By Ron Beaumont
It has to be said and as is always the case, Jason has said it so well, but the phrase I picked out straight away was “there is a growing stench that is becoming difficult to avoid”.
It seems a strong statement and, unless you walk to the ground by a particular part of Canal Road as I do, I assume it to be metaphorical but it does sum up the effect of recent home performances.
A lot has been said on this site about glasses that are half-full or half-empty and, as I headed for the game, my glass was definitely half-full.
A win or even a point would surely see us safe, and reports from the last away games suggested we would be able to get something from the game. The half-empty part of my glass was only concerned about the reported inability to convert at least one of our chances against Coventry, but we had created them so there was no real worry.
Glass half-full, glass half-empty. What I was not prepared for was glass broken!
Nothing to be taken from this game. Nothing to be taken from this team!
Yet the glass is broken. Players look broken. No cohesion, no plan to see, no positive intervention from the manager. This was not the City I have supported for so long.
I know we have important parts missing. I know we have parts that don’t fit. I know we have spare parts that are for whatever reason just spare parts! The spirit that has helped us achieve so much has vanished – from Valley Parade at least – and has been replaced by on-field arguments and blaming team mates. Passing the buck, not passing the ball!
And watching on amongst all the rest of us is the man who could do something to change it. A man who seems to have lost confidence in the very thing he got us to believe in.
I have never seen any real argument for getting rid of Phil Parkinson and I do not want this to happen, but I am prepared to criticise his decisions in recent home games because it seems, to me at least, justifiable criticism. Motivation in the dressing room is his domain.
Motivation on the pitch should be a “given” for all players regardless of contract, loan or financial status – and it is the manager’s job to make sure that it is there.
We should be safe from relegation but we are not safe yet and, until we are, it is the players on the pitch and on the bench last Saturday that will have to do it. For too long comments seem to be addressing next season’s plan, but we must focus on what has to be done to reach the end of this season in this division.
We will have to hold our breath. We should not have to hold our noses as well.