DIAMONDS aren’t forever. I risk sounding like a broken record, but from the sidelines we can all see this ultra-narrow midfield system has had its day at Portman Road, while Paul Jewell’s stubbornness is testing the fans’ and club’s backing.
He says it is not about systems, it is about players. But playing square pegs in round holes, as with Josh Carson at Nottingham Forest on Saturday, simply beats down his argument and shoots us in the foot from the kick-off.
So after clawing defeat from the jaws of victory in the 3-2 loss at the City Ground, let’s look at some cold, hard facts: The diamond system Jewell has insisted on has yielded 14 points out of 30 – the same as a very average Barnsley have managed.
The surprise element is dead and the managers of Palace, Millwall, Doncaster and now Forest (zero points from 12) have all admitted their plan to counter it worked to perfection.
We are conceding far too many goals from crosses into our box. So, a) we need to stop them coming in and b) we need to pick players up and make sure we get to the ball before they do.
It should be simple stuff for Premier League experienced footballers.
We can blame Jewell for a system that has been found out, but the desire to get to a ball first is down to the players – it’s time for them to stand up and be counted.
Four points from the relegation zone, and this season is again on the verge of collapse.
But the nature of the Championship means we are still only a couple of wins, hopefully against Reading at Portman Road on Saturday and at Burnley on Tuesday, from being back on track.
Calls for the manager’s head are way too premature and I’d be amazed if PJ is not afforded time to turn this around — we are not a Leicester City who chop and change with the wind.
So to Jewell I say this: Drop the stubborn side; drop the diamond. Play Lee Martin and Josh Carson on the wings and inject some pace into the team and don’t be afraid to drop one of your midfield ‘superstars’.
And to the fans I say this: Get behind the Blues and sing and encourage for all you are worth on Saturday – as Delia once infamously said: “Where are you? Let’s be ‘avin’ you!”