THE SAM MORSHEAD COLUMN: Tr*nsf*r Emb*rgo

Adver chief sports writer Sam Morshead

Adver chief sports writer Sam Morshead

First published in Headlines

THERE are a handful of words that make me retch a little – moist, cubicle, pubic – parts of the English language I’d be happy to bury alive.

Now I can add to that ear-torturing list two new entries, two words that have performed a military-style coup on the day-to-day discussions in Swindon Town households over the past three weeks.

How I wish the phrase ‘transfer embargo’ would pack its bags and hot-foot it out of Wiltshire for good.

Yes, it’s hypocritical that I’m bringing it up yet again so all you pedants can rest easy, but it’s worth saying.

Whether it’s fans questioning how it happened in the first place, critics searching for someone to blame or Paolo Di Canio endlessly using it as an excuse/reason (delete as applicable) for a downturn in form, it’s fast becoming a constant irritation.

Like the avian dawn chorus on a hungover Sunday morning. If only someone would pull out the metaphorical 12-bore and shut the damn thing up.

To the best of my knowledge, the embargo came about through a series of misunderstandings and miscommunications.

There’s no one specifically to blame, so pointing fingers right now is a pretty futile exercise. The manager can publicly demand answers from the board for as long as he wants.

In my opinion, if the long-term sustainability of the club is risked by pumping in mindless equity then the powers-that-be are right to be wary and steadfast in their position.

Equally, when a budget has been exhausted, it cannot be expected that investors happily return to the ATM, punch in their pin and hand over wads of cash.

I agree with Di Canio that, in any normal club, in any normal season, a manager ought to be allowed the flexibility to bring in new faces to cover for a series of injuries to critical players.

I agree with Di Canio that not being able to sign a central midfielder, a utility defender and a striker will hamper the chances of Swindon making a run at the League One play-offs this term.

Blimey, I even agree with Di Canio when he says he did not act the spoiled child for several weeks after the embargo was lumped on the club.

But I don’t agree with going on record, in October, when you’re sitting seventh, to say permanent damage has been done to a team’s chances of making the top six.

While we have all grown to appreciate his honesty and passion, did no one else feel a bit let down by that comment?

Is it conceding defeat when the race has barely even started? Was it not like coming off the blocks a nanosecond late and throwing the baton to the ground in disgust?

Personally, I don’t expect promotion this season and I didn’t go into the campaign thinking a play-off spot was a foregone conclusion.

I predicted Town would finish sixth but I’m sure my judgment was slightly tilted by an 18-year association with the club and a good old-fashioned dollop of red-tinted bias.

So to see the team perform to the levels they have performed at times this term, and recording the results they have as a consequence, has been nothing short of sensational.

We haven’t had Championship football at the County Ground for 12 years. In the same period of time you could sail around the world 91-and-a-quarter times, watch Das Boot 21,467 times consecutively or fly to Neptune with a 12-month pit-stop on Mars. It’s a long old time.

So why kill a fanbase’s hopes of returning to the promised land before the Christmas lights have even been yanked from the back of the bedroom cupboard and dusted down?

Maybe it’s a distraction tactic. Maybe it’s deflecting negative press in an effort to shield the Robins squad. Maybe it’s a miscalculation.

Whatever it is, it’s deeply depressing.

CREDIT DUE TO ROSCO’S CHAMPIONS

THIS week’s column would not be complete without a hearty vote of congratulations to the Swindon Robins for ending 45 years of hurt with a brilliant aggregate victory over Poole Pirates in the Elite League grand final.

Speedway is full of characters and personalities, not least Alun Rossiter, the Robins boss who has turned the fortunes of our local club around in the 12 months since his return from Coventry.

In a difficult economic climate it is hard for non-mainstream sports to compete for audiences but there is a core of support up at Blunsdon that have received their just rewards for persevering throughout so many years without a trophy to cheer.

I’ve been told Rossiter and co-promoter Gary Patchett will be at Swindon Town’s Capital One Cup clash with Aston Villa on Tuesday night – let’s get the Elite League trophy down to the County Ground and onto the pitch and give them the recognition they deserve.

Two sets of champions from Swindon in the space of five short months! That must be some kind of record.

MAKING EMILE OF IT

SO, viewers of Australia’s A-League had the joy this week of tuning in to “Heskey Cam” when Newcastle Jets beat Melbourne Victory 2-1.

It’s a bizarre notion, watching intently for an hour-and-a-half as a past-it ex-star tries to recreate his former glories Down Under.

I didn’t get to see the programme, I opted to stare into space instead, but it sounds as though it ought to have been presented by Ant and Dec.

Comments (8)

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6:34am Sat 27 Oct 12

smirg kcab says...

perhaps if you packed your bags the two words would not be said as much
onwards and upwards
perhaps if you packed your bags the two words would not be said as much onwards and upwards smirg kcab
  • Score: 0

8:07am Sat 27 Oct 12

SAPFanSTFC says...

Prediction League Link (on next page along with results thread - being added soon):
http://www.thisisswi
ndontownfc.co.uk/new
s/10010705.PREDICTIO
NS_LEAGUE__Stevenage
_v_Swindon/
Prediction League Link (on next page along with results thread - being added soon): http://www.thisisswi ndontownfc.co.uk/new s/10010705.PREDICTIO NS_LEAGUE__Stevenage _v_Swindon/ SAPFanSTFC
  • Score: 0

9:29am Sat 27 Oct 12

wurzelday says...

Two words im getting fed up of seeing. . .. .sam moreshead!!! Granted he's trying, but he is trying too hard. Stop writing about the embargo, and write about todays match.
Two words im getting fed up of seeing. . .. .sam moreshead!!! Granted he's trying, but he is trying too hard. Stop writing about the embargo, and write about todays match. wurzelday
  • Score: 0

9:36am Sat 27 Oct 12

Another view says...

