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Stamford at home

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1 Stamford at home on Tue Feb 24 2015, 16:31

Hard to get excited about this one.

I'm predicting a narrow 2-1 victory and a low crowd of under 300.

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2 Re: Stamford at home on Tue Feb 24 2015, 23:48



I should have had a bet on tonight's match as I predicted earlier today it would be another tough to watch one each in front of a low crowd, although I didn't think it would be quite as low as it was, off the top of my head (and a quick scan of old programmes) I think that's the lowest league gate at Amblecote since April 2010.

It wasn't a classic again, although i thought we where better than our previous three league performances (not saying much admittedly). Stamford where fairly limited too not giving much service to the two guys up front who caused a lot of problems in the away match, the goalkeeper was very shaky giving away the goal when his kick was charged down by canavan who slotted home at the second attempt.

I thought in the second half we had the better of things but no sooner had I said we needed a second goal, they equalised good first time finish but it was all too easy and they had the best chance to win it when the guy turned his marker inside the box and blazed wide, he should have buried it. Defensively we where all over the shop, Knight the best player on show I thought, again. Surprised that both Benbow and Hales where dropped although perhaps I wasn't after saturday's display.

It's bloody frustrating and enthusiasm sapping at the moment, there certainly appears to be a growing body of opinion calling for regime change in the dugout, i'm undecided as to weather that's what's required or not, be careful what you wish for and all that.

But I am concerned about where it's heading at the moment, and am struggling to see them coming up with the answers. I'm sure Mr Hackett is enjoying this season less than the rest of us and I still hope he can turn it around as it would be sad to see it peter out with performances like this after all that he has given.

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3 Re: Stamford at home on Wed Feb 25 2015, 01:10

My first visit to Amblecote for a few weeks and in truth i didn't really turn up to watch the football,i'd missed the banter with the all the lads so it was great to see Brockmoor,Baz,Andy Hill,Joe,DY9 Paul,Mark,Baz,Brian and Jim.

As i entered the ground i woke the gateman from his slumber as i was 5 minutes late and the lack of turnstile activity this evening had obviously seen him drift off into a coma!

As i entered i was greeted by the dulcet tones of Ulster Jim who shouted across to me…"what the f--- are you doing here" which was much appreciated.. Laughing

I was shocked at the crowd to be honest,i didn't expect to be squeezing between people to get a view but the attendance was absolutely pathetic,people are voting with their feet and in my opinion that's based on the lack of quality in the football rather than the actual results,the game was pitiful fayre for those in attendance.

The team was unrecognisable from my last visit v Halesowen,46 registered players this season i believe and 39 different starters,in effect an absolute "car crash" of a season and on the pitch Stour have gone backwards at an alarming rate,the quality and performance level of the back end of last season are now a million miles away.

I thought Will did okay tonight,i thought Knight was by far our best player and Drew was Drew,brilliant in short bursts when running at opponents but wasteful with the final ball.

There is no lack of effort from the players,it's impossible to criticise the work rate and commitment shown but it doesn't result in a coherent playing style,for the life of me i can't work out what we're trying to do in terms of a pattern of play.

In sport there is a natural cycle of things,you just have to look at the way our track cyclists have had a fairly poor World championships after a decade of world domination,sometimes change is needed and this doesn't just apply to the playing squad.

The use of 39 players is a symptom of a greater problem i think,christ,Dudley Sports usually win the seasonal award for the number of players used in a season but we've taken the biscuit this season,regardless of injuries this is in effect THREE sides in a season,TWO full squads to put it another way.

Everything has a very tired feel about it,it feels like drowning in slow motion.

Good to see everybody anyway and best of luck to everyone involved with the club for the remainder of the season.

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4 Re: Stamford at home on Wed Feb 25 2015, 09:21

It says it all when the likes of Jack,who as good as lives on the doorstep can't muster any enthusiasm to go and watch.
Time for a change.

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5 Re: Stamford at home on Wed Feb 25 2015, 11:22

In my eyes it's been time for a change for a few seasons now. What is happening now, I could see happening a while back. Something needed to be done, it didn't happen and this is where we are now.

