Thoughts so far
Last night was the last time Sharon and I will see the first team until we play Frome in our first game of the season, and I'll be honest, I'm largely happy with what I've seen in the five friendlies we've played.
I think Jimmy is putting together a squad that has a really good mix of youth and experience. I know a few of us aren't sure about Marvin Morgan, me included - but I'm prepared to give him a bit of time - I see him playing the role that Kezie played last season - as an experienced sub, but if Jimmy can get one or two more of the unsigned players on board, I think we'll be ok.
It's never easy when you have to build a squad from scratch, and for us as supporters, its a journey into the unknown as we visit lots of new places - but I'm quite excited and definitely looking forward to it.
See you all in a couple of weeks (unless you're at the U23 game tonight!)
Re: Thoughts so far
I am not normally inclined to dwell on individuals in pre-season games, but noticing some less than positive comments on Marvin Morgan, I have to say that against St Albans his class stood out for me, keeping possesion and frequently retrieving the ball when all seemed lost. With grass and non-grass pitches, we may see different personnel and formations. The squad could well evolve over the opening month or two, but let's hope that the FA Cup draw isn't too cruel, as this competition is so vital to the club financially.
Re:- The formation
Irrespective of the quality of the lads, the formation of the side is my biggest issue. On the Leeds United thing. There European cup final v Bayern 4-4-2 Jordan, Sniffer Clarke up front. We have similar personnel. Villa v Bayern 3 up-front. This galvanizes my current thought process. Which bloody format derives the most effective utilisation of our resources? Until resolved, what's behind them is up in the air. We also have flexibility in targeting Marvin and through ball to Dylan. It's almost a case of too much information.
Presuming the lad Kearney gets the nod, this brings in the question of his partner and the notion of whether Hunte is best suited wide as part of a 3 man or along-side him in a partnership.
I reckon the gaffer prefers the 3 man scenario. I maybe wrong. My main concern with that option is the effect on the balance behind. The left flank in particular a red flag. I liked Plowright, could see him at left-back or midfield. I presume he's gone! Chaps needs cover and there in lies my dichotomy.
Defensively, Howie at R/B under the presumption both centre backs pass the test. If not, I think he may have to revert back, even as short-term cover. I would presume Laste has one of the midfield places nailed down.
Enfield will certainly give us a real examination - I think we need it to help formulate the big picture.
Personally, I have 6 potential starters - under no illusion this ain't no quick fix. Having said that, I also believe we have some interesting components and the basis of something.
Re: Thoughts so far
Minus the unwelcome complication of our transfer to the West and South West League, it seems to me that our situation is akin to that of Enfield at the beginning of last season.
The Enfield manager departed to Braintree taking a significant number of players with him. Enfield recruited the old Chesham manager and he had to build a team from relative scratch.
Enfield struggled for about two thirds of the season not really achieving stability until the final third of the season.
Player-wise, there seemed to be a revolving door on the dressing room and it literally seemed that players were arriving and departing every week until the manager was able to find a line-up of reasonable quality.
At present, I can't help feeling we might see a similar situation at Hendon this season. In normal circumstances this would auger badly for results but against this, looking at the statistics of the league for last season, it seems there was a huge disparity in quality between the top sides and the rest. The quality differential in last season's Isthmian league was very much tighter.
Given the above, while I'm not optimistic about our forthcoming prospects, I'm hoping things won't be all bad.
Re: Thoughts so far
I think we're some way off, quite understandably, from where we could be. I maintain that's what I feel most enthused about. I reckon this gaffer is working towards building a really solid base with a foundation which can be adapted once the components are in place. That was defined in my head with his earliest signings. Old acquaintances perhaps, but all of a certain type of character. This suggest's to me this lad in charge is somewhat 'old school' - I don't reckon we'll get flamboyance and goal of the season montages. I believe, he'll have us solid, workmanlike and delivering the basics.
Having spent last season, tongue in cheek, comparing Gary's team to Liverpool. Not based on the fact he's a Yorkshire lad, I have a personal vision, more 1970's Leeds United. I'm thinking, Bremner, Giles, McQueen, Cherry, Clarke, Jordan and the like. A tad uncompromising. Going on the road, bringing back hard fought points. Winners in the dressing room, different perhaps in their traits to last seasons lads. A different proposition. I already like his composition - it already has options - I like this Gaffers mindset. Interesting to see how this plays out.