13 September, 2006

It's tough at the top

"I've got a bad feeling about this" I thought as I pulled into the rush hour traffic on the M621, on my way to watch notorious bottlers Nottingham Forest. Two thirds of a successful back line out with injury, against a struggling side in an evening game. Probably not good.

And I wasn't wrong. Normally I give the players and staff at the club the benefit of the doubt. But don't forget that, for the most part, this is the same pack of fat wallet wasters that have shat Nottingham Forest into a deep hole over the last few years. So no punches pulled today.

Roll of Honour

Wes Morgan: When you're a defender you are supposed to kick the ball (on the floor sometimes), challenge the attackers and head the ball. It's no coincidence that pretty much every Oldham attack was a high ball at the area Wes was defending.

Sammy Clingan: Spain must have been shit for you to be in the side that beat them. Honestly, I don't think a single pass connected with a red-shirted player.

Gary Holt: There is an area in front of the back line but behind the attackers. This is the midfield. Your job, as defensive midfielder is to cover this area and provide protection to the defenders. Not go walkabout, leaving Oldham players acres of space and time to place high balls in the area of Wes' head (see above).

Jack Lester: Are you trying to win the most yellow cards in a season? Or maybe it's just reds, judging by the idiotic two-footed lunge at their keeper that, if you had any sort of aim, would have seen you sent off and the keeper hospitalised. Thank goodness CC seems to have a policy of replacing players on a yellow as soon as possible.

Neil Harris: We hoped that the goal may boost your confidence. It was hope in vain, as apart from a header onto the roof of the net, every time you recieved the ball it went backwards.

Grant Holt: You nearly escaped unscathed. But then you lashed out at one of their players, seemingly for no reason, to win yourself a needless yellow at the end of the game.

Junior Agogo: OK, a bit harsh including him here, and it's a minor criticism compared to the rest. But, when you're a pacy front-man and you've got someone like Grant alongside you, let Grant play in the centre with his back to goal and you move off to receive the knock-downs. Don't stand there with your back to goal, letting that pace go to waste.

The ref was pretty poor too and I have no idea where six minutes of injury time came from. We definitely missed Cullip as no-one was organising the defensive five at all. But, this is now Mr Calderwood's first test and I sincerely hope he's up to the job.

In other news, David "I used to be a good footballer but now I like beer" Johnson has retired.

UPDATE: One more worrying factor from last night - when the first goal went in the players, especially Smith, looked dejected. No "come on lads", no "we can turn this around". Just a slow trot back for kick off. CC's team spirit, so much in evidence last week, seems a bit thin on the ground.


Rish said...

Well you were obviously in a good mood after watching that match.

Baz said...

well it was pretty atrocious.

I think it's time we stopped giving them the benefit of the doubt.

the debt, if not gone, is under control.

it's a new manager.

it's an obviously talented squad.

we get better crowds than most championship clubs.

so there's no more excuses.


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