Well Done, Gary Johnson.
The Notts County fans weren’t too happy when I stated that their tactics at London Road were nothing short of a disgrace, something I still stand by. It appears that Gary Johnson also does too, he told the Peterborough Evening Telegraph today:
“Fans deserve to see a game played at a good tempo. That’s what we try and do and it can be very frustrating to watch teams who want to waste time and slow things down from the first minute.
“It is something we will never do, but it is something we will have to overcome. We must make sure we don’t get over-anxious, but we must become more cute to deal with it.
“I can also promise that we will never resort to any sort of theatrics, especially feigning injury. I’ve told my players that when they are down injured I want to see the ambulance, the fire brigade and the police called because I want to know that it’s genuine.”
This statement sums up everything I like about Gary Johnson; he wants to win a game fairly and it’s a refreshing change to some of the philosophies that other managers seem to have. It is clear to me that Johnson loves his job, from the way he celebrates, to his interaction with the fans and even joining in with some of the chants from his dug-out.
Johnson’s usual match winning celebration.
In an age where added pressure is put upon managers to win matches, it is no secret that managerial sackings are becoming more and more common – just look at us last season – and that a series of poor results can cost someone their job, but should it mean that teams resort to these type of tactics?
We have seen MK Dons, Notts County and, to a lesser, extent Oldham come to London Road to try to grab a point in any way possible, whether that means breaking the rules or not. Worryingly though it doesn’t just seem to be the lower leagues that experience these problems. Look at the top level of English, and indeed European football, and a worrying trend of teams playing this way has occurred.
Football is becoming a sport where winning comes first and playing within the rules comes second for many clubs. It makes a great change that a manager will state that we won’t stoop so low, as a club, to try to cheat our way to victory. If we lose, we lose fairly and that is the sort of ethos, as a fan, I feel is important within a football club. Of course, we must learn to play against teams that use this sort of system, Johnson admits this, but as long as Peterborough United, as a football club, can rise above these under-hand tactics, I am certainly in support of it.
Please note there will not be a Carlisle match report as neither George nor I will be attending the game.