All posts tagged 'Hessenthaler'

To Twitter or not to Twitter?

by The Gills Blog, with Luke Cawdell Tuesday, January 11 2011

THE issue I’ve always had with social networking is that pretty much anyone can see what you’re up to and that can have its downfalls.

Former Gills transfer target Marvin Morgan learned the hard way that when it comes to the internet there is no hiding place.

After recently being booed off the pitch he responded with a hasty tweet on Twitter, wishing all of the fans died.

It earned him a two week fine and a place on the transfer list. Although it’s not all bad as he got a promotion to League 1 after Dagenham came in and took him off Aldershot’s hands.

Twitter seems to be getting a few people in trouble and this week Liverpool midfielder Ryan Babel earned an FA disciplinary charge for improper conduct.

He posted a picture of referee Howard Webb in a Manchester United shirt following their 1-0 defeat at the weekend.

Personally I think it’s a refreshing change to see some players expressing themselves and saying how it is. Surely there is nothing wrong with a bit of light-hearted fun, especially at Berbatov definitely took a diver for that first minute penalty!

Managers and officials may not like their players making comments though and that’s the problem.

It doesn’t look as though Gills boss Andy Hessenthaler has much to worry about at the moment though. Not much controversial from his players.

Tony Sinclair was getting annoyed at people staring at his foot cast, which is on to protect his fractured toe, but that’s about it from the Gills players.

There was a "tweet" from a Liam Marum, the former Crawley striker, who says training at the Gills is going well so maybe we could be seeing a new face in the near future?

What’s certain is that social networking remains on the increase and clubs will need to start paying close attention to what their players are up to and what they’re saying...

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Come join us!

by The Gills Blog, with Luke Cawdell Wednesday, January 5 2011

A new year and that means new ideas for us on the sportsdesk at the KM.


This Monday we’re planning something new for us, something that had been tried out by other media outlets elsewhere in the country and we’re hoping Gillingham fans get involved too.


We’re planning a Monday lunchtime chat/debate about all things Gills.


I’ll be hosting the online event but it’s a platform for you, the fans, to have your say and fire any questions at myself if you want.


I don’t pretend to be a fountain of knowledge when it comes to the Gills, but let’s see how it goes.


We’ve previously tried using live software among the Gills fans and it was a real success when we broadcast during games. Unfortunately we had to pull the plug on that because of licensing issues.


There are drawbacks to live coverage as it often means mistakes creep in, particular spelling! Try typing something while watching a match at the same time and you’ll see what I mean.


Here at the KM we’re keen to have fans’ comment and have a regular list of people who give their pre-match and post-match reaction to games. Obviously we can’t print everything, as we have to be wary of defaming anyone, but we won’t on purposely stop people commenting because it may not be in agreement to the football club.


Several fans took issue when we had to close the comments section a while back on Kent  Online. This came around the same time as the Gills’ “media blackout week” following the Dover debacle.


The reason we pulled the plug on comments was because 99 per cent of them were defamatory. We had “Mark Stimson”, “Alan Julian” and “Paul Scally” all coming on with their opinions. We have to monitor comments closely and it was getting ridiculous so instead of spending valuable time filtering them we had to, sadly, close it.


Maybe it’s because of an up-turn of results, but those silly comments have disappeared, and we seem to have a few more thoughtful and insightful contributors at the moment.


Probably one of the best things about the technology at our disposal now is that news can be immediate. Sometimes that can be a pain when it comes to writing for the newspaper. I’ve lost track of the amount of times the Gills have made a signing a few hours after our deadline.


Another drawback to the immediacy of online is that when I make a mistake there is no hiding! On Saturday I accidentally said it was Akinfenwa’s sixth goal of the season, not his seventh, and boy are some people quick to notice!


The good thing with the internet, however, is that it enables us to cover events as they happen, a benefit to the many Gills fans I’m sure who have a variety of news outlets now to keep on top of things.


We’re hoping as many of you join us as you can on Monday. It’s a new thing for us, it may not work, but let’s just give it a go! And of course, we welcome your comments, good or bad!

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Categories: Gillingham

Fair play? Not likely

by The Gills Blog, with Luke Cawdell Monday, November 1 2010

We have a sports desk at the KM that is sadly swamped by Tottenham fans so you can probably guess the conversation this morning.

If you didn’t see the incident in the Spurs-Man U game, it went as follows. Spurs keeper

Heurelho Gomes saw United’s Nani handle the ball and subsequently rolled it out for a free-kick.

Only problem was referee Mark Clattenburg didn’t see the infringement, didn’t blow his whistle, and Nani slotted home United’s second to seal the win.

Moan as much as you want Spurs fans. I may not have been taught much when I played football as a kid, but what I did learn was to play to the whistle.

Alex Ferguson hit the nail on the head by saying the goalkeeper "made a mess of it". No whistle means play on so Nani was quite right to put the ball in the net.

