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[Blog] This Club May Not Be Rotten But We Can't Carry On Like This
Written by Mossy on Sunday, 21st Aug 2011 22:40

After reading two excellent blogs from Steve M and BOjK, I feel compelled to throw in another side to the argument.

After two scandalous results and performances it has become a watershed moment for the club. BOjK's assertion that we need to calmly carry on, seems to me of sticking our heads in the sand and not accepting the plight of where the club is at the present time.

We have got a decent owner; he has been patient, too patient sometimes, in giving the manager time to build a squad. I would also question how much he wants to take this club into the Premier league. I don't expect millions lavished on new signings, spending over the top on players but I do think we are trying to build the squad on the cheap.

The club has got a strategy and put out a very persuasive argument, but just because the club lets the manager get on with it, doesn't necessarily mean the club has a strong thought out long-term plan. It appears to me to lack structure, it certainly isn't David Sheepshanks's strong five-year plan.

This club has delusions of grandeur, thinking we have money and think just because we have the money we can get anyone to this club. Mostly our targets seem well out of our reach. Why can't we accept we are a medium-sized club?

Many managers have struggled to bring players here. We should accept our limitations and buy accordingly. Look at Norwich, they have brought young hungry players willing to develop themselves. Some may not be ready now, but in time will develop into cracking players. We used to do this well.

Having said that, we have done well in bringing some top quality players to this club - Lee Bowyer, Michael Chopra and David Stockdale to name three - but the sticking point is our terrible defence and a creative spark. There are some top quality players in Leagues One and Two we could have already bought players to cover the empty positions.

Our midfield has been neglected for years since our Premier League days it has slowly been eroded of its most creative players. Gio and Jimmy Bullard have proven what this team can achieve despite its limitations if you have that creativity.

Chief executive Simon Clegg is a source of great frustration for me. He has done, on occasions, some excellent things. Most of the examples you list. Then he makes silly mistakes - his ill-judged comments about holding the club to ransom over player contracts or allowing Liz Edwards to write an article in that manner, as well as the cringeworthy preaching about the article over the Tannoy to the fans.

Now we come to the crux of our problems, what is going wrong? You say, had players such as Lee Martin, Tamas Priskin, Carlos Edwards etc been successful then we would be doing well, but too many of our signings haven't done well and that can only be the fault of the manager.

Then you need to ask who appointed them in the first place. Roy Keane's appointment was because he had success at getting previous clubs into the Premier League. One team that then struggled once they go to the Premier League.

It was quite clear to everyone we needed a strong experienced manager after Jim Magilton left. Instead, we plumped for someone who would raise our profile and make the club a circus. We needed someone with a good track record, someone who knew the Championship in and out and how to go up. We got someone who had less experience than Jim did - and it showed.

His ripping out of the team Jim had in that summer and subsequent months is the main reason we are in this position now. We didn't need wholesale changes to this football club, we were only slightly short of being a very competitive team. A few additions is all we needed.

Now we face this cost. I don't entirely blame PJ, I feel sorry for him, being lumbered with a truly god awful mess, although he has a lot to answer for not bringing in any defenders.

Too many summers we have cleared the decks and started again. We lack continuity, players don't know what is going on and some quite frankly don't care.

Quite a few players at this club I hope have played their last game for this football club, I hope I never see Grant Leadbitter, Arran Lee-Barrett, Jaime Peters and Tommy Smith in the first team again. They are simply not good enough, Leadbitter was the captain, he showed no fight, no leadership and was a disgrace to the shirt.

I can tolerate losses, but not to lose in the manner we did. Against two teams, that have just come up, one of which I thought was the worst team in this division before Saturday.

Your point about blaming our fickle fans seems harsh if I am honest. Yes, we do have a number of idiotic fans demanding instant success but we have mostly understanding and patient fans. The time Keane got, in consideration to the job he did for example, is a pointer to that.

Where do we go from here? We can't stick our heads in the sand. We need action now and we can't continue in the manner we have been doing. We need to do some soul searching, think about what direction this club needs to take. Set out plans for the short, medium and long-term.

Say we have a five-year plan to get back the Premier League, let us fans know we are going to build and grow a squad. Bring in players from Europe and the lower leagues and develop them, blood our youngsters, build a team I can be proud of again.

I know that to be a successful team at this level it will take time - it will take years, but we will have fight and we will do far better than we are currently doing.

PJ does deserve support, but us fans spend a hell of a lot of money to see us put in displays like we have over the last few years. They do deserve much better. Their loyalty shouldn't be questioned.

We have 10 days to save our season. Get the right players in, learn from our mistakes and we will move forward. These awful few weeks will become a distant memory. Stick our heads in the sand hoping everything is OK, and we will be in League One next year.

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Lightningboy added 10:09 - Aug 22
Couldn't have put it better myself..can someone at TWTD please get these blogs into the faces of Marcus Evans & Simon Clegg?

Like I said yesterday,i'm not interested in the circus that is premiership football anymore - this "problem" is much bigger than that..I want our club doing things the way we were doing them under the likes of Sir Bobby & George Burley.

Someone made an excellent point yesterday - we've got one half of possibly the greatest defensive partnership this club has ever had right under our noses - namely Russell Osman - let's get him involved with the first team.

Vic added 14:00 - Aug 22
Mossy, I for one appreciate another level headed, well thought through blog. I also agree with much that you say. However, you, as with several others, mention the lack of strategy as part of our problem, and ask for players from lower leagues and for youth players to be brought on.

But I'm not sure that there isn't a strategy in place - I just think that amidst the atrocious results and performances of the last few days we have lost sight of themhave. Remember that PJ has said repeatedly that his brief is to build a team over the long term, he has said that it will take time. We have also blooded many younger players over the last few months (though admittedly not so many this season so far). We have shown a willingness to buy from the lower leagues (Cresswell and Drury). So I think a case can be made that the things you call for are actually in place.

I'm not sure what the answer is TBH! I think that PJ is walking a very tight line in openly criticising the players (had Keane done that we'd be going ballistic at him now!). he could hit what little confidence they seem to have even more. But if he's right and they are not following agreed tactics and instructions once the game starts then there's little he can do! I for one will be very interested to see what he does and which players are dropped for only then will we know who he's referring to in his stinging criticism.

Talk by some of PJ's job being on the line is simply ridiculous at this moment in time. However, he has got to earn his corn and show that it really is the players and not him as a manager that is to blame for this last 10 days or he will start to be in trouble. His skill and acumen Or otherwise) as a manager will surely be revealed over the next 6-8 weeks.

raycrawford added 14:39 - Aug 22
Good Blog and I agree with Vic. PJ has now got to prove that he is a worthy manager and show the required man management skills in getting the players to perform to an acceptable standard. Its all very well for him to apologise for the last two diabolical performances, now he needs to act as no amount of words will be good enough if we get a good beating off Leeds.

dommyboyblue added 10:54 - Aug 23

Could not agree more with the comments regarding what Keane did to Jims squad. Just did not need to be ripped apart and the issue we have now is it now needs to be re-built. IMO If we had gone for a more experienced manager in the first place then he would have seen this and we may have never been in this awful state. Great blog though!!
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