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Post by PSJRoman on Sun Nov 22, 2020 2:31 pm

Back in July after we lost our Eliminator match against Dorking I listened to Jerry say he didn`t want to experience that again after losing out two seasons running. He stated that maybe we needed a bit more physicality about our team if we were to compete at the top end of the table. We then saw the departure of all our front line as well as the long term loanees returning to their clubs. Having boosted the playing budget with the money from the Crowdfunding I was eagerly looking forward to seeing some good quality recruits to take us to the next level. Well, a week before the new season began I looked at our squad and felt somewhat underwhelmed, Where was the robust centre back to play alongside Jack Batten, the pacey midfielders to take us up the pitch, and most of all, our forward line ??. We only had Wilson & he was unfortunately injured. But no other striker or even a winger. We did manage to get young Conway just before the start but it didn`t seem enough. Now I know we don`t have the budget to compete against some of the other clubs in our league, but I look at Chippenham, Hungerford & Gloucester who have all vastly improved from last season & wonder why we have fallen behind so quickly. Looking at the team against Hampton yesterday we had five stalwarts from last season, four new young loanees and only two of the new permanent signings. What does that say about players such as Watts, Pope, Grant, Harley & James. Some of these new signings were released by clubs playing at our level, are they going to be an improvement on last years squad? I am not so sure.

Now, you may think from this I am anti Jerry, this is not the case, I sincerely believe he is the right man for the job. Am I being unrealistic & expecting too much, I hope not, but when I see Chippenham taking our cast offs (no disrespects lads) and getting good results I do wonder, do we have a TEAM ready to compete.

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Post by Dave on Sun Nov 22, 2020 4:35 pm

Re budget, I'm fairly sure in the last Society zoom meeting (just before the season began?) one of the committee or board reps said that this season's budget was set at 75-80% of last season's, can anyone involved confirm?

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Post by tovid on Sun Nov 22, 2020 5:02 pm

Unlike in the previous game I thought we competed well against Hampton. We had chance after chance to score none of which were taken. We then switched off to give away the penalty. It was naive and you will get that from youngsters.
But I don't think it helped keep chopping and changing the team. This is what will happen when permanent signings don't measure up, injuries decimate the team and you rely on short term loans.
Our season has been severely disrupted so it has been difficult for Jerry and Jim. I feel a lot of sympathy for their position. They are far from ideal condirions.
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Post by comrade powell on Sun Nov 22, 2020 5:11 pm

The reason Grant and Harley didn’t feature yesterday was that both were injured. I don’t know about Buse - maybe his loan period has ended.
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Post by stillmanjunior on Sun Nov 22, 2020 5:22 pm

Buse came away from the Hemel game on crutches.

And Artus, 32, gave away the pen. I think he'll be more than happy to be called a youngster Smile Just a silly moment which proved costly. Thought we played perfectly well to be honest. When I got home I watched the highlights of our 1-0 win there two years ago when they missed about eight decent opportunities and we won by the same scoreline with one of our two or three good chances. I guess for some fans it's just a results business - lose = rubbish, win = great. That or my expectations are pretty low. That's referring to comments elsewhere, not this thread.  

We were pretty hopeless against Hemel, not helped by having loads out, but if playing like we did yesterday makes us the worst team in the league this season there has been a humungous step up in class. We'll pick up.


Last edited by stillmanjunior on Sun Nov 22, 2020 6:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by 2weirdtown on Sun Nov 22, 2020 6:10 pm

Apart from the Hemel game, I think we have played OK, but just not scoring.
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Post by tovid on Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:35 pm

I haven't re-watched the action but my impression was that Frankie was forced into a rash tackle because we lost our shape that allowed Hampton to penetrate dangerously into the box. But I may be wrong on that. Wouldn't be the first time.
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Post by stillmanjunior on Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:38 pm

I described it as Batten on the comms (wasn’t helped by a set of scaffolding right in my way) so it was rich of me to comment. Just took joy in someone in their 30s being described as young.
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Post by Luton Roman on Mon Nov 23, 2020 1:00 pm

A balanced view PSJ Roman imo. JG has posted on social media that the squad structure inc 5 loanees which presumably is budget related. I do wonder what the budget difference is to get the number of loanees down to say 2 or 3 max and avoid the seemingly relentless revolving door of loans that is currently going on. No doubt some injury related but also perhaps some desperation to get the right format. I too have looked at clubs in our radius like Gloucester and Hungerford whose players would be on our radar one would imagine, cant afford them? don't fit the 'Bath City way'?

