Saturday’s defeat against Ipswich ended a humiliating week for Millwall, losing 1-0 to Blackpool was the start of it. However this would later be beaten with a crushing 4-0 defeat to League One side Bradford City, in the 3rd round replay of the FA Cup. Only a win needed to setup a glory tie against Chelsea, a team we last played 20 years ago, incidentally this was a penalty shoot out win in the FA Cup, if ever an omen.. But the side didn’t look up to it, from the first minute Bradford were the better side. Winning 4 corners in the first 3 minutes it was clear what was coming, this wasn’t helped by Beevers receiving his marching orders in the 6th minute, but the writing was on the wall.
Despite being down to 10 men you still would expect a fight from the side, however as often this year we rolled over and allowed Bradford to win. 610 fans travelled up to Bradford including myself still believing that we could’ve won, delusional as it is I really thought we would take the game to The Bantams and come out with a solid win and a clean sheet. Maybe I should’ve looked to the first game as a reference, a 3-3 draw in which we couldn’t handle the 2 up front in John Stead and James Hanson. This was the case once again, despite lining up with 3 central defenders – Shittu, Beevers and Dunne – they again ran us ragged with the sending off coming with a challenge on Hanson who was clear on goal. Come the end of the game and many fans already gone looking for a head start on the M1 the side was booed off. Booing is a hot topic of late however continuous losses and no sign of fight allows me to boo, I’ve never left a game early, and would happily clap a side that was well beaten as long as there was fight in the side. This wasn’t the case on Wednesday night, no 50 50 challenges won and no sense of pride for our club. It left an anger in me and others, we spend our hard earned money going to games up and for the players out there to fold over in the way they did just isn’t right, for me it didn’t look like a side that was playing for their manager either. At least at the end the players came over and took the hate; lead by Webster and Shittu I may add. However where was their manager? Straight down the tunnel and not willing to come over to apologise for that performance, wasn’t Holloway the first over when we beat Fulham at the start of the season?
You might be reading this with the impression I want Holloway out? Well this hasn’t been my view all season however recently it is clear he has ran out of ideas, and is now looking to overhaul the squad. I agree, we need new players but the blame lays on both players and manager,Holloway is now statistically the worst Millwall manager ever, a win ratio in the region of 20% backs this up. The question is how much longer can we go with no change to form? I back the chairman giving Holloway the chance to bring in new players, but doing this in January could either make or break us, it is panic buying and this didn’t work for Holloway when at Palace. Blackpool was a slowly built team, yes a cheap side and a great achievement but it didn’t happen over night.
Looking at Saturday in total 7 changes made from the Blackpool game, with Sid Nelson as captain at the age of 19. It was a team that had a go but lacked quality for me, we need 3 to 4 more players and then go again. Me personally, I would give Holloway until mid-end of February to prove he can turn our fortunes around, if all fails time he went. Fans are split whether the manager should stay or go, with the problem often being who would we get as a replacement? For the short term if it was to be we should go for Warnock, probably the only man that could come in and get the players working for their money. No one wants us to go down, however I do look at the side and believe if we were to go down it could be a blessing in disguise. We have good young players coming through and playing in league one could potentially be a chance to bring them into the side as permanent fixtures. But let’s not think of going down for now, with over a week to prepare for the Reading game, it gives Holloway a chance to work on the group and fans should expect a much better performance.
Thanks for reading.