Speaking of fighters, the play-off season a couple of years back featured games where we won ugly.We were belligerent, pushed the ball forward as quick as possible and forced a result. Sam Murphy in the last game ran and worked every channel he could.Reise and Karl looked good at times. Carl McCluskey by the way is playing for Potters Bar Town as a centre-back would you believe, yes another fighter. Shame about Mayo, Ollie was indulged as soon as he came back, sidelining the lad who looked very strong and promising. On a more general note I commend all the people that have kept Hendon FC going, but someone on the message board saying they support green and black is part of the problem. We are GREEN AND WHITE. The inaugural season at a new ground was meant to be the perfect opportunity to re-establish some values for a club that has rich history and a chance to make it GREEN with WHITE sleeves in tribute to some seriously strong trophies. An identity. A chance to bring back fans that drifted away after Claremont Road, who can't connect to electra-lime green and black.Who thought of that? Gary's sons on a computer? Happy new year and happy new Elliott.
There's been some excellent posts made over the past week or two, particularly since the Boxing Day defeat.
First up though, on the colours as mentioned by JD - I agree entirely. Hendon should be playing in Green and White, and whilst I understand that as we get the kit free from Adidas we have to go with what they have - I find it hard to believe that there isn't a Green & White option. The kit this year has grown on me, but it's not, and never will be the right colour for Hendon. I will certainly be very disappointed if, assuming we change the kit, we're not in Green & White next season.
Putting that to one side, I pretty much agree with everything that's been said - particularly in regard to the goalkeeper and defensive situation. I was pleased to hear that Elliott got some minutes under his belt for Edgware yesterday - and whilst, quite rightly, we can't expect him to come back at 100% straight away, he'll definitely be an improvement on some of what we've had so far this season.
I think Arthur Lee will end up at left back once everyone is fit. I see a back two of Tingey & Brathwaite, with Seeby and Lee as the full backs as our first choice back four. Whether Gary agrees remains to be seen. One thing I will say about Arthur is that whilst he's made mistakes, he does at least look like he cares when we lose - which certainly can't be said about everyone who has played for us this season.
The goalkeeper situation does concern me - we seem to be getting through them at a rapid rate this season, and I think we just need to pick one - whether that be a fit Berkley, Darren Behcet or Andy McCorkell - and stick with them so that they get to know the defence better, and the defence get to know them. Getting the defence sorted out has to be the number one priority - we all know where we'll be going if we continue to leak goals at the current rate.
I'm not so concerned with the middle of the park or up front. Stanislaus looks like he's going to be the replacement for Niko - he's impressed me in the couple of games I've seen him play for us, and hopefully he can build a good partnership with Karl.
And whilst we cannot rely on one individual being available all the time, I do honestly believe the biggest miss of all is Kevin. We look so much more solid when he plays.
And as Gary said to me on Boxing Day - there's no place at the club for players who aren't commited to the cause and up for the relegation fight. Reading between the lines, Brad Hewitt and Jerome Federico aren't the only ones who didn't have the stomach for the fight and have jumped ship.
There's 21 games to go - plenty of games to ensure we get enough points to stay up (my target is 50 points) - but we need to start picking them up ASAP - hopefully starting Saturday.
Here's hoping that 2017 is much happier on the pitch than 2016 has been. For me 2016 will be remembered as the year we were back playing in a home of our own. We now need to build on that, and I am in full belief that Gary & Freddie are the ones to look after the on pitch matters despite our current struggles.
Finally - its great to see some new faces slowly becoming regular faces at SJP, a few old faces reappearing, and that people are enjoying coming despite the results.
A very happy new year to everyone.
Fighters – one in particular
Steve – please stop posting messages that I cannot disagree with! I don’t think there was a single point that I could argue about.
I was in a minority not to be disappointed to learn that Mayo had left. I am not going to expand on what I saw in a game a few weeks before he departed, but I considered what he did during that match grounds for immediately being released.
As for Elliott Brathwaite, I am not going to get too excited by what I saw from him yesterday at Edgware, as I will explain shortly. His second minute header would have been the perfect return, but a team-mate blocked the ball on the line, then hooked it into the net. His 50-yard diagonal pass – I kid you not – for the left back to score the second Edgware goal was sensational. Defensively, there were a couple of small mistakes, but not horrible, goal-giving gaffes, and in the main he looked strong, confident and at ease.
The reason I am not going to get too excited is that we will have to wait two or three days to see how he reacts to his first full-speed competitive game since 14 May 2015. If all goes well, it will be only a few more weeks before he is back at the heart of the Hendon defence – and we haven’t looked the same since he and Charlie Goode dominated every Ryman League attack for six months.
His professionalism, determination and diligence in the face of three calamitous injuries has been exemplary. If any player deserves ten years of injury football from now on, it is Elliott.