Sunday, 16 November 2014

Poppies strive to keep it interesting!

Most teams that are 2-0 up with twenty minutes to go, rattling the woodwork every few minutes, and about to take a penalty would be expecting a nice easy coast to the final whistle.  Not us though.  Oh, no.  Where's the fun in that?  Why put a game to bed when you can force your supporters through the wringer?

So, instead of going 3-0 up and continuing to mercilessly pepper the Aylesbury goal, we managed to invite them back to the party by giving them a goal from another penalty, and reducing ourselves to 10-men in the process.

But as much fun it is for us all to see our players making a game out of matches they are dominating, we really wouldn't mind if they occasionally put the opposition well and truly to the sword, even if this resulted in slightly more boring finishes to our games.  Really.  It wouldn't fuss us if every now and then our games fizzled out into comfortable, even hefty wins.

One thing that was glaring from yesterday's win at Aylesbury, and a number of games prior, was the need for someone in the middle of the park to grab hold of the game and either push us forward or marshal our defensive efforts.  We have had plenty of nominees for this vital position this season, but no-one has yet nailed this coveted role.

At the start of the season, our latest Daventry cry-baby Ross Oulton didn't hang around long enough to earn the spot.  A couple of months later he's out of the door at the Purple Hatters when his pay packet was greatly lightened.  Now he is battling against the drop at Bedford.  Serves him right!

Brett has also filled the spot with patchy results.  He has not been as dominant in the middle as he is currently being at centre back.  Surely he will stay there for the rest of the season?  Or until Henry returns?

Next up is returning feather-weight Messiah, James Jepson, but he seems dangerously off the pace this season, running around it little circles as the games flies past him.

The mighty Tommy Hull has filled the spot a few times.  We are told, by those in the know, that sitting in front of the back four is his best position.  For real?  Good a player as he is he seems  ineffective playing just 5 yards ahead of his usual centre back position.  Weird!

Jonathan Thorpe's severe injury has ruled him out of contention for the season.  Even so, hobbling on crutches, he isn't perhaps our worst option...!

By a process of elimination we have been left with a midfield duo of Gooding and Robinson.  Both are OK players, but better suited to playing alongside a dynamic midfielder, than alongside each other.  Neither of them is "the answer".  Entire games can pass before you notice either one is on the pitch. Perhaps this is why one usually replaces the other from the substitutes bench?  Between them, they add up to one good player?  And now Gooding is having his penalties saved his limited value takes even  more of a nose-dive!

That said, looking at the table this morning - a five point lead and a game in hand, we are doing most things right.  We just don't want to tempt the rest of the league back into the promotion hunt, like we tempted Aylesbury and their poorly handled drum back into the game yesterday!

Wanted: Someone to dominate this area of the pitch.  Apply: R Jeune.

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