Mike's Moan: Whose to Blame??

Last updated : 22 November 2006 By Mike

Whose fault is this? Well, you can't legislate for the number of injuries we have had to key players this season but you can put more effort into signing players before the end of the transfer window. Malpas knew we had lost Hammell and Corrigan was out for around half the season. Did he replace them? Let me think, no, he did absolutely nothing and just hoped for the best. Malpas knew we had no cover in the centre of defence, did he do anything about it? We all know the bloody answer after Saturdays performance. So whose fault is it… his name is Maurice Malpas.

Let's start with the goalkeeping situation. Who was our best player last season? In my eyes it was Graham Smith. Superb shot-stopping, good command of the area, no mistakes - he was the best keeper I had seen in a 'Well jersey for years and forced himself into the Scotland squad. Then we change our manager. Smith is no longer confident, makes lots of mistakes and is eventually dropped for a second division standard goalie. Who do we blame for this? Do we have a go at our young talented keeper who was so good last season, or do we look around for someone else to blame - say the person who is meant to be installing confidence in the players?

Now for the defence. Stephen Craigan has his critics, but for a club like Motherwell he is a good centre half. Brian McLean, although injury prone, also looks like a good defender and we have to congratulate Terry Butcher for the signing. So we have two decent centre halves at the club - great. We obviously do not have to sign any cover as we will be fine with what we have. If either gets injured we will try out our untested youth who may or may not be good enough, and if that doesn't work out we will play our under-19 left back in the middle. I think we all agree Reynolds has been good, but for god's sake before we ruin his confidence completely we need to move him to left back. So anyway who do we blame for the state of our defence just now, injury ravaged or not - u have guessed it - good old MM.

I'm on a role, so let's discuss the midfield. Brian Kerr and Keith Lasley look like a fairly good midfield partnership, so we all have to be fairly content with that. I think we all should congratulate the management team on the signing of Lasley, they obviously worked long and hard to sign him and it was not the case that he fell into their laps because Killie did not offer him a good enough deal. As for the rest of the midfield, oh that's right we don't have any other midfielders at the club. O'Donnell - injury prone to the extreme. McBride - Rank! Fagan - Terrible! Fitz - another one with no confidence. But again no signings, instead let's play our forwards in midfield and our midfielders in defence. So again who do we blame for this???

Up front we have Skippy - thank goodness we have Skippy. The question that needs to be asked is who do we play alongside him? Foran? McGarry? We can't play either of them because they play in midfield. We have been unlucky with the Ross McCormack situation but with no goals so far we don't even know if we are missing him. So that leaves us with David Clarkson and Callum Elliot - in my eyes just about the worst strikers in the SPL. They specialise in falling over and fouling and are about as lethal as Nick Cusack on a bad day. So who do we blame for this - the person who sold Jim Hamilton and replaced him with a pathetic waste of space from Gorgie - or do we just call ourselves unlucky?

I do not want Malpas sacked (yet), but he does have to take a lot of responsibility for the state of the team. MM was far too slow in the summer when our squad was crying out to be strengthened. I don't want to hear any rubbish about us having no money as plenty of wages were freed up and the club was running at a profit. The pure and simple fact is that other clubs always have a run on Motherwell because we are slow in the transfer market - and just watch, Dundee United will end up signing Alan McCormack and we won't offer Brian Kerr a new contract until it is too late.

Fingers crossed that Malpas can sort this out, but a new managerial team of Gary McAllister and Ally McCoist is looking very mouth watering just now.