Date: 29th August 2010 at 10:03am
Written by:

In summary of the Cardiff game, I think the following thoughts shared by Steve Cotterill do sum up what went wrong all in all: ‘we gave away two silly goals and that sums up the way things have been going for us for the past eight weeks.

‘The trouble is if someone scores twice against us we do not have the firepower to come back.’

I would disagree, slightly, that we do not have ‘the firepower to come back’, as lets face it the attacking force that we have does have the ability – certainly at this level – the problem, for me, is the fact that none of them ‘really’ know who is playing where and we have too many that are ‘strikers’ and not ‘wingers’…

He, and maybe others, would argue differently by would we REALLY do any worse if we set out in a 4-4-2 formation?

Put a pair up top and let the supply come from the wide midfielders, who remain wide midfielders – the central pair in midfield can be that ‘defensive base’, because as things stand we often have the 3 attacking players from the 4-3-3 running around like headless chickens and the central 3 from the midfield have little, or no, creation between them.

Is it not becoming clear, as it has for some time, that a 4-5-1/4-3-3 is not really working for us!

He also said: ‘we are bottom of the league and the alarm bells are ringing but I was ringing them from the first day I took the job.

‘I always knew this was a tough job and no-one will ever know just how tough it is because I won’t tell them because if I give in then everyone will give in.’

Erm, Steve have you not just said what you said you did not want to?

Although lets face it I think it is, and if it was not before the past couple of weeks have made it abundantly clear, that we are in for a bloody long season…

He says that he will ‘keep fighting’ and not give in at this ‘great club’ but needs the tools to work with, which he does not: ‘this is still a great club and we have to make sure we get things right on the pitch.

‘I am a fighter and I will keep fighting but as a manager you need the tools to be able to do your job to the best of your ability.

‘It concerns me we will lose players before the transfer window closes.’

Again it is clear that we need reinforcements, although it was also clear that this would not be easy for us to manage – so, we MUST make do with what we have, getting the best from this. The personnel is not really going to chance much in the weeks ahead so again I say we need to be looking at the shape we set-up with and if that means using the youngsters, so be it…

If the formation is not working, which I am not convinced it is, then would it really be any worse for us to at least try something different and go with that 4-4-2 to at least have a couple of ‘proper’ strikers that can feed off, and work with, each other.

This seems to be what is being tried – the lone man wants someone to play alongside – with little flick ons and so on, but there is no real out and out support striker to help…

Yesterday was as poor a performance as I can remember at Fratton; it was equally as bad as the poorest performance I could recall for sometime full stop from the week prior at Preston.

So, Steve has a couple of weeks to motivate these guys, really gee them up and do some serious work on the training pitch – if we come back with the players having the same attitude, lack of commitment and basically what seems a ‘defeatist’ attitude then we may as well give in now!

It is a big couple of week coming up…


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