Friday, 30 September 2011

Poppies mid-season crisis brought forward!

Bolstered by the slicker, more professional surroundings of Non Park, the Poppies have risen to the challenge and impressively managed to instigate our annual winter financial meltdown before the end of September.  No need to wait until we are dumped out of both the Trophy and the FA Cup before hitting the panic button, we can now do it pretty much before the overseas touring cricket team have picked up their duty free purchases at Heathrow.

Compared to other online Poppies forums and fanzines, PATGOD has always cut Imraan a reasonable amount of slack.  He has funded us pretty much from his own pocket, and DRC's petty cash for the past half decade.  We have all enjoyed some unprecedented highs together.  Promotion.  A couple of incredible FA Cup runs.  The sight of Nathan Koo Boothe in a Poppies shirt.  All great memories.

I guess others also see the positive in Imraan's tenure, over the less savoury aspects.  It certainly seemed that way during the Wicksteed meeting in the summer when he got his overwhelming mandate to send us into exile in Irthlingborough.  Although most of that meeting has thankfully mellowed into a befuddled past, certain facts and figures remain seared into my memory.

Imraan suggested that the annual figure of running the club (£750,000) was only partly alleviated by all of us going to watch the games (£150,000).  The balance was filled by himself, his family and other sponsors.  One of the proposed benefits of abandoning Rocky Road was the seeming financial bounty to be harvested from Non Park's facilities.  This, presumably would be used to make up part of the shortfall between what we pay, and the cost of running the club.

It was also suggested by Imraan that he would need to look to rebrand the club if attendances slipped below the 1000 mark for a prolonged period.  Some people grumbled a bit, but the majority were content.  We could russle up a thousand people surely, if this kept Imraan happy?  A vote was taken and 107% of the audience gave "Project Inbred" the thumbs-up.

We were marched out of the pavilion thinking all was well in the world.  Sure we were voting to abandon our home ground and indeed hometown in order to squat at the abandoned home of our most fearsome rivals who we hated above all else - but otherwise things were tickety-boo.

Now, what if Imraan had said pretty much all the above, but, dropped into the proceedings the little nugget that in order to prevent a financial meltdown before the start of October we would need a minimum average gate of say 2500 or 3000?  Because it sure seems the numbers we are getting at the moment aren't up to expectation.  Are we all supposed to buy Chinese meals before and after the game, and collect a take-away home too in order to bring the sufficient readies in?

Would we have all voted for the move we were told we needed to double our gates?  Would anyone?  I doubt it as we all know those sorts of numbers are pie in the sky.  Would we now still be playing in Kettering?  Probably.  It wouldn't have sorted a long term future for us, but can we honestly say that our future looks any more secure now?

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Losing Ugly

Marcus Law, what a bum. Inherits a team that’s forgotten how to score and steers them to mid table with some encouraging performances.

Not good enough. Off you go.

Wicksteed Park. New dawn. New manager. On my life it won’t be Morell Maison.

One week later, MM back in charge. “Everybody deserves a second chance”.

Pre-season, we look good against League players disinclined to tackle, and struggle against non-League players who compete.

Nothing to worry about, this squad is dynamite.

Although they look like they spent the summer eating pies or sunbathing.

First game, cup tie atmosphere, we sneak a late win. Against opposition now even lower in the table than we are.

Seven games, bubble burst, leaking goals, MM steps down.

Twelve games, still shit. Ripped apart by teams low on confidence and points.

Punch up between strikers destined to be a minor Youtube classic.

Majority of squad on transfer list.

Bookies stopped taking odds on a home defeat.

And it’s still September.

Kettering - Porn Capital of the UK!

The embarrassing news has reached us that the void left by the Poppies in Kettering is to be filled by the ridiculous "sport" of beach volleyball.  The build-up to next year's Olympics is set to receive a boost by having fit birds wearing very little, jumping around in a sand pit in the car park of the Leisure Village.  The reporter on Look East seemed to find it enormously amusing that a town so far from their precious Norfolk coast could possibly have a heap of sand dropped off there.  He couldn't resist taking off his shoes and rolling up his trouser legs in order to frolic on the sand - the twat.

As much as we applaud the idea of hotties writhing around on a beach for our viewing pleasure, we can't in all honesty even try to pretend beach volleyball is a real sport.  One is still left with the inescapable conclusion that most people watching the event don't know about the scoring system, or the fact that points are being scored at all.  It would ruin their enjoyment.

