What an absolute shambles.

Maybe I don’t blame the players for performing so badly when tactically we got it so wrong. Playing the side bottom of the league – who can’t buy a win – we start with five defenders. So with five defenders plus two defensive midfielders – we start the game with seven defensively minded players and three attacking players – one of whom is Hallam Hope. We were always going to struggle, it’s not rocket science.

Not only was the approach unbalanced, but we also started with a left-back playing in midfield. We have about five hundred midfielders in our squad, we have players such as Nabi and Salkeld on the bench – and we start with a defender in midfield. Managerial incompetence that is almost beyond belief. A right-back playing left-back and a left-back in midfield – d’uh.

And our approach to the game? We sit back, defend deeply on the edge of our own penalty area, we don’t bother to press the ball. We give Chesterfield lots of time and space to stroke the ball around, dominate possession and make themselves look like Barcelona – our approach is to defend our box and knock hideous long balls up towards Hallam Hope to chase like a demented whippet. Keep possession of the football, attack the opposition from the start and try to get them on the back foot? No chance – our tactics were born from fear and negativity.

Half time comes and we take a defender off, bring a forward on - go 4-4-2 and actually bother to attack. Surprise, surprise – we look much better, equalize and take the lead – it begs the question – why didn’t start with two upfront, a balanced formation and attack a team low on confidence from the start?

However, what does our managerial genius decide to do? He takes our best player off brings an extra forward on and decides to change to a kamikaze 4-3-3. We’d scored two goals and looked like winning with 4-4-2 – why change it? We were behind the pace of the game in midfield anyway – to take our best player off, reduce our numbers in midfield and give the impetus back to the home team? What the actual f**k was he thinking?

It’s simply not good enough, our managerial team haven’t got a clue what they’re doing – to a man they’re out of their depth and it is painfully obvious to see.

Bonham – 3 – Two decent saves, a good save from a point blank header some half decent quick throw outs. However, once again – went down in installments for the first goal and was absolutely nowhere for the second. There is no way a League standard goalkeeper should be conceding that first goal, it was truly embarrassing. I have some sympathy with George, he makes one mistake that costs us a goal and is dropped without trace – Bonham makes mistakes that cost us goals left right and centre and retains his place in the side. I’m not 100% convinced George is any better (or the answer), however how Bonham retains his place is a mystery. I’d give Bacon a chance, he’s our own player and couldn’t do any worse.

Brown – 4 – Far from his best game. Struggled, at times, to handle his defensive duties and his use of the ball was questionable.

Miller – 2 – Poor, although no worse than any of our other defenders. Really looks like a right back playing left-back, positionally all at sea.

Hill – 3 – Looked old, stiff and immobile. Struggled to win anything in the air and was made to look like a fence post on the ground. Use of the ball absolutely appalling. Looks half the player who first signed for us, what a nightmarish way to finish your playing career.

Liddle – 3 – Possibly trying too hard against his former club but no worse than Hill. As so many of our players today – chasing shadows.

Jones – 2 – Consistently second best to Chesterfield’s midfielders, use of the ball horrible, behind the game. The worst I’ve seen him play for us, frankly. Needs a rest by the look of this performance – seemingly unable to control a football or pass the ball to Carlisle players.

Joyce – 2 – At least he was involved today, but all too often chasing shadows. Looked leggy and behind the pace of the game. Use of the ball marginally better than Jones, but still terrible.

Adams – 5* – Still not on his best form but clearly our most influential player on the afternoon. Only an utter simpleton would’ve substituted him, we were already second best in midfield. Excellent corner for our first goal, good work rate, decent passing. Not the Adams from last term yet - but easily our best player on the day.

Devitt – 3 – Anonymous for large parts of the afternoon, struggled to get in the game and when he had the ball didn’t use it well. I’m not sure what position he was supposed to be playing, I don’t think he knew either. He’s probably still on the pitch somewhere, desperately looking for the way off.

Grainger – 2 – Gets an extra mark for the goal but a horrible first half playing in left midfield. It’s not a mystery we’re struggling when a player like Grainger is our captain, he’s barely a left back let alone a midfielder. I don’t reckon Chesterfield could believe their luck to have a floundering oaf lumbering about in the middle of the park – it’s no wonder they looked good. We’ll never get out of tier four with a player of this standard anywhere near our team. He needs to be rested – permanently.

Hope – 1 – Ran about a bit, indulged in some pointless fouling and whinging to the referee. Wasted the ball virtually everytime he had it. An insult to our number nine shirt. I don’t know what he is, but he’s not a centre-forward. Again, so easy to defend against the Chesterfield players were almost laughing at him.


Bennett – 4 – Really nicely, crisply, hit shot for the goal, but honestly – the rest of his contribution sucked. That being said he was more effective than Hope – and the finish from distance proved he is more technically gifted than Hope can ever dream to be. If we can get the ball to his feet with him facing goal or we can lay the ball into his path – we may have a player. But he badly needs to improve his all round game.

Rigg – 2 – I’m not sure how he has jumped ahead of Cosgrove in the pecking order. Has shown nothing and didn’t show anything today.

Parkes – 4 – Looked a tiny improvement on the rest of our defence. Will be unlucky not to start the next match after this debacle.