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John Roper

Roper Reports will endeavour to make sense of the recent happenings at North End and offer general comment on the world of Football.

During the season there'll be a new report each week. You can navigate the season's articles by using the 'Older' and 'Newer' buttons or by using the drop-down menu.

You can select an archived season here:


Thick black line

Wednesday 25th April 2012

Time to draw a very thick black line under this season even though there are still games against Charlton and Bournemouth to come. Graham Westley has had plenty of time to assess what he has at Deepdale and he may also reflect that the standard of player he has brought to the club have generally not been good enough. I wouldn't count Holroyd or Robertson amongst those and maybe Nicky Hunt is on the border line but one or two have been poor and they certainly don't need embarrassing any more by being named on here. The loans haven't particularly excited either so it is with a bit of trepidation that we can look forward to seeing who Westley's "Stellar" signings are in the summer.

Going back to the football and an instantly forgettable game at Boundary Park last Saturday only punctuated with our best move of the game leading to Chris Holroyd opening his account for the club. It was a windy day and a bobbly pitch up in the foothills of the Pennines but it wasn't an excuse for some of the football played by both sides. Great credit must go to Dave Aspden and his friends for organising a very successful Thorsten Stuckmann day and I'm sure the big German keeper was suitably embarrassed by all the goings on. It was a decent following by North End on the day of 1,373 but one of the lowest followings I can remember at the home of the Latics.

This week sees the visit of champions Charlton Athletic to Deepdale and congratulations must go to Chris Powell and his side for winning the division so comfortably. Powell had a big clear out in the summer and maybe there is a lesson to be learned there for North End. The fact being that if you get a few decent players with a strong team spirit then this is not the toughest section to get out of. Let us hope that Westley includes Graham Alexander in some capacity as this may well be the final chance to see Grezza competitively in that famous white shirt and it would be a fitting tribute to one of our greatest servants.

Finally this week I enjoyed an excellent evening on Monday at a fans forum held by the PNESouthribble supporters club. David Moyes and Bryan Gray were the guests and both talked very freely and candidly about their time at Deepdale and gave some fascinating insights into life at Deepdale over a decade ago. Moyesy is still undoubtedly a North End fan and said he would certainly help the club out with loans but nobody has ever asked him. Mr Westley take note help for next season may be nearer at hand than you think.

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