TOWN FLIER: An abject Crewe side should have been roasted

Swindon Town FC

Swindon Town FC

First published in Sport by

COMIC and Chelsea fan David Baddiel was granted a brief audience with Jose Mourinho last week in order to pen an article for the Radio Times, writes Danny Hall.

One Mourinho tidbit was to insist that to be a show football had to be competitive.

His opinion crossed my mind as an utterly abject Crewe fell to a 2-0 defeat against Swindon Town on Saturday.

It was a dull passionless affair. The only tackle of note (from Nathan Thompson) might have received a yellow card if it wasn’t so early in the game. And the only other occasion the ref may have considered his notebook was for an Andy Williams dive in the area during the first half.

I felt embarrassed for the 100-odd Crewe fans who paid to travel and then watch that rubbish. At the very least they were entitled to expect the team to leave nothing on the pitch. But all 10 outfield players left it as fresh as paint.

The honourable exception to any criticism was keeper Garratt who kept his side in the match with three decent first-half saves.

You can only beat what is put in front of you, so the cliché goes, but it was disappointing that Swindon could not take a very poor Crewe to the cleaners.

Some will now point to Swindon’s lofty position in the league (sixth), three points off the top; I can only see Swindon’s shortcomings up front and the openness of a rather mismatched back three.

We have met Crewe and Scunthorpe, who prop up the table as well as two other bottom-half teams Gillingham and Crawley. Upcoming games against tougher sides will tell us a lot more.

Town were sloppy and the passes overhit ran well into double figures; even Nathan Byrne who has made an excellent start to the season wasted several good crossing opportunities as did his fellow wing back Brad Smith. And we seem to have eschewed proper corners for short ones which all came to nothing.

As a founder member of YKAS (Yaser Kasim Appreciation Society) thank goodness for the Iraqi midfielder who provided some of the rare moments of quality, not least the opening goal.

After an indifferent start by him which included two poor attempted free kicks on goal, he suddenly produced two sublime touches in midfield, controlling a dropping ball from height before shimmying past two tackles and coping with a charging challenge with no more than the drop of a shoulder to leave his rival floundering.

Suddenly confident he tried his dead ball luck for the third time moments later with predictable results – a beauty into the top corner.

Elsewhere there was little to enthuse about. There was far too much football from the Ray Wilkins school of passing – which is not what the dwindling crowds (6,500 on Saturday) will want to see.

Chairman Lee Power needs to work some magic in the transfer market if he wants those stay-at-home fans to come back and achieve the average 8,000 home gate on which his budgetary plans are built.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree