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Brief Synopsis

Aug 11, 2013
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To my mind the last two games against league opposition demonstrated a continuation of the end of last season with slightly better centre backs.

Regulation two goals conceded - at least Cooper is getting into training picking the ball out of the net twice a game again.

Make do wingbacks rather than the real deal.

Jephcott not putting the ball away when he has had good chances

Regularly losing possession in dangerous areas - leading to goals and chances.

Mayor looking like a world beater but nothing much ever comes of his efforts.

Ponderous slow build ups.

Corners aside we need to work on set pieces. I was incensed by a free kick around the half way line where everyone is expecting a ball into the box. We pass it backwards. Lose possession and Boro nearly score - unbelievable Geoff.

Lowe talking a good game ..

I think this season will be a rollercoaster season like last … Time will tell ..
 

PL2 3DQ

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I've contacted the club and the security company to ask about the new airport style security checks. Let's see what they say.
 

davie nine

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Michael Cooper continues to impress- and I’m quite sure that he’s now on the radar of clubs in the championship ( and much higher). There could be a difficult decision later this season, for Ryan Lowe, if a sizeable bid comes in, from one of the big-boys.
Interesting to note that Sheffield United want £32m from Arsenal for Aaron Ramsdale who Coops was favourably compared with by an international women's team goalkeeper, Rachel Finnis-Brown, during commentary of the FA Cup game at Bramall Lane. OK, he was in England's Euro 2020 squad.
 

signalspast

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Aug 17, 2005
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The squad is now taking shape but still lacks pace and composure.
Impressed with Wilson and Scarr.
I would like to see Randell and Houghton in the team. These 2 together should improve our composure in midfield.
If we are to play 3 atb then I would like to see Gillesphey as the 3rd cb and Galloway as the lwb as he seems to have a bit of pace.
Mayor could have a ‘floating’ and more advanced role with Hardie and Ennis ahead of him.
Hardie has the pace but really does need to work on his composure.
May be a bit unfair on Grant as he will certainly be pressing for a starting position.
My thinking was macca as the left wing back and brendan as the 3cb. With Randell taking the right hand midfield position. Consider his passing from that position will release hardie and ennis
 
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signalspast

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It seems no George Cooper no great opportunities for the strikers, work out the timing of Jephcotts goal collapse last season.
Or is it because the type of roles within the play have been changed since ennis joined. Jephcott does not have the all round play that Ennis has got but he seems to find the back of the net better. Whereas since ennis has joined he appears to have taken over the more forward position over Jephcott.
 

Metal Green Mickey

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Mar 14, 2009
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What l find worrying is Lowe seems to have got lost in the defensive problems we have without fully understanding what caused them. Watching the team in the second half play stupid balls into the midfielders and get cut out so many times shows we are in for a frustrating season. Happened against Swansea and Bristol Rovers. If a team is mobile and good at pressing they will pick us off. You can understand this will happen but last night Middlesborough were in around 4 or 5 times in that second half in the same fashion.

However, the worst thing is the way we attack. It’s slow and ponderous because there isn’t the pace and creativity in the team. The problem is also the system. If Mayor was further forward on the left wing we would have pace and an outlet ball. Having him defending in midfield is absolutely pointless. It’s absolutely criminal how we are using him.

l will ask people this. Take away the new players we have. Just look at the system and our style of play in an attacking sense. Does anyone see us do anything different from last season in terms of the way we break a team down? Are we passing any quicker or with more fluidity? l wasn’t expecting revolution. But l was thinking Lowe might evolve his tactics. The lack of pace on the wings is mind blowing. How are we going to break a team down if Mayor doesn’t create for us? Yet half the time he is doing a central midfielders job and tracking back. A winger tracking back. People have seen he isn’t a good defender. Yet our manager and coaching staff ridiculously keep playing in at CM. Imagine if Lameiras played in Mayor’s position. He would of suffered in the same way and we wouldn’t seen as much of his attacking talents because he would of been knackered running up and down that pitch. Plus he would of been ineffective as he can’t tackle like a proper CM.
 
Last edited:
Jun 24, 2008
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I thought all in all Houghton had a decent game. Definitely a step up from the players we saw in that position last season.
I agree. Early signs are better than Fornah especially. He broke up play well, better than Fox in recent seasons. However, whilst he attempted some riskier forward passes they didn’t often come off. Mainly giving possession away. I do think he’ll find his range and he’ll help create some good chances. Pleasing to see. He was also a talker. Much like Scarr. Much much needed in this team.

However, Randall for me has been one of the most impressive in pre season so far. He’d edge the first game in that position at present. Great to have them both.

When we had Randall behind Camara and Mayor v Swansea, our midfield looked well balanced and stronger at breaking up play.
 
Aug 6, 2018
18
1
What l find worrying is Lowe seems to have got lost in the defensive problems we have without fully understanding what caused them. Watching the team in the second half play stupid balls into the midfielders and get cut out so many times shows we are in for a frustrating season. Happened against Swansea and Bristol Rovers. If a team is mobile and good at pressing they will pick us off. You can understand this will happen but last night Middlesborough were in around 4 or 5 times in that second half in the same fashion.

