Looking with despair at Tuesday night’s result, I couldn’t help but chuckle at the evident fact that almost everything positive I have tried to say about Chesterfield’s season has quickly been contradicted.
The last time I wrote on this column, I argued that the Spireites’ defensive record was not something to worry about. Over the following two games, Town shipped six goals.
Either the club is conspiring against me, or I need to quit writing columns.
In all seriousness, however, the situation at Chesterfield Football Club is no longer a circus but more a tragedy. Two consecutive relegations followed by a ten-game winless run in their lowest ever division sets off every alarm bell imaginable. Considering the brilliant start we experienced in the opening three games, it was then inconceivable to think that a slump of this nature could occur.
Town are in relegation hangover mode, and the worst may be yet to come.
On the back of yet another 90 minutes of pure disappointment, the usual culprit of individual mistakes is brought out as the excuse… But its novelty is wearing down very quickly.
After the defeats to Barrow, Salford and Barnet, we looked to see if there would be any positive response to a blip in form from Martin Allen’s squad. We are yet to see such a fight-back, seven games on.
Whether it’s 13 matches in, 20, or 30, ten games without a win is nailed-on relegation form. After all the excitement that was built around the Proact Stadium over the summer, the bitter, sour taste of the past few seasons has bitten back with a vengeance.
Let’s be realistic; a turnaround can still happen (and hopefully will do) but something other than the starting eleven needs to change.
Mad Dog may think that he needs to constantly shake things up in the match day squad until he gets the right formula, but the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Trying a new combo every week will never work with the desired effect, and if it does, it’ll only be by chance.
Allen has shipped in a large quantity of brand-new players but has vested very little trust in any of them. What’s more baffling was his bestowing of the captain’s role upon Robbie Weir, who now can be found on the club’s transfer list just 13 games in.
Some of his signings can most certainly be seen as necessary, but could some also be viewed as knee-jerk reactions?
Where the club is situated now is not the fault of Martin Allen – in fact, far from it – but the gaffer needs to install some stability in his side, allow the starting eleven to gel and become comfortable with a system that suits them best.
A genuine and bullish response to adversity is needed from the Chesterfield squad, as it seems crystal clear now that a relegation dogfight could be on the horizon. That could change within the blink of an eye if the right reaction is produced, but it will take some true character to save the sinking ship after such a horrific winless streak.
Will the Spireites stand and fight, or will they abandon ship?