Mine's a chocolate milkshake

Last updated : 24 April 2002 By Jim Coulson

For much of this season, watching United has seemed like a mid-range chain pub lunch, like a Harvester or Wetherspoons Meal Deal; no real surprises, some solid performances, the occasional real let down. Solid rather than spectacular I would say, some strong displays at home kept us up there with the 'big' boys, but inconsistency blighted us once more, silly points were dropped and as the evidence of the final table suggests, we didn't stick enough goals away.

Of course since Easter, to continue the culinary metaphor, it has been like eating dog shit from the pavement (er…I guess). It's not good enough for Lawsy to blame injuries (they've played their part, but it's how you deal with them that separates the wheat from the chaff in terms of managers). You have to look to the 'tactician' for why we failed, i.e. we have no tactics other than 'pass to Beagrie, then sit back and make him do it on his own', or 'boot it to Torpey' (and we know how effective that is).

The club needs an overhaul. I'm afraid that although Laws cares about United, he either needs to have a tactician join him on the management staff, or just step aside and let someone better in, someone with an idea of using the fine squad we have (well, the ones that aren't leaving) to its full potential, someone who can spot when a tactic isn't working and change it, Hell, someone with decent bladder control.

Worth a small European country?
Steve Wharton has issued his resignation, but for once I think the problems are at team management level. There is concern about the level of investment he has made, but to be fair, he has bank-rolled Peter Beagrie's wages, which shows a commitment to team affairs. If rumours are to be believed, we could have bought ourselves a minor Eastern European state for that. I happen to think it is well worth it. Beags is accused of greediness with the ball, I would counter that he is just waiting for his teammates to catch up. Also, if your only other option was to cross to Torpey, you'd keep it too.

But, this bitchiness doesn't take away from the disappointment. Another point would have given us something to still play for, I run these scenarios through my mind…'Garcia puts it in the Cheltenham goal, an amazing recovery by United, and the linesman has kept his flag down…the ball comes over into the Orient box, Carruthers is at the back post and he blasts it in, 1-0…and Kylie takes Jim by the hand and leads him upsta…' actually, that last one hasn't got anything to do with United, just forget I said anything.

So please, whoever is in charge next year and whoever is still on the playing staff, lets aim higher than the McDonalds experience…except possibly Gareth Sheldon, it could well be his next career move…

A pre-emptive goodbye and good luck to Andy and Super Lee, it's a real shame.

Up the Iron,mines a medium chocolate milkshake.

Jim can be heard weekdays on SBN Radio, weekdays between 2 and 7PM (across Student Radio Stations nationwide, www.sbn.co.uk and Sky Digital Channel 894)

His column can be read exclusivesly on Iron-Bru.net every Thursday