A View From The Drain - Much Ado About Nothing
Are we in the midst of a Shakespearean striking tragedy, as some would say? Are we in a position whereby we have been caught out as a tad naive? Are we yet to really find our way? Or are we just treading water, whilst we try and get our infrastructure sorted out? Or is this the winter of our discontent? Um probably not. In any case, what I hope to answer is some of these things that have led to a...
A Shakespearean Striking Tragedy.
We've all been there, haven't we? It's all going so well and then...oh no. A simple mistake brings the whole world, of flatpack crashing right down on your head. Yes, instead of putting the dowel in hole 'B' and the screw 'J' (which is suspiciously like screw 'I') in hole 'A', disaster has struck and the whole blinking wardrobe/bed/garden swing chair (delete which is applicable) has come crashing round you.
You were singing along to Top of The World, by The Carpenters and Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now (quite why anyone would wish to listen to Starship, is beyond me but...) and that's it. Your flatpack dream is over. No matter how much Crowded House may say to the contrary. And that my fellow forum browsers is where Matt Green is at present. He started so well, and we all thought he would score 84 goals this season, well perhaps a quarter of that...yet it is not working for him. Where did his flatpack wardrobe of striking splendour go from looking like a rich mahogany masterpiece, to a piece of MDF MFI effort?
For me it comes down to that incident at Stevenage. A moment of petulance/frustration/stupidity, you choose which one it was. At that point he probably realised he may have cost his team the game. Now as a confidence player, and sensitive soul that Matt appears to be, that is huge. Yes we came out of it and won and then won the next game, yet Matt was not involved in turning the first one around, nor playing in the next game. Then came his former club and the negativity that came with it...and we lose.
Ah. Now that is enough to knock anyone, but a confidence player? Massively. I do feel for Matt as he is obviously a quality player. His head, however, does not appear to be with it. The issue could also be down to the fact that his partner is constantly changing and he is unable to build up a partnership with anyone. That must be somewhat unsettling, as consistency helps confidence greatly.
Then there is the whole issue with Akinola too. There are so many reasons as to why Matt Green is not at the races at present. I have seen it time in time out with the England Cricket Batting Line up. Some arrive and are given too many games and are walking wickets. They are dropped and either you never hear of them again in internationals, or they continue to be walking wickets (Gary Balance).
So what is the answer to our striking issue? Well the defenders are better and more used to the likes of Matt Rhead, however he still wins the vast majority of his headers, but is not quite up to the pace. Oli Palmer, runs the channels like Lew Grade, but he seems to have boots smeared with superglue whenever he gets the ball in the area.
Then we bring in Billy Knott. I do love all of the players mentioned above, for their grit, determination and willingness to do well. Billy is in that group as well. Ah the ballad of Billy Knott. A truly classy, flair player. The Kevin Pietersen of our squad for talent and ability. Yet, I feel that we are a different team with him playing in it, and we can't seem to find a role for him. During his 3 match ban, we picked up 7 points. We should have had 9, but for us fluffing our lines at Blundell Park.
Billy comes back in and, we lose our flair and creativeness again, as we can't find the right place for him to play. We've given him a free role, a number 10 role and most bizarrely, played him on the right wing. Billy, by his own admission, has stated his preferred role is to play behind the front two. It's like having a fast medium bowler and asking them to bowl off spin. Ray Illingworth did this to Phil Defreitas in the 1996 World Cup. The unmistakably brilliant sarcasm of Michael Holding smoothly announced "I would call this right arm optimistic."
Essentially, we desperately need another striker and we need as settled striking partnership.
Danny and Nicky know this. They are not Macbeth, neither are they Hamlet. They are on a steep learning curve too. Massively so. There was the farce of the signing of Akinola, which quickly became more like a comedy of errors than anything else that happened that day. Danny and Nicky know they need more, and probably more quickly than January. 14 goals from 15 games is a concern. It is even more of a concern if you figure that 4 of those 14 goals came in 1 game.
Part of our strength last season came with the fact that we were scoring goals elsewhere, yes that is a sign of a good team, but your strikers are meant to fire and score, not constantly be bailed out by the midfielders and defenders. It's like a cricket team having its bowlers and middle order batsmen bail out the top 5. It can't keep happening. Eventually the cancer will spread throughout the team and collapses will become more and more common as those of whom are meant to fire will just not be able to cut the mustard and continuing to keep playing them could be devastating psychologically. It's a very fine balance and not one of a Gary one at that (how many times can one person so technically flawed be recalled?)
So are we about to enter the winter of our discontent? In short, no. It seems unfathomable that Danny and Nicky would let that happen. Well that's not a fair thing to say. They DEFINITELY would NOT let that happen. They are too good for that. I am sure that at this very moment, as I am tapping away listening to Simon Bates on Radio 1 Vintage (it's the only thing that my iPlayer radio app will play - why do you hate me so much BBC?) that they are on the phone to some agent or another, striking up another Theo like deal.
As currently, our forwards could have a whole week of Our Tunes about their striking issues. We need to turn that into the Hottest Hits, Live from Lincoln.
Danny and Nicky will be very honest and clear on the fact that we need to start firing and firing soon. In fact, we need someone who fired more than Matthew Bannister did, during his time as Radio 1 Controller. We just need to hope that Danny and Nicky can find that person. I am sure they will. Knowing them, probably sooner than we think.
Finally, a message to Matt Green, don't be a Durran Durran and just... "Relax go do it, Come on and go through it. Relax go do it, then you'll go and score." (With apologies to Frankie, but not Mike Read.)
A View From The Drain: Just Another Stunt - Part One
A View From The Drain: The 7 P's - Part Two