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ianofcleveleys

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Posts posted by ianofcleveleys

  1. What was great that he supported that attack, made a good run to occupy defenders while Doyle was going through and would have been there for a tap in if keeper had saved and spilled it. Great energy and desire

  2. 1 hour ago, DazBob said:

    Not sure if anyone has mentioned it previously, but in the first half Harrogate pressed us aggressively and we couldn't cope at all. Second half they seemed to back off and give us more time on the ball - the number of times Santos was allowed to stroll into their half highlighted this. Maybe their players were just too knackered after their first half efforts?

    We seemed to kick off with an assumption it was going to be another of those games of patience like Barrow and (to an extent) Colchester, their positive attitude and aggression from the off caught us badly on the hop. Cambridge set the bar for positivity and high tempo from minute 1 but we've been nowhere near that since for some reason, need to start getting out the traps a lot smarter. 

    Second half was better and step up in workrate and pressing forced them back and into mistakes they'd advertised late in first half. The lad Jones, their left back, was a good 'un by the way. 

    Thomason was very unlucky not to be starting after last week's performance and, having been trusted in that game and delivered, it must have sent him some confusing messages. I get the sense though that he's a young lad who's smart enough and mature enough to have dealt with it, he turned the game today and shouldn't in such doubt about his place in future, even up against Lee or MJ, never mind Maddison. 

    I wanted Maddison to do well, again, hoped he'd have a good game, mix a few bits of magic with some solid play within the structure. After 40 minutes I'd seen enough unfortunately. Reminded me of the frustration / annoyance of watching Beckford when he was with us.

     

  3. 43 minutes ago, desperado said:

    Cant agree with either of those statements. 

    Firstly we tried all sorts today to get a goal. Ok it didn’t work, but we got early crosses into the box, quick through balls into attacking players, direct corners into box and shots from outside the box, hardly a team who “only want to score the perfect goal”

    And there’s plenty of teams (much better teams than us who have gone on to win premiership titles) who rely on 2/3 players to score the majority of their goals. Rooney and Van Persie in 12/13 and Costa and Hazard in 16/17. 

    It’s pretty unlucky that one of our best goal scorers, Sarcevic, is injured at the moment.

    Im quite pleased, in terms of evidence against the doubters, that the main culprit today for misses and us not winning the game, is Lee. Arguably our best player.

    And justifies the point that we are not going to walk over every team in this division. We are not streets ahead of every team. IE is not making incorrect decisions (unless you think dropping Lee is justified?) 

    This team is not perfect, they are suspect to inconsistencies, they don’t put away chances we all feel they should. So what? What are the doubters actually claiming here? 

    We are so much better than what we were in December. We are still work in progress. Why is that so difficult for some people to accept? 

    As a summary of today and where we are that'll do for me, well said.

    We've shown over this weekend we're still a work in progress and why. We're one of the best teams in the division, but not the best by far as some would have you believe. We only started our season in Feb and have put a superb run together to give ourselves a chance (while others have been faltering), albeit relying a bit too much on clean sheets and 1 or 2-0s. We don't turn a lot of possession into enough chances and, on the odd occasion we do make some, like today, we don't take enough of them.

     

    Eventually that was going to catch up with us, though it was encouraging despite the misses that we committed to getting more bodies in the box more often today, if we do that over the remaining games we won't keep missing.

    Thomason and Isgrove were the right changes in the right positions today, both had good games, Thomason in particular, showed maturity and confidence beyond his years and experience. We have missed Sarcevic though, suspect he'd have hit the net at least once today and caused more to happen around their box on Friday.

     

  4. 19 hours ago, Whitesince63 said:

    What’s all this weather could be an issue stuff? It hasn’t rained for ages so the pitch should be absolutely fine and there’s no rain forecast for tomorrow, just a bit windy, but same for both teams. We’re not going there for draws, if we do that we’ll be out of the top 3 and we mustn’t do that. For crying out loud, with the team we’ve got if we can’t beat the likes of Newport who’ve lost their last 3 anyway, then we should pack up. Only wins now and we’ll finish as champions. Another narrow win but a win all the same, after Friday the boys won’t let us and themselves down again.

    Think you were a bit gung ho now? 

  5. All I'd want to see is us doing things on the ball a lot quicker than Friday, it was too ponderous, predictable and easy to defend against. Suspect Newport will be up for it and will force the pace of the game to be quicker. 

    Wouldn't be over bothered if they had a bit of the ball and we were effective on the counter once we took it off them. Having said all that, pitch and weather could make it a lottery

  6. I used to come on here and enjoy the reasoned analysis and debate about the game just finished. Late on parade today but having waded through umpteen pages of what's turned into playground level bickering I'll sack it for tonight.

    All I'll say is off day but not the end of the world. Onto Monday.

  7. That goal was everything Doyle was brought in for, tight game, very few chances, one does come along, buried with aplomb. 

    Great game management second half, never really looked like conceding.

    Size and quality of our squad will be our plus over these last nine games, more and better options at Evatt's disposal than his counterparts can call upon, others losing key players without the same quality of replacements 

    Defensively really good again today, Baptiste and Santos impenetrable, John and Jones same out wide

     

     

     

  8. When Sarcevic has been out previously I haven't thought we'd particularly missed him but we did today, a pity that, after taking a long time, he was finding his best form last three games and knitting things together well around and just off Doyle. 

    Another tight game, most of the rest will be too, good win in the end on an off-ish day for a few too many of us. Take away from it for Evatt and the squad, can't afford to start that slowly and end up shipping a goal for them to cling onto. Miles off the tempo v Cambridge today, however hard working Walsall were. 

    Crossing is poor as many have said, sometimes it's not easy as there's only Doyle in there and he's a bit particular about how / where he wants it, but two or three times today we cooked the box and cross didn't beat first man

  9. Wind and pitch didn't help either side but they've regressed a long way since that game at ours. Yes we were abysmal defensively that day but they did look a decent side who could play a bit. Today they looked about the worst side we've played all season

  10. A real grind but a great win nonetheless, tremendous collective effort and application again, including from Arthur and Elbouzedi who both played a good part. 

    We weren't so good today with the ball but were excellent without it, great defensive work from 1-11, back four rock solid again but Williams and Lee breaking so much up in front of them a big help. Williams height a big plus today, he won umpteen headers second half 

    A quiet midweek well earned and well appreciated I imagine, been a tough month. 

    Some difficult games to come in the run in for sure but bobbly pitches and wind are likely to be as big a foe as any of them. That Cambridge performance said to me we shouldn't worry about anyone other than ourselves

     

     

     

     

     

  11. 51 minutes ago, Leyther_Matt said:

    Personally I don't see Kioso being as good defensively as Jones, who I think has been a real stand out player of this recent run.

    I'd agree with that, he's improved game by game over the last 10, maybe not the toughest tackled but reliable enough defensively, got forward and made some really telling contributions like the one for Doyle's goal last night.

    As a back four they are a very good unit defensively and offensively, getting the blend bang on at minute

  12. We had them groggy for 60+ minutes through great ball retention, near-70% possession, everyone playing within the structure, working and pressing together to quickly get it back. 

    Within 10 minutes of Maddison coming on they had a sniff of working their way back into it because he gave them cheap possession half a dozen times then made his usual limited effort to help get it back. He had a chance in a zero risk situation at Oldham to play his way into form and was absolutely rank, giving it away, running into folk and falling over, sulking about when something didn't work.

    Had another chance tonight, didn't take it again, all the same issues. A luxury we can't afford when it is all about structure and organisation with and without the ball. Not what we need on this run in and I wouldn't start him in a game till we're already promoted

  13. For an hour that was as much as I've enjoyed watching us for a decade, absolutely scintillating football, made 2nd look like 22nd, playing a completely different game to them. Slickness of movement from back to front was a joy to watch, our passing was quicker and more direct, shredding them umpteen times.

    Our only achilles heel there again though, still not enough goals to rest easy late on. Not exactly sitters being tossed up but some efforts that ought to have been better and a couple that were just a bit unlucky. 

    2-0 never that secure a lead and, as has been said earlier, while you can't legislate for Gilks howler, they'd been allowed a sniff and a bit of momentum before that with Maddison sub. For him to be indulged we need to be at least 3 up with 20 minutes left. 2 up and half hour was high risk. 

    Having watched that tonight the only thing that will stop us getting automatic promotion is us, whether it be wastefulness in front of goal, keeper howlers or over confidence with subs or selections. That starting 11, that shape, bit more ruthlessness,  that level of performance of the first 60 mins for most of all of the 90, we won't lose a game and could even win them all.

  14. It was a disappointing goal to concede, couple of chances to clear after the initial free kick (which wasn't very good) then a couple more from the corner. They'd properly gone for it by then though, every striker they have on the pitch, keeper up, the works. Chucked it in the mixer and it paid off for them, fair enough.

    Wouldn't have played out as a situation if we'd been two up, more the issue for me, not making enough of all the possession and approach play

  15. Momentum can be a factor in last dozen or so games, as can squad size and quality, we've both of those to call upon. Cheltenham and Morecambe both maintaining consistent progress, as are Exeter, most of the rest throwing an off one in now and then. 

    I didn't particularly rate Cambridge last time, if Crellin hadn't chucked one in we'd have beaten them on their own patch even with the half a team we had then. 

    Was frustrating today only because it was another nearly-but-not-quite day, great defensive structure and workrate, collective commitment, plenty of possession, stylish play up to final third but, the big but, not clinical enough again with final decision, pass, cross. Corners were awful again too. Isgrove's look like he's a kid on an adults pitch who's struggling to get it further than near post.

    Lots of takes on Doyle tonight, for me he's a L1/2 striker for a reason. He's a bit too particular where he wants the ball when it comes in, doesn't gamble enough and is on his heels too often on balls that are fired into that corridor of uncertainty around six yard line, and by his own admission, doesn't like heading it much. He's a flat footed runner without much pace, doesn't stretch defences, his hold up play isn't anything special and he doesn't make it stick enough if anything is put up to him above waist height.

