BROWNE ON THE BALL: He who dares... is no plonker at Boston United

Dennis Greene and Martyn Bunce as Del Boy and Rodney.
Dennis Greene and Martyn Bunce as Del Boy and Rodney.

“He who dares, Rodney. He who dares.”

That quote may have been yet another example of Del Boy Trotter making a hash of a well-known phrase, but it is also proof of the self-confidence that exudes from Peckham’s finest.

It’s certainly a quote that Boston United boss Dennis Greene - himself an Only Fools and Horses fan, to the point that he even dressed as TV’s favourite yuppie, with assistant Martyn Bunce as Rodney, to exit the tunnel for the final home league game of last season - will have heard many a time.

And in some ways it’s also a saying that has summed up much of his tenure at the Jakemans Stadium.

As those frustrated fans trickled out of the Northolme the Saturday before last following the FA Cup exit at Gainsborough Trinity, Greene was left defending his position at the club.

“I’m here until the chairman tells me he doesn’t want me to do it,” he told the assembled press.

But David Newton didn’t say ‘bonjour’ to Den Boy, and seven days later it was all change as the manager was celebrating one of the finer performances of the season to date, a 3-1 victory at highflying Nuneaton Town.

It’s probably no surprise that one of the Pilgrims’ better showings so far came following a team selection and performance that typifies Boston under Greene’s tenure.

United kicked off with a winger at left back, a right back in midfield alongside a captain signed as a central defender, and three up front.

For any team, let alone one low on confidence and with just one victory in seven matches, it was bold and it was brash.

But it was hardly eyebrow-raising from a manager who has a history of trying out new things: Rene Steer the winger, Zak Mills the central defender, Grant Roberts the right back, Netan Sansara the striker, Greg Tempest the goalkeeper. Scott Garner everywhere.

Just as unsurprising was the three in attack, which summed up last season’s attitude of ‘we may be a little exposed but just look at our forwards- we’re going to score more than you’.

I say unsurprising as this is how we have grown accustomed to watching the Pilgrims play in recent seasons.

But the formation was perhaps surprising to an opposition who probably expected the away side to attempt 90 minutes of defence-minded damage limitation.

Undoubtedly, that played its part in United taking the game to the Boro and moving into a comfortable lead which they refused to relinquish.

If you take chances with a team selection and get it horribly wrong you could end up looking a right plonker.

But when you get it right you reap the rewards.

To come out fighting when under pressure was a brave move.

As Del Boy would say: “He who dares, Rodney. He who dares.”