Friday 4 August 2023

Here We Go Again!

The departure of Sandgaard means a fresh start in so many ways and one will try to be optimistic. The great Dane has taken his banjo and accompanying ego arguably leaving the club in no better state than when he left.

The early signs were promising as we initially excused Thomas in indulging himself with the endless self-promotion. Increasingly it became obvious that he was clueless with his reluctance to accept advice from anyone outside of his immediate family.

Thankfully, his departure was accompanied by that of the good doctor and Sandgaard junior although one wonders how we can replace his extensive lower league and recruitment knowledge.

There’s still a lot to learn about the latest new owners but there are promising signs in that we haven’t been overly treated to the unrealistic and empty rhetoric that littered Sandgaard’s tenure.

Charlie clearly will be fronting up for them which is fine by me. I don’t necessarily need to hear direct from the owners. Back in the day you had little idea who owned football clubs and the same for the chairmen too.

All we want is success on the pitch allied to some decent football. Improving on performances won’t be too difficult. Hopefully, us fans can recapture a lot of the enthusiasm and anticipation that has been sadly in recent seasons.

The early transfer business was good most notably with the acquisition of Alfie May. A quality player at this level who is also a local lad. Aside from that, having played for The Deres makes him alright with me!

As much as we can hopefully look forward to some more much needed incoming transfers there is equally work to be done to rid ourselves of a few deadweights. Many of those have plenty of opportunity to prove their worth and have failed to do so.

The stupidity of starting the season whilst the transfer window is still open does no one any favours. We can only properly gauge where we are come the 1st September.

Sadly, we have said goodbye to Steve Gallen. I guess it was inevitable that he was going to leave and in any case, I think QPR had been courting him for some time. It won’t be a surprise if he ends up there.

Gallen pulled many rabbits out of the hat over the years whilst doing a difficult job given the restraints he was working under. As much as anything he was required to play the role of a diplomat and that was something he did with equal aplomb.

We couldn’t have wished for a better opening game than playing Orient. They are a proper football club and I was so pleased to see them get promoted last season. One of my mates is an O and he was chuffed with promotion after the difficult times they’ve been through.

One of my favourite memories is a rare Sunday game against them. I’ve checked and it was Sunday 25th October 1981. It finished in a 1-1 draw. To demonstrate how rare Sunday games were, I seem to recall that we were simply handed a team sheet. I guess they weren’t permitted to sell programmes.

The game featured the legendary Stan Bowles. He brought a touch of class to the game. I remember that he ran out late for the second half as everyone was made to wait for him…….and rightly so!

Talking of legends tomorrow sees the long-awaited return of Darren Pratley. Darren is a player who was fantastic for us and should never have been let go. His time at Orient has shown how big a mistake that was. He can look forward to a great reception from all round the ground.

Holden continues to impress me and one hope he will get the backing he needs. Last night’s Q&A only served to add to my admiration and respect for him. I really hope he succeeds.

I’ve been sufficiently moved by the pre-season developments to buy a season ticket. Let’s hope my unusual moment of optimism is not misplaced!

I am so looking forward to tomorrow, let’s hope the whole day meets my expectations!

Come on you Reds!

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