I don’t think I want to dwell too much on the clusterfuck that was our game at Bolton yesterday.
When you found yourself secretly (OK, not-so-secretly) hoping the weather kiboshed the game beforehand, you knew we were in for a rough afternoon.
And “rough” proved to be an understatement.
This was our heaviest defeat since Oxford away, though I don’t have the motivation to look up the last such thumping before then.
Come to think of it, I’m struggling for motivation full stop writing this.
I’ve only briefly looked at MR’s post game comments, and there’s nothing there that inspires me to look forward to the next two games.
I didn’t hear his audio interview, but is it true he said he put on Nightingale because he didn’t know what else to do?
If so, that’s not a good sign at all.
Why? Because players pick up on that. If they think that the guy who is supposed to be managing them is only guessing, it proves fatal.
That might have just been a decision of exhasperation, that the game was lost.
And yesterday won’t decide our L1 fate, unless it comes down to goal difference.
You don’t need me to tell you how big the trip to Priestfield is going to be on Tuesday. Nor do you need me to remind you how big the following game at home to Donny will prove.
We have to win at least one of those, perhaps even both of them.
Do that, and we finally get a bit of breathing space and we break that run of however many games we’ve not won in.
If we don’t…
It’s not going to be fun if this time next week we’re lamenting yet another poor result in a must-win game.
If the squad and management aren’t aware of the magnitude of the next 180 minutes of football, then we deserve to go down.
Whether yesterday was played out with half-an-eye on Tuesday and Saturday remains to be seen.
Though personally, I don’t think there’s any such games as a free-hit ones now. All of them matter.
I think we can only wait and see what happens before making the first proper proclamations of doom.
They’re starting already, of course, and really you can’t blame anyone for thinking like that.
Because it is poor. It is lacklustre. Not winning since t’Stanley is not a blip. And people are fed up.
And I’m using far too many bold characters to emphasise a point.
Beating Gills and/or Donny will calm some nerves, but people are rightly openly questioning things throughout the club.
True, it’s a marked contrast to this time last week, when we genuinely put in a performance against Sunderland.
But it’s worrying that we have a week off from games, we come back and then we shit the bed again.
There’s been a lot of discussion about how we’re set up, how we play, even about MR’s future.
I expect our current Head Coach to see out the season, by the way, though if we go down I think I’d want a more established guy in charge.
But we’re at this stage because we’ve made too many poor decisions. That’s nothing new, but it’s biting us on the arse more than ever.
Is it lack of experience in the decision making process as much as on the training ground and the field of play?
A good example of this lack of thinking just occured to your editor, while writing up Luton v West Brom for the nationals yesterday.
Cameron Jerome is a 35-year old who scored his first league goal for the Hatters, and still plays regularly for them.
Yes, I know he’s ex-Franchise, but I don’t blame any professional footballer for playing for anyone.
He’s basically there as much as a mentor to the younger players, but he’s still got enough about him to contribute on the field.
Compare and contrast with Darius Charles.
As good as he was with us first time round, his return has been one of the biggest wastes of a wage.
He can barely feature to the point that when we needed somebody in defence – we just couldn’t rely on him to get off the team bus without limping.
It wouldn’t be nearly so bad if he was part of the formal coaching setup. but he was “sold” to us as our own Cameron Jerome.
Bringing him in is looking more and more like one of those too-clever-by-half decisions we made last summer, which makes us look dumb instead.
And what’s worse is, I’m having to write negative things about one of the heroes of the Wombley season.
It’s not DC’s fault that he’s both a) crocked, and b) was offered a wage by a L1 club for not playing.
The idea was right by the club, but the execution wasn’t.
If you want to bring in your own Cameron Jerome type figure, then you have to do your dilligence beforehand.
Yes, it might also involve paying a bit more in wages, but get it right and those players are cheap at twice the price.
We’re where we are (in both senses of the word) because we’re only now discovering how much we bungled things.
The intentions were good, but it’s just too much naive thinking that a more experienced set-up wouldn’t make.
Right now, we need the L1 equivalent of Terry Brown or Dave Anderson, people who knew the division(s) we were in.
Hell, we might as well get both of those two back with us. At least they have a background in senior men’s football…