So, just what, exactly, has happened to Chesterfield? Once they graced the football league and regularly caused upsets by beating bigger, better financed clubs with a much-loved brand of football so adored by the paying public and the neutral football fan, too.
Now though they are a mere shadow of the outfit they once were and are currently languishing in the lower reaches of the Vanarama National League — for the benefit of stats-lovers they sit third from bottom with a miserly four points collected from seven matches. The shocking assessment leads us to confirm that Chesterfield are not even a very good non-league side.
It must be one hell of a come down for John Sheridan, the manager of the under-performing Spireites. Once of Leeds United (230 appearances, 47 goals) and Sheffield Wednesday (199 appearances, 25 goals), Sheridan scored the winning goal in the Owls’ shock 1-0 win over Manchester United in the 1991 Football League Cup Final at Wembley.
This season Sheridan has overseen his charges as they have failed to pick up a single victory from their games and the four points that they have garnered have come from four draws. True, draws can so easily become wins and this would boost the league standing. But whichever way you choose to look at it, it is a very worrying trend.
Following last week’s 2-0 loss away at Stockport County (where the visitors were cheered on by a raucous group of travelling fans around 1,000 in number), Chesterfield get the chance to go again when they come up against Dagenham & Redbridge at the Proact Stadium tomorrow. For Sheridan it is a chance to get things right on the pitch and he admits that he has learned a lot from the reverse last time of asking.
He has stated that he thought his side played “alright” in the first half and controlled the game to the point that they should have taken the lead. Despite feeling that his players had enjoyed a comfortable first-half it all went decidedly wrong after the break and Sheridan admitted:
“It’s not good enough. I didn’t expect this, seven games in and no win. I’ve got to take what’s thrown at me. I’ve got to try and be strong. I’ve just got to believe and push on and try and get the results that we need.”
Against the Daggers, Sheridan — who is in his second stint as manager of the club having previously been the incumbent from 2009 until 2012 — says he must redouble his efforts to pick up the mood of his troops and if he is forced to make changes then that is just what he will do. He added:
“I’ve got to make decisions that are going to win us football matches.”