Oh dear, oh dear.
Oh dear, oh dear, or dear!
I have little to add to what I've already read from the blogs of those that were there. I predicted an easy win, and that's what we should have had. I have been wrestling with just how to approach this post. I have deliberately waited until today (Sunday) as I was just so, so angry yesterday. I have no real problem with us having a 'bad day at the office' and I can forgive any of the players making mistakes, but to have failed to win today was unforgivable. From what I've read Darren Ambrose missed a good chance (nothing new there) and Moutaouakil messed up a clearance that led to their goal. but for those two mistakes we might have won 1-0 rather than losing by the same margin.
Having said that though we shouldn't be two mistakes away from winning or losing a game against such lowly opposition. Darren Ambrose has (as I've already suggested) missed many chances this season. If he never missed a single chance he would be too good for us. If we could afford Christano Ronaldo then that would be great, but we can't and Darren Ambrose has added a lot to us in recent weeks. Remember that he has scored half of our goals in the last three games, so we can't blame him. We should be scoring enough goals that we can cope with one defensive blunder. Frankly we should have been a couple of goals infront by half time.
I know we keep hearing that the teams at the bottom are closer in ability to the teams at the top this season than ever before, but they are at the bottom for a reason. Scunthorpe hadn't won a game in weeks, they should have been low on confidence, and we had a chance to stake a claim for a top two place yesterday, but I now believe that it is asking too much. We are only still fifth because the teams around us keep dropping points, but it is irrelevant if we cannot put a run together. Two wins in eleven (West Brom are in our league so I'm counting them) is never going to be good enough for us to claim automatic promotion.
I am beginning to worry about Pardew's ability to lift the team for these types of games. I know that West Ham had the same issues when they were last in this division, and it is really starting to worry me. Don't get me wrong I like Pardew, and I personally like the team bonding and togetherness that he breads, but there is a nagging thought in the back of my mind that under Curbishley the players wouldn't have dared lose this game a month after losing at home to Colchester. I have worked in many different environments, and with that little anecdotal evidence I would suggest that the most popular managers are rarely the most successful. Indeed, a happy work place can often be a relaxed and therefore lazy work place. I wasn't at the game so won't comment, but the radio commentary gave the impression that we stunk the place out, and deserved all that we got even though Pardew (on the official web site) says that we deserved more.
There comes a point when we have got to stop talking the talk and start winning games. This league is there for the taking, but it's not going to hang around waiting for us forever. I have always hated the expression that "You make your own luck" as clearly you can't. Luck is by it's very definition all about luck, but I do believe what Steve Davis said when he walloped Jimmy White to win the Snooker World Championship in the 1980s, and was asked if he'd had the "Rub of the green". "The more I practice, the luckier I get". I don't believe that Man Utd have been super lucky over the years salvaging points, and winning games with very, very late goals. So come on Pardew, stop telling me we were unlucky and deserved to get something when we have lost to yet another relegation candidate. Let's have that run of twelve runs that we've all been waiting for since August.