Skip to main content Skip to site footer
League One

Andy Ritchie's Blog 25

6 February 2013

The Sodje family have long been an npower Football League institution and it was great to see brothers Akpo and Sam line up against one another for the first time in their careers on Tuesday night, when Scunthorpe United entertained Portsmouth.

In the build-up I'd noticed that defender Sam had given an interview predicting he'd 'smash' his brother - in the nicest possible way of course - by keeping a clean sheet at his expense. However, the match didn't turn out that way, with Akpo bagging both goals in a 2-1 win for the Iron.

All I'll say on that one, is to keep your powder dry next time Sam! As a player and as a gaffer I'd always try and encourage people to play things down ahead of games, because so often you see people shouting about themselves from the roof tops, only to be bitten on their derriere. I'm sure that Akpo will be loving life as a result of his one-upmanship this week. Sam, on the other hand will be wishing he'd kept his thoughts to himself.

Two men who will also be feeling down in the dumps are Keith Curle and Paul Dickov, who left Notts County and Oldham Athletic respectively this week.

With the Magpies just five points off the Play-Offs at the time of his dismissal, I really don't know what to say about Curle's exit. I was surprised. There, I'll leave it at that.

As for Paul Dickov, as someone that knows him well I'm gutted for him, I really am. The parting of ways came by mutual consent, and it will have taken a lot for the Scot to reach that moment because there was no one more intensely proud of his job than Paul.

In a backward kind of way, I wonder if the famous FA Cup victory over Liverpool might have worked against Paul Dickov. Lots of people have been saying 'why can't they do that in the league?'

The club has got a difficult decision to make now. Do they muddle on through until the end of the season without making too many changes? Do they bring in a new boss and give him some of the FA Cup money to spend on loan players' wages? Or, do they appoint someone but give them very little just in case they go down, and use the money to invest in three quality players for a promotion push next year?

On the pitch I was impressed by Crewe Alexandra's stellar performance against Coventry City in the Northern Area Final of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. To beat the Sky Blues so convincingly in front of an amazing 31, 054 crowd proves they're a team with real character.

Sometimes players can be daunted by huge home followings, but that clearly wasn't the case at the Ricoh Arena for Steve Davis' men, who have given themselves one heck of a strong chance of reaching the Final.

Mark Robins will be upset about it, though. He knows what a great opportunity his side have squandered, and it will be a huge task for them to turn the tie around now. It's also a blow for the club, too. I wonder how many of the new faces will be back at the Ricoh for their next home match against Yeovil Town on Saturday?

Last word this week, as it so often is, goes to Swindon Town and Paolo Di Canio.

I'm sure that he's short on players at the moment, but his decision to name four subs for their trip to Colchester United on Tuesday night may well have been a cheeky little dig at the people who are making the decisions behind the scenes.

A new consortium is keen on getting involved and that could be good news, but Di Canio himself seems to be getting pretty fidgety. He'll have been devastated to have seen Matt Ritchie sold to npower League 1 rivals Bournemouth rather than an npower Championship club, but will he walk?

I for one certainly hope not. He shines a bright light on my column most weeks.

Advertisement block