According to the official site, Simon Francis is on his way to join Bournemouth on loan with a view to a permanent deal in January. It seems to me that this is good for all concerned. Francis can put in a decent cross, but he was often poor in the way he carried out his defensive duties. He is part of a less happy recent past.
There is some talk that as part of any deal Cherries midfielder Marc Pugh may join us. He joined the Cherries from Hereford on a two year contract. I'm not sure that we have a need for another midfielder, although our new side has been built in part by recruiting Bournemouth's best players.
The late two goals by Preston yesterday have given moaners a narrative and there is some grumbling that it was Chris Powell's substitutions that led to the Preston goals. However when you are 5-0 up there is a case for resting your best players, although it did deny Johnnie Jackson the chance of a hat trick. It also has to be admitted that Euell did not shine in midfield which was certainly the case when I have seen him play there in earlier matches.
However, we have to look at the big picture. We are five points clear at the top of the league. As Curbs used to say, it's a long old season but it seems to me to be a good enough position for now, to say the least. Incidentally, Stevnage are now up to 7th having beaten the Blades 2-1 which puts our defeat there into a little more context.
One of the greatest satisfactions of yesterday's results was seeing a team managed by Phil Brown beaten. A few weeks ago he was being bigged up in The Football League Paper as a tanned genius who was going to take League 1 by storm.
What sort of judgment did he show in his choice of a back up keeper? Aristidou was the No.2 keeper at AFC Telford before he joined Preston. We recently signed the current No.2 from there at Leamington (unfortunately our Sam Bartram style keeper stormed out after a row with the manager so we will no longer see the goalie scoring from the wing). Hopefully, a No.2 from Telford is good enough for the third tier of the non-league but not much more.
It was very frustrating to miss such a good win and what was evidently a great Valley atmosphere because of the collapse of the train service. In a sense I was fortunate because another Midlands Addick was on an earlier train and eventually had to be evacuated on to the track. He was last heard of in a pub in South Kenton. Perhaps I should simply pay the extra that Deutsche Bahn demand for using their service from Leamington (they have really hiked the prices up and their much vaunted WiFi doesn't work well).
I have a bit of a record of missing great matches. When we won 7-6, we were Christmas shopping in Woolwich.
On the subject of coincidences, Solar Radio's Clive R writes: 'The first CAFC game I attended was on Saturday November 5th, 1955- we beat Man. City 5 - 2; my '50th anniversary' game, on November 5th 2005, was also against Man. City, and was also 5-2, though to them on that occasion; yesterday, as the stoppage-time board showed 3 minutes to play at a scoreline of 5 - 1, the thought crossed my mind that another goal could/would be scored......and Preston duly obliged. I have no idea what the odds were yesterday for 5-2, but it's likely I would have left the ground a few quid better off!'
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