Football Blog: Tangerine Flavoured

Friday, April 7, 2023

Wipe the slate clean - the Mighty vs Cardiff City

Last week we were down. No question in my head. This week, it's the start of a spectacular leap of faith from the perilous place we're in, to the safety of 21st. I don't know whether I believe that or not, but having passed an ambulance on the way, nosing it's way into a suburban street, lights flashing blue dread reminders of mortality, then I'd say life is too short to worry too much about whether your love is blind or not. If it looks and feels like love, who gives a fuck eh? Cling on to hope, cherish life whilst it's there. Might as well just go and lie in a grave and wait for the earth to close above you otherwise. 

Granted, I'm writing this before I've read the team news and whilst bathed in sunshine. It could well be that in 8 minutes time, I'm thinking 'what the fuck is that Mick?' and wishing I'd brought a coat as the sky takes on the complexion of Welsh slate.

The team news hasn't had any affect on the colour of the heavens, but I'm now thinking 'it's not as warm as it looks' as there's 3 full backs, one of who is Thommo, none of whom are Andy Lyons, all the wingers and no Jerry. No Jerry. There's no Jerry. There's always a Jerry. I don't quite know how to process this news. We've got NO STRIKERS. None. Not even so much as a kid. NO JERRY??!?! It's full backs and wingers all the way. I'd suggest we played Curtis Nelson up front but then we'd have no defence either. Fuck it, bung Grimmy up there. 

I love you Blackpool, but fuck me, this season is trying my devotion to it's very limits.


We start ok because we almost always start ok. We get behind their full back a few times and fizz a few balls across the box. No one is there because we have no striker. Everyone looks nervous. Cardiff have worn a really grey kit as if they're hoping not to be noticed. Thommo is too wound up to kick the ball where he'd like it to go. We're too edgy to get it down and play. So are they. The ghost of Josh Bowler briefly materialises into his mortal physical form and cuts inside and unleashes a superb shot. They block it. Obviously.

As often happens, we don't make anything of our chances because, frankly, even when we've got strikers, we don't tend to do that and so with no strikers, it's even less likely we're going to be able to win the game in a ten minute burst at the beginning because games last a lot longer than that.

As also often happens (unless we're playing QPR) the other team gradually take control. They make a few chances and because our defensive play is about as ordered as playtime in an ill disciplined reception class with a disinterested supply teacher, sooner or later the other team usually score.

The first has the ground collectively asking 'What the fuck were you doing Maxwell' as he waves ineffectually at a loopy cross and then leaves the goal unguarded for them to loop a header in.

The second has the ground going 'fucks sake' as Super Jimmy Husband nods a ball back towards the neatly groomed and shouty but statuesque and increasingly calamity prone Maxwell and a Cardiff player just nips in and takes it from between them. Well done everyone. Mick'll sort the defence at least! I'm glad we had the 'organiser' in goals for those two. Imagine what disasters could befall us if we played that Grimshaw lad? 

The third, I can't remember. I could look it up, but it would just lead me to writing more about it and frankly, I don't want to write it and you don't want to read it. All I can remember is it felt like the moment everything collapsed into a pile of dust. At this point the 'bumper bank holiday crowd' basically all left. The club should at that point have probably sent someone round with a sign up form for League 1 season tickets because essentially, that was the size and make up of the crowd that remained. Idiots like me, looking glum and thinking about where else they could be. Oh, what a feast for the senses. 


Fucking horrible.


Second half was boring as fuck. We scored late on and like last week, it got a half-hearted cheer. Keshi came on and looked ok. CJ came on and ran about. Bowler poked the ball home after work from those two on the left. Oh what joy. Not some much #limbs as #vaguelyperkedupforafewsecondsbeforerememberingitwasfuckinghopeless 

Like last week, we made a few chances, I think Husband missed with a header. Connolly certainly did. Carey hit a rasping effort and probably some other stuff, but ultimately, if it's becoming a habit that you only really have a go when your 3 goals down, then it's likely that you are going to lose more games than you don't. It seems there's a lot of jobs in football at the moment. It's possible that in the future I could get paid 6 figures annually by a football club to reveal that sort of insight I suppose. 

Until then, I'll write shite like this for nowt cos I'm a fucking idiot.  


I don't feel angry. I just feel sad. There's something palpably not right. We're whimpering towards the end. I, mean, deep down, I know we're not actually that good, but it feels as if we're at least better than this.

It's sad seeing a set of players some of whom deserve better than this for their 'Pool swansong and some of whom we've literally wasted running about looking so disjointed with their heads bowed and so little to say to each other. It's barely a year since you'd watch them warm up and there'd be hugs before the games, little huddles with the different units. Now, I don't know. It's a miracle when they manage to pull off a passing triangle.

Last year we matched everyone more or less. We're not this shit. We weren't this shit even this season. It's only about 6 months since we took Sheffield United to bits, since we blitzed Burnley, since we battered PNE and so on.

We are shit though. We've got no tactics at all. Sonny had no idea what his job was today. Patino ended up coming deep and sitting in front of the defence and we lost any connection with the front 3 so we had nothing once that happened, but speculative play. At one point, Bowler was waved into the box to defend whilst someone else stayed up. Cos he's brilliant in the air isn't he?. Rogers ran and ran, but asking him to play with his back to goal is like asking a fucking Ferrari to plough a field. Once they'd cottoned on to us trying to get behind their full back with pace (about 12 minutes in) and they'd sat a bit deeper to nullify that, we were lost. There wasn't another plan.

We change every fucking week. We've got no clue about who we are and why we're there. We've got injuries, yeah, but we never dream of playing one of the kids or even so much as letting them near the bench, preferring instead, to shoehorn the same players who've been losing for months and months into ever more absurd positions. We played some of the best players today - they looked like strangers. They are practically strangers. We left one of the best players on the bench in Fiorini. Why? Who fucking knows. We're lost. Absolutely lost. 

The slate needs wiping clean. It needs starting again. It needs building from the ground up. I don't think it's remotely hyperbolic to say, in terms of football at least, we're back where we were at the beginning of Critchley's first full season. We'll be saying goodbye to a load of loans and players who've past their sell by date and it will be (depending on how you view it) - a massive and unenviable challenge or a brilliant project for someone to rebuild us. 

We might as well just get on with it. The problem of now is twofold - it's not just that what we're doing is not working, it's that it's not seemingly having any positive impact on the development of the players we will still have next year. Lyons is in and out like a yoyo. No one seems to actually understand what Carey is. The best keeper is employed to hit crosses at warm ups and fuck all else and Rob Apter is learning his trade and gaining valuable experience by sitting in the stand so we can have an extra full back on the bench for no fucking reason at all. 

Fuck off football.


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1 comment:

  1. Agree with all your comments. Might as well play the 'kids' for the rest of the season. We have Lubala as our only 'fit' centre forward and cannot be bothered signing him on a short contract and playing him. Fiorini as maybe the best midfielder we have cannot make the bench against Preston on only the bench today. Lyons perhaps our most attacking full back not playing. Grimmy our best choice of keeper and still he continues with Flapwell. What is going on at the club?


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