Some VERY quick thoughts on last night as I sit here at Stoke station. None of which are in any sort of order, or proof read…
To be honest, I kind of half expected last night to happen. We’d been getting our hopes up a bit too much, we had started to convince ourselves that we were better than we actually were, and that Port Vale would underperform against us for the second time in under a fortnight.
That we lost our unbeaten run in 2013 to the League leaders at their place wouldn’t be quite so bad in itself, but the way we just seemed to go about it makes me think we’ve gone a step backwards again.
And with it a dent in the confidence that we really don’t need.
NA ballsed it up last night, because he decided to go for a 0-0 (or even a 1-0 smash and grab), but managed to overestimate the ability of our back line.
Whether he thought that this was a game we were pretty likely to lose, and was more minded to experiment, or whether he thought that it was worth the gamble – it didn’t work.
To be fair to him he admitted he got it wrong on the OS, and at least he’s not going to constantly blame the players when it’s his decisions that cost us points.
That said, t’s pretty clear that Pim and MMK will relegate us if they continue to be played together. Neither of them have ever really partnered up well, and I bet Bennett was sitting on the coach back to London last night wondering why he asked Cheltenham to cancel his contract.
Mind you, Benno seemed OK and if he get to partner Antwi/AN Other Loanee (a la Mambo), and we don’t go with three CBs any more we might get somewhere.
Because to be blunt, Pim and MMK will continue to make a fuck up every game – their record shows that, and neither of them are really good enough for what we need right now. They have a habit of making the rest of the team nervous, let alone the support, and when we conceded our first you could almost see the heads drop slightly.
A thought occured to me about our not-so-flying Dutchman. Of all the disappointing signings made this season, is he the biggest flop of the lot? He looks a shadow of the player we saw last season, and it’s telling that when we do have a full compliment of CBs he never starts.
That he got pulled off when we finally figured out that five at the back doesn’t work is telling…
Anyway, yesterday is been and gone, and this is where it gets properly important. NA wants a reaction at Chesterfield, and now is the time we need to start giving them.
See, we’re reaching the business end of the season, where all talking stops and now the results matter.
They have to.
It’s all very well for certain players to go around saying they’re characters (hello MMK), they now have to prove it or just show they’re mouthy gobshites who can’t deliver when it matters.
It’s still in our hands, but the cushion is starting to get smaller. NA tried something different last night and it failed. With luck he won’t try that again in a hurry.
But it’s up to all players now to show us what they are really made of. There’s been far too many instances of us just throwing it away carelessly, which is a sign of a poor player with a poor mentality.
(this incidentally is why I think Pim and MMK are the worst centre back pairing in the division – if you or I constantly made fuckups that cost my employers we’d be out of a job. I just hope there isn’t a blind spot for such an important run of games – that will certainly damage NA)
I can cope with shit like last night if we learn from it and simply don’t do it again. Football has a nasty habit of exposing the bullshitters and those who think they’ve cracked it but haven’t.
If we do go down, we would deserve it because we didn’t take our opportunities when we had them. And it would hurt like fuck but would at least do the massive overhaul this club needs on and off the field.
The season starts here.