Sunday, 29 November 2015

No more "Canavan of Love?"

Yesterday's win over Poole had many hallmarks of a "Classic Poppies" encounter.  Rain, mud, battling performance against a very well drilled side, and a vibrant atmosphere.

A more regrettable hallmark of former Poppies days also showed itself - a supporter's complete and utter blind like or dislike for certain home players.  How many times at Rockingham Road do you remember standing feet away from a fellow fan, listening in amazement as he noisily rants against one of our players all game long?  Surely you recall biting your tongue (and even occasionally suggesting he shut the f*ck up) as this fan screams blue murder at one of our players, who even were he to score a hat trick, would feel this guy's constant ire?  Nothing the player would ever do, other than leave the club, would be good enough for this fan.

I experienced a sense of this attitude on Saturday, on a more collective level.

Allow me to explain.  Due to me being kranky when wet I spent most of the second half among our boisterous Tin Hatters.  The time was evenly spent between slagging off their knob-jockey goalkeeper and singing the praises of individual Poppies players.  Both good.

Except where it came to poor Liam Canavan.  Is he a good player?  Time will tell.  He has had some stonking games.  He has had some stinkers.  But he certainly puts in a shift every game.  Don't think so?  Watch him for a while.  He truly gets from box to box quicker than everyone else.  We see his mistakes more because he's always getting involved.

None of this impressed elements of the terrace chanters, who moaned and groaned every time Canavan did anything that didn't end with a goal.  And yet, I listened with mounting amusement to some of the other players being cheered to the rafters and given their own songs, for basically doing nothing.

I've absolutely nothing against Wilson Carvalho, but more songs were sung in his honour than actual touches he had against Poole.  A case in point was during the second half when he dribbled almost the entire length of the right wing, without having the ball under any sort if control, or even, if memory serves, even really kicking it.  It bobbled from him to the defenders and back again, as he lurched into their half of the pitch.  Eventually another defender got bored of letting Wilson get back near the ball and easily cleared it.  The Tin Hat roared its approval of Wilson's inability to kick the ball anything like properly, singing his name with gusto!

A few minutes later and Elliott Sandy put in a good sliding challenge to put the ball into touch.  The Tin Hat responded with a song featuring his name.  This, despite the aforementioned challenge coming about after he fannied around and lost the ball in the first place!

And Rene Howe was having his name sung well into the last third of the game where seemed to have got stuck in the mud, and got nowhere near the ball for fully 20 minutes!  AND took a crap penalty!

But poor old Canavan!  He even got slagged off when he tried to spread the play and Wilson mis-controlled the pass!  And then Wilson missed the target from 10 yards out to seal the game, AND STILL the Tin Hat game him another rendition!  God knows what they've had done to Canavan if he'd missed the same opportunity!

Canavan - looking dapper
post match in the Clubhouse.
Not letting the boo-boys
get him down.


  1. For once I agree with you Gary! Liam has incredible stamina and at times some really deft touches. He's young but if he improves a little (he doesn't need much), he'll be an excellent player at this level if not several levels above!

    1. For once?

      Most people think we're the same person!!!

  2. Liam gets far too much stick from people who don't understand that he tries to do the right things- i.e get his head up and pick a pass - but it doesn't always come off, not helped in some cases by our wonderful pitch. He is young and will get better, he has a good footballing brain and needs support not the incessant whingeing from some people who obviously didn't see his MoM performance at Biggleswade just a few weeks ago.

  3. i particularly watched liam on saturday ,the amount of running he does off the ball is phenomenal,also the number of headers away at corners and his general tackling back.he will always be an unsong hero because he does try to play football and sometimes it will not come off