|Tickle Tackle - Goals Required|
Tue 09th Oct 2007 19:39 by Steve Tickle
To come away from the Madejski Stadium with no points is disappointing to say the least... but hardly surprising.
Results like that can always happen. Two evenly matched teams, a close game, one goal wins it. Unfortunately, the one goal didn't go to the Rams and one of those “target” games where we could reasonably expect to pick up a point or three passes us by.
Normally speaking, you could expect things to even themselves up over the course of the season or maybe pick up a win when it just wasn't expected. With the way we've performed against the “top” teams so far this season though, there's no reason to expect we're going to turn Man Utd over at Old Trafford (or PPS for that matter) to make up for the Reading defeat.
We're currently struggling to compete with the “also rans” and that doesn't bode well for our chances of still competing in the Premier League next season. Have we managed to play our strongest line-up yet? I don't know. I'm not actually sure I know what our strongest line-up is. In fact, In fact, I'm not even sure if Billy Davies knows what our strongest line-up is.
Our lack of goals is an obvious problem... I think along with Norwich City we're the lowest goalscorers in the Premier / Football League. It doesn't take a genius to work out that you're not going to win many games if you're not scoring goals and with Steve Howard and Robert Earnshaw still waiting to get off the mark, it doesn't look good.
Not being able to score enough goals was always my fear before the season started and unfortunately, it looks like those fears were well founded. Until and unless we can find a way to hit the back of the net regularly, we're always going to struggle.
We all knew it would be a struggle but to be honest, if before the season started, you'd asked me where I thought we'd be after nine games, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have said bottom of the league.
At least those teams immediately above us are also struggling and we're still in touch and as I write this, it's just occurred to me that Craig Fagan is available after his four game ban.
He was one of the successes of the season until stupidity overcame him at Anfield and he got himself that ban. Who's to say how much we've missed him these past four games? Not many people would have thought they'd be asking that question but the fact remains that he was playing well before his ban and a team like the Rams can't afford to lose their in-form players.
Let's hope his return to availability signals the Rams starting to pick up a few much needed points.
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