Karl Robinson I remembered earlier in the season was extolling the virtues of his squad. He was a little bit more on message then with Kait and Roly. I have always liked the Scouser’s honesty but recently he has stepped out a little from behind the screen to be a bit more forthright.
Injuries are part and parcel of football, particularly modern day football because I am sure in the 70’a and 80’s players only missed matches if one of their legs had fallen off. Building a squad is all about compensating for missing players due to injuries, resting out of form players and giving the manager formation and tactical options. Robinson has none of these and the cracks are showing.
It was telling recently that Robinson said his only conversation this season with Duchatelet was when he had to convince him to sign Leon Best. A player that hadn’t played for a year and was only required to sign for a couple of months after being on trial for, well a couple of months.
Now we enter the important Christmas period, a run of four games that have become even more vital following our recent downturn in form, with a laundry list of injuries.
Billy Clarke is out for the season with an ACL (a similar injury that ended my late blossoming indoor football career). He is a real loss and had been an astute signing by Robinson. Added to Clarke, Pearce was possibly rushed back too soon and now has knee issues.
We always knew that any injuries to Pearce, Ricky Holmes and Ahmed Kashi would have a severe disruption to the team. Holmes, Kashi as well as Jake Forster-Caskey, who is out until the new year with a quad injury, were all key players in our early season. Nonetheless they were all losing a touch of form, probably from being overused, but hopefully they will each return stronger.
Tariqe Fosu, Patrick Bauer, Regan Charles-Cook and Lewis Page are also in the Physio room and Harry Lennon is only just coming back to fitness. It’s a horribly long list but it is what happens.
Only three players will start tomorrow that began our opening game of the season against Bristol Rovers. Solly, whose injury situation still needs to be managed, Dasilva, who has no natural replacement and Amos. That opening game’s 18 also featured Novak, Watt and Crofts, none of whom were replaced when sold at the last embers of the transfer window.
Bare bones and academy players. Different season, same shit.