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putting 8 games into context


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4 home games- not the easiest

 

millwall- great win they have not lost since we beat them an lie in 6th spot

cheltenham- only routine win in 8

mk dons- poor at home but excellent away record and they play well away

hudders- it was a derby and they have only lost once away ar millwall

 

away- hard run

 

leeds- says it all to win there- how many teams will?

colchester- good solid point they will improve and be near top 6

tranmere- usually good at home had 100% until we beat them

hartlepool- very very good home record hard to play against at their place

 

so all in all we will have easier potential games e.g. crewe, bristol, yeovil, hereford that we SHOULD win and we are unbeaten in a start that is by no means easy in fact i would say it is a difficult start.

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4 home games- not the easiest

 

millwall- great win they have not lost since we beat them an lie in 6th spot

cheltenham- only routine win in 8

mk dons- poor at home but excellent away record and they play well away

hudders- it was a derby and they have only lost once away ar millwall

 

away- hard run

 

leeds- says it all to win there- how many teams will?

colchester- good solid point they will improve and be near top 6

tranmere- usually good at home had 100% until we beat them

hartlepool- very very good home record hard to play against at their place

 

so all in all we will have easier potential games e.g. crewe, bristol, yeovil, hereford that we SHOULD win and we are unbeaten in a start that is by no means easy in fact i would say it is a difficult start.

No easy games whatsoever in this League

 

Millwall - We struggled until the panic substitutions and in all honesty got away with it, with Hughes unplayable,

Leeds - No great surprise to win there again as we know how to soak up pressure then push on.

Cheltenham - Hughes was the difference

Colchester - Poor first twenty minutes but then by far the better side and we should've won late on.

Trannies - Very poor for the first 70 mins then our superior fitness kicked in and it could've been 2 or 3. Gregan the difference.

Mongs - Outplayed for the most part but we dug in and it shows an ability to grind out results

Hartlepool - 2-0 up at ht but in all honesty we had been outplayed but bullied them to the extent that they were rarely coming within 20 yards of our goal. Then to be 3-2 down within 7 mins of the restart was a real shock! Still we dug in again and like Tranmere were far superior in the closing stages despite being down to 10.

Hudds - Started crap and continued in the same vein, BUT again we showed character despite being bullied all over the park and downright kicked off it for the rest. Having said that with a Ternant team did we expect anything else?

 

Overall i'm more than happy with our start, we're 9 points better off than this stage last season, we've found a steely resolve to get results even when all is not going right and when key players are missing; Gregan, Hughes - we've still gained points.

 

Right, on to my cocerns. Lewi - cracking prospect, but he remians just that - 1 goal in 11 first team appearances so far is not good enough. Yes, he's made a few but if Hughesy has an off day (Like yesterday) Lewi has to step up to the plate and not spend most of the game fannying about in his own half. For me he needs a break, ground those feet and give O'Grady or Davies a chance alongside Hughes - who looked nowhere near match-fit yesterday and I'd even consider restinng him for the Stockport game and playing both Chris and Craig.

 

Midfield - They WERE playing very well, last two games both have been anonymous. Allott hasn't been as good as last season, he's been steady but is suffering colour blindness and playing far too deep (although yesterday you can blame him lying so deep to compensate for Gregan's absence) Danny boy has been poor the last couple of games too and he needs to get back to getting involved in the oppos half, if not we might as well play Maher if neither midfielder is going to cross the halfway line!

 

Ok we've had a small dip in form, but for me as we've tried everything else I'd settle for indifferent performances if the points are still coming. However for Stockport I would make changes.

 

Crossley

Eards

Stam

Rubes

Kelvin

Smalley

Allott

Whitaker

Taylor

Davies

O'Grady

 

Bench:

Greg

Lidds (35 and not going to play very week)

Hughes (Struggling with the injury and took a heavy knock yesterday)

Stephens (Time for this boy to step up to the plate and let Danny Boy know there's competition)

Byrne (Kelvin's had a dip, so nice to know we have an option)

 

 

That team should still be good enough to give a young Stockport side a real run for their money.

Edited by oafcprozac
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I can't comment on yesterday but I have noticed the midfield two dropping deeper recently, it certainly doesn't play to Whitaker's strengths. I have felt that a bit more self belief in the team as a whole would help, we should be going into games like yesterday expecting to be playing in their half, if we go expecting a battle then it can become a bit self fulfilling. While that's the case Smalley on the right would give us a different threat to what Liddell does in terms of keeping their left side honest, it's an option worth thinking about.

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id start with lidds but swap him for deano at half time. id definatley rest lewi and bring in orgrady. someone next to me was moanin about lewi yesterday, sayin hes 'not strong enough for this level' made me laugh. as did the ocassional booing, wtf was that?!! with regards the start, who asked for more than what we presently posses?

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No easy games whatsoever in this League

 

Millwall - We struggled until the panic substitutions and in all honesty got away with it, with Hughes unplayable,

Leeds - No great surprise to win there again as we know how to soak up pressure then push on.

Cheltenham - Hughes was the difference

Colchester - Poor first twenty minutes but then by far the better side and we should've won late on.

Trannies - Very poor for the first 70 mins then our superior fitness kicked in and it could've been 2 or 3. Gregan the difference.

Mongs - Outplayed for the most part but we dug in and it shows an ability to grind out results

Hartlepool - 2-0 up at ht but in all honesty we had been outplayed but bullied them to the extent that they were rarely coming within 20 yards of our goal. Then to be 3-2 down within 7 mins of the restart was a real shock! Still we dug in again and like Tranmere were far superior in the closing stages despite being down to 10.

Hudds - Started crap and continued in the same vein, BUT again we showed character despite being bullied all over the park and downright kicked off it for the rest. Having said that with a Ternant team did we expect anything else?

 

Overall i'm more than happy with our start, we're 9 points better off than this stage last season, we've found a steely resolve to get results even when all is not going right and when key players are missing; Gregan, Hughes - we've still gained points.

 

Right, on to my cocerns. Lewi - cracking prospect, but he remians just that - 1 goal in 11 first team appearances so far is not good enough. Yes, he's made a few but if Hughesy has an off day (Like yesterday) Lewi has to step up to the plate and not spend most of the game fannying about in his own half. For me he needs a break, ground those feet and give O'Grady or Davies a chance alongside Hughes - who looked nowhere near match-fit yesterday and I'd even consider restinng him for the Stockport game and playing both Chris and Craig.

 

Midfield - They WERE playing very well, last two games both have been anonymous. Allott hasn't been as good as last season, he's been steady but is suffering colour blindness and playing far too deep (although yesterday you can blame him lying so deep to compensate for Gregan's absence) Danny boy has been poor the last couple of games too and he needs to get back to getting involved in the oppos half, if not we might as well play Maher if neither midfielder is going to cross the halfway line!

 

Ok we've had a small dip in form, but for me as we've tried everything else I'd settle for indifferent performances if the points are still coming. However for Stockport I would make changes.

 

Crossley

Eards

Stam

Rubes

Kelvin

Smalley

Allott

Whitaker

Taylor

Davies

O'Grady

 

Bench:

Greg

Lidds (35 and not going to play very week)

Hughes (Struggling with the injury and took a heavy knock yesterday)

Stephens (Time for this boy to step up to the plate and let Danny Boy know there's competition)

Byrne (Kelvin's had a dip, so nice to know we have an option)

That team should still be good enough to give a young Stockport side a real run for their money.

 

 

 

Hughes might not of looked that fit but he was still our only threat in the box! Davies and Hughes for me, still yet to see what O Grady brings to the team.

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Out of the opening 8 games, we'd have lost the following last season...

 

Millwall (h)

Colchester (a)

Hartlepool (a)

 

The fact we can bounce back strongly after going a goal behind (or even 2!) is the major difference this season. The richness of the squad that Shez now possesses gives him some fantastic options to change a game which we've all seen to great effect already. Throw in the new physio getting used to everyone and stamping his authority this is probably the most enthusiastic I've felt about an early-season Latics team. When you look at every team that has been promoted out of this division in the last 5 or so years, the one quality they all possess is being hard to beat.

 

If anything I still think we need a slight bit of better organisation within the ranks. But that will naturally improve as the season progresses I feel.

 

And one thing still grinds with me about this board. It's the best start in living memory for some people, yet we drop points at Hartlepool and Huddersfield and the usual 'must change it' and bad vibes bollocks start to surface. I know we've been down here for a long, long time but we need to exercise patience.

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Out of the opening 8 games, we'd have lost the following last season...

 

Millwall (h)

Colchester (a)

Hartlepool (a)

 

The fact we can bounce back strongly after going a goal behind (or even 2!) is the major difference this season. The richness of the squad that Shez now possesses gives him some fantastic options to change a game which we've all seen to great effect already. Throw in the new physio getting used to everyone and stamping his authority this is probably the most enthusiastic I've felt about an early-season Latics team. When you look at every team that has been promoted out of this division in the last 5 or so years, the one quality they all possess is being hard to beat.

