Welcome to Press Watch, the Washbag’s new sideways glance at all things Town related in the media. If you see anything remotely concerning Swindon Town in the worlds media get in contact with me via Twitter @mrbraindown
It’s funny how people associate different smells and sounds with different experiences. Take perfumed nappy bags for instance, if you have a baby of a certain age, you use said sweetly smelling bags to put the heavily soiled nappies into. Thus preventing your bin from stinking like a sewer and lessening the assault on Mr. Dustbin mans sensitive nose when he flips open your wheelie bin on collection day.
After a few years of use though, the smell of these perfumed bags becomes so strongly associated with the stink of poop that the actual smell of the bags start to curl your nose. This happens to such an extent with me now that when I crack open a fresh multibag of these items the perfume smell actually makes me feel sick.
So Crawley came crawling into Town, smelling less of rank ‘steve-evans-ness’ this year, but like the nappy bags the association with general unpleasantness remains so strong with me I still drove to game full of loathing for the team from Sussex.
As I took my seat in the DRS I clutched a perfumed hanky to my nose, expecting a cavalcade of fouling, spoiling tactics, play-acting and touchline buffoonery. Instead I saw a more professional outfit this year, a team that seemed hell-bent on playing football, carried out by individuals who seemed to want to stay on their feet…. It was all very odd.
Judging by a lot of the comments left on the Swindon forums and Twitter, this was a feeling shared. So many seemed to have lost their hate for the Red Devils due to the absence of their former manager, but for others, including me it will take time. Although I have it on good authority that following an aggressive PR campaign even spiders are now welcomed onto Miss Muffets tuffet for curds and whey, so I suppose there is hope.
Enthusiasm for reporting on crushing defeats though is obviously low as on the Crawley fan site http://www.crawleytown-mad.co.uk, the match report for the game is strangely missing. Saying that, those who are employed to write about Crawley defeats seemingly can’t be bothered either, with no match report on the Crawley Observer website and a paltry few paragraphs in the Argus.
This is Sussex make a better fist of things with a fair summary of the game, although according to the Crawley manager Richie Barker all our goals were a little lucky:
“It you look at the goals the first one was a fluke, the second one we should have dealt with the cross better and the third one was a missed header from Claude [Davis]. So at the end of the day all those goals can be eradicated”
Unfortunately the Crawley fan forum required registration to view the contents, so I merrily entered my details and now I’m waiting authorisation from the site administrator. It’s been a while, but then again perhaps I shouldn’t have chosen ‘unsustainable business model’ as my username.
On Twitter more was made of the away fans performance rather than the team, it seems the Crawley players missed an obvious trick. If only they’d taken a drum onto the field in the second half and banged it repeatedly then perhaps their meagre fan base would be crowing on about their performance instead.
Twitter was full of boasts about out-singing the home crowd. The drummer is apparently a guy called ‘Ross’ and he is to be revered in hushed godlike tones, like some kind of chavvy Pied Piper – the fans are powerless to resist the drums beat. So, a note to all woman out there, if you want to keep your man out of your hair whilst the soaps are on, drag him into the garage and throw him a drum – he’ll immediately strip to the waist and bob up and down ‘na-na-naaaa-ing’ to the Great Escape theme for an hour or so.
C’mon, let’s re-live the magic here; the uploader does at least get one thing right in the notes when he/she says:
“Not very loud so sorry”
Yep, that’s right, despite everything that was said, from where I was sitting the chanting wasn’t very loud, all I heard was that blimin’ drum.
Anyway, speaking of drums, onto the MK Dons match where their fans also managed to sneak in a drum, but not a deep bassy drum like Crawley, more of a treble-heavy, nicked from a Secondary School Music lesson style effort. It sounded pretty pathetic.
Lewington pipes up on the MK Dons official site with a back-handed, non-apology for his sending off, moaning that it was more Ferry’s fault for getting in the way of his elbow. There’s also an awful lot of ‘grabbing’ going on it seems.
“I have grabbed the ball and their man has come to grab it and he’s grabbed my arm and my natural reaction was to push him back.”
