Date: 23rd August 2018 at 8:10pm
Written by:

Blame the board for Athens. I know I do. But tonight there are no excuses. Tonight there are no alibis for a team that played one half of football, and in that one half of football conspired to lose a goal that a school’s team would have been ashamed of. In the second 45 minutes they would have been better staying in the dressing room.

Our defence is an unfolding cataclysm happening in slow motion and I am beyond the point where I can confine blame to the bean counters who won’t spring for a centre half. What is our coaching like? We make the same basic errors again and again and again, the kind of errors that positional management would enable us to fix.

We rely on players who let us down on a regular basis; if Boyata is on strike right now then what to say about Simunovic, the weakest player in our squad, a wimp who folds the hand every time he gets a knock?

Don’t expect to see him for weeks. As long as we rely on such people we are taking our chances. Brendan Rodgers has had two seasons to sort out the weakest and worst area of this team. That we’ve not got this sussed already indicts him as much as the people above him.

He and his coaches seem unable to assemble a defensive unit that works.

We lose the same types of goals over and over and over again.

That isn’t just down to personnel.

Neither is a playing system that is proving itself wholly incapable of breaking down packed defences.

Time and time again tonight we played the same crosses into a penalty box filled with opposing players. And time and again it failed. Only when our players ran with the ball, direct, straight at defenders, did we look like we posed a threat,

And once again the ball was passed backwards and across the middle instead of forward and into attacking areas. It’s been two seasons of the same stuff. I reckon – and I might be crazy here – but I reckon that opposing teams just might have that figured out by now.

Last season we were unable to win more than three league games on the bounce.

I said that we would be punished in another year, with a team capable of putting together a sustained run. This is a new campaign and it remains to be seen how much other people have improved … we certainly have not, and this goes beyond the lack of signings.

We have problems that might not be solved when the window shuts.

That, tonight, was disgraceful.

This will be a long campaign.

It might well prove to be a painful one, and if we don’t sort ourselves out it will be.