Christian Eriksen – the importance of CPR and a defib.

Cristian Eriksen’s Cardiac Arrest has placed everything into perspective and it is about time that the education system teaches you how to put CPR and a defibrillator into effective use.

On Saturday afternoon like many others I was excitedly watching Denmark v Finland waiting for that moment where someone scores their nation’s tournament opener. However, everything was soon put into perspective when one of the most distressing moments on a pitch lay before the eyes of millions across televisions worldwide as well as those who were at the game and put all rivalries aside to save a man’s life. To start this article off, I want to send my thoughts out to anyone who has ever saved a life through understanding how to perform CPR as well as wishing Christian Eriksen all the best as he recovers from the incidents in Copenhagen.

Just before half time in Finland’s first ever tournament outing, Inter Milan forward and arguable Spurs legend Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest and was greeted with a tremendous medical team who ran on the field to offer their services using a defib as his teammates either stood around him in an emotional manner, it has been argued that this was done to offer the 29-year-old privacy, regardless it’s one of the most recognised pictures in world football this year. Simon Kjaer and Kasper Schmeichel looked after Christian’s wife, Sabrina and the rest of the stadium stood lost for words. 

Honestly, I’ve watched many games of football in my life and it is a sport that I devote myself towards. I’ve seen injuries, broken legs etc yet nothing has taken me back as far as seeing a footballing magician receiving CPR in the middle of the game after taking a tumble in the aftermath of a throw-in. It made me emotional yet it also struck home the importance of life itself and what/who you should spend most of your time with. This is a footballing moment that transcends so many subjects and it is one that’s made me think of what the education system should be teaching and how vital pieces of equipment like a defib machine is. 

Since so many have seen and heard about what happened, tributes flew in as they should. However, another side that was put on show was how often situations like this occur without the usage and accessibility to instant first aiders. I’ve heard stories of men dropping on a football pitch during a game in Sunday League and as the stories entered my mind the evidence grew that this could truly happen to anyone, even the most athletic and youngest human/animal you could think of.

Cardiac arrest, which Christian suffered, is described as ‘a sudden, sometimes temporary, cessation of the heart’s functioning’. The cause? An extreme slowing of the heart’s rhythm (bradycardia) and exercise can be a trigger for sudden instances in individuals with an abnormal heart condition. There are other reasons for why these tragic circumstances may occur and there are other heart issues that are evident in other cases. However, it would only be fair and just in explaining how you can help someone who is suffering whilst you are present as I place research into why some technologies and equipment are vital and more than helpful.

As advised by the American Heart Association you should check for the person’s response once you have ensured that the scene is safe. You should then shout for help if you believe that something has occurred by calling 911 and asking for the urgent use of a defib if one is accessible. A defib can be shortened to an AED, if you’re ever confused as time is critical! Once you have pleaded for help you should then check for breath or gasps, as if they are only gasping then it is vital that you start the process of CPR before using the AED for help until the patient starts to breathe or move or until someone with more qualifications arrives at the scene.

I’m going to provide links which answer any questions that you may have below as you may have never been in this situation and it is vital that you know what to do to help out!

How do I do CPR? 

https://www.bhf.org.uk/how-you-can-help/how-to-save-a-life/how-to-do-cpr

How to use a defibrillator effectively?

https://www.bhf.org.uk/how-you-can-help/how-to-save-a-life/defibrillators/how-to-use-a-defibrillator

How do I reduce the chances of suffering a cardiac arrest?

https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/sudden-cardiac-arrest

CPR Facts and Stats:

https://ahainstructornetwork.americanheart.org/AHAECC/CPRAndECC/AboutCPRECC/CPRFactsAndStats/UCM_475748_CPR-Facts-and-Stats.jsp

Christian Eriksen’s current state.

As reported by BBC Football, Christian Eriksen’s doctor stated ‘He was gone. We did cardiac resuscitation, it was a cardiac arrest. We got him back after one defib which is relatively fast. The examinations that we have done so far look fine thus we have no understanding of why it may have happened’. 

The Denmark FA soon commented ‘His condition is stable and he continues to be hospitalised for further examinations. He sent his greetings to his team mates this morning. The team and staff have received crisis assistance and will continue to be there for each other following yesterday’s incident. He’s in great spirits and has told others that he feels ready to go to training!’.

One of the most recognised footballing pictures this year, as the footballing magician’s Denmark teammates stand full of emotion near to the area where he was receiving CPR with the usage of a defibrillator.

Neal @Notts.

Neal Ardley – My time at Notts County

Neal Ardley is a man that has experienced it all, or quite a bit. Recognising his talent from a child and his father bring his greatest source of inspiration, motivation and support to playing with the Crazy Gang at Wimbledon before managing the club in a period where they achieved promotion up to the heights of League One. He was appointed Notts County gaffer in November 2018 and noticed how great the challenge ahead would be after a few weeks on the training ground, now that his former employers have reached the National League Play-off Semis I translated his interview with myself for @DDLMPod into words. 

You were appointed County manager when it seemed like the club were experiencing a negative spiral of events on and off the pitch. However, do you have any regrets about your first season and how did you look at the transfer window in terms of what was needed and how you were going to achieve those goals?

I’ve got loads of regrets about the first few months, obviously the main regret was that it culminated in relegation. As manager, although I only had a few months in charge of the 2018/19 campaign, you have to take responsibility for what’s happened. 

Before I came in I looked at the squad on paper and it seemed like a good group of lads to turn around the forms of and manage but after a few weeks on the training ground their flaws became apparent. 

As I came in just before the January transfer window, I had some games where I could see what we needed and see who or who weren’t up for the challenge ahead. Our greatest problem was that we had a lot of unfit and overpaid players. I’d say that some of them were there for the money and their relationship with the fans had become quite poisonous, rightly so. 

Before each and every game I’d make a point of being highly positive and making sure my coaching staff were too but some of the players looked like they didn’t want to play, you could see it in their faces as they were so used to failure. 

When I was looking at the transfer window, we were told that we would only be able to operate on a cost effective basis and when you look at the work that we did do the club were about a thousand pound better off due to our strategy. However, attracting players was a problem as you could see it wasn’t a happy club which certainly wasn’t helped by the owner doing something on Twitter which caused a bit of a stir so I had to use all of the contacts that I had. 

I think we ended up doing well to bring in the likes of Michael Doyle and Craig Mackail-Smith but elsewhere we had to go quite young which maybe meant we were lacking experience and professionalism in some areas of the pitch. It was sad that a high turnaround of players was needed though, especially in January.

You needed to change around a mentality with a fairly new group of players in a very short space of time.

The mentality around the camp was something that needed changing. 

