There’s a treat(!) for you this week, a double edition with the elation of three points and then misery as we bump back down to earth at Birmingham. The week started off well, with a win well-earned (by Anssi Jaakkola at least) at the Mad Stad - alright so it was the epitome of a smash and grab, and we basically played with Superman in goal and defence that played their hearts out. However, the midfield basically went missing and created next to nothing even though we scored three goals through Sam Baldock and Yakou Meite.
Kicking on, we travelled to a much-improved Birmingham City side since we last played them in the Carabao Cup, and indeed getting a draw from that game would have been a bonus. Instead, after a promising first 45, our usual post-half time teamtalk did the trick and Birmingham scored straight after the break.
The fans as usual have been having their say and that’s not this column’s place to say what the view is, but what is noticeable is that our midfield isn’t doing its job and the forward line is getting little service.
The Millwall fans wondered how they lost that game, and Birmingham’s are dreaming of promotion (as a minimum finishing above the Aston Villa).
Defence wins games!
Just watched extended highlights of reading game. Im sad to say cooper is to blame for goals 1 and 3. the 3rd one embarassing.just stands there.and marlon why oh why are u going to ground there..so naive.the defence 100% cost us y'dsy .shambolic defending #Millwall #millwallfc— angelo milioto (@m112oto) October 21, 2018
That’s pretty impressive
Incredibly, in their last three games against Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa + Reading, #Millwall have had 64 shots on goal - 25 on target, 31 corners, hit the bar three times, had one disallowed goal and somehow only scored five goals.— Jake Sanders (@JakeSanders92) October 21, 2018
At this rate we will be with you!
In Jan we need a clinical striker or we will be saying Bonjour to L1 #Millwall— . (@play_dj) October 20, 2018
Shock, shock, horror, horror...
#Millwall boss reveals he has written several times to the refereeing body this season - and slams "embarrassing" replies. Also hints they haven't even been looking at the right incidents - https://t.co/rAHm98HkZR pic.twitter.com/6vPlFIlRgR— NewsAtDen (@NewsAtDen) October 20, 2018
Yeah, yeah, yeah try being #ReadingFC!
Yes, we’ve been poor at the back but this is all down to the referee. Gave Reading a penalty that was never deserved in a million years, and denied us two blatant penalties. Also allowed Reading to waste time from the minute the 2nd half whistle blew. Disgraceful #Millwall— Jack Clarke (@jack_clarke) October 20, 2018
Oops wrong way around!
Yeah we wonder that as well
Also thoughts on last night's game was played ok deserved the win. Strange how Reading simply gave up when they went 1 down. 10 unbeaten and looking a real strong team tough to beat #bcfc— Jon Merrell (@IMRMEZZI) October 24, 2018
Why not, there’s been a history of promoted teams ignoring the rules
Swansea City and Leeds United thought this as well
We need this!
Before Monk came in I’d have happily taken relegation to get rid of the weakest and most disliked Blues squad in my time. Now, with pretty much the exact same group of players, we’re 10 unbeaten and a point off the playoffs. Garry Monk is working miracles #bcfc— Josh MacDonald (@joshmac90) October 23, 2018
As always some things are bigger than football
Things have a nasty habit of biting you on the arse, be careful
All of the coverage for the Millwall match was around two subjects: Anssi’s performance and Neil Harris’ criticism of the referee - and that his team didn’t take advantage of the chances they made. In reality no matter what outlet you look at these two managers dominate the entire coverage of the game.
Saying that though, you can always rely on overseas press to stand aside from main subjects, and Football Live Nigeria lead their review with the headline “Aluko Benched” then cover the game, not failing to mention the teams he has played for. Similarly, African Football (Ivory Coast page) leads with the Meite single handily winning the game for us….
Back to reality and Football.London really is all about Anssi, and they have an interview with Paul Clement talking about this very subject. The flipside is Neil Harris on the London News Shopper having a pop at the players, referee tea lady and anyone else around for this result.
Sky as usual have their coverage of the game, with 1m46s of highlights and call the game nervy, where as the BBC reckon it eased pressure on Paul Clement...
The flipside from the Millwall game was the one at Birmingham which naturally had completely opposite reports, with this time Clement saying the exact same things that Neil Harris said about Millwall. Manager bingo anyone?
Football.London have surprisingly similar marks for the midfield as last time out and in reality I don’t think anyone expected us to get anything. However, they have Clement playing manager bingo, and the usual excuses are trotted out. The Birmingham Mail on the other hand is positively gushing with pride and is full of praise for Garry Monk’s side, but I can’t say I blame them to be honest.
An interesting article in The League Paper has Clement saying “he won’t quit’, and they go on to highlight what a woeful record we currently have and are questioning what he is doing. If you fancy something different then Football Ghana have a piece on Andy Yiadom, which is worth a read about his rise from non-league into the Championship.
Finishing with the nationals and the BBC are hardly complementary of us, focusing on the Lee Camp howler that nearly gifted us the lead and then Liam Kelly’s pass back from the half way line which resulted in a corner. Sky Sports on the other hand have two minutes of highlights if you really want to put yourself through it, and the main point of their article is to highlight that it’s nearly a year since we won back to back games. A year! God wept.
I don’t know where to go with this side, really, I don’t. Not being able to string two wins together in almost a year is horrible form. I asked last time out for pride and passion... yep still missing.
Why did Clement changing a winning team? Why has there been a nuclear explosion between Barrow and Clement? How is there a complete lack of any sort of Plan B?
It’s depressing. I have tried in the past to be positive, something has to change. At this present moment, I don’t care if we sack all the players, Clement or Gourlay. Sack the tea lady if it will make a difference – just PLEASE do something.
We are sleepwalking to disaster, how can anyone watching this week in, week out actually say that we have played well for 60 minutes let along 90? What’s with this “we have to concede after half time’ theory as well? It’s not like we don’t help teams anyway with shocking defending – why give them a leg up?
We are at the point now where getting through this season still in this division is the only thing we need to focus on. Next summer, regardless of what’s happened this year there needs to be another (yes another) clear out. Again, it’s depressing but recruitment has stunk for the last few years and in reality, the crap signings far outweigh the good - whoever is in charge needs to look at what the hell they are doing.
We all said that the old guard of Madejski and Hammond couldn’t get us where we wanted to go, but let’s be honest we wouldn’t be in the mess we are now if they were still here. A lesson in being careful what you wish for.
Onto Swansea and I will be back after the game with another depressing look at how happy the opposition are - and I do this for love!!