Nothing against GH, but I simply have no confidence whatsoever in him turning this around.

For me the problems started in pre-season. GH admitted that the previous few pre-seasons had been a little bit of a car crash with to many triallists, he wasnt going to go down the same route this time. In fairness he didnt, he settled with a squad of players with few coming in. However some of the better performers who played most games in pre-season found themselves out of the side when the season kicked off. Many of us where left scratching our heads why, indeed these players weren't given a chance apart from ten minutes here and there and soon left the club.

For me that set the tone. We had two central defenders who, well basically werent central defenders. And the majority of the team were playing out of position. GH admitted this was a problem, but 47 registered players later he still hasnt got the right mix?! The team in recent weeks has been unrecognizable, but I can honestly say now, that some of the 'newbies' arent up to the job (maybe we will hit the half century of registrations by the end of the season).

There is and hasnt been any pattern of play this season, and recent form is pitiful. This month to date we have failed to win any of our four games, against what has been mediocre opposition. GH has said that he has had to rebuild, why? What was so badly run with the team that finished last season? We havent found a replacement for Geddes and the midfield is anemic with no quality, power or strength, and the defence is fine until they're asked to defend.

GH says 'were on the right track'. No we are not.
GH says ' he will know when it's the right time to leave'.

mmm

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6 Re: Stamford at home on Wed Feb 25 2015, 12:09

Jack

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When you think of how often in the last few years we have seen players playing their 250, 300, 350, 400th game etc etc, to have had 47 registered players is nothing short of a shambles. And when you get to that much the 'We've had injuries' goes out the window as far as I'm concerned.

How many KEY players have been injured for a sustained period of time? Luke, Ben and Louis. Who else? Niggles here and there, yes. But nothing major off the top of my head. Yet, we've gone through FOURTY-SEVEN players?! It then becomes a case of simply poor recruitment or this stop-gap loan nonsense.
Gary has said we need to rebuild, that is correct. However signing x, y and Z on loan isn't the answer. George Bowerman, for example. He did well for us. However, it quite clearly was nothing more than a loan. I think we all knew that. So he isn't going to be part of our long term future, so why is he playing ahead of someone like Josh? It just doesn't make sense.

If the club came out and gave us a complete evaluation of where the club is, held their hands up to the poor season we are having, and then addressed how and where they are going to strengthen I can guarantee every single one of us would support them. None of this is personal and we all want Gary to do well. However the wool over the eyes of supporters isn't good.

I'm really struggling to muster up the energy to come. I think last night was the first time the appeal of the warmth and European Cup football was more alluring for me. In 8 odd years, that's not a bad ratio, however it's a worrying trend. The attendance last night simply has to send alarm bells to Andy and the board. A very, very big few months ahead. I trust Gary to get it right.

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7 Re: Stamford at home on Wed Feb 25 2015, 12:30

Attendance seems fairly standard for a cold Tuesday night in February

There will always be a lot of fans who are more into the league club they follow, who will only come regularly when the going is good and struggle to "muster the enthusiasm" to come when there is a half chance we won't win.

Last night was the real test of the loyal fan, not just sticking with us when the cup runs are happening.

In Gary we trust.

We have had terrible luck with injuries, if someone had said on the opening day of the season that within 1/2 months we would lose Billingham, Geddes and Harris due to circumstances beyond the management team's control, my predictions and hopes for the season would take a nose dive.

It's not their fault and despite what some people seem to think there aren't scores of players of the above 3's abilities hanging around Stourbridge.

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8 Re: Stamford at home on Wed Feb 25 2015, 12:40

Jack

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It was the lowest attendance in the league at our place since 2010. It was not by any means an 'average' attendance for this time of the year. And to say that it was a test to see who the real fans were is again utterly ludicrous. I wasn't there last night so does that make you more of a loyal fan than me? Unbelievable statement. Rolling Eyes

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9 Re: Stamford at home on Wed Feb 25 2015, 13:11

Glassboypaul strikes with the sh*t again.

Why mention Geddes when it was partly due to the management that he's no longer at the club?

