Just over a week after the end of TMS’ season and the cold turkey of football withdrawal is beginning to kick in. Still, followers of TMS had some cheering news during the week in that GT has agreed to continue as manager.
This section of the blog is called In Graham We Trust because fans of TMS of a certain vintage hold GT in the highest of regard and can never forget the debt of gratitude owed to him in 1978/9 in continuing the work of Richie Barker and leading TMS into the First Division (Championship in new money) and laying the foundations for a ten-year stay there. It is unlikely to be repeated these days.
The other reason is that TMS is not one of those clubs who ditch their manager at the first whiff of trouble. Having made their choice, they see it through to the end of the season. The modern fetish for chopping and changing managers – over 40 have been replaced this term – rarely seems to work and in some cases – I’m thinking of Wolves who for the second time in their history have suffered two successive relegations and bizarrely the final nail of the second has been at the hands of Brighton on the 4th of May, 28 years apart – can be disastrous.
Clearly there is much work to be done in the close season, particularly in terms of personnel. A solid and consistent centre back pairing, a central midfielder and a couple of strikers who know where the back of the net is would do for starters. Whilst there is a place for using loanees, too many were brought in last term and an unacceptably high proportion of them developed injuries shortly afterwards.
The process has started with the announcement of the release list and the only mild surprise was the departure of Richards. His season was not as successful as the previous year but that was not helped by him being asked to play in different positions. He was at the centre of the penalty storm in the home game match against Crawley but as Brentford’s experience shows, there is risk in not following the pre-determined plan. Of course, Richards didn’t help his cause by missing!
Weale, of course, was named Player of the Year, Taylor young player of the year and Grandison’s solo effort at Notts County was goal of the season – nothing controversial there.
Roll on next season.
Just to emphasise the good fortune that TMS fans enjoy in following a financially prudent and stable club, my local club, Aldershot, has just gone into administration and face an uncertain future. For a club who went bust 21 years ago and fought long and hard to regain their league status it is criminal that those in charge should have allowed this state of affairs to come to pass. With Rushmoor’s other senior club, Farnborough, also in administration surely one solution would to be to combine the two clubs. Local pride will doubtless get in the way of good sense.