DAN THE FAN: From the sublime to the ridiculous

“FOOTBALL is a simple game, complicated by idiots”

The words of one of the best managers of all time, Bill Shankly, and it seemed apt for this week at Swindon Town.

Last Saturday, Town went head to head with Yeovil and came out on top in a comfortable 4-1 win.

The Glovers were second best in every department. In the words of Daft Punk, Town were Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.

But fast forward 73 hours and we saw a different Swindon side.

Apart from a 20-minute spell at the end of the first half, Town looked second best for most of the night at the County Ground.

Of course I don’t know what happens behind the scenes at the County Ground, but why did Paolo Di Canio drop key players Alan McCormack and John Bostock?

I understand football is a tough game on the mind and physically, but surely a few days is enough rest for two key players to recover and be ready for a big home game?

If it was just down to team selection from the manager it’s a baffling decision, but hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Our visitors Brentford did their homework well, and it showed on Tuesday night. Tactically they knew how we would want to set up and play, but ultimately we just didn’t play well enough.

Football isn’t just all about tactics - you could have the perfect set of players for a certain style or formation, but if those players don’t perform on the night, you’re on a hiding to nowhere.

Tactics are a massive part of the game, but sometimes it's just down to who wants it more.

Unfortunately Brentford just seemed to want the three points more than Swindon.

Once again, Gary Roberts had a game for forget on Tuesday night. he has had a strange start to his time in Wiltshire, on fire in pre-season then picking up a few injuries.

Since he returned, apart from a few games, he’s been a let down after all the hype from his time at Huddersfield. Hopefully the best is yet to come.

The biggest positive of the week has to be the centre back pairing of Joe Devera and Darren Ward. Both players had poor starts to the season but since being partnered in central defence they look much for comfortable.

 

In the last six weeks especially alongside Aden Flint and Devera, Ward looks to play the ball out of defence a lot more and not just hit it long and hope.

Earlier in the season Devera had been played out of position so it might be harsh to say he was terrible but he did have some nightmare games.

So it’s great to see him looking confident alongside Ward, and he even picked up man on the match against Yeovil, such was his performance.

This Saturday Swindon travels to Nottingham to face Keith Curle’s Notts County side.

In pre-season both Town and County were being tipped as promotion hopefuls and so far they’ve been nearly spot on.

Despite Town just winning one of the two home games this week we still sit in six position and for a side who have just gained promotion from the league below it’s an encouraging start.

So far this season the Robins and Magpies have one thing in common. We seem to enjoy playing away more than at home.

Up until Saturday, both sides hadn’t won a home game since September 22.

Town have won five of their last six away games, and Notts County are unbeaten away from home in nineteen games.

But thankfully it's Town who will be the visitors and I back Di Canio’s side to make it six wins from our last seven away games on Saturday.

SWINDON TOWN NEWS EVERY DAY AT GAZETTEANDHERALD.CO.UK/SPORT AND IN THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD

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