By Tim Penfold
What more can be said about this shambles of a football team? It wasn’t a lack of effort today against Rochdale, especially in the second half, that caused the defeat. It wasn’t a lack of support from the stands either, as the Kop tried their best to will the team on to victory. It was a lack of ability, of leadership, of nous, and that is the most damning thing. They tried. They just weren’t anywhere near good enough.
The first half can only be described as pathetic. City played like a pub team nursing hangovers, unable to pass the ball to each other or close down with any intensity. The ball rarely got forward and when it did the end product was lacking. The only saving grace was that Rochdale were not much better, as if they had played well we would have been several goals down by half time. The one big moment of the half for City fell to George Miller, who managed with expert precision to pick out Rochdale’s man on the line from two yards – not the last time he’d waste a good opening. The rest was just not worth writing about.
The second half was better, as City at least had some fight but there was precious little quality. The ball was still lumped forward to a strike force that didn’t suit it, and the players seemed to have no idea what to do when they got the ball near the box. Alex Jones came on for a welcome first league appearance in 11 months and found some space with his movement but there was nobody else to take advantage of it. And defensively the team still looked wobbly and prone to errors.
Eventually this told – a poor pass from Josh Wright put Lewis O’Brien under pressure, he lost it and nobody else got near Ian Henderson until Anthony O’Connor brought him down as he was shooting. A self-inflicted penalty and it was 1-0, and the first chants of “We want Edin out” could be heard from the Kop.
Despite this setback City nearly grabbed a point but Miller shot tamely at the keeper when clean through. And after that City pressed the self-destruct button again. O’Brien underhit a backpass, putting Rochdale clean through and O’Donnell brought their forward down. Another self-inflicted penalty, another goal, and another round of anti-Rahic chants. What spoke even louder than the chants were the empty seats as City fans left in their droves before full time.
City are now the worst team in the Football League in 2018. We have gained 28 points in 35 league games – extrapolated over a 46 game season this would be 37 points which would guaranteed relegation and mean a fairly high chance of finishing bottom. In those 35 games we have used 48 players and been through five head coaches, including Greg Abbott’s caretaker spell. We have seemingly tried everything and replaced almost everyone.
But these things – a head coach struggling to get a set of players to play well, the players playing poorly and collapsing under pressure, the anger in the stands, the empty seats – these are just symptoms. The cause of these symptoms goes right to the very top. It is the man who has systematically removed all of the leaders and many staff from the club on and off the field. It is the man who came into a football club that was mostly working and thought “this needs ripping up and starting again”, then did this so poorly that he took a promotion chaser and made them the worst team in the division. It is Edin Rahic, and it is time for him to go.
Categories: Match Reviews