The pressure has started to crank up a little for manager Sam Ricketts, as Salop’s recent transfer business would suggest.
The late additions of Charlie Daniels and Marc Pugh, on the face of it, seem like two decent bits of business. Former Premier League players who look like they can certainly do a decent job in League One.
However, when you look at the timing of the
signings and the short-term nature of the deals, you could be forgiven for thinking this seemed like a last-minute Supermarket Sweep-style dash to the bargain bucket.
Shrewsbury already had a big squad going into this season, and the addition of Pugh and Daniels make it huge. Were they always in the plan? If so, why weren’t they signed sooner? I suspect it’s more a case of Plan A for the season already being consigned to the scrap heap.
One scrappy league win is all Salop have to show for their first seven games, and I suspect if fans were at the Meadow for the last two home games there may well have been a few boos ringing out. Clearly something in Plan A was not working, the results cannot be disputed.
So, Ricketts has once again delved into the market, and to his credit Daniels was the best player on the pitch during his debut against Rochdale. If Pugh can have a similar effect, then Town could start to turn this torrid early season form around. At least that’s what Sam will be hoping for, for his own sake.
It’s always difficult to measure opinion using social media. Moderates increasingly avoid it, drowned out by the extremes and the outspoken, who only speak for their echo chambers.
Granted, there’s a sizeable proportion of Shrewsbury fans who want a managerial change, with valid reasons for this – and I have no doubt their boos would be audible if fans could get into grounds.
But do they represent the whole fan base? Thankfully not. Some of their opinions are ludicrous bordering on dangerous.
It’s a good job fickle fans aren’t in charge and the club isn’t as trigger-happy as them.
Put bluntly, a reality check is needed.
There is no ‘crisis’. It won’t be long before calls for Brian and Roland ‘to step aside’ begin.
There is no lack of ‘passion’ and ‘desire’ from the players – two abstract buzzwords often used during a run of bad form without much thought about what they actually mean and how you measure them.
There is no chance of Paul Hurst coming back, either. That 2017/18 season hangover? Get over it.
And there’s also no chance some of the other ex-Championship managers suggested being interested in the potential vacancy. They’re looking up, not down.
It was my wedding anniversary yesterday, and nine years ago today my new wife and I had an unusual start to our honeymoon – taking in a 0-0 draw between Shrewsbury and AFC Wimbledon.
Proving that she was clearly a keeper, this football foray wasn’t even my idea. It was Rachel who suggested we should go.
The scoreline that day was a disappointment – a rare one in a season that actually ended in promotion. Given the significance of the weekend, I’d obviously hoped for a thriller. Instead it was to be a relatively dull afternoon.
Sadly, dull afternoons are something that have become the norm for Salop fans of late. In going down 1-0 at Fleetwood on Tuesday, we dropped to level bottom of League One, with just five goals to show for our eight league fixtures. The pressure on the manager is growing. Across social media, fans were calling for him to go.
It is never nice for someone to lose their job, and I have no doubt that Sam Ricketts is doing his best. He comes across as a likeable guy, but we’re making no progress under his leadership. If anything, we’re going backwards.
The squad is stronger, but performances are not good enough and results are alarming. I can’t help but think a new leader could get more out of a talented but misfiring group.
While I hope I have many more wedding anniversaries to celebrate, I do fear the time for Shrewsbury and Sam Ricketts to divorce is upon us.