Seven tips to beat Swindon Town at home

The Washbag

A League One manager gives his tips on how to play against Mark Cooper’s men at the County Ground, as told to Alex Cooke

Tip One

On no account play your own game. Sure, you might be a big team full of big names with a big budget but that counts for nothing here – and it certainly didn’t for Preston. Taking  three points home with you is as likely as Russell Brand shutting up for a bit. So don’t try. Aiming for one point is frankly being a bit ambitious.

Most importantly remember your fans might have travelled hundreds of miles to see this. Some will have paid as much as £27 for the honour. It is important that cross your fingers, get men behind the ball and think only of the point you might get, that is if you follow these instructions.

Tip Two

Keep it compact. Swindon…

View original post 649 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Swindon 1-4 Wolves: Town drivel as Wolves’ fans drool

The Washbag

Michael Smith’s second-half goal provided scant consolation for Town fans in a stinging 4-1 home defeat by a Wolves side bustling with strength, collective effort and, Leon Clarke, writes Alex Cooke.

Swindon manager Mark Cooper labelled 45 minutes of this display “outstanding” but seemed to choose the wrong half and the wrong team, for despite Swindon’s improvement after the break, Kenny Jackett’s predatory side had torn Town’s defensive unit to pieces with an ease and economy of effort that showed why they deserve promotion this season.

Not that Swindon made it hard for the visitors, the defence shorn of the pace of Troy Archbald-Henville and Nathan Thompson through injury, sat high and looked shapeless as Raphael Rossi Branco was frequently became drawn out of position. Branco was trying to support Nathan Byrne at right back, whom Wolves seemed to have targeted by pushing the muscular Nouha Dicko up against him…

View original post 772 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Alex Pritchard: Why can’t a loanee can’t be loved at Swindon Town?

The Washbag

With the High Court contest between Jed and Lee likely to drag on into the summer, Alex Cooke chooses to compare a loan signing from Spurs to a holiday fling with a Spanish waiter…

Perhaps Alex Pritchard should have been loved at Swindon Town. The Spurs’ loanee gave an otherwise indirect team incision and élan. With his drop of the shoulder, slipping into a half-turn and accelerating into a dancing dribble, he moistened gussets and set pulses racing. But he wasn’t loved.

Perhaps Swindon fans insulated their hearts against him slipping and squirming his way in, but Wiltshire ventricles didn’t open as easily to him as League One defences.

Perhaps the certainty that as a Tottenham loanee he would leave them at the end of the season meant not getting too involved was essential. It was self preservation. It was protection. After all we all knew he’d be gone in…

View original post 821 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Miles Storey: Marmite Messiah

The Washbag

With Portsmouth reportedly leading Shrewsbury to sign Swindon’s quick forward on loan, Alex Cooke assess the value of a striker who has yet to turn potential into goals.

It is almost impossible to have a sensible conversation about Miles Storey online. He has become a totem for every polarising debate within the fanbase: potential v reality; loans v developing your own; possession football v something more direct. And none of it is Storey’s doing.

Questioning any aspect of his game is seen as provocative, praising him seen as simplistic. Fortunately I know you can handle that. After all you, readership, are wiser, more thoughtful and yes, sexier than others. We already know your comments below the line will be cogent, considered and grammatically correct.

But just in case you can’t resist base abuse such as ‘hairy-backed zebra shover’ or ‘butter-brained pimple’, let’s use facts: Miles Storey is 20, he…

View original post 668 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Trialist Fails: The good, the bad and Thomas Dossevi

The Washbag

With trialist Anton Rogers already signed and Jonathan Vandesompele set to learn his fate soon, Alex Cooke looks at the short list of trialists who have made it at Town – and the much longer list of those who haven’t.

Thomas Dossevi: living, breathing, continually-caught-offside proof that the wisdom of crowds is utter arseflap. Oh it is easy to criticise Andy King for taking a chance on Darren Dykes or Paolo Di Canio for giving Etienne Esajas a go, but the signing of Dossevi proves how hard it can be. When the Togolese trier flicked in those two goals against Nottingham Forest, Danny Wilson and every forum dweller made a huge mistake.

