Saturday, 29 August 2015

Old Dogs, New Trick

Our less than stellar start to the new season - three defeats in our first five games - has revealed a surprising trait amongst hardened Poppies everywhere.

No-one seems to be freaking out!

Have we learned the art of patience?  Have we "chilled-out?"  Have we really become a more grown-up, responsible and level-headed body of supporters?

Of course we haven't!  I'd suggest we're still the same bunch of grizzling moaners we've always been. The difference this year is that we've perhaps considered the step-up in quality and the tough opening few games and adjusted our expectations accordingly.  There's also the Marcus-effect in that we all really quite like Marcus Law as a person and as a manager.

Deep down we all feel bad about how Marcus was allowed to drift away from the club during Ladak's mad final months.  This will earn him a longer than average honeymoon period.  And, it has to be said, we've actually played some decent football and haven't looked out-classed (just out-scored!) so far this season.

So, for now, we're all onboard with our new boss and his ever-evolving squad.  One can only imagine how different our reaction would have been had last year's management team presided over the exact same start though.....



Poppies fans these days.
The picture of serenity.





Thursday, 20 August 2015

Where's Sandy?


After we posed the question - did Elliott Sandy appear in every photograph taken during last season's title celebrations, we have received a few photographs which claim to be Sandy-lite.  As we suspected, it was a tough ask!



Sorry guys.  Elliot is still pretty prominent.



Mmm.  Slightly better, but unless we're very much
mistaken that's Elliot still riding high.



A bit better.  Elliot's not the focal point of this photo,
but he's still in there!

Also, does he ever do any of his own walking
or is he simply carried everywhere?







This is much more like it.
Elliot is not only not the focal point,
but he has now become, for once,
the carrier, not the "carryee"






I think we have a winner.  Elliot can barely be seen.
He is right at the back, just disappearing down the tunnel
with the League Trophy in his grasp.

Rumour has it he has slept with it every night since....


Monday, 17 August 2015

Give him a K. Please.

You had to feel for the lad who during the second half on Saturday, attempted to crank up the atmosphere by leading the Tin Hat Enders in a chorus of With a K & an E…

Rule no.1 of leading a terrace singalong: have a voice that is deeper than Aled Jones.

By the time he got to the second T he must have had an inkling that he was going to have to get through this on his own. 

But credit to the boy, he kept going to the end, with dogs across Burton Latimer pricking up their ears at some of the top notes.

Imagine how embarrassing that must feel.  Especially when someone else immediately starts the same chant and everyone joins in.

 

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

...And They're Off!

Our 143rd season is well under way, and yesterday evening's game with Redditch has assured us that we have definitely moved up a division.  A good tight game that could have gone either way - you'd have to say a draw was about fair?

But enough of that.  This is PATGOD.  The one thing we hate covering is the actual football.  Not when there were numerous other goings-on which were far more interesting.

Such as: -

When did footballer's legs get so skinny?  I appreciate big strapping thighs probably don't kick-in until Conference level, but bloody hell, even my weedy arms were twice as thick as Saul Williams's legs!  The Missus is decidedly underwhelmed by the thighage on display.

Gary  Mulligan is fast becoming the Utility Player's Utility Player.  Could have easily been MoM last night in his new CB position.  We definitely need three of him to give our team a good spine.

New floodlight bulbs, all working, really do illuminate proceedings well.  Not well enough for the match officials alas....

This season's Klondike draw has continued where all the previous ones have ended - mainly existing to kick me in the teeth every fortnight.  Last night the winning ticket was sold one after mine.

The.
Very.
Next.
F**king.
Number.

I hate the Klondike and the Klondike hates me.  And we'll both go through it all again on Saturday.

Is it just me, or is Elliot Sandy in every photograph celebrating last season's title win?  There was a celebratory photo in the Redditch programme, and there he was - front and centre.  I looked at the photo's I took at Rugby and at home to Bedworth, and bugger me, if he wasn't slap bang in the middle of all my shots too!  Did anyone take a photo at either of those two games without having Elliot completely photo-bomb proceedings?


This photograph that I took at Rugby last season
has the LEAST amount of Elliot Sandy in it of any I
took on that day or against Bedworth.

At least he looks happier than Kolo.

Can anyone supply even one photo where
Elliott appears less?
 


Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Poppies in sponsorship shock!

Disturbing news has filtered out from Latimer Park that the club has agreed a first team shirt sponsorship deal with a company NOT belonging to one of the club owners!  This brings to an end an enviable 15+ year run of not being able to find a single company from anywhere else in the world who wanted to sponsor us.

Think we're wrong?  Let's look at the evidence.....

The last few years has seen Ritchie's company "Evolution" sponsor our shirts, extolling the excellent virtues of, er, evolution.  Evolution's great.  Everyone should try it.

Before Ritchie's takeover we had a succession of different companies adorning our shirts.  DCR Locums.  Palestine Aid.  A-line.  But they all had one tiny detail in common - they were all Imraan's creations!  Unsurprisingly our former Chairman had a bit of difficulty convincing the wider business community to trust their money to his safekeeping.  Not with the ready availability of so many poker sites, and YouTube footage of mysteriously available footballers who could juggle a football well.

Not that Imraan had the monopoly on using his own companies to decorate his players' chests.  Before him we were sponsored by Weldon, who provided a steady succession of board directors at Rockingham Road during Mallinger's tenure.

And before Weldon?  By our reckoning it was either Polar Trucks or Fenner?  About 97-98 season?  Probably Polar Trucks.  Were we arsed we could simply dig out a few old programmes and nail it down to the exact sponsor, and the exact year when someone other than a club director had sufficient faith in the club to divvy up some readies.  But we can't!

Now we have B&M Pallets putting their faith in the Poppies, owned by Brian Martin, former Poppies barfly / barman and ace quiz question mangler of the parish.  As of today we recommend anyone looking to purchase industrial pallets not to look anywhere else other than here -

Palletspalletspalletspalletspallets

where, somehow they manage to devote an entire website to the fascinating world of pallets.  Good on 'em and welcome back Brian!



Expect to see this logo, stretched out of all recognition
across hundreds of beer bellies over the forthcoming season

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Poppies biggest opponent raises head once more

It was clear from last night's friendly with a Luton XI that we are starting to have the makings of a reasonable team for the forthcoming campaign.  A few more players added to the effective spine and who knows, we could be in the frame this season. 

The Luton team were game enough and gave our defence a good work out.  I was more concerned for the handful of Luton fans who made the trip.  Their last three visits to us have taken in stately old Rockingham Road, shiny soulless Nonce Park and now cabbage patch Latimer Park.  Our recent nomadic existence has been enough of a challenge to us, without inflicting it upon outsiders!

It was amusing to hear some of our old and not so old duffers bemoaning the lack of Luton Town first teamers on view.  As if we would recognise of name one of them if they stood right in front of us!  The days of us spotting a handful of former top-flight players, or heaven help us, the odd ex-International, are long behind us!  It's doubtful we'll again see the heady days of excitedly nudging our fellow fans and pointing out the likes of Andy Sinton.  Or watch stars like Stephen Hunt delicately hug the touchline, quietly staying out of the way whilst his agent puts the final touches to his new contract elsewhere.

But it soon became clear that once again our biggest challenge this season wouldn't be coming from another club.  Our toughest opponent will be our pitch.  The Latimer Park surface knows only two conditions.  Dry and hideously bobbly.  Or wet and unplayable. 

Early on the Luton players realised this wasn't going to be a night to impress the boss and land a lucrative contract.  It was a night for not being caught out by a chin-high bobble and look a dick.  In the first ten minutes one Luton player attempted that most dangerous footballing manoeuvre - a Latimer Park backpass to his goalie, right between the sticks.  The crowd held it's breath.  The Poppies players stood off out of respect for the audaciousness of the feat.  The goalie girded his loins.  He managed to get enough shin/knee/boot onto the ball to safely clear.  I felt like applauding.

Whilst I entirely understand we are where we are and beggars can't be choosers I recalled with bitterness the stonking quality of the playing surface we had at Rockingham Road.  We used to moan about the odd ball deviating and the curious goal-mouth mounds, where, at it's most pronounced, the bar in the centre of the goal was several inches closer to the ground than at the posts.  But, bloody hell!  It was Wembley compared to the rough field we play on now.

How can Marcus be expected to judge players on such a surface?  How can you demand football played on the ground, when the pitch is your biggest enemy?  Ironically, to excel at Latimer Park, you have to a player of such quality that you should never have to play on Latimer Park!

What can be done to improve the surface?  Yesterday a bloody good watering would have helped.  And then what?  Best suggestion is to borrow the roller from the local cricket club and spend a month rolling the f*cking thing flat.

Ah well.  The pitch may be horrible, but at least the sunsets are pretty.


Thursday, 16 July 2015

Fixtures Out. Woo Hoo!


You can find the actual fixtures elsewhere, but we trust you'll find our cut-out-and-keep away day guide useful for the coming season.  Up the Poppies!