Wednesday, 11 April 2018

The 4 Reasons Why NTFC Are Going Down!

With NTFC all but relegated, here at #cobblers_scoops we have identified the four key areas the club have failed in on and off the pitch.

1 Players Out of Position

Both Hasselbank and his predecessor Justin Edinburgh had an abundance of talent, on paper atleast, at their disposal. Utilising the players on the club's books was another matter altogether.

As former Town manager Ian Atkins eluded to in a recent interview, successful Town squads in the past have been built around player's strengths rather than exposing their weaknesses. A case in point is Joe Bunney. An excellent crosser of the ball and genuine attacking threat on the left flank, but weak defensively, the former Rochdale man was regularly left exposed by Hasselbaink when playing him as a left back.



2 Lack of Characters and Unity

The 2015/16 team had leaders and fighters, throughout the pitch. From Zander Diamond at the heart of the defence, O'Toole battling in the middle, the inspirational David Buchanan at left back and Marc Richards leading from the front. One unit all fighting for the same cause, galvanised by a true leader in the dug out, even when for a long period they weren't being paid!

Contrast this to the current squad;  Dutch import Kevin Van Veen still apparently wishes he was at Scunthorpe, Buchanan was frozen out for the majority of the season by Hasselbaink, O'Toole's battling nature often bubbling over into frustration and anger. The overstaffed and some would say overpaid squad have shown no stomach for a fight all season save a few rare occasions.


3 Lack of Direction off the Pitch

A lack of progress off the pitch has contributed to the sense of gloom at Sixfields. From the 5uSport debacle to the lack of redevelopment. To paraphrase former manager Chris Wilder: "how long have we got to look at that unfinished east stand?".

4 The Royal Wedding

As the wheels well and truly came off the Hasselbaink regime, club insiders began to break rank and reveal the underlying reason behind the club's poor form; the majority of the players had an altogether different match on their minds; the upcoming nuptials of Prince Harry and former Suits actress Meghan Markle!

"It started off small," the anonymous club employee divulged, "there was light hearted training ground banter when Shay Facey and Matt Crooks turned up late because they admitted they'd been watching royal correspondent Camilla Tomniney on ITV's Lorraine speculating how Meghan would adapt to life as a royal."

But things soon spiraled out of control.

"People blame Jimmy for his erratic team selection, but in most cases he had no choice. Jack Bridge and Shaun McWilliams went awol at one point. Both nursing apparent "stomach bugs" then somebody at the club checked their instagram accounts and there they were, 'selfies' of the two of them together waving little union jacks in the front row as Harry and Meghan met the crowds at Cardiff castle."

"Look at Matt Grimes, easily the best free kick taker at the club. His late miss against Scunthorpe was the difference between one and three points. He'd told the gaffer he'd been staying behind in training to practice, in reality him and John Pemberton had spent the majority of the time talking about Meghan's bridesmaids. This soon escalated into a bit of a bust up when Matt insisted Jessica Mulroney would likely overshadow Meghan if she got the nod as maid of honour.


The Dutch lads, Jimmy included, felt totally left out. No wonder Kevin Van Veen mopes about the place sulking all day, so would you if you'd had Dave Buchanan in your face mocking you over the abdication of Queen Beatrix in 2013."

 'No way is she gonna get an invite, she couldn't finish her time as head of the House of Orange so I doubt she'd get through a wedding breakfast prepared by executive chef Ebbi Buchmann'  the former Bury and Preston North End full back is alleged to have said.

"The final straw came when Jimmy returned from a meeting with Kelvin Thomas after the Charlton game. Jimmy had promised the chairman he'd get things back on track in time for the derby with Peterborough and they both arrived at the training ground together. The lads were supposed to be out on the pitch with Dean doing drills. When they walked in and found the whole lot of them gathered in the canteen gossiping about Harry's beard while flicking through Hello, Kelvin totally lost the plot and stormed out."

Things didn't get much better after Hasselbaink's sacking.

"When Dean Austin took over as caretaker there was talk of a united front with everyone pulling together to avoid relegation but there is a definite split in the camp and it's all about the dress. During training earlier in the week they were at each other's throats. The younger lads think Meghan should go for classic American glamour like Oscar de la Renta but the more senior pros think this would be a slap in the face to the royal family and she should go for something more traditional like Alexander McQueen. The tackles were flying in."

A spokesperson from Clarence House said:

"His Royal Highness Prince Harry and Miss Markle are thrilled and grateful for the attention shown by the players and staff at Northampton Town Football Club and wish the club the best of luck with the remainder of their league one campaign.

They would both also like to strongly recommend Kelvin Thomas appoint a young up and coming manager as soon as possible rather than another one from the managerial merry go round, someone like the Cowley brothers at Lincoln obviously not them as they are too good now, maybe Kevin Wilkin he's done well at Brackley. If not him then Graham Alexander."

Saturday, 25 November 2017

SINKING FEELING

Northampton Town's woeful season has taken a fresh twist after it emerged that club chairman Kelvin Thomas has a blocked drain.

Cobblers fans booed the team off on Saturday after another drab performance, this time against fellow strugglers Bury. The club have not commented but it is understood Thomas has been distracted by the issue since the summer with no resolution in sight, adding further to the club's woes.

The drain in question serves the former Oxford chairman's kitchen waste pipe. The issue has apparently dominated town's training sessions with manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and assistant Dean Austin gathering players together as a group inviting them to offer solutions.

Rumours from inside the club suggest that both former manager Justin Edinburgh and current Town supremo Hasselbank opted to play Alex Revell and Marc Richards together despite their incompatibility, due to Revell promising Thomas the loan of a set of plumbing rods. When these were not forthcoming, the veteran striker was swiftly dropped.

It is also thought that the development has impacted on the club off the pitch with Thomas calling a halt to all future development until it can be proven that any new plumbing fittings in a revamped east stand will not suffer from a restricted water supply which would inevitably mean the drainage system would also be affected leading to frequent blockages and flooding. Unfortunately all local plumbers in the NN5 area were said to be "busy until the middle of next week" or presented the Shaq Fu radio co-owner Thomas with ridiculously large quotes when he sought out their assistance.





  

Monday, 26 June 2017

Major Investment! 10 Facts Every Cobblers Fan Needs To Know!

Cobblers fans were left stunned this morning by the news that Chinese company 5USport had purchased a major stake in the club. So who are these new investors and what will it mean for the future of the Northampton Town FC? 

Here are 10 facts about the Sport Development and Education company and the likely impact they will have at Sixfields.

1) 5USport have bought 60% of the parent company that owns the Cobblers. Despite this, current chairman Kelvin Thomas has insisted the deal is not a takeover.



2) Thomas is to continue as chairman and the existing staff will remain in place at Sixfields.

3) 5USport are keen to strengthen the club on and off the pitch with likely investment on the first team squad and youth team.

4) One possible target for the new Cobblers  investors could be former town striker and cult figure Adebayo Akinfenwa. So far 5USport have remained type lipped on the former AFC Wimbledon and Gillingham front man returning for a third spell at Sixfields but their CEO Tom Ayeung has yet to deny the "beastmode" striker is on his way back to Upton Way.
    On his way back?

5) Akinfenwa has a cult following online thanks to his classification as the "world's strongest player" on video game FIFA.

6) 5USport are based in China and are keen to boost the club's profile in the lucrative Chinese market.

7) The Terracotta Army is one of China's most famous historical sites. In total the famous sculptures took 37 years to build, the exact length of time it would take to read the redevelopment thread on Cobblers message board the Hotel End.

8) Despite their similar names, 5USport have no connection to the TV station Channel 5 or sister station 5USA.

9) Popular Channel 5 shows include Chris Tarrant's Extreme Railways and long running Australian soap Neighbours.

                                                       

10) Although he was in the original episode in 1985, Paul Robinson actor Steffan Dennis is not the longest serving Neighbours cast member. That honour goes to Alan Fletcher, aka Doctor Karl Kennedy, who has starred continuously in the Melbourne based drama since debuting in September 1994.


Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Doomsday Clock Moves to One and a Half Minutes to Midnight.

Experts announced the world is closer than ever to global catastrophe in a chilling warning last night. The rise of strident nationalism, the current Trump administration's attitude toward climate change and rising tensions with North Korea were all determining factors. However, in a shocking development, the hypothetical Doomsday Clock was turned forward a further minute to represent civilization being on the brink of Armageddon after a rival fan posted on another club's message board without beginning their post with the greeting: "Hi guys, Mansfield fan in peace".

