Another live Sky outing, another disappointment and after two games of underperforming and getting the results comes a week where we do the same but not get anything from an encounter with one of the pre-season title favourites.
Crawley didn’t exactly prove their worth as genuine contenders but did enough to brush aside a Cobblers team that is lacking anything that would get the masses at Sixfields and watching live on television excited and get us even close to replicating some of our past promotions from this level. If we are to get supporters out of their armchairs and back into Sixfields then most are in agreement that things need to change.
I’m in no way advocating the sacking of another manager because recent results have improved for the better with three wins from the last five and that sort of panic is too far over the top for this moment in time. Gary Johnson is paying the price for his lack of true likeability that Sammo brought to the table and we as supporters have to start to put to one side the fact that he’s more unorthodox in his ways and does some things that the majority don’t agree with.
Decisions in the transfer window is a concern, that being said. His personnel decisions will ultimately make or break him and it’s just a little worrying that he sees a young lad like George Baldock, a starter against Crawley, as a better solution than Paul Turnbull in the middle of the park. And whatever happened behind the scenes there’s still question marks over Liam Davis’ exit with the left sided player the star of the Oxford United side so far this season and his replacements inexperienced at this level. Let’s not even start with Shaun Harrad!
Baldock partnered Ben Tozer in midfield after Arron Davies was injured before this game. The attacking spark from midfield was essentially gone with Davies’ withdrawal and it’s vital that we get his injury problems sorted because the former Yeovil man is appearing more and more like a potential cog in the back bone of the team.
Crawley took advantage of the one defensive error of the game as the Cobblers failed to clear the ball sufficiently and Matt Tubbs was on hand to score the only goal of the game. Michael Jacobs hit the bar in our best effort of the match. Jacobs got some criticism for ‘playing to the cameras’ but we must again be patient with a young man who will surely learn from mistakes and who was the width of the woodwork away from earning a point.
The majority of comments following the game were of the midfield…the surprise hit of Ashley Westwood’s partnership with Kelvin Langmead is solid enough at the back but I can’t help but think we need a Chris Hargreaves or Ian Taylor like figure in there the pull everyone together and be willing to ‘die for the cause’.
Untried rookies are for times when we’re clear at the top, not battling to get up the league and worryingly there seems no signs of that midfield general appearing any time soon. So as fans we have to act like we’re on the pitch with the team, be that ‘twelfth man’ to steal a cliché and become the thing that we need so badly!
Up The Cobblers!