Not only have we not won at home since the end of November, the last five losses have all come without scoring a single goal. I had hoped that Tom Eaves signing until the end of the season might get the goals coming, but alas not. An alarming statistic jumps out at me – not since the 3-1 away win over Stevenage has a goal been scored by a forward. Our top scorer with five goals, Tom Bradshaw, hasn’t scored since the 5th October.
The squad is threadbare at the moment. There are only three (yes three!) recognised forwards on the books, and quite frankly, it stinks. Tom Bradshaw started the season well, but lost playing time as Turner brought in loan strikers McAlinden, Main, Lopez, Ugwu and Eaves. James Marsden has been injured since very early on in the season, but even when he played in the pre-season friendly at home to Galatasaray I thought ‘who the bloody hell is this chancer?’. And then there’s loanee Tom Eaves.
John Taylor has chipped in with four league goals, but so what?! Of the twenty four teams in League One, only Stevenage and Crewe have scored fewer than Shrewsbury’s 26 goals – and they are the bottom two in the division!
Let’s not beat around the bush, Shrewsbury are showing relegation form right now, and the next five games don’t look like providing any respite: Swindon and Colchester away to round off January, followed by Brentford at home, Sheffield United away and Port Vale at home in February. We could easily be bottom of the league by then.
There will have been the usual ‘Turner out’ moans at the match and on the local radio phone-in after the game, and who knows, they might have a point. But for a club with one of the lowest budgets in the division, to survive at this level for a second season is no mean feat.
Chairman Roland Wycherley once said he thought the club could achieve Championship football in five years. I think that was four years ago. It’s nice to see the club living within its means (well within its means), but there is a risk that we will still get left way behind unless he backs his manager with the funds to compete for the better players either in transfer fees, or more attractive terms for the endless loan signings we seem to be subjected to.
We still need another goal scoring forward, and I’d take a defensive midfielder too, if there’s a good one going. Your move Mr Wycherley…