I am indebted to a Mr. Steven Cale who very kindly sent me a photo of Marc Robert’s ‘tough’ tackle in the Luton game a few seconds after coming on. Mr. Cale suggested that I required a new set of glasses. Ironically I had put in my order some two hours before the Tilton Talk show aired on Monday when I made the comment. I did say that my view of the incident was some 80 yards away and the overriding feeling was that Roberts had made initial and firm contact with the ball and that was what had caused the opponent to fall. The photo looks horrific and Roberts was lucky to get away with a yellow and the Luton man with retention of his knee caps.
Here comes a bit of old fartism for which I apologise. In my day any tackle where the ball was played however fiercely, or recklessly would have been lauded from the rooftops. It is this change in the game that I find so disconcerting. The game has moved so far from what it was even in the 90’s that unless you are watching the very best at their very best, then the product is too sanitized and too bland.
Saturday’s game against Luton was appalling. We never looked like scoring against a team against whom we had stuck 8 up the previous season. We can’t play better football particularly on our pitch that is coming more and more like the pitches we saw in the 70’s. I.e., bone hard and bobbly. In those days the answer was to get stuck in and tackle as hard and aggressively as possible. No-one is allowed to do that anymore. The manager always compliments the ‘group’ as never-say-die attitude but without being able to physically intimidate the opposition you just end up chasing shadows. So where do we go?
One thing that came to light on Saturday was the ‘all pulling together’ the manager reminds us of weekly, has started to disappear. The Manager himself was losing his cool as players were not keen to go to the sidelines and receive instructions and players on the field were pointing and shouting at each other. With the Captain now our Goalkeeper, who has also starting to come in for some criticism, we have no leaders who are among the action and able to sort things out.
Allegedly Harlee Dean read the riot act in the dressing room afterwards. We can always rely on old Deans to say what needs to be said. Yes he was too outspoken in the past maybe, but the Gaffer gave him a clean sheet when he took over and also, typical of Harley he has been outstanding when available. I suggest that every one of the 15,000 or so Bluenoses, if they had the chance to say their bit would point to our current best defender and say “Yeh, what he said!”
Our injury list is unlikely to ease for Saturday’s encounter with bottom of the table Wigan. Having embarrassed us earlier in the season at St Andrews with a 1-0 win with 10 men we do not go there with any confidence. However with a sellout away following and a Harley Dean pep talk ringing in their ears there is hope.
Anyway, look out for ‘Watto’s Weekly Live’ on You Tube, Twitter and Facebook.
God Bless you all
THE TILTON TALK SHOW
Is Back 6.30 Monday 6th March.