The wisdom of Sage
PUBLISHED: 11:44 20 April 2006 | UPDATED: 10:01 06 May 2010
Season ticket holder Bob Sage, who has been going to Broadhall Way since the early 1990s, is the latest in our series of monthly columns which feature different views from Broadhall Way Well, here we are again – two games to go, lying sixth and the stump
Season ticket holder Bob Sage, who has been going to Broadhall Way since the early 1990s, is the latest in our series of monthly columns which feature different views from Broadhall Way
Well, here we are again - two games to go, lying sixth and the stumps of what used to be well-manicured fingernails are trying to put on paper some thoughts together for this article.
I keep reminding myself of the encouraging words Maestro Westley writes in the matchday programme each week - always telling us how strong a squad we have, how the lads are focused, how we will be better than last season etc.
Early in the season we had the team and calibre of squad that was capable of going all the way this year and winning the Conference outright - 10 years on, we were reminded, this was going to be OUR year again.
Phrases such as 'We will do it', 'Onwards' and 'Upwards' were there to inspire our belief in the invincible residents of Broadhall Way.
We were on a roll; we couldn't possibly lose at Fortress BHW - or could we?
Our away form wasn't all it could be, although I personally took much delight at making the long trip to Exeter for the FA Cup game and coming home with the satisfaction of a win.
It was after that that we heard the first creaks, when a Grays side made us look second best and beat us on our own park.
Shortly afterwards, Crawley dumped us out of the Trophy, again at BHW - not the way to gain some much-needed silverware, I would venture to suggest.
Sporadic away form usually resulted in one or no points where we could or should have done better, and there were times on our journeys when the team played as though they had had no pre-match coaching or tactics at all.
Our home form dipped and over six weeks we took only 10 points out of a possible 18 - oh for another five or six of those points now.
What went wrong? Why aren't we champions with automatic promotion to League Two?
It's our inconsistency - at least that's consistent.
Only about three times this season have we seen the same starting 11 for two games in a row.
Yes, sometimes this may be for tactical reasons, although some of us in the Main Stand question the manager's understanding of the word 'tactics' - not leaving a man up when defending a set piece, playing one winger but not two so all the play is down one side etc.
Through my uneducated eyes I see a side that can play sublime football, sometimes for as much as 10 minutes, when the ball is passed along the ground, but always ends up hoofing it high up the middle.
The same side is all too often prone to sitting back on a lead and becoming complacent especially in the second half of matches.
We are unusually prone to injuries - why? - and our disciplinary record is, frankly, appalling. And I don't believe for one moment that referees harshly punish us on the basis of our reputation going ahead of us. No wonder we can rarely field the same starting 11.
Boro are no further progressed than this time last year - so much for the improvement all true supporters have been longing for and have been promised over and over again.
Graham Westley would make a good political adviser - the spin is wonderful and conceals the reality beneath.
Onwards? Upwards? I would love to think so, but somehow doubt it with GW at the helm.
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