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Peterborough United

Sorry Gary, It’s Now Time To Go.

I should be writing a match report describing what happened at the game. However, going back over it in detail will only hurt too much. Today we were a disgrace. I complete and utter disgrace. I’ve seen some poor performances this season but none have been as bad as that was. It was a pitiful attempt from every player on that pitch.

This season was supposed to be different. It was meant to be one where we won promotion back to the Championship. Again we were promised the world. The manager’s appointment was supposed to have “shocked the world of football”. We were meant to have a better squad than last time we were at this level. We were all set. The title was ours. And once again, just like last season, we bought into it. As a fanbase we fell for all the optimism, the promises and ultimately it looks like we are about to be let down again.

We started the campaign well. That’s what worries me. When the players were trying to prove they warranted a place we looked like a fantastic, free-scoring side. Promotion looked easy. But, gradually, we have got worse. Far worse. As Johnson has influenced this team everyone has gone backwards. Today we didn’t even looked like we knew how to play his system. A lop-sided 3-5-2 formation, where we seemed to play without a midfield. No-one knew whether to close down or stand-off or who to mark. There was nothing. No creative spark. No defence. Just a wealth of confusion.

What was Johnson’s reaction? You would presume to be shouting at his players. At least trying to get some instructions to a team who looked out of ideas from the first whistle. Instead he was a lost figure. Standing, arms behind his back, just watching. There was no reaction. He is out of ideas and doesn’t know how to get this team to play.

Numerous players have gone downhill since his arrival. Boyd, Mackail-Smith, McLean and McCann all have been nowhere recently. In-fact that latter looks awful at the minute. Constantly dallying and giving possession away he has become error prone. He’s obviously talented, we’ve seen that at the start of the season, but what has gone wrong with him? To be fair, that downwards nature epitomises the direction this team is going with Johnson at the helm.

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People will point towards this and say it’s a knee-jerk reaction. It’s not though. There is something drastically wrong at this football club; that much is obvious. We were never this poor under Darren Ferguson. Heck, we were never this poor under Mark Cooper. Bournemouth, Brighton, Tranmere, Brentford and Hartlepool were all supposed to be “blips”. This is no blip. This is something we are going to have to get used to because we are, put simply, an embarrassment at times.

We have won two of our last eight games and both times we were fortunate. Against Swindon we didn’t defend but got away with three points because, as an attacking unit, we were cohesive and we made a lot of chances. At Walsall, luckily, we were clinical. But is having four shots against a team that look relegation certainties really good enough? Especially when our goal was under attack all game. These problems have been evident since the start of the season yet nothing seems to be done to rectify them.

Of course, this can’t be blamed entirely on Gary Johnson. The players have to improve. Because they were shambolic today and they have been on numerous occasions this season. Some don’t look interested for the majority of matches, others don’t look good enough. There seems to be a mentality amongst our players now where they only turn up when they want to.

You also have to credit Charlton. They were effective enough to capitalise on our errors and deserved their comfortable victory. However, we made them look far better than they actually are. A well organised side? Certainly. A team that should be able to beat us that comfortably? Definitely not.

I called for stability at this football club when the pressure began to build on Johnson. I didn’t feel getting rid of him was the right thing to do. But, nothing has improved. Nothing has changed. None of the problems are being rectified and he is out of ideas. We need a change. Something is drastically wrong at this football club. It is time for Johnson to leave.

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