However, we thought if we ‘littered’ the team with new faces that the fans would be able to get behind them a little bit more and in turn change the atmosphere around the club as they hadn’t been here when the club was sinking. I think we did well to take it to the final day, especially when Macclesfield had put together a good patch of form. However, I do believe that although I take full responsibility for it .. Notts deserved to go down.

Could you tell pretty soon on the size of the challenge in hand?

Yeah. It was harder than I probably thought it was going to be when I originally took on the job.

In the summer that Notts were relegated there was a change in ownership as Chris and Alex Reedtz took over. Did you see positive behaviours in the way they operated on and off pitch matters during their time working with you and how important is a successful manager and owner relationship in football?

They were a massive breath of fresh air as the atmosphere around the club was horrendous. They came in during a whirlwind few months and had never been involved with a football club before. 

We ‘rushed’ them and got on their case to sign a few players as we were lacking in depth and quality. Some of the men that we did recruit were struggling for match fitness and they came in quite late in terms of the campaign’s starting date and the pre-season plans that we had in place. 

We were well behind but they both came in with a fantastic and strong mindframe and had a ‘lets do it’ attitude to things. Invariably we were always going to start slowly but we managed to make it to a Play off final which was a pretty remarkable achievement considering the shape of the club going into the campaign. 

They were incredibly supportive owners and played a big part in any of our successes. 

Although you’re not at the club anymore, do you think they’re the correct men to take County back into the Football League?

Yeah, they’re brilliant. They’re calm, not too emotional about results, have an unbelievable demeanor and undertake their roles with plenty of data and analysis. 

I think they’ll get it right, obviously and understandably I’m disappointed that I’m not there still but yeah I do think they’ll be successful. I hope they are. 

Your first and sole full campaign was disrupted by the COVID outbreak, the period of time where training and matches couldn’t take place without punishment and supporters not being allowed into stadiums when the games were being played again. What was it like to not have fans cheering on their beloved team and do you think that you maybe could’ve coped a slight bit better in the final and the surrounding time to achieve promotion?

As a coach and a manager I don’t think that I could’ve done much more as we got the preparation spot on. 

I think, on the day of the final, too many of the players froze. From my perspective, that was very frustrating. 

You could argue that I got things tactically wrong etc but I don’t think that was the case as had the players performed how they had trained all week then we would’ve given ourselves a much better chance of winning the game. It’s what pressure finals do to you, though and that’s why strange results happen sometimes.

I feel like I posed the question in a way which sounded like I was asking if you could’ve done much more on a personal note. However, I was wondering if the team would have adapted to a time of COVID protocols etc much better as it may have been much easier if fans were in the stadium.

I feel like if the season hadn’t been cut short due to the Pandemic that it would’ve been different as I felt we were on a roll of successful results and positivity. We’d just beat Barrow who had just lost their main striker, I’m not saying that they would’ve fallen but it felt like we would’ve been able to give them much better competition for the top spot.

However, it wasn’t to be.

I feel that if you’d have asked fans to give their thoughts on things at the start of the season then they would’ve just been happy to have a club. Thus, to go one game away from automatic promotion when only one club has managed to bounce back straight away following a relegation from the Football League in 17 years was pretty remarkable.

It was quite a lengthy stop of time wasn’t it between the postponement of the season and the final.

Yeah, it was. March to August. 

This does add another dimension to my team selection for the game at Wembley as I know there would’ve been frustrations and confusions at who I had started. However, players came back from the lockdown as either a shadow of themselves or as a brighter and happier man and I could see that. 

There were also a few who had let themselves down as they came back in a real bad mental and physical state, I won’t name them.

I wanted to touch on one player in particular as I watched some games whilst you were manager and he caught my eye. Enzio Boldeiwjn. What was he like as a player and as a man?

Yeah, he’s a talented boy and a bright head-smart man. 

Some may argue, as they do about many wingers in the lower divisions, that he could be lazy and doesn’t get into games as much as you’d want him to. However, he is your typical winger and provides a great spark when you pass him the ball. 

He can make things happen, he can tear defenders apart. He’s a great character, someone who I’ve really enjoyed working with and he’s done well with the club since his arrival a few years ago.

It was announced in March, after somewhat of a mixed campaign, that you would be leaving the club. Although it’s still a relatively raw subject, what were your thoughts on your dismissal and what are your current thoughts about County as a club?

Obviously, I’m going to have to be slightly wary of what I say here. I’m naturally disappointed as I thought I should’ve been given until the summer at least before any such decision was made as I aimed to reach the targets that we’d set. We’d lost a bit of confidence. We’d lost Callum Roberts and Wes Thomas, the latter due to COVID and we’d lost Chris Dennis in the previous summer. I was trying to navigate ourselves through the course of the campaign with a different team, a team that lacked a great source of goals and a team that lacked some of the great characters that I’d previously worked with at Notts. We were having to dig in to get the results, scrapping and battling to hang in there knowing that once we got into the Play Offs that it’s anyone’s game. I was disappointed that a chance of reaching promotion was taken away from me and I thought we maybe could’ve done more to get a higher level of quality across the team. Moving on to pastures new, they’ve appointed a new manager and they’ll see what he’s capable of doing this season before working with him across the course of the summer window. 

‘There are a lot of the people at the club who I care about deeply, thus I want to wish them the best of success and I do hope that they go up’.

Neal Ardley.

Notts County manager between 2018 and 2021.

You can hear the podcast in full via @DDLMPod on Twitter!

Taking a look at England’s final warm up game before Euro ‘2020’.

Taking a look at England v Romania.

The Three Lions’ last warm up game before Euro ‘2020’ commences is against Romania at Middlesborough’s Riverside Stadium on Sunday afternoon. It will be Southgate’s last chance to try and test out some of the players who he is unsure of starting whilst his mind gets to work on picturing who will play against Croatia in England’s opening game of the tournament, a game which will probably pose more questions than the others due to the opposition’s quality. Thus, I wanted to investigate in further detail the Romania national side including the country itself and the players who could play on the weekend for England as returning players improve on their match fitness. 

The two nations first came head to head in the summer of 1939, a few months before the start of World War Two and England who were then managed by the International Select Committee would run out 2-0 winners on foreign soil. This game would soon be sparked in rivalry as Romania would provide equipment and oil to Nazi Germany. However, it would be only fair to comment on pitch matters as Romania have defeated England on all important pitch meetings such as the 1980 World Cup Qualifier in which Valentin Stanescu’s men won 2-1. The most recent meeting between the two countries came in the Euros of 2000, another game which proved that The Land Of The Dracula had a team that would fight for each other in order to beat good opposition.

