I think I may be falling out of love with the game that is football, this may be a rather bold statement but football just isn’t the same sport it once was when I was growing up. Now it seems that tackling is illegal, fans who seemingly complain about an inept performance according to some high and mighty counterparts don’t deserve their chairman and now being one point of the play offs means you’re a failure and should be sacked, poor Sean O’Driscoll.
Yesterday I had my first why do I bother moment as I sat through what possibly was the worst half of football I have ever seen, watching my team fail to string more than half a dozen passes together before resorting to hoofing the ball forward in hope that James Vaughan or Jermaine Beckford would somehow provide a miracle.
Blackpool, a side who three months earlier we had out thought and had exploited their weaknesses, were gifted several clear cut chances and could have been two up after the first two minutes. If we had gone into half time four or five down it wouldn’t have been a surprise and we probably should have gone in four or five behind if Blackpool could finish. Thankfully Blackpool couldn’t hit a cow’s arse with a banjo and the Liverpool bound (allegedly) Tom Ince decided to fanny about when one on one with Smithies.
It really does say something when the home fans start ironically cheering after half an hour because the players actually managed to string 15 passes together, the players have the ability to do it so why consistently play pointless long balls?! A stupid tactic and one Grayson should have addressed.
The second half wasn’t much better but a minor improvement at least; well it couldn’t get any worse. We finally got to see Murray Wallace who came on at left back and Chris Atkinson replaced to ineffective Ollie Norwood. If one player’s dip in form is utterly baffling, it is Norwood’s; our best player at the start of the season whose performances now are bad, so bad.
Still we looked poor, Alex Smithies was finally called into make a save of real note fantastically tipping a curling shot round the post but Blackpool’s finishing was abysmal throughout. Then something remarkable happened, a Christmas miracle provided by an Adam Clayton corner and finished by Anthony Gerrard back post header. Somehow we had taken the lead, a travesty and injustice to Blackpool.
25 minutes to hold onto a lead but Town continued with the hit and hope long ball tactic and being all Christmassy by gifting Blackpool the ball. James Vaughan tried to hold the ball in the corner for about ten minutes to secure the win but it was an idea that sadly wouldn’t work. Into added time our midfield decided to drop off and join the defence allowing Ince to supply the cross for Nathan Delfouneso to tap in from five yards, it was the least Blackpool deserved, if they could finish they would have won 10-1.
Oh how I am so glad that the transfer window opens in four days’ time, as we are in dire need of a few players to strengthen a squad that looks jaded. Our midfield has lost it’s spark and was poor when Southern was out suspended, so a central midfielder is a must. Whilst fans may debate what positions and players should come in, what everyone can see from the first half of the season is that the likes of Scott Arfield, Alan Lee and even Peter Clarke are not good enough to play regularly at this level.
I know saying Clarke isn’t good enough is a very bold statement because of the sentiment that Town fans show for him and the passion and leadership he shows, but his performances recently have been less than impressive. Yesterday he was the main culprit of pointless long balls, he failed to win a single header when competing with an opposition player and looked no better than a League One defender. Queue the abuse from Town fans, but I think it’s time to be realistic, in the long run he isn’t good enough, this season he will do.
We all knew this season would be a transition with the objective of staying in this division, the team is a work in progress and the players who Grayson has brought in have improved the squad. The worry is the recent performances and the lack of a win, especially with the teams below us all winning.
However, we only need 19 more points, 5 wins should be enough and hopefully in 57 days time we will have reached the magic 50 points, Blackburn will have probably gone through another manager by then.
Merry Christmas everyone, and even the FA have been giving and rescinded Anthony Gerrard’s shocking red card. The MASSIVE await…