Saturday, 29 August 2009

Tranmere Awayday.

I seem to be returning to a common theme this week.

I've never been to Prenton Park, home of Tranmere Rovers. The nearest I've ever been are Goodison Park and Anfield.

Despite this lack of personal experience, through secondary sources, I kid myself I 'know' the area intimately.
I can describe the 'Woody', (Woodchurch Estate) and Ford, (Ford Estate), while never having set foot within 5 miles of the places.

This is all down to the cracking read by Kevin Sampson called 'Awaydays'.

I can't imagine the suits at Tranmere are very impressed with the depiction of their club in the novel.

Tranmere Rovers seem to be a friendly, family club in reality.

The book is set at the end of the 1970's /early 1980's, during the dawning of the 'football casual' era.
On first inspection, it looks like your typical hoolie lit, focusing on the Rovers hooligan element, 'The Pack', and their meetings with other firms around the third division.
Dig a little deeper and it becomes a sharp tale of a deprived area with unemployment, drugs, street fashion, clubs and cutting edge music. The central character is searching for somewhere to belong and his football mates give him a sense of purpose after the death of his mother.

All this gives me no insight whatsoever for todays game.

One of the classiest players ever to wear the Charlton shirt, John Barnes, is now at the helm, managing Tranmere. He has former shampoo salesman Jason McAteer as his number two.
Barnes was a stylish stroker of the ball and I imagine he would want his players to play in a similar fashion.
Swansea City managed to play their way out of the third tier so perhaps 'Digger' will perform a matching final placing for Rovers.
I'm not at all certain Barnes is really cut out for management but surely, just by being at the top end of football for so long, he must have picked up some tips on how to go about the job.

For about 5 minutes, (actually it was about 1 and a half), I did consider traipsing up to the North West today but with train and road chaos predicted, I'm still sitting here in South East London only an hour before kick off.

An unchanged side is hoped for and I'm going for a tense 2-1 away victory to maintain our perfect record start to the season.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Happy days.