You may be quite interested in hearing why Romania is called the Land of The Dracula. The nickname stems from Vlad Dracul’s father and himself, both obtaining the name Dracula after gaining the Order of the Dragon membership. In the beginning, Vlad’s nickname which was ‘The Impaler’ came from the merchants of the city of Brasov which found him very harsh and severe and spread his nickname as far as the German lands. Further emphasising that relationship between Romania and Germany.

You could look at England’s opposition and argue that it will be poor if Southgate’s men don’t manage to bag a couple as they continue their preparation for a vital summer, given that Mirel Radio’s men are currently ranked 43rd in the most recent Fifa rankings. However, they still have a good few players who possess that dracula spirit and they will be vying for blood as they aim to get back to their average position since Fifa’s world ranking creation, in December 1992, of 24th. The players that are capable of causing a threat? Former Spurs defender/defensive midfielder and national skipper Vlad Chiriches, who is in his prime leadership years at the age of 31. Rangers’ attacker Ianis Hagi who poses a threat to many defensive lines, the 22-year-old with a total of 15 goal involvements in the Scottish Premier League for Steven Gerrard’s invincible men. Also, I consider Reading’s promising attacker George Puscas when naming key threats as he has progressed through the ranks of his national team and has scored eight goals in 23 appearances so far for The Tricolorri.

However, I have recently described in my England squad article that Southgate has enough talent at his disposal to beat any opposing nation and he could do with testing the fitness of Jordan Henderson and Harry Maguire by giving them a few minutes as they attempt to recover from injuries. Thus, I’d start: Jordan Pickford, Reece James, John Stones, Tyrone Mings, Luke Shaw, Mason Mount, Declan Rice, Kalvin Phillips, Raheem Sterling, Domic Calvert-Lewin and Marcus Rashford whilst looking to test the legs of an important few by implementing them at sometime throughout the game as a breath of fresh air. It’s vital that a fine line between fatigue and warmed up is respected ahead of a crucial game in less than ten days time ahead of an action packed and shortened professional domestic season.

Mirel Radoi will be hoping that his key stars such as Ianis Hagi will pose a threat to England’s back line. However, I believe that although the game will be tricky Southgate has enough ammunition with the players he has selected to win a game that will send the Three Lions off to the Euro’s in high spirits.

My take on England’s Euros squad, we’re in for an entertaining summer.

Southgate’s had a vital and interesting trim!

Gareth Southgate has trimmed his squad down for this summer’s European Championships, from a provisional 33 to a solid 26, and reaction from all corners has flown across social media platforms. Thus, I decided to put pen to paper to dissect the choices that the experienced head coach has chosen for an entertaining month and a half. Is it coming home? It might, I can’t promise anything but it might.

The provisional squad was selected on 25th May, a few weeks before the competition was set to start, and there were a few players who made me scratch my head. The majority of doubts have been taken out but who were they? 

There were four shot-stoppers named in late May that were ready to represent their nation, I was quite shocked to see that Burnley’s Nick Pope wasn’t in line but I was quite glad that he had picked up a minor injury instead of being infuriatingly dropped. The 29-year-old has been solid across the course of this campaign, being rewarded by being named the starting keeper for the past few international games. However, he recently went under the knife to solve a knee issue in what was a successful procedure. However, considering his age and the managerial rumours circulating at Turf Moor amongst the emergence of Sheffield United’s Aaron Ramsdale then I hope the door for further three lions caps hasn’t been shut. It’d be a shame for England and the man itself if it was. 

The three goalies going to the Euros? Dean Henderson, Jordan Pickford, Sam Johnstone. Honestly, there are no problems with this for me. Johnstone has been class this campaign and deserves his call up entirely. However, my starting number one would be the Toffees’ Pickford who will provide some great strengths in his distribution, experience and leadership.

Twelve defenders were selected in the huge squad pool of inevitably Euros competing men, emphasising the quality and abilities of the players that we have in that position. Right back is an amazingly blessed area currently but that will do Aaron Wan Bissaka no favours at all, neither the promising Tariq Lamptey. However, all of the other choices were spot on for me. They were: John Stones, Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kyle Walker, Tyrone Mings, Reece James, Conor Coady, Ben Chilwell, Ben Godfrey, Kieran Trippier and Ben White. Personally, I’ve been impressed by what I’ve seen and heard of Godfrey this season thus I thought he deserved to be included in the final 26. Brighton’s Ben White, Wolves’ Conor Coady and Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings were all questionable in my viewpoint. However, Southgate would eventually choose Conor Coady and Tyrone Mings as Ben Godfrey and Ben White were dropped. I thought it was a slight insult from the boss to state that Godfrey knew he was only joining up the camp for a bit of ‘vital’ experience as he embarks on a promising future when he has been quality of late. I was happy, though, to see that four right backs had been chosen .. all players of great technical ability, mental strength and winning ability/experience. This season Kyle Walker has won the Premier League and the Carabao Cup, Reece James has played a pivotal role in a Champions League winning side following a great loan spell at Wigan Athletic, Kieran Trippier has been immense in an Atletico Madrid La Liga winning team and it wasn’t too long ago that Alexander-Arnold was champion of the world!

The defence that I’d choose to start against Croatia on 13th June? Kyle Walker, John Stones, Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw. You don’t need much convincing of the quality that these four players possess and it’s important that there is a prevalent chemistry on the big stage. This relationship has been built by playing for Manchester clubs, Walker and Stones of City and Maguire and Shaw for United respectively. Shaw has been immense this season, one of United’s shining stars through a relatively poor but improving campaign.  

Midfield is a place arguably short of number but high in quality and class, as there are numerous players capable of causing any level of opposition issues. James Ward-Prose and Jesse Lingard were the midfielders unable to make the final 26, as the pair saw creative talents such as Mason Mount, Jack Grealish and 17-year-old Jude Bellingham go instead of them. It’ll be interesting to see whether Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson can be fit in time for the competition. However, I agree with his inclusion even if that is for his winning experience and leadership around the camp. Bellingham looks like a really interesting prospect, it will be interesting to see how far the Borussia Dortmund man can go in his career which has only just started as the Bundesliga has been blessed by his name. However, Lingard with his recent form at West Ham United may feel slightly bereft with his exclusion and who could blame him for feeling that way? 

The midfield operators who were named in the final squad: Jordan Henderson, Jude Bellingham, Mason Mount, Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips.

The midfield that I’d choose to start against Croatia on 13th June? Mason Mount, Declan Rice, Jordan Henderson/Jude Bellingham .. the perfect mix of strength and flair. I’d start Henderson if he’s available but if he isn’t then I’d have no complaints with seeing Bellingham.

