The start of a new working week is about as unwelcome as some geezer turning up at your front door, wearing a Woking shirt and asking if he can be your mate. As soon as the alarm clock goes off on Monday morning, BoroGuide is primed to rant. And we reckon this could be a regular thing.
It’s never helpful when the weekend’s football has given us a result that fails to meet hope, if not expectation. But it brings us nicely on to the topic of BoroGuide’s first Monday Rant – perspective, or lack thereof, following the 2-2 draw against Chesterfield. Gary Smith out? Seriously?
Let’s get one thing straight here. We don’t feel obliged to defend Gary Smith; nor would we overlook legitimate concerns surrounding recent league form. But let’s just take a moment and try to avoid any over-reaction that might be more suited to Stamford Bridge.
After two straight promotions, what exactly would have been realistic for Boro’ to expect at this stage of the season? We would have taken five points ahead of the relegation zone with three games in hand. But here we are – five points from the playoffs and with those three in hand. It’s relative luxury.
Back to the game on Saturday then. Chesterfield – a team we’ve yet to beat in a competitive match and who were a country mile better than everyone last season. John Sheridan’s side might be 23rd in the division, but football’s more complicated than simply determining the right to beat teams based on position.
If that were so, Charlton Athletic wouldn’t have been 4-0 down at half time on Saturday.
Admittedly, Gary Smith surprised us with the selection of both loan strikers and conceding two goals in the first half like that was disappointing. But days after exiting the FA Cup, it’s possible there were mitigating factors influencing the starting 11. And if errors were made, were amends not made in the second half?
A change in manager, particularly when things are going well, will always disrupt things. It is happening at Huddersfield too, who have done the reverse of Boro’ – stormed into a lead before letting it slip. Whatever has changed, the lads still have the character to earn a point from a two-goal deficit.
A poster on Borochat questioned what Smith had done to earn ‘our’ respect. If winning the MLS Cup doesn’t count, then look at it another way. Phil Wallace chose Smith – and he has surely earned ‘our’ respect and the right to be trusted on this. After Westley Mk II proved a massive success, PW has the know-how.
Of course it would have been delightful to beat Chesterfield. And Spurs. And Charlton. And Notts County. But far from being over, the season is just about to enter its most compelling phase. If we make the playoffs, it will be truly amazing. And if we don’t, we’re two divisions about Luton. Not exactly a shame…
This is less a rant, more a plea. Time for some Team Tarot for Oldham. It has a familiar feel: