Post-mortems are never pretty things to undertake. We’ve seen enough Silent Witness and the like to realise that much is true. But one is certainly needed after what was, in truth, an utterly abject display at Peter Griffin’s Park last night. The best thing we could say is that it took two excellent goals to see us off; Brentford may well have faced some tough questions about how they had failed to win otherwise. Of course, that is pure conjecture. But what isn’t up for much debate was a languid display from those in Boro’ shirts last night. It has us still scratching our heads with bemusement.
The midfield appeared to be virtually non-existent for most of the game, with the supply to the strikers either coming from long balls over the top or by the two forwards dropping right back into the Boro’ third to collect it. No wonder the attacking threat was as potent as luke-warm water.
Simple passes went astray and shots were few and far between. Greg Tansey came close on two occasions from improbable range and we’re told there was a shot on target. If there’s a sharp-eyed soul out there who actually remembers it and can describe it to us, do let us know. We’d be most grateful. We lost the feeling of our toes on the terrace and lost patience with South West Trains en-route home. We’ve had better nights.
And while we’re still mentally exhausted from the defeat last night, it is being compounded by knee-jerk calls for changes in management. We’re not sure quite what is being expected by Gary Smith’s critics, but he is running a tight ship in League One’s stormy waters and it isn’t really considered good nautical practice – when taking on a little water – to fix the leak by making a bigger hole in the side of the hull. You might just sink.
Away Day Wine: It was a school night. We’re bold, not stupid!
Ratings To Wait For Delayed Trains In The Cold By…:
DAY – 6 – Not sure what more you could ask him to do… No chance with either goal.
GRAY – 5 – Robust enough, but he spent more time running back towards our goal than theirs.
CHARLES – 5 – Smiffy says he was magnificent. We think he did alright.
CHORLEY – 5 – Defensively, fair enough. Captainly, quiet and needing to assert himself more.
COMMINGES – 4 – After a run of fairly assured, solid performances, it was quite an off day at left back.
AKINS – 5 – Unable to cause much trouble; routinely and comfortably doubled up on in possession.
GRANT – 4 – If found, please return.
TANSEY – 4 – A “blink-and-you-miss-him” performance. Unless you were hit by his free kick.
FREEMAN – 5 – He gave it a go but the creative spark needed to confound his minders was missing.
HOSKINS – 5 – You can’t ask the lad to win headers against 6’3 centre backs. But we did. A lot.
HABER – 5 – Someone needs to check his Duracell battery with the amount of lost causes he chased down.
BELEK – 6 – Lively and purposeful. Powered into the box, went to cross it, found no-one in support.
MORAIS – 5 – Tried to succeed where Luke Freeman hadn’t. Didn’t manage it.
SHROOT – 4 – Not much time to do anything. Not much opportunity to do anything.
SMITH – 5 – Made a big call in dropping Robbo and it backfired. And that meant the criticism was on its way.