Saturday, January 4

It's not the despair I can't take…

On a positive note I still think our best side should be capable of surviving. It might look something like this when everyone is fit: Jaaskelainen: Demel, Collins, Reid, Rat; Downing, Noble, Diame, Jarvis; Morrison, Carroll.

Though I could be horribly wrong, of course. We can't really blame Allardyce for all the injuries (nine players currently out) which are mainly bad luck (though he has signed some injury-prone players with the likes of Carroll and Joe Cole) but he has fallen down in several areas. These include:

•An over-reliance on Kevin Nolan (compare him to Fulham's Scott Parker at Craven Cottage). Though at least Allardyce has criticised Nolan for his stupidity and would be right to strip him of his captaincy.

•Not buying a reserve striker to understudy Carroll and going for overambitious targets like Demba Ba without a Plan B.

• Tactical inflexibility and refusing to ever play two up front before our injury crisis (Suarez and Sturridge, Adebayor and Soldado, and Negredo and Aguero have proved the strike partnership is back this season).

Having said that, I can't see that many decent managers out there and changing a manager more often leads to relegation as well as wasting money on compensation, as in the case of Wolves' dismissal of Mick McCarthy. These are mainly Allardyce's men and aren't suddenly going to turn into ball players under a Martinez or Laudrup-type gaffer, as that takes time, so I think the board have to take into account BFS's experience of surviving relegation battles and keep him in place until the end of season. Then will come the time to revaluate.

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