Still not happy
Well, that was worse than last week. Poor discipline and a lack of quality has cost us. Why did we just keep lumping the ball up to Connor in the first half? As good as he is in the air, it was meat and drink to their back line.
Andrew McCorkell is simply not good enough, made far too many mistakes, and a completely unnecessary challenge which resulted in his red card. I hope the manager gives Dan Purdue the no.1 shirt for the rest of the season - seen him a few times this season for the U23s and he's generally done very well and deserves a crack at the first team. Pretty certain though there'll be another new face through the door though. Matty Harriott needs to control his frustrations - felt very similar to his previous red. Big well done to Lee Chappell though, thought he put in a good performance between the sticks - was certainly comfortably better than McCorkell has been in any of the games I've seen him play.
Can't fault effort, but we were lacking in quality overall, but fortunately we've only dropped a place in the table if I'm right. Looking at the remaining fixtures, most teams are in reasonable form - tough trip Saturday which I can't make unfortunately (I work Saturday mornings and can't often get away in time for the longer trips) but then a must win home game against Dorchester the week after. With Frome picking up a couple of wins, there are still two relegation spots up for grabs. Still don't think we'll drop, but it's going to be very tight.
To respond to things Simon said in response to my posting last weekend - as I work Saturday mornings and have a partner to get home to, I can't really stay after games to catch a word with the manager as much as I would like to. I do appreciate the interviews that we often get after home games which is why I'm keen to see more on the website. That said, I completely agree that our website is one of the best at this level - long may that continue. The injury update was hugely appreciated - just a shame it took me complaining for it to happen.
Simon - I will aim to come and make myself known to you at a future game for a chat. I didn't arrive until a couple of minutes before kick off today and left on the final whistle. I apologise if anything I said last week was out of order, was just very frustrated that we didn't do what Merthyr have been able to do today.
Re: Still not happy
Most important thing as far as I am concerned is picking up the 7 or 8 points that I think will definitely keep is safe. Couldn't care less if we rob those points or play like Man City, quite honestly.
Today, I can't fault the effort. Lack of quality, sure. But that won't change between now and the end of the season. We have what we have and if they work their knackers off, which, Gosport aside, they have since January, we'll come good, I firmly believe that.
The goalkeeping situation is far from ideal. I have my own thoughts on it which people can easily ask me about. I like Purdue, I wouldn't want to throw him into a relegation battle. There are two or three names I have in mind who could be available and would be a more steadying influence.
We're all disappointed at how this season has turned out especially after our start, none more so I suspect than Jimmy. Next season, when he's had a full preseason to work with is when to judge him.
In terms of communication, yes, it isn't perfect at Hendon but again, everyone is a volunteer in terms of the football club board, the supporters trust board and those that run the website and social media.
By all means, we are open to constructive ways of trying to improve the way the club communicates with fans and perhaps there are things we should do as routine that we aren't. What you mentioned last week, WM, about injury updates, is one of them. But, there are ways and means of doing it, many channels open for providing feedback which don't need to happen in open when folk are doing their utmost (This isn't meant as a bitch against you in particular, I hope it doesn't come across as such).
The fact remains that the club can only be as good and as strong as those that put time and effort into keeping it running as we are at Step 3. We are reliant on volunteers, Daz aside, and he does much more than he should on a match day.
I realise that many people are unable to contribute time to helping the club out, to be honest, I think many of those that do would, if push came to shove, rather not. Keeping the club running, social media and website channels open, match days running smoothly takes a heck of a toll on everyone concerned. Mentally and physically.
I've read and heard some enormously disingenuous things this last year about people whose only pursuit as been to keep Hendon FC alive and, I find that bloody disheartening, dispiriting and more than one person I know and respect has talked about jacking it in after this season. People without whom, the daily struggle is going to increase. The only thing that ought to matter when we pay our money or come in to volunteer is the football club and making sure it thrives and survives at the highest possible level. We have made great strides off the pitch and in the community whilst seemingly fracturing into splinter groups supporter wise. This won't come as a surprise to those that might read on the football club and supporters trust board but too many people are putting self interest over the football club in my view.
Whilst I firmly believe fans deserve to have their chance to have their say, if you are unhappy at how the club is being run either by the football club board or supporters trust board then the AGM is the time to stand up and be counted.
In my view, survival was going to be the pinnacle this season and we are in target for that. We haven't had the luxury Met Police, Harrow or King's Langley have had in being able to keep the nucleus of a side together. I don't think Jimmy has got everything right but jeez, as brilliant as Gary was for us, let's not kid ourselves that he was some kind of deity by comparison.
