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Everything posted by ilkleyram

  1. On the contrary. First game, lost 4-1; second game, lost 2-0; third game, lost 1-0. He and the team are learning and we are doing better. Maybe we'll win the fourth game And maybe not, but it doesn't stop it from being an excellent season.
  2. Bit worrying when those fren humans start breaking into the team.
  3. Wouldn't be surprised to see that trophy and the team get a lap of honour before kick off on Saturday - just to get us a bit louder
  4. So, here we are again, another season proper done and dusted and we enter the lottery through which we may, or may not, prosper, if your definition of prosper is the premier league. You gotta be in it to win it. If we do go up then the comments Mel made at the last Fans Forum are important. He asked the question (and I paraphrase): ‘Do we gamble or not?’. Do we spend significant money on new players with the risk that we still go down and potentially, even with parachute payments, struggle on the pitch and financially. Or do we not? If we decide not then all sorts of other questions come into play: Do we keep some of the experienced out of contract players who might otherwise go, because they are experienced; can we realistically expect as many/any of the Academy players to come through into the EPL rather than the Championship; will our three loanees, each in their own way successes this year, decide to come back; can we get an even better class of loanee because we’re in the EPL. And fundamental to all those questions will be the thought, can we afford, in all senses of that word, an EPL season along the lines of our last one? Would that sort of a season in practice set us back even further than not going up at all? Or do we try to find somewhere between the two? But that’s for the future, and I would still be surprised if we did go up, but what an excellent season it has been. Some fantastic, memorable, individual matches - Old Trafford, Chelsea, Southampton home and away, Middlesbrough away first half especially, Bristol City away, QPR at home (and well done referee for being alone amongst your colleagues in tackling time wasting), Rotherham destroyed, the unexpected FA Cup romance and exceptional friendliness of Accrington; some less memorable performances both home and away - Blackburn, Leeds, Villa, Reddogs and Bolton low amongst them - and points dropped that could easily have made the end less nerve wracking than it was. And individuals and individual goals. Tomori, Keogh, the Masons and Harry; Roos and Bogle; Bradley falling out of favour and coming back in to good effect. All of the squad showing a character and belief that perhaps we didn’t believe existed. And not one single public moan from those not playing or not in the squad. And well done to Darren Wassell’s Academy too. But through it all Frank. And Jody and Chris and Shay. Between them all not only have they changed the style of play to something more positive and better to watch but they’ve changed the whole atmosphere around the club. I really hesitate to compare his impact to that of Sir Brian but it’s very similar in a couple of significant areas apart from the fact that they both understood and managed the media extremely well. When he first arrived Brian wasn’t happy with the club’s and players’ level of ambition - ‘how can you be a happy club when you’ve won nothing for years’ was the gist of it. And, secondly, he demanded hard work as an absolute minimum, whoever you were. We look stronger, fitter and more committed and unified this season than we have for many years and Frank has felt confident enough to refer to and call out a less than positive approach from some behind the scenes. They will know who they are even if we don’t. It took Brian one and a half seasons to find success with his revolution. Whichever division we’re in next year perhaps Frank and his team and our club are on their way.
  5. Just woke up. Haven't given him a thought all night. Slept well.
  6. It's Frank, not Harry. That's his uncle. Pfft
  7. You getting excited b4? Me too.
  8. Don't forget to pack your big balls. Christmas wouldn't be the same without them.
  9. What if someone born male, with all the relevant bits and hormones, identifies as a woman aged 15 and then lives a full life as a woman but happens to be a brilliant athlete? Might that potentially be unfair to those born as female and continuing to be female if they were allowed to enter 'women's events'? The IAAF are right to start to address the problem however difficult it may be for the sport and the individuals involved, and to try to lay down some kind of rules to apply. There has to be some kind of external measure however imperfect it may be in covering every eventuality just as they tried to do with the blade runner.
  10. ilkleyram

    Forum Issues

    I like the blue. And I can't afford another computer after renewing two season tickets
  11. ilkleyram

