Part VII: Cow’s arse, banjo – that old chestnut

I’ve scored 10 goals in 14 league games and yet we’re SEVENTH.

This is incredible. Apologies for the rather excitable caps lock, but I’m actually at a loss to explain how we’ve done this – especially when you consider that one of my summer signings, striker Andy O’Connell, has scored precisely no goals in 11 starts, and one of the surviving members of last season’s squad, fellow striker John Carter, has also scored no goals.

I’ve never worked with such a goal-shy squad as this. The mere thought of shooting seems to fill them with dread.

Things did not get off to a good start in the league after we won one and lost four of our first five games. This kept us off the bottom thanks to the general ineptness of Albion Rovers, who kindly offered us that solitary win.

Six weeks later we would lose to them through an injury-time goal.

But sandwiched between those head-in-hands moments we found some form after I had this novel idea of applying some tactical consistency. We, ladies and gentlemen, embarked on a FIVE-MATCH unbeaten run, which included three wins and two draws.

Since we can’t score, you won’t be surprised to learn that both draws were 0-0, with one of them being away at leaders Airdrie.

I cannot confirm nor deny that we played well in any of those wins (so we were rubbish, then) – conceding more shots and more possession to our opponents on each occasion – but who’s counting shots and passes when you’re actually scoring goals for once?

Then we came back down to earth with a bump, with a heavy defeat to Forfar and that ball-shrivelling injury-time moment against Albion.

But something incredible happened at East Fife. With just 20 minutes to go, and 2-0 down, we scored TWO GOALS to snatch a point! I know!

“Would you believe it!” shouted Jeff Stelling on Soccer Saturday. In a moment of rare unprofessionalism, he forgot where we was, ripped off his microphone and climbed onto the desk in front of him, jumping up and down like an ape to announce: “The team that can’t score goals… have scored two… to DRAW AT EAST FIFE!”

Yes, I’m making good use of the caps lock on this post. I’m aware of that.

I then absolutely battered Ayr at home and lost 2-0. Now that was a kick in the nads. For the first time this season (and possibly for the first time since I’ve been managing Queen’s Park) we comfortably outplayed another team, but once again my so-called strikers gave an impeccable demonstration of how to get dropped for the next match.

Chance after chance after chance went begging. You have it. No, you have it. No, I don’t want it.

Oh, for god’s sake, one of you just STICK IT IN THE SODDING NET.

“That was a sitter,” says the commentary. “He’ll kick himself for missing that.”

No – I’ll kick him for missing that.

The next game proved that my back-up strikers are no better. Given a chance at home against inferior opposition in the Scottish Cup, they were somehow worse and we ground to a goalless halt against Selkirk.

Thankfully we won the replay 2-0, but even now I’m struggling to work out why, as a team that broadly plays 4-4-2, we can’t score more goals.

Hilariously, Carter – who, it turns out, hasn’t scored since March 3 (before I took over) – is wanted by Forfar. Let me just remind you that Forfar beat us 3-0. They don’t need a striker who can’t score.

My news feed is essentially ‘Carter vows to end goal drought’ and ‘O’Connell hasn’t scored in 16 hours of football’ and ‘Connor Murray says he won’t let his lack of goals affect him’. To be fair to Murray, he’s scored five in 14 starts, so I don’t have beef with him.

But if there’s one player that infuriates me more than any of my strikers, it’s 32-year old left back Iain Campbell.

As one of the million players I signed in the summer, his stats suggest he could be pretty decent. Only a lack of competition prevents me from dumping him in the reserves or selling him to Stenhousemuir, because he has absolutely nailed the ability to get an average rating of 6.20 every single game – but twice, from absolutely nowhere, he gets 7.80 and wins the man of the match award.

These are my results since the last update:

Queen's Park results

And here’s how the table is looking after 14 games:

League 1 table, Queen's Park 7th

I believe we have Dundee Utd away in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup, where we’ll no doubt get battered and not score.

Strangely, five of my next six games are at home – where we’ve been marginally better at scoring – so I’m hoping we can get a few more wins under our belt ahead of the obligatory bad run that will see us slip closer to 9th now that Albion appear to be getting their shit together.

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