Real Kick In The Guts
I don’t know what it was about yesterday’s result, or why it seems to have had such a profound effect on me, but it has left me properly fed up about everything and has seriously dampened my optimism with regards to potential survival.
I’ve remained upbeat throughout the time that Chris Coleman has been here, but I think it has finally dawned upon me just how serious and precarious our current situation actually is.
A combination of experienced players making the same mistakes every week, loanees that don’t particularly care what happens as they’ll be away from here soon anyways, and youngsters who lack leadership from their teammates is what has us sat bottom of the table. We’re facing the very real prospect of a second successive relegation, at a time when the club finds itself in financial peril with an absent owner who appears to have abdicated all responsibility for his position. Dark times indeed.
Yesterday we flaked away in the same fashion as we have done in many games this season - right after half time, when you’d expect any reasonable bunch of professionals to be re-focused and refreshed, we capitulated.
The defending for the first goal was shoddy and we are far too weak on set pieces. The red card to Didier Ndong was harsh, and I agree with Coleman’s comment that it wasn’t the dismissal that lost us the game - it was our lacklustre, half-hearted attitude towards defending.
It’s inexcusable. If we were seeing signs of battle we could genuinely remain hopeful, but we aren’t. This squad is clearly very fractured, and there’s something deep-rooted that unfortunately might rot just enough to see us off once again come the end of the season.
I live in hope. These players are capable of so much more and some of them obviously don’t realise the level of hurt they’re inflicting upon the fan-base - many of whom, by the way, went to unbelievable lengths to support the team at Cardiff only to be sh*t upon once more.
It just isn’t good enough and it f*cking stinks.
Another Game Without A Goal
We’ve scored just one goal in our last five games - it’s safe to say that we will not stay up if our midfielders don’t start contributing.
Since James Vaughan and Lewis Grabban have now left for pastures new, we have two massive holes to fill in the squad and whether that’s even possible when you have no money to spend is anyone’s guess.
We can’t realistically expect Josh Maja to replace either of them - I’m hopeful of his future, but it’s clear he’s perhaps not quite ready to be thrust in to a situation as dire as this. Defenders like Sol Bamba are ten-a-penny at this level and, unfortunately, physicality is just something you’ve got to be able to bring to the table if you’re going to swim and not sink, particularly if you’re expected to play in a loan role up top.
Attacking reinforcements are desperately needed. We cannot expect to stay in this division and win games without at least a couple of good strikers. We need Aiden McGeady back fit and firing again. We need Callum McManaman to finally start showing the form that earned him such a fantastic reputation at Wigan a few years back.
Without them performing on a regular basis we cannot realistically expect to stave off relegation.
Change Of System Needed?
The fact we’re not scoring goals and have stopped keeping clean sheets perhaps means that we might have to change our system around again. Five-at-the-back obviously isn’t working with the players that we’ve got, and we need to find a way of becoming more of a threat from an attacking perspective.
It tough, though. You look at the options that Coleman has at his disposal and you can’t help but wonder what he’s supposed to actually do.
Irregardless, we have to win against Hull. Playing five at the back with one up front just isn’t going to get us a result, particularly at home. We need to be more expressive, if that is at all possible.
It’s a huge week ahead. If we can get a couple of new players in it might breath life back in to the squad, but without reinforcements it’s difficult to see how things can realistically change.