Time For Worry?
After losing their sixth away game of the season today at Millwall and having scored only three goals in their last eight games, collecting only one point in that time, is now the time for Crewe fans to panic?
Although signs of improvement are apparent, the Alex now sit in 19th in League One, a worrying five points and two places off the relegation spots. The 'R` word may not be troubling Steve Holland and Dario Gradi to much though, as they seem to amble from one game to the next, seemingly unflustered by the clubs recent slide down the table and subsequent precarious position.
On Boxing Day Crewe looked like they were back to playing the football that saw them go six games unbeaten only weeks ago, but their defensive mentality meant they could only muster one goal at Huddersfield and couldn`t hang on, settling for a draw.
Today the seemingly improving Alex went to Millwall, and although having their fair share of the play, mistakes once again cropped up and Crewe succumbed to an unsurprising two nil defeat. The first was conceded from the penalty spot right on half time after Chris McCready felled Neil Harris, who then duly obliged by getting up and putting away the penalty.
Disheartened Crewe were unlucky not have scored previously themselves with Byron Moore going close and a Chris McCready header hitting the post. It`s easy to say the players were unlucky with the chances though but in recent games it`s been evident that the firepower and quality just simply aren`t there. One goal scored in the last five games goes a long way to telling the story.
Millwall secured the points in the 53rd minute when substitute Ahmet Brkovic drilled home from a decent free kick routine by The Lions. One write up from the game suggested Millwall had clearly had a hard talking to at half time and were came out fired up. Although the hairdryer treatment isn`t always the way to motivate your team, at Crewe it seems it`s never the way as the team`s lack of passion and desire to win has definitely been in question of late.
At Huddersfield the management team of Gradi, Baker and Holland were in the dug out over fifteen minutes before kick off, so who is motivating the team up to the start of the game is unknown. Not the most encouraging and harmonious sign to somebody from the outside looking in.
With Crewe now set to play four of the top nine teams in succession, including league leaders Swansea and third placed Leeds United, it`s very testing times for the Crewe management and players. The first day of the New Year against Tranmere at home could be must win for the Alex, as Tranmere are the lowest placed team of the next four games, and with Crewe having only won one away game this season the home games are now becoming vital. To add to their woes, Crewe have only kept one clean sheet in the last eight games as the areas for improvement keep growing.
Let`s hope 2008 is a better year for the club and for the fans that have endured a torrid time supporting the Alex of late, especially for those who have made some of the long journeys away from home. Here`s to the New Year and hoping faith in the current management and coaching structure will see Crewe come good and some entertaining football will return to Gresty Road in 2008.
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