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Gannon mania

So the head ‘lady’ has relinquished her throne. Without the Gibbons in post, the chances of a Jim Gannon return may have lessened. Not only were they his strongest advocates at Board-level, but close family friends. They even adopted his cat!

His first stint in English management was a success with League 2 survival from the ‘jaws of extinction’ – followed by promotion via a Wembley-play off against Rochdale. This time certainly heralded the development of some good young players before the financial woes and need to sell them. Remember, Tommy Rowe, Anthony Pilkington, Liam Dickinson to name but three. The latter’s boots are proudly displayed in our offices. Were these players the results of ‘JG’ or do Peter Ward (assistant) or Alan Lord (youth) deserve the credit?

But can a return to a former managerial seat work? Not always. Gannon was released by the Administrator as an immediate cost-cutting. His remuneration package at that time could most definitely not fit with a package suitable for the Blue Square Premier League hierarchy. His character has been questioned by some former colleagues. The CV and trail from latter posts at Motherwell, Peterborough and Port Vale have shown different traits. It has been suggested that he wouldn’t speak to SKY in interviews whilst at Edgeley Park, because of a dispute over his installation of satellite dish.

He remains a fans favourite. The final note has to go to our ex-Uruguayan maestro, Danny Bergara (R.I.P), when asked about the qualities of Jim Gannon by another manager:…”I hear he’s a bit volatile?”. Danny’s reply: “Oh yes, very volatile, he can play anywhere”.

Red Mist

Not proud of my reaction, but brings an interesting debate on what ‘crossing the line’ actually means – and when a fan has ‘gone too far’. 

Crossing the line certainly doesn’t refer to County putting the ball over the goal line (for a goal). As we didn’t even come close to scoring. I prayed that the new lad with the Turkish sounding surname might score and I might even sponsor him,  if he extended his loan from Scunthorpe – but the one real chance falling to Dünnwald-Turan almost hit the corner flag. His stats are unimpressive as a goalscorer, so unless I’m missing something, despite his playing in EFL, this recruitment theory smacks of desperation. 

One supporter, was expressing dissatisfaction, with five minutes remaining. We had lost to Yeovil Town 0-3 at EP and picked up a red card for Ashley Palmer in the process- who I personally like at the back. That supporter was being shouted at by second choice goalkeeper, Ross. I retorted for him to stand down as I feel fans have every right to aire discontent, when a display is so shambolic. Maybe I should target someone other than that goalkeeping giant who towered above me. I was leaving early, an unusual action by me. As the newest ‘Assistant Manager’, then desired to chip in, this brought down the ‘red mist’. Or maybe he wasn’t an AM – with a DOF, M, AM x2 and Coach I now get confused who is who and who does what?

Anyway, having already had my Birthday spoiled by the display, I then lambasted him/them for both an ineffective Plan A and certainly no Plan B. It was a dreadful display and we are making a mockery of being one of the bookies favourites for promotion. I’d be amazed if we make the play offs based on this – although of course, I realize it’s only September. That mouthy AM, or whatever, inferred I should ‘walkon’. Not wise words from someone who must be guilty in someway for that woeful showing.  Afraid IMVHO, we the paying public, fan of 45+ years, sponsor and people of Stockport have every right to comment. We’ll be there long after their tenure is up.

I have to say none of the players deserved credit and the so-called superstars didn’t turn up. I know the grapevine infers they may have contributed to the departure of ‘Jim’ under accusations of not fitting in with the new culture.  Ironic really when culture was the explanation of his disdain of Rooney after a wreckless sending off that catapulted County to a heavy loss away during his regime. Gannon would not have tolerated such a gutless performance.

In fairness, to Simon Rusk, who I do think is a good person, his post match interview was articulate and honest. He begs for more time based on coming close last year. Personally, I hope that I’m wrong and he can come good – but I said at the end of last Year, that was our best chance of going up and we missed the opportunity. Of course, we are throwing more and more money at ‘this Project’, but the tactics and recruitment aren’t working. 

Time for change? If so, for me it would take an experienced management team used to getting promotions, not a rookie. Hope for more memorable days of blue mist celebration rather than this red mist misery.

Cheerio Jim

Simply posting a repeat of my social media Tweet last week after hearing the surprising news of our Manager’s departure. I said: “Don’t know all facts @StockportCounty but as we are a results based business this could prove to be a huge error. Currently, sitting nicely in table and @james16gannon‘s teams always get stronger in second half of season. Guessing there’s more to this story to come out.”

Thinking face

All I can relate to is the words of Pep Guardiola this Morning on Talk Sport: “There’s no such thing as a ‘Project’ in football. It’s about Winning, Losing or Drawing Games”. I rest my case. It is a big risk to change a winning formula, especially at this stage of the campaign – all in the name of ‘culture’. But to replace a performing fans’ favourite, in Jim Gannon, with any incumbent having limited experience in management in this challenging Non-League hierarchy, an even bigger risk. As a County fan, let’s just hope it works!

All I want for Christmas

Is this newly published book…….and I got it!

“Last season a Stockport team, which in turns is inspired, petrified and tickled pink by the little man with the funny accent, at last made soccer sit up and take notice by climbing out of the Fourth Division where they had wallowed for over 20 years. That in itself was testament to Bergara’s passion and commitment to a game that he cheerfully admits dominates his life 24 hours a day. But if lifting County out of the bargain basement was a monumental feat, what he has created since has been well-nigh unbelievable.” [Manchester Evening News, 1992]

The diminutive Uruguayan remains in our hearts – and now has a Stand named after him at EP.  He still remains responsible for one of my favourite quotes: Danny Bergara (R.I.P) when asked about Jim Gannon by another Manager……”I hear he’s a bit volatile”.  Danny’s reply: “Oh yes, very volatile, he can play anywhere”.

Buy your copy of The Man From Uruguay.