And be prepared for a couple more quips about our (temporary) new centre back…
Which is just as well, as there wasn’t much else to say about us drawing last night against Northampton. We were playing pretty well, Azeez scored, and then, well, you can guess the rest…
We could have won this game, but equally it wouldn’t have been surprising if we had lost it as well – they were pressing us a fair bit at the end, and we’re lucky they were as shit in front of goal as we were.
As a spectacle, like Luton it wasn’t too bad – and at least Azeez showed a touch of composure to score – but again, we have a mental block whenever we go ahead.
If we’d continued to take it to them after we went in front, we could have got more out of it. As it was, it was hard not to think we’d decided to settle for 1-0.
The trouble is, it’s not the first time, and it begs a question – why do we seem to stop playing whenever we take the lead? Wasn’t it Northampton the last time we played them when we went 2-0 up then hit the panic button?
And if so (and even if it wasn’t last night’s opponents), why is this mental roadblock so much part of our DNA?
Part of the problem – in fact, a great deal of it – is that we just don’t have a killer instinct. By that, I mean going ahead, continuing to put our foot on the throat of the opposition, and effectively ending the game after an hour.
When Northampton came at us after going ahead, it felt a case of when they would equalise, not if. Bit like Luton when their first goal felt inevitable despite everything.
It’s all very well to say that if we’d just done that, or done this correctly, we would have been in the top three or four. But teams in that position have that mentality to take their chances and hold onto it. We don’t, we haven’t for a while, and I’m not convinced we’re going to for the forseeable future…
And no, I don’t know the answer. I have just read NA’s post-match interview, and it does give the impression he doesn’t know either.
Actually, that’s more than one question. My bad. But these sort of games throw up these kind of queries, and will continue to do so.
Here’s another one – why did Akinfenwa go off? He was particularly ineffective last night, which means he was either injured or (as one cynical bastard – no, it wasn’t me – suggested) he was off doing another promo.
Oh, and in case you haven’t had enough querying – why are we so constantly shite at defending set pieces? It happened again, and it’s not down to bad luck any more. Hell, it must be easy for an opposition manager to plan against us – all they need to do is force a free kick and just swing it in…
At least Lyle Taylor is back, and with a bit more match sharpness we might have clawed back the win. We’ve missed him more than some think, and I hope for everyone’s sake he does find the net sooner rather than later.
Equally, we do need Tom Elliott back, if only because he offers something a bit different up front. One only hopes his knee injury is a genuine one…
The highlight of last night was our new centre-back loanee, one Oluwasemilogo Adesewo Ibidapo Ajayi. Needless to say, you won’t know him by that, because he’ll always be referred to as Semi.
No, he didn’t get to lazily lob the keeper. Nor did he flop about. He might have stiffened up towards the end after getting a good workout though.
Luckily for us, he was also pretty decent, and he looked more at home in our back line in one game than Osborne has all season. It wasn’t any surprise that the crowd were singing “sign him up”, and not just because of the endless hours of fun you could have with his name.
It’s only for a month, and we’ve all seen players make good debuts before falling by the wayside four weeks later. But already, it’s not going to make Osborne’s task easier in winning our collective affection.
As you know, Semi has slotted into our rearguard (OK, I’ll stop there) because Will Nightingale is out for seven months. Sadly, there was something predictable in finding out it wouldn’t be 6-8 weeks after all.
This injury is bad enough for him, but he was out last season, and had issues when he was 16 as well. You do have to hope that his body starts “maturing up” (if that makes sense) and stop becoming so injury prone, otherwise he could be finished at 24.
If not sooner.
I don’t believe in wrapping him in cotton wool and bringing him in slowly through the reserves, just because you’re scared that he’ll get crocked.
He’s too good for that, his talent and ability to play was never in doubt, and besides – every player runs the risk of a career-threatening injury every time they walk out onto the training ground, let alone onto the field of play…
Finally, a couple of minor things. Apparently one of the very senior top brass of the Football League was there last night, perhaps he’s after something? Or we are.
Francomb is getting grief again, though his crossing has been pretty piss-poor recently. Even so, a couple suggesting he should go on loan to Woking is a tad harsh – he’s not ready for the graveyard yet.
Oh, and having tried the catering last night for the first time in a good while, I can see why both burger vans had enough unsold produce after the game…