Grigor Pasha writes: It’s early October; we’ve played 10 league matches and are fourth. We’re level on points with the leaders, Lokomotive Gorna and we have a game in hand.

Why, then, do I spend so much of time feeling racked with insecurity?

A tendency to concede late-on is one reason.

A bigger one is our defeats home defeats (both 0-2) to Montana and Hebar in the second and fourth matches respectively.

It wasn’t simply the results. It was the manner of the defeat. These were two of the most limp, abject, lifeless, rudderless performances I’ve ever witnessed — and this despite beating Botev Galabovo away in our season’s opener.

I’d like to put those performances down to luck. But we were poor across the field, from the get-go.

It didn’t look to be tactical either. No: the problem was that nobody took responsibility.

I reflected on that a lot and have drawn the conclusion that the problem was this:

  1. in the squad I inherited, many had only just arrived at the club;
  2. as I’ve explained in a previous post, I had no choice to bring in yet more strangers, in order to meet the league’s match-squad requirements.

The guys barely knew each other’s names, so the lack of cohesion shouldn’t have shocked me so much.

Since then I’ve noticed an incipient sense of togetherness — as there should be, given the amount of training time we devote to teamwork, team bonding, and community outreach we’ve been doing.

The cohesion remains, however, underwhelming. I’m worried that a couple of poor results could expose the cracks.

My sister, Mariya, tells me I should look on the bright side. If we’re doing so well without much cohesion, just think how well they’ll be playing in the second half of the season!

It’s easy for her to say that, especially after a couple of glasses of the local Riesling that I somehow always end up paying for.

But perhaps she’s right.

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