I find this to be [particularly difficult to write but Stuart Pearce, the club legend and player I grew up idolising got things very wrong last night. I’m not going to be one of these knee jerk idiots (who demographically all appear to be aged 16-25) and call for the manager to go. We haven’t got that far yet, besides, chopping and changing managers will mean only thing. We won’t advance.
But last night against Brentford was horrific. I may have been culpable of spouting some hyperbole about just how bad, but to me it was defensively one of the worst performances I remember, and though some people suggested I can’t have been going for long (I regard 1988 as a long time ago now) It really did feel awful to me. As bad as Barnsley away during the Megson years which to me was the worst team performance I have ever seen.
But, let’s be honest. This is the same team and manager that led us to the top early on. It just seems that not only injuries but luck and determination ran out. Chopping and changing to try and grasp some form back hasn’t helped as we try to find the right blend to start winning again.
And that ultimately led to last night, whereby dropping your star striker and placing a winger up front smacked of desperation more than anything. The thing is in this situation if you keep picking the same losing team people accuse you of being arrogant, thinking that those players will play back into form and not acknowledging it’s not right. But if chop and change people accuse you not knowing what you’re doing. So what gives? Do you change it up to try and inspire life and know your best team and keep choosing it even if they aren’t on form?
I don’t know what I’d do. There are calls for 4-4-2 and plays it simple, but a lot of teams play in such a way you need a deep midfielder. The defence look bereft of confidence. The one position we looked so strong in at that start looks like a wreck. Lansbury’s lack of form hasn’t helped in terms of the fact we lose midfield possession and put the defence under a pressure they are wilting under. Kicking the ball long and immediately losing possession isn’t helping either. We just aren’t doing very basic things correctly and we look awful.
Does it require sacking Pearce? No. Too many people today and too conditioned to the moment anything goes wrong we sack the manager. It happens all over football. But in the last few years we have done that, and where has it got us? Absolutely nowhere. The ones wanting him out are the ones who moan when we win 1-0 that it should have been 2 anyway.
Keep the faith.