October 2011, and the football world was hit with an amazing account of a Jamaican Oligarch taking over an amateur football club. The Oligarch’s first action was the recruitment of an inexperienced veteran player from the lower leagues with no managerial experience. What was more striking was the fact that the incoming manager’s only award was his elementary swimming certificate from primary school.
With the new season well under way and the successes from last season still on the tongues and minds of the players, it would be inevitable that there would be changes within the club. It was reported that the club awards night was a messy affair, and the editing made for Sky did not capture the football images from the field of play this season, nor the beauty and celebrations that took place on the night. It has been well documented that the club are subsequently involved in a high court case with the broadcasting company due to breaches of the viewing contract. We are unable to comment further at this stage.
October 2011. There appeared to be a sense of stability within the club in part to the re-structuring by The Chairman and Board of Directors, but the recent performances from the first team have clearly left a doubt in the managers eyes of the players ability. There still seems to be questions as to whether the team should be play 4-4-2 , 4-5-1, 3-2-5 or whether the team have the players, or the ability to play, or adapt to either formation.
The incoming managers appearance on Soccer AM was possibly the most ill advised moment to date, as he used this as a platform to condemn his players for using Twitter. He was quoted as saying ‘ what flavour Kush you like should be a private affair, and not discussed in public’.
Leaves you scratching your head at the commitment from some of the players at this club; nights out in Newcastle, players going AWOL and manager getting calls from police cells at unsocial hours in the night. We recorded footage of a first team player that was due to restart training in June at a service station jumping out a white transit at 9am in the morn in shorts and a Parker jacket talking about the scar on his left knee from surgery. Last time he was seen was before a match in the changing rooms, where he had taken about 10 cameras out of a football sock and was trying to sell them all. He was adamant that they were new, however advised that anyone interested should clear any images off, once they had bought a charger.
August 2011. With the purse strings strapped prior to the Oligarch’s arrival the manager was able to make a few signings on a free, and integrated a steely centre back. The goalkeeping position was retained by a agile, competent and reliable goalkeeper, one the club had not seen for at least 9 years.
With the humour of the Great Bruce Grobbelaar and presence and penalty saving of Ray Clemence the club would admit that they are fortunate to have his services. The resurgence and the newly appointed captain, raised a few eyebrows. He continues to recover from malaria and had been involved in the well publicised pornographic video leaked late last year. Educational commitments, and last seasons Young Player of the Year seeking pastures new robbed the club of a classy centre back. Franz Beckenbauer will surely be missed.
Credit has to be given to the manager for the shrewd free signing, and arrival of a player who’s versatility would allow him to feature anywhere across the back line or in centre midfield. Three defensive players and two positions to fight for, with the added implication of aging players in particular positions would become a defining factor with team selection. The manager had been reliant on two veteran players to rotate and facilitate this role alongside a Players Player from within the club set up.This player returned fresh, tactically aware, and reinvigorated with the added ability to shield and play the simple pass.
Our reports suggest that the manager has concerns that stem from individual players inability to perform at the standard they once could, and possibly staring age in the face. There are players “being surrounding by their own team, and opposing players able to manipulate the ball, and move into space that visually some players can see but cannot reach”. We gained access to some of the coaching statistics from a recent game, and they highlighted that the midfield were literally chasing shadows.
July 2011. With the transfer window open before the start of the season, the 21+ goal services of the clubs main striker were removed as an offer of Player-Manager elsewhere were offered, and the manager has helpless in negotiations to retain his services. Thoughts of bringing in Old Manorians Football Club goal machine sprung to mind.
The players agent was adamant that the transfer would go ahead, and the player left. With this in mind the manager referred to the club scouting and coaching dossier, and promoted a striker from within the club who had been ploughing his trade of scoring silently in the reserves. Hail the arrival of a player with the calmness, movement and guile of Jari Litmanen.
The club still have some concerns with wide players, inconsistent performances, late nights, women and possible recreation intact, have been clear to observe with players performances. The manger appears to have taken his time to reflect on his current squad and has been patient, however the fact that he has now come out of temporary retirement has to be a concern to the club player recruitment.
A late night call from a player willingly to waive his signing on fee allowed the manager to have at his disposal a winger in the mould Raheem Sterling.
His return was a breath of fresh air, his directness caused havoc to the opposition defence and allowed the teams offensive game play to become more expansive and imaginative. He is recovery from surgery and the manager has indicated that he will integrate him into the squad with caution.
The manager had always been concerned that being promoted would pose a few problems, and he wasn’t wrong. The Jamaican Oligarch has already made plans to make The National Stadium the clubs home ground, and recruit more players to the first team, the thought alone of new arrivals has wet the lips of all the supporters, and people associated with the club.
Come along and support free grassroots football and my club this Saturday at home and watch the Reserves in the top of the table clash Old Manorians II v Old Aloysians III
2.00pm Kick-Off Sudbury Avenue, North Wembley