Welcome to Press Watch, the Washbag’s 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
Another week, another two matches and amazingly, another spell of normality. Acting like some sort of Florence Nightingale I managed to nurse this column back to full health after the general drabness of last week, so I feared the worst when it became apparent that there wasn’t any scandal or meltdown on the horizon for this week. But for some reason though, the column seemed quite happy to simply report on what Swindon related news there was, noting down the brief snippets whilst staring wistfully out of the window with an almost serene look on its face. I think it knows there’s a storm on the way and is conserving its strength.
Anyway, let’s crack on with the action then – on Saturday Swindon welcomed ‘big-spending’ Bournemouth to the County Ground. So in a shameless parody of my Preston Press Watch column:
I once knew a girl who was ‘big-spending’, she spunked cash left right and centre, had a plethora of maxed out credit cards and nursed various sick looking overdrafts. Needless to say, she ended up falling in with the wrong crowd, developed a big drug problem and was thrown out of her house by an angry bailiff.
I saw her only last week looking like a right tramp (the piss stained sort, not the tarty sort) she was yelling a bunch of incoherent expletives at a frog shaped novelty bin outside my local garden centre. She was dressed in charity shop clothes and for some reason had taken to wearing a pair of spiked golf shoes. The tap, tap, tapping of the sharpened studs on the decorative patio paving slabs was truly haunting, tragic even. So much so I almost shed a tear on the bag of John Innes Special Blend Compost (3 for £8) I was carrying.
I was therefore hoping that ‘big-spending’ Bournemouth would end up the same way as this girl. And by that I mean they would ultimately turn out to be an expensively assembled shambles (and not start sleeping in skips and drinking from discarded half-empty bottles of lighter fluid.)
For some reason I was not looking forward to the game, we never seem to win against Bournemouth at home. The last time we won was in 2007 and I was in a different country at the time and therefore missed it. This time it was my father’s turn to be on holiday so I used his spare season ticket to take my uncle instead who lives just outside Bournemouth – but supports Swindon. Now unfortunately he has a reputation of being a bit of a Dr Doom character when it comes to watching Swindon, and by that I don’t mean he turns up wearing a metal mask and cloth hood. It’s more that when he comes, we lose, simple as that – I think I make my point when I say that the last game he saw was the JPT final.
Well, this time it was different – instead of picking through the normal stinking, rotten fare he’s served up by the Town, he feasted on a smorgasbord of fresh, exciting football – a dazzling, inviting fruit bowl of fun, and one in which the expensively assembled Cherries got well and truly cored and pipped.
And wow, did their local paper know it, in possibly the most scorn drenched article I’ve read in a long time, reporter Neil Perrett in the Bournemouth Echo writes an amazing alternative version to the drab post match interview that was held with beleaguered manager Paul Groves. It makes for a fantastic read, the reporter pulls no punches at all, taking shots at all comers, including winger Donal McDermott who gets an absolute pasting:
“We have kept faith with Donal and gave him his chance against Swindon. He repaid us by metaphorically sticking up two fingers to us. Once I have analysed the DVD, it will probably dawn on me that I should have taken a leaf from Paolo Di Canio’s book and substituted Donal after 20 minutes. He seemed disinterested”
The match report however seemed to blame the entire defeat at the feet of Matt Tubbs, apparently if he had scored his one-on-one with Wes shortly before half time then the result would’ve been different. Well, yes, the game would’ve finished 4-1.
To be fair, Bournemouth were on to a hiding to nothing anyway, their fate was sealed as soon as their Chairman Eddie Mitchell, with all the class and coherence of a Napalm Death concert, spouted off about how he’d rather have Paul Groves instead of Paolo as manager. I’m sure a lot of Bournemouth fans thought this was the perfect, rousing battle cry for rallying around their troubled manager. Whilst most Swindon fans were busy face-palming themselves repeatedly, saying “Does Mr Mitchell not know what he’s doing? He’s merely angering the Di Canio beast, three points are now guaranteed”. As I’ve often said, in my best Mr Miyagi voice: “Take a cattle prod to a meek, lame cow and it’ll go where you want, take it to mad, slavering bull and it’ll probably rip yer face off and trample on your wedding tackle”
Unfortunately though Bournemouth fans, it appears that Paul Groves is going nowhere, as Mr Mitchell publicly defends him after the match. Although judging by the remarks left in the comments section a lot of fans are left hoping that this is the dreaded vote of confidence and Groves is as good as gone.
On the back of the impressive win Swindon make it onto the When Saturday Comes website, which provides a nice view on Di Canio’s relationship with Harry Redknapp:
“He likes the good life and he appreciates Italian wines and French wines but at the end I will offer it to him only so he can have a bitter taste after he loses the game.”
Whilst browsing the site I stumbled across this article concerning leaving games early, it’s not Swindon related, but makes for a good read. I suppose there is a tenuous link with the Bournemouth encounter as Eddie Mitchell did confess to leaving Saturdays game early in the ‘Nobody is getting sacked’ article linked above.
The Sun provide a mini match report, explaining that Matt Ritchie had received the highest accolade possible from Paolo – a kick up the backside! Oh and tippy-tappy football has finally packed its bags it seems.
That’s enough Cherry related chat so let’s move down the Dulux red hue paint chart to the Clarets section and yet another League Cup upset.
Burnley were in town and that meant one thing, the return of Charlie Austin. It was also the first time we’ve played each other since 1996. But to me, playing Burnley only makes me think of one thing – the Burnley Wallet, a vicious, scrotum related, gangland revenge injury, beautifully demonstrated here by Paddy McGuinness.
The Sun described the Town as ‘Classy Underdogs’ in their match report, like we were a bunch of stray hounds who instead of rolling around in our own faeces managed to do it in a stash of make up and fine jewellery for a change. The Sun reporter treats us to a fair if not brief report which includes a truly startling picture of Paul Benson, he can’t be happy with that one.
The Burnley local press dish out typical fare with the Lancashire Telegraph churning out a pretty standard report, which is enlivened by the Burnley/Blackburn slanging match that ensues in the comments section. I imagine this is something that happens in every article, I don’t get the whole ‘dingle’ thing though, it was like reading an old script from Emmerdale Farm, all dingle this and dingle that. (I am right in thinking there is/was a family in that dreadful soap called the Dingles? Otherwise that last bit makes no sense!) The Burnley Express eschews a standard reporting method and instead delivers a charming one minute photo compilation video. I cannot comment on how good it is because I couldn’t get the bastard thing to run. Web Technology 1 Man 0.
Talking of photos, the Daily Telegraph collect the best shots from all the Capital One Cup encounters and stuff them into a slideshow. It includes a great one of Di Canio breaking Paul Bensons neck with a deft one-handed manoeuvre and looking like he is about to make a start on Wes. The worried look on Wes’ face is fantastic – “Is he going to cuddle me or kill me?” Probably both Wes, probably both.
So I’ll finish this week with an apology – sorry for the brevity of the column this week, believe me it does take me hours to write and forever to search the internet for STFC related stories. So it was during this internet data comb that I stumbled across this particular website – so like a guy who works in an illegal drug factory who then becomes a junkie himself I ended up spending my entire night reading that instead. It’s really not my fault your honour, I’m just weak see…..