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I've just read on teletext that our manager thinks we were unlucky yesterday and that we must have run over half a dozen black cats in the last couple of weeks.
Desperate words from a desperate manager. Did you know that Rotherham was a once in ten years result and that must be right because lots of people in the footballing world have phoned him to tell him. Peter Reid for one ! This is laughable. Kevin Blackwell wants to take himself away from the club, away from the players and away from his directors and take a long hard look at the situation. I don't think he can see the wood for the trees at the moment and the blind faith that he continues to give to some of his players will ultimately cost him his job. If KB were to drop Gregan that may seem to him to say I have failed.
When you consider the financial situation at the club I suppose half a million on one player is a big decision to make. If this player then turns out to be not up to the job then maybe there is an argument that the manager has to go but I would suggest to KB that the only way he has of keeping his job is by "resting" some of these more 'experienced' players and going with a bit of youth and pace. Otherwise he will be waiting for the next freak result like QPR. It ain't going to happen Kevin, that's Deano's quota for the season all in one match.
So to the game, were we unlucky ? No is the answer.
Yes we started brightly and yes we created the best chances but Leicester also caused us problems and I thought our packed midfield were struggling to take control. Leicester were quicker and brighter in that area and the Wright, Gregan, Walton combination showed yet again they are not up to the job. Our best midfielders were Healy and Oster who at least tried to play pass and move football , something which doesn't exist in Gregan, Wright and Walton world. Time after time Deane looked isolated up front as Healy moved deep into midfield in an attempt to get some moves going. He occasionally just got the ball and legged it towards goal such was the lack of support from the midfield trio. Nearly worked on one occasion but his final ball let him down. The best move came from a run from Walton which hit is legs and let Oster in. He provided a brilliant cross to Healy who headed towards the bottom corner. Their keeper made a great save to deny him, one of many in the match. It was noticeable though that as Healy headed towards goal Brian Deane was stood awkwardly a yard away just getting in the way and putting Healy off. We have to get Healy in the box , if KB wants to play 4-3-3 then Healy has to be that main striker. Brian Deane showed today why he's only got 4 goals this season , 3 being in one game. I said that I'd won a tenner cos he didn't score the following game after the hat-trick well I wish I'd put another tenner on that he wouldn't score today. He had two great chances with his head that he plopped over with no conviction, David Wetherall style and then the miss of the season when Richardson gave it to him on a plate from 4 yards out he side footed over the bar. That miss alone should result in the big man earning his "rest".
0-0 at half time and we were slightly the better side but towards the end of the half you could see the tell tale signs. The midfield had started to slow and Leicester were beginning to grow in confidence as they realised they were there for the taking. Second half our defence showed it's lack of ability by failing to clear a ball, it falls straight to a Leicester play who whacks it in the roof of the net. Was there a handball ? Who gives a f'ck ? Just bad defending. From there it all started to crumble. Our supposed big players lost their game and it was clear that something had to change. Maybe convert to a 4-4-2 or 4-4-2, maybe take one of the players that were struggling ? Oster had just provided the moment of the game by jinking past two players in the box and being denied by yet another great save. Minutes later he was substituted by a defender (Richardson). Oster is the easy option to take off. He's a loan player and he's not going to spit his dummy out. Sean Gregan may be different story. If he subbed him God knows what might happen. Going back to my earlier point, it would be considered failure to bring him off.
So KB thought he'd change the game by sticking to 4-3-3 and replacing a midfielder with a right back. Clueless ! We were then treated to most spectacular own goal with Gary Kelly heading in Allan Clarke style with nobody around him. That was the signal for a lot of people to leave but not before they'd taken time to boo Kelly every time he got the ball. Disgraceful. KB picks the team and Gary Kelly on the whole has done ok this season. His distribution is shocking at times but he never gives anything less than 100%. At times this season that has not been good enough but he didn't deserve that yesterday. In the end we looked a sorry sight and KB finally brought Mcmaster on with about 5 minutes to go and then replaced Killa for a forward Joachim. Too f'cking late Kevin. He still stuck it out with the hapless trio in midfield and Walton who had run himself into the ground was reduced to kicking the ground in frustration. We got the usual "you're not fit to wear the shirt" and "what the f'ck is going on ?" Listen to those words Kev , take yourself away and watch a few videos and make some important decisions otherwise I think you'll be gone by Christmas.
Sullivan - 6 a couple of good saves. Looks a bit slow sometimes when having to move across ground e.g.Kelly's goal.
Kelly - 4. Had a poor game in general.
Killa - 6. Started well at left back but was asked to play left wing as Healy moved into the centre. He is no winger.
Butler - 5. Plays a cautious game. Sits at the back marshalling but all the important work is done by Carlisle and Killa. I'd suggest we pick a new captain for the second half of the season, Someone who is a bit more dynamic. Carlisle maybe ?
Carlisle - 7. Maybe not 100% fit but still got through a lot of good work. Needs to play with Killa at the back.
Wright - 3. I'm sick of this bloke. Yes he has showed that as an additional attacker he can contribute and can score the odd goal but as someone in the NE upper pointed out yesterday , he appears to be doing a lot of running but never actually gets anywhere.Completely anonymous for 90 minutes. He's a luxury that KB cannot afford.
Gregan - 4. Not fit enough, mobile enough or fast enough. In truth, not good enough. Drop him Kev DROP HIM NOW.
Walton - 4. All for effort, none for attainment. I'm afraid to say that at this time in his life he is not good enough. He's not a midfieder but KB chooses to play him over Spring. Why is this ? I do believe that Walton will not make it as a defender or midfielder at this level. He's got no quality which is sad cos at least he cares.
Oster - 6. He finds time on the ball and has good awareness of his team mates. It's a shame that they're not good enough to play the type of football he has in mind. You have to pass and move to achieve that. Gregan can only pass.
Healy - 6. He's being ruined on the left winger. Our best striker and best player by a mile. Surely that earns him the right to play in his proper position.
Deane - 2. Truly awful display from the big man. Dublin had it easy. He might chip in with the odd nod in or tap in along the way but is this what we want ?
Richardson - 7. To be fair he came on and created the best chance of the game.
Joachim - 5. Didn't have any impact but where was he playing ?
Mcmaster - ? You've got to give the lad half a chance.
KB - 0. Has to realise that Mcmaster, Simon Johnson , Spring, Killa and Lennon need to be involved more and that Healy needs to play as a striker. He also needs to forget the Butler, Gregan , Deane backbone of the team theory.
Crowd - 0. Disgraceful. Something is going to give at ER soon. There was a lot of anger yesterday , it is slowly but surely boiling over. Millwall could be interesting.