Obviously, Dossevi proved to be utter tossevi, just like so many others did. However, Swindon have had a few belters on trial – such as Stefan Migloranzi, and some, such as Warren Howes who are so obscure that…

View original post 1,117 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

‘Tis the season to be cautious at Swindon Town…

The Washbag

Alex Cooke clicked 14th place for Town’s finish in our prediction poll, here he justifies why he’s feeling a bit cautious.

It is not the kind of stuff to get you fully engorged, is it? The new season is almost upon us and Sky et al are giving it more bells and whistles than a Leper Pride parade. But are we Town fans feeling it? Nope. My dreams of promotion are already melting like a dead elephant’s ice-cream.

Already Saturday’s match against Scunthorpe United is going to be the lowest key opener since Queen Vic cut the ribbon on the Great Exhibition with the immortal words ‘I’d leave it for a bit, if I were one’. Why? One short-term loan signing and one permanent deal – it’s hardly the stuff of transfer deadline tea break let alone a whole day. Obviously signings aren’t a good to judge how a season is…

View original post 509 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ryan Harley, cockey rebel

The Washbag

Alex Cooke looks closely at Swindon’s middling midfielder to understand why the former Brighton man has become loathed by some fans.

I wasn’t at Orient. Remember those four words because they are going to be important. I didn’t go to Brisbane Road but I did hear the comments and read the tweets, messages and match reports of those who were. After that game, Ryan Harley was referred by a number as everything from a ‘passenger’ to a ‘waste of space’. Along with a Twitter conversation about Harley’s decline after he signed for Swansea, it made me want to watch Harley specifically, and that happened against Crawley. Obviously, it turned out to be his best performance in a Town shirt.

In the Crawley match, Harley displayed the qualities that inspired his former boss Paul Tisdale to once say of him, “He is not just a talented, passing players, he is a…

View original post 606 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Belford, boos and angry fans

The Washbag

Alex Cooke reflects on a night when the ’12th man’ turned on the youngest, most inexperienced of the 11 boys.

A 19-year-old ‘keeper miss-hits a clearance. BOOOOO! A 19-year-old ’keeper, making his second ever League start, hits the ball straight into touch. BOOOOO! An increasingly nervous 19-year-old-‘keeper, making his second ever League start and 10-minutes into his home debut, kicks the ball from his hands to the far end of the pitch. CHEERS! (Sarcastic).

Football is all about opinions. It is a phrase trotted out regularly by Shaun Hodgetts – the human equivalent of those feeble bottles of 2% supermarket lager, but there is a kernel of truth in there. There is very little in football that isn’t subjective in some way: Ronaldo versus Messi or elegant passing versus dogged efficiency. So far there are no metrics sophisticated enough to encapsulate such a simple game in a stat – even…

View original post 426 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Farewell Simon Ferry

The Washbag

Alex Cooke looks at the hair, the pants and the departure of Swindon Town’s long-serving player, who was told he would be released on Thursday.

Swindon crowds have their favourites. They love down-the-line wingers, they love blood-and-thunder triers, they love goal scorers. Simon Ferry was none of these things and yet, there are few in recent times to receive such universal adulation as the midfielder.


Ferry encapsulated something different. He was effective but also impish. His efficiency in passing, calm in control and reticence in the dribble belied a cheekiness, an exuberance in his play and his off-the-field persona.

His various Twitter accounts were genuinely funny, his hair was often hilarious and his underwear was occasionally all to visible. And so he endeared himself to Swindon fans through charm, not cynical badge-kissing. There was a modesty, an honesty to him. So when I wrote about his passing statistics on here…

View original post 375 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What is wrong with chairman Lee Power signing players for Swindon?

The Washbag

Town’s owner is also the chief scout and director of football operations, but boardroom interference at Swindon isn’t unusual, or even a problem, says Alex Cooke.

Does Lee Power signing players undermine Town manager Mark Cooper? Is the former Peterborough boss just a puppet? Or, can a chairman who says he has “the mind of a player, a manager and an owner” be useful?

What is clear is that Power has denied meddling in Cooper’s job, “He picks the team, he picks the tactics and all I do is help with player recruitment”. Cooper himself recently mirrored his chairman’s comment, adding, “He doesn’t interfere… All he does is just helps us try to recruit the best players we can for what money we’ve got available”.

It is this involvement in transfers which give Power this controversial title – Director of Football Operations. However, like other similar roles, director of football…

View original post 1,333 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment