The end of another season

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The end of another season

Post by LB on Sun Apr 26, 2015 11:07 pm

As I get older seasons seem to go by even more quickly than before, and it also doesn't seem almost two months since that fateful day at North Ferriby.

It is hard to know what to make of this season, although the old cliche of rollercoaster would seem to describe it best. A disastrous start followed by an improvement until the slump at East Thurrock then a gradual improvement again, peaking with the win at Rovers with the momentum continuing (with a few dips) all the way to North Ferriby after which the rollercoaster all but came off the rails.

I have only seen the home league games this season, and then not all of them, but I can't believe that there are 13 teams better than us - from what I saw it was a very average league with no real standout teams. That makes the fact that we could only finish 14th (and I know the North Ferriby 'hangover' was partly to blame) so disappointing, especially in view of all the efforts that so many people put in to the club.

Apart from the failure to get to Wembley (what a boost that would have been to the community club bid), the biggest disappointment was the attendances - as far as my records go, this is the first season when the league average has dipped below 500, although it would have got close last season if it hadn't been for the community day.

As for the future, hopefully there is one. Lee Howells has suggested that we need no more than three new players for next season, but that might well depend on who leaves. If we are to improve next season, we have to learn from our mistakes in this one, most importantly we must stop giving away so many soft goals which have left us chasing games that we should have been in control of.

Hopefully we will all be back at Twerton Park in August.

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Re: The end of another season

Post by BenE on Mon Apr 27, 2015 1:39 pm

good post.

If we get three players what should they be?

First and foremost we need a leader. I know Adie has been looking for one for some time. One who plays centre back would be ideal but a midfield general would be pretty useful.

Last season we lost Connolly and Keats. None of the replacements fill their boots in terms of midfield tenacity although fortunately Hemmings has been a revelation. People forget the contribution that Badman played in the season we went up. That's the type of player we are lacking.

I don't see the point of having wide midfielders with Adie and Archie involved. So a busy striker that can scores goals would be an asset.
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Re: The end of another season

Post by comrade powell on Mon Apr 27, 2015 4:54 pm

To drop 7 positions from 12 months ago is certainly disappointing, especially as it seemed to be accepted by most that we had a better squad this time. Our highest position was 10th.

So where did it all go wrong? The stats suggest it was all down to our dreadful start and lack lustre finish. Adie has often said that he likes to divide the league season into 6 game blocks so they can view progress. Here's our points total for each block (Salisbury's failure to turn up means I've allowed for the missing games by making the 1st block just of 4)...

1, 13, 7, 10, 9, 8, 5

The Trophy run meant we still had a third of the season to complete after the exit at Ferriby - those 13 games saw just 13 points gained with 3 wins. Those who call for all the squad being retained had better hope we make a better start next year, because that is relegation form. Those who say the trophy exit was the reason for such a poor finish had better hope for an earlier exit! But to be fair, the many games called off meant we had a ridiculous number of midweek games to reschedule (5 of those 13 remaining games)

Rather than looking to the foot of the table, it might be worth considering where we need to improve to get much nearer to the top. Against the teams who finished in the top third we gained 2 wins, against the middle third 7 wins and bottom third 6 wins. Just 2 of the latter were away from home.

For the 3 seasons we have played at this level since relegation from BSP, we have scored on average 61 goals and conceded 56. The corresponding averages for the champions were 80 and 43. It sounds obvious, but we need to find 20 more goals and become tighter at the back. Will the present squad provide that?

Ignoring those who played no more than 3 games, here are the appearance figures...

38 mellor
35 ball
33 gallinagh
32 pratt
30 kington
30 simpson
27 artus
24 walsh
22 hemmings
22 keary
22 watkins
21 allen
20 mccootie
19 adelsbury
18 bowman
17 stearn
15 diallo

The player with the highest points won/games played average is Dan Bowman.

Highlights of the season for me...
Rovers, Wealdstone, both Dover games (all trophy)
Lows...
Thurrock, Ferriby away, Concord away, Glos away, and several in the past 2 months!
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Re: The end of another season

Post by Luton Roman on Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:58 pm

Best moment of the season for me is McCootie's equaliser v. Ferriby, seen from the Poplar side it rose, arced and dipped cueing an explosion of noise from all around, truly we believed at that point !

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Re: The end of another season

Post by BenE on Tue Apr 28, 2015 9:07 am

We have got a good squad of players. At times we have played some super football and scored some cracking goals. But at others we have been dire - truly shocking. Then so many times we have shot ourselves in the foot conceding abominable goals.

In my opinion what links all these is fitness. Or lack of it. A number of players have not been as fit/sharp as they were - most notably Mellor Ball Gallinagh Walsh Stearn Watkins Allen. Possibly this charge can be levied at the new boys - for instance Kington has not scored anything like the number of goals he got for WSM and Hemmings was overweight when he arrived.

If we come up against fit well drilled and determined sides we struggle.
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Re: The end of another season

Post by Bristol Mike on Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:19 am

I would say our inconsistencies are down to meddling with formations, a plan b is always needed but it should be used for that purpose. At times we have played well and then the following week the formation changes and we wonder why the players don't look like they know what they are doing. With a small squad we need to pick the best way of playing that suits the players and stick to it, maybe introduce plan b when the normal game is failing but not before. Changing things to suit different opponents is like admitting defeat, don't worry about opponents make them worry about you.

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Re: The end of another season

Post by Dodgycarpet on Tue Apr 28, 2015 1:00 pm

Agree about mccooties goal!

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Re: The end of another season

Post by BenE on Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:48 pm

mike good point. they seem to have fiddle with the side at times although I'm sure that Yuffie will have evidence that it was only done when forced upon them.
My impression is that we look most solid playing 4-4-2 but there has been a determination to play a variation of 5-3-2 for some opposition.
oh well that's not going to change.
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Re: The end of another season

Post by Roman Mike on Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:13 pm

Highlight: Dover Away
Low Point: Dover Away
About 12 mins apart. 82 mins Stearn 3-1 94 mins 3-3
Did someone say rollercoaster
I reckon the Dover game was our season encapsulated in one game
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Re: The end of another season

Post by stillmanjunior on Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:29 pm

BenE wrote:My impression is that we look most solid playing 4-4-2 but there has been a determination to play a variation of 5-3-2 for some opposition.
oh well that's not going to change.

I don't think we've ever played 5-3-2 in 20+ years of me watching. That implies we play with a flat back five, which going by the number of soft goals we conceded proves we don't play a straight five across the back.

I do agree that sometimes perhaps we maybe concentrate far too much on the opposition rather than believing in our own strengths. You only need to see the centre pages of the programme to see how much the line-up has altered. It could be common across the rest of the league though, I don't know.
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Re: The end of another season

Post by miker on Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:33 pm

Never mind 5-3-2, bring back 2-3-5 like in the good old days when teams went all out to score goals (entertaining) rather than trying not to concede like nowadays (boring).
Sorry, showing my age, youngsters amongst you won't know what on earth I'm talking about.

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Re: The end of another season

Post by Beau Nash on Thu Apr 30, 2015 8:13 am

Lol, I used to wear no.6 and I wasn't a centre back. (emoticon from Old Forum: bearded old man with stick)
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Re: The end of another season

Post by BenE on Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:00 am

stillmanjunior wrote:
BenE wrote:My impression is that we look most solid playing 4-4-2 but there has been a determination to play a variation of 5-3-2 for some opposition.
oh well that's not going to change.

I don't think we've ever played 5-3-2 in 20+ years of me watching. That implies we play with a flat back five

No it doesn't, which is why I said variation of. We play with two full backs in the wide positions if we can. Or if not at left wing back someone completely out of position like Naby.

In my opinion this is defensively minded 5-3-2 or a conservative 3-5-2.

The other thing we play is two strikers who hardly ever pass the ball to each other ie they don't form a partnership. Maybe this has gone out of fashion with modern strikers.
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Re: The end of another season

Post by BenE on Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:04 am

miker wrote:Never mind 5-3-2, bring back 2-3-5 like in the good old days when teams went all out to score goals (entertaining) rather than trying not to concede like nowadays (boring).
Sorry, showing my age, youngsters amongst you won't know what on earth I'm talking about.

The old W-M formation. But you were also allowed to kick players into row z and the goalie could be shoulder charged into the net.
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Re: The end of another season

Post by comrade powell on Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:44 am

As Benny knows, talk of formations bores me rigid. However Miker is right about attitudes towards scoring and preventing goals. The thing is, despite the defensive formations of today, modern teams are useless at defending. It speaks volumes that the best defender by some distance in the Premiership is the ageing John Terry.
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Re: The end of another season

Post by BenE on Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:56 pm

you say talk of formations bores you rigid but I've never known you let a discussion on formations pass without making some form of contribution. You know you like it really.
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