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10 Re: Stamford at home on Wed Feb 25 2015, 13:40

I made it for the second half as per my usual Tuesday. It wasn't the best. This season can't end soon enough. Looking forward to September Smile

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11 Re: Stamford at home on Wed Feb 25 2015, 18:15

Man of the match voting was as follows;

CHRIS KNIGHT 13

Luke Connelly 7
Drew Canavan 6
Will Richards 1
Tyrone Williams 1
No-one Deserving 1

(1 vote to come)

The wine was won by DAVE GORTON.

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12 Re: Stamford at home on Wed Feb 25 2015, 18:26

Brian Handy wrote:Man of the match voting was as follows;

CHRIS KNIGHT 13

Luke Connelly 7
Drew Canavan 6
Will Richards 1
Tyrone Williams 1
No-one Deserving 1

(1 vote to come)

The wine was won by DAVE GORTON.


Well done Brian on getting 14% of the attendance to have a go on the MOM.

Keep up the good work Smile

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13 Re: Stamford at home on Wed Feb 25 2015, 20:20

Thanks for the usual arrogant statement Paul.

Jack and I were going to stour home and away,way before any cup run, when crowds were lower than this.
We both have a lot on with one thing and another - more important than football believe it or not - and so couldn't make it last night.
Yes the style of play is not great and so some of the enjoyment has gone a little this season ( for me it's not knowing half the bloody team) but that does not mean we are not loyal fans and we won't be going again. Funny how you only ever pipe up when the other more vocal fans post. Twisted Evil

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14 Re: Stamford at home on Wed Feb 25 2015, 20:55

Admittedly this season has been poor, may be that we have been spoiled over the past few seasons and have been expecting too much, but all teams go through a transitional stage and the worst thing that a club can do is get rid of the manager when things aren't going great.  Does anybody seriously believe that West Brom are stronger for having had 17 managers this century alone?  Man Ure gave Ferguson the benefit of the doubt ( unfortunately ) when they weren't winning everything and the rest they say is history.  Bill Shankly didn't break up his great side of the 60's until defeats to Derby, Man Ure & also to Watford in the cup in the 1969-70 season forced his hand, eventually leading to the sides that dominated the 70's & 80's.  Patience is what's required, if we get through nearly 50 players by this stage next season, then serious questions will need to be put to Gary, but somehow i think he will have learned a lot from this season.

COYG

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15 Re: Stamford at home on Wed Feb 25 2015, 21:07

samhistory wrote:
Does anybody seriously believe that West Brom are stronger for having had 17 managers this century alone?  

Yes,
West Brom finished the 1999/2000 season 21st in Championship, and they have spent the majority of the past decade in the Premier League.

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16 Re: Stamford at home on Wed Feb 25 2015, 22:07

samhistory wrote:Admittedly this season has been poor, may be that we have been spoiled over the past few seasons and have been expecting too much, but all teams go through a transitional stage and the worst thing that a club can do is get rid of the manager when things aren't going great.  Does anybody seriously believe that West Brom are stronger for having had 17 managers this century alone?  Man Ure gave Ferguson the benefit of the doubt ( unfortunately ) when they weren't winning everything and the rest they say is history.  Bill Shankly didn't break up his great side of the 60's until defeats to Derby, Man Ure & also to Watford in the cup in the 1969-70 season forced his hand, eventually leading to the sides that dominated the 70's & 80's.  Patience is what's required, if we get through nearly 50 players by this stage next season, then serious questions will need to be put to Gary, but somehow i think he will have learned a lot from this season.

COYG


The only thing we've been "spoiled" with is the excellent cup runs,nobody can ever take that away from Hackett,it is his crowning achievement during his 11 year stint at Amblecote Sam and we all doff our cap at him for that.

However,i saw a post on here a few weeks ago from Dave W that was waxing lyrical about Stour being at "their highest ever playing level" but this is simply not true.

When i started watching Stour as a 12 year old back in 1974 we were in Southern League Division One North,it was a feeder league to the Southern Premier League which we all now know as the Conference,in effect Stour won what is now Conference North.

