Yesterday, or maybe the day before (these pain killers make it tough to judge time), I covered the story in Devon Live which suggested we had a huge budget compared to Exeter.
It was, by my own amateur opinion, utter garbage, suggesting because our average wage was so much higher than theirs that we should be the favourites this Thursday. I’m not sure who they were trying to convince, or why, but when you took squad sizes into account we have comparable budgets. Exeter are surely the favourites for the tie because a: they have home advantage, b: they finished fourth in the league and c: they were at this stage 12 months ago whereas we were the division below.
If that narrative wasn’t ridiculous enough, today’s story has got me laughing which, with a four-inch scar and metal rods settling into my spine, isn’t a good thing at all. Today, they’re trying to initiate some sort of feud between Danny and Paul Tisdale.
I suppose the two manager’s honest and fair assessment of each other is a bit of a let down for websites eager for clicks. A good argument or incendiary comments make for more views and more revenue. So, where’s there’s no issues, Devon Live have decided to create their own.
Yesterday, Danny was asked about the speculation linking Paul Tisdale with the vacant MK Dons job. He answer the question, he didn’t start the conversation himself, he responded to a reporter.
“I don’t think it will affect Paul Tisdale as he’s an experienced manager,” our gaffer replied. “He’ll have had that type of interest in him before because he’s done such a good job there. I’m sure he’ll take it in his stride. Sometimes it can affect the players, who read the stories and hear the rumours. There can be no smoke without fire, but I’m sure Paul will be able to cope with the speculation and his full focus will be on his Exeter team on Thursday.”
That seems a fair answer, right?
Apparently not, apparently Danny is now stoking the fires, hot on the heels of him playing mind games on Monday. He’s being painted as a pantomime villain down south, wickedly talking his side down and plaing the media like a PS4. In fact, he’s just a slimmer version of Steve Evans.
Exactly which fire is he stoking and how? By answering a question that didn’t ever, at all, suggest Paul Tisdale was leaving or interested in doing so? By never calling Paul Tisdale, by never alluding to anything or offering underhand barbed comments?
By all means build tension, but I can’t help but feel they’re trying to build a toxic atmosphere that simply isn’t there, something thoroughly unfair on two men who are both honest in their appraisals of each other, who respect each other and who are both a credit to their clubs.