Another sorry performance and another sad defeat. We seem to be going from bad to worse at the moment and memories of last season are resurfacing again. The natives are getting restless, and more and more of us are of the view that the manager must go. Paul Lambert is under increasing pressure, and the more we lose our way, the more convinced supporters are that he must be escorted to the exit door. I hasten to add that I am not one of them.
I will admit to finding our current form hugely disappointing. We seem to lack fire in our bellies, and some of the players’ Lambert perpetually selects are not fit for purpose. I know that our long injury list is not helping matters, but there is no excuse for a lack of motivation – whoever gets the nod! Why on earth Alan Judge is in the team is baffling in the extreme. Now, I would not suggest for one moment that he lacks endeavour because one thing about the Irishman is that he runs his little socks off. The trouble is, he runs mostly into a cul-de-sac and never looks remotely close to creating anything of any real note. He’s brushed off the ball with consummate ease and runs around like a rabbit in headlights mostly. A blind man’s Messi perhaps?
And there are more. Freddie Sears has been diabolical of late, and even though he is not playing in his favoured position, he has constantly failed to impress out on the flanks, and just as Judge, he is boringly predictable. Almost every ball he attempts to cross finds the first defender, and his free-kicks have a similar dead-end. I am running out of excuses for his regular participation, and now that he has a hamstring strain, it might just be for the best.
All that said, before we contemplate showing Lambert the door, we must acknowledge that up until a few games ago, we were playing better football than last season. It is only just over a month ago that we beat Blackpool 1-4 away! Then we seemed to be finding the net regularly, and our defence looked much more solid. It is only relatively recently that we have gone completely off the boil, and during the course of a season, this happens to almost every club.
The Blue Action group left a banner at the club’s training ground which read, ‘Shambo – cheers for the beers but it’s time at the bar.’ Officials removed the offensive statement before the players and staff arrived at Playford Road. The independent set of supporters who are behind this protest, met with Lambert in his first season in charge to discuss ways of improving the atmosphere at Portman Road. It appears now that the mood has soured towards the gaffer and they want him out.
I am a strong believer in continuity. I am not happy about our current form obviously, but if one week is a long time in politics then much the same applies to football too. We are just three points adrift of Peterborough in second, and as Mick Mills rightly pointed out on Radio Suffolk, the leader’s Hull are hardly inspirational. It is a long old season, and I won’t be looking at a change in management until at least the New Year – if indeed at all.
Let’s see where we are when some of our injured players come back into the side, and other clubs have a few ‘off days’. The season is a long one so no need to panic just yet. Keep the faith folks because this season is a marathon, not a sprint.