 

If anything I still think we need a slight bit of better organisation within the ranks. But that will naturally improve as the season progresses I feel.

 

And one thing still grinds with me about this board. It's the best start in living memory for some people, yet we drop points at Hartlepool and Huddersfield and the usual 'must change it' and bad vibes bollocks start to surface. I know we've been down here for a long, long time but we need to exercise patience.

 

100% spot on J!

 

I'm more than happy with our start. I'll accept a point at places I've never seen us win like Victoria Park. And will accept a point vs Udds (a game which was a big banana skin) when we go a goal down to their only real chance (lucky how the ball landed for the shot).

 

We're very tough to beat (when we're not doing a Burnley) and so far, Shez has impressed me with his decisions in the least few games. Happy that Stam started and Byrne has to wait for his chance. And I don't agree with some of the rubbish about Stam too...thought he did alright for his first full 90 mins in a league game. He did enough (Udders had 1 chance and scored it) and will improve as he gets more games under his belt this season.

 

Also was happy to see Smalley come on. Would've liked it a bit sooner though. Also agreed with O'Grady coming on. Needed him to hold the ball up as Lewis struggled against a strong defence. Another thing Udders did well was outnumbering us in midfield and that's something Shez will need to look at should more teams stifle the middle area. It's clear to see that Allott and Whittaker have dipped in form lately due to teams taking more control in the middle. And hence, Taylor being our biggest current threat when we do get the ball out to him.

 

All in all though, we're steady and IMO, will only get better. We're not playing to our potential yet. And that excites me coz it's frightening to think we can get better, but yet we're unbeaten as it is!

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if someone had said at statrt of season we would have 18 points we would have taken it, we have been magnificent this season my only criticsim of shez woz sats 1st half tatics,

sat brought to light that Gregan is a big miss in our defence and we cannot really afford to miss him too much out of the team this campaign

 

if we carry on playing the way we have we can go on and on this season we have yet to play some of the lower ended teams(sometimes banana skins for latics) but know we can turn them over and know when we play the likes of leciester it will be a match between two footballing sides which will be better for us(using sat as the alternative)

 

we have put some tough games behind us and are still undefeated.

 

most of this season so far as been about postives and you will always get difference of opinons about whos playing well or not.

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You know what some are like, never happy. I am made up, we are top, unbeaten and look strong. You could see a mile away that Stam has been out of the first team and yes we missed Gregan, but apart from that we picked up another point. We have 2 very winable game now, lets see how we perform before the visit of Leicester!!!!

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Hughes might not of looked that fit but he was still our only threat in the box! Davies and Hughes for me, still yet to see what O Grady brings to the team.

 

O'Grady got the assist for Whitakkers goal against Cheltenham.

He caused more problems than Lewi did all match and probably should have had a goal in the last min. He also hit the bar at the Monkey Hangers.

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O'Grady got the assist for Whitakkers goal against Cheltenham.

He caused more problems than Lewi did all match and probably should have had a goal in the last min. He also hit the bar at the Monkey Hangers.

 

also has good pace and shown some decent skills pre season, hes confident too.

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Fantastic start by the team - and one that has got to be better than anyone imagined.

 

But having been to the last 2 games I cannot help be a bit disappointed with the points total we got from them. I think we were worth 4 points rather than the 2 we got.

 

However I would be happy with 5 from the next 3 games - draw at Stockport, win against Hereford and a draw against the Foxes would be a solid return and keep us well in the frame. Potential to get more than that though.

 

Thinking back to the last 2 games - would people prefer 2 points and remain unbeaten OR have had 3 and lost our undefeated record?

 

Tough one for me - the 'undefeated' mentality can be a massive source of belief in the team, but at the same time teams can be too precious of the record and accept points where a win could be on the cards with a bit more risk. Not seen evidence of the latter so far with Latics thankfully - especially against Hartlepool.

 

Looking forward to Friday night.

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Thinking back to the last 2 games - would people prefer 2 points and remain unbeaten OR have had 3 and lost our undefeated record?

I'd go with what Greegan said on the BBC interview - we try to win every game. If that means we end up losing some rather than get a draw then that's the price you pay, it makes for good entertainment and this team will gain more points than it loses from the policy.

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I'd defo give lewi a rest

 

Smalley shud get a few games as well ... he is a threat wen playing badly even cos of his pace - it shud one of taylor 3 markers away

 

It's scary to me that Taylor has been our best player last two games despite the double/triple teaming

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