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Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2024 12:54 pm
by Kairdiff Exile
What an absolute barrel of bollocks. Apart from a 20min spell at the start of the second half, when we were already 2-0 down, there was no plan, no direction, no guile and no chance of any points.

Bristol Rovers knew how to defend, we didn't. They had a pair of centre-halves who used their bodies to deal with every through ball, made sure they were first to every 50-50, and weren't afraid to leave a foot in and intimidate our strikers. Our defenders, by contrast, seemed to feel that anything as gauche as tackling was beneath them. And worse than anything, Rovers looked like they were up for a battle and we didn't. I know Liam Manning wasn’t exactly the most inspirational manager ever, but I’ve been at "fire safety in the workplace" presentations that gee me up more than D-Bux would do.

Harris comes in for a lot of stick, but he did the best with what he was given yesterday and I think there's a player there (with the right support around him). His goal might have been a deflection, but he's still got to get into the right areas and have the instincts to do those things. We need to stop slagging off our attackers and sort out what's sat behind them IMHO.

Football aside(!), I actually quite enjoyed my visit to the Mem. It's been a few years since I was last there, and yesterday I was in the home end :shock: which was rather good. Spent one half in the West Terrace and then went and sat in the new stand, which knocks spots off the old beer tents which used to sit there. The fanzone behind the Thatcher's End was great too - saw a few Ox fans in there pre-match, and my lunch of curry goat with rice and peas was hands-down the best thing I've ever eaten at a football ground. Wouldn't it be nice if we could ever manage something like that?!?

Re: Gas-tly

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2024 11:53 am
by Isaac
There were a lot of complaints about lack of a plan on Radio Oxford after the game, which leads to criticism of the manager but I'm pretty sure the plan was the same as the game at Carlisle, get the ball into the feet if Rodrigues/Goodrham, then play from there. Not necessarily a great plan, admittedly. However it worked eventually at Carlisle but not at all at Rovers, too many players had poor games. I would think that's the end of the 3-4-2-1 formation, as Burey as one winger and Goodrham the other looks more theatening. The danger is that with all other wingers out injured, there's nothing on the bench so it'll either lose effectiveness over time, or those two will get injured.

McEachran has been a big disappointment, a Manning signing definitely and it's not worked out, he's not either mobile or physical enough and seems unable to play 90 minutes anyway, which for a professional footballer is strange. We made mostly good signings in the summer, but the never-ending lack of a defensive midfielder who can win some headers/tackles is baffling and a big failure in the clubs recruitment/planning. It was obvious last season and the McEachran signing was never going to be the answer. The Rovers 2nd goals was a classic example of this.

I agree about Harris, he scores some goals, gets in good positions and works hard. I expect once Goodwin is fit, or we sign another striker, our lack of wingers will mean he's forced to play wide right though, which might weaken us.

It sounds like the Rovers fanzone is similar to what they had at Carlisle. Our inability to do this at the Kassam is a massive hindrance. The club's aim of being a top 30 club seems miles away, mostly off the pitch, but also currently on it.

Re: Gas-tly

Posted: Tue Jan 30, 2024 1:46 pm
by Dr Bob
Listening to Des afterwards, it seems that once we get wingers all will be well with the world. He certainly is backing himself into a corner on this, as this seems to be the only indication we get of his views on the team.

And even if we get a replacement for Mills on the right, what about the rest of the pitch? We have lost the ability to defend, with Cumming's performance on Saturday hardly likely to inspire confidence amongst the back line. Our midfield is giving precious little cover at the back, nor much link-up from back to front.

The drive in the team seems to have dissipated. I can recall how we used to wonder why Denis Smith's half time team talks seem to involve a warm cup of Horlicks and an order to take it easy. That seems to be how Des is now sending the team out at the start.

It is too early to be calling for a manager's head, but Des has got some work to do if he is to arrest a slide that will only accelerate as more teams catch up our points total.

Re: Gas-tly

Posted: Fri Feb 02, 2024 3:49 pm
by Kernow Yellow
Yeah Saturday was terrible. Anyone thinking Cumming might be an upgrade on Beadle (or even an equivalent) would do well to look at all three goals. We were all over the shop for the first 45 mins. And even when we then dominated the start of the second half, all we had to show for it was a deflected long range effort from CamBran. We cannot rely on him and Goodrham to keep scoring worldies. Then of course we conceded another soft goal pretty quickly and it was game over.

Still, Tuesday was a big improvement, and with the new signings, key players returning from injury (and not having lost the two above mentioned goalscorers to other clubs), I'm feeling better already. To be honest my mood was lifted on Saturday evening by Bristol's excellent hostelries - the Hare on the Hill and Hillgrove being the pick fwiw. As KE says, Brizzle is an enjoyable place to go, despite the away terrace being the worst in the entire league by a mile, and being charged way too much for the privilege of that terrible view. I didn't even feel like there were many home fans wanting to chase me down Gloucester Road, which was a pleasant novelty for a trip to the Mem.

We're not going down, and we're still in with a chance of the play-off mix. Given the uncertainty off the pitch, and last season's omnishambles, I'll take that. I'm not even sure I particularly want to be in the Championship while we're at the Kasstad, though the away games might be more fun I guess...