    Forum Issues

    Have we gone blue again?
  12. ilkleyram


    Perhaps if it were any other organisation that hadn't paid its workers for a couple of months that we would be telling them to down tools until they got paid, that their contracts had been breached so they would be entitled to walk away. So why is football any different? Possibly it's because of the emotions involved, the history (and in Bolton's case a significant history), the links with the community and the impact on the locality which make any football club different from Woolworths, any bank brand or Debenhams branch, and many others recently. Or maybe not. But at a time when football is so pompously proud to refer to itself as a 'family' at a time of the slightest crisis, the amount of money in the game generally and the amount of practical help available is in inverse proportions. You can hear the EFL great and good: 'don't like that chap Anderson and that Bassini fellow's a bit fishy. Can't be having him. What's that you say, players going on strike? Tell 'em we'll throw them out of the league.' Very helpful. I wonder how much the PFA's annual bash cost at the weekend and whether there were any collections amongst the myriad millionaires on show to help the Bolton players pay their mortgages. Have Sky helped, or BT sport or the clubs in the top 5 wealthiest clubs in the world within 20 miles of the Macron? Nope, thought not. Football generally is in a complete financial mess, from Fifa downwards and upwards, practically and morally. And we're only Mel Morris away from being in a similar position to Bolton unless we can get our finances under better control in the next couple of years (and in days of yore Stuart Webb, Maxwell (however dodgy that might have been in reality), Lionel or the Americans). Maybe it needs a Bolton to go out of business for the message to hit home but somehow you think not. The gravy train has long since left the station, everyone's in first class or trying to be and no one can afford it.
  13. Does Patrick MacNee still play Steed?
  14. One of the (few) downsides of living in this part of the world is the travelling back from the more southerly away days. You get to junction 25 driving north, blow a kiss westwards and two fingers east and then realise you have another 90 minutes before you get home. When the performance is lacking or unlucky it can feel longer than it is. Not tonight it didn't. There are away days and then there are memorable away days and this was one of the best. Drama, good performances all round, loud and supportive fans, good goals, connection between manager, players and fans and, above all, the result. In truth we were under siege for much of the first hour but apart from Waghorn's clearance off the line and a bar the defence was largely in control. Kelle's handling assured, Keogh fantastic and Evans a revelation. Wherever that performance came from I hope he can bottle it. We will have a player there if he can. Good performances though ran throughout. The work Mason Mount got through was prodigious; the energy, commitment and skill Bogle showed in scoring his goal was superb (and Mason Bennett played a big part too); both the Toms contributed positively and L could/should have had two (and Brad another). If the sending off altered the game then it only really did so for the last 15 minutes when we went 2 up. In the period immediately after the dismissal it was hard to know which side had 10 men. Over the last few years the desire and commitment - bottle - of our team has been questioned at times. Not today it wasn't. If I floated home from junction 25 tonight it was nothing to do with a rainy M1 and everything to do with a performance, match, result and day that will live long in the memory. Whether we get into the playoffs or not.
  15. You sure stuffed that sage eddie. You know your onions.
  16. We could use that bridge over the A52
  17. It was fantastic for me all the way through - good studio conversation with Barker and Edworthy, mostly good camera work, good commentary and punditry from Shane and didn't refresh once all the way through. 9/10.
  18. If you moved that knee and the bike we might be able to see it
  19. I really agree with you about the Ajax/Derby model and it looks - from my Rams TV view of the 23s and 18s - that we have some good potential coming through. We're all experienced enough to know that potential doesn't always turn into reality but that's part of the fun of being a fan. I understand the point you're making about the Forum and the ground sale, but the news came out so soon afterwards (I think within 24 hours but it may have been slightly longer) that it can't have been waiting for any external approval. And it is/was an important piece of news - 'look guys, we've had real difficulty in meeting P and S because of our wage bill so we've done this because we can't get the wage bill down quickly enough and didn't want to go into embargo. This is another example of Mel investing heavily in the club'. It might have raised some difficult questions in the forum but they're all skilled enough operators to deal with that. I just think it was an opportunity missed.
  20. The good news is that you can get promoted even in a transitional season - Jim's team did. We're not out of it for this season yet, and if we go up then the transitional season becomes completely different. In some ways every year is a transitional season because things change, players and/or managers, but it just feels that 19/20 will be significant - loanees gone, experienced players not renewed/sold, young players allowed to come through, new loanees, smaller squad - and the scale of change much larger than it was at the beginning of 18/19
  21. I've no idea why Boro and co are unhappy - they wouldn't complain if we had sold players and made ourselves weaker and players are just as much assests as the ground and the training ground. I suspect that they are either bothered about the amount paid or that we had the ability to do so to get us out of a financial hole. Because this is where you and I completely agree. I think Mel should have announced it at the last Forum. It's big news. But we now know why they were able to say confidently that we would be within P and S guidelines so early. And we also agree about financial discipline - and so do Mel and Pearce, which is why Mel referred at the Forum to having made mistakes and why they made a big deal about the cost of those players who hadn't contributed. Any business that spends more than its income on wages alone is not being managed well. Mel has been guilty of supporting a succession of managers and thinking like a fan - laudable in many ways but unsustainable. I suspect that Stephen Pearce has had some behind the scenes influence over time. It's why I hate with a passion the likes of Ramage and his 'go on Mel look down the back of the settee and find the money for a centre half'. We've been making that gamble for several seasons and he is too stupid to realise it. The good news is that we appear to have a manager who knows and accepts what the situation is, that we have over this season and next the opportunity to move on/not renew the contracts of a number of the high earners that will give us some financial control back, that selling the ground gives us some (not much) financial room to manoeuvre (but we can only do that once) and that we appear to have a couple of younger players coming through who might be able to fill some of the gaps. We (the fans) have also helped by renewing season tickets in greater numbers. But. In my view this season (18/19) is not the transitional season on the pitch. It's next season (19/20). If we are able to buy/free transfer/loan well, if we have luck with injuries and form, if the young players match their promise (like Bogle has done) and if we have some luck then we could be OK. But there are a lot of ifs in that sentence and a lot of strong and financially strong clubs to compete with. Should be fun.
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