It’s been a frantic week, and my hands are desperately trying to force me into typing that “we’re coming back down to earth with a bump” following the trip to the Emirates.
I suppose I could do that, and nobody would bat an eyelid, but it wouldn’t really be true of the current situation. You see, for me the Arsenal game was a low point in itself; a symbol of just how far we have fallen, in stature, quality, expectation, belief and acceptance.
Of course Oldham’s a nasty sounding fixture in comparison – it’s certainly no trip down to sexy London – but it just feels like it cements everything about the position of the club right now, and simply offers a continuation of the lowliness from the other night, rather than any particular contrast.
As a bunch of fans, obviously we were good, turning out in our droves. There was lots of singing, and even more mucky language, which is a sign of the very best fans (or so I’m led to believe). I would note however that most of the songs nowadays are mainly of a self-deprecating nature. While that’s clearly a useful tool to defend a 6-1 defeat and guard against any comebacks from the opposing fans, it don’t half make you feel small. I know I felt like a right tit.
Saying all that, a hammering to Oldham and Wednesday night will suddenly seem like a high-point.
We best take take a look at them, then.
How are they getting on?
They are in 19th place in League One, with only 6 points from 7 games. Not good, but still better that us.
They’ve only won once in 9 league and cup games this season, and that was away at Pompey. Their home record is pretty tame as they’ve draw three and lost one in their four league games this season, although as a general point, they’ve put in fairly decent performances for large portions of the last three, or so I hear.
There’s no denying it’s been a bit of a naff old start for them. But so far, opposition form has mattered very little to us; not when ours has been just as bad.
Who could cause us trouble?
Matt Derbyshire, Jose Baxter, Sky Blues legend* Robbie Simpson, and Lee Croft. These are the names you’ll recognise the most, and in all likeliness, three of those will cause us some menace.
Derbyshire has just arrived as a shock loanee from Nottingham Forest, and has started well with two goals in two. Jose Baxter is the former Everton youth player who made a few starts for them, but never really looked close to gaining first team football. He was released in the summer and following a trial with Crystal Palace, he has been snapped up by Paul Dickov. He’s had three impressive sub appearances so far, and has already scored in one, so he could well make his way into the starting lineup this week.
Lee Croft is an familiar name, who is an ever-present this season in the Oldham midfield having joined on loan from Derby, where you’ll recognise him from.
One to look out for is newly-capped South African international Dean Furman, who is also the latics’ captain. He plays in the middle, but likes to move forward, and Dickov has already claimed that he and central partner James Wesolowski can be the best midfield pairing in League One. High praise – can they live up to it?
* just because he’s on Twitter.
Sky Blues team news
We have more players than you can shake a stick at, but finding a cohesive mix is proving elusive.
Having missed the midweek hammering, ineligible duo David McGoldrick and Conor Henderson are available again, and McGoldrick at least should feature from the start, having generally impressed (I use that term loosely) in his previous performances so far.
Carl Baker was handed the captain’s armband the other evening following Kilbane’s omission, and it will be particularly interesting to see how this plays out here. The position of Zinedine in the squad for Oldham, seeing as he had played every second of the season until Wednesday, will give a good idea of Robins’ feelings towards him.
Cody McDonald still appears to way off the first team, on account of his fatness (allegedly).
Reece Brown once more made some crucially bad mistakes in midweek, but I get the feeling that Robins is pretty keen on him, so he could keep his place.
Another partially impressive performer from the Emirates was new boy Franck Moussa. He’s not quite got the fitness yet, but Robins will no doubt be looking to him to provide some much needed spark.
You’re looking at one league victory between the two of us. Someone will have to break the mould if they’re to take all three points. Personally, I don’t think this is the game for us to do it.
Don’t get me wrong – I think we desperately need to win, and there’s no real excuse for this poor form. I just can’t see them recovering from the embarrassment and mindset of Wednesday in time. I’m going to say 1-1.