Dessie Baker: The beginning of the end for Pat Fenlon and Bohemians?
This week, Dessie reflects on the turbulent situation at Bohemians, Pat Fenlon's future and a thrilling St. Pat's comeback against Dundalk at Richmond Park.
I went along to the Bohemians v Galway game at the weekend and I regretted it afterwards as I could have attended what turned out to be a five-goal thriller at Richmond Park instead!
The Bohs game wasn’t up to much to be honest; Galway weren’t great and Bohs weren’t much better. They had a few good chances early on and I think had they taken them, they could have gone on to win by three or four goals. Killian Brennan had one very good chance, he’s coming back into a bit of form lately which is good to see.
I played under Pat at Shelbourne and he’s a very good manager and if things aren’t being done the way he wants, I’m not sure I can see him staying in the job to be honest with you.
He showed a great bit of skill, cut inside and shot narrowly wide and if that had gone in, or if Bohs had taken one of the other chances that came their way, it might have been a different story, but it wasn’t the case. Galway seem to be a bit of a bogey team for Bohs, they beat them twice in Dublin last year and seem to have the hex over them at the moment.
After Galway got the goal, they sat back and they defended well to be fair to them. David Ladola came on as a substitute for Bohs and should really have scored with a header, but that chance went astray and Galway hung on in there. Their ‘keeper, Greg Fleming, was tremendous in the last few minutes and pulled off three or four magnificent saves.
Beginning of the end for Pat Fenlon and Bohemians?
Things seem to be getting worse for Pat Fenlon at the moment. He’s the type of person that likes everything to be done right and I’m not sure what his situation is, but it doesn’t look good.
I played under Pat at Shelbourne and he’s a very good manager and if things aren’t being done the way he wants, I’m not sure I can see him staying in the job to be honest with you. On the other hand, he may well want to stay there and do the best he can for the club.
Situations like what’s happening at Bohs occur all the time and it could well turn out that he will step back and let someone else take over. It’s unfortunate the way things have turned out, but it just doesn’t seem right at Bohs at the moment. The atmosphere around Dalymount Park didn’t seem right on Friday night and it hasn’t really been happening on the pitch either, despite some of the results they’ve had at the start of the season.
In fairness to them, they did try and push on against Galway, but they just couldn’t break them down. As I said, all credit to Galway, they dug in and performed well as a unit, but the game as a whole wasn’t particularly easy on the eye and I’m sorry I was there instead of being at the five-goal thriller in Richmond Park.
Five goal thriller
One of my mates lives down by Richmond Park and went along to the game and he told me all about it afterwards. He said that it was a classic game of two halves; the first half was dominated by Dundalk and Pat’s went at them in the second half and clawed out a win in the end. I was saying last week that I was a bit disappointed with Pat’s against Shamrock Rovers, especially because they didn’t really come out and attack Rovers.
By all accounts, they got at Dundalk in the second half on Friday night and I think Pat’s are better when they play like that; when they attack rather than sitting back and waiting for things to happen and they were apparently different class in the second half.
Dave Mulcahy celebrates after netting a late winner for St. Pat's against Dundalk
Dundalk were all over them in the first half, however, with Mark Quigley getting both goals for them. At the start of the season, I said that I thought Quigley will be a big player for Dundalk this year and it’s proved to be the case; he seems to be scoring a few goals.
I think Mark is a great player and that he has great potential and last season was probably the quietest he’s had in a long time. It’s good to see him enjoying his football again and he’s not just scoring any type of goal, he’s scoring crackers. He scored a wonder goal last weekend, another wonder goal this weekend and then topped it all off with an overhead kick.
Mulcahy the man
It’s good to see him playing well, but it wasn’t enough for Dundalk to claim all three points on the night as Pat’s staged a great comeback and won it thanks to a Dave Mulcahy goal at the finish. Dave is a player that gives 110 or 115 per cent in every game he plays and he always pops up with a goal here and there. He did it last year a few times and he’s carried the habit into this year with yet another late winner.
Dave doesn’t do anything spectacular; he breaks up play, wins his tackles, gets the team going and drives them forward. He’s very vocal on the pitch and although he’s no Beckham in that he’s not spraying 40 or 50 yard passes all over the pitch, he does the simple things very well. He pops up with his fair share of goals as well and is still going strong at 33 years of age, fair play to him.
I had expressed concerns over the way Pat’s were playing as I didn’t think they were playing to the standard they were last year or even the couple of years before that. The win against Dundalk might be the kick up the ass they needed, it’s a great boost to the squad and to come from two down to win 3-2 shows great character. If they hadn’t won on Friday night, they would have been in the bottom two so it was very important for them to get a result.
The way they’ve been playing so far this season, you wouldn’t have expected them to come from two down to win it, but I’m sure Pete Mahon had a few harsh words to say to them at half time and got them riled up in the dressing room. Pete is that sort of manager; he’s a very passionate character. I’m sure he got into them at half-time and Pat’s were a completely different side in the second half.