Monday, April 24, 2006

Feeling Low

Getting thrashed in the North West of England is something I am getting acutely fed up with.

I remember having a bit of a rant about it before we played at The City of Manchester Stadium a few months ago, but at the time I was still confident in our ability to turn things round. It's just not that easy for me anymore, things just look bleak right now. Our record over the course of our last 12 games in the region stands:

Played 12, Won 1, Drawn 1, Lost 10. We have scored 6 goals in those 12 games, and conceded 33. There is simply no possible excuse for this run of form, It’s not as if all of the sides that play in the North West of England are entrenched at the top of the table. Forget Man Utd and Liverpool, there are still the likes of City, Bolton, Blackburn, Everton, and Wigan who simply do not compete against whenever we travel up there.

There has got to be some explanation for this, it cannot just be coincidence. Maybe there is an issue with the way we prepare for these matches? Do we travel up a couple of days before and book into a hotel? Or do we catch a flight on the morning of the game? Whichever it is we obviously need to start doing the other because the current preparation for these matches just isn't working, surely this must be looked at by the club because if things stay as they are, we might as well not even bother going next year. God forbid Leeds get promoted as well.

We are an average mid table Premiership club, we can beat these teams at home, we can win games in London, we can win games in the North East, and we can win games in the Midlands; law of averages says that sooner or later we should be able to put in a relatively competent performance at one of the North West grounds, and yet it still doesn't happen. Four goals against Bolton (twice in 2 years), three against Wigan, four against Blackburn, three against City, and three against Everton, it just isn't good enough.

Okay, so we have a few injuries, the defence is patched up, and the season is dead in terms of actually achieving something this year, but these players are still professional footballers who are defending like schoolboys and playing without passion. It shouldn't matter that the back four haven't had too much time to gel together as a unit, they train together every day. The tasks they are being asked to complete are straightforward. Win headers, win tackles, talk to each other, stay goal side of your man, etc. The midfield didn't give the back four too much protection I'll grant that, but still at the end of the day when you are jumping to win a header, it's just the defender and the striker, 1 v 1. No one to blame but yourself if you lose the header. Same story if there is a 50/50 ball to be competed for.

I'm not even going to get started on Myhre's performance.

There is no way we are going to turn our form around at Old Trafford on the final day, so we simply have to beat Blackburn now. If we lose at home next week then that will be our fifth defeat in six games and we could well end up finishing 12th or 13th in The Premiership. A few years ago that would have been fine, but not anymore I'm afraid. Not when we've got a striker banging in goals up front the way Darren Bent is. We should be far higher up the league than we are, and there is simply no denying it. We have underachieved this season with the strongest squad we have ever had. You have to ask why.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need someone new in charge. Someone who can shake things up and engender a bit more passion within the side.

8:38 pm  
Blogger CharltonChris said...

If we have to change the man in charge, Adrian Boothroyd would be my number one choice.

12:43 am  
Blogger Kappacino Kid said...

Curbs has said that hje will honour his contract to the end, i.e. another year, so no change likely for the moment. Didn't anyone tell him that honourable men are not suppossed to be involved in Football.

9:36 am  
Blogger worcestershireleaburn said...

Sack the manager. Without Bent's goals we'd probably be going down.

7:04 pm  
Blogger CharltonChris said...

But it was the manager who signed Bent...

7:28 pm  

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