Darren Way has come under increasing pressure over the last few weeks after leading Yeovil to an abysmal run of 1 win in 13 games. In this article I give my reasons for why it's not all doom and gloom at Huish Park and why Darren Way deserves a chance to further prove himself as manager of Yeovil Town.
Darren is a relatively young manager and I believe that is something that is very important for the football club. After the recent turmoil of the last 3 years, the last thing we need is to have another change and shake up, the club needs stability and at 37, Darren offers that in abundance. He was given a 3 year contract by the club and I think that was a statement in itself, Yeovil just don't do 3 year contracts normally.
Another trait, that I think our fans don't appreciate enough, is the passion and the hunger he has for the club to do well and achieve big things. Of course that should be expected as a manager of a professional football club but I see many football fans moaning week in, week out about how the management don't care about the club but I really believe that is something you cannot accuse Darren of. In a recent 2-0 loss at lowly Cheltenham, you could see how much the result hurt him in his post match interview and he took entire blame for the defeat which I think is a very admirable trait for a manager to have.
Despite the lack of goals in the team, the defensive record under Darren is pretty amazing seeming the position we find ourselves in. We have the highest rate of first half clean sheets in the whole football league, just above Manchester United. Artur Krysiak, Yeovil's number one keeper, has the third highest amount of clean sheets in the league with 11 and last season the team went on a run of 8 clean sheets in 9 games. I understand that goals win games but the best teams are built on the defence and Darren has certainly showed that defensive organisation is a huge strength for him.
Of course I do understand the points people make against Darren Way and his unwillingness to change his trusted 4-3-3 formation is something that can be very annoying at times. Although I would argue the fact that in recent weeks, Darren has tried new things. At Notts County he tested a new 3-5-2 system which kept us solid at the back but did not address the worrying weakness of goal scoring. The lack of goals has come as a shock to me because at the start of the season, the goals were flowing and the team were playing very exciting football. The loss of Ryan Hedges to Barnsley and the long term injury of Otis Khan has been a huge loss as they were so key to making the 4-3-3 system so effective although Darren has really failed to fill these positions and playing centre forwards out wide is not really an option that I see viable.
Another thing which has annoyed fans in the completely pointless signing of 7 loans when only 5 can be in the match day squad. I understand the new loan rules make it hard for clubs like us now but it still doesn't make sense to sign so many attackers on loan and then leaving the same two out of the squad every week. Owain Jones has had about 10 minutes football since joining from Swansea on loan and in my opinion, is the perfect replacement for the departing Ryan Hedges so I really do not understand his omission from the squad. The return of Otis Khan will be a huge boost but I am finding it hard to explain some of the decision made by Darren in terms of team selection in recent weeks.
I am not trying to say Darren Way is perfect, he's far from it but in my opinion he needs the time he deserves to build this football club and I certainly feel there are reasons to be optimistic for the future with this management and some of the young players at the club. As they say, Rome wasn't build in a day.