What Do We Do Now?
Updated Monday, 17th January 2005
The last two games have highlighted some big problems in the Motherwell team. If we lose on Saturday we will have taken one point from six games. Is there anything we can do to change things?
We are still not in a position of strength when it comes to signing new players as Terry Butcher, quite rightly, wants to keep our wage structure in place. This is good for the long term future of the club and we cannot complain about it. It is worth noting that Dundee will be staring closure in the face should they get relegated – so a final gamble of paying Tam McManus big money looks like the last throw of the dice for the
But it does have to be assumed that we will be bringing in some new players, at the very least a direct replacement for Toastie. Having witnessed all three matches against
It would be nice to add a giant striker to our lineup, especially since it is so clear that Clarkson needs a rest. Richie Foran, if he ever gets a game up front, does possess some aerial prowess. McDonald and Clarkson are good players, they will hit form again in front of goal, but it is not a slight on either of them to say a better combination – one including height and/or pace – would work better.
The midfield is probably the least of our concerns if we have everyone fit. A team like Motherwell cannot realistically expect to lose three of its four starting midfielders and carry on like everything is fine. Brian Kerr will be like a new signing when he does eventually play again but the big loss just now seems to be Phil O’Donnell. He has a footballing brain which still shows why he was worthy of a £1.75m transfer, even if the pace has gone. He is also surprisingly good in the air – not dominant by any means but he does enough to break up the flow of player towards our own goal. A healthy Uncle Phil will be key to getting out of our slump.
The debate gets really interesting when it comes to the defence. Hammell, Partridge, Corrigan, Craigan, Kinniburgh and Quinn can all be good enough as individuals yet right now they are making silly mistakes and not playing as a unit. During our good run, the defence just did not give away stupid goals. In recent games,
Craigan has prevented Mark de Vries winning a clear header in some games against Hearts so we know he can deal with big men. We’ve seen Stevie Hammell perform brilliantly in recent years, we know that he is a more than capable left back. New signings would be useful, as always, but we have good players already.
Terry Butcher has shown great resilience in taking the team from twelfth one season to sixth the next. He has coped with the loss of McFadden and then with Pearo packing it in mid-season. He has lifted us out a five game slump with an astute tactical change in the past and in the absence of simply ‘bulking up’ the side, he will need to do the same again.
It might not happen at Parkhead but Butcher has always managed in the past and he will do so again now…don’t panic, keep the faith.