Despite His White Boots

Football, football, football and, if the mood takes me, more football.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Barnet 4 Bradford 1

I was in a funk of indecision this morning about whether to go to Loftus Road or not for the 5pm Sky game, until I decided to dodge the question entirely by throwing Barnet a bone instead. Inspired decision in hindsight. Barnet recorded a thumping win, their first at home for some time. QPR legend Paul Furlong lined up for the Bees against a visiting defence that included the not quite so legendary Zesh Rehman.

The experience of Furlong, Gary Breen and Matt Lockwood helped Barnet to look a lot more convincing than the last time I saw them, whenever that was, and the home team had the best of it even before Breen played Albert Adomah in to slot home the opening goal. Joe O'Flynn added a second with a glancing header just before the break to make the score a comfortable looking 2-0 at half time.

Even I know, however, that Barnet have been tossing leads away for fun this season, and the alarm bells were clanging when Bradford scrambled in a goal from a set piece. Fortunately they were almost immediately silenced when Adomah reached the byline and pulled back for Furlong, whose cross-shot was tapped in by Yannick Bolasie. Four minutes later the game was over as Joe Devera swapped passes with Adomah, stepped inside a defender and finished neatly for 4-1. Barnet could have added one or two more but no matter as Bradford pretty much gave up at that point. They looked poor for a team in the playoff zone, and I am unsurprised to report that Rehman doesn't look any more comfortable two divisions down.

The old heads have clearly helped Barnet a lot, and the younger players around them looked confident from the start, despite their low league position, which was a good sign, and it looks like Barnet have enough to hold off the teams below them who are still struggling to overcome huge points deductions.

The double wasn't to be though, I made it home just in time to see Ipswich equalise ; they were the better side from that point on and ran out 3-1 winners against a Rangers side who looked disturbingly flat and tired, especially with 8 games in 4 weeks coming up. Unfortunately, a considerable improvement on the road has been cancelled by 4 average to poor home performances in a row (well they were OK against Reading I suppose) ; we just don't look threatening going forward unless it's on the break. Still a lot of work to do, but what the hell, it's February and we are totally safe from relegation which is something.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Cause And Effect

I have no particular view on Tony Adams' dismissal at Portsmouth, except to say that if Sylvan Distin makes a routine clearance on Saturday, they almost certainly win the game and everything's on the up. Small margins indeed.

What frustrates me is the misconception that the Managers Association suit guy trots out yet again. "Alex Ferguson, " he reads from his list, "Arsene Wenger, Martin O'Neill, David Moyes". This proves that you should give managers time. Once again, cause and effect are hopelessly switched. Those guys have been in the job for a long time because they're good. They're not good because they've been in the job for a long time. If you give a bad manager time all he's going to do is drag your club down further and further. We don't know if Big Tone would have been a good manager in time, but coming up with this ludicrous survivor biased argument is completely irrelevant.

A lesser point that hasn't come up is that managers who have been around the block have a good sense of what jobs to take and what to steer clear of. Or even jump ship from, in Redknapp's case - a bit of a no-brainer to move from Portsmouth with no money to spend to Tottenham who still seem to have an inexhaustible supply. Especially when you're not hindered by inconvenient personal traits such as loyalty or commitment to previous agreements. Worldly wise managers tend to steer clear of situations like Portsmouth or Blackburn in the summer when the outgoing manager was a big success and has moved on to better things, but there isn't much money around to rebuild. Whereas Paul Ince and Tony Adams probably feel it's the best chance they'll get to prove themselves. If a young manager really wants a chance in the Premiership, his best bet IMO is to wait for a gig at a Championship side with the backing to move forwards, and store up enough goodwill through promotion to see out a bad spell or two in the Prem. But not QPR thanks, we're happy with Paulo.

Update : Expect more of this guff in the light of this.