The Craig Mackail-Smith Mess At Brighton

Amidst some dirty tactics from Burnley (kick Vicente), and some dodgey officiating (they were allowed get away with it), there was something that annoyed me far more at Turf Moor; Casper the friendly ghost upfront. In my previous blog I pleaded for Gus to play Craig Mackail-Smith and Sam Vokes up top together, two strikers, that was what we needed. Well the truth, we only played with one at Burnley. CMS was hardly involved in the game and I for one was gutted. Even when Vicente was breaking forward from midfield I waited for CMS to dart into space and outpace the centre back… But it didn’t happen; CMS just didn’t look interested, no run, no movement, no spark.

Don’t get me wrong, CMS isn’t lazy. Not even I am that stupid. But I think it has now got to the stage that the club need to reassess the whole situation and ask themselves ‘is this working?’ Back at Leicester away I laughed in a man’s face when he screamed that CMS was ‘a complete waste of money’. Unfortunately I am starting to agree with him.

However, I refuse to apologise for laughing in his face, not only because it was a ridiculous comment to make at the time but mainly because I am as stubborn as anything! In the man’s defence CMS had just managed to spoon the ball over the bar from about a yard out. That takes some doing! But of course, at the time, CMS was ‘just going through a blip’ and he was ‘a quality striker’ and would soon find his way out of it. This is by no means an attack on CMS, I just simply feel it hasn’t worked out. I am also aware that lots of people reading this blog will say ‘yeah but he works hard’ and quite frankly that is a ridiculous argument.

If Gus wanted someone that worked hard he could have signed a Golden Retriever to close down the opposition back four! That’s not the striker Gus wanted, Gus wanted a goal scorer, we need a goal scorer. And, as I said before, for CMS it hasn’t worked out. He is by no means a bad striker, far from it; I just don’t think the club and player match. Gus has a very specific style of play, one that in my eyes he isn’t willing to adapt to fit in CMS. As much as I hate to say it, my mind is slowly starting to see CMS’s name along the same lines as those with Carroll and Torres.

The big question for Gus is what does he do? Does he cut his losses and get rid of CMS at the end of this season? Surely he must still hold some value. Or, does he give him another season and hope it works out? For me, it’s time for him to go. From what I have seen of CMS I can’t envisage him being our 20+ man next season and I am genuinely gutted for him that it hasn’t worked out, especially considering all the interest we fought off to sign him.

All this said, I can’t bring myself to have any sort of anger or resentment towards CMS, his hard working ethic and honest approach to the game is refreshing for any fan to see. He reminds me of a classier Gary Hart and originally seemed as if he would become a real favourite of mine. If he is to leave, which I think is best for player and club; I wish him all the best and hope he finds the success he deserves elsewhere. But, for the time being, I think Gus should get on the phone to Germany and start perusing the whereabouts of a certain Dirk Lehman.

In Gus we trust.

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