We knew everything about Saturday was going to be nothing like everything about Tuesday. Smaller crowd, less inspiring performance; we knew it was coming.
But we coped; we survived the inevitable lull. Under Chris Wilder, the parties were good but the hangovers were horrific. This time, we suffered the consequences of our indulgence, survived, and we start afresh tomorrow.
George Baldock’s goal was a case of someone deciding that if you want a job doing, you might as well do it yourself. The game looked like it was meandering and it needed something different. It was a restorative full English breakfast of a strike. As someone said on the radio; just how good are MK Dons’ full-backs if George Baldock is out on loan?
Ryan Taylor’s performance was similar to Tuesday’s where he got a standing ovation. He was involved in both goals against Swindon, on Saturday he created the chance for Liam Sercombe whose shot rattled the bar. Had that gone in, which it should have done, it would have been three assists in two games.
But, the general mood was that he was back to being sub-standard. The real difference wasn’t his performance, it was that we weren’t playing Swindon.
He’s accused of lacking pace; which unless someone can find a way of fundamentally changing his physiology, is hardly his fault. There’s a broader view he’s just not good enough; but if Tuesday’s standing ovation was genuine; then he clearly can be.
Big target men always look clumsy when they’re not scoring goals. Paul Moody went though long periods of looking like a three-legged cow, but he ended up a goalscoring legend.
In the 1995/6 Moody’s scored in only three league games up to January. Then we adopted a more direct approach and used him as a battering ram from the bench. He scored 12 goals between January and May and we were promoted.
Taylor offers a different option – he can hold the ball up, make defenders lives a misery, and can defend. His inclusion is usually out of necessity, but the team needs to learn how to get the best out of him. His attributes may be critical in the deep winter. There’s no need to revolutionise our tactical philosophy to accommodate him, but he shouldn’t be so readily dismissed just because of a lack of goals.