The excellent Town End forum gets a bit of a bashing on the MK fans forum thezone:mk (has the colon actually been copyrighted by the Dons yet?) Apparently ACDon questions the average age of the forums posters –
“Just had a browse through; what a load of garbage, they seem to have an obsession with re-arranging swear words, very strange, I can only assume the majority of posters are under 16!”
Ha ha ha, ride on fatburys lovestick… (sorry, in joke)
Good old Pete Winkleman gets a bit of rough ride from his own fans though following his outburst after the game. Friars 1980 gets stuck in –
“Don’t know what the protocol is, but I feel a little uncomfortable what with PW running on the pitch at Oldham, then yesterday banning the manager and players talking to the press whilst presenting an apparently unfounded argument which appears to have been contradicted by Lewie. Whilst he’s not Effing and Jeffing or trying to offer fans out he’s reminded me of that Bournemouth chairman last year.”
Legacycarl follows this up with the perfect interpretation of the statement –
“He may as well of said: How dare a referee send one of our players off!! We play the best football in the league, don’t the officials know that! How is my team suppose to get promoted this season when you officials just keep sending my players off for violent conduct and awful tackles!”
The Milton Keynes Citizen provides an excellent match report, covering our first half dominance well and proclaiming of the second:
“The second half was a stroll in the park for Paolo Di Canio’s men, hardly troubled by the visitors throughout. Andy Williams hit the bar late on for Swindon as walked out comfortable 1-0 winners”
Now, onto the climax, and I’m sure a lot of people have skipped the majority of this article just to get to this bit, the Stoke City game. Now as pleased as I was with the result, I did think when the final whistle went “Christ I’ve got a lot to write for the column now!”
Watching my Twitter feed during the game was fantastic, I was struck by how gracious the Stoke fans were in defeat – @MrTommyWilliams was one of many who tweeted:
@SCFC82 chipped in with the totally accurate:
“Simple fact is they’re much better than arsenal, and much better than us.#scfc”
@TFS_Stoke City joined in the back-slapping:
Pulis got a pummelling by a lot of fans, some of which it is safe to say obviously cannot remember a time when Stoke Vs Swindon was routine lower league fare. @olivercorbett lets fly:
The game also made headlines in the national press, The Sun covered the game with a clever headline dreamed up by the most canny of wordsmiths – Stoke 3 Swindon 4 (aet).
Town were described as showing ‘no fear’ and Di Canio branded as ‘Colourful’. The Sun also includes a fantastic photo of Collins just about to start his celebratory run, whilst in the background another Town player is raising his arms aloft – along with a Stoke player, who is obviously celebrating the fact that he’s just escaped taking a penalty. The joyous scene is only let down by a lazy caption writer who exclaims:
“KING JAMES … Stoke’s James Collins celebrates his hat-trick and the winner”
No such gaff on the Guardians website, instead they run with a picture of Di Canio furiously gurning in victory. Although I did find the goal timings a little odd, with Collins’ winner apparently coming in the 90+29th minute.
A gem of a quip can be found in the comments section, lampooning Sky Sports for once doubting whether Barcelona and Messi could ever ‘do it’ on a damp Tuesday night in Stoke, the heavily capitalized STROKEMYPUSKAS says:
“But can they do it on a damp…..f*ck yeah!”
The local media site www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk/ run a nice match report, but surely they mean ‘gracefully’ here?
“It was a weakened Stoke team, but not a weak one, at least not on paper, but the home faithful was forced to sit through an often wretched performance strewn with errors – especially among goalkeeper and back four in the first 45 – to leave Swindon cantering gratefully and impressively towards their dramatic victory.”
Fan forum-wise,’ The Oatcake’ is an absolute scream; I advise a thorough inspection of the site, very amusing and far too many threads to cover here. But I particularly liked this one where fans are invited to come up with alternate headlines for the match, with this one being the clear winner in my opinion:
Pulisball 3 – 4 Football (AET and £80m)
A good place to finish methinks – Till next time then.