    Having said all that, I wouldn't particularly put Miller in before him and we've nobody else in the wings so either he needs to try to adapt (not that likely) or we need to work harder at being more accurate and selective with our crossing, so he gets it where he wants it more often, then it's up to him to convert a big enough percentage.

     

  16. Maddison and how it's going is a bit like a L2 version of (at least till last week) Bale at Spurs. Big name, big reputation, obvious talent but something to prove. Everyone wanting him to do well and hoping it happens when he gets the ball but, sadly, it doesn't 

    Couple of times he got the ball in areas where I was 'go on, now, go past him and fire it in the top corner' only for him to stumble straight into the defender and fall on his arse 

  17. 18 minutes ago, desperado said:

    If we were chasing a game I could understand the observation. But that 2nd half was about maintaining what we had and more importantly managing the squad with the rest of the season in mind.

    Unlike previous games those subs weren’t about bringing game changers on, it was about resting those who went off. Lee and Afolayan were playing as good as anyone out there today and Doyle was much better than Saturday. 

    Fine with us managing the minutes for those that went off, schedule is relentless and Sat will be tough, but we weren't under any pressure to just maintain and there were easy opportunities to be a bit more ruthless and pick off that third and even fourth goal. All three who went off did play well, for sure, Lee's best game so far, Doyle looked fresh and at it again and Dapo a real thorn in their side

  18. In a situation tailor made for Maddison to improve his touch, output and confidence he was abysmal. No chance of him starting a game in near future unless we have a raft of injuries. 

    Thought the whole last half hour was wasteful and sloppy, golden opportunity wasted to improve our GD, which we could do with doing.

    That gripe aside after a tricky first 15 mins rest of first half was great, couple of good goals, back four solid and assured again, Dapo a handful, Doyle back at it after a few flat games. MJ strolling to good effect, Sarcevic a lot better and lasted 90 mins well.

    Sat going to be tough, on a poor pitch, nilling them the start point then nick it with our bit of extra quality

     

     

     

  19. Just going like for like with the subs was a wasted opportunity from Evatt, we were crying out for quicker, more direct passing and people being prepared to run at opponents, if for nothing other than to lure them into fouls and get free kicks. Bringing Arthur on was fine but why at Dapo's expense? The only times they'd looked unsettled were when he was on the ball.

    The triumvirate of Lee, MJ and Sarce didn't work and Thomason was a big miss, he can play it quicker, longer and more forward. Sarcevic had a couple of good moments first half but was non existent second half, should have been hooked. Better as a sub in the no 10 role

    Doyle's looking a bit flat for me, perhaps understandably, hardly missed a minute for months. Never shirks but been on his heels a few times when good crosses have come in last few games and first touch has been poor. Miller looks a better finisher at minute. 

    Set pieces have been picked up earlier in the thread, awful yesterday, as were our crosses from open play. Isgrove was like a little lad on a man's pitch, couldn't reach front post all afternoon from a corner. 

  20. Back four and two holding, with the injection of quality, has been the making of Baptiste and Santos, and Jones too, who's been really solid and tidy last few games. John obviously at least next level up and has added reassurance on that side.

    I wouldn't mind seeing Thomason's stats for tonight, a couple of ragged, tired passes late on, but for 80 minutes his pass percentages must have been off the scale. Many of those were in tight, pressurised areas but he never stops wanting it and shows no fear. Having a little rest last week maybe did him some good, his energy levels were great tonight

  21. Top drawer performance from 1-11 plus subs from start to finish. Williams and Thomason half a bottle of champagne each, both tremendous.

    Big plus is being able to make multiple subs and not see any drop off in how we play, Miller, Arthur, Sarce all got straight into flow of game and contributed 

    More solid defending again, only couple of sniffs they had were from bits of errors from us, great foundations being laid for winning games and building runs. Enjoyable night.

     

     

     

     

     

  22. Great time to score and a great goal. Sarcevic doing what he's ideally suited to doing at minute, coming on into that no10 role late in game when spaces appear. Two good parts in a superbly executed goal

  23. Outstanding half, best I can remember for control, passing and domination for a long time. Maybe not a lot created first half hour but moving them around really well. 

    Some very good quality from out wide from John, Isgrove, Jones. Cohesion and patterns between Williams, Thomason and the rest absolutely top drawer.

    72% possession that half, like watching City

     

  24. 3 hours ago, Mounts Kipper said:

    He’s to good. Nothing to benefit by playing lower level than he is at the moment. 

    Bang on, the lad's shown enough already in the games he's had to show he's at least capable of playing regularly in L2, possibly higher. He's had a good run of games, a lot of them back to back, and in those seen off the likes of White, Comley and Tutte. We have now got sorts like Lee and Williams that ought to be better than him and are, no slight on the lad though and Evatt clearly knows his value and potential. He'll still be in the mix for rest of this season and into next

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