I believe that Southgate’s strongest area is the forward line that he’s been able to select as there hasn’t been too many injury concerns at the top end of the pitch. We, as a nation, are also blessed in having the Premier League’s best striker in Spurs’ Harry Kane who was awarded with the golden boot and the top assister’s award after an immense campaign. Unfortunately, Manchester United youngster Mason Greenwood had to pull out of this summer’s games as he needs to focus on underlying injury issues and Ollie Watkins, although he featured against Austria, wasn’t selected in the final 26. There is also an amazing volume of emerging talent at the top end of the pitch as Champions League runner up Phil Foden has been one of the League’s key men this season and it’ll be interesting to see how the future of Bukayo Saka progresses.

The men up front who will be going to the Euros: Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden, Bukayo Saka, Jack Grealish and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

The forward line that I’d select? Phil Foden, Harry Kane and Jadon Sancho. Pace and a wonderful firing ability on either side of a man like Kane, arguably the best front line going to the Euros this summer. I’ll be very excited to see them if they play together.

The reaction to the 26 man squad has been relatively mixed. I have seen YouTubers such as Mark Goldbridge saying that Southgate has bottled it due to the volume of defensive minded players selected and his worries for how he may want to line up and set his teams out. However, I have also seen others agreeing with me when I say that there are only two players that I’d consider replacing. Ben Godfrey and Jesse Lingard get in over Tyrone Mings and Raheem Sterling, for me. However, would they be starters or would they just be sitting on the sidelines waiting for their opportunity? I believe that they’d be doing the latter thus it’s not too much of an issue. I don’t really understand how some have a problem with the amount of right backs selected, you could argue that there are too much but they are all stars capable of playing in a range of positions in the aim of meeting a certain ambition and game plan thus I’m relatively pleased to see their names going to the summer’s halted European Championships.

My starting eleven would be: Jordan Pickford (Everton), Kyle Walker (Manchester City), John Stones (Manchester City), Harry Maguire (Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Declan Rice (West Ham United), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspurs) and Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund).

For me, the above eleven would be successful as there is a great level of experience and freshness. There are many with a great taste of trophy wins and there are players emerging who are ready to show the world what they are capable of. I also think that the players have good chemistry with each other, you think of the defensive line’s Manchester link ups. I think we as Englishmen look at other countries like France and Portugal and are taken aback by their standards but it’s safe to look at the quality we possess and be proud of. I mean, what a front free Foden Kane and Sancho is!

The international warm ups get underway this week as England are set to face Austria and Romania at Middlesborough’s Riverside Stadium. Those two encounters are the build up to the big kick off against Croatia at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 13th June at 2pm, further group games will follow as Southgate’s men come up against Scotland and the Czech Republic. Will there be any further games? There just may be …

How did England fare in their first Euros warm up?

On Wednesday night, at Middlesborough’s Riverside Stadium, Austria came up against England and there were few shining lights for the three lions. Personally, I thought Jordan Pickford’s distribution and Harry Kane’s overall work in defence and attack was phenomenal and it was great to see Arsenal’s exciting youngster in Bukayo Saka get on the scoresheet. The defence seemed relatively shaky as the visitors were able to get a few ‘pop’ shots off and I’m really not too sure what Tyrone Mings was thinking when he barged into a forward inside the box. Also, there may be a slight issue with full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold who has worked hard to get back in the team as he seemed to severely injure himself whilst kicking the ball upfield. Thus, we could see a late inclusion into the final squad .. I wouldn’t be surprised to see either Ben White or Jesse Lingard come in.

Rovers in Ghana for a life enriching once in a lifetime opportunity!

Idrissu Ismael – Tranmere fan trip to Ghana

As you may be aware, due to coming across articles on the subject via scrolling through the Club’s website to try and see if we have made any new signings or appointed the ‘Messiah’ in Micky Mellon, Tranmere Rovers are planning a trip out to Ghana for their supporters so they can help with area developments and in turn branch out the word of the Whites to other places around the Globe. This is something that was probably done due to the story of Idrissu Ismael’s Tranmere story, the man that is the only .. or one of the very few .. supporters over there. Thus, I thought it would be good to hear his perspective on the trip and see why he is so grateful that one of his dreams is going to be coming true.

Do you know how the opportunity for Rovers fans to visit Ghana came about and why was this something that you were always interested in?

The opportunity is from Will Newbolt who works for African Adventures and has done work with Tranmere Rovers before, he’s also been to Ghana previously as well. So he thought that it would be good to extend the opportunity to Tranemre fans, it’s something that I’m interested in as I’m happy to see and meet Rovers fans in my area.

What will the people who are coming over be doing in your area and how do you think this will impact their lives as well as the lives of area residents?

To my understanding they are coming as volunteers and also to help in taking part in building schools here, I think it will help my people around here as it will give an opportunity to share and learn each other’s cultures. More to the point, mostly they will be dealing with students and they can transpire simple knowledge and advice that will help shape the life of Ghanian kids.

Are there many different sights to see in Ghana, specifically Accra,  and what should the volunteers be intrigued in learning about?

Ghana has a lot of tourist sites that they can visit. The volunteers will mostly be staying on the Volta coast where there are beaches and plenty of sights to see and they will enjoy travelling across Ghana’s coast and they are here to learn about our culture through different means such as Dance, Food and our Dresses. They will also be taught more about our area, how they can help children around and thus will learn more about the place that we live in and the developments that we are planning.

What would you, in particular, want visitors to get a taste of for themselves?

Our tourist sites, our historical places during the slave trade era and some of our culture here in Ghana and Africa.

From a personal perspective, what are the things that you’re looking forward to learning about them and how grateful will you be to have them in your company?

Seeing and meeting some Tranmere fans here will help to clear some of my imagination as I’m the only Rovers fan in Ghana! I will be grateful that a dream of mine has been fulfilled in a way that I never expected it to be. I will watch and hear some of them sing ‘Tequila’ live in front of me as well and I will be able to speak about my passion for the club and hear about their experiences also.

How would you describe your area and day to day life?

My area is Ashaiman-MiddleEast. It’s located in Accra, 25mins away to the Airport. My day to day life is about always thinking and finding ways and means as a super Tranmere fan to build a strong fan base here in Ghana and Africa and I’m praying that with hope one-day life will permit me to help the needy and vulnerable as Rovers are doing in their own community.

If your interested in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity then you can find out more about it via https://www.tranmererovers.co.uk/news/2021/june/the-rovers-in-ghana—the-opportunity-of-a-lifetime/ It’s certainly an adventure that will give you a different perspective on life in a fun, interesting and eventful manner.

