Dear Diary Entry 125
Cook Ready To Turn Up Heat
Monday, February 7: Unless we are misreading the signs, Paul Cook is on the verge of being appointed as Chesterfield manager for the second time. Really? Does he have anything to prove by dropping into non-League football despite his sacking by Ipswich in November? We can only assume that he loves the game so much that he needs to be back in it as soon as possible. Hopefully he will lead the Spireites to another promotion and then deal with the inevitable higher-division interest as it comes in.
Thursday, February 10: Had to rely on the TV and some long-range peering through the night air to note the presence of Joleon Lescott at tonight’s game between Wolves and Arsenal. Another former England defender, Martin Keown, was at his side for the BT Sport analysis and live coverage of a game that must have made frustrating viewing for two friends who had popped in from outside England – Glasgow-based Gwilym Machin and Norwegian Per Magnar Meyer. I was glad to have a city-centre coffee with them before kick-off.
Sunday, February 13: Some day for Wolves, this……a clear win away to one of their arch-rivals in the race for a European place. Beating Tottenham in London has been much easier for the side in recent years than defeating them at Molineux and so it proved again this afternoon. By a strange quirk, Conor Coady used the 2-0 victory to move level with Spurs’ Matt Doherty in the club’s all-time record list on 302 games.
Saturday, February 19: Nice to chat briefly to Mike Stowell as he arrived at the West Midlands hotel Leicester are using for tomorrow’s game at Wolves. He must have had around 20 matches against Wolves since being appointed by the East Midlanders but returns to Molineux are surely still special for him.
Sunday, February 20: The plan to meet up with Mike after Wolves’ 2-1 victory today was washed away. Never, EVER have I got so wet before, during or after a game than I did while walking up to Molineux an hour or so before kick-off this afternoon. The thought of sitting around in soaking wet clothes for another hour just didn’t appeal, so hopefully we can meet again soon.
Wednesday, February 23: Has there ever been a month like this for the appointment or departure of former Wolves men to and from senior managerial positions? We had Mark McGhee installed by Dundee a week or so ago but, on the flip side, one of his mid-1990s Molineux charges, Darren Ferguson, has left Peterborough for the third time. Now, Kenny Jackett has been sacked by Orient and Paul Simpson has been appointed at Carlisle for the second time. Good luck to them all.
Thursday, February 24: Had the pleasure of a house visit from John Richards, with whom I have also had at least one substantial chat on the phone in recent days. All will become clear very soon why he crossed the county border – we will be posting a piece some time next week that offers a full explanation.
Wednesday, March 2: As the dust settles on a second London defeat in 72 hours for Wolves, time for an early form check on the new men in position elsewhere…..Paul Simpson has started with two wins out of two at a club he previously took to two promotions, Paul Cook now has two successive victories at Chesterfield after going win-less in his first three games and Mark McGhee, who was appointed at Dundee despite facing an outstanding six-game touchline ban, has opened with two defeats (one of them away to Celtic) and a draw.