Welcome to the Glanford Park Retirement Home, Mr. McCall

Last updated : 17 April 2002 By Jim Coulson
And here's Mr Beagrie, now, be careful of him, he has a temper, says things in the heat of the moment...just don't anger him..."

Don't laugh, it's a possible scenario, reportedly Lawsy is trying to get in Stuart McCall (that's if he still has a say after Saturday), and to be perfectly honest, I don't know whether that would be a good thing or a bad thing. He could bring much needed experience, tough tackling, thoughtful play, but also, him, Beags and Pepper (who, I assume, may play at some point) are probably older than the rest of the squad put together (that's just an estimate at this stage, I'll do the maths later)

It's a good thing that FIFA are suggesting breaks in the middle of each half; in the World Cup they will be for players to refresh with isotonic drinks, at Glanford Park they will be for the lads to have a nice sit down, a cup of tea and a chance to tackle the Countdown conundrum. Talk in the dressing room will no longer be of girls and cars, but of how eggs todayaren't what they used to be, and the team will run out to a medley of Vera Lynn hits.

On a serious note, we will be a team of extremes; very old and very young,with not much in between, the old 'uns lack pace, the youngsters lackexperience, it seems like a mismatch that I fear will be our downfall.

On another note, I have found our Premiership kindred spirits. The cynicism yet loyalty of the fans, the wasted potential, the infuriating skilful build up and failure to capitalise. Step forward West Ham, aside from the obvious claret and blue and Iron/Irons similarities, for every Beagrie, Hodges andCarruthers, there's a Di Canio, Kanoute and Cole. It's uncanny. My flatmate and I have an agreement to follow each other's annoying team and aftertrips to Millwall, Oxford, Luton and Orient for Simon, I graced Upton Park to see them turn over Charlton. It was all familiar, the'two-nil-up-but-still-don't-feel-safe' pain in your stomach that grips me at GP, coupled with the 'nice-tricks-but-where-has-it-got-us' feeling we are all used to.

Being with the West Ham fans was like being back at GP, but with ten times the people and cockney accents,oh, and the words 'West Ham' in the songs,rather than 'Scunthorpe', obviously.

Immensely talented, massive potential yet under-performing and frustrating,
lets face it, it's the Scunny (and West Ham) way.

From battling for 3rd, to 9th and out of it in a matter of weeks - Jeez.

Luke summed it up perfectly with the headline 'Bollocks, bollocks,

Up the Iron

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.