Four games into the season now for Crewe and after shipping ten goals, we find ourselves in the bottom two in the Football League and out of the League Cup.
Whilst writing my first blog, I found myself talking about excitement, optimism and expectancy, but now (I am aware I shouldn’t be making a U Turn after half a month of football) I am dreading the remaining 43 league games we have left.
Crewe Alex are a unique football club. People always recognise them for (trying to play) attractive passing football and through their leader, Dario Gradi, who is in his 28th year of management with the Railwaymen. Crewe’s structure is a great base for any football club, but this season, it’s just not working.
Crewe have played some excellent football in the opening four games. Dominated large parts of each game they have played in, but we have lost all four. Rotherham on Tuesday night was an example. Crewe had plenty of chances in front of goal and seemed to be keeping Adam Le Fondre extremely quiet. That was until midway through the first half when two defensive errors gifted him a simple chance to open the scoring. Which he did.
Never mind, Crewe would get back into it (I thought). More pressure from The Alex led to missed chances and fans started to get more frustrated with the fact we couldn’t make the most when dominating a match. Cue another defensive error. 0-2.
Sighs, negative chanting, fans leaving the ground. Still around twenty minutes to go, but it was once again the same old story for Crewe and a lot of fans had had enough.
After hitting back via a well worked goal and then continuing to pepper the goal with no reward, I began asking myself if Crewe would ever get a point this season. Ok, maybe a bit extreme, but if we couldn’t win or draw when we were playing some fantastic football, when were we going to finally get off the mark?
It has come out in recent weeks that Dario’s mentality is, ‘as long as we can score more than them, we will be fine’ that was evident last season as we finished as top scorers of the division, but failed to make the playoffs. After Clayton Donaldson, the league’s top scorer, left on a free, Dario had a whole summer to find a replacement. We are still waiting. This has meant a lack of goals, which means no points (points mean prizes).
According to the senior players, the camp remains confident, but as we continue this tough run of games, will the fans share the belief that we can do something this season? The play-offs seemed a high possibility at the start of August, but now I’m just hoping that we avoid the clutches of the Blue Square Premier and remain a respected club in the Football League.
Written by Hugh Wilson, We Are Going Up’s Crewe Alexandra Blogger
Hugh tweets at @hugh_wilson