Campbell Bettles, spokesperson for the Bulletin of Atomic scientists, who have maintained the hypothetical clock at the University of Chicago every year since 1947 said: "this is an unprecedented development, comparable to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914."

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres commented: "This is a clear breach of UN Message-board protocol, it is highly likely this will cause irrevocable damage to humanity."

Last night the unwitting fan at the centre of the row, STAG4LIFE proclaimed his innocence: "I only wanted to know how Paul Anderson would get on this season. We seem to be signing a lot of players from Northampton lately, Joel Byrom has done well from what I've seen of him but I was worried with Anderson that we would have another Alfie Potter on our hands."

To make matters worse the thread was soon locked after an eagle eyed forum member spotted that a similar thread also mentioning Anderson's move had already been started following Zander Diamond's move to the East Midlands side, who finished 12th in League 2 this season.

Theresa May announced an emergency gathering of the COBRA committee to discuss the likely fall out from. In the event of nuclear war the NTFC supporters trust confirmed the car boot sale scheduled for 25th June would still be going ahead.



Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Who's the best fullback

In the first of a new series of blogs, I compare Cobblers greats from yesteryear to their modern day equivalents.  Many say this is an unfair comparison, as the game constantly changes and develops with sport science and modern coaching methods giving the professional player of 2017 the extra edge over those that played in more innocent, less sophisticated times. However, as the saying goes "there is no need to have it all, just make the best of what you have", and on that note we ask:

 

Round 1: Attitude


Buchanan
"Mr Northampton Town fc" gets off to a flyer in this round, with his never say die attitude and constant work rate it's full marks:10 out of 10 for the former Preston man.

Horwood
Evan was no slouch in this department either, the ex Sheffield United youth teamer was part of Chris Wilder's spirited squad that fought hard to avoid relegation at the tail end of the 2013/14 season. 9/10

Round 2: Points Obtained When In The Team


Buchanan
With David in the team, NTFC have totted up an impressive 1.6 points per game. Unsurprising, considering the glorious 2015/16 league 2 winning side the former Tranmere defender turned out for. 7/10

Horwood
Through no lack of effort, Evan loses out in this round. It should be noted the Cobblers sides that Hartlepool stalwart Evan played in were very different beasts to Buch's era, with Chris Wilder doing his best to motivate a team made up largely of players signed by his predecessors in 2013/14 then steering the men in claret and white to a steady mid-table finish in his and Evan's first full season. It's 0.74 points per game and 6/10 for Evan.

Round 3: Professionalism


Buchanan

Few would argue that on and off the pitch the ex Bury trainee is a model pro. A leader both on the training ground and on matchdays, the ex Hamilton defender never stops working hard. 9/10

Horwood

Always steady and reliable when called upon, the former Darlington loanee rarely let his manager, or team mates down when starting or coming off the bench. 7/10.

Round 4: Honours


Buchanan

Another solid round for Buchanan. The ever present full back deserved his League 2 winners medal more than anyone in the squad. The only thing stopping the ex Preston North End man from gaining full marks in this round is his lack of silverware in cup competitions for the East Midlands outfit. 9/10

Horwood

Once again a victim of circumstance, the ex Stockport defender unfortunately takes a sound thrashing in this round, not that many Cobblers sides did when Evan was at the back! 0/10


Round 5: Goal Scoring


Oh dear, red faces all round here, with neither man getting off the mark! 0 points for both


Round 6: Playing 106 Consecutive Games For the Cobblers


Buchanan

Full marks here for the Rochdale born sometime Cobblers skipper. A well deserved score for a living NTFC legend. 10/10

Horwood

Sadly the exHartlepool man misses out again, although it should be noted that he was kept out of the squad by a certain Mr D Buchanan. If things had been different would Evan have been 106 not out at Sixfields? We will never know. Its a score of 3.1/10 to represent the 31 appearances the ex Scunthorpe man did make for the Cobblers

Round 7: Posing for Photos as a Giant Penguin




It is often said that football is more of a business than a sport, and with the pressures surrounding the game it is more important than ever that players find time to wind down and relax to help prepare their minds and bodies for future battles. What better way to do this than by dressing as a giant, flightless bird. It is well documented that footballers like to socialise together, therefore there is every chance Evan's companion in the above cropped photo is Buchanan. Therefore it is full marks for both men as we go into the the deciding round with the scores 55 to 35.1...

