Rochdale slumped to yet another defeat at Spotland on Saturday against Plymouth, which has seen them drop to 19th and now only 4 points off the relegation zone.
There are 2 main reasons I can pinpoint for this seasons inconsistencies.
Firstly, consistent results start with a consistent team every week. This is something Rochdale have not had so far this season, this is mostly felt with the goalkeeper changes as Rochdale have rotated their three keepers 12 times in all comps this season.
Which can be accounted for by rotation in cup games, however, they have rotated keepers an amazing seven times in 22 league games. Only one player has started every league game for Rochdale this season and that’s captain Ian Henderson.
That is an alarming amount of team changes and inconsistent line-ups won’t be helping the team, although it has to be mentioned that injuries aren’t helping his selection pool.
A second major point that is seeing Rochdale struggle for consistency is the number of goals they are conceding. Which seems an obvious one, but they have conceded 41 goals in 22 league games this season, which is just under 2 goals per game.
This is the second most in League One with only Scunthorpe conceding more. Although they have a heavy reliance on top scorer Ian Henderson they have proved they can score goals with 29 thus far.
Only teams in the top 10 have scored more than that, but their undoing is the lack of clean sheets which is seeing them drop points. They have dropped 13 points from winning positions so far this season.
13 points is huge!
If they had managed to see those games out it would see them comfortably in the top 10. It’s such small margins but it’s clear where the improvement is needed.
I have mentioned before about Rochdale already facing five of the top six at Spotland this season, but I can’t continue to make excuses for the team when they are failing to get a result out of their winnable games against teams of similar ability such as Plymouth last weekend.
Games are starting to run down as we hit the halfway point of the season. With away games against six of the top seven still to come, results are going to have to come against some of the bigger sides in this league.
I firmly believe in this clubs management and playing staff, however, I do believe additions are needed particularly at the back in order to avoid dropping into a relegation scrap again.