Writer: Matt Owen
Date:Monday September 24 2007
Where has it all gone wrong? Looks like fans of the team are dwindling by the day, a far cry from the days of total football, lots of goals and fantastic entertainment. Of course we will never be world beaters but we liked to be entertained.
Year upon year of constant rebuilding following big money sales of our prize assets is beginning to catch up on us. Of course we are ever reliant on the success of the famed Crewe Alex academy, perhaps at times to over reliant.
Perhaps we are victims of our own success, we have watched the likes of Hulse, Ashton and Varney move on to bigger and better things, and these players come along once in a lifetime and as fans, we can appreciate good attacking play.
Many more performances like Doncaster away and the Millwall game last Saturday and our ever diminishing home faithful will continue to vote with their feet and simply not turn up.
Saturday was 90 minutes of pure and utter boredom. Barely a shot in anger, perhaps the best shot of the game was saved for the dying minutes of the game. Danny Woodards late pile driver was pushed around the post, by this time the majority had either left or were fast asleep in their seat.
Whilst the management team will point to a 2nd consecutive home clean sheet, the majority of fans have felt short changed, on two home games devoid of any real attacking impetus.
Without doubt we have the nucleus of a decent team, Maynard and Vaughan would have been in the first team if they were not injured and sold respectively. Failure to bring replacements in for these two hasn`t helped our attacking options.
Yes, Barnard has come in, but he was always a temporary fix for the now departed Luke Varney. Players to fill the void should have sorted well before the August transfer deadline.
The "nobody better" than what we have and "can`t compete" with conference sides is a total fallacy. Yes, the market is over exaggerated, Kenwynne Jones anybody? I didn`t hear the Alex hierarchy complain much when we received over the odds in the Luke Varney deal.
I am not suggesting we go out and break the bank, just be prepared to reinvest in the first team when necessary. Under the current regime I doubt that anything other than loan players or free transfers will arrive at "Fortress Gresty".
Forgetting the lack of incoming transfer activity, there hasn`t been much to cheer following the Alex home and away this season, dumped out of both cups and our league form distinctively average.
The formation, especially at home is concern. A flat back four and two holding midfielders, leaves little room for error when it comes to attacking. It`s believed that the tactics we are currently using are identical to the ones that Liverpool are currently using.
Both Liverpool and Crewe endured goalless draws this weekend, and whilst I don`t profess to be a tactical genius, it seems it is back to the drawing board for Rafa, Holland and Co today.
Two holding midfielders at home, in my eyes is barmy. One of the central midfield pairing should be given the license to join up with the attack. In Eugen Bopp we have a player who could perform that role well.
Just quite why he is being overlooked in his favoured position is hard to understand. It is clear that the management team don`t rate him much. I think they are trying their best to upset him, playing him in an unfamiliar left hand role and now relegating him to the substitute bench.
I would have like to have seen us push on, especially in the 2nd half against Millwall. Neither side looked like taking the game by the scruff of the neck. As the home side we should have adopted a more attacking stance, with tricky away games at Oldham and Tranmere to come it would have been nice to have taken all three points.
We are yet to win on our travels, and with this formation I cannot see us causing either of our north west rivals much trouble. Much to ponder ahead of Saturday`s trip to Boundary Park, I live in hope that things can only get better.
Date:Monday September 24 2007
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