What the fans think!
Eardley - Improving slightly game by game. I think that he is not a good crosser of the ball at all, always seemed to get the ball no further than the first man on more than a handful of occasions and even then the balls into the box were somewhat aimless; just a punt up the pitch so he could get rid of the ball. He STILL doesn't seem to be playing with a lot of confidence and the flair and steadiness that we came to expect of him last season seem to have gone in the main.
Hazell Nut - I thought Reuben had a great game. Since his first start against Bristol Rovers (did I get that right?) he has improved his fitness levels and has more pace than we have previously seen. Perhaps a shrude signing from Shez as he has not disgraced himself at all and plays a tidy game, winning the headers and trying to find a simple pass to a man. Gets the job done and does not take risks. To say that he has arrived from Chesterfield and has only played at Torquay and Tranmere and that reports of him were somewhat worrying, he has settled in well. I think he should be given a contract to the end of the season if his current performances continue.
Gregan (pictured) - Was on song this week. He pushed up more towards the end, driving the midfield to push further upfield as we were close to going in front. Usually puts in good performances apart from a few occasions where he doesn't track back and without any real pace he's beaten. He has also shown a tendancy recently to get rather frustrated with referee decisions and "take
players out" in his anger. I also thought I saw a bit of heated moaning to Liddell after coming out for the second half, perhaps its just constructuive or perhaps he should just get on with the game.
Bertrand - Has played well all season. Young and enthusiastic, he plays a steady game; either a pass to feet or a well-thought ball forward, never really an aimless punt up the field. I could see on Saturday he was getting forward more and overlapping with Taylor. Good show of pace and was pleased to see him go on his own towards the end of the game as Taylor had
been caught in possession going forward too many times and so I think his frustration with Taylor's lack of end-product spurred him to go alone.
Liddell - Great game this week. Always a fan of Lidds but recently he has been fairly average. Showed his experience this week. We know his legs have gone for him to do long sprints all game but at times he ran right down the pitch - one example being when we broke forward and he ran on the counter with the ball with Ricketts and Davies to aim at. He is generally very
good at finding the correctly timed pass when on the counter and his balls into the box were of a high standard this week. He plays a quiet game but is always hugging the touchline as an outlet and always offers that little bit of difference to vary and break up the play.
Kalala - Was very pleased. A good ball winner who tended to lose the ball at times but overall a good game. Managed to keep his position in the middle more often and was pleased that he wasn't darting all over the pitch. Shez said at the Q&A night that he would rather he stayed in position and I think that is starting to show.
Allott - Dire game. I cannot take any positives apart from the slightly lucky goal he scored. He looked glum and half asleep yet again. He does not mark men on throw-ins, just space. He cannot keep up when running to track back with attacking opposition and cannot tackle at all. He made one tackle in his time on the green and it resulted in a foul. No use whatsoever. His rumoured 50K fee and wages could have paid for wellens to stay and we'd still have Kilkenny. Allott looked like the "tidy ball winner who can find a good pass" player we had been led to believe he had become like he showed in
pre-season against Sheff Wednesday but he has been awful since Swansea.
Taylor - Still very frustrating. Still comes to the halfway line for the ball instead of waiting halfway in the opposition half to receive it and push on. Instead he gets it further down field, the midfiled become skewed and the team shape screwed up. Then he darts forward trying to do a dummy as to which way he will go, always inside and no end product, except for Wolfy's goal. Should just slow down a bit and go outside more. Seems he doesn't listen to the manager as this is what Shez is trying to get him to do, vary his play more. Having said that he was surrounded by two or more players for most of the game but should still do better IMO.
Ricketts - Did play quite well, I'd say a 7/10. He seems to be deployed as an aerial ball-winner who will provide for the attacking midfield to strike. He could have done more but he had a poor first touch on saturday. He is showing more will and aggression though and also promising signs.
Davies - A frustrating day for him I feel. A number of times he slipped on our uber-slick surface and other times he could have made a pass rather than take it on himself. Always runs for everything so we can't grumble. Just out of luck this time I feel.
Kilkenny - Showed very little signs of injury and gave us that bit of extra zest and energy. Finished well and I would have thought, judging by Allott's performance, that he will start with Kalala. If there is an outright attacking midfielder with JP, he will have no doubts that he can stay back and be the defensive type.
Wolfenden - Has not had a lot of time on-field to shine. In previous games he has faded into the background somewhat but against Crewe showed what a nuisance he can be. He showed pace and aggression and against the lesser competition and continuing good performances from the bench should be given a start. Promising future ahead.
To sum up. We have improved again on our poor starts. Again, we were sloppy in patches and when we did get going it was a joy to see what we are capable of. A high-tempo attacking game. People seemed to link up better this game too. I think that our new style this year is to punt the ball to the strikers who will win it and involve the midfield. However our midfield is the
current weak link. We are sat too far back and so no infield passes can be made, just long balls from the full-backs to strikers which centre-backs will eat them up all day. When we go forward our midfield, bar Liddell, do not push on. Taylor stays back down the left (so frustrating) and Kalala and Allott, whichever does not have the ball seem in two minds as to what to do. If the midfield pushed on then the strikers can be more of a nuisance to defences and creat openings rather than having to receive the ball and turn on it. Defenders can spot this a mile off and so our chances in front of goal become limited.
I think Shez is getting there but he still seems less confident about what he's saying, and where he envisions us this year. I think he just hopes that things will work out as though he has a niggling doubt. I might be reading too much into it but he seems less forthright in hIs confidence than last season. As other people have said, we will need to be on song against Leeds. Im sure Wise will have his players playing for time and flying in with rough tackles but we have to be up for it mentally and not give into provocation.
90 minutes of the last 15 of the first half against Crewe and we will be fine.
Just my two cents...
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