On a surface level sitting at fifth in the league table due to being awarded six points as a result of fixtures not being fulfilled, having six international players in the squad and a stint in Europe earlier in the season would make outsiders believe that Motherwell were currently a strong side but with the possibility of crucial players such as Callum lang, Stephen O’Donnell, Allan Campbell and Declan Gallagher departing during the January transfer window and a pattern of poor results as well as the possibility of having the previously mentioned six points being removed, that could not be further from the truth.
The Steelmen began the season in a complete slump with little success in their first eight games back and as a result they found a home in the bottom six quickly. Fans were quick to blame back-to-back game cancellations due to COVID-19 outbreaks at other clubs, a lack of match fitness due to the pandemic and more frequent international breaks as the reasons for the slump but with no more breaks until March and the team back in action for four months now and only having won six games out of their last 30 games those excuses no longer stick.
Upon watching Motherwell’s recent performances, you are able to see cracks appear in a once strong team.
With the departure of key players such as: Mark Gillespie, Peter Hartley, Richard Tait, James Scott and David Turnbull Stephen Robinson was quick to find players to fulfil their missing roles. New signings of Callum Lang, Stephen O’Donnell, previous ‘Well wingers Jake Hastie and Devante Cole; Rickie Lamie and Aaron Chapman were welcomed with open arms but now fans aren’t impressed.
Motherwell’s defensive line is easily intercepted and is heavily missing the defensive duo of Declan Gallagher and Peter Hartley.
Bevis Mugabi may be a Ugandan international player and to his credit on his good days the man does deliver results but far too often it seems as though the defender will make a detrimental mistake that most often leads to defeat for the steelmen. Overall, his ability is good it is just inconsistent, and this flaw has only been amplified since his inclusion as a reoccurring starting 11 player. Mugabi does still have good potential in him if he could work on his confidence as well as his executions when trying to fight for the ball.
These same errors can be found within Rickie Lamie’s current form. Scoring an own goal in his first broadcasted game for the boys in claret and amber already had fans concerned and these fears of Lamie costing us games has only grown. He seems to lack confidence despite working beside his former Livingston defender and now Motherwell captain Declan Gallagher and can often be seen showing little to no signs of effort in chasing the ball or when trying to protect the penalty box.
Chris Long and Liam Grimshaw are other players that shone last season but now can’t seem to perform under pressure anymore. Grimshaw has been a great asset to the club for many years and with Long leaving signing his new deal until the very last minute is leaving people to question if these players want to remain at the club.
It’s easy to point out player issues but after only six wins in 31 games Stephen Robinson has a lot to answer for. Despite his best efforts to sign fresh players and previous players that played well for the steelmen during their original spell at the club his tactics are not working anymore. There is only so many times he can do post-match interviews saying the club will do better and work must be done before his position and ability is called out.