Derek Returns…

I WAS EXTREMELY pleased to see that the second series of ‘Derek’ has finally come around. If the first series passed you by allow me to give you a tip to catch this one. It is as good a comedy series as you are ever likely to see in my humble opinion. Derek works on so many levels, it has great pathos, is irreverent, yet complex and is of course genuinely funny. The cast have a great cohesion whilst one might say the ladies and gentlemen playing the residents of the care home are the true stars.

Ricky Gervais as Derek

When at first I watched the early episodes of the first series of Derek it took me a little while to understand my feelings about it. It’s not straight-ahead comedy but more challenging than that. By midway through the series I was watching repeat viewings of them.

Even if you’re not a Ricky Gervais fan, and I understand some people’s reservations towards him, try to suspend those feelings and watch this anyway.

It is a masterpiece.

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Notts County: Jimmy Spencer

I’ve been spending a little time going to visit one of the local football teams recently with three visits to Meadow Lane in Nottingham to see Notts County. The Magpies have unfortunately been bottom dwellers in League One pretty well all season long and as I write are in the midst of a desperate fight against relegation with just two games to play.

In the intervening weeks since my initial visit down the ‘Lane’ Notts have appeared to grow in confidence a little and have picked up a series of hard-fought victories. I’m out of touch with the playing staff at Notts but one or two individuals have stood out with the likes of young ball-playing winger, Jack Grealish coming to mind. Most impressive for me however has been the 22 year-old striker, Jimmy Spencer who has been reasonably prolific of late and put in some fine and mature performances.

Jimmy Spencer

It’s clear to me that Spencer is playing significantly below his level in League One. He is strong, holds the ball up well and has an almost uncanny ability to lay the ball off to a teammate, even under extreme pressure. Not least, the tall striker has superior ball control with the ball at times appearing glued to his foot before another subtle layoff to a teammate. He is quite remarkable in this ability at times and manages to keep possession in some quite impossible-looking situations. As one might expect of a spearhead, his heading is top-class, accurate and when need be, powerful as well as being well-directed.

Jimmy spencer is probably one of the best target men I’ve seen operating outside the top flight of football in this country in many a year. Perhaps the only trait that lets him down a touch is a tendency for constantly complaining to the match officials, which in spite of the rough treatment he receives from defenders he would do well to eradicate or at least temper.

The next couple of weeks are pivotal for Notts County and whether Jimmy Spencer continues his career at in a black and white jersey. I do hope the Meadow Lane club can manage to hang on to his talents. They couldn’t do better in the circumstances.