Give the youngsters chance to settle

Last updated : 17 December 2002 By Terrace Talk
We need a bit of inspiration and for me Alex has now spent enough time recharging his batteries. My only other concern is this - why do we bring on substitutes who have never played in a league match let alone played in our team but only give them a few minutes to find their feet? Surely Hayes could have replaced Martin Carruthers after ten minutes of the second half.

The excitement of the FA Cup and a potential game against Leeds seem to have by now been overshadowed by the acrimonious squabble with Hartlepool. We certainly don’t have a ‘rent-a-quote’ Chairman, unlike some teams, and it shows the strength of feeling at the Club that Steve Wharton has decided to comment publicly. I think the starting point when discussing this has to be the day when Hartlepool asked us to put the game back to Friday and we agreed. To do so probably meant we would have fewer fans there to support us and those diehards who would go anyway were put to extra inconvenience. Crucially some people were then missing their works Christmas parties including the possibility of a free bar – so we’re talking fundamental human rights here.

Anyway we agreed to their request it seems. But when the boot was on the other foot they shafted both us and Carlisle. And this was not a request to play the match at 5 a.m. on a Tuesday morning, it was just a request to put it back to where it had originally been scheduled. They say that the sum of money demanded was the amount they were losing in corporate sponsorship. If that happens to be the case then why did they not say that straight away? Why was it a fax at the close of business? Steve Wharton has called for the League to consider the issue of whether there should be some code of conduct. More specifically the League must surely have the power to ask Hartlepool to show them how the figure was arrived at. If the difference between corporate sponsorship on the two days really is £50K then Hartlepool will have no trouble defending themselves against accusations of profiteering at the expense of fellow clubs. So no doubt they will be doing so shortly. Ultimately, what goes around comes around.

Saturday’s Matchday supplement in the Telegraph had a ‘where are they now?’ type feature on John Bramhall. No doubt the article was prompted by the cry of ‘Whoosh’ that goes up these days when Jamie McCoombe lofts the ball upfield. What do these people want from McCoombe? If he lost the ball trying to be clever with it these same people would be screaming that he shouldn’t be buggering about with the ball and to get rid of it. And wonderful though Steve Torpey is he does have a certain style and it’s hardly as if McCoombe has fundamentally misunderstood the game plan. The only thing he has done wrong is to show too much potential so soon last season so now people forget he’s only a young lad still learning his game.

John Bramhall is apparently high up in the PFA, third most powerful man in the player’s union. This comes hot on the heels of news that John Peacock is part of the FA England set up. So contrary to what we might previously have thought not all ex United players are running pubs or travel agents. How many more old boys are out there in positions of power? Next they’ll be telling us that Ian Juryeff is Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House and Sammy Goodacre is President and Colonel in Chief of El Salvador.

Lawsy has called for an alcohol free Christmas for the squad which reminded me that either last year or the Christmas before he actually cancelled the team Christmas party because the team were in a slump. The party, which was to have been fancy dress, was cancelled at short notice, which was bad news for Lee Hodges who lost the deposit on his Stuart Little outfit.

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