U's v Gills

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U's v Gills

Post by OUFC4eva » Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:39 am


Last six fixtures between the clubs:

Oxford 3-0 Gills
Gills 0-1 Oxford
Oxford 1-0 Gills
Gills 0-1 Oxford
Oxford 0-0 Gills
Oxford 0-0 Gills

What Bogey side ? Anyway U's first Saturday triumph against Gillingham in Oxford
since November '76. It was, in the end, a comfortable win and it could have been by more goals.
Jack Payne, the impressive Joe Rothwell and another from Robbie Hall did the damage.

Special praise to big Jon Obika who played the lone striker role excellently, John Mousinho
who slotted in so well and centre back partner Curtis Nelson who oozed class.
Gills were blown away by three second half goals in eight minutes and manager
Ady Pennock appears to be walking a tightrope after a dismal run.

The attendance was a bit on the low side but the football is good !

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Re: U's v Gills

Post by Dr Bob » Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:01 pm

My first game of the season, so I was not sure what to expect. In the end, it was a curate's egg of a game. Clearly we are still work in progress regarding Pep's project, but ultimately a decent performance, admittedly against a poor Gills side. That said, they missed a sitter and another decent chance, before Obika blazed over. From then on, we took control of the game, but for the rest of the first half only Payne appeared to have a third and fourth gear.

Those first few minutes of the second half showed what we could do when we picked up the pace a bit. After that, a couple of decent efforts saved (and I could not tell from my angle, but did Thomas clear Ricardinho's effort off the line?) and we eased back off, at least going forward. What impressed me defensively was not only that we kept right on it, but that whenever the ball broke free from a defensive tackle in our box, there was always another defender to clear the loose ball. In the end a comfortable win in preparation for what is certainly going to be a tougher test on Tuesday.

Shout out for Canice Carroll. Yes, he did well having been called up to start so late on. But more than that he did well. (Full Stop). For his age, he looks as good as any youngster we have had in a very long time. Rothwell had as good a game as I have seen from him. Mousinho came in and had a great game.

It is going to be interesting to see just how good this side can be when really pushed.

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Re: U's v Gills

Post by Old Abingdonian » Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:55 pm

Agreed - Gillingham were as poor as Coventry last season, not just in skills and ideas, but in commitment. They look strong relegation contenders.

That said, we played pretty well. In the first half, some of the skills were not up to the ambition of the play. Payne can receive balls to feet surrounded by three players, but other can't, and so we wasted some good possession. In the second half, our decision-making was impressive, because both our first and third goals hinged on players carving out a good shooting chance rather than snatching at a half chance.

I too was impressed by the attitude at 3 - 0: the clean sheet remained important. Nelson is absolute class and so quick for this level.

I understand about competition for places, but do we have one too many centre backs: Nelson, Mousinho, Williamson, Raglan all good at this level, and Long & Ribeiro who can play there?

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Re: U's v Gills

Post by recordmeister » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:33 pm

Mousinho was good yesterday, but was astonishingly slow at times. Gills changed their style to play us, and their first sub (I think) was to take both their massive front players off- and they improved after that. I still think Williamson is the better CB but is also more mature, and I don't have an issue with a bit of rotation. It's a marathon not a sprint at the end of the day. Same with our two central midfielders: happy for that to be a choice of 2 from 4 players, and now Mowatt looks like he could be an option for Payne.

I said it on the radio, and I'll say it here: the biggest issues this season could be Pep not having a settled XI, as he's got good players to rotate. If it works, we'll praise him. If it doesn't, we'll all be saying that he doesn't know what his best XI is.

Either way, I'm excited. I came away from yesterday's game with a real feeling of strength in depth (the balance on the bench was perfect: GK, 2x Defenders, 2x MF, 2x forwards, and all who could have started the game. Plus we have more in reserve.

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Re: U's v Gills

Post by Dr Bob » Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:50 pm

recordmeister wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:33 pm
I came away from yesterday's game with a real feeling of strength in depth (the balance on the bench was perfect: GK, 2x Defenders, 2x MF, 2x forwards, and all who could have started the game. Plus we have more in reserve.
When the subs came on, the shape and approach did not really change much. This requires a clear sense of what our style of play is about, and having players with the quality to implement it. I cannot recall the last time I had such confidence in the depth of quality in the squad.

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Re: U's v Gills

Post by OtmoorYellow » Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:09 pm

Gills competed to a reasonable extent in the first half, but in the second half we were superior. I think Ledson and Rothwell were played too deep in the first half, and in the second half they joined up with Payne much more.

After Mousinho's poor marking which so nearly led to a Gills goals very early on, I thought he had a very good game. We have real competition for places at the back.

Mowatt too looked very good indeed. Better than Lundstram.

Ledson had a top top game and was MoM for me.

Riccardinho is pure class. I can see higher division clubs wanting him.

Disappointed with Thomas again, who missed or messed up a number of opportunities, including that 2 yard miss that went 20 yards over the goal, and which may have been going in anyway.

Obika is a proper striker. He works hard for the team from the front, which Thomas doesn't do. He holds up play, is big and strong, and feeds the advancing midfield well. My only wish would be that he shoots a little more often.

If I had to be uber critical, and I don't, I would say that our current set up makes us quite narrow and without touchline wingers. Maybe Pep wants to play 3 centre backs and allow the full backs more of an advancing role?

If I had to be uber critical also, and again, I don't, playing a lone striker means we lose possession too often when longer balls are played up field, as a lone striker can't be everywhere at once. This is a bit swings and roundabouts though, as it enables us to play a number 10, and I do like a number 10, as well as allowing the 2 central midfielders to join in the attacks.

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Re: U's v Gills

Post by Shoobedoo » Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:03 am

I got to see half of the game on Saturday (how typical that all the goals came after I left); sitting in the SSL about half way between the halfway line and the East Stand, I can only concur about Ricardinho's quality. His awareness of what's going on around him, his ability to create and move into space, his quickness of thought, the accuracy of his passing, and his ability to do the, er, game management stuff mark him out as a very very high calibre player indeed. Probably the best player we've had in any position for quite a long time. He was worth the admission money on his own.

(And I'm not Mrs Ricardinho)

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