Ed and number-cruncher @DomRoman checks through the TT Match Verdict ratings for TUFC from the ‘month of two halves’ that was February (2 wins/2 defeats) and reveals our seventh TT ‘Player of the Month’:
No. Name and February TT Rating
1) Elliott Romain: 7.8
No surprise that Elliott is TT’s player of the month again. Why couldn’t we have signed him in October/November?! Romain’s all round game has continued to impress me; his work-rate for the team, his ability to win headers and his awareness around the pitch. No word on him signing permanently, I assume Daggers still want to get his name off their wage bill, but does he want to commit himself to a team heading for relegation? For the time being let’s hope he romains until the end of the season and provides more moments like that Maidenhead winner. The Romain/Williams combo will get us goals, just probably not safety.
Man of the Match – Barrow
2) Josh Gowling: 7.5
The big centre back has not even qualified for most Player of the Month charts, and when you reflect on where the season has gone wrong – Gowling injury is close to the top of the list. Two games from Josh in Feb and two exemplary displays (bar the dodgy pen for Barrow), that even helped made the sloth-like Balatoni appear decent(ish) for a week. Without his guidance in the middle of the three, defensive jitters returned and six goals were soon shipped. We have all criticised Owers for not finding strikers; however his failure to sign a proper deputy for JG has also been at the root of our problems.
3) Luke Young: 6.9
What more can I write about Luke?! When the midfielder looks back on his career in years to come, I hope he has better footballing years to discuss. I’m not sure if he regrets signing new contracts to stay, but when the dust settles at the end of this season he will have to identify his best opportunities for the future. Don’t get me wrong I love Luke and would happily keep him for years, but for me he should be a League player – the attributes are there. Maybe his inner belief is lacking a little nowadays after injuries, but hopefully his career can hit an upward trajectory. Luke’s Feb displays were his usual energy and commitment – unlike others he rarely gives anything less and it will be shock if anyone pips him to the TUFC Player of the Year award (assuming they decide to do one…).
Man of the Match – Dagenham and Sutton
4) Vincent Dorel: 6.3
When Owers decided to recall Clarke in goal, Vincent may have wondered if he had played his last game for United. He was soon back between the sticks and showing us who really is our No.1. Sam Jones was especially positive about his display at Maidenhead, and I don’t think any of the Daggers/Sutton goals were down to the keeper. Going by his positive tweets, he’s a guy who may stay next season – depending on what terms are on offer. Let’s be honest next year’s squad could be anything and anybody couldn’t it, no continuity likely on the pitch at Plainmoor.
Man of the Match – Maidenhead
5) Sean McGinty: 5.9
There is differing opinions on McGinty from the Yellow Army. Some appreciate his approach and feel he’s often let down by team-mates; others feel he’s not aggressive enough and needs Gowling alongside him to be any good. The truth is probably somewhere between the two. I think every defender appreciates a consistent partner at the back, even seasoned Premiership internationals. In terms of aggression he’s never likely to be an Angus MacDonald and he’s not motivating team-mates like Angus did. However, he is a player who would command a place in many other NL teams I’d imagine, teams where a settled back four is in place and Gints is asked to get along with his job quietly – he may find out this summer.
6) George Dowling: 5.8
7) Aaron Barnes: 5.8
8) Brett Williams: 5.8
9) Michee Efete: 5.8
10) Conrad Balatoni: 5.3
11) Liam Davis: 5
12) Connor Lemonheigh-Evans: 4.9
13) Jamie Reid: 4.5
14) Jacob Sokolik: 4
15) Ruairi Keating: 3.5
1) TT Rating is the average of the ratings (out of 10) from the TT Match Verdicts
2) Players only included if they have been rated in 50% or more of TUFC games
3) Players only rated in games if they have played more than 10 minutes
Congratulations to Elliott Romain on winning the ‘TT Player of the Month’ for the second month in succession. It was not a coincidence that our terrible Daggers performance came without Elliott, his deputy Reidy came in and just couldn’t make any impact at all.
Talking of key men Josh Gowling came in for two victories, then limped off – the result: two defeats. Luke Young has been an ever-present, but couldn’t do anything to prevent those losses – it didn’t help him that Aaron Barnes went from hero to zero in his own performance levels and George Dowling still has much to learn before he fulfils his undoubted potential. Two youngsters still learning their trade.
Down the other end of the table is Ruairi Keating. I take no joy in seeing the striker down there, as Ruairi is such a trier and always gives his all in the yellow shirt. Unfortunately without much game time, his sharpness is currently non-existent and that showed when given a good chance against Daggers – the finish just wasn’t there.
March brings winnable fixtures and a chance to pick up some wins, especially with the front two likely to get on the score-sheet. I just can’t see us getting the points required for a great escape, the defensive vulnerabilities run too deep and the inconsistency of these collection of squad odds and sods just don’t look up to the task. Also our manager just doesn’t have it does he. Prove me wrong boys, prove me wrong….
TT Player of the Month roll-call
August – Ryan Clarke
September – George Dowling
October – Michee Efete
November – Alex Davey
December – Vincent Dorel
January – Elliott Romain
February – Elliott Romain