Date: 7th September 2016 at 9:09pm
Written by:

Despite an acceptable start to the season and an impressive result against Doncaster last Saturday, an unfortunate habit of Steve Davis appears to be refusing to go away.

One of the major issues that Crewe fans often have with Steve Davis is his team`s tendency to sit back and welcome pressure once they`ve taken a lead. This is often extremely frustrating to watch – and it often results in Crewe conceding. It suggests a certain mentality of inferiority that Davis has instilled; that we aren`t good enough to beat teams comprehensively. Results under Steve Davis support this suggestion – since the 2012/13 season, only 10 games out of 144 have been won by 2 goals or more.

This might seem particularly over-scrupulous following Saturday`s win, but it can`t be avoided that our attack is vastly superior to our defence this season. Davis opted not to bolster the back line during the summer, so it`s therefore only logical that we play to our strengths and try and build on leads after we take them – our near-on inability to keep a clean sheet means that setting up for 1-0 wins simply won`t work. Entertainment is still essential, and a game that I personally enjoyed immensely is the 3-3 with Hartlepool; it felt like a hark back to the Dario era where we`d simply try and outscore the opposition week in, week out. The result wasn`t ideal, but it entertained fans at Gresty Road in a way seldom seen in recent years.

Of course, finding the right balance is essential. Results will always come first, and grinding out hard-fought wins can be incredibly satisfying to watch, especially away from home. Sometimes, though, an attempt to grind out a win can instead be taken as downright negativity – after taking the lead on Saturday, for example, we sat deep for an hour and invited pressure until the inevitable equaliser game. The fact that we went straight down the other end and scored the winner was surprising, but cannot be relied on. On another day we would have lost thanks to the negativity (and many fans expected this). Sadly I feel that this particular tactic of Davis`s will come back to bite us and prevent us from challenging for promotion if it continues.

So all we need to do is attack more, score more, entertain fans more and win more games. It`s pretty easy really. Why am I not a football manager again?