Round 8: Relaxing With Dogs





Buchanan
A low scoring round here for the ex Preston North Ender. 0/10

Horwood 
Evans above he's only gone and won it! With scandal and sleaze so often engulfing the game and the importance of clubs in their local community it is doubly important (hence the double points on offer in this round) that players remember their role model status in society and demonstrate a human side. As a nation of dog lovers it is more than refreshing to see a footballer lead the way in showing care and affection for our furry companions. 20/20 here for the ex NTFC fullback.

FINAL SCORE: DAVID BUCHANAN 55                                         EVAN HORWOOD 55.1





Saturday, 6 May 2017

Summer Signings day one Leon Lobjoit

As the dust settled on another season, manager Justin Edinburgh wasted no time in shaping his own squad to take on the 2017/18 league one campaign. Out went long serving centre half and player of the season Zander Diamond with goalkeeper Adam Smith also making it known on social media that he would not be signing a new contract. Two Rob Page signings also exited; Emmanuel Sonupe's unproductive stay at Sixfields came to an end and despite activating a clause in his contract to stay another season,former Nottingham Forest man Paul Anderson agreed his future lay elsewhere. 

With Neal Eardley and all the club's loanees also leaving the club and winger Daniel Powell and striker Leon Lobjoit coming in the other direction it is very much a case of all change this summer. So what next? What and who should Edinburgh be looking at to improve on the disappointing 2016/17 season?

In today's blog we will be focusing on one of those coming in to the club who may play a big part next season. The exciting yet unproven Leon Lobjoit. Born on 4th January 1995 and like his fellow new recruit Powell, a product of the MK Dons youth system Lobjoit has recently impressed at non-league Buckingham Town, scoring an impressive 62 goals. According to numerology algorithm the life path number for individuals born on January 4th 1995 is 2, suggesting that Edinburgh should look to play two strikers when Lobjoit is in the team, however,as a Capricorn, Lobjoit is unlikely to find compatibility with either Richards or the other senior striker Alex Revell, both born under the sign of Cancer. 

Edinburgh may wish to use preseason to test out Lobjoit with youth team graduate Joe Iaciofano,as although both are very inexperienced in league football, the high compatibility rating of Virgo Iaciofano and Capricorn Lobjoit is likely to lead to a successful partnership.

What kind of player is Lobjoit, or more importantly, what kind of player will he be at league one level?  The most important three characteristics of an individual born under his modality are:
    • prefers action rather than planning
    • very energetic (which his social media presence is further testament to!!)
    • takes initiative very often
Lobjoit's excellent form for Buckingham this season can be attributed to the Sun/Pluto conjunction in January empowering and emboldening him all year long. Justin Edinburgh should expect a quiet preseason from the former Coventry development squad player and should not see this as a further sign the youngster is once again not fulfilling his early promise, more a sign that Saturn is retrograde in Sagittarius from April until late August. This tones down any over-enthusiasm or rash action.

Lobjoit should be settling in well with his new team mates as the season progresses, with a rash of sextiles involving eight planets keeping him connected and in touch with others, enabling him to coolly and calmly relate to them, and to see the magic that surrounds many people and situations, especially in opposition penalty areas.

If the former QPR under 21 man is planning a make over, he should do so in tiny ways, by wearing brighter colours or listening to a different music genre. December suggests a thrilling two-way secret.

Tomorrow: 
Will Daniel Powell convert the emotional independence Venus is offering him in EFL League one next season?




Thursday, 5 May 2011

Big news expected at sixfields

Expect big announcements within the next few days coming out of sixfields regarding the retained list for the upcoming 2011/12 season.

In other news, Steve Riches revealed in today's Chronicle and Echo that the temporary replacement of soap in some of the west stand toilets with "supermarket handpump soaps" resulted in their apparent theft.

With today's local elections sure to impact on potential development issues; the panel on bbc's popular question time programme were remaining type lipped on the Sixfields issue tonight.