Wednesday, 26 October 2011

ANOTHER TEST PASSED: But 'Continuous Improvement' still required

A good professional performance in front of, once again, a really impressive away set of fans (and it was good to bump into Ketts yet again!).
For those who went by car, it must have mitigated the frustration of getting out of the home side’s car park. I managed to get a local street spot but they were limited and only possible due to my very early arrival, which made it a long day.
After failing the test against little Stevenage, (with a few more to come) the side put on an impressive display to get the three points (though not without some late, all too typical, jitters). I cannot work out what the answer is to this problem, can it bee that the side are either not fit enough, or over trained and just plain knackered in the last 20 minutes?
It's should also be pointed out that the total number of shots on target at the end of the game bore no resemblance to the early domination.
The two front men are displaying potency in front of goal and are getting better at reading each other’s game. Unlike the last few games where Jan K won, unbelievably, almost every ball in the air, he surprisingly scored pretty lowly in this respect this time around. I guess that he played a really excellent man marker on this occasion. However, that did not mar another pretty good display. For a big man (he may not be that tall but he is certainly solid, which is what we need) he is pretty mobile. Staying on for 90 minutes will do his fitness no harm. A great overhead effort hat hit the bar was tidied up neatly by BWP slotting it home. He then added a superbly taken goal from an exquisite through ball from Hollands, who otherwise had a solid but forgettable game.
If there is one failing with the current side, as noted by one of the comments on CAFCPICKS, we do not seem to have anyone other than Wiggins who can genuinely round a defender with a burst of speed or trickery.
Green does not seem to be able to do this and all too often tries the spectacular instead of the obvious. Wagstaffes' less complicated approach seems more effective when he gets the opportunity, though he too can often not beat a defender and when he does his final ball / cross cannot be relied upon.
Maybe Stephens can return to form when he is next selected. He seemed capable of beating a man in his initial games but lost it just prior to his recent absence: perhaps the stress of his partner imminently giving birth was too much for him: let’s hope that was the reason.
Hughes was fairly steady, running around like a fitness freak, picking up the stray balls and breaking down the oppositions moves. However, he is prone to a serious lapse of concentration and often takes the easy option to clear a ball up field or to the wings instead of thinking and playing a more constructive pass. However, he has picked up since his calamitous Paint Trophy game and has begun to justify some of CP’s faith, if only as a utility squad man.
The back fours had a good game: and if one wanted to nit pick, Morrison and especially Taylor do not seem to clear the ball well enough but they are gradually becoming a strong partnership. Morrison performed one amazing goal line tackle the like I have not seen before, and which is impossible to describe unless you were there. The nearest I can recall for its uniqueness was when Paul Went many years ago trapped the ball intentionally with his arse, and on another occasion took Derek Possee 5 yards off the pitch with a perfectly fair but highly robust challenge that would probably have gotten a booking in the modern game.
Solly was Solly, pretty dependable in his defensive role but still needs to improve his distribution.
Wiggins continues to impress and looks like one of our best acquisitions after a slow start in the initial games.
BWP is on a great run which will continue to attract attention around the game.
However, I gather his contract is up next summer (2012). One of the reasons we managed to secure him was that we were prepared to take a risk on his apparently suspect leg injuries/ weaknesses. Our backroom staff seem to be doing an excellent job on this to to keep him in optimum fitness and form.
Come January and thereafter, we may be victim to an increasing circle of vultures in the shape of other higher clubs looking for a proven goal scorer. Having the name WP adds to any publicity surrounding his goalscoring exploits. The club’s resolve to keep him may be tested at some stage in the New Year, and maybe even as early as January?).
It could be ironic that the very same fitness concerns that we took a calculated gamble on, may be a factor that helps us to keep him, but certainly the offer of a good new contract and a personal genuine commitment from the player to the club would not hurt either (though I am not sure whether the latter is a charactersitic of today's game).


Hungry Ted said...

Good read. A well balanced post.

Mike BARRY said...

Thanks Hungry Ted:
Am I way off beam / barking up the wrong alley on fears and issues re BWP?