I’m not going to blog for long today, the splint on my wrist is making typing pretty tough. That said, I’ve been perusing the Non League Paper and something struck me about the comments different managers were making. I wanted to just bring them together in one place and highlight why our manager is completely different to some of his peers.
Mickey Mellon – Tranmere
In the main Mellon was fairly magnanimous yesterday, but he did fall into the trap of being a victim and not a fighter. In the aftermath of their bruising defeat at the hands of the Mighty Imps he said:
“We began the second half well, we were popping the ball around and playing good vertical football towards their goal. We should have had another penalty.”
There was no mention of the blatant gift they received for the first, he’s looking immediately towards the referee when searching for blame. In truth his side maybe should have had the second penalty, but the first one was as blatant a dive as you’ll see all year round. To be fair to Mellon he did say his side needed to show more composure in key area’s as well, but even so he still referenced a decision as a reason for not getting a result.
Mark Cooper – Forest Green
Another manager for whom ‘class’ means nothing more than something he once took at school. Cooper is slightly different in that he often singles out his own players for criticism after matches, something I find absolutely disgraceful when it is done week in, week out.
“It was not ideal in terms of the delay and the game started with a power cut that I think led to the damp squib in the first half. (blame one: the weather) Second half they had one chance in the game and scored with a free header when Elliot Frear should have blocked a cross (blame two: the player)”.
Cooper never holds his hands up and commends an opponents performances, he constantly searches for blame, be it the weather, opposition tactics or even his own players. It is good for us of course, the more he calls his players out and unsettles the squad, the more likely they are to continue their fall away from the top half of the table. Long may his brash and divisive post match analysis continue.
Chris Kinnear – Dover
I can barely bring myself to write about this man, someone with a chip on his shoulder the size of a bison. The Non League Paper described him today as ‘bullish’, which is probably a nice way of trying to say arrogant. If you add a T to bullish, and rearrange the last four letters you get a word that describes most of what comes out of Kinnear’s mouth.
“We should have had a penalty to make it 2-0 and even a couple of their players afterwards said that it was a pen, but again it wasn’t so you have to get on with it”
Translated that means ‘you have to get on with it, but once again I’m highlighting this result wasn’t fair’. More bleating, more moaning and another example of a manager having no class. Remember this guy is a real favourite of the Stacey West blog for saying Lincoln were classless in pursuing Ricky Miller but then poaching a Maidstone player using underhand tactics in the same week. Hypocritical and slightly lopsided from that massive chip resting on his shoulder.
Danny Cowley – Lincoln City
“We asked the players if they wanted to be victims or fighters at half time, that was the question and they answered it emphatically.”
No moaning about Andy Mangan blatantly cheating to get Tranmere back in the game. No bleating about Louis Maynard getting away with stabbing his studs into Alex Woodyard’s chest. He just asked a simple question to motivate his team. Although it wasn’t printed in the paper he even dodged the question about the inept performance of Craig Hicks, simply saying the referees have a tough job and he respected them for it. That is class, Mr Kinnear.
I know it is easy to pick up a favourable comment when we win and negative ones from those around us when they lose, but have you ever heard Danny Cowley call out a single player in blame at a loss? No, never, and frankly you won’t either. We win as a team and we lose as a team, and that is evident in everything this club do. Against Oldham Adam Marriott celebrated on the side lines as if he had scored himself, no jealousy, no muted response and no self interest. This week it is him that scores, but that team spirit remains for all to see. Theo came on at the end and congratulated Marriott warmly and sincerely. These players have no divisions between them, certainly not the sort of divisions that can be caused by irresponsible comments such as Cooper’s.
DC could have come out and blasted the referee for a terrible performance, but instead he focused on the things that the team and management could control He focuses on the positives and the opportunities, and never looks for a scapegoat or excuse. I see that as having class, perhaps it is more a case of having excellent man management skills. Him and Nicky are creating a team of fighters, not victims which is unlike Kinnear, Cooper ad Mellon.
One surprise that I ought to add here was the professional and dignified response of Paul Cox from his side getting a dubious penalty in their 1-1 draw with Boreham Wood. Cox is another one I have no time for after the Liam Hearn incident last season, but he was honest in his appraisal of the game yesterday.
“There were some strange decisions today. I don’t think it was a penalty. It’s tough for referees and we just have to move on.”
I won’t always dig out managers I don’t like if they pleasantly surprise me, and yesterday Paul Cox did. I must confess with the form we’re in I am looking forward to hearing both him and Kinnear grasping for excuses within four days of each other at the end of January.