Whatever the reason for the summer departures we have missed a Stearn or Watkins willingness to get wide and take players on. Our final third play has been ineffective as the goals for column starkly illustrates. Confidence levels look fragile as a run of defeats takes it toll. For all the plaudits for 'performance' only 'results' and points on the board will lift the mood and encourage players to, well, play.

For all that, I thought we did better at Hampton after the Covid break than expected, especially against a team who were on the rebound from a blip v. Hemel and had been in good form before that. JG has enough credit in the bank to weather this, perhaps this haphazard season will be about survival on and off the pitch for most clubs, and then reset in the summer. That reset, however, might need a bluntly realistic look at what it will take to get promotion.

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Post by Peter Newman on Mon Nov 23, 2020 2:15 pm

I had the same thoughts regarding lack of width but wonder if that is based on watching games from a single camera position rather than being at a ground and having a full perspective.

We have lost the wide players mentioned by Luton as well as having had a couple of loanees from Bristol who were true wingers.

Another element is the loss of Joe Raynes who also provided an option down the right.

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Post by LB on Mon Nov 23, 2020 6:23 pm

I think PSJRoman and Luton Roman have both summed up things very well.

Perhaps one of the problems is that we didn't really replace the players who left on a 'like for like' basis, apart perhaps from Freddie Grant for Riley-Lowe, although he seems to have struggled a bit, perhaps suffering from switching from left back to wing back when we have changed formation. It may well be that by the time of the play-offs came around, and we knew what league we would be playing in, some of Jerry's targets had gone elsewhere.

Something we also miss, and I think Jerry alluded to this on Saturday, is that we don't have players on the bench who can come on and change things, an option we had in previous seasons with the likes of Andy Watkins and Ross Stearn.

I think we have to accept that the use of loan players is something that will continue, and perhaps we were spoiled last season with the likes of Hartridge, Chilvers and Pearson. I do wonder though sometimes what effect it has on the morale of the contracted players when we bring in young loanees and put them straight into the team.

I think the goals will come with Wilson in the side and hopefully he can form a partnership with Conway but we do need to get some more points on the board soon if we aren't going to spend the season playing catch up.  

Jerry deserves our trust and patience and hopefully will get it.

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Post by tovid on Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:42 pm

I thought we played better as a team yesterday but Dulwich were just too big, strong and fast for us. The manner of their first goal didn't help of course but we were already clinging on by then.
The fact is the team is too lightweight for the division. Good players can't show it because they are too easily brushed aside. How we arrived at this position is a puzzle. Jerry demanded the right to compete in the play offs and inspired massive support but the excuse should not be used now that it messed up recruitment.
I think we have been lucky with central midfielders in the last couple of seasons with morton and chilvers. This year we haven't got that person who can control a game. Last night there was no midfield to speak off. Frankie makes the space for other people to be creative he doesn't generally pull the strings. I like the look of Mehew though, maybe he can forge a partnership with Frankie in time.
Something needs to done about Tom Smith too. Maybe he ought to play alongside Wilson in a 4-4-2 because it is not working for him this season.
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Post by comrade powell on Thu Nov 26, 2020 9:54 am

Thanks Tovid. What’s your view on Tomlinson? From what I’ve seen on the various streams he looks very quick and has the ability to beat a defender.
I’m assuming that Harley, Grant and Evans are injured - between them they should provide the experience we looked to be lacking on Tuesday.
A fully fit Raines would probably transform this team but who knows when he might return.
I hope Batten will be available for the tough looking fixtures coming up.  It was no coincidence we conceded three in his absence .
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Post by Bridgeyate on Thu Nov 26, 2020 2:16 pm

Was enthusiastic for a good performance Tuesday night after the first 15 mins and the Hampton game and securing some well needed points.After the disputed goal and half time it went downhill .Loosing Jack Batten had a massive impact.The team that played was far too lightweight and in my opinion certain players have a lot to learn playing at this level especially playing against physical, streetwise, intimidating sides like Dulwich , there are a few in this division that give you no time on the ball and we struggle.
There were glimpses of good play but unfortunately we lost possession , poorly passed at times and could not match the physicality of Dulwich . We have no width in our play and miss the likes of Stearn and Watkins to be able to do this . Corners and free kicks are very poor also .It went from bad to worse in the second half and we lost our way.Dan Ball was excellent again and fought well throughout despite loosing Jack Batten beside him .

It is a worrying situation as it’s so difficult to see where the wins will come from.Appreciating this is a challenging season ahead and we may not keep a settled side for lots of reasons and just hope we don’t get further behind as it is so difficult for morale etc when you are bottom , to climb up the table .


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Post by LB on Thu Nov 26, 2020 3:06 pm

Taking up Comrade's point about Tomlinson, I think he has done okay and looked good on the ball but I assume he was sacrificed on Tuesday so that Tom Richards could go into midfield.

I think Mark said that Harley and Grant are injured, and Jerry said in his post match interview after Hampton that Evans went off at half time with a tight hamstring - three big players to lose, especially Evans whose crossing is some of the best we have had for a while. Having been criticised for saying that the club wasn't very forthcoming about what was happening regarding the coronavirus infections I am not going to comment on the lack of information about Callum Watts (who was taken off at Slough after 25 minutes 'for not following orders' and hasn't been in the squad since) and Joey Raynes!  

One of the most frustrating things about Tuesday was how poor we were at corners and free kicks. It seemed to me that virtually all of our corners were taken short and ended up in us losing possession - ironically when we did fire one into the box Dan Ball got his head to it. Quite often free kicks went backwards, and while I know Dulwich made it hard by not giving us much space their equaliser showed what can happen if you put the ball into the box.

Hopefully the break will allow for the injuries to mend and bit of regrouping before a pretty brutal start to December.

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Post by comrade powell on Thu Nov 26, 2020 3:42 pm

I'd say December looks a pretty brutal month full stop. I usually look forward to entering the Trophy (convinced that this is the year we'll go all the way) but fear it could be a distraction this time especially if these injuries continue.
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Post by kermit on Thu Nov 26, 2020 10:25 pm

Freddie Grant?
Still with us?
Not heard a word about him for ages and he was Mark E signing......or whatever the terminology is!
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Post by comrade powell on Thu Nov 26, 2020 10:36 pm

I believe he’s injured, Kerm E
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Post by LB on Thu Nov 26, 2020 10:42 pm

If he was the Mark E signing then perhaps there has been a Fall ing out..
It’s okay, I am getting my coat!

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Post by Steve Whites Missus on Thu Nov 26, 2020 10:52 pm

LB wrote:If he was the Mark E signing then perhaps there has been a Fall ing out..
It’s okay, I am getting my coat!

All this is Kicker Conspiracy

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Post by tovid on Thu Nov 26, 2020 11:06 pm

Some excellent points made in this thread few of which I can disagree with.
I have not seen Tomlinson finish a game and I always feel we miss his pace and directness when he goes off. The game started at a frantic pace with Smith Wilson and Tomlinson very high and pressing and it seemed to work but as players got tired they dropped off and Dulwich got on top. Wilson was conseqiently knackered and hence every touch was heavy and meant we couldn't keep the ball up field but if Batten was on the pitch we wouldn't have conceded the last three goals mainly because Ball at left back would have stopped the crosses.
Unless the lads are super fit they cannot keep up that pressing for long and that's when any lack of physicality is exposed.
As I said I felt there was more cohesion about our play but we could do with less injuries and a moee settled side.
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Post by Dave on Fri Nov 27, 2020 5:56 pm

Ball at left back wouldn't have changed a thing given it was Richards and the teenager Artus who were beaten by the winger on the right. The fourth came from their left (It was Ball who didn't stop the final ball into the box).

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Post by tovid on Fri Nov 27, 2020 9:41 pm

I based that assumption on the fact we didn't have those crosses coming into the box first half. Although to be fair it was Dan who conceded the free kick for the first goal.
The entire defence stood like statues for the second goal.
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Post by the demon headmaster Yesterday at 9:59 am

Most of what I think was summed up in the first post, but I did think we also had a real lack of pace at the back. We were exposed time and time again on both flanks in the first half. The team isn't good enough on the evidence of what I've seen. If we are a passing side that would be OK if we passed the ball well enough, but too often it goes astray. I do think Wilson looks a very good player and Grant too, but for the rest? It does feel a bit like men against boys.

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