BV as an Olympic event guaranteed to make my better half see red.  As a netball player she cannot fathom how her real sport isn't part of the Olympiad, whilst Lycra-clad softcore porn is.....Perhaps the netball ladies should aim to dress more like this......

Beach Volleyball - porn for cowards?

Tuesday, 27 September 2011


As our season disintegrates faster than a £5.00 3-piece suit, we supporters can only shake our heads in wonder at the shower of shite we are being forced to endure.  We can't defend, attack, and the less said about our midfield the better.  No leadership.  No (footballing) passion.  No heart.  Did someone suggest that our move to Non Park may be cursed?

And now we have two of our forwards scrapping with each other and both getting straight red cards.  F*cking idiots!  As if enough things weren't going on our way, we've now taken to shooting ourselves in the foot too.

Who was to blame?  Moses for acting like a kid when he decided he was our penalty taker?  Marna for finally deciding to show some passion this season with his fists rather than his feet?  Davis for not being an effective captain?  Stimson for not getting any discipline in the team?  Morrell for everything else?

If we don't sort things out soon the threat of relegation in front of barely attended games will become a real possibility.  How will Imraan choose between his two favourites?  Which way will Stimson go?  Will the fight make it on to You Tube?

Rather guiltily, I found myself slightly surprised and even a little thrilled with how JP gave supposed hardman Moses a bit of a pasting.... Is this right, and was I alone in this?

Likes using the right hook, and scoring penalties 

Likes missing penalties and rushing down the
tunnel to hide from a mild-mannered Frenchman

Poppies face "Perfect Storm"

As with the characters in the 2000 film, "Perfect Storm", starring pretty-faced George Clooney, and potato-faced Mark Wahlberg, the Poppies could tonight be facing an equally destructive coming together of negative forces.  In the film, a combination of swells, storm fronts and various other meteorological shenanigans conspired to engulf the intrepid, if facially mis-matched fisherman, and send them down to Davy's Jones's locker.  Apologies for ruining the ending of the film, but, hey, it's been out almost a dozen years now.  If you were going to see it, you would have done so by now!

In our case, the "Perfect Storm" has nothing to do with water (phew, the Nene won't engulf us all.  Well, at least not tonight).  Our "PS" has a combination of factors from a far wider spectrum.

Number One - We're having to travel to Non Park

Regardless of the pros and cons about squatting at Non Park, it is still a distance to travel to watch a supposed home game.  And remember, we are still talking about Kettering fans, who still like to pop their heads out of the front door at 7.25PM to see if it's raining, and see if they fancy popping out.

Number Two - A Tuesday Night Fixture!

Whether it's due to travelling midweek, being scared of the dark or simply not wanting to put themselves through watching the Poppies twice in quick succession, Tuesday night attendances are always noticeably down on Saturday attendances.

Number Three - It's Hayes & Yeading!

Arguably, along with Frickley Athletic and Borehamwood, H&Y are the most anonymous, nothing team to have existed.  They have the marquee value of brussel sprouts.  Their own supporters voted them the 5th most pointless team in the history of football.

Number Four - It's Champion's League Night!

Everyone's favourite Champion's League Final Losers, Man Ure are playing a pointless early round robin game in the latest big stakes gambling forum for Russian Oligarchs, Mad Arabs and other assorted mega-rich gangster types.  For some unfathomable reason, the average Sky punter can't get enough of this sort of guff, and it always affects our gates.  Add to this, we now have a second Manchester club, obscenely bloated with dodgy money, playing on the same night, and the armchair footie fan can positively drown himself in a pool of expensive pointlessness.

Number Five - No Trust Bus

It may not dent the crowd much, but the inability to drag over from Kettering the real ale, Alexandra Arms brigade will certainly hit bar takings.

Number Six - the Infamous Burton Fire

The endless damping-down of the suspicious fire in Burton has led to the closure of the A6.  Given the fact that no right minded inhabitant of our fair town should have any idea of how to get to Non Park any other way, this means we could ALL miss the game!  I'm sure there are other byways, footpaths and dirt tracks in East Northants that can funnel us all through their bumpkin patch to the ground, but it does seem like awfully hard work doesn't it?

"The Nene can get mighty rough...."

Friday, 23 September 2011

What now for the Poppies Trust?

It would be unfair to say that yesterday evening's Trust AGM was a complete farce.  At no point did a vicar unexpectedly arrive whilst the Brian Rix's trousers were temporarily absent, and a saucy French maid was being hidden in a wardrobe.  But, for a while it seemed the AGM would not take place through simple lack of numbers.