I've copied that league table from 1974 below,you'll notice that Burton,Cheltenham and Stevenage are now well established Football League teams and Kidderminster have been in the Football League,other sides in there at that time have spent time in the Conference Premier in recent years and a few others play Conf North/South,i accept a couple are defunct now and a few are with us at our present level.



1 Stourbridge (C) (P)League Premier Division
2 Burton Albion (P)
3 Cheltenham Town
4 AP Leamington
5 Enderby Town
6 Witney Town
7 Stevenage Athletic
8 Banbury United
9 King's Lynn
10 Kidderminster Harriers
11 Merthyr Tydfil
12 Redditch United
13 Bromsgrove Rovers
14 Bedworth United
15 Tamworth
16 Corby Town
17 Bletchley Town
18 Barry Town
19 Bury Town
20 Gloucester City
21 Wellingborough Town
22 Dunstable Town


The level Stour found themselves at when our management team arrived was not Stour's natural level,we were the perennial "Big Club fallen on hard times" back in the Alliance days,once promotion could be allowed from there it wasn't going to take a lot to get us moving again.

My opinion is that our "natural level" is the Conference North/South BUT based on a population of 65,000 ( about the same as Premier League Burnley i think ) then there is no reason not to reach for Conference Prem or above.

My biggest issue over the last three seasons,an issue i've spoken with Gary and Andy P about on more than one occasion has been the reluctance of the club to throw some of the cup run money at "buying" some goals for the club.

Ben Mackey was a prime example,if he'd arrived in the October we'd have won the league that year in my opinion.

If we'd kept him for last season we'd have gone up but we wouldn't match the money Hemel were offering.

At the Ilkeston match away ( second match of this season ) i had a pre match chat with Gary and told him i thought he had the same problem as previous seasons and the same problem West Brom had,i said we were lacking a second striker of Benbow's quality but Gary disagreed and said he could "push Billingham further forward if required".

At this stage Benbow was still out and no comeback date was known because i asked the physic myself and weeks later Ben suffered his horror injury.

I think our golden chance has now passed for who knows how long.

What was required was the guts to go out and buy the final piece of what was a very,very good jigsaw but that time is now gone.

We only have three or four decent bits of jigsaw left now and it may be a battle to retain them after this season.

Nobody wanted it to end up like this,i think that there was a genuine wish by all at the club to get promotion but the cup money almost became a legacy that perhaps weighed them down in that it became very hard to spend because of the inevitable questions that would've been asked if the Mackey type longer term gamble had failed,yet the return to gates around 200 will in it's own way soon diminish whats left in the pot.

You're probably damned if you do and damned for sure if you don't!

I look at the players like Wurzel who have departed this season and even the likes of Rock and Dovey and i have to say that all three of them are still better players than many in our present squad and i really fear the loss of Leon,Billingham,Richards and even Canavan in the near future because it now feels like the whole playing fabric has been torn to shreds.

Maybe the return of a couple of the older faces wouldn't be a bad idea in the sort term or next season,we need to restore the Stourbridge identity.

I'm also struggling to see what the plan is with Morgan Parker,surely this lad deserves to be starting every game at the moment,the only way he's going to become "top draw" at this level is by playing and he has plenty to offer in my opinion.

Like Jack and others have said,non of us are enjoying whats happening,least of all the manager and chairman but it is right for fan's to challenge decisions,i've tried to be analytical and not slag off because that just causes bad feeling and in truth everyone involved has had the best of intentions,i just wish we'd been braver with the pot of gold and i suspect those in control might admit the same to themselves.

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17 Re: Stamford at home on Wed Feb 25 2015, 22:43

In response to Brockmoor, the Albion also had 20 managers between 1980 & 2000.  Not the most glorious chapter in their history.

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18 Re: Stamford at home on Wed Feb 25 2015, 23:08

samhistory wrote:In response to Brockmoor, the Albion also had 20 managers between 1980 & 2000.  Not the most glorious chapter in their history.

Wow.

Can I suggest (for the benefit of Stourbridge fans on a Stourbridge forum) that if we must go through managers by decade, it is indeed Stourbridge managers?

Otherwise can I point you to wbamad.

Rolling Eyes

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