I thought I would try to be completely balanced in my assessment of the manager’s current position.
Should he be facing the long drop or is the season so far a mere glitch?
The quality of play his team produced at the end of the season before last and for the first three and a half months of last season was awesome stuff.
He was a decent performer for us.
He has a good eye for a player.
His players have sometimes let him down although, on the other side of the coin, many fans would argue that his systems have let his players down.
Both last season and this, Graham’s recruitment in the close season led to a largely unbalanced squad.
We are paying a heavy price for this. Yes, I know the purse strings tightened. I know that quality centre forwards and creative central midfield players are not cheap but making insufficient attempt to remedy this situation has backfired badly.
On the macro level, his tactics have been puzzling in the extreme. Contrary to Radio Humberside’s belief that fans have turned against GA because of a few poor results – this is far from the case. Their profound concerns go back over nine months.
Fans resent the changes in attitude to pursuing promotion last year which first surfaced in January. They thoroughly resent the tactics employed in the second Millwall game.
They were able to spot the inadequacies of his system before a ball was kicked in anger this season and correctly predicted the outcome.
Fans fear that pigheadedness was behind his refusal to accept the obvious and change the failing formation. Eventually, he had to admit to a failure that all had seen – apparently, long before he had.
The club is now in 12th position in the league and there is little reason to believe that future movement will be anything other than downward.
Why is he so slow to respond to problems on the pitch?
Few are impressed by his use of substitutes.
A feeling is growing that he is tactically weak.
Are his players motivated? – We are beginning to doubt.
Whether true or not, many are starting to say that ‘he has lost the dressing room’.
There is a certain disbelief that he persists with his illogical system of 11 men back to defend corners.
Whatever they say, our fans can take defeats provided that the win for the opposition is honestly earned. What they cannot tolerate is when we lose to poor decisions by officials, when the team seems disorganised, when tactics are demonstrably wrong and the football is boring in the extreme.
These fans have had four good months in as many years and this is insufficient to keep their interest. Indeed, were I not already committed, there is no way that I would have bothered going to watch them disappoint me again against Fleetwood. It is not the results, Mr Alexander, it is the manner in which the team plays.
Fans who had returned are already voting with their feet. I am a long term fan and am starting to lose the will to live. We lost at Rotherham and I didn’t really care.
A cruel thing to say, perhaps, but Graham Alexander is evidently not one jot better than Mark Robins.
His left foot is on the trapdoor and the noose is being prepared. Attractive football – win or lose – is the only means for a stay of execution. At the moment, that is the best he can hope for. A full reprieve looks impossible.