TT TALKING POINTS
Jonny Jones – @Jonny_Jones
JJ discusses talking points from the win at Maidenhead
Torquay United Football Club is a bit of a freak of nature. Normal rules seldom apply. That’s why at half time on Saturday you’d be forgiven for not breaking open the cigars. Even at 4 nil (4 f**king nil!), I was worried it could all go horribly wrong. And it so nearly did. What we’d hoped would be a relaxing second half turned into a classic nail-biter, the kind we seem to suffer more than most. Don’t get me wrong, winning that game was the most important thing, but for as good as we were for spells in the first half, we were equally as bad in the second. Plenty of talking points then…
The MOTM – Armani Little
He’s had his injury problems and got his doubters, but what a performance. With two goals and two assists, this was the Armani Little we signed from Woking – the main man who caused us no end of problems in the NLS. He looks fit, and if there’s ever been a ‘confidence player’ it’s him. I remain to be convinced of the diamond in midfield, but the link-up with CLE further up the pitch was brilliant at times. Well played, fella.
The great goalkeeper conundrum
We’ve conceded 11 goals after 4 games, only Barnet have let in more. That’s a concern. Is it down to the new centre back pairing of Lewis and Omar, or the goalkeeper? Probably a bit of both, but Mark Halstead isn’t giving anyone in front of him any confidence. One very good save aside, he flapped at every cross that came into the box and fumbled a few shots that a defender then had to throw himself in front of. I wasn’t surprised with the selection – dropping him after three games would only shoot his confidence further, but at what point does Brzozowski get a chance?
The forward line
Signing a retired 31-year-old living in Dubai was always going to raise a few eyebrows, but I liked the look of Dan Holman on Saturday. He showed enough neat touches and movement to warrant his chance, and he didn’t stop running all afternoon. I do, however, wonder if two up top is the way to go. Danny Wright and the Lemon formed such an understanding last season, I’d prefer to see us go 4-4-1-1, and use one, rather than both Dans. Whether Holman can lead the line on his own is up for debate, though, and why Johnson is playing them as a duo.
The loan market
Shipping another three goals only tells us what we already knew, we need to strengthen at the back. But for me, it’s down the flanks where this side needs the most attention. O’Connell has promise, but lacks experience at this level. I trust Johnson to get him up to task, but until then we need to replace at least one of the wingers who jumped ship. I’d also be surprised if we don’t bring in someone who can stretch teams upfront, particularly late on in games. Benji Kimpioka is one rumoured name, and despite his lack of goals last season, I think he showed enough to earn another chance. Apparently, Johnson junior refused to loan him to Hartlepool – I can’t imagine why…
York Road won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, the away end was ‘basic’ to say the least, but I really enjoyed my second visit to, wait for it: the oldest continuously used senior association football ground in the world by the same club. There’s something special about being crammed in amongst terraced houses, and I can’t not mention the Great Western Mainline that runs directly behind one of the stands. Where we were in the ground meant you couldn’t actually do any trainspotting, but that didn’t really matter, it was a game you couldn’t take your eyes off.
COYY – JJ
THE GULLS WEEK 6th – 13th SEPT by Danny Burnell
TT MATCH VERDICT – MAIDENHEAD 3-4 TUFC, 4th SEPT 2021
PROUD AWAY SPONSOR OF KLAIDI LOLOS