The Morning after the night before - East Thurrock

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Post by Mcnulty on Sun Oct 26, 2014 1:33 pm

It's been a funny season. Some truly shocking home performances have been followed by a run of good away results and a cup run of sorts. It all came crashing down yesterday.
The squad has suffered some really unfortunate injuries to key players, we've had some bad luck and we've had some very bad displays.
The question is what needs to change? What is lacking and what is good? Yesterday could be written off as a bad day at the office were it not for the fact there were similar capitulations at home early in the season.
Personally, and a lot of posters have mentioned this, I think we lack leaders . I think one consistency amongst the big losses has been an inability to adapt and 'hang in there'. Heads drop, body language is defeatist and things go from bad to worse. The squad maybe lacks the characters on the field we have had in recent years, joe Burnell, Jim rollo, gethin- it's hard to picture these sort of characters surrendering when we are getting thumped. Is that what is missing and do changes need to be made off the field as well as on? Thoughts.

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Post by Marc Monitor on Sun Oct 26, 2014 2:20 pm

I think that Simpson is a sort of leader but not the sort that you would rely on solely. Funnily enough, Stearn gees people up when he comes on but, firstly, perhaps in a heavy handed way and, secondly, he isn't on the pitch for long enough. That is pretty much it, as far as I can see. You want to have a captain and a couple of leaders of each section of the team. If your captain is a defender, you want a vocal midfielder and striker as well to marshall their parts of the pitch. You also want a commanding keeper. This is an ideal and you can't always get the personnel to do that. Gallinagh seems to too quiet to me - he is a bit low-key on the pitch.

Compare that to Matt Coupe who, while he wasn't the captain, kept talking to the other players and geeing them up. We need a couple of guys like that and, perhaps, the younger less inexperienced players will grow into that other more confidence and matches under their belt.

Personally, I think there may be other issues, to be honest, and one of them is that the management still don't seem to know their favoured formation and players.
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Post by comrade powell on Sun Oct 26, 2014 2:29 pm

The captaincy of a football team is a particularly English obssession and I really do question its importance. You need players with experience to gee up and encourage and in the likes of Watkins, Pratt, Keary, Gallinagh, Ball and Artus, we should be well served. What you don't want is players simply moaning at others - Poole were criticised on here for behaving like a pub team and yet some of ours were guilty of it yesterday - so that certainly reduces the list of candidates by at least one. For what it's worth, Gallinagh has never struck me as an obvious captain and of the rest, Ball would get my vote.
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Post by Marc Monitor on Sun Oct 26, 2014 2:38 pm

I wouldn't disagree with that, comrade. If you have several leaders, you don't need one captain after the coin toss. Pratt and Watkins aren't particularly vocal players and don't necessarily need to be if we have other motivators on the pitch.

Who was the moaner yesterday?
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Post by comrade powell on Sun Oct 26, 2014 2:46 pm

I was referring to Stearn as a possible candidate for captain. I'm sure even his biggest supporters would agree that his moaning at team mates is rather ott. But towards the end of the game yesterday, there was audible arguing between defence and midfield. To be honest, it could be forgiven due to the shambolic nature of our 2nd half performance, but it did remind me of the post accusing Poole of behaving like a pub team.

Our management duo of Rello and Adie always preached the importance of the bubble they had created in the squad. I'm not convinced that is present anymore.

Going back to the original question, many see the return of Artus as the key to kick starting our season. I hope this is the case, but an equally vital player to me is Walsh. Maybe he wasn't at his best before his injury, but he revitalised the team at the end of last season - had he joined a couple of weeks earlier, we may well have reached the play offs. Whatever the criticism of the management, they couldn't do anything about the injuries to these 2 key players and the sooner they are both fully fit and available the better.
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Post by Marc Monitor on Sun Oct 26, 2014 3:01 pm

I think a lot of Stearn's moaning is partly frustration at not getting much time on the pitch, when he does get on the pitch he often is in a game that is being chased by the team and partly due to him being a chippy little sod naturally. I agree that he would have to mature a bit and smooth some of these rough edges if he wanted to be captain.

As I say, I am not sure the captaincy is the issue here.
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Post by Mcnulty on Sun Oct 26, 2014 3:30 pm

I agree that any team at this level would miss the quality of Artus and Walsh. I also think the management have done well to string some wins together with a threadbare squad. What is of most concern is the number of times we haven't even been competitive this season. People have mentioned whitehawk and Basingstoke but Havant pretty much did as they pleased against us whilst we had the away thumping at Concorde and East Thurrock.
I think there needs to be some collective responsibility. We just don't seem able to react when things go wrong.
Stearn moaning is one thing but the general acceptance of a beating again seems more worrying to me. Gallinagh is maybe more a of a lead by example captain and I have some sympathy for him as I think he has struggled with his own form.
I agree on the point about the captain but for me we are short of organisers and talkers. I am not talking about players moaning or criticising each other but Burnell for example was a
talker and a focal point in the team. I think we are also being exposed due to the lack of an out and out ball winner in midfield.

