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Wanderers Ways - passion not fashion


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Everything posted by ianofcleveleys

  1. All of this for me. Read an interesting article this morning (Mail Online via FB) about Plymouth's ownership, progress, extent of ambitions, quite a few parallels arguably, they're just a bit further forward in their journey than us. Its all boom and bust, agony and extasy far too much at every club these days, little room for measured, reasoned views (why I much prefer this forum than FB or Twitter), looking at it in blocks, maybe window to window, bit more my cup of tea. One block, from end of Jan to end of April, was enough to make a big difference last season
  2. Where I am with it, well put. No need for Evatt to be getting into a cold sweat about abandoning principles, just a bit of tweaking needed, mainly to get us out of the bad habit of slow starts and cheap goals tossed away. I'd just like to see us back to being a bit more front foot from kick off, teams have woken up to the idea that if they are they can knock us out of our stride and pinch a goal before we've got going. We've dropped off the pace from kick off lately and need to start matching that early intensity and effort of opponents, they're not all going to sit back and let us have it. Evatt might have to acknowledge our defence isn't that capable at this level and go with a 'double pivot' (getting in with the current buzz words here!) that protects them a bit more but can still spring attacks
  3. Not sure that many of us have that expectation, a few maybe on Twitter and FB but most folk I reckon would be happy with mid table and moving things forward again in next Summer's window. Its also not just whether we're on a run to Champ with Evatt, it's about what he's got to work with as well. Most of it was good enough to finish with a wet sail and get out of L2, a fair few finding the step up a challenge and we haven't got the budget some others have in this league for a wholesale upgrade. A steady effort this season and some further squad surgery before next season will do for me
  4. There's a lot I like about Evatt, get what he's trying to do in implementing an identity and style through from kids to first team, and I've enjoyed some of what I've seen from us at times last season and this as much as anything since Coyle's brief halcyon days. He's learning still as a manager and will make a few ricks now and then, in team selection, how he conducts himself, what he says etc, but if he does learn, pretty fast, from some of these difficult recent experiences he'll be ok and so will we.
  5. After last few results, and the manner of them, team talk ought to have been one sentence, 'start fast, don't concede first'. All out the window after a woeful 20 minutes. Teams have us well and truly sussed, get at us early doors and knock us off our game before we get going. Onus is on us from minute one to earn the right to play how we want, we're just not grasping that. We showed great character to keep pummelling them last half hour till they cracked, and could even have won if that thunderbolt from Dapo had gone in at end. It papered over a lot that was wrong though, we looked lightweight and soft centred, Isgrove (who was great coming forward last 20 mins) is not a full back, especially with such a nonentity as Kachunga in front of him, MJ was overworked again whenever we lost it and our back four needs two 'pivots' in front of them, they aren't good enough at this level without. Sheehan shows nice touches but too easily brushed off it. Doyle needs a partner, to help him get involved in game, spends too long with no-one close to him to be as effective as he could be. When Baka came on and got about them in his vicinity things started dropping and he was unlucky not to score late on. Moving Dapo into the no 10 role was Evatt's best decision of the day, caused havoc for last 25 mins, superb goal and nearly won it. First priority for me in Jan, other than obviously a right back, is an aggressive ball winning DM to give protection to defence and set counters going. We have to start nilling the opposition in a few games and building a more secure platform to play our game from, rather than constantly chasing games because we've shipped a cheap goal (or two). At the minute we look like a League 1 Arsenal, capable of great football, great goals and entertainment but flaky, soft centred and easily bullied. We did deserve at least a point in the end but Gillingham were rubbish, worst team we've played and we made an absolute meal of dealing with them. Great backing in that last 15-20 mins, must have helped them keep on pounding away till the death.
  6. I thought we looked like we were trying to get through the whole second half in 3rd gear, bit of a big ask at only 2-0, always keeps opponents interested and they kept going well. Thought their left wing back was a good 'un, great energy and pace, got forward well a number of times. Bit more defending required than we'd probably have liked but by and large we did it well, Santos and Johnston both really good. Keiran Lee first half was a Rolls Royce, absolute class act
  7. I thought that too, Kachunga pretty tidy and composed on ball throughout, good little ball to keep move going for Lee's first goal when Dapo slipped. Lee and MJ combo the key for me too. Although we won at Ipswich without Lee aside MJ we weren't as effective next two games, didn't score in either and the game they played together v Burton should have been a rout we were that far superior, just wouldn't go in (apart from wrongly disallowed one that might have opened the floodgates). Sarce and Doyle the conundrum for me, both grand lads, great team men, part of the fabric of all that's good about the team and club at the moment but there are quite lengthy spells in games where neither are much of a presence. Doyle only touched it 10 times all night and Sarce wasn't in it for much of first half and first 20 of second. Can see Evatt's loyalty to both, and our alternative to Doyle is nil at moment, but there are games where we could arguably be even more in control than we generally are. Minor gripe though, really enjoying the way we are going, doing things properly on and off the pitch, long may it continue
  8. Big word for those who went down there tonight, fair play to all, great that your efforts were rewarded, sounded like twice as many on the iFollow feed.
