Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Martin mentioned the lack of reports about NTFC. mother always told me that if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. So with apologies to my mum, here goes.

As some of you will know we were relegated last season. We would not have been relegated if the players had collectively given a toss, but they did not and last May I was feeling like this about the team.

I fully expected if I am honest that anger and depression would have worn off by the time the new season started as with each new season usually comes new hope, but at the start of this season all I had seen was 3 out of our 4 decent players leaving - and no one inspiring coming in. Specifically no new goal keeper came in and we kicked off this season as we had played most of last season with a young and obviously* not yet ready for league football keeper, and a 16 year old reserve.

I missed the first few matches anyway as I was away. I missed our next one at home as I chose to go and see Reidski instead. I decided I had better things to do of a Saturday afternoon to go to the following match which was away at the mighty Burton Albion, but I have to say I did confidently expect that we would win that one by a margin of at least 5 goals. My son went. At quarter past three when we had been playing for all of 15 minutes I checked my phone to see as I did actually say to Reidski at the time, if we were five nil up yet. There were three texts from my son waiting to be read. The first one said 'Oh god - now it's 3.' It was only when I saw the other two texts that I could fully grasp the fact that it was 3 - 0 to Burton. I texted him back and said 'Please tell me you are joking.' He wasn't. He doesn't joke about anything that serious. We had conceded 3 goals in the space of the first ten minutes.

That obviously had to be an aberration. I went to the next game and I took Reidski with me. We both wished I hadn't. We were played off the park at home by Barnet whose wage bill is £500,000 less than ours is. There was not one single positive to take away from that performance except that it brought to a close Stuart Gray's time as our manager.

Saturday saw us under a caretaker manager taking on Notts County who have come into loads of money this season. A lively start saw us go 1-0 up. Hooray! although that elation was subsequently somewhat dampened by us then conceding 5 goals.

Suffice to say that the football team previously referred to as MY team still have quite a long way to go to reclaim their hold on my heart. Last season I won money on our relegation, and I am seriously considering placing a bet right now on us going down to the Conference at the end of this season because we are seriously poor right now.

* Obvious to everyone that is but our then manager.

It will be a relief to get back to talking about China after that little lot.


Yorkshire Pudding said...

Fairweather fan! To relish the good times you have to have kept faith with your team down in the mire. NTFC will rise again! Wonder who the new "permanent" manager will be? Northampton is a significant enough place to accommodate a Championship team. Look at Scunthorpe and Doncaster for example.

Gill said...

Please tell us more about China, I know it's proabably heresy but I don't get that excited about men kicking a pig's blader.

Martin said...

The very earliest form of the game for which there is scientific evidence was an exercise from a military manual dating back to the second and third centuries BC in China.

This Han Dynasty forebear of football was called Tsu' Chu and it consisted of kicking a leather ball filled with feathers and hair through an opening, measuring only 30-40cm in width, into a small net fixed onto long bamboo canes. According to one variation of this exercise, the player was not permitted to aim at his target unimpeded, but had to use his feet, chest, back and shoulders while trying to withstand the attacks of his opponents. Use of the hands was not permitted.

There you go Gill.

J.J said...

YP - that is oe of the things that has depressed me so much. When we went to Wembley in a play off final back in 1998 we took 40,000 supporters with us. We do have so much potential. And I get even more depressed when I see how MK Dons are doing just down the road.

Gill - my pleasure to return to the subject of China.

And thank you Martin! Well - the Chinese invented everything else so I guess we should have known they would have invented football too!