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Ben Smith

Napster

The Horse with no Name⭐
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
35,327
Location
The wilds of Kent
Read the few pages he wrote on his time here.

Firstly, he got injured early - and had to face the wrath of John Gowens, who had a go at him for turning up an hour late one session, but after a while he and Gowens got on well.
Secondly, he liked to drink. He said one morning, he had to call Gowens to say he was ill and didnt show up. He was hungover.
Thirdly, Webby left when he had heart trouble - and Buzz took over - and apparently he went from a nice genial assistant manager to an aggressive manager, who maybe couldnt handle the extra pressure. He would regularly have a pop at Smith in training.
Finally, for some reason, Buzz offered Smith a new deal - but greatly reduced - from his current deal of £450 a week, to £300 a week for 3 months, to see if it was worth pursuing. He didn't take it.

Also, when he was released by Arsenal as a kid and sent his CV everywhere, we were one of the only clubs who gave him a trial.Peter Johnson was annoyed by him when he pointed out someone else broke the rules in a training exercise; and said he wasn't needed.
 

palexander

Life President
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
7,540
Location
C*lchester
Reading this at the moment, really excellent stuff. I'd prefer if he'd fleshed out spells at clubs a bit more as each chapter is basically 1 season at a club, so theres not a lot of time to go into the details and insights that I would prefer, but its still very interesting!

I'm reading the couple of chapters about Crawley at the moment and sounds like Steve Evans is exactly how you would imagine (although Smith seemed to grow to like him and appreciate his techniques. Not sure many could handle that though).

Infact reading the bit about Evans makes me surprised he's managing in the Championship, unless he has changed his methods a bit from his non-league days.
 

Bearded Shrimper

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 8, 2011
Messages
2,986
Location
South London
Reading this at the moment, really excellent stuff. I'd prefer if he'd fleshed out spells at clubs a bit more as each chapter is basically 1 season at a club, so theres not a lot of time to go into the details and insights that I would prefer, but its still very interesting!

I'm reading the couple of chapters about Crawley at the moment and sounds like Steve Evans is exactly how you would imagine (although Smith seemed to grow to like him and appreciate his techniques. Not sure many could handle that though).

Infact reading the bit about Evans makes me surprised he's managing in the Championship, unless he has changed his methods a bit from his non-league days.


Journeyman: One man's odyssey through the lower leagues of English football ?

good?
 

Shrimpergarry

You have no authority here, Jackie Weaver⭐
Staff member
Joined
Oct 24, 2003
Messages
4,129
Location
Chelmsford
Just to add to what others have said, I've just finished Ben Smith's book and it is a really excellent read. Fascinating to get an insight into what happens behind the scenes at a football club. I especially enjoyed the chapters on Steve Evans which have done nothing but reinforce my opinion that he is an odious man he deserves nothing but failure!

If you're after some holiday reading, I can heartily recommend it!

https://www.amazon.com/Journeyman-Odyssey-Through-Leagues-Football/dp/1849548544
 

ESG

Manager
Joined
Dec 10, 2003
Messages
1,998
Agree with all of the above, a top read. The boy loved a drink in his early days. The time with at Crawley says it all about Evans!
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2004
Messages
1,449
Location
The Twilight Zone
I am currently reading it. I think the most shocking revelation in it is the sort of stupid money that even quite lowly non league teams were throwing around. No wonder so many have gone to the wall.
 
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