  9. Lee and MJ v Burton, should have been a trouncing, Lee popped up in the spot he scored from tonight and fired in a legit goal that night. We're a lot better with him in. If it's a toss up between Sheehan and Sarce so be it. Strange one this league compared to L2, we're conceding more as there are a good number of tidy sides going forward who press quicker and punish slips more ruthlessly but, on the other hand, an equal number of poor defences we seem to be finding it easy to carve open and make chances against. Either way, it's all very enjoyable and if we keep getting 15 points every 10 games we'll be in a good place come Spring
  10. I was looking from opposite end but, on their second, the wall didn't look very well lined up to me. Gilks then looked like he'd expected a bit more of an effort from them to jump and deflect it. Didn't think he could do much with third one, first one the lad lashed it but he won't have liked being done on near post. No real bollocks dropped, just a bit messy and cheap goals given away
  11. I think it's going to be a fitness awakening having less possession and control of the pace of game as we had last season, was easy for us to conserve energy by keeping the ball for long periods and dictating whether the game was slowed down or speeded up. Not likely we'll have such a luxury at this level, the only concerning bit for me wasn't that we blew up late on (we kept going till the end hence the equalizer) but that we had a few that looked short of speed, in and around their box but more concerningly when we lost it and were countered on. First half hour we struggled to get about their midfielders and pressure them enough, later in game, as they tired a bit, it evened up and we started to force errors and Sheehan got on ball more, in more space than he was operating in first half. It's a strange one. Overall, fitness wise, we arguably lasted the 95 minutes better than them but in a one paced sort of way, where we lacked speed in some key areas but kept boxing on and finally exploited them getting a bit ragged at the end. MJ not the quickest off the mark, Sarce not enough pace two or three times to exploit situations in their box, Doyle same, half a yard short. Some mitigating circumstances for him but nagging issue that he'll just be that half yard short at this level, at his age, anyway. With that bit more sharpness over short distances we could have had three first half when their calamity keeper and centre backs kept gifting us the ball If we bring any more in before end of window I'd like to see them be nippier, speed merchants who can get about, cover ground quickly and seize on errors more ruthlessly. Don't want that to all sound like a load of moaning, I hugely enjoyed yesterday and there was so much to like about us and how we tried to play, and how we scored 3 in our first game at a higher level
  12. Took him a while to be able to get on the ball in threatening areas, goal did him good, more influential second half as more space became available. Some nice turns, bursts, touches and passes then.
  13. I wonder if, once Santos is fit, there's a place for Johnston as a defensive midfield shield, would stiffen us up a fair bit in games where we're likely to enjoy less possession than we were used to last season One of my few concerns from a really good afternoon was that we struggled to get about them physically in midfield for half an hour or so and they found it a bit too easy to get at us. Johnston in front of Santos and Baps would be very solid away from home v top end sides Just a very early days thought, no doubt Ian E has seen a lot today and will reflect on it
  14. So enjoyed being back, fantastic atmosphere at start and roof came off at the end with that equalizer. Still a lot to do on the state of the stadium and I'd hoped they might have been able to use the year off to refresh the food and drink offer, which is really samey and tired. Can't do everything at once though, especially in current circumstances. On the game, great entertainment, a lot to like though some tough lessons learned about life up a Division. Bit more ruthless in their third and less naive in ours and we'll win some games. Bakayoko a revelation, real handful, added a major new dimension to our attack. Johnston great apart from that error for their first, reading of danger really good. Sheehan came into game more the longer it wore on as more spaces appeared. Dapo found it a bit tougher against a robust defender but still occupied and worried them a fair bit, Doyle clearly a bit of time required to get to full sharpness. Thought both our full backs were at full stretch defensively, Jones especially so last half an hour. Apart from that a really good , exciting game against a decent outfit where we made enough situations happen to have won 5 or 6 - 3. We didn't necessarily deserve to win but the least we deserved was a draw. Solid start, rest up and move on
  15. 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
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Think you were a bit gung ho now?
  19. 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
  20. 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.
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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
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