Getting Angry With Greg Mitchell – 28th October

Greg is early this week due to TCW Live tomorrow.
Have you seen the Panthers website? What a joke! There’s more spelling and grammar mistakes than you can shake a big stick at and some of the text is cringe-worthy at best. They bandy the word guaranteed about like it’s going out of fashion. Excitement guaranteed, atmosphere guaranteed, who writes this rubbish? I mean, this week it referred to Galbraith as Mr Magic Hands (something the bunnies of Nottingham can probably testify to) and it regularly refers to Corey Neilson as the Man With The Plan. I’m pretty sure that must be another spelling mistake as Neilson doesn’t seem to have a clue most of the time never mind a plan!
There’s currently an interesting thread on The Cage Forum (for once) about Neilson and I have to say I agree with a lot of what’s being said on there. I’m going to come right out and say that I think Neilson should pack his massive ego and go. This is his fourth season as coach and we’re still making the same mistakes we were making at the start of his tenure.
For me those mistakes are:

1) Plan A – Score more than the opposition no matter how many the opposition score doesn’t always work. Sometimes you’ll come up against a team that knows how to defend and then you need Plan B. The problem is we don’t have a plan B. Plan B is for good coaches that have thought out how the opposition will play and made adjustments. Can anyone remind me when the last time we saw that was? Do you need an example? Well, you’re getting one – the powerplay. A couple of years ago we had the most potent powerplay in the league, the puck would come back to the point, the defenders would pass it back and forth and then cross over and then Neilson (surprise surprise) would shoot and sometimes it went in. Now our powerplay is poor because we get the puck back to the point, the defenders… you get the point and so have all the other coaches in the league. They know what we’re going to do and they can counter it. We even kept doing it against Braehead and you know where their coach played last season. The only time there’s any difference is when Jade “Magic Hands” Galbraith is on the ice and then it all goes down the same wing all the time.
2) The team is built in his own image – This isn’t always a bad thing, look at Braehead. They’re a team built in their coach’s image – a bit feisty, borderline legal and full of energy where as we’re a team that likes going forward all the time and is distinctly suspect in defence. You only have to look at the number of times Neilson misses what looks like a simple puck on the blueline and lets it go sailing past him. It’s almost like he wants the thrill of the chase. What is this constant need to be entertaining or, come to think of it the fans’ constant clamouring to be entertained? Do you want to know what is entertaining? Seeing Danny Meyers lift a trophy. Neilson’s only concern should be winning games by doing whatever it takes regardless of how “entertained” the fans are. I don’t buy all the rubbish about Sheffield fans drifting away because the hockey wasn’t entertaining. What do they want a three ring circus every week? Oh hang on, bad example, they do get that every week but you know what I mean.
3) His arrogance – Maybe that explains everything above. He admits he is arrogant. Good, now do something about it. The problem with his arrogance is that it makes him look stupid on a regular basis. When was the last time he said we were outplayed by a team and took some of the responsibility? Anyone? No? Thought not. I can only remember it once a couple of seasons back and then it was something to do with medical term that causes bad decision making as a result of fatigue. If you know about it, do something about it, or at least avoid being affected by it! The rest of the time we didn’t get the bounces, the ref was poor, Diana Ross played the arena the night before (oh, hang on that wasn’t Neilson but you get my drift).
4) The club he plays for – Yes, it’s not ALL his fault. There were over 5,000 paying victims in the NIC last night so win, lose or draw the evening was going to be a success to the Panthers management. There’s no striving for excellence in this club on the ice or off it. The only part of the Panthers management that works is the part that lets other people do their marketing. I saw Simms praising our marketing a while ago and he was wrong. The marketing the Panthers actually do is embarrassing, the website, like I said earlier needs gutting and re-starting or at the very least run over quickly with a spell check. The Panthers iphone app that launched this week is a case in point. It’s infinitely superior to the website because someone else is doing it. The adverts on Trent FM are good because Trent FM do them.
Something needs to change but what? Unlike Sheffield we’re not a fanbase built on success. The desperate need to succeed doesn’t seem to exist in our team. Why should it? Our crowds are up and Neil Black keeps raking the money in. If I was him, I know where I’d be spending it – on a new, experienced coach.



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