WHERE has it all gone wrong?
I can honestly say I don’t know the answer. However it’s a frustrating time for everyone involved at the club.
In the past we may have blamed the Manager for not picking the right team, blamed the manager for not getting the best out of the players, and right now I’m not sure if the Manager is still to blame or not.
But there is something seriously wrong and it needs to be fixed as soon as possible.
Last Friday night’s game against Derry was the worst performance I’ve seen from a City side in years. Not only did they lack ability, motivation and work-rate, they also lacked heart all over the pitch and from their body language alone that was evident.
It was worse than watching a training session. It lacked any type of excitement or skill.
I’m not sure how many players City will lose in the transfer window but from looking at last Friday’s game, it was as if the majority of the team were set to leave the club and had no huge interest in winning a game for Cork City.
City were three down after a half hour. The last time City were 3-0 down at home in the league was against Limerick in the first division in 2010.
Derry took the lead on the 12th minute when Mark McNulty couldn’t keep hold of the ball and David Parkhouse reacted quickest as he slotted home from close range. City did create a chance to equalise four minutes later but Graham Cummins’ shot from four yards was blasted wide.
City were frustrating to watch from early on in the half when the ball was played back and sideways more often than forward. Frustration levels were risen both on and off the pitch as Dan Casey was heard on numerous of occasions shouting at his midfield to come and show for the ball, in which they failed to do, giving him no option but knock it back to McNulty every time.
Derry were loving this style of play from City and it was only a matter of time before they would take advantage of it. They did so on the 27th minute when great play by Barry McNamee resulted with the visitors scoring their second through eventual hat trick hero Junior Ogedi Uzokwe.
Things got worse for City when referee Rob Hennessy awarded a penalty for a handball by McCormack. A bit harsh I thought as a free kick came full force at his face. However Derry made it three when Junior scored from the rebounded penalty spot having missed his initial strike.
At this stage fans started to leave the ground, something I haven’t seen ever, at this early in the game. Still only a half hour played. It was the first time City conceded three goals in a half in Turner’s Cross since their first game back in the Premier Division, a 3 2 loss against Drogheda in 2012.
Although City were three down at half time, and I didn’t expect any miracles in the second half, I certainly expected them to step up a gear and play with a bit of pride. This never happened. They may have had a bit more possession, but they certainly didn’t make use of it.
Another blow to City came when Daire O’Connor received his marching orders for a second yellow only 12 minutes into the second half. Derry got their fourth when Junior completed his hat trick.
The last time a Derry city player scored a hat trick against Cork was in 1987. Johnny Speak in a 7 2 win at the Brandywell.
A consolation goal from Cummins in the 86th minute saw a huge applause however it seemed more of a sarcastic applause than a celebratory one in my opinion as not long after the team were booed off the pitch for a very poor and effortless performance.
In my preview to the game, I had said how I thought the break would be a good thing for City. That it would give John Cotter a chance to get a lot of work done on the training ground and I was really looking forward to seeing how good they would look.
I wanted to see a lot of fluidity of good passing, attacking, crossing and plenty of shots.I can honestly say I got absolutely none of that. The players certainly didn’t look rested or re charged.
Normally I try to pick out the positives in a game but unfortunately I couldn’t pick any from Friday’s game. I was also disappointed to see the attendance of 2,302, considering City hadn’t played at home in six weeks.
I wish I could say the same number were there by the end of the 90 minutes, but unfortunately that was not the case. And if City continue their poor form, I don’t expect an increase in attendances for their next home game to Bohs on Friday.