Draw one, win one, lose one, knit one, pearl one… It's all becoming a bit like Groundhog Day. Inconsistent to the last.
Stan is convinced that the last time City strung a winning streak, or indeed, a non-losing streak together of more than four games was when Ted Heath was still leading the country!
Yes, there are excuses for it, but it is getting a bit tiresome – even if it does prevent the balloon ever getting big enough to require bursting.
Looking around the division it does seem that we are not the only ones having trouble getting into our stride and it will take until at least that magical, ten-game mark before we can make any real assessments of Grant's class of 2007/2008.
That said, one or two worrying problems continue to stand out, the most obvious of which is the lack of flair and necessary spark.
Obviously this will be remedied to a certain degree with Hucks' return, but we shouldn't need to remain so reliant on him – especially as he is in the final year of his contract.
Saturday illustrated perfectly the problem. Because whilst we huffed and puffed and were industrious, we didn't really threaten a great deal. We also conceded two goals which makes the prospect of an away victory about as likely as a Flecky comeback.
We can point to the clean sheet at Preston for solace, but that is put in focus by the one Colchester kept at Deepdale this weekend?. And they banged three in at the other end!
So what is wrong? According to Granty, nothing. We murdered them 1-2 and should have taken the spoils. Mmmm…
Stan didn't notice the rose-tinted specs that Granty must have been wearing because he watched a different game to the one that unfolded in front of everyone else.
Hull shaded the first-half, and in all honesty should have been two-up long before Dion's wonderful strike. They wobbled and we did then apply pressure, but once more the back line didn't have it in them to shut up shop.
Windass's brilliance aside, there is always a worry that we will be undone and so it proved again.. Twice.
Enough has been written elsewhere about this problem, but as the hinges start to creak in anticipation of the transfer window slamming shut next Friday, Stan can only hope that Gunny has a masterstroke up his sleeve and that oh so important centre-half will burst through the Colney doors at some point this week.
Ahead of the back four Russell and 'The Judge' look solid, but neither is a playmaker. Both break up play, prod and probe, but neither plays the sort of passes that will open the game up. This was illustrated against Burley's Boys last week when it was the introduction of Fozzy that finally lit the touch-paper.
This leaves a lot of expectation at the feet of the enigmatic Smith who remains just that. It would be a surprise if someone so highly regarded in West London, by both the Blues and the Hhoops, didn't add a certain something to the mix? genuine quality with a bit of luck.
Even the spec-bedecked Grant must clearly see that it's not there in sufficient quantity at present.
It was an interesting point to note that all three goals came about from the two players on the pitch who do possess that something extra. Not just good engines and big hearts, but that bit of footballing nous that lets them remain the best players on the pitch at 38.
Their contribution to the game somehow acted as a microcosm of the division and how it will play out this season.
The winners will emerge from the morass of similarly honest sides, but will have managed to bolt that something extra onto the team. Be it at the front, the back or in the middle quality will steal the show time after time.
Get on that phone, Gunny!
Leave a Reply