promotion under Ian Greaves before clinching it in style in 77/8. The difference was the addition of experience in the shape of Frank Worthington and Alan Gowling.
  8. Prem games later today. It strikes me we are becoming the Tottenham of League 1. Never quite fulfill potential, bit of a soft centre, regularly bottle big games and derby matches.
  9. I don't know what the contract situations are but I think we need to move on from Gethin Jones and potentially even Santos. Our midfield is too often passive. I wouldn't try for Maghoma. I have big doubts and Sheehan and Thomason and Dempsey never seems fully fit. Collins has looked a good signing. But up front we need to free JDB and sell Victor. Big Dan doesn't look good enough either. It all needs a very big freshen up now. The mentality on display yesterday has to be tackled at root. As a sidenote - if we can get full seasons out of Johnston and Mendes-Gomes that's going to help.
  10. Some amusement at the expense of our friends to the west on this hangover of a Sunday morning “If you want to write about Wigan, write about that guy over there – he’s the local crackhead and he just killed a pigeon,” says a teenager in the town centre near the Grand Arcade Shopping Centre. A middle-aged man clutching a white bag looks up and grins, flapping his arms like a bird. “He just smacked it and put it in that bag. He says he is going to cook it and eat it for dinner.” Read on: Inside the obesity capital of Britain (msn.com)
  11. Sadly I'm not surprised by today. We've bottled the bigger games/derbies all season. Oxford did a number on us just like Derby/Wigan/Blackpool etc. When you look at today and some other occasions ... we'd have been in serious bother in the Championship. Long term this is probably the right thing. Short term it is unutterably grim. Safe journey home everyone. I've got a shorter journey home - to Oxfordshire. Next week at work will not be pleasant. Oxford people being Oxford people it'll only be gentle stuff but life would have been more simple if our lot had grown a pair and won the game.
  12. I live in Oxfordshire. That pretty much sums it up. Few take an interest outside of Oxford itself until something like this happens. Then they're all out of the woodwork in the surrounding market towns. It'll be a big old following but it won't be a very knowledgeable one. It's so easy to get to from here, direct train, no messing. Hardly a surprise if they outnumber us just as Reading did in 1995. I think we'll be breaking the 30,000 barrier, which is respectable.
  13. There weren't all those seats behind the goal when we regularly got dicked there in the 80s and early 90s.
  14. Fanny's in Lonsdales.
  15. From what I've heard the fans are turning against the new owner because he's viewing the football club as very firm second class citizens in favour of the rugby. We've wished this turd to flush so often, last summer we were full of it (me included). Maybe the khazi never flushes and the turd just degenerates. Sorry if you've not had your breakfasts yet.
  16. That's my thinking. I don't trust them to boss it and make it happen.
  17. There's a big debate being had about VAR and that will always be there. What I don't understand is how you can have a 46 game season played under a certain set of conditions only for that to completely change with the insertion of an entirely different playing condition from another league just because it's a play off final. It's not consistent at all. .... if it rescues us from a perilous situation on the day (Oxford goal disallowed or penalthy decision reversed) I'll shut my gob.
  18. If you have very, very, very deep pockets try the Nut Tree Inn.
  19. Championship: Burnley (H) League 1: Mansfield (A)
  20. I can see extra time and a proper close do. Given I live in Oxfordshire I'd prefer Posh in the final for a quiet life. In terms of the quality of the sides I'd say even-steven given Oxford's recent form.
  21. I'm not one of those for relentless negative posting but I have to say I've ended up feeling a bit deflated after last night. Living outside Bolton I've had a few wry comments about the pitch invasion after a 2-3 home defeat against a Barnsley side bang out of form. I've even had one "tinpot" comment about the same thing. I was feeling throughout the game last night that we were exhibiting the irritating faults that saw us finish 3rd rather than 2nd and that risk us coming up short in the pressure cooker of play off final. Lack of concentration in defence, not quite clinical enough in attack etc, occasionally prone to being out-muscled. I'm sure both Oxford and Peterborough know exactly where their potential avenues to success will be against us. It's too early to be talking about the Championship. Suffice to say if we come out of the lottery of a one-off game on 18 May with the winning ticket to tier 2 then some of the stuff on display last night will not be remotely close to what's required week in and week out.
  22. I think we'll take more than 30,000 but that we will be somewhat below what we had v Plymouth in the Pizza Cup. If we play Posh we will have more fans than them. If we play Oxford I think we'll have less.
  23. I was living in Oxford at the time and still live in Oxfordshire. They did indeed take that number. The vast majority have never been since and never went before. But it's a short train journey - direct from Oxford on Chiltern Trains. Easy peasy for them to take a big following.
  24. Thinking the same. Drama to come. Hopefully.
  25. Early 1990s. A looong time ago!
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