Vic Morgan Blog: Football’s Panto Season… Oh Yes It Is

It’s Friday, so it must be time for the latest blog by BBC Devon’s Vic Morgan.

Okay you can laugh now and rightly so. I wasn’t at the County Ground for the demolition of Tranmere Rovers, I was at work.

Yep, I deserve the derision you’re now smugly throwing in my direction. By all accounts it was a belter and a real indication that the Town will, as last year, power through the second half of the season.

To make matters worse for me I was all geared up for a trip to the East End and a Boxing Day treat at Brisbane Road. Again that was taken away by the decision to call the game off. That was even more frustrating bearing in mind most of the day’s games went ahead.

Even in my neck of the woods, the flood hit South West, matches at Home Park and St. James’ Park were played. I guess a combination of the weather and a strike on the Tube did for us but at least we all knew on Christmas Day which prevented any unnecessary travel.

No game Boxing Day… Well not exactly. I decided to nip down to Exeter City, a mere six miles journey for me, to see the Grecians take on our nearest and dearest. You know the ones, they play in yellow and blue. Except on this occasion when Exeter played in Red and White stripes, they played in Blue Shirts and White shorts? No I didn’t understand that either.

Just to make my footballing Christmas complete City failed dismally to provide any festive cheer and that lot from along the A420 won 3-1 with a certain James Constable getting two. My how the footballing gods laughed as I got wetter and wetter on the Big Bank.

At least a trip to the cinema provided some decent entertainment. The new ‘Jack Reacher’ film is pretty good. If you’re a fan of the Lee Child books, like me, you’ll enjoy it. Even if you’re not its a well paced thriller and Tom Cruise is okay in the title roll.

Anyhoo back to that game we all love. Before setting off for the Exeter game I’d watched Nottingham Forest romp to a 4-2 win over Leeds. A win which left Forest handily placed in the Championship.

By the time I’d left the pictures they’d sacked Sean O’Driscoll their manager. Apparently he wasn’t the man to take the club forward according to the mega rich owners. That after five months in charge. Crazy or so I thought.

Even crazier still came a day later with the sacking of Henning Berg at Blackburn after 57, yes 57, days in charge. Remember Brian Clough at Leeds had 44 days. I’m guessing that when managers are appointed the people who run clubs do some kind of research to find out if the person is right for the job? Well it appears not.

We have managers sacked after winning European and FA Cups. Now we have managers sacked because, well just because.

Who’s to blame for this short termism? Owners yes. However, when money is no object it means you can hire and fire on a whim. Happens all the time in other countries it appears to be happening here now.

What about us fans though. Do we deserve some of the blame? We crave success NOW if it doesn’t happen we demand change. It used to be that three years was the length of time a manager had to stamp his authority on a club. Now he’s lucky if he gets three months. Chelsea fans demanded the dismissal of Rafa Benitez even on a day they win 8-0 against Aston Villa.

From the outside Steve Kean appeared to be hounded out of Blackburn. Now his replacement has gone. Neil Warnock’s dismissal at QPR brought no greater success under Mark Hughes, now he’s gone. Tell you what makes Swindon seem a model of stability doesn’t it..

Hopefully see you at Colchester….hopefully.

Happy New Year……

Keep it loud Keep it proud Keep it SWINDON…



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