Sunday, 24 January 2010
The Exeter City enigma continues. After turning in a fabulous performance against Leeds, we concede two soft goals and lose to Yeovil. This is why you see so many bald fans at St James Park.
In a way, Huish Park sums up the story of our season. We go behind, often to a stupid goal, then start playing good football, attack, score one, then go behind against the run of play. We're nearly there, but at the moment not quite good enough, but when we hook it up together, we're very good indeed.
I said at the start of the season, we couldn't go through the season losing games and congratulating ourselves for playing well, which is currently what we're doing.
A win yesterday would have seen us move up into mid-table. Instead we're back to just three points ahead of the relegation zone. That said, we have the ability, quality and manager to stay up. The question is, do we have the consistency?
In fairness, a point away at Yeovil wouldn't have been a bad result, given our respective forms at home and on the road, and one most City fans would have probably settled for. It does put slightly more pressure onto Tuesday's game at home to Carlisle. Lose it, and Leeds really will have counted for nothing.
Still, there are positives. Post-match, Terry Skiverton, the Yeovil boss (who has really impressed an surprised this season) paid complement to Alex Russell. And then there's Stanno, who is fast becoming a City legend.
Another goal, this one against his old club (which he had the class not to celebrate) and continues to put everything into every second he is on the pitch. If only some of our other forwards put in as much effort as Adam, we'd be safe by now. What a player.
So, like we say, City are close to being there without every quite finding the map to wherever 'there' is. And we definitely need reinforcements now, as Troy Archibald-Henville is on his way back to Spurs after playing his last game for us.
As we've said before, we at HaL have mixed feelings over Troy. On one hand, he has a natural talent, great pace and can certainly make a tackle. On the other, he's not exactly improved since he arrived on loan a year ago and suffers lapses when it comes to decision making and concentration.
It's also strange that he doesn't like playing with Matt Taylor as part of a partnership. In all honestly, he's had enough time to try and adjust. But then a central defence partnership is as important as a good strike partnership and it may be they're just too similar.
So, you can see, for every positive about Troy, there's a negative and so on. Apparently we had the option to sign him permanently. I wouldn't have been adverse to that. I wouldn't have been adverse to extending his loan. But I'm not disappointed that he's gone back to Spurs. If that all makes sense.
But this does mean that, with Danny Seaborne also gone, we're very short of cover at centre-half options to partner Captain Taylor.
Sir Big Rob Edwards is always there, even if he's minus two teeth following the Leeds game. But he is 37 and it'd be a stretch to ask him to play every game. Great, legendary player that he is, it's inevitable he will occasionally get caught out at this level. Not that I'll ever complain when his name is on the team sheet.
That leaves our other options as the highly-rated yet completely untested Scott Bennett, currently on loan at Weymouth, Richard Duffy, who isn't really a centre-back, and Joe Burnell, who is a central midfielder and may not actually exist. Yep, we need another defender.
We could also do with a winger, preferably the excellent Craig Noone. But then we could always do with a winger. It's like saying a homeless man could do with a roof over his head.