Unfortunately or fortunately for me, it depends which way you look at it, I missed half of our relegation season due to a much needed back operation.
Yes I have to admit with the relegation I did expect to hear that Sheridan had been relieved of his duties, but the board decided to back him, fair enough after all he did get us out of this division before and as champions.
Personally I don’t think he was given long enough, and Tommy was always going to be flogging a dead horse because of his close working relationship with Sheridan, even though I think under Tommy we did play a more attractive attacking brand of football
In the end the Board decided it was time for a change, not only in management but direction…..Paul Cook (I admit I said WHO?) was the chosen man, and we actually paid a fee (undisclosed I believe) for his services.
Accringtons loss was our gain for sure, we finally have a manager with the same passion, vision, desire and beliefs I have for my beloved Spireites, and he’s also a fans man, he regularly applauds the fans for their loyal support, I think he’s got traits of Clough and the passion of O’Neill instilled in him.
As for the playing staff, may as well start at number 1, Tommy Lee has signed his new contract, brilliant, outstanding, a player we certainly miss when he doesn’t play. If I was going to be cynical I would say his distribution sometimes let’s him down. The great signings carry on coming Liam Cooper, what a find he is, not sure how the board managed it but they have shown they are backing Cook in the transfer market, Jay O’shea could well turn out to be the perfect foil for the now fit Marc Richards, time will tell there.
I would love to have seen Atkinson sign for us permanently after a successful loan spell from Huddersfield, but also like Hunt he went back to his parent club a much better player.
A somewhat disappointing signing has to be Boa Morte, yes he had premiership pedigree and he still had the killer touch, but his overall input into a game seemed to be how long it would be before he got booked, constantly bickering at the refs.
Two of the best signings Cook made were already on the books, ie Whitaker and Randall. whatever Cook has done or said to the the pair it is certainly benefiting the Spireites right now, both look like new players under Cooks management.
Only downside to Randalls massive improvement is that my favourite player Craig Clay is at the minute only a bit part participant.
My hopes for this season now honestly are at least the play offs, promotion would be a big bonus, but having said that if we missed out on both but kept our young improving side together, would I take that yes, but I do believe the play offs are within are grasp.
In Cook or the COOKiemonster as I have christened him I trust implicitly, his signings have been good and his passion is a joy to behold.
Stu M (Stand Up).