There is a really interesting aspect to the Media Policy in the NFL that allows the media complete access the changing rooms from about 10-12minutes (known as the ‘cooling off period) after a game has finished. Journalists and cameramen flood into a room were all players and coaches are getting changed after a game, no matter what the result or mood is in the camp. To us, from the other side of the world, it seems strange and invasive of a place that over here is nearly sacred but it’s seen as an important part of sport in America. The reason I mention it is because after the Jacksonville Jaguars defeat on Sunday against the Houston Texans, their third defeat in a row to bring them to 3-4 this season, the doors were opened to the changing room in the middle of a brawl between Jags players. The frustration at how they were playing had boiled over and a few of the players were in the process of being separated by fellow team mates. I have played a lot of sport and I know that at times changing rooms can be the place where arguments can happen and where every emotion can be laid out on the table, so I really struggle to understand how it’s allowed to be opened up to the media, but after hearing about what happened on Sunday between the Jags players, it made me wonder what we would have seen had we been given access 10 minutes after Fulham’s appalling defeat on Saturday in Wales.
Would we have witnessed players brawling and pointing fingers at each other in a blame game or a red-faced Slavisa Jokanovic yelling at his players? Or would we have been greeted to an eerie silence as the team tried to comprehend just how badly the last few games have gone for us? Last year Tim Ream and Kevin McDonald were model professionals for us, being leaders both on and off the pitch. We also had Tom Cairney stamping his authority on the squad as one of the league’s best players. Contrast that to this season where we have had any combination of eleven players on the pitch all running about like strangers and the vast majority of goals conceded have been results of our own silly mistakes. It’s hard to see where the leaders are on the pitch, and that’s very worrying.
Our manager clearly doesn’t know who his best eleven are and the constant shopping and changing, particularly in defence, is causing bedlam when we take to the field. We have also gotten ourselves into a habit of letting the heads drop pretty much straight after we concede a goal. The pressure is heating up for Slavisa Jokanovic, and while reports that he has two league games to save his job are nonsense, he will need to find a way to get the team playing a heck of a lot better to fend off the flames. I don’t believe that he should be sacked at this moment in time as I think that will just make matters worse, but I’m not blind to the problems we have at the minute.
Swansea, West Brom and Stoke all changed managers last season and the risk didn’t pay off. The year we went down we had not one, not two, but three different managers throughout the season which was a complete disaster. We can’t point directly at Slav considering so many of the goals conceded have been individual errors, but we can question his squad selection. However, I do honestly believe that when players like Cairney and Fosu-Mensah are back and fit we will have a team with much more stability.
We can also take heart from the fact that Jokanovic has been a slow-starter with us throughout the two previous season but has found the ‘solution’, as he likes to say, each time resulting in a very strong finises. Yes, our fortunes in this respect will run out eventually but I think he deserves another chance to turn it around. Loyalty often pays off in football, and I believe that it will, once again, this time around.
Keep the faith.
Totally agree, with one modification.
I believe he does know his best combination but the random pattern of injuries has, as yet, prevented him playing it. We await a fully fit squad and the then chosen players and formation.
Slavisa just needs to play our back line 5 yards deeper. Simple. Best back line would be back 3 of odoi mawson and ream. Christie and Le Marchand as wing backs. Lets get solid. Win 1-0 we stay up. Play great and lose 4-3 we dont.
What are you talking about he inherited a pile of rubbish got us playing brilliant football the best we have seen in years, broke club records despite not having the ultimate shout on incoming players achieved the acclaim of the footballing world, is now coveted by some of the biggest clubs, and because we are currently unable to defend in what is regarded as the ultimate division in the world due to injuries,suspension and a new squad etc, the talk is of dismissal !!!!!!! Get real, look at Burnley with Dyche, went up, went down, went up again then achieved the best finish in the clubs last 40 odd years and after a sticky start this year are getting going again, please remember the last time we panicked in the premier we had three managers and still went down. Nobody has a right to the prem but we have had rubbish starts in the last two years and look at the outcome.
Please calm down and see it through, it is my belief that it will be ok,so go and get a cup of tea or a pint, chill and BELIEVE
I agree, Slav has given us great football. It would be good to hear the Khan’s giving him support. Mind you, if our defence are “constantly shopping and changing” as you say, no wonder we are leaking goals. ?