Twelve games in, and things are bad. Fourth bottom of the league with only two wins all season we are literally at the club’s lowest ever point. But what’s gone wrong? Here’s some thoughts:
1. We play like a Football League team.
I genuinely think that this group of players, in League 2, would be higher in that league than we are in this one. The fact is, we play the wrong way for this league. Remember how quickly Forest Green resorted to the long ball on Saturday (from the first minute, pretty much), remember how physical the technically inferior Kettering were and note how difficult we find it to play that way, or counter teams who do. It’s all well and good playing the ball on the ground, but it’s obviously not working.
2. We have no self belief.
Aside from Forest Green at home, every time we’ve gone behind this season we’ve gone on to lose.
3. Our forwards aren’t scoring goals.
We actually have the 11th best defence in the league, could be better but our problems aren’t at the back. Our real problem lies up front, where we have the second worst forward line in the league. And it’s unfair to credit our “forward line” with many of these goals. The last time one of our forwards scored? Kyle Perry against Telford on August 23rd.
4. The fans are drifting away.
Look at this sequence of numbers: 2,448. 2,211. 2,152. 2,269. 1,587. 2,076. Those are our home attendances for the season, an obvious downward trend. We’re in danger of getting sucked into a spiral here. Poor team loses fans, the club loses money resulting in an even poorer team, which will lose fans and so on. The slow death of a football club is playing out before our very eyes, unless results start to turn around now.
5. We have actually been quite unlucky.
This is Tilson’s defence. And he’s right, to some extent. Listening to the commentary on Tuesday night, we had plenty of chances to take the lead and dominated the first half, until Barrow’s goal. On Saturday we really should have beaten Forest Green, we certainly had the chances. We should have taken a point at Luton, should have beaten Stockport and Wrexham too.
But we didn’t.
The bottom line is, if we don’t beat Bath City (W0 D3 L9) on Saturday, Steve Tilson has to go.