Rotten luck, rubbish refs, plenty of suspensions, loans galore and it’s the same old story for Yeovil Town. Fifteen games in and the Glovers find themselves languishing in the ghastly doom and gloom at the bottom of League One.
Yeovil have seen home game after home game break their own lowest league attendance records as the club pay the price for a bad run of form and what is an awkwardly Northern league. Manager Terry Skiverton has also had to contend with a treatment table which has seen more bums than a Miss Somerset competition and has even had to bring loans in to cover his loans!
As well as propping up the rest of League One, Yeovil also sit bottom of the Fair Play league or, if you like, top of the bad boys league. Right back Luke Ayling is the least disciplined player in the league with six yellows and one red to his name, as well as an FA charge hanging over his head for being less than complimentary to the referee who gave him his marching orders.
However one would think there is a big black cloud hanging over Huish Park and that I’m going to be negative about the club’s chances of survival, well you’re wrong.
Peering through green-and-white-tinted glasses as a fan, there are small signs that Skiverton can do what he did last year and perform a turnaround in the second-half of the season. Long-term injury lay-offs Gavin Williams and Jonathan Obika are making progress towards comebacks in November and December whilst Paul Huntington, Steve Maclean and Alan O’Brien will soon join the rest of the returning players searching for fitness.
As good as some of the football has been against the bigger sides in the division, the Glovers have fallen short to the ilk of MK Dons, Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United and Preston North End. There was a sense of ‘we huffed and puffed, did alright, but they have got a bigger team, bigger squad, better players, more money, better manager, bigger stadium, larger city blah, blah, blah. Just wait until we play the likes of Scunthorpe United, Bury and Carlisle United.’
That is when things started to get grizzly. Both Carlisle and Bury came to Huish Park, scored three goals and took all three points which lost the side a lot of support and confidence. A very small fraction of the green and white army have decided that the regime is to blame and that Skiverton should leave in order to keep his club legend status in tact.
Skiverton makes mistakes and he can sometimes be tactically naiive, but no-one else would do this job with as much passion and full-bodied endeavour to keep the club alive, thriving and in League One. It could be said that Skivo’s job is possibly the safest in English football. While managerial heads roll around the country from teams in Yeovil’s position and higher, the club’s chairman comes out with a rallying cry to get behind the manager. In a statement, chairman John Fry said: “Last season Terry and his team finished in the second highest position in the history of the club. United we stand, divided we fall, so let us all pull together in the same direction and back Terry and his team.”
Where else would you see this type of support from a team in the relegation zone?
Injuries and suspensions have made for an unstable back four leading to high number of goals conceded. Even loanee goalkeeper Jed Steer was injured and had to return to parent club Norwich City. However, a more steely resistance has been instilled in the last few games, with the loan of West Ham ‘keeper Marek Stech and the addition of a much needed, big, no-nonsence, strong, experienced centre half in the form of Darren Purse.
Some may have been surprised to see the ex-Premier League defender down in Somerset but having grown up with the gaffer in London, Purse is a real solid addition to the squad and one which supporters would love to have for longer than a month.
It’s hard to imagine Skiverton will be sacked, not because the board are happy with mediocrity but because I believe he will turn things around. The returning players will be like new signings in January though the club’s restricted budget will mean a reliance on loans once more.
Last season the club were bottom and as good as dead at Christmas, but a new year turnaround saw them achieve a 14th place finish. If they are not bottom at Christmas this year, we can only assume it will be a mid-table finish for Town, right?
Relegation is not an option for the Glovers if they want to re-develop parts of the ground, but it is going to be another hard season. The team needs fans and the fans need the club. This writer remains confident we will be seeing League One football at Huish Park next season. I am not happy with mediocrity and certainly don’t enjoy a relegation battle every year, but a struggling club needs more support than a high-flying one and I will take positivity into every game played. At least we have a club to support, fans of Plymouth Argyle have sweated over the existence of theirs for months.
All Yeovil have to do is be more consistent, stay fit, score more goals, concede less, entertain the fans and start picking up three points from the likes of Huddersfield Town and Charlton Athletic. Easy.
Written by Ryan Peasland, We Are Going Up’s Yeovil Town Blogger
Ryan tweets at @rpeasland