I’d like to thank Idrissu for talking to me and you can read more sport features, opinionated articles and reports etc throughout the summer on my website ‘www.EthanHoijord.com’!

Flag of Ghana, where you could be visiting next year!

Mellon returns!

I said in my last write up regarding the managerial situation that the successful Palios’ needed to appoint someone who wants to be at the club, someone with an understanding and love for the fans, if they wanted to put themselves and the Rovers back in good stead for the future. I named Micky Mellon as someone who I’d want, he’d have to return, in the hot-seat and I gave a few reasons for that. Well, on Bank Holiday Monday, little under a year since he departed for the SPL and Dundee United, the Scotsman, someone who I have great admiration for, has come back for more! This is why I’m so happy about that news, even if he has got a lot of work to do this summer to get ready for another tough and interesting campaign. 

Mellon was first appointed as Tranmere manager in October 2016, he joined a struggling team and a club which he loved but had seen their stature drop since he would fight for his shirt in midfield in previous eras. Gary Brabin was the gaffer that the Scot took over from and to be fair he had put some plans and promising players in place, forward Andy Cook joining from Barrow in the summer of 2016 as a prime example. However, there needed to be someone with winning experience and leadership to get the best out of the crop of players. Thus, when Micky Mellon came available after leaving Shrewsbury Town and moved back to Merseyside the club felt united again. United through having a sense of belief, motivation and admiration for who was at the helm. Feelings and emotions which have stayed to this day and were put firmly on show when the club was having an awful time in League One, possibly losing at the time, and Prenton Park erupted with a chant of ‘There’s only one Micky Mellon’ and ‘Micky Mellon’s Super White Army’. Micky came to Merseyside when the Whites were in the National League, he departed after many finals and very memorable wins but, of course, a deeply unfortunate PPG demotion decision.

I can only speak from my experiences but I’m sure that what I feel is shared by others also. I mean, scrolling through Twitter just then I came across a tweet which epitomised Micky’s class and how he makes fans of all ages and backgrounds feel special. @TranmereCrohnie recalled one of his loving moments from the Scotsman, ‘One fan day at PP Micky was walking back to his car as was I with my youngest, who was ten at the time. My son, Harry, pointed over towards Micky, who clocked this, he then came over to us and asked Harry if he could have a photo with him. Harry said you want one with me?’. Mellon has a way of making you feel special, making you feel entertained and making you feel important as this is your club and it is one in which he is proud to represent. When Micky was last at Rovers, me and my mate would wait for him by the players entrance at the end of every game to talk to him about what the game was like from his perspective. We would get a photo, hopefully Mellon remembered who we were but didn’t remember the hundreds of times waiting for the camera to be clicked! And we would talk about our lives at the present time, as we embarked on our GCSE’s and going the game was one thing that would take our mind away from the pressures of those exams. I had some aspirations of becoming a coach thus I asked if I could be part of his coaching staff, seeing how he did things etc on a relatively day-to-day basis. He said that I could and what an opportunity that would’ve been. Sadly, through other working and education circumstances it wasn’t something I could commit to but for him to allow me the chance of doing that shows the man’s class, his trust in fans and the way that he truly does want the best for Tranmere supporters.

It wasn’t all plain sailing. There were moments were you would have your head in your hands, the recruitment wasn’t the best at times as your mind thinks of forwards such as Jordan Ponticelli etc and some of the games would leave you upset for days on end such as the play-off final defeat against Forest Green. However, even for that performance you could argue that we were unfortunate with injuries etc. You can look at other games though, cup ties against the likes of Manchester United where we were battered at home and even Phil Jones managed to net against Scott Davies. Yet, just like the game away to Oldham Athletic in midweek when Rovers were fighting for promotion to League One, fans stayed optimistic as there was a great sense of unity and admiration for the gaffer, the coaching staff and the players on the pitch who followed the Scotsman’s words and fought for the club and their demands. Thus, when you think of the negatives and there were some please do consider the positives also. As, like I said in previous articles .. Mellon wants to be here and you don’t need much convincing of that. 

So what can fans expect?

Tranmere supporters, going into the new season, can expect a team who will fight for the club and their places and will thus be awarded with a successful and strong minded side which will inevitably lead to another glorious fist in front of the travelling fans in a packed away end or the iconic kop! 

However, there is a grand job to do this summer. In my opinion, just like the mind’s of many others, a relative rebuild is needed and you would be right in saying that losing the services of James Vaughan and Danny Lloyd hasn’t been the best of starts to the off season. At the time of writing, it is June 1st and this is the reported date for when Mellon will be officially taking over following a campaign away at Dundee United. This is normally the date for when the retained lists come out and it will be interesting to see who is placed on that this time round, I’ve got a few in my mind who I’d like to see leave but to keep (some) of my reader’s respects I won’t deliver my thoughts on that too early and ultimately, it’s something that Mellon needs to have the full control of. The Palios’ need to back him as he searches for players who want to be successful at Tranmere, there’s plenty of work that needs to be completed before a ball is kicked in hopefully a Covid-restriction free Prenton Park. I’ve got full trust and faith in all of those at the top, it’ll certainly be interesting though. 

Ian Dawes and Andy Parkinson will remain at Tranmere Rovers as they have been named Micky’s assistant and first team coaches. This adds to the excitement and anticipation as Mellon has great respect for both men and as we have seen throughout the course of the 2020/21 campaign they both have great respect for Rovers fans and the way that football should be played.

Micky Mellon’s best Tranmere team throughout his first spell, in my opinion .. I could’ve missed out a few!

Scott Davies, Adam Buxton, Ritchie Sutton, Steve McNulty, Eddie Clarke, Kieron Morris, David Perkins, Jay Harris, Josh Ginnelly, Andy Cook, James Norwood.

I’ll keep you updated with all the latest football news, thoughts and features this summer via ‘www.EthanHoijord.com’. Get ready for an action packed few months!

Meeting the opposition – Morecambe A.F.C

On Thursday evening, Derek Adams’ Shrimps edged out their first leg of the League Two Play Offs at Prenton Park 2-1. It was a game in which the visitors defended more than they attacked, that was their game plan and the manager’s plans were met by his strong resilient Morecambe team. However, there is still a second leg left to play. Sunday lunchtime, on Sky Sports cameras with everything left to fight for. Thus, I spoke to one of the hosts’ fans in the form of Jack Steel who went into depth about his personal experiences and thoughts of the club’s on and off pitch positions as well as many other relevant subject topics. 

How long have you been a Morecambe supporter and how did you first find out about them? 

I have been a season ticket holder since 2001 when the Club used to give free season tickets to primary school leavers. It worked – as I am still here 20 years later!  

