Something smells fishy

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Mr T
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Something smells fishy

Post by Mr T » Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:20 am

My first game of the season, and not the best one to see.
We deserved to lose, and were fortunate that it was by just 2 goals.
Though we played well at times, we never threatened, and some players don't appear to up to it, in particular Martin, who had a shocker.
I felt sorry for Maguire & Sercombe who huffed & puffed all night without the support of others.
Welch-Hayes at full back settled in well.
I see a long hard season ahead...
Bring back the black away shirt!

Shoobedoo
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Re: Something smells fishy

Post by Shoobedoo » Thu Aug 18, 2016 11:32 am

A long way to go for such a disappointing display. Fleetwood were comfortably the better side; stronger, better organised and more streetwise, and in their no. 10 (Ball) they had the only player on show who looked capable of changing the game. I thought he looked the best player on the pitch in the first half and was unsurprised that he opened the scoring early in the second.

As for our deficiencies: Way too slow in attack. Not enough quality balls into the box. Not enough support from the midfield leaving Taylor and Hemmings to chase scraps all night. Not enough scrapping in midfield. Giving the ball away too easily. Lack of communication in defence.

I think Maguire is being played in the wrong place. Wide left just isn't working, he doesn't track back which leaves the defence exposed, neither has he the pace to overlap. He should be in the no. 10 role and I would probably sacrifice Taylor, who for all his worthy effort looks as likely to score as I would.

We *desperately* need pace out wide. I'd go so far as to say not one but two wingers. I admire McDonald's effort but he a) can't beat a defender and b) gives the ball away too much.

A lot's being said about Lunny and Sercs - I think that there are two issues beyond their control here; firstly there are fewer passing options at the moment and because Taylor is playing there's more of a tendency to play long and cut them out; secondly they are up against much better players in League One and have less space to work in. However as a pair they are looking worryingly lightweight at the moment.

Obviously the defence is injury hit at the mo. I think when Nelson and Dunkley are fully fit we'll be OK centrally. Martin is a panicky defender who should learn to listen to his team mates (eg. when your keeper shouts "Keeper", that usually means that he's in a position to claim the ball - which means that you don't have to whack it into touch giving possession away in a dangerous area). MW-H had a decent debut but it speaks volumes of our attack that his were the best crosses into the box all night. Skarz was generally solid and no blame for the defeat can be placed on Eastwood who had no chance with both well-taken goals and looks like the best of our new intake.

Overall a rude awakening to the step up in quality that League 1 brings. More pace, a bit more mental toughness, and more doing the simple things well are urgently required, otherwise I fear a long hard season.

Kairdiff Exile
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Re: Something smells fishy

Post by Kairdiff Exile » Thu Aug 18, 2016 12:04 pm

Shoobedoo's summary is a good one. I thought the same about Maguire / Taylor against Birmingham last week. Taylor's a decent option, but I don't think he's as good as Appleton thinks he is, whereas Maguire in that role would create more for Hemmings. As Shoobedoo says though, we need to sign a decent left-wing option first.

Aaron Martin reminds me a bit of Phil Whelan - he's tall and strong, and should be a commanding centre-half. But he's not, he's bloody awful. He's been like a rabbit caught in headlights several times this season, and is undoubtedly the weakest link at the moment. How we thought he'd be better than Wright or Mullins (who had a good game against Newport on Tuesday by all accounts), I don't know.

We'll be fine this season, I'm sure. And Appleton already knows about the lack of width, the lack of squad depth (particularly for the strikers) and Martin's deficiencies. I'd expect swift progress to be made on addressing the first two, whilst the latter will be less of a factor when Dunkley's back.

Mr T
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Re: Something smells fishy

Post by Mr T » Thu Aug 18, 2016 2:42 pm

when Dunkley's back.[/quote]

Dunkley was back! And played well.

Apparently Nelson was on the coach, but not fit enough to be on the pitch.

As for Phil Whelan reminders; please don't!
Bring back the black away shirt!

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Re: Something smells fishy

Post by SWA » Thu Aug 18, 2016 3:22 pm

[quote=". How we thought he'd be better than Wright or Mullins (who had a good game against Newport on Tuesday by all accounts), I don't know.

