Santa Claus delivered Motherwell’s last league win in deep mid-winter. We may have to rely on an early visit from the Easter Bunny to bring three points.
Since the resumption of football after the extended winter break Motherwell have faced all eleven opponents in the league and recorded five draws and six losses for the gain of a handful of points. In contrast the opening cycle of eleven games produced four wins, three draws and four losses for a respectable fifteen points.
When we toasted the arrival of the New Year the Steelmen were in fourth place and able to look back on a 59 point calendar year that was beaten only by the Glasgow clubs. How things have changed.
The smouldering discontent in the Motherwell ranks now threatens to take light. Chairman Jim McMahon was in the McDiarmid Park away section on Saturday and he suffered along with the rest. Losing the match to a late goal was bad enough but the spectacle on show was worse. He will have heard the less than complimentary calls to the manager.
Supporters struggle to identify any sign that there is a plan behind either team selection or the on-field strategy. It does not make for easy viewing.
Continued rotation of strikers, defenders and midfielders does little to increase cohesion. The philosophy seems to be that greatest safety comes from having the ball as far from our goal as possible. Therefore the goalkeeper almost always elects for the lottery of the long range kick from hand or the six yard line. Defenders may exchange a few lateral passes but an inevitable punt will follow.
Three forwards are routinely selected. Kevin Van Veen, the main hope for a goal, is paired with a two from four or five. Against St Johnstone Connor Shields and Joe Efford had their names picked from the hat. The pair covered miles but with little benefit. Kaiyne Woolery came on fifteen minutes from time to add a spark.
Graham Alexander will face his predecessor, Stephen Robinson, after the international break when St Mirren visit Fir Park. It seems incredible given Motherwell’s poor run that a win against the Buddies will return us to the top half of the table with one game to go before the split. Don’t bet on it.