The ghost of Al Davis should be hovering over Gresty Road tomorrow…
I don’t know if Mark Bowen is an aficionado of US sports coaches and their quips. But he might appreciate those sentiments of the former Oakland Raiders coach.
Because that’s what we’ve got to do at Crewe – just win.
That’s simply it. If it comes from a display missing in the previous 22 (?) fixtures, where we scythe through the Alex defence, all the better.
If it’s a 1-0 where we score in the 10th minute then hold on for the other eighty, then it’s what we have to do.
For the sake of our collective tickers, it better not be a 98th minute winner off Cosgrove’s arse.
Though if it means we get three points – so be it.
There will be plenty of post mortems of how it came to this, and if we don’t win tomorrow, this weekend will suck.
I’m sure some statto nerd type will prove otherwise, but from memory we’ve usually been lousy over Easter.
Even when we weren’t quite so rubbish. Maybe we’re all a bunch of Jesuits who can’t concentrate at this time of year?
To stay up though, we have to break that Easter curse. It may not seem like it, but even now we have a sort-of reasonable chance to stay up.
Let’s not forget that Crewe are a) relegated already, b) shittier than we are, and c) got rid of their manager earlier this week.
A former Head of Academy finding that men’s senior football is a different kettle of fish. Funny, that.
If there’s a fixture you want to end a winless run that is now well beyond a joke, this one tomorrow would be it.
Sure, Crewe will be playing for pride, but we’ve got to go to Cheshire and put them to the sword.
Talk is one thing, and constantly saying that this lot are capable of staying up is all very well.
But if we’re to be in L1 next season, we need actual victories earned by actual players on actual pitches.
To be fair to both manager and players, I fully expect they know that.
Typically, I’m typing this up before any previews on the OS, but I doubt if they’ll veer too much away from that thinking.
If nothing else, we could be out of the drop zone with a victory by 5pm tomorrow.
It will rely on Cheltenham doing over Gilingham, and Charlton gubbing Morecambe, needless to say.
Your editor will be at the Valley instead of Crewe, for the day job. I will never be an Addicks fan as much as I will be tomorrow.
But we lost that luxury of it being in our hands when we surrendered that advantage so meekly.
Even if we’re still in the relegation zone, the most important thing to remember is that we just need to be out of it by the final whistle on the 30th April.
We may say just win, baby for tomorrow. But we will likely need to repeat it for Accrington.
We’ll have to do it without Zach Robinson though, who’s now out for the rest of the season.
At least this particular injury occured during a game, rather than during the week.
I won’t say our training ground feels like a death trap, but invading Russian soldiers would avoid it at all costs.
With him, Cosgrave, and Pressley, that’s at least three strikers out. I’ve genuinely lost track of any other crocked forwards, but there’s bound to be some more.
So we have to gain wins with no strikers. And before you say “We’ve got Cosgrove and that French bloke”, you’re proving my point.
We have mucked it up so badly in our recruitment that Zach Robinson was our best fit goalscorer at the club until last Saturday.
Think about it – a 19-year old lad who scored his first senior goal in the previous game is already better than Cosgrove and Osei Yaw.
All I will add on that is when we start firing people in close season, Will Daniels should be one of the very first in line.
Which is why I can’t be as gushing as I should be over Darius Charles retiring.
The DC that got us into League One is the one we should remember, and I don’t think we ever properly replaced him.
Then again, there were so many strong characters from that squad that we’d kill to have back in their pomp.
When we come to the ruins that was our transfer policy in 2021/22, re-signing Darius will have to be up there with the worst decisions.
I doubt he was cheap, and the idea he would get one final cameo of a season got crushed the first half he played.
Add to him supposedly being a conduit between players and staff, in a setup that hasn’t won since 7th December, and you can only think he was signed for sentimental reasons.
Which is a real shame, and is yet another reason why SW19 never wants ex-players returning as players/managers.
Because it would be fairer to talk about that commanding centre-back, who you immediately knew we’d miss when he didn’t play.
I doubt if we’d even be in the third tier of English football without him.
Instead, he’s as remembered for being one of the poster boys for a failed transfer policy, concocted by clueless Academy types and put together by a glorified bookmaker.
Still, I wouldn’t object to Darius learning the coaching ropes under MB and EN, if it happens.
Maybe he might have to leave AFCW to do that though, if you consider he’s too “close” to the current players to make an impact.
He’s a smart fella, and it would have been interesting to see him as an interim manager.
Maybe he too would have channelled his inner Al Davis as well? Just win, baby indeed…