People will be trying to say Nani shouldn’t have scored because of "fair play" but when do we ever see fair play in top flight football. UEFA and FIFA bang that drum all of the time but it doesn’t ever stop the divers and the play acting that are so common in the Premiership and Champions League.

There was controversy at Sixfields as well and referee Rob Shoebridge was in the firing line from Gills boss Andy Hessenthaler.

With two minutes gone Cody McDonald is bundled over in the box with a clumsy challenge. No penalty. In the same half Dean Beckwith falls over at the other end after a tangle with Matt Lawrence. Penalty.

No consistency whatsoever and that’s the most frustrating thing.

No doubt not as frustrating as being a follower of the Gills on the road. Another woeful away effort this weekend, refereeing decisions aside, and that makes it 33 without a win away from home and sees the Gills close to relegation than promotion. Will it ever end?!

At least we have three home games coming up now for Gillingham so maybe at the end of that things will look a lot brighter.

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Categories: Gillingham | Gills

Time to forgive?

by The Gills Blog, with Luke Cawdell Monday, October 25 2010

Eighty-two balls in the hat for the FA Cup draw but it always seemed destined that Gillingham would be paired with Dover.

I’m sure Andy Hessenthaler and co had hoped Dover fans would have forgotten what happened in the summer and moved on.

But it appears not.

Dover need no incentive now on Tuesday night to win their FA Cup replay against Farnborough and set up what will be a cracking first round tie at Gillingham.

Whites fans will be hoping Martin Hayes and his team can dish out a bit of revenge after Hessenthaler left Crabble to return to Priestfield.

I don’t think anyone can really blame Hess for leaving, but what appears to still rankle with them is what happened afterwards, particularly the decision of Ian Hendon to leave just weeks after "joining" them as manager.

The problem is that Hendon never signed a deal (despite sitting with Whites chairman Jim Parmenter with pen in hand at a press conference to unveil him as manager!) and weeks later hot-footed it over to Priestfield to link up with Hessenthaler.

Nicky Southall followed and so did Darren Hare but who can blame them?

Dover are a great club and going places but as a professional you’ve got to aim high. Hessy did a good job at Dover and deserved another crack at the Gills job so why the hysteria?

Most managers have a team of trusted people that they keep close to them and that is no different than Hessenthaler. He and Hendon have been close since their Barnet days, and probably before that. Football can be a murky world and so it’s best to have people you can rely on close at hand.

It was a messy situation in the summer without a doubt but, like the Dover chairman said this week, it’s all worked out well in the end and Martin is doing the business so far at Crabble.

I’m sure that if Dover get through to play the Gills those Whites fans will be quick to attack Hess and co, but should they? I don’t think so.

Someone called me naive previously for saying such a thing but that’s football. We all have differing opinions.

I can’t see what is wrong with having ambition in the game and moving onwards and upwards. All Ian Hendon did was weight up his options and choose Gillingham. How it ever got to the stage where there was a press conference to announce him as manager before a deal had been signed is for others to answer.

Good luck to Dover on Tuesday, it’s great to have so much Kent involvement in the cup and congrats to Scott Porter and his Hythe team for making it this far.

Roll on November 6.

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Categories: Gillingham | Gills | Sport

Chips and curry sauce please

by The Gills Blog, with Luke Cawdell Monday, October 18 2010

Following the Gills up and down the country on a fortnightly basis isn’t doing much good for my diet.

 One thing myself and photographer Barry usually look forward to is the chance to sample some decent takeaway food.

I don’t mean to cause offence, but Southerners just can’t do decent chip shops.

After being pointed in the right direction by The Sentinel’s Vale reporter we managed to find a chippy tucked away in among the maze of houses that is Burslem (home of the Vale).

I haven’t tasted chips and curry sauce that good since visiting the chippy outside Leeds’ ground last season. The one run by the Billy Bremner look-a-like.

Unlike those journalists lucky enough to cover Premiership football, us lower-division reporters have to fend for ourselves.

As Barry informed me, his mate was up at Arsenal well before kick-off so he could tuck into Shepherds Pie and take advantage of the free beer.

I once had the pleasure of covering a game at Old Trafford and spent more time eating and drinking than watching football. It’s a different world in the Prem on every level.

Port Vale have sadly axed the free food voucher and replaced it was just a drink. Not grumbling though, that’s better than most.

And at Gillingham, we are indebted to Richard and Martin for supplying the complementary biscuits. Sadly, they are usually hoovered up by scouts and the club’s coaching staff as if they haven’t eaten for a year.

It was such a disappointment to see the away run continue on Saturday in a performance that warranted a win and fair play to the 200 odd Gills fans who sang throughout and put the home fans to shame. Surely they won’t have to wait much longer for a win away from home now...

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Categories: Gillingham | Gills | Sport

A new low

by The Gills Blog, with Luke Cawdell Tuesday, October 5 2010

I’VE been covering Gillingham for around six years now and Saturday’s performance has to be the most bizarre game of them all - and there have been some shockers.

