First, yes, it is April Fools Day but I’m posting this after 12:00pm so you know that it’s not a joke. Secondly, yes, it has been a long time since my last blog and for those thousands who have implored me to blog again, well the two or three of you anyway, I apologise for that.
But, I am back and so perhaps the real question is why and indeed will this be a blog or a rant? That my friends, detractors and readers is for you to decide but with out blowing my ow trumpet, I think it’ll get you talking.
The timing recently just doesn’t seem to have been right to blog. A run of home-games and a postponement where nothing really happened. Yes, we did beat Leeds twice, Plymouth and Bristol but did anyone ever think we wouldn’t win those games?
Before you answer that consider Flyers performance and result at Sheffield last Friday!
Then, we went on the road and boy, did the keyboard warriors break out in style and condemn us to also-rans that couldn’t organise and run a time and with a bunch of players that couldn’t care or win! It’s staggering what expectations success brings, it really is.
The conspiracy theories surrounding Fab have been the most speculative. Is he done? Is Drew Sullivan coming in to replace him? Has he lost the will and fortitude to carry on? Can he even coach this team? Please note the ‘?’ marks after all those statements.
The reason for that is they may be legitimate questions and they may not, and I certainly know and think some of them are definitely not legitimate. But the one thing all those statements are, are conjecture and rumour and nothing more.
So, let me give you some facts even if it could get me slightly in trouble with the powers that be. Fab has a bad injury. It is being assessed daily and we’re all hoping with his recovery record over the years he comes through it and can get back on court as soon as possible.
We are also hoping to see him back coaching very soon indeed. His injury has meant that he has had to have his foot as relaxed as possible. Patrolling the side-lines of the court whether it be in training or at games would have aggravated it. He was told by medical experts not to put that stress on it so hasn’t, pure and simple.
It would also have been very difficult for him to have travelled given the injury. However, he was all prepared to travel Thursday/Friday until virtually a last-minute call meant he had to attend a medical assessment instead.
Now, quite how all of that has lead to certain people speculating about his future with some outlandish rumours is quite breath-taking. Especially as a lot of it comes from people from other Clubs who perhaps would be better served commenting about their own rather than Eagle-baiting.
With Fab in line to return Thurs/Fri it was felt Dave F should stand down. Dave was very much under the weather and again a trip away may well not have aided recovery. There is no coaching by committee there is only a three-way mutual respect and understanding.
They talk to each other and decide what’s best for all. This last week was just one of those weeks when the stars didn’t align, and sacrifices had to be made and that’s a fact. That a very capable Ian stood up on Thurs/Fri was another fact and one that had to happen.
What does all this mean? Fact is Fab is injured and his injury is preventing him from being around the team. Fact is that he will be back in a coaching capacity in the very near future and in a playing capacity as soon as possible with Dave alongside him too.
Terry is gone. We thought long and hard about replacing him and indeed looked at one or two options. The fact is that we had no idea Darius was going to get injured and be out for so long.
To bring in a new player all the options must be looked at. Cost, accommodation, outgoings, team alignment, contributions on and off the court. In fact, the facts are that it’s often very, very easy to bring the wrong player in quickly to plug gaps.
We’re not like that at this Club and the fact of the matter is that we didn’t find anyone that quite fitted everything we needed within what we had. That’s not quite true, we did find someone quite late and put out a contract, but he signed elsewhere outside The BBL.
Terry and Darius’ injuries have been the ones that have hurt us and the ones that have caused us the most concern. We’ve done what we could and consider what we could and, in the end, gone with what we did. You may or may not agree with it but those are the facts.
Have we written the season off? Absolutely not, there’s still second place to play for, mathematically there’s still first!!! Remember too there’s the play-offs to prepare for and that we know we’re in for.
Can anyone really tell me and us that a fully-fit Eagles roster re-charged and re-focused don’t have a chance of ending the season as Play-Off Champions?
Leicester quite honestly this season have been phenomenal. Their side is not as strong as last year’s but somehow, some way they have kept finding a way and that’s all credit to them for doing so. They, rather than us, are probably the side to aspire too now and the ones to catch.
As for us? Well Surrey who are excellent at home this season, Leicester and London all in a week would have been a tough call for anyone let alone a side minus four players, their Head Coach and one of their assistants.
I’m conceding Surrey as we didn’t play well, and certain players had real off-days but in the other two games we should a lot of spirit, pride and effort to be in those games for so long and without hyping them up too much, with Darius and Drew in the line-up we may well have taken those games.
Fact was they weren’t, and fact is we didn’t. We live though to fight again.
What we have seen is Jure step up, AJ show he can play at this level and Jamal showing he is a BBL player and proving his worth. The others had already shown it and whilst they may have fell short of their previous performances, they were often playing out of position and in systems we had to adapt and adopt to fit the situation.
That is not a criticism, nor an excuse, it’s all facts! And the next fact is that we have two home games coming up to hopefully bounce back in and re-address the last week or so. Beat Worcester and Sheffield and we’d be short odds for second place. Lose to both or either and we’ll still be in the mix.
For me, you can speculate, you can rumourate (not even a word!) and you can conject, dissect and pontificate all you want and TBH you’re all entitled to do that and pays your money to do so.
However, the facts still remain that for the vast majority of you reading this, all two or three of you, this is your Club, the one that you support and enjoy watching and the fact is that you all need to keep doing that and being behind us and leave all the rest to us to figure out!