Vital Wycombe would like to thank guest writer Dale Jenkins for the following report and opinion piece.
Wycombe Wanderers slumped to a third consecutive pasting at Chesterfield this afternoon losing 3-1, and no-one would have complained if it had been more.
In the interest of fairness, this was not quite as bad as the previous two debacles witnessed on this ground, although that isn`t saying much. To their credit, Wycombe`s attacking triumvirate of Kuffour, Morgan and Grant all showed good movement and some zippy passing throughout the match. On the other hand, the leaky defence was so desperate it seems beyond repair.
Things soon went awry when Craig Westcarr missed a sitter, and in the next attack disaster struck. Stuart Lewis` woeful back header caused needless trouble as Marc Richards bore down on goal, only to be checked by Leon Johnson. He was the last defender and the referee had no option but to brandish the red card. Anthony Stewart immediately replaced the unfortunate Matt Parsons.
Wycombe briefly rallied, with Kuffour heading a great chance straight at O`Donnell, but it was no surprise that Wanderers held on for barely two minutes at the back. Marc Richards was given forever to make his way down the Wanderers` left and he crossed for the completely unmarked Atkinson to give the hosts the lead.
Nikki Bull made a superb one handed save to stop a Marc Richards header finding the bottom corner on 18 minutes.
The lead was doubled on 26 minutes, Sam Togwell`s long ranger being headed in from close range by a suspiciously offside looking Jack Lester.
With barely half an hour on the clock it seemed like a damage limitation job, which is a total disgrace bearing in mind the previous shambles that the supporters have overseen on this ground alone. Lessons are clearly not being learned and there is consistently no progress despite the supporters constantly being told that things will improve.
The brightest spark for Wycombe was Joel Grant, who consistently troubled the Chesterfield left back. Some enterprising play saw the ball break to Lewis, but his dipping shot was saved. Later, Grant beat three players before curling a shot over the bar. It was the sort of performance required from every Wycombe player, but he was doing it more or less on his own.
Chesterfield could have added to their lead on numerous occasions, Lester just unable to connect with Richards` cross and a Chesterfield player preventing a certain goal by blocking a shot on our own goal line.
Olly Taylor came on after 70 minutes and acquitted himself well. Strong, and holding the ball up well, he looks a different option that needs trying. Immediately after his introduction, his presence at a corner caused O`Donnell to flap and Trotman to slice the ball into his own net. Yes, ‘own goal` is now our most prolific marksman.
Somehow Wycombe were still in the game, but after 83 minutes Hird put paid to the dwindling hope when he headed home from a free kick, giving the scoreline a fairer look.
In all honesty, it was no surprise to see Gary Waddock escape down the tunnel, or hear his post-match comments centre around the idea that things have to improve, that we have injuries, and that we aren`t putting our form on the training ground into a match day. The truth is there are only so many times you can hear these excuses before the words become hollow, empty and meaningless.
It might not have been the biggest embarrassment yet – take your pick from either previous visit to this stadium, the home game to Huddersfield, or the defeats at Yeovil, Walsall, Brentford, Rochdale and Bournemouth amongst others. But an embarrassing trend is being set and unless things change we may soon face a challenge to our status as a Football League club.
After just five games the club finds itself in the bottom four, and unless things change, a relegation battle is certainly on the cards.
Gary Waddock has signed a number of sub-standard players for this football club and overseen a number of horrible defeats. It`s a shame but things are just not working out.
Despite the excellent promotion he can rightfully claim credit for in 2010/11, two relegations and this season`s dire form to date are unacceptable.
Waddock does not appear to know his best eleven, cannot seem to motivate his players or find a system or shape where we don`t ship goals. There is no coherent organisation or discipline. The evidence: no clean sheets in fifteen games. No clean sheets in 29 away games. Embarrassing statistics.
We have some decent individuals at the club for this level. Bull is a great keeper, Doherty is a solid defender, and there is some creative spark from the likes of Grant on their day. However the manager cannot seem to get the best out of his players and they are constantly underperforming.
The time has come for a change. I would seriously advocate using the Beavon money to bring a replacement in, someone who can actually give the players a kick up the backside and get some passion back into wearing the Wycombe shirt. I would certainly not trust Gary Waddock with any more funds to pay the next batch of underperforming players.
It`s only my opinion, but I spoke to a good number of people today and the vast majority think it is now time for a change. These are the people loyal enough to still be paying through the roof, many others are already at the end of their tether. Maybe this is an unrepresentative sample but I don`t think so. It may be costly in financial terms to make this change, but the threat of Conference football would be more costly and attendances are plummeting anyway with no genuine sign of improvement.
Time for the Trust to act.
Time to get the many supporters back on-side before it`s too late and our 125 year anniversary becomes a season to forget.
This should be a year to celebrate the pride of being a Wycombe supporter while looking forward to 125 more years of cheering on the Blues. Not rolling over and letting the opposition walk all over us and ending up in our worst ever position since joining the Football League. We haven`t learned anything from conceding 101 goals last season and we are now underperforming at League Two level.
Time`s up, Mr Waddock.
Time for the new era to really begin.
Ratings: Bull 6, Thompson 5 (Taylor 6), Doherty 4, Johnson N/A, Dunne 5, Parsons N/A (Stewart 4), Lewis 3, Spring 4, Grant 7*, Kuffour 5 (Ainsworth 5), Morgan 6
Writer: Dale Jenkins
Feedback and debate welcomed on Twitter – @djwyc14