Given that the adult Trust membership is close to the 250 mark, you would have been forgiven for believing that a minimum starting number of 20 should be a push over.  But no.  In the end it was the usual collection of the board and a handful of regular members who made up the gathering.  Curiously all those who swarmed up to the EGM at the Tin Hat Lounge a few months ago demanding the Trust do this or do that were absent on the night of their own AGM.  Those people who a few months ago were demanding that the Trust either wholeheartedly support the move to Non Park, and those equally demanding that the Trust set up a new club just for them all found themselves with something better to do on a mild Thursday night in September.  Those who endlessly complain and moan about everything the Trust do all missed their opportunity to put their money where their mouths were.  As usual.

Eventually a quorum was assembled and the meeting began.  Actually as AGM's go, this was a pretty good one.  People asked pertinent questions, and the top table had some interesting statistics to tell, mainly about their continued running of the Tinhat Lounge and buses over to Non Park on matchdays.  Suggestions about maintaining a presence within the town were put.  Some board members stepped down, whilst others were elected.

It became clear that with our first team games now taking place at "Project Nonce-Park", the major income stream of the bar at Rockingham Road would no longer be generating much in the way of funds.  With an additional drop off in Club200 membership the Trust is going to have to look long and hard at their future direction, and allocate resources accordingly.

Hopefully gone are the days of Imraan sticking out his hand to the Trust halfway through the season for top-ups.  Particularly as we now have ample facilities for generating income streams at our new ground (Imraan's words at Wicksteed Park).  On that fateful night at Wickies it was made painfully clear to the supporters how little our gate receipts counted towards the overall running costs of KTFC.  Consequently one hopes that the contribution made by the Trust would also be considered too trifling for Imraan's people to demand.  Assuming of course, Imraan has any people left to administer such things!

I, for one, hope the Trust take this opportunity to distance themselves from the goings-on at "Project In-bred."  Instead it might be a more beneficial idea to concentrate on serving the forgotten Kettering community.  Perhaps look to permanently house their large Poppies memorabilia collection?  Support the reserves/youth/ladies football at Rocky Road?  Stage events and evenings at the Tinhat Lounge (until the end of next year at least!)

Let Imraan and his big-boy, business contacts (ie Morrell) sort out and finance "Project Cyclops".  Let the takings from their Chinese restaurant fund Morrell's misfits over the course of their twenty year deals.  Let the 10 or 15 quid the halftime draw will generatre now there is no cash prize, buy-out Koo Boothe's contract.  Free the Trust to take care of the Kettering based Poppies supporters, and keep a few bob in their bank account in case it can help when the next rainy day hits us.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

And Banya Must Score....

You may have heard that Fernando Torres missed an easy chance last Sunday. I think the BBC led with it on that night’s news, and if Torres were to seek refuge in the Amazon jungle he’d probably have an uncomfortable feeling that the natives were nudging each other.

Ok, so he’ll be disappointed with that, as Alan Shearer almost certainly said, but on a scale of 0 to 10, it only rated 6.7 compared to Sam Banya’s magnificent miss in our colours – a luminous balls-up that was cruelly denied immortality by the absence of TV cameras. One day there will be no one left alive to tell the tale, so it must be passed down the generations.

October 1999, our 4th qualifying round replay against Rothwell was in the closing minutes and we held a slender lead. Suddenly Rothwell were caught on the break, the keeper was outmanoeuvred and the ball was squared to Sam, three feet out in front of an open goal. He only had to make contact to put the tie beyond doubt. He made contact all right, but rather than into the unguarded net the ball skewed back over his head in a defensive clearance so brilliant, it merited an international call up.

Moments later the game was over so Sam’s miss didn’t change the outcome, but despite that it remains more memorable than all bar about three of the Poppies goals I’ve ever seen. Only perhaps Rocky Baptiste’s fantastic tap-in-that-went-out-for-a-throw outpoints it, and that doesn’t really count because it was for Havant & Waterlooville.

Amazingly, Sam didn’t retire immediately after the match. In fact he is still terrorising defences for Woodbridge Town 12 years later. It’s a measure of how desperate and/or amnesiac some fans are that for years after Sam moved on from Rockingham Road, his name would occasionally be floated as a remedy to our striking problems. Clearly by someone who wasn’t there that night against the Bones.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

We know you can never beat a team who has just dumped a Manager....

....but does this extend to the Chariman too?

I guess we'll find out later tonight!

Addition - Yep, it does!

