Last season, at the zenith of our goal-scoring prowess, before the post-Christmas fall, if I had whispered the words, “Murray Wallace at left-back” softly into your ear on the terrace, you’d have turned to me in disgust and told me to fornicate hence. Though I say this today, and it is an accepted reality. Yes, our Murray, perhaps the best centre-back currently plying his trade in League One, is now a shoe-horned left-back.
How did it come to this? And to what machination do we owe the full-back position of a man who is – replacing Mirfin – the Iron’s incumbent Minister of Defence.
In addition to this debacle, we now have not one, but two very talented wing-backs who can no longer get past the bench in League games. Young Butroid, who’s development has been perhaps hampered by a ridiculous default defensive selection, and Townsend, who when fully-fit must also rank alongside Wallace as one of the best defenders in the league.
A collection of very shonky tactical decisions, such as an un-reliable diamond formation and numerous selection faux-pas set alongside this seemingly baffling defensive approach suggests we are shoving Wallace to the side so we can accommodate our two expensive centre-backs, Burgess and McArdle- bought as fabled ‘marquee’ signings this summer.
Whatever the reason, it remains clear, without a striker who knows where the goal is, without the immense Ojo who is currently injured, and now without any real balance to the left side of the pitch, we are perhaps teetering on another lengthy winless run of games.
So indeed, when will Alexander, or perhaps Mr Swann realise that playing round pegs in square holes to justify your summer expenditure, is not a sound recipe for success. Looking at our most recent performances, you would hope they realise sooner rather than later. Bin this preposterous experiment, and re-instate the most basic of all football paradigms; playing your best players in their best positions, how hard can that possibly be?