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Post by Luton Roman on Sun Oct 26, 2014 3:54 pm

As always its the inconsistency. For the poor performance mentioned we have had the comeback wins at Boreham Wood and Sutton, both quite convincing in the end. Its clear that the League is wide open and in some bizarre way we will probably find it easier to play League games than perhaps yesterday's trip into the unknown. That said, were they watched? we didnt seem able to deal with their attacking style. Were our players leggy after a long trip? There certainly seemed no intensity or zip from the get go. Was it worth an overnight stay given the importance?

These results will happen occasionally, Birmingham had their worst ever home defeat yesterday. Disappointingly we chose a day when there was a lot at stake,a season turner if ever there was one. Perhaps defensively we have been kidding ourselves that it had been fixed, or we were just punished by a team who had their day in the sun, or a bit of both.

Reaction now v. St.Albans is expected and, easy to say, now is the time to get behind the team. But I fully expect some frank exchanges within the team. Was there a locked dressing room yesterday? or are they saving it for Tuesday? Andrew Pierce was certainly in a heated exchange with a fan, Competing to see who was most disappointed I think. If only the players had shown the same passion on the pitch on the day in Essex when the fans turned up, but the players sadly didnt.

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Post by yuffie on Sun Oct 26, 2014 4:11 pm

I think the point about an overnight stay is an interesting one. I believe Weston Super Mare stayed overnight before their game Witham Town and came from a goal down to win 2-1. Maybe a season or two ago we would have risked the cost but I guess this year the club is not in a position to do this, even if a positive result would more than pay for it.

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Post by Micawber on Sun Oct 26, 2014 4:55 pm

I'm not sure that this display can be dismissed by just implying that this was a freak result of the sort which happen occasionally. Twice we have conceded 4 at home this season, and against Basingstoke we were lucky that didn't end up as 7. Yuffie and others were quick to point out that it was no disgrace to lose heavily to Whitehawk as they are big spenders and are going to walk away with this league !! ( I think they've won 2 and lost 5 since beating us). For me the game bore striking similarities to the FA Cup replay at Gosport 2 years ago who were then a league below us. Despite leading at half time we capitulated in the 2nd half and in fact Gosport could well have won that game 7-1.

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Post by BenE on Sun Oct 26, 2014 10:00 pm

When people say a leader do they mean someone the rest of the team is scared of? We haven't had one of those for a while and would be a character that would make a difference. Otherwise as Powell says captains are very over-rated.

Defensively we have never got over that opening day defeat. Confidence is fragile at best. Even when Shortwood scored in that first game we went completely to pieces for ten or fifteen minutes when a better side would have punished us.

As far as I can see our only hope is that Walsh turns out to be the messiah we need.
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Post by LB on Sun Oct 26, 2014 10:08 pm

I was very surprised that we didn't stay overnight in view of the distance and the importance of the game. I don't think cost should have been an issue, because aren't the away teams expenses paid out of the gate receipts? Surely we aren't really so desperate for money that we needed our share of the gate more than the benefit an overnight stop might have given.

I think in a way the Weston-super-Mare result put ours into perspective, Witham being in a similar position to East Thurrock in the Ryman Premier and Weston below us in Conference South.

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Post by comrade powell on Sun Oct 26, 2014 11:25 pm

The travel costs are covered, not so sure about hotel bills. I think it may have something to do with the distance travelled but don't minute that. Also seem to remember management saying that the problem with travelling up the night before is that there's so much time to fill on the morning of the match, hence rello's long walks for the players. Having said that, the players endured the same awful journey yesterday as the supporters coach, with long delays on the M4 and M25. I suggest they go by train next time...
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Post by yuffie on Sun Oct 26, 2014 11:49 pm

From the FA Cup rules:

The grounds for making such an application are that it would be necessary or desirable for the Visiting Club to leave its headquarters before 8.00am on the day of the match, alternatively, not be possible to arrive back at its Headquarters within five hours travelling time of the conclusion of the match. Expenses, which may be claimed, if actually incurred, shall not exceed £100 per person for up to 25 persons.
The grounds for making an application are that if the travelling time exceeds five hours which includes a stop of not more than 45 minutes then expenses can be allowed with travelling time based on Auto Route details, as determined by the FA Competitions Office.

So clearly it wasn't an option. And it's very easy to say (in hindsight) on here that we should have risked the cost of an overnight stay but we aren't the ones trying to keep the club in business.

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