Date:Sunday February 8 2009
How do you sum yesterday's game up without resorting to a knee-jerk reaction? I'm finding it quite difficult!
The facts are there for us all to see - the most glaring of which is the six goals we've conceded in two matches at Bloomfield Road, which isn't good enough in anyone's book.
The fairly experienced pairing of Shaun Barker and Ian Evatt were out-thought by a distinctly average Doncaster frontline. Paul Heffernan was pulling both centre backs out wide far too easily, and both (but especially Barker) had difficulty dealing with simple high balls over the top. What is the problem? Is it a lack of leadership back there? You could argue that, with skipper Rob Edwards missing out, but in fairness the communication is as bad when he is playing.
If there is medical science available, I think we should definitely think about using a human blender to amalgamate Matt Gilks and Paul Rachubka. Although Gilks looked nervy on his home debut for The Seasiders, he possessed good catching ability and did talk to his defence (even if they were unable to talk to themselves!), although his shot-stopping leaves a lot to be desired.
The midfield looked ok - nothing more and nothing less. David Fox - yet again - coasted his way through another game without stamping any sort of authority and was taught a lesson in play-making from Richie Wellens (and no, I don't apologise) and Brian Stock. What sort of player misses the chance he did moments before Stock equalised for Donny?
His partner, Charlie Adam, lived up to his big time forename when he was sent off for a clear stamp on Wellens, but did look a real quality player on the ball and one we'll certainly miss in the next three games.
David Vaughan had one of his better games on the left wing, and will certainly benefit from an injury-free run in the team. However, we saw Gary Taylor-Fletcher's most ineffectual performance in a tangerine shirt for quite a while, whilst DJ Campbell looked dejected for the most part with the constant bombardment of long balls aimed in his direction.
This leads us to the 'management'. Their decision making is leaving plenty of supporters generally flabbergasted - many of whom are uncertain about publicly criticising on the internet.
There are a couple of things that have had me thinking. Firstly, the insistance on telling the back four to lump a ball long to a striking partnership whose combined height cannot be taller than 11 feet 10.
Secondly, where was Joe Martin? The youngster has looked promising whenever he's played, and looks to me to have paid the price for a horrific first half team showing against QPR: is that the way we should be treating our future stars? To put it into perspective, Martin has looked far more productive than the headless chicken Graeme Owens (who is exactly the same age - 20), yet the on loan midfielder from Boro gets a place on the bench.
Brett Ormerod, last time I checked, was a striker, and not a bad one at that. He is not a left winger. To bring Brett on down the left wing on the day of his homecoming is just madness. GTF is a midfielder playing up front, so why didn't we push him back into the middle of the park alongside Adam (where he played last week, and very well) and push Ormerod up front alongside DJ Campbell?
I said at the beginning of their tenure that the Doncaster result would go a long way to saying whether they're up to the task, and whilst it's not all bad news, the result yesterday will do more damage than the Birmingham result did good for me, and with teams around us still to play at home, we could yet struggle. Karl Oyston needs to come out and say what is going on with the management situation very soon.
Date:Sunday February 8 2009
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