Thursday, 9 December 2010

Sutton United blog: Paul Doswell takes Sutton to Eastleigh, Patrick Viera, Chris Hughton and Alan Pardew

Ok, that'll do. Despite missing the last five minutes of our victory over Wealdstone, I have soaked up the glory from that amazing success for long enough now. It's time to dust down my old amber and brown scarf once again, Paul Doswell needs me, and you, as we prepare to do battle with the Spitfires.

Crikey, am I looking forward to this one. Saturday's game against Eastleigh has fans of both sides drooling with anticipation, and it's not hard to see why.

Doswell is a legend at the Silverlake Stadium. As most of us know by now, he led the club from the Wessex League to the Conference South before leaving them in 2008 and then taking over at a beleaguered Sutton.
Without Doswell, Eastleigh might well have been playing Alton Town, Bournemouth Poppies or Hamble this Saturday in the Wessex League. If he replicates that kind of success with us then we're in for some exciting times at Gander Green Lane. To the Blue Square Premier and beyond please Boss. Oh well, we can dream, there's no harm in that.

Let's not forget how bad things were for us before the Doswell revolution. Two words, Ernie Howe.

Oooh, while I think about it, two more words, Steffan Ball.

They were bad times indeed.

That was until Bruce Elliot appointed Doswell. He had energy, passion and drive, which were qualities you wouldn't associate with Howe's time at our club. Players come and go as Dos continues to operate his revolving door policy but in each of his two full seasons in charge he's taken us to the Ryman Premier League play-offs and FA Cup First Round. This term he's guided us to top spot but there's no messing around, it's promotion or bust for Doswell.

Wessex League WAG: Without Paul Doswell's help Eastleigh might have been playing Hamble this Saturday. Nice to see the old girl is well wrapped up.

Of course, the Doswell factor may loom large over our clash with Eastleigh but there are many sub-plots too. Sutton's goalkeeping coach Wayne Shaw and in-form striker Andy Forbes are both ex-Spitfires, as are Karim El-Salahi and Karl Murray. Anyone else? Come on, hands up...

Thank you, Steve Watts.

Forbes was always one of those guys whose name I'd see in the Non-League Paper banging in the goals for Winchester City and Eastleigh. I never thought I'd see him doing the business for us but I am mightily glad he's on board.

I read somewhere on the Eastleigh forum that one of their fans thought Forbes was past his sell-buy date. Well, with comments like that, what more of an incentive does our hot-shot need to put one over his old team.

It won't be easy of course. The Spitfires may have had a rather inconsistent run in the Blue Square South this season but in Jamie Slabber, Tony Taggart, Tom Jordan and Anthony Riviere they have the ability to string some decent results together. I just hope they don't start on Saturday.

Riviere, according to the Eastleigh website, is likened to Claude Makelele and Patrick Viera. He's so much like them that he's playing in the sixth tier of English football.

Spot the difference: Is this Patrick Viera or Anthony Riviere? I knew I'd have you stumped for an answer.

Personally, I hope Eastleigh have got their minds focussed on other matters, like Monday night's mouth-watering Hampshire Senior Cup clash with Havant & Waterlooville.

Incidentally, fans of Wayne Shaw can marvel at his handywork by clicking here.

Finally, in other footballing matters, what is going on at Newcastle? Chris Hughton had brought some respectablitiy back to the club after years of mismanagement on and off the field. It seemed a realisation had finally arrived at St Jame's Park that the club wasn't as high up in football's natural pecking order as what it's supporters thought. But no, winning the Championship and 11th place in the Premier League isn't good enough, so, who is the man to take Newcastle on?

Two words: Alan Pardew.

Flippin' heck.Yep, it seems Paul Doswell's old pal and former Southampton boss Pardew is hotly tipped to take over the good work that Hughton has left behind   It's hardly the inspirational appointment you'd  hope for if you were a Newcastle fan so I suspect they are going to get what they deserve. The soap opera continues.

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