Post Carlisle Thoughts
The Crewe fans and management were brought back down to Earth with a bump last night after a one nil defeat to a Carlisle side who hadn`t won away from home since October. A game after recent results where at least a draw looked a minimum for an improving Crewe side.
Since the Swansea home game I hadn`t travelled to Leyton Orient or Leeds, so I was last night I was looking forward to witnessing the rejuvenated Alex side, with slick passing, commitment and energy that had picked up four points from the last two away games. I was left thoroughly disappointed.
After the first ten minutes there was no slick passing, there was no commitment whatsoever and very little energy, many of the players looked like they would rather have been at home in the warm.
The club currently sit a precarious fourth from bottom of the league and on last nights showing there is going to have to be a lot more hunger, desire and passion to get the team up the table because many of the players were going through the motions in a game that was most definitely winnable.
Gary Roberts (Ipswich) and Kenny Lunt bring different qualities into the team, and they are going to be big players in the next few games, but they couldn`t care less about our league position or immediate results. They are both safe in the knowledge they will return to their respective clubs with contracts still to run in the near future.
The only players who really look up for the fight and will be genuinely gutted by last nights result are George Abbey and Julian Baudet, because they both know what it`s like to scrap in League Two, and they know it`s not pretty and they certainly won`t want to return.
Many of the younger players don`t look acclimatised to the power and commitment needed in League One, so if they don`t start pulling their fingers out they are in for a big shock in League 2 next season, where physical presence is a must, a league I believe we would struggle to get out of with the current squad we have.
Last night my evening was compounded when my Dad said to me something to me that fans have known for a while, that the days of turning up at Gresty Road and saying right, how many are we going to score today then and who`s going to get them are long gone.
Gone are the days when we were in Division Two and would be playing free flowing attacking football with three and sometimes four upfront, far more concerned with how many we would be scoring rather than worrying about conceding, because then the defence looked after itself.
Now we seem to be playing defensive football with two lads upfront in Byron Moore and Nicky Maynard who at times look like lost boys in need of direction. Steve Holland is quite content with having two chances a game, if they are reasonably clear cut.
It`s not good enough, he`s setting his standards far to low and we are not good enough at the moment to create two or three good chances in a game and be expected to convert them. This lack of creativity seems to please Holland though, as long as we are not leaking goals at the other end.
When was the last time you can remember Crewe winning a game and thoroughly dominating from start to finish, giving the opposition very little? No doubt you are struggling like me, but think how many teams have done it to us this season, quite a few.
Now think back to last time we were promoted from this league and how many times we passed teams of the pitch from start to finish and ripped them apart, Mansfield and Stockport away spring immediately to mind. Not much has changed at the club since though, same coaching team, same mentality of the club, same chairman, and yet now we are now if freefall, and nobody apart from the fans seems too concerned.
We scored two late goals against Swansea, were battered second half at Orient but hung on, settled for a draw against Leeds when we should have been out of sight and were toothless all over the pitch last night.
Our lack of conviction in games, especially in front of goal is a very worrying aspect of our current predicament, no doubt we need a striker, but at this stage it`s more experience and fighting qualities we need. Not another player with potential who will be carried through games, we already have enough of those players in abundance.