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Groundhog Non-Park

"If I had any hair it would be in real
danger about now...."
Our first chance today to see the new-look Poppies of the Stimson era, and, er, can't say that there was much obviously different between this fare and that dished up by the barely lamented Morrell Maison.  Sure, the new boss is having to work with the increasingly poor-looking squad assembled under Maison's brief tenure.  That said, could you make out any differences, performance-wise from our under-achieving squad?  Most of whom, based on what we have seen so far, will be lucky to be in gainful Poppies employment come the next transfer window.

We're still attempting to play three up front, with our most dangerous strikers, JP and Moses playing so wide that we might as well hand each of them a flag, and save money on employing linesmen. 

We also seem incapable of putting a midfield on the park which can either supplement the strikers, OR help the defenders!  Where are they, and what are they doing all game long?  Answers on a postcard....

At the back we are, with the exception of Jifel, still unable to defend against even the most modest of oppositions.  The recent selection of PATGOD'S favourite ever CB, NKB further adds to the overall feeling that Maison is still in charge.

If the new Gaffer doesn't want to enjoy the shortest ever honeymoon period there are five things he needs to do, pretty damn quick.

1  Pick who he believes are our TWO best strikers and play them TOGETHER.
2  Get the players a lot fitter - QUICKLY
3  Sort the midfield out.  As it stands we might just a well string four of the dummies from the club shop along the halfway line and trust to luck that the ball might deflect off them into the path of another player.
4  Sack, loan out, ignore, sell (!) or just plain forget about picking NKB EVER AGAIN!  He's not a footballer, and picking him can seriously damage a footballer manager's reputation.
5  Get the team to eke out some results in the next few weeks or we could be in some serious do-do.

And you thought your hardest job was going to keep Imraan out of the dressing room!

Former Boss Law leads new charges at Rockingham Road

Keep it tight!
100% effort!
C'mon, concentrate!
Christie, get in the box! 
Fall over Koo-Boothe! 
Get me this week's penalty!

Hold on.....where the f*ck is everyone?

Thursday, 8 September 2011

No Quarter Given by Cooper last night at JP's Testimonial

"Yes JP, I know it's your special day.  Yes I know you've been a great servant to the Club. 
And yes, I know you've scored a couple of great goals.  But I've finally got the opportunity
to manage a team with half a dozen central defenders on the pitch and no pesky forwards,

Mark Cooper doesn't exactly enter into the friendly spirit of JP's testimonial.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

We come to bury Maison, not to praise him.

By voluntarily relinquishing the Manager's job at the Poppies Morrell has managed to eek a smidgen of decorum out of this whole, sorry situation.  Everyone from Imraan down must have known the Morrell wasn't up to the job when the appointment was made - ably borne out by his 7-match tenure.

But what possessed Imraan to employ him in the first place?  Friendship for one we suspect.  It's not everyone who gets sacked and subsequently re-employed twice!  Perhaps like the rest of us, Imraan hoped that Morrell's preferred football style, allied to Nicky Eaden's steadiness would give us the best of all worlds.  Smooth, slick passing Morrell football when moving forward, grounded by a sure Eaden defence when under pressure.  A sound enough theory, which was soon unceremoniously put to the sword by gleeful opponents.

At Conference North level Morrell's teams played with a dominant swagger.  Teams were routinely played off the park.  The supporters of Clitheroe still shiver at the mention of the Poppies!  Why was Morrell so good then and so bad now?  Well, back in the Conference North days he had by far the highest budget in the division, was in charge of the only full-time team, and yet, still couldn't win the league.  His expensively assembled side more often than not played plenty of pretty football, but too often failed to actually defeat far inferior sides.  They played with a puffed-up swagger, but little heart.  Good when the pitches were dry and the weather warm when you could stroke the ball around with your shirt untucked, but missing when it was time to roll the sleeves up on a midweek trip up t'north in January.

It became clear then, and clearer since, that Morrell's teams have little in the way of work ethic.  Even though his Conference North team were the only full-time team in that division they never once appeared fitter than the collections of postmen and publicans who made up our various opponents.  This season the team has looked sluggish and at times downright unfit.  One senses that not much hard work goes on in a Morrell training session.  Or discussion of tactics.  Or formations.  We heard a quote from David Bridges that moving from Stevenage to Kettering was like going from a army camp to a holiday camp.  Looking at where Stevenage are in the footballing world and where we are, I'm not convinced being in a holiday camp is such a good thing.  We're paying these guys good money, we want them to work hard!

