Talking points from another defeat
Another game, another defeat. Time is running out for Jaap Stam, as the Royals are heading closer and closer towards the relegation zone. We look at the few talking points from the loss to Brentford on Saturday
It was better, but still not good enough - The performance on Saturday was a lot better than what was on show against Burton and Birmingham, but ultimately the performance still wasn't good enough and still resulted in a loss. Such a low standard has been set this season that the fact we can even say the performance on Saturday was an improvement has showed how much we have regressed since last season.
If we weren't already, we are definitely in a relegation scrap - We are just four points above the drop zone and that gap is getting smaller by the week and with 18 games still to play, it is not looking pretty currently. The bottom three are currently occupied by Burton, Birmingham and Sunderland, who are far from incapable of getting themselves out of it - with Birmingham and Burton beating us at home in recent months. All this stuff about us being 'too good to go down' is utter rubbish, we are in trouble at the moment.
The lack of creativity in the midfield is a concern - A midfield three of Kelly, van den Berg and Evans may seem solid from a defensive side, but offers very little going forward. Kelly struggled to flourish in a more advanced role and Stam even responded by putting Kermorgant centre midfield late on, which says he has absolutely no faith in what midfielders he had on the bench. With Swift injured, we are really struggling for a spark in midfield.
The lack of movement in the transfer market is a bigger concern - With just over a week to go in the transfer market, it seems we are no closer to bringing in fresh blood to liven up this pretty stale squad. You look at the teams around us acquiring decent loans from Premier League clubs and it begs the question, what on earth are we doing? The loan market in my opinion is one we need to be exploiting, we need to inject something new into the side.
Stam is nearing the end - The owners seem distant and Gourlay is standing by him, but realistically, the Dutchman doesn't have long left. The players' confidence is shot, the attendences are lowering at an alarming rate, there is a massively toxic atmosphere at the club - they are not good signs. I know there are not many good options out there currently, but we are looking in serious relegation trouble with no hint of a change in plan.