However, the worst thing is the way we attack. It’s slow and ponderous because there isn’t the pace and creativity in the team. The problem is also the system. If Mayor was further forward on the left wing we would have pace and an outlet ball. Having him defending in midfield is absolutely pointless. It’s absolutely criminal how we are using him.

l will ask people this. Take away the new players we have. Just look at the system and our style of play in an attacking sense. Does anyone see us do anything different from last season in terms of the way we break a team down? Are we passing any quicker or with more fluidity? l wasn’t expecting revolution. But l was thinking Lowe might evolve his tactics. The lack of pace on the wings is mind blowing. How are we going to break a team down if Mayor doesn’t create for us? Yet half the time he is doing a central midfielders job and tracking back. A winger tracking back. People have seen he isn’t a good defender. Yet our manager and coaching staff ridiculously keep playing in at CM. Imagine if Lameiras played in Mayor’s position. He would of suffered in the same way and we wouldn’t seen as much of his attacking talents because he would of been knackered running up and down that pitch. Plus he would of been ineffective as he can’t tackle like a proper CM.
The use of Mayor is a difficult one as his movement and dribbling enable the team to move forward and create but I agree that for all the positives he brings, the position he currently is used in has such drawbacks. He is required to do so much covering and defensive play for a player who is clearly not suited to it and when he gives the ball away he is, because of the position he plays in, often relatively close to his own goal with only 1 DM behind him. Lowe appears wedded to his favoured formation, but I would love to see Mayor in a 433 as either one of the wide forward players or the most attacking of the 3 midfielders, just to see what impact he would have in a position with less defensive responsibility and where his speed and threat would be further forward.
 
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saxman

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Jun 18, 2005
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Fornah very rarely gave the ball away but was always getting criticised for lacking creativity/imagination. Only towards the end of his loan period did he start looking forward more with his passing and then his accuracy diminished. At our level, a player who can achieve both is a rare beast.
 

JannerinCardiff

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Jul 16, 2018
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Yes, I was aware of that and was going to mention that in my post. But, I think the point still stands.

Even last season we talked about Jephcott's barren patch and Hardie drying up compared to the season before. When you watch the game though, you realise that they don't get many chances. Jephcott would score goals when players with pace like Hardie and Ennis broke (think Charlton & Portsmouth away) and beat a man, to then pull the ball back. That or, someone planting a cross onto his head or Jephcott reacting to a midfielder's shot coming back off of the keeper etc. Or, I'm thinking Fleetwood away when Nouble delivered a cross right to Jephcott who volleyed home. None of this stuff is happening much (if at all?), albeit we have played two games against higher opposition. I guess what I'm trying to allude to is that, we need another creative player in the mix there as Mayor is not providing any of this.

It's very much carrying off from last season in League 1, where we only scored 53 in 46, an average of 1.15 a game. If you take away the 4 goals at home to Lincoln and the 4 at home to Swindon, it's 45 goals in 44 games. George Cooper clearly isn't going to be ready just yet, which is a shame as he would bring something different to the table and be more direct in terms of hitting some of those crosses for our forwards as well as pinging some shots off. But otherwise, I feel the forwards don't really get as much as they should do. Who is going to create the goals? Conor Grant every time?
According to our manager George Cooper could be on the bench for our opening league game against Rotherham.
 
Jul 6, 2011
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Or is it because the type of roles within the play have been changed since ennis joined. Jephcott does not have the all round play that Ennis has got but he seems to find the back of the net better. Whereas since ennis has joined he appears to have taken over the more forward position over Jephcott.
His signing certainly seems to have messed up the Jephcott/Hardie partnership, which frankly was more fruitful than the post Ennis period.
 
Sep 20, 2005
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His signing certainly seems to have messed up the Jephcott/Hardie partnership, which frankly was more fruitful than the post Ennis period.
Agree with this. Jephcott's tail off in form just about coincided with Ennis's arrival. Quite the conundrum - Jeph/Hardie seems to be our best partnership, but Ennis individually is the best of the three.
 
Sep 6, 2006
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It's a myth that Cooper's absence from December coincided with Jephcott's lack of goals last season because after Cooper was injured Jephcott scored another 8 goals.
I think Jephcott just burned out after February in what was his first full season.
What does 'Burned out' exactly mean/involve? I don't get it. I am not convinced he is good enough or Hardie which is quite worrying as we haven't strengthened up front.
 
Sep 6, 2006
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His signing certainly seems to have messed up the Jephcott/Hardie partnership, which frankly was more fruitful than the post Ennis period.

Agree with this. Jephcott's tail off in form just about coincided with Ennis's arrival. Quite the conundrum - Jeph/Hardie seems to be our best partnership, but Ennis individually is the best of the three.
So how does that make any sense? Ennis is the best of the 3 but Jephcott's form deteriorated as a result you are suggesting.
 

The Doctor

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I think Jephcott stopped scoring because the team stopped creating any of the kind of chance that he was previously scoring from. He thrived on quick crosses, especially those from near the goal-line rather than from deeper wider positions. Ennis's arrival did seem to change the style of forward play a bit and also, at around that time, we lost an attacking left wing back. Then later in the season it became practically impossible for any forward to score because we became so fragile at the back that the team lost its attacking impetus altogether.