The Heckler’s very own Carnybull tells like it is!
Imagine sporadic sunshine darting across the architectural magnificence of Estadio Edgar, the Heckler’s self-styled football pundit – a creature without pity, sambuca or grace let alone VIP access – takes a jaundiced bleary-eyed squint at Hereford United’s precarious, yet tenacious, hold on league football. Lurking and slurping here in a bar [The Oxford? – Ed], one can only imagine delirious scenes at Morecambe as our battling heroes enjoy a lukewarm bath after a nervy but thoroughly positive 0-1 victory. Even I know that three priceless points in the relegation dogfight are the equivalent of a bumper harvest of organic carrots or apples or intangibles.
Manna – not from up above – but as a result of a collective effort to show the shameless Cocklers what human endeavour can cobble together with around six management gurus in charge of 11 players. Unbelievable that the combined talents of Messrs O’Kelly, Pitman, Peters, Sneekes and co have set the team back to winning ways after a winter of losses and painful score draws. One might have thought that this somewhat collective approach to management would lead to mediocre performances as players struggled to absorb contradictory instructions. Indeed, that is what seems to have occurred for much of the season with some coaches perhaps urging attacks by full backs whilst others insist on a straight back four. Either way, a plethora of goals conceded by the failure to master the offside trap.
The readership should in no way take Hereford United’s management as an object lesson in collectivism. Compromised tactics can prove a dangerous foe when facing determined opposition. However, bad habits die hard. Years ago, a bakers co-op in London folded not for lack of custom, but because all the members wanted a turn driving at the weekend. Jaunts to various festivals and a spate of accidents rendered the co-op’s delivery van uninsurable. Mortified by the loss of this perk, the co-op quickly folded.
Now the management set-up at Hereford United is never likely to embrace the ethos of a properly constituted, syndicalist co-op, but the danger signs are there. Are the players likely to respond best to dictats from a single manager or a succession of suggestions from all and sundry? Obviously, any rational anarchist (is there any other? Ah, ok hmm…) would hope that collectivism prevailed and everything is hunky-dory on the field of combat. We are entitled to our dreams because many of us have precious little else left after the ravages of a capitalist-induced banking crisis.
Which brings us back to a place for dreaming. And where better than in the newly-refurbished Starlite Rooms? One of the cheapest bars in the city and tastefully decorated with mementos from the great FA Cup victory over Newcastle United. The full range of Wye Valley beers and Stowford cider is a marvel to behold. What is more, you are likely to meet supporters, including the chairman, from all walks of life as they attempt to drink the club back to robust financial health.
With Robbie ‘Van’ Purdie taking over the captain’s armband and the team at last producing some goals, expectations are high that we will beat relegation, emerging strengthened to face the 2012-13 season. It is time for fans to swarm back to Estadio Edgar in droves to support the team. It is also time for the chairman to encourage them with cheap admission offers. We can take a leaf out of Bradford City FC’s book. When they recently entertained Hereford United home ticket prices were reduced to £1! A huge gate of over 17,000 resulted compared to our typical gate of just 2,000.