For the first time in many a season, the Motherwell defence is looking far from watertight.
We have all got used to Such press-phrases as " the Claret and Amber wall ", and " a well disciplined team ", and quite rightly so. When Tommy McLean arrived his first objective was to shut the back door, and brought in experienced players like Tom McAdam and Craiq Paterson to help along the Tommy Boyd's and Chris McCarts of the team.
But with the loss of Boyd and Paterson, along with Alistair Maxwell we are left with a new group of defenders attempting to gel together.
As 1 write this article, we have lost 13 goals from thirteen matches - a fairly respectable number, and one of the best in the Premier Division. But the supporters have made it clear that they are far from happy about the displays being given at the back.
Robert Maaskant certainly did not make the step from Dutch football immediately, and his recent injury has counted him out of contention at the moment. John Philliben has been drafted in, and while he is normally a reliable performer, his slip against Celtic and overall display at Easter Road cannot have done wonders for his confidence . As a result of this, Luc Nijholt and Chris McCart have been less than impressive as well, and what if someone else gets injured?
After Shannon's refusal to join, Jimmy Griffen and even Nicky Cusack have been forced to be pulled back out of position to cover our frailties. There isn't really anyone in the Second XI to come in, so what can we do? After taking an enormous amount of stick at least "Billy the Fish " has been tremendous, especially at McDiarmid Park and Easter Road.
While it always seems the easiest thing to say, we really have to buy two defenders to Shore up the defence. Undoubtedly the weaknesses at the back Spreads like wildfire through the entire team, and the sooner this is remedied, the better. So let's get it fixed while we are still going well, and not when we really begin to falter.
by Christopher Hutton.