Saturday, 7 May 2011

Final Game Typifies Season

A pretty dull draw and difficult to prise many positives from this game.
Perhaps the biggest positive was that a surprising proportion of the fans stayed to clap (not quite a strong as "applaud") the side on a 'lap of honour' and I detected no booing or disrespectful chants.
Much of the 'applause' was probably a "goodbye courtesy gesture" to some for the team's performance this year. We managed a few more efforts on goal than usual hitting the crossbar a couple of times (to their one similar effort), Bessone's effort was a real piledriver and crowned a reasonably solid game for him. Once again the opposition were nothing to shout about; though their fans put on a good show in their fancy dress in the Jimmy Seed stand, and at London Bridge.
Harriot managed a full game and whilst he was not utterly convincing and had an average game he did show a lot of promise from such a young player, with a welcome tendency to try and beat his man and shoot (even though he failed to beat his man fairly regularly). He looks like persevering with and may be one for the future.
Even his detractors were prepared to say that Samedo had his best game for a very long time, getting stuck in as usual and spraying a lot of long passes to good effect: was he trying to impress someone?
Stuart was neat and tidy but not a lot more than that. No doubt, he would look better in a better side on a winning streak but whether we can pin too much on his shoulders to achieve that is in doubt; certainly not if a much inflated deal is required.Liera was give a chance to show what he could do and had a fair game spraying a lot of good ball around like Samedo. However, though strong in the air there were times when he looked to be in trouble on the ground with his pace which is why he has detractors and may not secure a contract.Jon Fortune seemed to do himself quite a serious injury after falling badly. It did not look like the kind of injury that would would overcome by a combination of the wet sponge and acupuncture. Therefore, if he is to be out of action for a while, one assumes that this will not help his case for a contract; whether it might help Liera is another matter.
Racon was demoted to the bench and given very little chance to impress following a late substitution for Harriot. You get the feeling that CP has made up his mind and that this may have been a cameo farewell performance.
I was more impressed today with BWP. He has an undoubted scoring pedigree but I have doubted his overall application and ability to control the long balls and bring others into play. Today, he impressed on all fronts and looked the part on all fronts; now we need an effective midfield and convincing wingers to open up the defences next season. I still have little confidence in Wagstaff's ability to do that; he is certainly not a winger or attacking midfielder/winger and if the club is convinced in his ability and intend to play him regularly then they must find out his best position: I cannot offer any clues.
I had hopes for Benson when he first signed but like Wagstaff he simply drifts out of the game and goes hiding. On top of that he always wants to lay the ball off and the thought of turning and taking on the opposition never seems to occur to him and his total lack of dominance in the air just about completes a sorry picture at the moment. I woul;d be the first to admit that he has received little decent service this season but he does not seem to be the kind of player to shrug that off and make it happen himself.
We have had a terrible run after CP's initial run, for which luck played a fair part.
He must now grasp the challenge and very quickly get on to building a side by bringing several good players ASAP, and not leave team building so late that a bad start is on the cards though players' lack of familiarity with their teammates. This is going to depend on good scouting, player assessment and of course the courage and ability of the board to find the resources top invest in the squad. In these troubled times that will not be easy.
Unless we can do all of this and make it click quickly (like Lennie Lawrence did to assure promotion to the old Division 1) then we could be struggling to keep in touch as early as October. If that is the case CP may also find himself under pressure that will be difficult to keep at bay

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