Considering where the club finished last season, how successful has this season been and what are the key reasons behind this quick improvement? 

It has been an incredible turnaround which started in October 2019 with Derek Adam’s appointment. At that point we were bottom of the league, so while we “finished” in a low position last year – we had improved considerably from January 2020 when Derek was able to make some shrewd signings.  

How significant has Derek Adams been? 

Hugely significant. The timing of Jim Bentley leaving was right for all parties and Derek has brought new ideas which has freshened the team and Club up from top to bottom. That has paid dividends, and it has brought new excitement to the entire Club.   

What players will pose the greatest threats to Tranmere on Sunday? Thursday evening made it clear how much the Shrimps squad work for each other and there are some quality players for this level. 

While there are stand out players who could pose a threat, the strength of our squad is its depth. We have two players for every position and for most we would be no weaker whoever played. Carlos Mendes Gomes is a threat as our joint top scorer, but as Thursday showed, goals can come from all over the pitch.  

What is your score prediction for the second leg and do you think your playing style will change much from the initial meeting in midweek? 

Our playing style hasn’t changed all season and it won’t change on Sunday. Whatever people think of it, it is effective and that shows in our home form this season. I would like to see us win the home tie with another 2-1 win.  

What were your thoughts on the game on Thursday? Were there any Tranmere players that made you nervous across the course of the ninety minutes and how would you analyse your team’s performance? 

Tranmere had the brighter player at the start of the game, but things settled down and I thought we were largely in control. We are happy to let other teams have much of the possession, but when we do have it, we are effective. James Vaughan is undoubtedly the main threat for Tranmere so I was pleased when he left the field. Overall, I thought we played an effective away performance.  

Random fact about the Morecambe? (The place or the club itself) 

Heavyweight champion Tyson Fury lives in the Morecambe area and has acquired and set up a boxing academy which is in the corner of the Mazuma Stadium.   

Proudest moment as a fan? 

Promotion to the Football League at Wembley in May 2007. It was very much the big ambition in the years preceding and to actually do it with a win at the (then) new Wembley stadium, was an incredible moment.  

What is your opinion on Tranmere and how do you think they played throughout the first leg? 

The most noticeable thing from the first leg was the number of veterans that were in the team; players who me and my friends were recalling from football manager in the 2010’s. Clearly that equates to a lot of experience. It will be interesting to see how you react on Sunday with needing to overcome the 1 goal advantage we have.  

Given the recent departure of Rovers manager Keith Hill, did you become more nervous when considering who you’d be coming up next? 

I think it is always in your mind that a manager change could lead to a boost for the team you are playing, however strange the decision was to the outside world. The advantage would have been that if Tranmere supporters were frustrated by Keith Hill’s playing style, it might have helped us if they got on the team’s back in the first leg. That has been and gone now.  

Regardless of your fate in the playoffs, what would you like to see happen in the summer, in terms of the recruitment process? 

Our main concern will be retaining the players we have. Clearly our final standing will attract the attention of clubs from higher divisions and we cannot compete on player wages. If we do that and make a few key additions, I have no doubt that we will continue to be a good side at this level or the one above.  

Thank you very much for talking to me!

My pleasure!

Shrimps gaffer Derek Adams has been ‘hugely significant’ as he has brought ‘a great new excitement’ to all areas of the club.

Meeting the opposition – Morecambe

‘Meeting the opposition’ – Morecambe

Ahead of Tranmere’s sixth Play off Semi Final since 2017, I spoke to Morecambe supporter Mickey Millar who gave his thoughts on the Shrimps’ on and off field positions heading into the tie as well as giving his verdict on what he expects to see happening across the course of the ninety minutes. Derek Adams has done a fantastic job at Morecambe, taking them from being relegation favourites to a promotion push. Carlos Mendes-Gomes has been a massive help also, he’s set to inflict further damage on Thursday evening.

How long have you been a Morecambe supporter and how did you first find out about the club?

I’ve been a Morecambe fan for at least 10/11 years now, when I was at primary school they used to come in and hand free tickets, however it wasn’t until the 2015/16 season I started travelling to away games and since then I’ve been all over the country following the shrimps.

Considering where the club finished last season, what are your thoughts on the success of this campaign and how do you rate your chances of achieving promotion?

We’ve had an amazing season, so proud of the lads on how far we’ve come. Regardless of promotion or not we’ve had the season of our lives, 23 wins is incredible from our perspective, to go from Relegation Favourites to play offs is magnificent.

What are your thoughts on Shrimps’ instrumental gaffer Derek Adams?

The way he’s turned this Football Club around is out of this world, at the start of the season, we knew he would have a positive impact, but not to this extent.

What are your thoughts on Morecambe’s owner and who are they?

Jason Whittingham & Colin Goulding

They seem like good chaps, spoke to them a couple of times on away games, one game (Crawley away) comes to mind where they came and spoke to the fans. Also, when I did a fundraiser they were really helpful in helping me raise funds for my chosen charity so for that I’ll always have respect for them.

What players will pose the greatest threats to Tranmere across the course of the two legs?

Forwards Cole Stockton and Carlos Mendes Gomes.

What is your score prediction for the game at Prenton Park and what do you think your playing style will be?

Don’t want to predict a score in case I jinx anything, but I’d like to see us go for it against you.

Random fact about Morecambe? (The place or the club itself)

We’ve got the best pies in the EFL!

Proudest moment as a fan?

Probably Coventry away in 2018, the way the fans and players celebrated will stick with me forever. Also this season is a massive hit, seeing the lads bond and gel together the way they have, just wish we were in the grounds to witness it.

What is your opinion on Rovers?

Decent club, great fan base.

Cole Stockton and Ben Pringle may come up against their former club, Tranmere. Stockton made his name at Rovers following his progression through the academy ranks. What are your thoughts on the two attackers?

Stockton has been decent this season, managed to score for us and get some assists and I’d say he’s been an asset to the squad. Pringle we haven’t seen too much of this season, but from what we’ve seen he’s a decent enough player.

Given that Tranmere have sacked Keith Hill ahead of this game, are you more fearful of the opposition and from an outsider’s perspective, what was your reaction to that news?

Definitely more fearful because we’ve all seen teams come out of their shell under different management.

Regardless of whether Adams’ men get past their opponents, what would you like to see happen in the summer in terms of incomings and outgoings?

I’d love to see us keep Carlos Mendes Gomes, I think he’s been incredible this season for us. However, I can see a club from a higher level snapping him up.

Thank you for talking to me ahead of the game mate, 

My pleasure!

