If all was going swimmingly on the pitch, if the Cobblers were top of the table leaving everyone else in their wake, if there was even a hint that this season will be any different – if, if, if…then maybe the attention currently being drawn to David Cardoza and the (still only potential) takeover would be calmer.
But after just one point taken from Accrington Stanley and Dagenham and Redbridge, the latter seeing the Daggers come up with their first EVER win against us, things are taking a dramatic turn for the worse and answers are being demanded left, right and centre. And rightfully so.
Where to start may be the biggest question of all.
The ‘heads of terms agreement’ was signed on or around the 24th June – over TWO MONTHS ago. Since then, we’ve been reassured by Cardoza that the interested party are London based and that it may now be mid-September by the time anything else can be revealed. In the midst of all that went a transfer window, during which nothing was done to address a couple of key positions on the playing side – the very thing that could have bought everyone a bit of breathing space.
The lack of communication once again falls into question. It’s not for the first time. This is what I wrote on October 12th last year around the East Stand ‘development’:
“The communications department seem to have been on sabbatical for over a year now. Any injury news is kept completely under wraps. Players can be ruled out for months and then appear on the bench or, in the case of Lewis Hornby (remember him?), they can pick up an injury in training and are then not heard of apart from in fleeting mentions once in a blue moon. If a player’s out for months, tells us. If someone’s career is over, tell us. There’s a growing sense that the club is being locked behind the four – sorry three – walls of Sixfields and to the fans that can’t be good…”
“…All it would take was an honest and open message from the Chairman. If money hasn’t been paid for reason a or reason b then please just tell us. The longer the issues are stretched out the more damaging it becomes on the relationship between club and fans and that only causes aggravation on the terraces and a drop in performances on the pitch. We’re in a position where the players are actually pretty decent but if everything around them crumbles it’s only a matter of time until they too get disenchanted.”
Sound familiar? Change a few words here and there and it could be directly referenced to the here and now. How on earth are players and management meant to engage fully when all around them crumbles?
I know there must be reasons for the group not being identified but each passing day alienates more and more of the people that are the genuine heart of the club – that, of course, being the fans who gamely trek around the country to give a lift to the players wearing their beloved shirts.
As for the team – it’s all gone to pot again there and this is half the reason for the sudden outburst from Cobblers fans. The second goal conceded against Dagenham was laughable and summed up everything in a nut shell – miscommunication leads to a simple defeat.
I do feel slightly sorry for Rod McDonald, a defender clearly out of his depth at the moment. It’s not his fault that he was called upon in the summer as a back-up and was then thrust into the first team ahead of his time but more foresight should have been in place. Chris Wilder knew of Zander Diamond’s injuries and of age creeping up so something more substantial should have been worked on in terms of a third centre back. The same goes up front, where Marc Richards is again going it alone in front of the interchangeable three of Potter/D’Ath/Adams – three players who individually can create moments but as a three just can’t find a rhythm.
Wilder needs a big rethink tactically – the 4-2-3-1, fluid as it is, is being worked out far too easily by opposition and the plan b just isn’t there. Giving us something to cheer about has to be level on top of the agenda for Cardoza and Wilder.
The worrying thing is that there doesn’t seem to be any kind of “we’re in this together” attitude from the chairman and the manager that reflects to the fans that there genuinely isn’t anything to worry about.
The takeover is certainly taking over the season but at the moment it’s in all the wrong ways.