At one point it looked as if all three leaders would fail midweek but although Leeds continued their dire League form, the party-poopers from East Anglia can't do anything wrong at the moment and came from behind to win their 7th game in a row.
On to our opponents then and Tranmere just missed out on the Play-offs last season finishing in 7th and had high hopes of more of the same this year, especially with a new high-profile manager. Their home form was second only to Leeds' last season and Parky must have expected his toughest test so far when we visited in August. A 4-0 win followed and things clearly didn't work at Prenton Park and the manager now is 52 year old Les Parry who took over on 9th October after John Barnes had been sacked after just two wins in the first eleven games. A strange choice as Parry was the clubs physio at the time and had no managerial experience at all.
But after 13 defeats in their first 17 games, things have been slowly improving and its now only two defeats ( at Southampton and MK Dons) in the last 9 and as far as away games are concerned they even scored three goals at home bankers Huddersfield in a 3-3 draw.
Ian Thomas-Moore with 7 is top scorer. He almost qualifies as an ex because he is, of course, the son of ex-Addick Ronnie Moore who we all chipped with our fivers to buy back in 1983.
Have only gained a single point after falling behind. Have failed to score 13 times, the most in the Division (along with Oldham who drew 0-0 at the Valley) but have had 6 clean sheets only two less than the Addicks. But a strange team that have won every game where they were in front at half-time but have lost every one where they have been losing.
Before this year, we have a middling record with Tranmere, 6 wins each and 10 draws. With our 4-0 win up there in August, our 5th League win on the trot, we've gone in front 7-6 but they've only won twice at the Valley with the Addicks winning 5 with 4 draws with both of their wins being 1-0 Tier two games in 1992 and 1995.
Parky has some thinking to do before Saturday and although he ruled out making wholesale changes, one or two may just creep in. Belief in ones players comes first I suppose and casting my eye back to Wigan's 9-1 defeat at Spurs back in November, its interesting to note that Martinez, after a result suggesting changes, made just one alteration to his lineup for the 1-0 win over Sunderland 6 days later.
Elliot; Richardson, Dailly, Sodje, Basey; Sam, Semedo, Bailey, Wagstaff; Burton, Mooney
There I was the other day reminiscing while walking the dog and going over all the great players we used to have but, showing my age, I just couldn't remember that Italian guys name. Then I found this by David Pleat on his 11 best players,
"I'd liked what I'd seen of him on television so I went up to Glasgow to see him play for Celtic. I took a cab to my hotel and the driver kept saying: "What are you doing here? Don't you dare try and take Paolo off our hands." When I got to the ground I found out he'd been ruled out through injury but, to be honest, I'd heard enough. He was fantastic in training and, while he could be selfish on the park and on some days played as if in a daze, at his best he was superb. He was temperamental – I remember him overturning the physio's couch in one half-time tantrum, and stripping off at Blundell Park at the break refusing to go back on the field. He ended up going back out and playing better in that second half. He was wild, but he was also wonderful on his day: a great shooter, a fine crosser and a top-class dribbler."
Yeh, that was Di Canio.....