Whilst relegation remains a problem for Labour United, their main rivals for the big prize, Conservative City, are not having the easiest of seasons either. Manager May, a surprise choice for leader after a period of almost complete inactivity in the pre-season preparations, which led to her predecessor`s resignation, is coming under fire for her team`s lacklustre performances. "Submarine May" is again going down, this time into the lower reaches of the league of premiers!
Her managership has led to a dramatic change in tactics, with the formation now favouring a three-pronged attack on the right-wing, and too few offensives down the centre to worry the opposition. In fact, the three attackers are definitely more anti-strikers than "false number 9s", too right-wing focused to be concerned about attacks from the centre. One of the three, Davis, has a reputation for only putting in short shifts, whilst the strangely popular Johnson hits the news more for his off-the-ball behaviour than his skills in the opposition half.
Johnson was May`s surprise selection, especially as his post-match gaffes tend to outnumber even his missed goal opportunities. Shooting on sight appears his modus operandi, whilst team mates would prefer a more considered approach. "Blond bombshell Boris", as Johnson is often described, is one of the many multi-millionaires in the team; he actually described the quarter of a million a year he earned for putting his opinions in a newspaper as "chickenfeed". Remarkably still too popular to drop from the team at the moment, but how long manager May tolerates a player, whose hobby is the past, and whose so-called "history" books are described by experts as "more Monty Python than history", is anyone`s guess. Johnson could soon be history, himself, if any more of his shots hit his foot rather than the target!
The third anti-striker is renowned for wanting the "right result", and for not doing enough to achieve it. Considered the team expert on defence for a short while, Fox`s career seemed to have ended when it was discovered he had smuggled a close friend on to the team bus! Fans love a "fox in the box", but this Fox`s contribution has been minimal, and he might well be spending more time on Conservative`s backbench.
Manager May`s other bombshell was to announce what could be the end of City`s academy system. Rather than grooming the best talent in academies, as has been the common practice in recent years, May is going for selection at eleven, and hoping to see talent develop from there. This caused a huge outcry when announced, even amongst Conservative City`s traditional supporters. What`s wrong with the present system, they asked. What about those whose talents blossom later? Some, admittedly not City`s normal fans, even had the audacity to ask what was wrong with giving everyone the same opportunity!
Where the coaching would take place for those not selected was a question frequently asked, and not only by City`s Calvinist fans. Even more wanted to know about who would be doing the coaching!
With the team out of Europe, and a probable reduction in the number of foreign players and coaches eligible to ply their trades in this country on the imminent horizon, has May made a mistake? Indeed, many supporters are worried that her plans are muddled over Europe, and beginning to wish she had taken Europe more seriously earlier in the season.
May`s refusal to spend, to prop up the team`s ailing performance, when money is clearly not a problem, judging by her profligacy regarding the team`s sponsors, is only one of many problems. She clearly is spending too much on the defence, at the expense of all other positions, and too strict on freedom of movement, to the dismay of some supporters.
Her preference for rhetoric rather than action is another; "talking a good game" is something most managers do, but most actually attempt to transfer words into deeds, especially as this is one "transfer" which requires no agent`s fees! With some backroom staff leaving, clearly confused by the manager`s methods, and lack of clarity and transparency, the number of resignations might well snowball. Chairman Murdoch may have given his approval for now, but such assent is often the kiss-of-death; with Johnson waiting on the right wing, May needs to watch her back four as well.
The forthcoming contest at Copeland will undoubtedly be worrying for her opposition, but it could well result in Mayhem for Conservative City! We can but hope!