Please, for the final five weeks of the season, get behind the boys and give Jimmy the opportunity next season to get a squad that he wants together, rather than one he can get.
EDIT: I realise this has come as a stream of consciousness, apologies for that.
Edited by John Rogers at 19:35:19 on 23rd March 2019
Re: Still not happy
All very fair comments John, and the more I've thought about it, the more I feel I've been unreasonable about the communication comments and for that I apologise to those concerned. Certainly haven't taken your comments personally.
Completely agree that it doesn't matter how we get the points we need to stay up, and also agree it could be a tough call on Dan Purdue to drop him into the fray given the situation we're in. Hopefully the manager can sort something for next week. I may have moaned on here, but I'll always support in a positive way from the sidelines - having a go at the players when they make errors get us nowhere however frustrating it may be. The manager has made some very honest comments in his interview this week, I certainly hope he's still with us next season regardless of what happens over the next few weeks.
Wishing the boys good luck for the trip to Poole, and I hope to be at the Dorchester home game the week after.
It's Official - I'm Worried!
Yesterday was truly shocking. We are in huge trouble. So many home games this season, you look how the opposition set-up and within five minutes you start realise you are going to struggle to stay in contention. We have to get goals if we are to survive. Recent up-front take-away. Staines, not the best barometer, I thought Connor looked fresh - yesterday, not surprisingly, his head dropped. There's no interaction. My problem surrounds the form of Shaq. I very rarely question players in this way, but yesterday, and I think it's been coming. He looked as if his confidence had evaporated. Failed to pass anybody or the ball. Accomodating Connor is a definable problem - Our forwards struggle to find any harmony. I was surprised in that context that Toomey, for his energy alone wasn't given a burst. (Presuming he was fit) Shaq played far better around Ricardo. I think there is a distinction. Dropping Shaq would be a huge call - 2012 season we had Mazzone in our ranks, briefly - didn't work - 48 goal season - Ngoyi came along and moved us on. Then players in the mould of Kezie (he played for Enfield yesterday - I looked) - That's where my mind is at! The likes of a Leon Smith type and I would imagine where-ever we are next season is probably the likelihood of what we need at some stage further down the road either in a partnership or a new strike-force. As for Matty, walking off he suggested he reacted to being initially kicked - no idea - him and me both. That could do more damage than the keeper making a ricket. A test of character all round - for eerybody. Time to dig deep.
Re: It's Official - I'm Worried!
I'm not convinced 4-3-3 is the way to go with the players we've got.
Connor needs help up front. We play to his head but have no-one playing off him, so why not keep it simple and go 4-4-2. I'm sure our full-backs would be happier with it too, as they don't get all that much protection at the moment.
Losing Harriott for 4 matches is a big blow.
We've seen enough re-builds to determine you need all components operational and firing to work. When it does - unplayable. Does Shaq go wide in a 4-4-2 or play alongside Connor. I think you need to probably incorporate both - or at least rotate. I worry about Shaq defensively. Red flags in build-ups vs Weymouth at home - then their goals - then on Saturday Howie given the run-around. Defenders need help from the midfielders. I think the gaffer has tried to identify this by playing Hope out wide on occasions. I don't think he has the capablilty to get past players and will instinctivly revert to this midfield areas, which are undermined by his absence. Connor has to get in the box - we are not the Met Police with Mazzone. We havn't got the players. The quandry is now whom to play central midfield and centre-half. I thought the goals at Staines we let in and on Saturday, our pairing looked suspect. Howie and Bayley maybe suited in cental roles. We have to win the ball in our own box. I've not seen Chaps cross the half-way line for weeks. 4-3-3 leaves us exposed down the flanks - the majority of goals conceded have a similar profile. I'm convinced we can survive - we need to change - we cannot keep going to games with the odd personnel change in a system and seeing the same issues un-folding. The personnel are certainly good enough - away games look in expansive grounds - plenty of space for us to exploit. We've got the personnel - we now have to get the best out of them.
Re: Totally Agree
If even Mr W admits to being worried, we really must be deep in the fertiliser! We've picked up the odd good point or two away but our home form has to say the least been dreadful. I'm afraid our guys are not showing the vital 90 minutes plus commitment and they have just 6 games to find and maintain that commitment.
As to the keeper situation, Lee only let in 1 second half goal, so maybe he should continue in this role!