Atletico Madrid academy graduate, Carlos Mendes Gomes, is set to pose Tranmere a fair few problems as they look to turn wrongs to rights following last season’s devastating PPG demotion.

A weekend of the beautiful game put in short.

A weekend of the beautiful game put in ‘short’!

This weekend in football has provided a lot to talk about, a lot to be proud about also. It has ridiculed the ‘top six’ and their idea of the ESL through the use of a cup competition, to some extent, and there have been some pretty shocking results as teenagers have scored for their beloved clubs. I wanted to give my thoughts on what has gone on, as the EFL playoffs loom over for fellow hopefuls in the lower divisions.

It would be only fair to open this article by mentioning Leicester City and their amazing victory against Chelsea, as they won the FA Cup for the first time in their history after four cup final attempts which all ended in defeat. I wanted to doss my hypothetical cap off to Brendan Rodgers, for the work that he has done in Leicestershire as this final was all about making Khun Vichai proud and the Foxes certainly did just that.

How nice was it to see fans in the stadium? I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Wembley on three occasions and it is definitely one of the best places I’ve been to, although it can feel like the earth is swallowing you up when you are on the end of a cruel and bitter blow. 

Which, arguably, Chelsea were as VAR was again called into action to rule out a last minute equaliser for a slight offside on Ben Chilwell’s shoulder. This is where I believe that VAR provides a ‘successful’ purpose though, you can score with your shoulder so in the laws of the game the full-back was offside. Does this mean that the game is losing some of its value because of the emotions technology takes away? I’m not too sure because if you asked those for which it went in favour of, they’d be ecstatic. Something I experienced for myself not too long ago, when Tranmere crawled their way back from a 3-0 deficit at Vicarage Road in the opening days of the last calendar year. 

Talking about that emotion though, how spine tingling was it to hear fans again for some time. Personally, I’ve missed it and the national stadium felt like the 20,000 or so supporters inside it was actually the full capacity. However, that may be saying something about the atmosphere for England games .. which will hopefully change in the summer for the Euros. The scenes for Youri Tielemans goal were phenomenal and so was the Belgium midfielder’s strike, one to remember for sure!

Soon enough, I’ll be writing up an article about Premier League managers and the work that they have done throughout the course of this season. A certain Northern-Irishman will be spoken about, he should’ve been classed as an ‘elite’ manager for a little while now and hopefully that eventful victory on Saturday will turn doubters into believers of the talent and qualities that he has. We shall also remember that he is only 48, time is very much on his side. 

A manager that I would like to put on the opposite spectrum though, a gaffer who is ‘rightly’ classed as the same description that I’d give to Rodgers, is Carlo Ancelotti. Everton fans, or a minority who will come across these words may disagree with my points and they may even point to the lack of quality that his side has. However, the Italian was appointed just before Christmas in 2019 and what has he managed to achieve thus far? The results are spiralling away from anything that can be labelled ‘positive’ as they have lost more league home games since September than 17 other clubs .. the only two who have lost more have been relegated and the style of play is abysmal.

What respectful manager with the success that Carlo has in the game would put five defenders on the pitch, to start with, against a side that is being described as one of the worst in league history? 

Don’t be fooled, Everton does have the players, it’s just about having a manager that is able to get the best out of them. I’ll take a quick glance over to a couple of greatly promising forwards in their ranks, as the Toffees are supposedly deprived of any attacking talent, Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin to name that couple.

I said before Everton appointed Ancelotti, a man who has the Champions League title to his name, that it would probably have been better if David Moyes came in. To be honest, I stick by my words although West Ham put in a shoddy performance on the South Coast to get a draw at the Amex Stadium. Moyes, for me, would’ve been a great gaffer to turn the tides. Some would’ve argued that he was a finished manager and that the Blues need a progressive leader to take them forwards. I don’t think the work that the Scotsman has done in West London compared to his counterpart would agree with those doubts though.

I’m not saying that Ancelotti was a bad appointment, it could still work out and I hope it does for my Blues supporting mates as they look into the future where they will be greeted with an amazing stadium. However, they will need to up their standards of recruitment in the off season whilst hoping for the very best on the pitch. They could probably do with a commanding central midfielder alongside Max Aarons and a half decent right winger, they could even do with upping the standards of their back ups especially going forwards. 

The Italian with a great understanding of the beautiful game has said all the right words so far, but I fear that there’s a sort of God complex when the fanbase looks at him and that will inevitably lead to blind faith. That’s why next season needs to be the catalyst for the future, acting on a positive recruitment strategy led by Marcel Brands.

I do also want to praise Daniel Jebbison, a Canadian forward who was on loan at Chorley as recently as last season and is only the tender age of 17. The sky may not be the limit, but he definitely has a promisingly successful future ahead of him. I want to wish him all the best as he embarks on that journey with a goal in the greatest league in Europe, feels kinda strange that some pro footballers are younger than me now!

Elsewhere, I wanted to praise Marcelo Bielsa for Leeds’ mesmerizing 4-0 win at Burnley amongst Allison who netted a great header to keep Liverpool’s hopes of UCL Football alive following a sourly emotional few months and the places and coaches involved in the great seven goal thriller in Tyneside on Friday night. 

It would only be fair to leave this article by sending my thoughts to Sam Allardyce who’s men were on the receiving end of a bad VAR decision and to Emma Hayes who’s ladies were on the receiving end of a 4-0 defeat on the cruelest stages of all .. the UCL Final!

There is set to be another action packed week ahead as the Football League playoffs are looming, amongst the nearing end of the Premier League season where the fight for European places stay alive. Finals for other competitions are also coming quick and fast. I’ll be keeping you updated with stories, information and features from all of this and more through ‘www.EthanHoijord.com’! 

Leicester City have won the FA Cup and the Premier League since a beloved Thai family put their money and time into the club. Khun Vichai will be proud!

‘It has been hard to manage this group of players’ – The reasons behind Hill’s dismissal and who do we need to replace him?

The dismissal of Keith Hill and what key attributes must a Tranmere manager have to be successful in their role?

In the past week, Tranmere Rovers have dismissed Keith Hill of his duties ‘despite’ reaching the play offs and the final of the Papa John’s Trophy – where they would lose 1-0 to League One promotion fighters Sunderland. This has sparked, some, controversy as we are in an era that is deemed too harsh on managers. In my opinion, that is probably the right judgement. I’ll use Antonio Conte’s dismissal from Chelsea and plenty of Salford City sackings as examples. However, I thought it was important to delve into the reasons for why Hill was dumped ahead of a playoff semi final against Morecambe. I also wanted to talk about what makes a ‘perfect’ Rovers gaffer, in my eyes, as the Palios’ embark on their journey to making their SIXTH hot-seat appointment since they took over in 2014.

