Sky Bet League Two, Saturday 11th September 2021 | Mansfield Town 1 [Johnson] Walsall 3
Stepping on lego. Stubbing a toe. Having a tooth extracted, and getting repeatedly flicked on the air in the peak of Winter – all things I’d rather do than watch another performance like that from Mansfield Town FC.
Nigel Clough labelled his players inept as they handed Walsall three points, the hosts running out 3-1 winners – capitalising on three pathetic pieces of defending, making it five losses on the bounce in all competitions,
Clough was without the injured James Perch and suspended duo Ollie Clarke and Stephen Quinn, but there’s no room for using that tipple absence as an excuse – it’s a squad game, and as a collective, that squad wasn’t good enough AGAIN today – something has to change.
People can say ‘it’s early’ but all we’re delivering at the moment is a constant negative, pathetic defending and several performances which scream ‘I don’t care’ – and as supporters who travel and pay to back them, that’s not on. No desire, no fight, no energy and no idea! If we allow this to go on any longer, someone will unmask Clough, Scooby Doo style, and it’ll be Graham bloody Coughlan putting that team out!
He’s a good manager, no doubt, and he’s not quite assembled the squad he wanted – BUT, he and his coaches pick the team, so whilst he can throw the ‘Inept’ label around, he has to shoulder some responsibility.
We have a clear issue at centre half, Hewitt isn’t performing well at all for me and Nartey has had a nightmare start – we can’t start either of them next week and I was very surprised at half time when only one of them was taken off. I don’t want this to sound like a witch hunt and a blame game, it’s not, but sometimes stepping back to take a look at how you can improve is very beneficial in the long run – for all concerned.
The question is, who comes in? Rawson, I still think is getting better and needs that perfect partner, he’s a no brainer – it’s more who partners him? The new signing from stoke Forrester when fit is the obvious choice but when will that be? If he’s ready next week then yes, if not – my choice is simple, Jordan Bowery!
You may laugh and think I’m mad, but he’s clearly not fancied as a starter up front – he’s good enough in the air and can play with the ball at feet. He’s also got the experience to read the game and lead from the back, and whenever he’s played centre half seems to have brightened up and actually looked interested.
Seriously, ask yourself, whatever have we got to lose? Some are saying James Clarke, don’t ruin him by playing him out of position, play him right back where he can, and will, thrive.
I’m far too annoyed to keep typing, I want to forget about that game and utterly woeful display – let them scrap, argue, or whatever to get it out of there system and really come out and bury Rochdale next week.
Enough is enough.
STAGS: Bishop, Gordon, Hewitt (Rawson 46’), Nartey, McLaughlin, Maris (Bowery 62’), Stirk, Lapslie, Oates (Johnson 46’), Hawkins, Sinclair UNUSED SUBS: Shelvey, Charsley, Burke, Law
Attendance: 5,203 (1,008)
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