Date: 11th December 2006 at 4:21pm
Written by:

Welsh International David Vaughan has launched an attack on manager Dario Gradi’s tactics. After Saturday’s 4-1 defeat, Vaughan accused Gradi of playing “a lot of long balls”, claiming the club “has gone downhill really and something needs to change.”

Until recently, despite his poor performances, manager Dario Gradi has kept faith with the midfielder as he looks to regain the sort of form that helped Crewe narrowly avoid relegation in the 2004/05 campaign. However, Vaughan’s recent nonchalance has infuriated Dario Gradi, who couldn’t hide his anger with Vaughan following the home draw with Chesterfield a few weeks ago.

Unfortunately, Vaughan has met Gradi’s decision to drop him with a sense of self-pity. Not only has Vaughan labelled Saturday’s second half as “pointless” – perhaps not the attitude a substitute should have, but the cocky youngster also noted, “It was a bit of a blow being left out, but it wasn’t totally unexpected as I know what Dario is like and for some reason or another he seems to single me out rather than the others.” Vaughan also claims that he “couldn’t put a finger on anyone who has been doing well”.

Vaughan has seen team-mates Dean Ashton, Rob Hulse, Steve Jones, Steve Foster, Kenny Lunt, Madjid Bougherra and David Wright leave for bigger clubs and more lucrative deals in recent seasons. As a result, Vaughan admits, “I’ve been looking to move on for the last couple of years now”, yet his performances continue to disappoint.

It is certainly worth noting that the form of the likes of Billy Jones, Jon Otsemobor and David Vaughan has been poor since they decided they all want to leave. In stark contrast, team-mates Luke Varney and Nicky Maynard recent good form has coincided with the duo penning contract extensions.

Whilst his claim that the club has gone downhill and that something needs to change may have some credence, the attitudes of players like him are one of the major reasons for the current slump. Vaughan appears to be insinuating that blame should lie at the feet of manager Dario Gradi, though Vaughan may find that fans will criticise him more readily than a man who has done so much for the club, as Jon Otsemobor found out on Saturday.