Time for Ryan to deliver the goods

DESPERATE times call for desperate measures - or desperate dreams in The Man's case. Because amid the general paucity of our neglected squad their lies a glimmer of hope for a coming of age.

DESPERATE times call for desperate measures - or desperate dreams in The Man's case.

Because amid the general paucity of our neglected squad their lies a glimmer of hope for a coming of age.

It may seem as if he's been around for donkeys' years, but Ryan Jarvis is still only 20.

Yes, I know I'm scraping the barrel, but bear with me. . .

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The Man recalls the debut RJ made against Wolves and telling anyone that would listen 'Jarvinho' was going to be the next big thing.

But then, well, we waited - and we waited - and nothing happened.

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In fact, between making his debut against Wolves and bagging a brace against Rotherham, I'm struggling to remember anything.

Maybe a consolation goal against Liverpool?

But that's about it.

The point is if this fella is ever going to deliver it has to be now - it's time to relieve himself or get off the pot.

The Man thinks Jarv has been an example of the kind of human being modern football now churns out.

I would imagine that from the age of 10 he has been aware he's going to be a professional footballer; a notion no doubt reinforced by his dad.

The Man is not saying it has come easy to RJ, but during these past four years where has the hunger been to make that step up?

He just doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who has been bashing the manager's door down.

Of course, a lot of his lack of progression boils down to limited opportunities afforded to him by Nutty Nigel; and maybe now even in this depleted days he might find double D blocking his way.

But let's face it, if he can't find a place in the current team, then he never will. Time to stand up to the plate RJ.

While on the subject of youth products: Jason Shackell.

A proper blood and guts defender, of that The Man is in little doubt.

However, during recent weeks I have become increasingly worried about his positioning; while his distribution has been lousy.

Someone needs to have a word in his ear to say, just stop the ball - then give it simple to someone who can pass.

There's no disgrace in that; football is a simple game.

So simple, in fact, that it is easy to spot when someone is doing something wrong - which brings me on to Safri.

Don't get me wrong - a quality player - but can the crowd please desist from goading him into shooting two or three times a game.

He did it once against Newcastle - and it was wonderful - but we have to let it go.

It's not worth losing possession over anymore.


JUST when The Man's faith in Nutty Nigel was near fatally wounded, he goes and pulls a rabbit out of a hat.

He signs the former City, England and Celtic striker who was waiting to be snapped up. Job done - off we go.

The only hitch is, it's not super Chris, but Dion Dublin - four years his senior!

I'm sure in the recesses of my mind I recall NW ruling out a move for Sutton because of his age. Sgt Worthy wanted someone young and hungry.

Clearly, it is now apparent there is something more sinister in the background as to why we didn't look at CS, but what's done is done.

The Man is not going to criticise the double D, he's always seemed like a decent chap, and let's see how he gets on.

What I am more concerned about is that our transfer activity at the most crucial stage of the season has consisted of selling Green and Leon; and bringing in a 37-year-old and a guy who has never played a senior match before.

These are the kind of signings I would expect us to be making in a couple of years when the Sky money has dried up and the crowds have dipped - to be doing it in the second year of parachute payments seems almost criminal.

Even Magilton managed to hustle up a few decent signings. . .

There's only one word for it folks: shambles.

One thing is for sure, as supporters - having sold out the season tickets again - there is not a lot more we can do.

The Man has said it before, and no doubt he will say it again, we deserve better.

Still, what do we know eh? We're only fans, Nutty Nigel will be here long after we have left. Fact.


IT SHOULD not come as a surprise - but it still hurts.

Our football club seems hell-bent on finding increasingly tortuous ways of being humiliated by Crystal Palace.

Losing in injury time to a goal from a former Ipswich hero is a new attempt, and it's up there with the best of them.

Again last Saturday showed the disappointing lack of b*****ks this team has a worrying habit of displaying.

Safri and Dickson look the part; but just when The Man wants them to get stuck into people it doesn't seem to happen.

Oh for an Andy Townsend or Gary Holt in their prime - or even a Mike Milligan.

Get into 'em; forget the ball. OTBC.


LITTLE Reading announced plans to extend their stadium by “at least” 10,000 seats this week.

The Man thought someone had put some wacky baccy in his pipe when he read that one.

This is the club who did not even sell out their first ever game in the top flight, after a 100-year wait.

Whatever next? Wigan to unveil plans for a 100,000 seater dome? Fulham to make their home at the new Wembley?

The Man would suggest Reading concentrate on staying up for a few seasons before they try to extend their away end to get more Chelsea and Man U fans in.

Jeez, I still can't believe we are a league below them. . .

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