Maybe he'll be at the Coventry game with Eric Hitchmough !
I wrote last Friday that “ tomorrow sees the second of 4 consecutive home games and it’s not inconceivable that we won’t win one of them “.
Well, three have now been and gone and having lost two and drawn one there’s a real chance that my worst fears are being realised. In fact more than that as we’ve managed two miss two penalties in doing so !
One would like to be able to write off the Checkatrade debacle and in better circumstances it could be viewed in isolation and brushed off. However, we live in “ interesting times “ to say the least and it’s simply not possible to do so.
A win, allied to a good performance, was the minimum that was required and Mr Slade failed to deliver again. He put out a fairly strong team, one that ought to do well enough to compete in League One never mind against a League Two team.
Post match and we were treated to the usual bluster from Slade about things that the team needs to work on and how the break would be used to address them. Sadly, we’ve been here before and nothing changes other than things seem to get worse.
There appeared to be much in Slade’s favour when he arrived. Alright, he wasn’t Chris Wilder, the main managerial target, who’s produced at least two good teams at the level below with both now at ours and whose Sheff Utd side have steadily risen up the table this season.
Slade appeared to have the right amount of experience and knowledge to turn things around to turn. Further to this he made much of the contacts he has in the game to add to his credibility leading us customers to believe that we had a good chance of achieving the top six finish he all but promised. However, as time marches on it seems that Slade only talks a good game.
The select meeting of fans with the manager a few weeks ago saw a number of people impressed by Slade’s reference to statistics and attention to detail such as the table cloths in the canteen at the training ground and players staying for a meal after training to ensure they eat well and to aid team bonding.
Of course, he was right to address these issues. However, the reality is that it is shocking that the club had sunk so far that things were allowed to descend to that level. These are basic issues and I suspect that nearly all clubs are run in this way. Thus, they are bog standard rather than a mark of genius.
Some will say it’s easy to criticise ( and indeed it is ! ) and maybe me as an ordinary customer is unaware of extenuating circumstances making Mr Slade’s job difficult, if not impossible. Perhaps there are and if so, then he needs to voice concerns and resign if they’re not addressed.
It’ll be no good if years down the line he reveals something in his defence that he fails to mention now. His reputation and credibility are seriously damaged if so.
Some fans are keen to give him more time than he perhaps deserves although I do feel this is partly driven by a fear of who might replace him if he gets the tin tack. Certainly that is a worry given the regime’s track record on managerial appointments let alone other ones ! However, unless Slade produces a tactical and motivational rabbit out of a hat another season of struggle is on the cards.
The ongoing failure to win allied to some of the worst football some of us have witnessed in 50 odd years of supporting the team only serves to fan the flames of discontent at Duchatelet’s continued ownership.
Given that Roly is showing no signs of wanting to sell or to remove Teflon Katrien the tensions arising from an already fractured owner-customer relationship can only increase and the Coventry game won’t be played out to a happy-clappy atmosphere.
I keep thinking and hoping that we’ve reached the bottom of the abyss but not yet it seems and things will get worse before they get better. An incredible thing to say but it’s true although there’s little room left for this to happen as we either descend into League 2 and perhaps non-league football or the club folds.