Judging by just about every account of us against the Black Cats yesterday (and why did they choose that nickname?), it seems a pattern is already forming for 2018/19.
Namely play well at the beginning, sometimes get a goal, create some more chances, absolutely fail to capitalise on any of them, and then hope our defence holds out.
You can guess the rest for this one.
Oh, and have a major decision given against you, despite no actual reason for it. We got diddled out of a penalty against Coventry, Appiah is still probably pissed off at having his Barnsley effort chalked off, and as for yesterday…
If you get to see the video for this incident, by the way, the reaction of our players says it all. Christ, even Sunderland fans afterwards were wiping their brows and saying “thank fuck”.
The standard of refereeing in L1 really is a joke, especially when you’re playing against the fallen giants who find themselves in this division. An Orient fan (remember them?) yesterday said they too had blatant goals against Leeds chalked off because, well, you can guess why.
But then anyone who remembers the WFC era, when we used to play the top Prem sides, shouldn’t be surprised at the big club fanboys of officialdom. It’s something we’ve simply got to get used to again.
Would we have got those decisions if we were playing Gillingham or Wycombe? We’d stand a better chance, certainly.
I shudder to think how we’re going to get swindled against West Ham. No doubt one of our players will be sodomised in the penalty area right in front of the referee and it gets waved away. Mind you, it is on Sky and we might get a fairer crack of the whip…
Whatever, the stats aren’t lying – we’ve now lost two games on the spin, scored three league goals all season and we’re starting to get leaky in defence.
The latter can be sorted out quite easily, we’ve played two of the promotion favourites in seven days and it’s only been Walsall where we had a collective stinker at the back.
But as usual, it’s up front where our problems still lie. Piggy scored again, but he’s the only one finding the net at the moment. The rest? We might as well bring back Tyrone Barnett.
NA is reportedly getting in that final striker on loan this week, and we’re going to need one. That won’t cure everything, because there’s a lack of quality throughout that is costing us points.
Have we considered somebody to come in and coach the strikers? It doesn’t have to be full time at all, and given that football is a game of 1% margins just a bit more sharpness will start turning losses into draws, and all that.
This morning feels a bit of a kick on the teeth, especially as there’s a real sense we threw it away. Which is a good thing, providing we use that to our advantage in future. Just that bit more switching on at the back as well (seeing Cattermole’s second yesterday on SSN proves that).
A youngster like Sibbick can only learn from these kind of games, and while replacing Fuller was always going to be a big ask – isn’t blooding the yoof what we’ve all wanted?
I suppose we are regularly creating chances, so we can keep on regularly missing them. We will grow more as a unit at the back, and there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with us, unlike a certain nine month period just gone.
We’re fifteenth, and is probably where I expect us to finish this campaign.
I’m not unduly worried about this season, especially after covering Charlton v Fleetwood yesterday. Lyle Taylor was OK enough, but he did prove why he’s not a Championship level striker. Oh, and his hair has been dyed even blonder.
I’ll be at the Valley quite a few times this season, thankfully clashing with away games (as much as I like going to them, there’s some horrendous ones in 2018 to come – t’Stanley, Plymouth and Blackpool. And Gillingham).
And really, I think we’re as good as either side were. We won’t always get the three points, but the division is more full of them than the Sunderlands and Barnsleys.
Off the field? If you think there’s growing issues at AFCW, going to Charlton games is a depressing reminder of WFC in the latter day Selhurst era. The last time I went for work purposes it was at least vibrant at 1pm – it was even deader than a Franchise game yesterday.
You all know about their issues with crisps, and I shudder to think what it will be like when we play the Chuckaturd trophy game there in just over a week’s time.
Like Coventry, they’ll eventually sort out their off-field issues, and get back to being Championship level. But given the way this past fifteen seasons have gone, we might get there ahead of them…