Whatever way Dean Smith tries to explain his way out of the debacle that was a 3-4 home defeat against one of the leagues weaker sides, one needs to put that aside and look realistically at what the fans saw today.
- The fans have every right to feel let down by the way that the club has marketed a club that has invested in new players, yet the whole contract situation has been allowed to plummet to unknown depths. Last seasons captain has essentially been dropped and the captaincy handed ( unsuccessfully it seems) to John Egan who looks increasingly error prone with each game. Our best player, Jota, is potentially at risk of leaving the club. Our best midfielder Ryan woods did not play today with rumours abounding about a bid from Sunderland.
- The defence was shambolic. The fans have been saying for many months that the defence needs sorting out. Our best centre back pairing needs determining and generally the feeling is that a defensive coach might be the best signing the club has made. Each and every goal was preventable.
- Team selection was frankly wrong. There was no coincidence that Josh McCeachran and Yennaris were removed. They were beyond abysmal. If someone can honestly tell me what either did in the game I would listen avidly.
- Dean Smith has a large talented squad at his disposal and his job is to put together a team. Today they were not a team. There was no leader out there and little cohesion. I dare not look at the league table but fear we are bottom, for a reason.
This was unacceptable today. The only bright note was Ollie Watkins who looked a real footballer in development when we came on. I am not a fan of Dean Smith to be frank but hope he can pull this around. To concede 4 goals at home is dreadful. Changes need to be made, and the club needs to decide ( as they do) if they will or will not sell certain players. The uncertainty is a factor in todays result but the main reason for this result is that the team that Smith chose, and built, is at present the worst in the division.
What would I do?
- Decide this week if the club will or will not accept offers for Dean, Woods and Jota. Personally I believe this is the biggest negative dynamic at present. The team hardly played like a real team today.
- Decide that Yennaris and McCeachran are not good enough at present and do not select them on tuesday.
- Start Ollie Watkins
- Decide on a different centre back pairing. Dean and Barbet possibly.
Bristol City is a big game on tuesday.