His biggest supporters will always cling to the accepted position that Morrell is a good spotter of talent.  This may or may not be the case. In his first stint he brought in the likes of Westcarr, Boucard and Howe, but did these appointments need a keen, talent-spotters eye, of just Imraan's chequebook?  Westcarr and Boucard were acknowledged talents going seriously off the boil, whilst Howe was scoring for fun at Bedford.  All were obvious and available at the right money.

And, for every quality player he brought in, he bought in some real dross.  Patrick Peter anyone?  Or pick any of the several tricky but useless wingers he tried out, or perhaps the defensive linchpins of McKie and Koo Boothe.  Neither of whom are ever going to become footballers at any level where jumpers aren't used for goalposts.  Their continued selection back in 2006 effectively kept us down in Conference North.

And what talent has he unearthed for the 2011 vintage?  For every Jifil there's a Pifil.  We've managed to lose fighting midfielders like Challinor and Solkhon for anonymous shirt fillers like Meechan, and a succession of unfit loanees.  And then there is Navarro, who might have looked OK had he joined us from Matlock rather than Madrid!  And Nathan was back again!

Far too many times Morrell plumped for the same type of player.  Flashy but empty.  Good at juggling the ball or backheels, but not so hot at tracking back.  Often it seemed Morrell chose ethnic diversity and tricky names for the tannoy announcer ahead of boring journeyman who could simply do the required job.

Morrell's successor has a big job in front of him to lick our flabby under-performers into shape.  It might be too much to hope for another Cooper or Law to get Imraan's "You're Hired", but the next man in the Poppies hot seat may need to ruffle a few feathers and put a few noses out of joint to get us to be competitive in this division.  Some of our players won't like hearing a few home truths, and some will soon be deemed surplus to requirements.  No doubt they'll take solace by bleating on Twitter as they are shunted out....

This first, historic season of squatting at Non Park was always going to be interesting.  Now it is likely to become even more so.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Here We Go Again!

With today's announcement of the sacking/resignations of our Managerial Triumvirate of Maison, Eaden and Ashby, Imraan again must scour the length and breadth of his phonebook contacts to give us a manager to take us to the next level, i.e. staying in the Blue Square Premier!

We at PATGOD live only to serve, so if it is of any help to Imraan may we humbly suggest that our next Manager has: -

The MARQUEE value of GAZZA!

"Is that your phone ringing, or mine....?"

A pretty tall order for any Chariman, but particularly so for Imraan as he scrolls through his contacts and Justin Edinburgh is the only football manager in there he hasn't previously dispensed with!

A Pox on You, George Taft!

Of all the elements of Project Non Park which are crumbling before our eyes, from Morrell's lack of footballing acumen through to the club shop not accepting those pesky new fangled things called credit cards, it was interesting on Saturday how much terrace-venom was being reserved for George Taft and his long throws!

People close to me were screaming themselves into a purple-faced, spittle-fest.  They were baying for him not to take the throws, or throw it short, or just basically never pollute their footballing enjoyment with his presence ever again!  This was perhaps fair enough during the first half when Moses and JP were routinely being out jumped by the Fleetwood defence, but less so during the second half when we had Cunnington's big blonde bonce to aim for!  But no, the terrace moaners absolutely did not want him to hurl the ball into the dangerous area around the 6-yard box.  They would much rather we fiddled and farted with a short throw, which would have bobbled off Sol's ankles, and soon had our flagging back four trailing in the wake of their strikers as they broke down field again.

Taft lines up another throw, trying his best to
ignore the increasingly ugly Poppies crowd!
Taft's throws may not be as dangerous as Rory Delap's exocets, but they are a damn sight better than Big X's tame floaters (!) which we watched harmlessly drifting into goalkeepers hands for more than a season.  And yet, no-one ever screamed for X to stop taking these harmless back pass throws.  A couple of games of Taft's weird spinning throws and we are ready to rip his arms off if he ever does it again!

One thing that was plainly obvious to us, and several hundred Cambridge fans last week, was the fact that more often than not both George's feet were on the pitch as he let the ball go.  How the linesman has failed to spot these obvious transgressions is beyond us.  Except, of course, we are talking about non-league linesmen, so it shouldn't be too much of a mystery.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Cod Almighty!

The good news is, according to Morell after the game, we’ll be more than competitive once 6 players return from injury (I think it was 6, by the end of the interview it might have been 9).

The bad news is, even if he’s right, that means the squad he’s assembled is carrying a high number of duds, unable to fill in and ‘do a job’. Or should that be Ifill in?