Having watched most of Gillingham’s away games over that time I have been witness to more than my far share of dodgy defending, goalkeeping howlers and out-right terrible performances.

It’s been a tough few years for the Gillingham faithful. 7-0 at Shrewsbury, 6-0 at Bristol City, 5-0 at Colchester, 4-1 at Millwall, 5-0 at Carlisle...dare I mention Burcough!

The first thing Hessy did after the game on Saturday was to get a copy of the DVD and re-run the horror with assistant boss Ian Hendon. Needless to say it was a long wait for the post-match interviews, particularly as the Gills boss then had to have a word with the less-than-helpful referee Iain Williamson.

Gillingham’s away form has been bad for so long now that I’m struggling to think of an away trip where they really wiped the floor with anyone in the last few years. When Stan Ternant arrived at Priestfield the first thing he commented on was how can a team so good at home be so poor away?

It’s an answer that nobody has found the solution to. It now looks like Hess has had enough and comments this week suggest he’s ready to off-load players who seem incapable of playing on away soil. It’s clearly a psychological barrier that some players have struggled to get past.

At home the Gills were fantastic last season, and again looked solid this one (apart from Lincoln) and it’s amazed me to see how players with genuine talent just seem to crumble when they head up the motorway.

It’s forced us to look into the history books in recent weeks and make calls to club historian Roger Triggs. Saturday’s loss made it 28 league games without an away win - equalling the record that had stood since the early 90s. Next away game for the Gills is at league leaders Port Vale.

We had a bit of debate about whether Wembley was regarded as an "away" fixture and because it’s neutral territory that doesn’t count and so the total record, league and cup, is now 32 - which is a worst ever run in the club’s history.

Fear not though, it’s nowhere near the record set by Crewe Alexandra in the mid-50s. They went 56 away games without a win and I’m sure that won’t be beaten by the Gills....surely!


Back to reality

by The Gills Blog, with Luke Cawdell Sunday, September 26 2010

IT was back to normality with a bump for myself at Priestfield on Saturday.

After spending the last two Saturday afternoons with my feet up, enjoying the glorious sunshine in Spain, I was back in the press box at Priestfield this weekend.

It may still be September but it was freezing up at the back of the Medway Stand and the gloves and woolly hat are definitely coming out for the match against Southend on Tuesday night.

I like the fact that Burton came looking for a win, a rather refreshing change and something I don’t think we’ll see at Priestfield too often this season, although their football wasn’t exactly creative.

Unfortunately where Burton went Gillingham followed and there was a bit too much long ball going on for my liking and clearly for Andy Hessenthaler as well. He managed to get the team a bit more disciplined after the break and I reckon by 90 minutes the Gills deserved the win.

Quick to rub salt in the wounds, one of our regular contributors to the coveritlive text commentary let me know it was 32c over in Spain. Thanks for that GillSpain!

Looking outside from the KM Medway office the weather is still looking pretty grim at the minute on Sunday evening. We have just about finished putting together the Monday paper, which is pretty chocker this week following a lengthy post-match press conference after the game on Saturday.

Hessy is a top man when it comes to dealing with the press and a far cry from some recent managers at Priestfield.

The job of a local footy reporter can be made pretty difficult if the manager isn’t very cooperative or doesn’t appreciate the value of the media.

There are certainly still some characters about in football and it was quite refreshing to sit in on a press conference with Southend boss Paul Sturrock recently. He waltzed in after pretty much telling Gills’ assistant Ian Hendon to hurry up "because I need the toilet." Although his language was less polite!

I think Ian was all-too happy to cut short his press commitments after Hess decided to let his no.2 do the duties that evening.

Throughout the week we have to deal with non-league managers across Kent and you certainly get a mixed back. I have spent some time this Sunday trying to get some reaction to Chatham’s win over Walton. The manager didn’t answer his phone, the assistant did - but he was in Trinidad - and the player/coach got sent off in the game for an "off the ball incident" so it was no surprise he didn’t pick up!

Back to Hess and he was telling us about new boy Bruce Inkango and how he turned up without a suit on Saturday. Eager to avoid an early fine he apparently borrowed the kit-man Malcom’s suit from when they went to Wembley and it fitted a dream. They even managed to dig him out a tie. Pic of Malcolm below! Hopefully Malc didn't leave any fags in the pockets.

I was quite interested to see Nicky Southall giving Bruce several minutes of instructions before he came on as sub. Apparently Bruce's English isn't very good so god knows how that conversation went!

It was good news to hear that Simon King might be on the way back before Christmas, though he really does need to sort that barnet out. Hess said it makes him look like a girl but if he can recapture the form of old I guess nobody will really care.

I also heard the match-day announcer Doug say it was Barry Fuller’s birthday on Saturday. All the records I have found suggest his birthday is in August and the Gills press officer looked none the wiser. Does anyone know how old Fuller really is?

Anyway, roll on Southend, and if you are going don’t forget to wrap up warm!



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Categories: Gills

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