Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category

Another excellent blog from Steeley

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

Follow this lovely link to his excellent blog.


2 Heads Aren’t Always Better Than 1… Or Are They?

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

By Andrew Steel

It has often been an unwritten, and frequently recited, rule in football that joint managers never have, and never will, work.

There have been examples of joint managers, over the past decade or so, that either didn’t last or didn’t work.

Probably the most famous case of all being the joint stewardship of Liverpool, by Roy Evans and Gerard Houllier. This particular partnership lasted only four months of the 1998/99.

Critics of a joint management regime frequently point towards this example as an argument against having joint managers and, to be fair, they have a point. That season Liverpool failed to qualify for a European competition.

To further back up this point of view there hasn’t been a semi-successful spell for a club under joint management since Alan Curbishley and Steve Gritt, laying the foundations for Alan Curbishley’s successful sole reign, at Charlton in the early 90’s.

Attempts at join management since then have either been low-key, short affairs or disastrous… until now.

Step forward Darren Sheridan and Dave Bayliss of Blue Square North team Barrow A.F.C.

Former Barnsley midfielder Sheridan and, ex-Rochdale defender, Bayliss took joint charge of Barrow, along with club captain Paul Jones, as caretakers in November 2007.

Their first three games in charge saw the team beat, local rivals, Workington in the Setanta Shield, hammer high flying A.F.C. Telford 4-0 and narrowly miss out on producing one of the biggest FA Cup shocks of the season, narrowly losing 3-2 to a goal in the last minute of extra time, at Bournemouth, in a 1st round replay.

In December Sheridan and Bayliss were appointed on a permanent basis, on a verbal agreement. Since then the Bluebirds have moved from a relegation battle to, recently, having an outside chance of making the play-offs, playing attractive, attacking football in the process. Something that was regularly lacking under the previous, sole, manager Phil Wilson. In fact Barrow recently went on a run of scoring four goals in four consecutive home games.

The duo are now about to be offered a formal contract, three months ahead of schedule.

In an interview with the North-West Evening Mail, Barrow director Tony Keen said: “We originally agreed to review the situation at the end of the season but the directors are more than happy the way things have been going under Darren and Dave.

“It has been play-offs and promotion form and in a way they have written their own future.”

The success of these two joint-managers may be a one off, but maybe, just maybe, it is an example that, if done correctly, a joint management team can work.

New football blog

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

Andrew Steel will be sending some Barrow based missives in for the Beans Blog, but he also has his own blog which i’ll let him explain -

“I’m currently studying journalism at university and as part of my course I have been asked to set up a blog covering any sport. Obviously I’ve chosen football. If you’re interested, I would appreciate it if you popped on and had a look and would welcome any comments or feedback.

Please bear in mind that this work is getting marked so keep any comments clean and relevant! wink

I will try and update it as often as possible and try and cover a wide range of football news and talking points. If it turns out to be any good I may keep it going after it’s marked.”

Check it out at

Why does it still hurt?

Monday, November 26th, 2007

Barrow boys and girls on tour

Almost a week after Barrows oh so near brush with the FA cup 2nd round proper, I find myself pondering what could have been. I can still see that extra extra time goal sailing in, I can hear the Bournemouth end erupting and i still feel my heart sinking in disbelief.

I’m not gonna do a full match report as A) it’s been done and B) my memory is a little “clouded” after enjoying a few pints of a local beer called Ringwood.

To be honest, we can’t fault the lads, they played out of their skins and more than matched the full time league one side for large portions of the game. Jason Walkers goal will be one that sticks in my mind for a long time to come, gracefully sailing over the head of the keeper who was powerless to do anything about it. Lest we forget that Jason Walkers a local lad (but thats another debate).

Other memories that will stay with me is the immense support that the 216 traveling fans (pictured) offered the team, singing from kick off till well after the crushing final whistle was blown. It was an honour to be a part of it. As well as that, during the game I got a text from a mate back home which simply said “would you mind keeping the noise down, I’m trying to listen to the commentary!”.

As we set off for the long trip home, the full range of emotions passed through the mind of this corrospondant, including one you don’t get to experience too often as a Barrow fan - Pride. Proud of the team and proud of the 216 souls who made the tortuous journey to support their home town club.

Back at work on Thursday, I braced myself for the usual piss taking from the “Premier League” lot, only to be met with what I can only describe as sincere condolences. Even today, whilst trying to coax a colleague into doing something to assist me, someone shouted across the office “Give the guy a break, He’s had a rough week”.

Barrow is back on the football map, and this year, it’s for all the right reasons.