Firstly, there’s not a lot I can tell you about the game that you don’t already know. I wasn’t there, I’ve spent Christmas in Cambridge and we travelled back today, before going back there this weekend. I wasn’t at Gresty Road so the usual level of analysis is either to be omitted, or fudged.
I won’t pull the wool over your eyes, so this is to be a single page assessment of the game through the eyes of fans who were there, followed by a few thoughts from me. Before I go on though, I asked my followers on Twitter if they’d give me their opinion on the game/ For the sake of those not on Twitter, or my ‘end of season’ book which this will appear in, here is what some of you thought about our 2-1 defeat this afternoon.
Worst performance of the season. Didn’t really offer anything and Crewe outclassed us and definitely wanted it more than us.
— Lucy Wray (@lucywrayx) December 26, 2018
We were pure shite. Lacked fight and aggression. Crewe wanted it more.
— Frank Best (@frankbest95) December 26, 2018
Fairly bad. They pressed very well but no imps shone today
— Jamie Earls (@kingearls) December 26, 2018
We got what we deserved. To laboured and weren’t at it. They wanted it more and fair play to them. Bostwick was my motm.
— Luke Kempson (@LukeKempson1) December 26, 2018
Outplayed, outworked, outcompeted. Second to everything. Also helped by a completely incompetent set of officials.
— Adam Bridle (@adamcbridle) December 26, 2018
We probably haven’t been outplayed like that since Arsenal. Second best to absolutely everything. Not an away day I’ll remember fondly!
— KJ (@KieranJohnFitz) December 26, 2018
The general consensus is we were utter tripe. Danny more or less said it and we can credit Crewe all we want, but it doesn’t reflect all that well on them. If they were that good, David Artell might be asking why they don’t do it every week. It might just have been we were so bad, they looked good.
It does make me wonder how much the mindset was wrong today. Danny mentioned that in his post match interview, as well as saying he wasn’t going to applaud them fighting until the end or something along the lines of ‘I won’t thank them for running around a bit at the end’. That may not be verbatim, but it was pretty much the crux of his comments.
My problem with today comes from the response. You know, that whole ‘never too high when we win, never too low when we lose’ thing? It just doesn’t seem to ram home. The inane comments I’ve already seen baffle me. ‘We need a response against Cambridge’ – of course we do. if we’re utter shit there, we’ll get beat too. However, failure to win at Cambridge won’t rule us out of promotion either and we have to remember that.
I read one post saying all the promotion rivals were catching us, absolute garbage. We’ve pulled away from everyone bar Mansfield Town and whilst I’m sure those posters would argue the exception proves the rule, it does not. Everyone has a spell of form, everyone crumbles a little too and we’ve just been in form. Unlike the Stags, we haven’t had to resort to watering pitches to get games called off, we take the hands we’re dealt rather than trying to stack the deck.
Still, none of this masks we were poor today, as were MK Dons who have lost two on the spin (something we haven’t done all season), as were Colchester and Bury too.
It also pains me to see the anti-Akinde brigade out in force before the final whistle was even blown at Gresty Road. There are some people who will simply never like Big John, even though he has scored ten goals this season, even though he’s had a hand in a further ten. They have their reasons and if pushed, in a non public forum, I’d have a stab at what they might be, but believe me we didn’t lose today because of John Akinde, we lost because all the players on the field, bar Josh Vickers, were poor.
I’m going to keep my head, we’re still four points clear and after every one of these games that have had fans in uproar we seem to bounce back. After drawing 2-2 at Oldham the world was caving in, losing 1-0 to Tranmere had us down as a mid table also-ran and even I wasn’t brave enough to delve too deep into the psyche of the moaners after the Cambridge and Carlisle draws at home.
Yes, we were bad. Yes, we need to be better, but the promotion assault is still on course, it’s all still in our hands. Our players, they played badly but they’ve not suddenly become shit overnight, certainly not as alarmingly as Crewe’s seemed to have improved overnight. We’ll go to Cambridge this week and give them a decent game but do you know what? I think we’ll draw there. I fear we will, not because it will make us play-off hopefuls at best, not because it’ll see our lead pegged back to a point or two, but because the very small minority of slathering morons wanting Akinde sold, Ollie Palmer brought back in and Danny fired will once again be given a platform to mouth their views.
Social media has a lot of positives, without it I wouldn’t be a writer, I wouldn’t get paid for talking about the Championship and I wouldn’t have time to indulge my Imps passion on here. I wouldn’t have met half as many cool people, many I class as close friend now but who I first interacted with on social media (Neil, Chris and Ben spring to mind before I even have to think about it). However, it also accentuates the noise those with the inclination to make silly, outlandish statements make. It gives people with agendas a chance to further their cause, to undermine others and to generally acts like pricks whilst pretending to be the ;voices of reason’ or to be offering ‘genuine criticism’.
Nobody is above criticism and today we were poor. I won’t hide from that, it’s why I’ve come on here quickly to write about a game I didn’t attend, but perspective is important. A football season is a marathon, 46 individual stages that go into making up success or failure. Sure, we’ve just lost a stage but right now, we’ve won enough to make me think we’ll be on the podium at the end of the race and let’s be brutally honest: third would be good enough for 95% of fans.
I will stress we should never be accepting of defeat, we shouldn’t have the attitude ‘oh well, on we go’, but it is not up to us as fans to put it right by getting angry on social media and abusing each other, is it? It’s up to Danny and Nicky, the two guys who gave up their Christmas only to have it ruined by our players not bothering to turn up, or not approaching the game in the right manner. Rest assured they’ll be given the run around, as per Lee Frecklington’s interview yesterday, which you may have missed.
Please, do remain grounded and remember that we’ve no God-given right to win and that as things stand, we’re still in a great position to be promoted to League One next season.
If you wanted anymore analysis though, here’s a few more for you to choke on with that cold turkey sandwich.
Worst performance of the season. Only the 2 CBS and Eardley had reasonable games for me.
— gareth maplethorpe (@gmapleth) December 26, 2018
Unbelievable mate. Apparently we shouldn't lose any games as we have a God given right to win everything!!! It happens, get over it and move on folks! Deluded and ridiculous!!!
Can't wait for Cambridge!!!🔴⚪🔴⚪🔴
— chris kennealey (@chriskennealey) December 26, 2018
Win as a team, lose as a team. I've no doubt they'll work hard this week. They'll be as disappointed in themselves as we are in them
Can't stand "banter" such a stupid page.
— Jen (@Kfooz21) December 26, 2018
Imagine opening a Xmas present you didn’t want, it was broken and batteries weren’t included
— SteveNez ® (@Official_SN80) December 26, 2018