Thursday, 4 August 2011
“Start Me Up”: not “The Last Time”
We all hope that the right Rolling Stones number for this season will be “Start Me Up”: we don’t want it to be “The Last Time” for Chris Powell’s promotion experiences.
Chris Powell had his share of the promotion glory in the Year 2000, as shown in this picture of our heroes of the 1999/2000 season. 91 points, 12 consecutive league wins after Boxing Day and a centre forward (Andy Hunt) who netted 3 hat tricks and 24 league goals. The picture also shows solid stalwarts with a physical presence like Steve Brown goal scoring opportunists like Clive Mendonca and Shaun Newton.
Optimism is the name of the game at the moment amongst the CAFC faithful; just look at CAFCPICKS for what is being predicted. (Of course, only ‘The Funder” has gone not only for an undefeated season but all wins!! (Courtesy of poetic licence on the part of the Editor!).
I fancy a successful outcome, though the magnitude of achieving should not underestimated. However, I would not be totally surprised to see a slow start whilst out new set of players synchronise. We may need a comparable Boxing Day + run this season and the hope is that the first part of the season is reasonable enough to avoid untold pressure on CP’s shoulders.
The strength of the side seems to be in midfield where, unlike last season, we have a vast array of choice. The players available include the quality of Hollands, Stephens, Green & Jackson and, possibly Alonso, for starters. I hope that the opportunity arises for Ruben Bover to impress, as he looks like one of the most exciting midfield talents we have had for a few years.
Upfront, BWP should have the instincts if fit, to emulate Andy Hunt. However, whether or not we have the right supporting act in Hayes, Benson remains to be seen and the general feeling is we need another experienced foil, who can also score goals himself. There is a hint that we may be recruiting another Pole, Rasiak, (hopefully a little more effective than Abbot, though he may have been underrated). The most likely addition may be Jason Euell. I was not that great a fan first time around but my feeling having seen him briefly at Woking is that he is still fit and up for it, and he could be a surprise package, not least to opposing defences.
I am still uneasy to rely on Morrison and Taylor alongside each other at the back and unless we have a suitable addition (Hughes??) my feeling is that we are going to see Doherty (or even Dailly??) play an important role.
It's good to see Mambo hanging on in there and surely he will come through in the medium term, and can a fellow CAFCPICKER be right when he said another youth back four player was alongside him at Carshalton and was even bigger!
Difficult to predict what is going on in respect of a goalkeeper, though all the signs are that Elliot may move on. If that happens, we have seen too little of Hamer to say he should get the nod, but Sullivan to me seems a reasonable replacement. However, as a colleague said, he needs to play a good game as well as talk one.
At the end of the day, a solid goalkeeper who can not only save but come out for crosses and instil confidence in our new defence is critical: let’s hope the club get it right. We didn’t when we let Elliots competitor go to Scotland, who is apparently now being courted by other leading clubs.
Oh for a “Successful Dawn of Honest Endeavour” with greater emphasis on commitment, skill and courage than coloured designer plastic boots: would be nice to think austerity may rule those out.
It's almost time: "Onwards We Go, Boldly Going, (we hope), into the Unknown, or where our Year 2000 team went before us".
Lest hope the start is better than I expect, so the CAFCPICKS can cross the Atlantic in September with untold optimism and expectation and leave his lumberjacking behind him.