Is the sun setting on our season ?
Shrewsbury have been the surprise package in League One this season. Their early dominance in the league has continued despite most folk thinking it might evaporate about half way through the season.
On Saturday in S.E.7 they produced a display that perfectly demonstrated how they got there and why they look set to stay. This is a team that is well drilled, well coached and highly motivated. In fact, on yesterday's evidence they were everything Charlton aren't.
The passing and movement was quick and incisive as opposed to our frequent over elaborate build up play. They never stopped running and pressed and chased every ball.
The Shrews had suffered from an illness bug during the week and also played on Tuesday. To look at the two teams you'd have thought it was the home team that related to.
Post match and Robinson accused the players of not following the game plan. Apparently during the week in training they were told not to forget what they'd been doing all season and not to pass sideways and backwards.
Either the message didn't get through or they didn't listen which brings into question the manager's ability to get the message across or their willingness to listen or perhaps both !
That aside I'm confused as to how you can play without passing sideways or backwards at some stage. One assumes the alternative is to lump the ball forward or simply give it away.
Even before kick off there was a strange twist as having won the toss we opted to kick towards the Covered End. Allegedly we thought the Shrews, like some ancient civilisation, be mesmerised by the slowly setting giant orb in the sky allowing the boys in reds to waltz passed unchallenged to steer the ball into an empty net.
Sadly, they have seen the sun in Shropshire before and this ruse failed as the Salopians went on to dazzle the boys in red who for the most part were left chasing shadows.
The 90 minutes were an object lesson in how to play in manner which Robinson purports to favour but seemingly is unable to deliver for any sustained period of time let alone an entire game.
We had about 5 minutes of good football where Henderson the keeper on loan from United showed why he is such a promising prospect with two or three excellent saves. He was never troubled again.
There were many poor performances and on occasion a total lack of communication. Time and again the ball was lumped upto Magennis who on those times won the ball headed onto to no one was there simply wasn't another player to run on to it.
The manager like the rest of us witnessed this but unlike the us paying spectators felt unmoved to change anything.
Kai Kai again contributed little and to me looks lazy and uninterested. There must be more to him than this.
Marshall again offered nothing and still shows no desire to take on and run at the oppo. He was largely responsible for the penalty as he wasn't in enough space for Solly to pass to in the lead up. The resulting poor penalty kick only served to delay the inevitable.
A quality first goal and poorly defended corner wrapped things after 67 minutes as one knew there was no way back for us.
Thanks to the ongoing inconsistency of teams around us were are still in touching distance of the play-offs. Realistically we oughtn't have a cat in hell's chance of making it but it strangely remains.
However, by the completion of the next three games, all away that hope may have been totally extinguished. At least one can hope that the club will be rid of inept owner by then. We can then look forward to the future. A future that really not see Robinson in the manager's seat as time and again he has shown he doesn't have what it takes to move us forward and out of this league.