Nicky Crompton chips in with a guest article
Thanks, Nicky for your article and work on research. I don’t think Nicky is panicking just yet, but there is definite concern in his prose.
A little less conversation, a little more action, please… Am I right, Nicky? Enjoy…
Our fans are split somewhat evenly between pessimistic and ridiculously optimistic and hopeful. Today, I`m going to talk about the latter and the belief that the fans, players and managers have.
When you listen to a Dougie Freedman interview, he has two default responses to a match: a) if we win- “The lads did very well, we`re playing wonderful football and (insert 5 goal-a-season striker here) is one of the best finishers in the country” b) if we lose- “Everything`s going wrong for us, we really did deserve three points, but I`m confident that by next match we will have cut out all those mistakes, and we`ll win.”
So at this stage in the season, we`ve only won one match, so we`ve heard a lot of default response ‘b`. While in some respects, that is the right response, as he`s not gonna just say “OK, we`re never gonna win, let`s just give up” but some fans need to take their heads out of the clouds. We`re not in a good position at the moment. After 13 games, we`re 21st. It`s all well and good saying that we`re on a 5 match unbeaten run, but we need to convert those draws into wins. I think Dougie has started to recognize that we need things to change by bringing a few hungry players in on loan. However, we need him to turn things round, rather than just try to.
To show how much better we should be doing I`ve estimated the rough value of our squad, as well as that of the three clubs below us, and the two clubs at the top of the league. I calculated that out of Burnley, Leicester, Bolton, Yeovil, Barnsley and Sheffiled Wednesday, our squad was the most valuable, closely followed by Leicester, then current league leaders Burnley, then Sheffield Wednesday, then Barnsley, then Yeovil. Our squad is significantly more valuable than that of the currently league leaders- yet we`re 1 point out of the relegation zone. I also estimated that our squad is the third most valuable in the league, after QPR and Wigan.
People constantly saying that it will all get better is somewhat frustrating. While I understand that we have to remain optimistic and keep faith, we need to sort out our problem/s. There are many suggestions as to how to get us winning games, and the way we should do this is by looking out our main problems.
People are constantly criticizing our defense and individuals, such as Bogdàn. I looked at our goals for to goals against ratio. And yes, we`ve conceded a lot of goals- 20 to be precise, and 16 teams had conceded fewer than us. While that isn`t great, it sounds good when compared to the amount of goals we`ve scored. Only 2 teams have scored fewer goals than us, 1 of which has a game in hand. In 13 games, we`ve scored 9 goals. This is a huge problem that isn`t being addressed.
People are saying that Beckford will turn things around. Well, that`s great- but he actually needs to do it. The other strikers aren`t doing much to help the cause either. David N`Gog has scored 11 goals in 66 matches for us. That`s ridiculous. God knows why we signed him, his Liverpool scoring record was 9 in 63- and we paid 5 million for him. His holdup play is good along with a few other aspects of his game, but if you can`t score, you shouldn`t be a striker. Craig Davies has barely featured, and while you can`t entirely blame this on him, he can`t be doing everything right in training when he is fit.
While this article might sound pessimistic and harsh, I`m not trying to be. We just need to remember what`s actually happening on the football pitch rather than saying ‘Oooh, that was unlucky` or ‘He`ll be very good in 5 years time`. We need to start turning things around, and I`m very pro-Dougie. If we start stringing together a few wins, then we could well find ourselves in a much better position.