Debrief - Gillingham

Diamonds Are A Tether

Thomas Gadd Photography

Thomas Gadd Photography

Crikey Moses, we’re only 4 matches into the new season and the panic button has been slapped in the fashion of a Hen Doo bust up!

The long and short of it is that Gillingham have always been a bogey team for City, but for the majority of VP faithful (and Phil Parkinson) last night’s game was the worst performance since Sarah Harding appearing on Coronation Street a few nights ago.

Barring Hanson’s goal after around the 15 minute mark (which he could’ve blown into the net) the Bantams were extremely disappointing and created next to nothing all evening – it was an uncharacteristic Phil Parkinson performance which was comparable to an unsolvable Rubixcube. The beauty and glamour of night games at VP is the atmosphere that the stadium generates, it brings Goosebumps to every part of your body (even intimate ones if you’re lucky) and the “pull” that playing towards The Kop in the second half is mightily important and impressive.

Thomas Gadd Photography

Thomas Gadd Photography

Come 7:40pm, the first hurdle was jumped, City won the toss and decided to play towards The Kop in the second half, even with the rain spitting and bats drunkenly swooping around the JCT600 Stand it was set up for a strong performance to avenge the previous week’s displays that had already put worry in the minds of loyal fans.

The problem is – no matter what happens (in football or in general life) its seems to be modern society’s way to worry about everything and anything – they’re both contagious for the majority for one reason or another – people expect and demand things right there, right now – I’m blaming Amazon the silly Prime buggers.

It’s clear to me that Marshall and Anderson are nowhere near match fit and this is why PP is having to play a containing style of play, it’s just so, SO predictable and teams are setting up exactly the same to cancel out any threat. The difference between City and the opposition is that the opposition have a deep experienced understanding of their formation and have players who play their best football in the diamond, at the moment we look absolutely petrified and if we continue to play Hanson with Davies up top (two big lads) then sticking to a narrow formation doesn’t make any senseL!

City are really lacking a leader on the field, somebody like (dare I say it) Joey Barton who can grab the game and the players by the scruff of their necks in certain situations, somebody who isn’t Andrew Davies. Is Nathan Clarke this man we are needing to step up? Can he get fully fit and form a formidable partnership with Rory McArdle? If the long awaited signing isn’t completed in the next week or so then it’s going to be forced to work out, as good as he is, GaryLiddle is not a defender.

Thomas Gadd Photography

Thomas Gadd Photography

I don’t agree with the panic, last night’s game was simply a shock to the system as there was a complete lack of idea’s, creativity and the most important thing was the disheartened effort by the team as a collective – something we have rarely witnessed under Phil’s reign. 

Luke James on the other hand looked like a man on a mission, a player who I haven’t seen hurry defences since Nahki Wells by chasing down anyone in possession and by looking over Twitter last night I’m glad this was acknowledged by many of the fans that were there last night. When times are tough in games the crowd need to be excited and moments of brilliance can spur on the crowd which spills onto the pitch as the 12thMan – there was nothing for the fans to shout about last night or create any sort of excitement around all 4 home stands.

I disagree with the word “pressure” that has been lumped on Parky over the past couple of weeks.

What many fans won’t see is that during his post-match interview with The Pulse it was clear as day that Parky was devastated with the performance and looked emotionally frustrated as he begun to dissect what played out in front of a close to 18,000 attendance over the airwaves, he was the man most hurt with what unfolded during last nights’ 90 minutes.

The thing I admire about PP is his honesty and calmness during interviews after games, mostly when we lose, I hate the footballing cliché of “we go again next week” bla bla bla but the low feeling after a defeat is evaporated with a Parky assessment and I think that’s because there’s a big belief and trust in what he says.

I’m positive that this Saturday’s performance against Barnsley WILL be better than last night and even if we do lose to Barnsley – it’s a positive, committed performance we all want to see, nobody gets promoted after 5 games.

In the words of D:Ream – “things can only get beddah”.

The images in this article are provided by Thomas Gadd Photography. Click below or on any of the images above to see the full gallery.