Issue Our own tinkerman

As told by Paul Hodgson

There was a time, just before Chelsea’s Roman occupation when the blues had one of their Italian managers, this one named Claudio Ranieri.

He came to be called “the tinkerman” due to his habit of constantly changing his first eleven. He used to mystify and exasperate Chelsea fans with these incessant changes simply because they weren’t the result of injuries ore any apparent loss of form of those players who lost their starting berth. Each match there seemed to be at least two (and sometimes more) needless team changes.

During Colin Cooper’s brief spell as caretaker manager the players showed real signs of beginning to play as a team… more than the sum of the individual parts. Fans began looking to and talking of the possibility of a better future just round the corner.

Phil Parkinson came in and with him brought 4 (or was it 5) players who went straight into what had just recently begun to look like a settled eleven.

We were assured that these were “better calibre players” so we trusted the managers judgement. the results didn’t improve as the team seemed to be back at square one… needing to “gel” all over again.

Recently, against Torquay City began to look like a team once again. Playing as a unit with a man short they worked together to get the result.

Now we all appreciate that due to the sending off the manager had to make one change but many fans, myself included were left shaking their heads at the other shuffling of the pack with other needless changes. The question came over and over again “why has he made those changes? Doesn’t he know, from all available players, what his best eleven is. Our worst fears were realised with the poor showing at Hereford. Even with their recently arrived loan signings most fans were looking forward to our first away win or at least another creditable draw.
These seemed like changes just for changes sake.

Please Mr Parkinson, unless you want to become our very own “Tinkerman” give the players a chance to become a team forego the temptation to keep making changes when they’re apparently not really necessary. The eleven lads out on the park will only become more than the sum of a load of individuals by playing together. Instinctively knowing what their teammates are going to do even before they do it. This only comes with time and matches together.

Each time you needlessly tinker with the side, that day is slightly further away.