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Cod Almighty | Diary

Don't let the illegitimate fornicators grind you down

17 May 2019

Let's treat Paul Linwood with the same contempt that he and his drinking pals showed us, shall we?

Middle-Aged Diary is going to hand this diary over to you. It is the close season and we need to write about actual football, at least now and again, to keep the spirits up. We need a theme to keep us going, and I have two for the price of one for you to chew on.

"Square pegs in round holes" is a regular accusation made of Town managers. Sometimes the complaint is justified, but sometimes the switch is forced on the manager after injuries or suspensions have weakened the squad.

Sometimes it is necessary to experiment to find a player's best position. I bet someone muttered "square peg in a round hole" when they first saw John McDermott listed at right back in the team sheet, after he had previously been played across midfield. There proved to be something of the beautiful swan about the way the original and (sorry, Jimmy Mack) still the best Macca defended over the next 18 years.

So lets compile two teams: a square pegs XI of players hopelessly out of position; and a beautiful swans team of players who make an effective switch, whether in the long- or the short-term.

To get you started, I'll offer one for each team, both in the same position. Many things can be said of Danny Butterfield, but it should never be said, as Lennie Lawrence did, that central midfield was Butterfield's best position. On the other hand, when caretaker manager John Cockerill pushed Neil Woods back into the middle for a televised game against Sheffield United, he excelled. Town lost, but Woods showed all his footballing intelligence and skill, laying a fine goal on a plate for Steve Livingstone to score from.

He was some player was Woods. It's a shame Linwood couldn't show the "youth team manager" a fraction of the respect owed to a far better footballer and a far better person than he could ever be.

Send us your nominations for the square pegs and beautiful swans teams. We'll come back to this next week.