Outclassed - Part 1
So much to write - need segments! Today beaten by a very efficient Poole side. No particular qualms in that, other than the following:- I go back to the Billericay friendly. I came down for a night game, hotel job for that one. Never done that before. One reason only. They exhibit the championship credentials the sides at the very top of what we have to face in our league dipict. Hence, Billers, The Terras and Poole today - same credentials. That's the benchmark. Billers night. I raved, whooped! 'That pass' from the back - (they tried one today). The lad Tingey masterful, we matched them, built from the back. Compare that to today! I went into today with one intention - to watch the lad Connor and our wonderful trait of knocking everything skyward in his direction. The first damn dozen goal-kicks all at him - he lost them all. It was the 44th min before he won one. I'm not getting at the lad, you would fancy any top centre-half to dominate - and they both did. It's the fact that we have forsaken any attempt at playing creative football to concentrate on such a frankly benign usage of play. In contrast their centre-backs, I thought were absolutely top draw. The Terras, Zubar-esque, playing from the back and spreading the ball wide a la Billers and the The Terras. What truely annoys/mystifys me is that we've done it, albiet sparodically ourselves. Pressing higher from the back line instinctivly puts the opposition on the back foot and pens them in. Pretty sound logic. We play passes into the feet of the front-men over twenty yards - there's little in the way of stringing passes together or creativity. Yet on paper, you can make the reasonable argument we have stronger personnel.
Re: Outclassed - Part 2
I would even advocate that even today our best moments, and even in recent home games, have stemned from our centre-halfs distribution. It gives extra leverage and yardage. Defensively today, I thought we were all at sea, the constant changes. Is the lad on loan up-front a help or a hindrence at this point? I do think in trying to read the Gaffers mind, he has settled on the 3 up front notion. Are we just accomodating personnel or do we try and function as a unit incorporating the left/right backs? We look some way off. Hardly a lost cause. I do have a problem with our central midfield duo - whoever it is. I think they play in-front of eachother and then the lad screening the defence gets drawn in and is often seen in their position. Teams like Harrow, Dorch, Swindon et al, all move their midfields in solid banks. Naploeon would love it. It's effective. We look dis-jointed. These are the teams we constantly struggle against. Matty has a strike-rate of 1 in 5, identical to the Maclaren legend. He and his chosen opperative have the similar traits, but again the contrast in roles is evident. I think next week characterizes a real roll up the sleeves, keep it on the deck, kinda day. We are definitely in it. Post that, we need to work on a style of play to incorporate our best attibutes out of our fowards. I was hoping the first 45 v Deeping we had found rock bottom. We could be slowly turning towards the upside, time will tell. We are crying out for a style of play. Today we were given a footballing lesson - maybe one day, not to much into the distant future we can return the compliment.
Re: Outclassed - Part 2
I decided to sleep on it before posting this time around.
I expected to get nothing before the game and Poole were excellent, I thought. Efficient, compact, passed the ball well and thoroughly clinical when chances fell their way. They looked stronger, fitter and sharper than us. I can only think of perhaps three aerial challenges we won over the 90 minutes and about the same number on the ground whilst some of our boys seemed to be running in treacle at times. The tempo and intensity of the second half last week only a distant memory and the crowd was sub-200 once again.
The league table, even though it's early days, makes for grim reading. 7 points from 8 matches and in the bottom three.
The squad isn't one comprised of players in their first season at this level. Most have plenty of experience at the level above whilst I think maybe only Kam, of the regular starters, hasn't played as high as Step 3 before.
I know we don't have a good budget and I know that restricts the players the manager is able to bring in. I noticed one of our fans on Twitter asking why Zak Joseph has gone to Chesham on-loan? There's a number of reasons - Chesham can afford to pay more, Chesham are around the top of the table and not the bottom -you'd certainly like to think if we knew he was available we'd have been in for him. Despite that, surely, the squad we have man for man should be doing better than this? Those games where we were on top and chances were going begging - if we'd have taken even a fraction of them we'd be what, six points better off?
Watching from the side, the body language doesn't seem good either on the pitch or from the bench right now and that's a bit of a concern. We have some tough games ahead and the worry is that we could quite easily enter November being cast adrift in the drop zone meaning a long hard fight ahead of us. A couple of wins and we're back in touch with mid-table - but where are they going to come from?
I'll be there Tuesday, I'll be there Saturday and I'll be there Saturday week hoping, from somewhere, for better.