I agree with your comments, Sam. To outsiders it would seem strange that you describe events at the County Ground this season as both sensational and deeply depressing. But only a Swindon fan of the past couple of seasons would recognise that as our normal!
I agree with your comments, Sam. To outsiders it would seem strange that you describe events at the County Ground this season as both sensational and deeply depressing. But only a Swindon fan of the past couple of seasons would recognise that as our normal! Another view
  • Score: 0

9:41am Sat 27 Oct 12

thesixtyniner says...

I'd prefer a sports writer to a journalist to be honest. A journalist is only one step away from being a Hack. We're not looking for scandal or sensation. Please leave that to the national press who pick us and up and throw us down depending on what Di Canio says or does. We are fans. Lifelong fans. We like the facts. We like the football.
I'd prefer a sports writer to a journalist to be honest. A journalist is only one step away from being a Hack. We're not looking for scandal or sensation. Please leave that to the national press who pick us and up and throw us down depending on what Di Canio says or does. We are fans. Lifelong fans. We like the facts. We like the football. thesixtyniner
  • Score: 0

11:53am Sat 27 Oct 12

RobinRobin says...

Take no notice of the critics Sam. In my book you're doing a great job. Really making an effort. And if the Matchday Live format and mid-week question time were your ideas too then even more credit to you. You're trying to keep us informed and giving us plenty to talk about. Keep it up.
Take no notice of the critics Sam. In my book you're doing a great job. Really making an effort. And if the Matchday Live format and mid-week question time were your ideas too then even more credit to you. You're trying to keep us informed and giving us plenty to talk about. Keep it up. RobinRobin
  • Score: 0

11:56am Sat 27 Oct 12

RobinRobin says...

Forgot to add ... I do disagree over one thing though. I quite like the word pubic.
Forgot to add ... I do disagree over one thing though. I quite like the word pubic. RobinRobin
  • Score: 0

2:01pm Sat 27 Oct 12

London Red says...

I do think the adver (not just Sam) need to condense their articles
.
We get one interview spread out over 2 or 3 articles a day and over a 3 or 4 day period - which does make it become tiresome!
.
If this was condensed to one day and 1 or 2 longer articles it could have made it less of an issues as everything would be put in that one area
.
The adver could have then "filled the space" by doing other articles - for example Den found out via the FL how the wage cap worked - that would have been a very interesting article as it would answer lots of the questions asked
.
They could talk to players more and get a "view from within" style article
.
How is Williams doing? How is he feeling? etc
.
As for today's article the one thing I disagree with is Sam's comments that saying damage has been done while we are 7th
.
He has openly said he expected us to finish 6th but that was biased so really his expectations were top 10 - so being 7th is good
.
PdC however is aiming or 1st or 2nd - a view backed publically by Wray!!!
.
So 7th is NOT good in that situation - especially as we HAVE dropped at least 7 points over the last few games
.
That is the difference and this is where most of the disagreements are coming from - expectations
.
If Chairman said we are going for automatic - it is fair to expect us to gear ourselves up for that
.
Thus as the board COULD remove the embargo but haven't - you can see why PdC and some fans have questioned why not
.
He has simply asked do you want automatic promotion or not?
.
If so back me - not ridiculously - but with the amount I HAD in reserve to sign loanees to cover injuries to my key players
.
If not then say so and we can all adjust our expectations
.
If the goal is to "have a go" fine but say that
.
They could have said we have a big gap to close on the likes of Sheff U an MK so we will improve as much as we can and try to make the POs - reasonable and within th 3 year plan
.
Then if we don't make it we will be in a better position to make a real push for automatic next season as we will have less of a gap to close etc
.
We just need to hear from SWP or AB which route we are on and then PdC will either have to accept it or walk away if he thinks the "project" has changed
.
Either way it will remove the current situation and need to discuss the embargo all the time
I do think the adver (not just Sam) need to condense their articles . We get one interview spread out over 2 or 3 articles a day and over a 3 or 4 day period - which does make it become tiresome! . If this was condensed to one day and 1 or 2 longer articles it could have made it less of an issues as everything would be put in that one area . The adver could have then "filled the space" by doing other articles - for example Den found out via the FL how the wage cap worked - that would have been a very interesting article as it would answer lots of the questions asked . They could talk to players more and get a "view from within" style article . How is Williams doing? How is he feeling? etc . As for today's article the one thing I disagree with is Sam's comments that saying damage has been done while we are 7th . He has openly said he expected us to finish 6th but that was biased so really his expectations were top 10 - so being 7th is good . PdC however is aiming or 1st or 2nd - a view backed publically by Wray!!! . So 7th is NOT good in that situation - especially as we HAVE dropped at least 7 points over the last few games . That is the difference and this is where most of the disagreements are coming from - expectations . If Chairman said we are going for automatic - it is fair to expect us to gear ourselves up for that . Thus as the board COULD remove the embargo but haven't - you can see why PdC and some fans have questioned why not . He has simply asked do you want automatic promotion or not? . If so back me - not ridiculously - but with the amount I HAD in reserve to sign loanees to cover injuries to my key players . If not then say so and we can all adjust our expectations . If the goal is to "have a go" fine but say that . They could have said we have a big gap to close on the likes of Sheff U an MK so we will improve as much as we can and try to make the POs - reasonable and within th 3 year plan . Then if we don't make it we will be in a better position to make a real push for automatic next season as we will have less of a gap to close etc . We just need to hear from SWP or AB which route we are on and then PdC will either have to accept it or walk away if he thinks the "project" has changed . Either way it will remove the current situation and need to discuss the embargo all the time London Red
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

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