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He'll sail this ship alone

HMS Piss The League has not righted herself, and remains well off course. I hope the captain knows what he's doing.

The performance at Gateshead…. wasn’t terrible. It was definitely an improvement on the Solihull Moors game, but that’s setting the bar on the ocean floor. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one whose heart sank when they saw the starting line-up, thinking that Norwood was playing up front on his own, but it became clear pretty quickly that we were playing 4-3-3 and we were reasonably attacking.

All four goals were pretty soft goals, and we certainly can’t complain about not having the rub of the green when their keeper threw the ball in the net twice. Their second goal was hugely disappointing, not least because Will Sutton was visibly struggling with cramp and should have been subbed. Lots of us have criticised Unsworth for being too defensive, but if you’re 2-1 up away from home and one of your defenders can’t run, you don’t bring a striker on and leave your immobile right back on the pitch. It was, yet again, a failure to react to how the game was going.

The sending off was fucking infuriating. I thought Shelton was unlucky to get a second yellow – it really didn’t look that bad a challenge to me – but maybe if your first yellow was for being a brainless dickhead and kicking the ball away, five days after one of your team mates did the exact same fucking thing and went on to get sent off, you make your own bad luck. How the fuck has that happened two games running? And yes, Dave, we have got the worst disciplinary record in the division. Everyone’s picking up more bookings because of the new guidance, but we’re picking up more than anyone else. Sort it out.

The star of the show, perhaps predictably, was Frank and his boat. As I’m sure you’re aware, Frank is rowing the Atlantic solo again in December to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research. At the age of 73. If you didn’t know he was 73, you would have after seeing his boat that was parked behind one of the goals for the duration of the Gateshead game, because it’s got ‘Frank is 73 years old’ painted on it.

His interview before the game was typically brilliant, with him interrupting the presenter at one point saying “excuse me, I’m going to interrupt you, because I’m showing you the portable bathroom I’ve got” and showing the watching international TV audience his piss bucket. God speed, Frank.

The other exciting ‘WTF has Frank been up to now’ news this week was the release of the trailer for Oldham Through and Through. We’ve been crying out for someone to do a Netflix special on the club for years, and it looks like someone now has. I know nothing about the project, I don’t know whether it’s going to be a one off documentary or a series or whatever. I believe everyone’s favourite podcast presenters were interviewed for it and probably know more about it than they’re letting on, so maybe call the Phone In this week and interrogate them about it. It looks like Frank is suitably batshit in it, whatever it is. Move over, Deadwood Bloke, there’s a new star in town.

Suzanne Geldard reported on Tuesday that we’re looking to sign more players in a bid to turn our fortunes around, with some players expected to leave to make way for them. I’m not at all convinced that it’s the players who are the problem. I’m still sure that most managers in our division would love to have our squad. I certainly don’t think that Ben Tollitt, who’s rumoured to be on his way out, is the problem. How the hell has he gone from playing so well and scoring a belter against Aldershot and Unsworth telling us “He’s a cracking lad, if he came home with your daughter you’d be delighted”, to not making the matchday squad the last three games, especially when Green isn’t fully fit? I don’t get it.

Surely we've got to beat Dorking today. We probably will, cos I won't be there. Family stuff, not boycotting, I promise. We've been told that we're due to give someone a hiding. It would be nice if that was today, and if it turned out to not be a blip. Prove us wrong, Dave. KTMFF.

Written by Arlene Finnigan. Photos by Thomas Lee Stacey.

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