We're on the Road to Nowhere


There comes a time when if you are serious about reaching the play-offs you have to be decisive. I would suggest with us sliding into mid-table on the back of two successive defeats that the time is now.
Seven wins out of 18 games and a home record this season more or less the same as Craig Harrison's last term. And the team under Matthew Bates is just as boring and shot-shy as last season. Bates is a one-trick pony who likes nothing better than a drawn game. Limited as a player and devoid of ideas as a manager.

It took him 17 games to give Marcus Dinanga a first start and the young man was the bright spark in the team although having to play in a 10-man formation thanks to his captain's stupidity. In fact the second half at Wrexham was probably the best we have played this season with Conor Newton and Josh Hawkes brought on to chase the game. With Andrew Davies probably out for 3 games this could push Bates into a more offensive line-up. This was a formation Bates stumbled upon in the chase for an equalising goal and no way has he ever thought about such an adventurous midfield.

Indeed last season's failures, Woods and Xavi are the first names on the team sheet. Woods of course will never last a full game while Xavi after a bright spell earlier on has reverted to type and as usual can't run, can't tackle and hasn't the energy to get forward. It looks like he has put another two clem on.

Newton has been shamefully overlooked this season. He will get forward and grab a goal, plenty of energy and likes a tackle. All the things that Xavi isn't.

Another non-performing, non-scoring ever-present, Luke James, got the hook for the Wrexham game and started on the bench. How he justifies a place is beyond comprehension unless Bates does not want to admit his mistake in signing him. James will run around like a blue arsed fly and be swatted down just as easily. One goal in 18 games is the proud tally of one of our main strikers. And we all knew about his scoring prowess when we signed him in the summer.

The search for a new striker apparently goes on. It appears Shola Ameobi was too expensive for us but he would have been ideal at this level. Although 36 he has not played a lot of league games as he was never a regular for Newcastle despite all the time he was there. With the wages of Jake Cassidy and Louis Laing off the bill and a £25,000 bonus for an FA Cup qualifying win it would seem there is money available for at least a loan signing. Certainly any chance of a play-off place will disappear without one. And PDQ.
"Bates is a one-trick pony who likes nothing better than a drawn game."

With the squad we have there is no way we should be languishing in ninth place in this jumpers-for-goalposts league. We should be top three all season long but we do not look as we are fit enough. Last Saturday Sutton travelled up on the day with a smattering of part-timers and in the second half looked much the fitter and stronger side to come from 1-2 down to deservedly win 3-2.

Bates despite his shortcomings as a manager is starting to sound a little arrogant in his interviews and saying it is his way or the highway. We will get nowhere with this guy in charge, it is not the players, who are as good as any in this division, it is entirely down to Bates. I hope Craig Hignett is not sat twiddling his thumbs in the office as I am sure he would be able to sort things out. If not, could he find Danny Wilson's phone number?

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