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Disappointed, once more

Well, we’ve given him a chance. We’ve given him time. We’ve given him a shitload of money. But I think my patience is running out.

I don’t care that Boreham Wood were in the play offs last season. They didn’t sign a League One striker on (reportedly) £5k a week plus bonuses in the summer. We did. And we’re Oldham fucking Athletic, and I refuse to be “absolutely delighted” with a clean sheet and a point at Boreham fucking Wood. I don’t give a shit if that makes me arrogant and entitled. We’ve put up with utter shite for decades, we fought to get rid of a regime that was killing our club, we ARE entitled to expect better now that we’re lucky enough to have attracted owners who have spent millions giving us the best chance possible to get back into the Football League.

It was great to have Devarn Green (who I still think is arguably the best winger in the division) back last Saturday, but given that “He was only ever gonna play 60, 65 minutes because of his injury”, why didn’t we have a winger on the bench to come on for the last half an hour? Did anyone other than David Unsworth really think that bringing on Gardner and moving Shelton out wide was a better option than bringing on Tollitt? Why wasn’t Tollitt – who travelled with the squad – on the bench? We “need to be more clinical”. So why aren’t we? There isn’t a single manager in the National League who doesn’t envy the options we’ve got up front.

As the saying goes, if you win all your home games and draw all your away games, you win the league. We were already far from doing either, but if we’d beat Solihull Moors on Monday, there’d be an argument for saying 4 points from the 2 bank holiday weekend games was a decent return. Unfortunately, we all know how that went.

It wasn’t Unsworth’s fault that Fondop got a stupid booking almost immediately for kicking the ball away. But everyone knows he can be a bit of a mad bastard, and everyone in the ground was waiting for him to do something daft and pick up a second yellow. Why couldn’t Unsworth see that he was a walking red card? Most people in the ground would have subbed him. And yes, you can sub someone in the first half if they get booked in the first minute.

Yes, we could easily have been 2-0 up before Fondop got sent off. “We still created opportunities….” – down a shot – “…. against a good footballing side” – down another shot. “We’ve got to be more clinical” – shot. “We’re playing against the referee again… I’m sick of talking about them.” Thank fuck for that because I’m sick of hearing about them. Yes, the referee was awful on Monday, again, but how come the awful refereeing always goes in the other team’s favour? Why aren’t we learning to be shithouses like every other team seems to manage? And the referee was not the reason we lost the game. Neither was the fact that we played 2 games in 3 days. So did the rest of the National League, and our squad is better than most. Or at least it should be.

We’re nearly a year into the ‘journey’ with Unsworth, and I’m losing hope that it’s taking us where we should be. Having been generously backed in the summer, in terms of both facilities and players, we’ve won 1 game in 6. We’re only out of the relegation places because of Southend’s points deduction. The performance in the opening game at Southend was woefully, unacceptably shit, and the losses at home against Halifax and Solihull have done nothing to suggest that Southend was a freak result or a one-off. It was one thing for the euphoria of the takeover last year to be dampened down by what was always going to be a turbulent season of transition, but seeing the optimism of this summer be emphatically pissed all over before the end of August is so disheartening. We ARE entitled to expect better than this. The Rothwells are entitled to expect a better return on their investment.

I’ve been patient. I’ve been zen. But this isn’t good enough, and there are definitely managers out there who would do a better job with this squad. Today has to be make or break for Unsworth, surely. I’m trying my best to KTMFF but fucking hell they’re making it difficult.


Written by Arlene Finnigan. Photo by Phill Smith.

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He needs to wise up and quickly. You get what you deserve. I’ve backed and defended him but he (and the players) need to start helping themselves!

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