Date: 15th March 2019 at 9:25am
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Written by: Mitchell Bray

Since the Villa debacle and the latest charge by the FA, to the woeful results of the last three games made worse by the general form of the usually dependable players. Couple all this with the resurgent Villa, life in general for the blues supporters is one of misery.

With EFL announcement later this month regarding our fate with FFP it seems we are always stuck in the mire. Whatever the outcome our players simply have to start performing again. That is the bottom line for Garry Monk. Points are needed if we are to survive this league as the margins are getting mightily thin should a twelve points deduction materialise.

The general feeling appears to be that 58 points should accommodate the loss of the expected deduction. Only eight more needed but games are running out and with very hard games coming up, Monks men need to produce. Many point to the strikers and wide men and the correct formation, but for me, it is the woeful midfield that is the problem.

Goals from Keifenbeld, Gardners and now Davis has to come. We have by far the lowest midfield contribution of goals in all divisions. They all huff and puff but nothing is remotely constructive. Perhaps they simply haven’t got what it takes and I can accept that, but chances in recent games have not been taken. My real hope for our survival is that the players do respond and snap out of this poor run of defeats and man up to the next Vital final nine games.

Players like Jota and Maghoma are perfect examples of our current loss of form – lack of energy, poor vision and general skill. Preston North End have all-round ability with no known names that trip off the lips but their desire and know-how spells success. We had that until a few weeks ago and for some reason it has all evaporated.

Whatever it is must be rectified soon as I feel Garry Monk will be on the edge of criticism by some quarters. Losing runs hurt everybody including highly regarded managers. In my opinion, he has to keep to the trusted old guard of Juke, Adams, Maghoma and Jota as Mrabti and Mahoney are not the right fit so far. Keifenbeld and both Gardners to start with Davis considered as a fourth midfielder at the expense of Jota. This all based on securing the needed eight points. After that is achieved then Monk can then select with more flowing football. Preston is the game Monk can stop the rot but only by him using his usually ‘sensible hat on team selection’ and not the hat we saw him use at Hull and at home to Millwall.

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