Friday 11th November 2004
Eleven games. Twenty nine goals conceded. Eleven goals scored. Eight games lost. And just three points accumulated, all in the form of draws at Oakwell. And an exit in the second round of the League Cup.
I knew this season in the Premier League had the potential to be a long and grim season. But I didn’t think it would be this grim.
Maybe Shola Ameobi wasn’t the answer. Maybe having six strikers at the club who hadn’t played a single game of top flight between them wasn’t the right decision. That being said, I’m glads we bought him into the team. I think in the next year or so this fucker will find his feet and he’ll be railroading the living shite out of Premier League defenses.
Our recent 3-1 home win over Viv Anderson’s Middlesbrough – essentially an early season relegation six pointer – could change the trajectory of our season. On the pitch at least.
Despite Adrian Mutu pulling a goal back at 2-0, this new fangled 4-2-3-1 formation that suddenly seems to be the trendiest fucking tactic around wasn’t enough to get one over on the lads.
However; as I sit here writing this, it’s slowly dawned upon me that there are other issues at hand.
In an attempt to build a solid foundation for Rotherham’s future, our squad has become a bit too bloated.
Young, talented players litter the wage bill at all levels at Rotherham, when what I need is experience, on the pitch intelligence and a willingness to put in a shift.
It’s like I’ve started playing Football Manager, bought a load of obscure lower league wonder kids, and hoped that a downloaded tactic that I’ve tweaked will be enough to save me.
Players that I’ve been faithful to as they’ve taken us up the league are now in a position where they’re not getting enough game time, and squad harmony is disrupted (coupled with low moral because of our tough start to the Premier League).
Whether we get relegated or stay in the division, we need to start reshaping the squad, and looking at getting in some older players who have top flight experience.
As for our next game, well, it’s another six pointer, this time at Hillsborough against rivals and bottom of the table bum boys Sheffield Wednesday.
This game could be a flashpoint in our season. Let’s hope the lads are up for it.