Half time breather
With the season hitting halfway point and a few weeks break having the footie fan finding tv channels they didn’t know existed,and Saturdays uncomfortably empty, it’s as good a time as any to take stock.
I wrote in last years corresponding article that the pre break derby game had seen the men in light blue celebrate as if they had won the league after defeating us in the same fixture though at their midden then.
They clearly never learnt from that lesson at all.
Sunday seen Stevie go full Dr Banner on us with some poor camera bearing the full force of a career without a league medal winner.
However what’s worrying is reading last year’s list of issues after the similar defeat, and realising many are just still sitting around staring us in the face, ,,
“We have the resources to strengthen” I opined then, but when have we not had those resources. Did those resources make a big difference then a year ago? Obviously not much or we wouldn’t be in this boat so can we learn from that ?
“The coach won’t have such an off day again”
It was Brendan that day, but he had an off day, just like Neil just did. It can happen of course but when the league is geared towards these games which can easily decide the title destination one must ask why so many poor performances on the very stage the opposite is needed.
“We were soundly beaten by a hungrier team that wanted it more”
The exact same thing just happened one year later. Coincidence or ineptitude?
” And thats why I see yesterday as water off a ducks back ,,, it was coming , its that simple.”
Unfortunately we sit one year later and have stood still and history just repeated itself. So now it’s not just a blip or water off a ducks back, its a fact now we will be given a very tough game and walk away with nothing sometimes, a more often occurrence these days.
“Brendan and the squad are crying out for a bit a help ,,, and I have no doubt we will see some movement on that front . The neutral may well be enjoying this season but the Plc should easily see the wisdom in being ruthless by loosening the purse strings and attempting to blow away any hope from those teams around us”
Switch Neil for Brendan and is it spooky how apt that comment remains at this very moment.
But then just look at Awe Naws list of fringe yet on the books players.
Would ‘make more outta what we have Lenny’ surprise anybody?
He who signed most of that mob should learn lessons when signing the monthly cheque for another who has contributed jack to the cause that needs some quality legs in.
The Dubai break in the sun will be very welcomed by our bhoys, who will have memories of the same break inspiring them to the title last year albeit with a different gaffer than the one who flew out with them.
Still, its comfortable, recharges the batteries, and affords some light tactical training while the rags pump out name after name who will never ever join.
Going into the break still top, a familiar vista point, is a hell of a lot better than going in having just been knocked off top perch.
We know we are looking at another striker Hallelujah. With one name already sacrificed to the public don’t be surprised if he’s the smokescreen to pressure the other to sign.
Odsonne could do with real competition and a rest sometimes. Bayo and Griff just drain the bank account, and surely one will go if a new guy comes in. A loan even makes sense.
Left back is still not settled. Neither Hayes or Boli has grabbed it. New chance for one , new tactics maybe or just a new player altogether is a big call for the gaffer and one his hat will hang on. A good left back is priceless, we should really try to get this one correct.
The Captain can soak in salt bath after bath and get that ageing frame rested and ready for the big task at hand. He himself will be sorely in need of this and look forward to it you could imagine. Few rounds golf also probably.
The manager and the organ grinders?
The suits have the scrap they want. The gaffer has the hotseat he wants. Lets hope he has a few tricks up his sleeve for the scrap ahead. The knack of relying on a moment of brilliance from a better standard of player than the opposition should not be Plan A. It would be a big worry trusting that in the main to deliver silverware. Its just about succeeded so far and may well prove fallible.
The fact he seeks a new plan B with a new striker is a positive.
Both parties have been here before and have the experience to fall back on.
Last year didnt see panic and this year wont either.
The threat is stronger than the past though.
Last years article and its laissez faire shrug of the shoulders to defeat was based upon my theory that Brendan would want to personally wipe the floor with Stevie any chance he could based on past history.
This season is now different. An independent observer might well say Stevie is looking the more inspiring and innovative of the two managers based on the facts that has has managed to garner a working system and now the victories to match from less resources.
His style is more a team effort which is less disrupted with injuries and suspensions. Sporting the meanest defense and two of the divisions top three strikers one might expect the bookies to favour them but the light blues still remain second favourites according to the odds.
That might be debatable to some but they rarely get it wrong as the saying goes.
A trio of quality signings would be one way to get the almost everyone else onside and believing those odds are correctly placed.
I cant see what we are saving money for if not to help out the footballing operation in its time of need.
A statement of intent in the form of signings from the boardroom would be most welcome and timely.
Lets see if they really wanna win this title.
Over to them now. Lets watch and learn.
The above is by Mahe. Should you wish to submit a guest article the email is email@example.com.