A New Season, the Same Old Crap

Depending whether you’re a glass half full or a glass half empty man, there were two ways to look at the start of the new season.  My own feeling was that it would be a struggle to stay up once again. I hoped that today’s match would tell me that I hadn’t a clue what I was talking about and that any latent pessimism would be swept away by a superlative performance. Not to be.

From the ongoing saga of Clayton, to the perpetual non-appearance of Vaughan, via the release of a shed load of players replaced by… well who? Peltier? Another of Deano’s romantic returns, along Stead lines? A kid from Liverpool that may well turn out to be a good signing for all I know, but we’re slapping ourselves on the back for  the grand capture of a lad we know nothing about. Good for us, and I’m sure I’ll be proved right royally wrong, but this line about how we’ve made a terrific coup and how all the opposition fans say how disappointed they are that the player has left etc. etc. I seem to recall the same spiel about both Gobern and Scannell. And Woods and Wallace. Oh, I nearly forgot, we have a loanee and have signed a ‘keeper at the end of his career. Spiffing.

It’s not so much the players he has brought in as the players he hasn’t. The gaps in the team were glaringly obvious  last season. Even a mole wearing sunglasses and immersed in tar would have been able to see the piercingly obvious gaps in our side: 1) Centre forward. No sign beyond the blind hope that Vaughan will be fit for every match or that Ward or Scannell will suddenly become the centre forwards that they so obviously aren’t. oh, and he appears to have fallen out with Paterson again. 2) Centre half. Surely we can’t be suggesting that Peltier is the answer here? In an emergency perhaps, but not Plan A! 3) A hard man in midfield. The kid from Liverpool may well turn out to be dynamite, but we’re losing our best player as well into the bargain.

It’s been obvious that Clayton would be on his way from the moment that he was voted player of the year. What is it about the perverse club that we are that almost EVERY player that has EVER been voted POTY has NEVER played for us again? Can we question the reasoning that he must be allowed to go – he’s out of contract at the end of the season and we’ll get nothing for him in a year’s time, but is relegation form really a price worth paying for a £1.5m return? Even if we determine that letting him go is the right decision, surely a replacement should have been in place and if it wasn’t, why was Clayton not in the squad today? The bullshit reasoning that he was talking to a prospective club so wasn’t available for the match build up was as much a crock of shit as the ‘dead leg’ that kept him out of recent matches. If he wasn’t available for the club he is contracted to and who pays his wages, then surely he is in breach and shouldn’t be paid? That’s the way it works in the real world.

The writing was on the wall with the team sheet. How many players is it possible to play out of position in any one team? Ward is not a striker, even his mum will tell you that, but Robins tells him that he is. Sure, he can cut in from wide and unleash a mean left footer to the net now and again, but striker he ain’t. A back line of Lynch, Peltier and Crooks. Do I even need to point out the bleeding obvious here. Peltier is an ok right back, decent in midfield now and again and in an emergency – a very dire emergency where a player is sent off/is injured and there is no substitute – he might fill in at centre half, but not as a first choice! Crooks, I feel sorry for the lad – he isn’t a centre half either. The number of players that have had their prospects ruined by being played in the wrong position early in their careers and never recovering from the ire of the crowd is incalculable.

That aside, the team had no shape, no purpose and no desire. That’s not to take anything away from Bournemouth, who finished last season well and have spent wisely over the summer. They were as strong, well drilled and organised as we were pathetic. We conceded within seconds for what – I am pretty sure – was the first goal of the day in the Championship. You could argue that it was blatantly offside and that the linesman on the Kilner Bank side spent most of the day on the planet Zog, but we were undone either way. The second goal, it is said, was as a result of a push on the defender, but soft either way round. We didn’t look like scoring in a month of Sundays, so reaching half time without conceding further could be viewed as something of as a success. To concede two more in the second half shouldn’t, therefore, come as too much of a surprise. It should really have been five, Smithies pressed the self destruct button (yet again!) by bringing a player down, but got himself partially off the hook by saving the resultant penalty.

I am not one to call for the head of the manager, especially on Day 1 of the season, but I’m afraid my patience has run out. It’s going to be a long season, not I suggest, for Mark Robins.

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to “A New Season, the Same Old Crap”

  1. R D says:

    Exactly my view on the proceedings. You must sit somewhere near me!