From an outsider’s perspective, those who don’t follow the Whites too closely, Hill being sacked may make no sense. Tranmere were ‘struggling’ when he took over, they got into their first Trophy final since 2000 and finished in the playoffs. However, if you ask the majority of the club’s fan base they will say that they are now more excited than they have been in ages that he has gone. That is because they have had the tough task of living through the past two months, watching dire performances on iFollow whilst watching a heavy defeat away to Cheltenham on Sky Sports. There were even supporters who were contemplating how successful a promotion would’ve been with him at the helm, if a miracle did happen, because that would mean the Mancunian boss would have kept his role. That was how bad it had gotten.

From the start, there were skeptics. Although this was greeted with an impassioned response by the club’s co-owner, Nicola Palios, who stated that she was ‘sickened by some of the comments and was going to sign off Twitter’. I don’t think that this is a campaign that she should be too proud about as some of the comments made have really puzzled the loyal Rovers faithful but considering what her and her husband Mark have done on the whole, I’ll let it slide. There were skeptics because Keith had an affiliation with Bolton, his previous club. There were skeptics because of what they had heard about him from Wanderers fans, there were plenty who said that he didn’t do a great job of building a relationship with supporters and there were skeptics because of the way he looked .. it had gotten that silly in some aspects. However, I was one of those who were happy and excited about what was to come. He had always got into the playoffs when guiding a League Two team, which was described by Nicola Palios as ‘success’ and he could provide managerial experience to those who seemed to need it in the form of Ian Dawes and Andy Parkinson .. the men who were the interims that steered Prenton Park into a place of optimism following a run of fighting wins and displays of sheer quality, beating Port Vale away 4-3 and Grimsby at home 5-0.

The appointment followed that Grimsby game, on 21st November 2020 and the first few months weren’t too bad on the whole. In the FA Cup, we got past Accrington Stanley and Brackley Town before getting knocked out in the 3rd round against Barnsley. However, that defeat in South Yorkshire showed what we were capable of as it finished in a narrow manner .. 2-0. The Tykes eventually finished in the Championship Play Offs. In the Trophy, the ‘Super Whites’ beat so many teams who were expected to go through. You think of the likes of Peterborough United and Oxford United, who Rovers beat 2-1 and 2-0 respectively and ultimately it was much better than the short run of results throughout Mike Jackson’s time in the hot-seat following on from Micky Mellon’s move to the Scottish Premier League. 

In League Two, between 19th January and 2nd March, Rovers won eight out of ten games including victories against Forest Green Rovers, Harrogate Town, Carlisle United and Leyton Orient where three goals were scored by Hill’s men in all. Also, he had beaten Bolton twice relatively comfortably.

So, where has it all gone wrong and are fans expecting too much from their team and whoever is in charge of them considering the high turnover of managers? In my opinion, Hill lost the fanbase after a great performance at Sunderland as what followed showed that he had failed in his role of galvanising a squad and guiding them to where they needed to be considering the level of quality it held. His comments throughout meetings with the press also showed that what previous fan bases had said about him was probably true. He divided the fanbase and the club itself as he used rhetorical questions such as ‘how fickle is that?’ whilst constantly bringing up his family and his relationship with his wife, which had no reflection to what was being shown on the pitch. After plenty of dire performances, we probably aren’t going to care that you ‘didn’t force my wife to marry me’.

He seemed to hold a grudge with club managerial legends such as Micky Mellon, who guided the club from the National League to League One as he stated ‘the club got relegated last season because of how many games they had lost, not because of PPG’ amongst other quotations and the final straw was when he threw his players ‘under the bus’ following a ‘congratulations for reaching the playoffs’ from the interview’s host. Although most of the players had let themselves down, I’ll name the likes of Liam Feeney and Peter Clarke who have both seemed to drop their standards of late, saying that ‘it has been difficult to get the squad of players over the line, it has been hard to manage them’. The relationship with fans had been fractured, all good work from the owners seemed to be dwindling as they seemed to hold blind faith and a level of stubbornness to not do what the fans wanted and Rovers had gone from fighting for an automatic position to clinging on to seventh. It wasn’t good enough and that was of course reflected in awful and boring performances every matchday between mid march to may. Thus, to anyone that doesn’t understand why the dismissal finally came, I have to challenge them to either experience what it is like to have their club being managed by the man himself or to try and watch any Rovers game in the past two months. The final day of the season and 2nd April 2021, both ring a bell.

I, amongst the rest of the fanbase, have now grown in confidence ahead of the playoffs following Tuesday morning’s news. Ian Dawes and Andy Parkinson know how to direct the style of play that fans, of any club, want to see and ultimately the squad holds the standard of players to perform in this manner. You take away James Vaughan, you then have to get the best out of David Nugent and Kaiyne Woolery. You can’t manage them, you have to consider the likes of Keiron Morris and Corey Blackett-Taylor. Why not try Charlie Jolley and Danny Lloyd? There’s more, the list is ultimately endless and it is about time that we have men in charge who can get the best out of their squad. A squad that seems to hold so many professionals with strong mentalities, you look at the backline and there lies the likes of Jay Spearing and Peter Clarke. 

I was ecstatic when the news broke, I had just woken up so that bowl of cornflakes that I poured was the happiest of bowls that I have poured in a while. However, if we look past the upcoming week and the next, possibly three, games we have entered a period of further speculation and rumours. McGreal, Challinor, Barton, Adams and Dawes are just some of the names mentioned .. who may be the sixth appointment? 

This is what I’d like, not who.

For me, there is a Tranmere way. There is a Tranmere tradition and a way that I want to see us play. An attitude that I believe should always be held, an attitude instilled by the likes of Johnny King and Micky Mellon. An attitude instilled and upheld in games that have seen Rovers beat the likes of Everton and Southampton in famous FA Cup games and an attitude that shone throughout the course of 12th May 2018. Those who know, know and however distant you think a tradition is for a lower league club that have won no major honours is .. if you ask fans what they want to see rather than who .. they’d probably reply with someone like Micky Mellon.

A manager that plays on the front foot, whenever possible, a manager who knows what it takes to win and a manager with great man-management skills with everyone involved in the club. We know that we aren’t going to win every game but a quote that whoever comes next needs to adopt is an iconic one used by Mellon. ‘We’re Tranmere Rovers, we’re here to win and not just take part’.

Thus, when considering the next appointment I want someone who wants to be here just as much as we want them.

I’ll be keeping you updated with more stories, information and features about the club throughout the course of the summer and beyond. There are some really interesting times ahead.