Fan’s View 2020/21 – No.41 – Northampton away

Article by Paul Beasley Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021  

SEASON 2020/21 No.41 NORTHAMPTON AWAY

Pre-match

So what do I do? Accept that we’re not good enough to make the top six which on the evidence so far this season is hard to argue against? We’ve not been up to matching the better teams unless they’ve been having a really bad day (Doncaster). We’ve been worked out by many sides and don’t have a plan B that we can revert to.

With that acceptance comes relaxation (and possibly boredom).

We have however seen off the weaker teams for the most part (exception being Swindon at the Kassam). The Cobblers clearly come into that category so if we win this and the three points that come with it, will there be the temptation to once more think just maybe?

One thing is for sure, as a club in the relegation zone they’ll be fighting until they drop and if we don’t match that we’ll get turned over. If that happens I suspect considerable anger will manifest itself amongst our cooped up fan base.

Northampton Town 1 Oxford United 0

Hands up those who tried to pay a second time to watch this. Not just me then. Wasn’t even worth paying for once was it?

Time to take the hand-brake off – and I’m not talking about the team I’m talking about me. I think I usually give a bit of thought to what I write and try to take a balanced view. I also try to be honest and even when things look pretty bad, try and throw in a glimmer of positivity but after this, well … here goes.

At half time my thoughts were watching us play like this in matches like this on grounds like this with no fans present is slowly sucking the spirit out of me. I even said to Mrs FV that I felt like just walking into another room and not watching the second half. She said me too. During that second half I glanced at her and she was more interested in her phone than the match. By way of explanation she said, “I can’t watch this”. I forced myself to do so but it was utter bloody torture.

On the final whistle I stormed out to get another beer yelling “f***ing w*****s” and that type of outburst against our own, for which I feel guilty, is very rare but that’s how much I care although lashing out does no good. Hard not to though after that.

Northampton were better than when we beat them at the Kassam but come on they weren’t particularly good and any team with the slightest hope of getting promoted would have seen them off easily wouldn’t they?

We now are coming across as a shadow of a football team, one that is nowhere near the standard of the one that took us to the play-offs last campaign.

When I saw the team sheet I was not enthused. I had thoughts like: crock, out of his depth and making the numbers up. I then twigged that this was with Lincoln in mind and there was a proper game plan. If necessary the big guns would be brought on to get us over the line. Thinking about it later I have to ask do we really have any big guns any more?

In fact I’m beginning to conclude that we’ve got a lot of players who are not top L1 quality. Step back and consider loan signings that are here today (this season) and gone tomorrow (next season) and what have we got? Not a lot. Is there a massive rebuild necessary or am I over-reacting?

If a neutral had been shown this game without knowing what level it was taking place at they would have been flabbergasted when told it was in tier three of the English pyramid.

It really was another mundane game but the home side were able to produce a better mundane than the drivel we came up with.

We couldn’t pass the ball other than a bit in our own half. Once more there were no midfield moves. No-one wanting the ball. No space being found. I can’t recall one of our forwards passing to another in the first half. Or the second come to that. We must have surely though.

The one and only bright spark was Dan Agyei. He produced some of those powerful runs that we now know he has in his locker but usually with no-one going with him, no chance of help and no link up, the outcome was almost inevitably bugger all, although he did once properly work keeper Jon Mitchell.

We had plenty of corners and free-kicks which we got on the end of many times but not once was a decent connection made to threaten the scoreboard. Like most things on the night we were shite at this.

At the other end of the pitch when balls were played into our box we were anything but assured and got away with it a few times, with the post coming to our rescue once.

An on form top team would likely have taken us to the cleaners but even a team of Northampton’s calibre – and fair play they were better than our sorry arses – deserved their victory even if they only got the one goal. Jack Stevens kicking into touch. That was poor. A quick throw in and they were straight through our defence. Poor too. Embarrassingly so.

However awful we’ve been over the last few years, except the actual last one, I’ve still travelled away to watch my team, to support my team, to have a crack, to have some beers, to have a day out with my mates. We’re now in very different territory. I’m giving serious consideration to not wasting further tenners only to get no value whatsoever, in fact just the opposite – depression.

Friday is free – well I have paid for Sky so it’s part of that package and I’ve paid for iFollow and so has my wife as part of our season ticket. It’s at times like this when logic asks why the **** did anyone donate their season ticket money to the club to be getting back what we’re getting back at the moment?

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