- 1 May 2018
Quiet little boys. We are so mentally weak and so lacking in any sort of bottle this season. After the steely doggedness we’ve come to expect from the way we compete in derbies under Wilder and Appleton, it’s difficult to accept. Eastwood literally jumping out of the way and letting the ball skip into an empty net really did epitomise where we’re at now. Most troubling, though, is that he knows what this game is about and has fought in a couple of those wars in the past. So what’s changed? Why did he mentally fold having stood up to the task previously? What has gone on to make that decision an option, let alone a reality? There is a huge problem with him which seems to be getting bigger and bigger, and whether it’s purely internal or whether it’s the product of a wider issue / conflict concerning all manner of other people isn’t really the main concern. Ultimately the guy is shot to s**t, but he isn’t the only one displaying signs of weakness and extreme vulnerability. It’s just that when he makes an error there’s nowhere to hide, and the results are more immediately catastrophic. But nearly the entire squad is at it. From the pitch to the dugout there is barely a set of balls between any of them, so while I can’t and won’t defend Eastwood and think he simply has to be dropped and ultimately let go in a few months, I won’t pretend that he’s our only major issue. The entire mentality is poor. Look at how many games we have won inside 90 minutes since Shrewsbury, across L1 fixtures and the two major cup competitions - the ones that aren’t just glorified reserve games. 16 league one games (playoffs included), three FA and Carabao cup games. 19 games total. Four wins inside 90 minutes. Fail to win tomorrow night and it’s a flat 20% win ratio across nearly half a season’s worth of competitive games. That’s our main issue, because that sort of record involves much more than the goalkeeper losing the plot.If you watch it back - painful I know- he looks to pull out of the challenge - if he'd got part of his body making contact with the ball, he'd have cleared it - looks to me like he didn't fancy getting a whack from the Swindon player in the process.
There are deeper issues than one man between the sticks.