.[/quote]

Mullins was sent off in the game. He might still have had a good game I suppose :mrgreen:

GodalmingYellow
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Re: Something smells fishy

Post by GodalmingYellow » Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:08 pm

Ah Phil "turning circle of an 18 wheel 'un"

In comparison, we were more competitive against The Cod than against Brizzle. Competitive in the sense of closing down, tackling etc, not in the sense of being likely to score.

Having got back at well past 3am, I'm still in recovery mode!

Much has already been said that I concur with.

Eastwood is our best signing of the summer and best player generally at present. Once again no fault for the goals, he was left wide open and had no chance for either.

MWH did OK, albeit understandably a bit naive at times, it was genuinely refreshing to have someone out wide prepared to run forwards at pace. That's as much a damning indictment of the rest of the team as it is recognition of MWH.

Skarz looked slow to me, but wasn't at fault for their goals and at least tried to get forward.

It was very good to have Dunkley back. I want Jake Wright back too.

Aaron Martin is either stupid, unfit, or a combination of the two. I don't care where he played last season, he is not even League 2 standard at present.

Sercombe was outfield MoM, with a hell of a lot of yards covered and he looked by far the most likely to score and create.

Lunny remains badly out of sorts. No idea why, but he isn't worth his wages at present. Maybe the captaincy is just too early and like a mill stone.

One of our biggest issues is that whilst our strikers are not scoring, it is a luxury to play both Maguire and Macca, who are both very similar types of player. They put in work to create attacks, but provide nothing defensively when an attack fails. Effectively a formation of 4-2-2-2 results and our defence is exposed.

Fleetwood played very fast counter attacking football and each time our attacks failed, we were left with 3 on 3 or 4 on 4 at the back because they pushed out quickly, whereas our tracking back was snail's pace.

Our strikers, were static and ball watching for most of the game. Good strikers are continuously on the move, trying to outsmart defenders with clever positioning just out of line of sight, or exactly between defenders causing the defenders to question their own positioning. Strikers move around in order to move defenders around creating space for others, or using their pace and guile to sneak in when their marker is focussing elsewhere. Our strikers did none of that. Fleetwood strikers did and often found themselves unmarked and in space. The best strikers shoot when they can see a clear path to goal, they don't try to keep improving their shooting position, taking too long and allowing defenders to block their path.

Fleetwood are an ordinary League 1 side. They will have little to do with promotion and little to do with relegation I.e. Just the type of team we should be at least matching in our quality of play. That we did not really match them is an early season concern, but it will be December before we must judge if the team can reach the standards required. Let's not get jumpy in August please.

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Re: Something smells fishy

Post by OUFC4eva » Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:33 pm

Skarz looked to be badly at fault
for the second Fleetwood goal.

A slide rule pass in behind and Skarz
was left for dead.Tidy finish though, low across Eastwood.

Taylor never seems to get on the end of any
crosses into the box -both high and low. I
also don't see any midfielders joining in.

I am worried - there is no cut and thrust in this U's
team attacking wise. I am not going to panic yet
although it's a slow start once again as per the
last two seasons under 'Appy. We certainly need
reinforcements to this squad pdq.

It has to be Thomas and Hemmings versus Peterborough.
as the central strikers. Baldwin and Bostwick at the
heart of the Posh defence are not the quickest.
Last edited by OUFC4eva on Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Kairdiff Exile
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Re: Something smells fishy

Post by Kairdiff Exile » Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:36 pm

Mr T - sorry, should have said Nelson, not Dunkley. Those two are the only viable pair at CB on current showing.

SWA - yes, Mullins did get sent off right towards the end, but Radio Wales said he hadn't done much wrong up until that point.

Good to see that everyone else's recollection of Phil Whelan is the same as mine. He was the king of the poorly-judged backpass, IIRC, forever playing in opposing strikers for an easy one-on-one with the 'keeper. Martin hasn't done that yet, but there's something about his demeanour when heading the ball which was redolent of Whelan.

(Postscript - a Google search shows that Mr Whelan is now a primary school headteacher in Nantwich: http://thenantwichnews.co.uk/2015/01/19 ... b-nantwich - one for the Where Are They Now wall of fame!)

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