Glad all over

Monday 24th January 2011 13:37

Taylor: Young and talented

Taylor: Young and talented

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After a sticky start, Crewe have improved all over the park. Richard Chandler is very happy but a little worried.

Alex coming good once more

It's been a while. You would think given the relative success we've had this season that I would be writing these things every week.

Maybe I'm one of these people who only speaks up when I've got bad things to say! Well that's going to have to change because we are pretty good right now. Every week! You can forgive the odd midweek lapse away at Torquay when the players are playing such great football. And even when games get a bit untidy such as Port Vale last week, you know that they are going to dig in and give it everything.

Let's start in goal. That boy is brilliant. There are a few people in the crowd who had a little spell of having a go at Rhys Taylor but they haven't got a clue. He is only 20 years old and he has been incredible this year.

I feel for Steve Phillips who has done nothing wrong but Taylor looks like he is going to play at a high level. When we are getting ourselves right in the promotion mix you have to play the best guy even if that does leave us with a problem come next season.

Belief

Then onto the defending. Ok, it's fair to say we don't exactly have the 90's Arsenal back four. But more importantly it's also fair to say we don't seem to have the Crewe defence of September and early October 2010 any more. So now we don't look like a team that needs to score five to draw.

The beauty off having so many young players is the side is that they have massive scope to improve quickly and that appears to have happened to some extent. There's still mistakes but the organisation looks good and the belief now seems to be there. We can keep clean sheets.

We can make it hard for the other team to create chances. Credit to the players and all the coaching staff for the visible improvement they have shown over the last few weeks. And Carl Martin will hopefully break into the team soon and prove that he's the outstanding defender at the club (I've been saying this for about nine months now).

Next the midfield. What they lack in physical stature, they more than make up for in energy and effort. With plenty of quality on show too! I suspect I'm not the only one who regularly gets Bell and Westwood mixed up but I'm confident in saying they have both been terrific recently.

Westwood is the one at the right end of his career to go on to bigger and better things in the future but right now the pair of them are high class central midfielders at this level. Then there's Luke Murphy and Byron playing wide who couldn't be more different but both are very effective right now.

Brilliant

Finally the forwards. You look at the top scorers lists in League Two and you will see two Crewe players right up there. Miller and Donaldson are THE strike pairing in this league right now. Donaldson is showing what he can do with an injury free run. He looks in supreme shape and is pretty much stronger and quicker than the defenders he comes up against. The big question is will we hang on to him in January?

And this is potentially our problem. Zola is gone which is fine but he would have left even if we wanted to keep him. Grant will leave in the summer. Moore may leave in the summer. Donaldson will surely go in the summer even if he survives January which I doubt.

If I was a League One manager right now I would be very keen on the in form League Two striker with all the right attributes who just happens to be available at a knock down price. So this will leave us short up front next year and could leave us short up front this year!

Don't get me wrong, I believe every decision the club has made regarding the forwards this season is the correct decision. It's just a worry as a supporter that the financial constraints could scupper the run for automatic promotion. I believe that if we retain all our players and avoid serious injuries then we will finish in the top three. But right now I don't believe we will retain all our players. I hope I am wrong because it's brilliant being a Crewe fan right now!

And if they all leave, I'm pretty sure the Powell-Clayton forward line should be able to cope with the rigours of League Two (or League One) for a couple of years before eventually combining to win us the World Cup in 2018.

Or something like that.

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