Sunday, 8 August 2010

A Lennie Lawrence type Occasion

As Parks and Breaker said, this was certainly a fresh start.
After some trepidation at seeing a totally changed line-up, it was in the end a quite an exhilarating performance which added considerable interest among us watching pundits in the East Stand, once we could recognise who was who.
The occasion reminded me of a previous opening game when Lennie Lawrence presented us with Shipley, Pender, Pearson, and (Mark) Reid and we went on to win promotion to the old First Division. Well just maybe?!
The crowd (though maybe overstated by missing season ticket holders) stood up well with the covered end and East stand looking almost up to capacity.
Parks and his talent spotters have come up with what looks to be a real set of good value acquisitions. My general view for what its worth:
Elliot: solid and not afraid today to come out and pick balls out of the air, not always his strength;
Solly: Got stuck in and provided a solid performance;
Doherty; seemed a little suspect at time, but not a bad debut;
Dailly: usual impeccable self, leads by example;
Jackson; a really good buy with a sweet left foot; maybe exposed by lack of speed at left back, but left side of midfield beckons;
Midfield and Upfront:
Wagstaff: average, did not look up to it today; hoping it’s a one-off aberration;
Samedo: generally fairly quiet and competent, bad luck on sending off; looked harsh;
McCormack: 100% effort, looked to be one of our best acquisitions. Apart from his goal scoring credentials, will fill in well for Bailey;
Reid: great ball skills and always a potential match winner. Howevber, can be frustrating when he tries to overdo it (a la Sam). Our group have fears that if he continues to ignore Abbnoot when in good striking positions we may have another Hales / Flanagan show!!
Abbott: not that effective on the day and jury out; but perhaps overkeen to make his mark. Looks to hav e good ball skills and not afraid to get into the action. Lacked a decent service from the wings, especially Reid who does follow the adage “pass to me and I’ll go through on my own”!)
Sodge: Known limitations but took his goal well and seemed to be more up for it, we need him to be sharp enough to score the kind of goal he got at Yeovil
Looked good when he came on, but gave the impression of being p****d off at the end for not being picked. Did he have a niggling injury or was it tactical. His inclusion over Wagstaff would have added some creativity;
Martin: Looked determined to make his mark, perhaps lightweight but looks really skilful and might just have the creativity we are looking for to set up Abbot.
Looking at the number of clubs he has played for after his early promise at Man United, CAFC could just be his saviour;
Francis: A late sub but looked an absolute powerhouse. He looked like (and appeared to have the same qualities as Herman HreiĆ°arsson, a real “Herminator 2!.
Though Solly played so well he is going to get serious competition from this giant.
So; we seem to be well set up for having a go at the division, especially if we can supplement the front line over the next couple of weeks.
A final bright light on the horizon was the anti-climax at Southampton which provided some balance for the disappointment of Samedo’s departure.

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