Today he no doubt sent the boys out with plenty of fine talk about building on Monday’s defensive performance and keeping it tight. Well they managed that for nearly a minute, until Fleetwood’s first attack. I cannot remember a worst opening 45 from a Poppies team - certainly not one boasting an ex Real Madrid player, who on this evidence looked unlikely to shift too many replica shirts. We were disjointed, dejected, a bunch of triallists masquerading as a team. If it wasn’t just so easy and the Codmen had been more ruthless, we might have seen discounted season tickets flung at the home dugout.

Our second half rally gave MM enough to talk another good game and argue that with more of his first choices available, it will be a different story. But the more he banged on about that, the more it exposed the dross he has signed to make up the numbers.

Time is already running out for Maison. No matter what his commercial connections may be, will they outweigh the cost of ever increasing gaps in the stands and terrace?

Morrell on Radio Northampton

"Nothing to do with me Guv!"
Ah, a Morrell interview.  Let's play "Maison-Bingo"

Players out injured - check
When we get all the players back, we will be a match for anyone - check
Somehow the opposition score first, but it's nothing to do with me - check
Whatever happened first half is nothing to do with me - check
The fightback was entirely down to my managerial brilliance - check
100% certain we will be OK once everyone is back - check
5, 6, 7, 8, 9.....etc certain starters ready to come in.  Then we'll be flying - check
We're just a little bit short - check
We will be fine - check

FULL HOUSE!  But not for much longer, eh?

Curiously there was no mention of his lack of ideas, motivation, tactics or heart then?

Project Non Park Hits the Buffers

No matter the upbeat spin Morrell comes out with after our latest defeat, he must be starting to feel the heat.  Yes, the team produced a bit of a fightback in the second half.  Yes, we have injuries in the squad.  Yes, players take time to gel.  Yes, Cunnington's blend of obstinate bumping around and blonde highlights helped raise the interest.

But the bottom line is he is the Manager of a team in freefall, well ensconced within the relegation zone, playing rather one-dimensional football, and no amount of bubbly positive guff from the gaffer will be able to disguise this.  I guess we will soon find out if Morrell's mooted influence behind the scenes at Non Park is true or not.  We will soon see if his supposed selling of a handful of corporate boxes is sufficient to keep him as Manager of the football team.  Certainly on the evidence so far, his footballing prowess certainly won't keep him within the ranks of the gainfully employed for much longer.  Even the much vaunted Morrell style of playing has evaporated into a bit of uninspired kick and rush. 

Seven games into the season and the ground is echoing to chants demanding Morrell's removal.  This is without precedent for the Poppies.  It took several weeks of Peter Morris losing grimness for the most moderate of anti-managerial reaction.  Even Gary Johnson's months and months of 10-0 defeats barely raised a terrace grumble.  But with Morrell, his head is being demanded with September only 3 days old.

We just wish he was half as good a Manager as he thinks he is - we'd be play-off material!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

There goes another transfer window!

Phew!  After all the panic surrounding the closure of the transfer window last night, it's time to pick through the dust and debris and see where it leaves the relegation-threatened Poppies.  Still relegation threatened by the look of it!

The good news is that we haven't resigned former Morrell favourites Moses Ukelele, Paris Okay,  Marcel McVities or Serge Make-f*ck-up.  One can only assume they've changed their mobile phone numbers since Morrell last spoke to them, or they are not all registered with the same agent we seem to use these days....

The good news is that we have encouraged some players to put pen to paper.  Obviously they are an ethnically diverse bunch with equally exotic names such as Jean-Sylvain Dossou and Ibra Sekajja, as well as old friend of PATGOD and opposition strikers, Nathan Koo Boothe. 

We assume Dossou is the same player who froze on the halfway line against Cambridge last week and generally spent his time on the pitch looking like a crying-rabbit caught in the headlights of an onrushing lorry?  This doesn't exactly tally with his description on the Official Conference Website which refers to him as "a tough-tackling midfielder....."

Two of the other substitutes from Monday have also signed on - Oliver Jones and Robbie Dance.  Can't see them getting much of a run out with such bland, distinctly non-ethnic names, but time, and our increasing injury list will tell.

On the subject on transfers and injuries it was curious to see everyone's favourite German- Canadian England International Owen Hargreaves move across the city of Manchester yesterday after passing a medical!  This guy has spent the past three years barely able to pass water!  What the hell passes for a medical in Manchester these days if he could pass it? Obviously his shattered limbs and rampant bed sores were not taken into account! The good news for him is that by moving only a few miles he could retain his usual room at the local hospital!