The sorry show that made me sorry I was there ... David Rawson's Rotherham United fan column

​I’D wasted my time. I’ve seen good. And bad. And a lot of average. I’ve been angry, joyous, desolate. Never have I questioned the point of it all.

I get it. Against teams at the top end of the league, be hard to beat. There’s something in watching us pull that off, even if it’s not pretty, earning points against the odds.

Do that and you have a platform, a chance to reset the table by giving those at the lower end a real game.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Enter Stoke. They weren’t anything special. They weren’t physically imposing or that skilful. They weren’t full of pace. They weren’t smart passers. They were there, as they say, to be got at.

Match action from Rotherham United v Stoke City. Picture: Jim BrailsfordMatch action from Rotherham United v Stoke City. Picture: Jim Brailsford
Match action from Rotherham United v Stoke City. Picture: Jim Brailsford

But we didn’t get at them.

We didn’t even try to get at them. We played plodding passes across the back, ran out of options, lumped it forward, gave possession away.

We created a fragment of space for a forward run, started to drive into it, stopped, remembering that wasn’t the plan, played it backwards.

We did this for the first 20 minutes. Which makes sense. Don’t give them space to grow into the game. We did it for the next 25 minutes. Okay. Keep it tight until half-time.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

We did it when kicking off the second half 1-0 down. Right. Don’t let the game get away from you if you’ve conceded late in the half. We did it when they started making subs to disrupt the flow of the game. Maybe take a look at the reshuffled opponent’s formation and then have a go?

We did it with 15 minutes left. We did it with five minutes left. We did it with 40 seconds of added time remaining.

The new manager has an impossible task. His job, really, is to show he’s the man to lead a go at the third division next year. Making us hard to beat against top sides is a good thing.

But there’s got to be more.

I don’t care if it’s his players or not. I want to see my side at least try to win, to get something in adversity.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

If we’re not going to do it against the 19th-placed team, at home, then when? Where? Against whom?

If we’d lost 2-0, to a heartbreaking late counter, I’d have felt that hollow feeling. Again. Maybe a sense of injustice. Again. But I’d have felt something.

Instead, I left the ground empty, after a kind of shrug of a game. Wondering if there’d been a point to turning up at all.

Related topics: