Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I've had 24 hours to reflect on the yesterday's match, but I'm still fuming.

How can a side so totally dominate an opening half, be four nil up at the break and then throw it all away in 45 minutes of madness?

Who do you blame? The players? The manager? Both?

Dave Jones, hardly the most demonstrative of managers at the best of times said in his post match interview that the players had let the fans, and themselves down. He parried a question about an injury to Jay Bothroyd basically saying he didn't care at that moment and he needed a day to think about it all.

When questioned as to why he hadn't changed the system to adopt a more defensive approach in the second half, he said they (the opposition) hadn't changed anything apart from taking off a big centre back and putting a smaller one on so there was no need to change anything.

This is preposterous. It was clear to everyone else in the world (okay anyone watching or listening), that Peterboro were giving it all, so to go to 4-5-1 from his set in stone 4-4-2 was the obvious thing to do. The fans were saying it on the message board, the punters were saying it on the radio, but no, DJ knows best and 4-4-2 is the only way in his book.

He has a fair amount of detractors who say he is tactically tunnel visioned, and this rather sums that up.

Those who defend him say (amongst other things)
  1. He got us to a Cup Final
  2. We weren't berating him when we were 4-0 up at half time
OK, let's look at those two examples.

To get to the Cup final, we beat Chasetown, Hereford, Wolves, Middlesborough, and Barnsley. No disrespect to any of those sides, but none of them are top drawer, and only one (Middlesborough) a Premiership side at at the time, and a pretty poor one at that. Oh, and we lost that final to an equally poor Portsmouth.

And what about being 4-0 up at half time yesterday? Well, hurrah. So we should have been. When we play football it is inspiring, and after having (and failing to score with) 27 (yes, twenty-seven) attempts v Plymouth on Boxing, we must have been due to get one in the net. But it's not just about scoring is it? It's also about keeping the opposition out, and that's where we're not very good. In the first half we outplayed them and scored four. In the second half they outplayed us and we were crap. Didn't defend well, gave the ball away, thought the job was done.

So where do we go from here? Jones is talking about player movement in January. Hmmm. We aint got much money, even though I've signed up for next year already (that Premiership season ticket refund deal is looking a safe bet for the City money boys at the moment).

There are clearly some players who just don't cut the mustard. Paul Quinn has been poor since his arrival. Solomon Taiwo who came from Dagenham looks equally inept at this level, thoguh hasn't really had much of a chance. Why we turned down £6m for Joe Ledley last season is beyond my comprehension. I love Chops to bits, but his goals and therefore confidence have evaporated. Bothroyd is great 80% of the time and looks like he can't be arsed 20% of the time. Hudson our skipper is about as fast as me - if he was quicker he'd be OK.

So some will go, and some will come in, but don't expect any "stars".

And Dave Jones? My guess is he'll stay. Many are calling for his head, especially after yesterday. I've generally defended him, but my faith is waning and I'm beginning to think he's done all he can at Cardiff, but I can't see us giving him the chop - for a start we can't afford it.

So let's soldier on. Automatic promotion is already beginning to look a long way off, but we're still 5th and a playoff place at least should be nailed on (famous last words). A good Cup run too wouldn't go amiss, starting with Bristol City on 2nd Jan - first ever FA Cup match shown exclusively live on the internet by the way.

Let's just not give away any more 4 goal leads....

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