by The Boy Holty
(November 27, 2011)
The following comment was lifted from a Preston North End message board following our 1-0 victory at the weekend, "Why are we getting battered by a side that only a couple of seasons ago we were belittling as our small feeder club where we could pick off their best players for peanuts? A team who when we were 90 minutes away from the Premier League, they were 90 minutes away from Conference football. Disgusting how far our club has fallen."
Aside from the insulting nature of the above comment, it is quite comical to see what sort of state Preston are in these days. Indeed, following their promotion to the Championship in the late nineties under the tutelage of David Moyes, they established themselves in the second tier of English football and were genuine contenders for a place in the Premiership for a few promising seasons. Somehow, since those days it has all gone stale at Deepdale and after being relegated last season, they now find themselves in the bottom half of league one and must be nervously looking over their shoulders as their poor run continues. Having lost at home to Rochdale the weekend before losing at Gigg, it must be a pretty miserable time to be a Preston fan.
However, the real question to be asked here is "Who actually gives a toss about Preston?" My whole point here is that the comment from the PNE website misses the point - at least from our point of view. Sure, Preston have hit hard times, but what about the progress Bury have made? Well for starters, we were never 90 minutes from the conference - 180 maybe but perhaps I'm being picky. Since those dark dark days of the likes of Graham Barrow and Chris Casper being in charge at Gigg Lane, we've turned a corner. Not only that but having turned the corner, we've sprinted up the corridor and not looked back.
Of course it was Alan Knill, once revered by all as our saviour but now derided as a glory seeking, money grabbing tosser by many, who got the revolution underway and the hero of the hour Richie Barker who is carrying on his good work. In fact, whilst many of us, myself included, were worried that he might not be up to the task of keeping us in league one, he has actually proved all those worries totally unfounded as his astute loan signings and his excellent handling of a potentially disastrous deadline day raid has us currently in 10th place in the division, a long long way ahead of Rochdale, Knill's Scunthorpe and league one's self-styled Real Madrid - Chesterfield.
So while the mighty may have fallen, the weak have risen and the gap between Bury and Preston has gone from 60 or 70 league places to none at all, in fact we're seven points and five places above them now. The Shakers are on the rise, long may it continue.
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