It wouldn’t be the Millwall way without a huge wake up call along the way would it? After suffering our first defeat of the season, the aftermath is a reaction I don’t think anyone would’ve anticipated.
I’ve tried three times to write my player ratings article, as I try to do each and every game. However, each time I find myself repeating the same flaws and negatives for each and every player.
To sum the match up, Peterborough were clearly on song and up for the match, whereas we were as far opposite as physically possible. Slow to react to attacking movement, sluggish with our passing on the ball, it was a real let down from the team, with many fans hoping for a typical good result on the road.
We all knew what to expect from the home side, as I had mentioned over and over again in my last post, they’re a side who like to play from the back, and cause havoc up top with their three forwards leading the line. The movement done our defenders, with Craig and Webster having no chance to keep up with Maddison, Taylor and Nichols.
I don’t think any player comes out of that game with any credit, our young keeper who is the best in the league was far from that. Our strikers who dominate defences done nothing, and our midfield full of energy and ability to get stuck in were nowhere to be seen.
It couldn’t have gone any worse if we decided to just stop playing, and despite this result only being our first of the season, it seems there is more behind the scenes that need to be rectified as soon as possible. Okay, we got battered and played off the park in a 5-1 defeat, however what has caused major speculation is the post match comments from manager Neil Harris. Obviously hurt and let down by his players, the manager had some choice words after the match…
After one defeat, granted a terrible result and performance, the whole interview after the game feels like overkill. If we had walked away from the night as 5-1 winners, comments like this would be nowhere to be seen. These words from Harris just feel like excuses where his players were outclassed on the night, Peterborough done a job on us, having clearly done their homework.
Nonetheless the words are worrying, with no one quite sure who they were aimed at from the squad. My logical guess is the words were aimed at Jordan Archer, with only a year to go on his existing deal, it’s been mentioned a couple of times in pre-season how the club hoped to sit down and tie the keeper down to a longer deal.
Having let Forde go out on loan to Portsmouth, and Harris confirming he won’t recall the keeper we’ve put all our eggs into one basket with Archer. Now our number one with no direct competition from his understudy Tom King, I think he and his agent feel they have bargaining power to get a deal to suit them. Of course, if you were a key player, it’s not out of order to be pushing for a deal worthy of this squad status.
Another talking point from the night has been the reaction from the fans in the stands on Tuesday, with others believing we are too quick to be negative and give stick to the players. To be honest, having been at the game on Tuesday every fan at London Road has a right to moan about being 3-0 down after 20 minutes, especially when you factor in the costs of following the club.
At half time, fans either love him or hate him but Steve Morison obviously didn’t take kindly to the stick and was giving it back to our own fans. But for me Morison didn’t have a leg to stand on, and giving it back hasn’t done him any favours, what does he want us to do when we are getting thrashed and the team are performing in such a manner?
With Harris coming out like this, what does this do to the morale of the squad? You can guarantee changes will be made on Saturday for our game against Sheffield United, and you’d imagine the likes of Nelson and Onyedinma may get their chance to make their mark on the first XI and keep their place in the team.
Going into a game like Sheffield United at home though, there isn’t anyone else I’d want in charge than Harris. Will we win? No one quite knows, however one thing is for sure it will be a side leaving everything out on the pitch and doing their best to earn the three points up for grabs.