Dom Roman – @DomRoman
What next for Torquay United this season? Only four games in and we’ve already dodged between triumph and disaster (just not in that order), and grasped points as underdogs whilst getting thrashed as favourites. Unpredictable, crazy and never a dull moment…that’s just our club isn’t it? Onwards to talking points for Grimsby at home, National League game number five….
TIME TO SHINE AT HOME?
It’s felt like home supporters and away supporters are living two different seasons so far, and I’ve been envious of the delight that the Yellow Army has revelled in at Meadow Lane and York Road. At Plainmoor it’s been fantastic to be back, and arriving at the gates to some normality – but the games have been frankly miserable. Is the pressure of performing in front of the home crowd taking it’s toll? Are we just better suited to away games (even last season that seems the case for a big part of it)? Or is this just an inconsistent team trying to find it’s feet? Whatever the reasoning we’ll surely improve hugely on the Woking debacle. Home results are so important at TUFC – crowds dip quickly if the losses pile up and the non-hardcore support lose interest. Grimsby have started well in their first season in the NL, but showed their own weaknesses in the wild game versus Barnet – up to us to take the iniatitive and the 3 points.
THE DIAMOND (AND GETTING THE BEST OUT OF ARMANI LITTLE)
So Gary Johnson decided to play all four of his favourite midfielders on Saturday in a diamond formation, and it paid dividends. Armani Little going from a 2/10 on Bank Holiday Monday to a 9.5/10 5 days later was just what Gary Johnson was hoping for, and it was a nice moment for Little to remind the doubters what he can do. It was just great to see him spring further forward at Maidenhead and get on the end of things, previous to that he had been penned into central midfield but the change of position really suited him. Now we just need some consistency (that goes for all of you!).
Hard to second guess the gaffer but he’ll probably stick to the diamond in the midfield for the weekend, and give us some continuity. Whether that balance is right going forward is debatable (no wingers is not generally GJ’s style), but if it gives the likes of O’Connell and Rogers time to find their feet and bags us more victories in the meantime, then job done.
A GOAL FOR HOLMAN
After scoring for fun in pre-season Dan Holman just hasn’t been able to get off the mark in the NL yet. It’s not for want of trying, his second half attempt at Maidenhead that rattled the crossbar deserved more and he was busy all match trying to help out Wrighty. Like any striker, score one and the next one often follows – with our current defensive jitters, we may need them.
That takes me on neatly to the problems at the back. 11 goals in 4 games and no sugar coating it, we’ve been nowhere near good enough. There’s still three players out of the five (Moxey, Wynter and Lewis) from last season’s solid defence and keeper, so it’s surprised me just how poor they’ve been. Much of the blame has been attached to the goalkeeper and you can’t deny that Mark Halstead has looked very nervy so far, but the marking has also been non-existent from his defence, panic is setting in quickly all round and there appears to be a real lack of communications at the back. Grimsby scored four last weekend and will come down to Plainmoor to have a real go, so improvements required…and quick.
CLE IS BACK
Having felt his way slowly back into first team action, Maidenhead (a) was the game when Connor Lemonheigh-Evans reminded us all just how good he is. An inch perfect assist for the first goal, and a smart run and deadly left footed finish later in the half (fantastic ball by Little as well), as TUFC blitzed into the four goal first half lead. I hear there’s a Yellow Army song for ‘the Lemon’, about time I say! Wherever he plays on the pitch, Connor is worth his weight in gold.
The second half was pretty bad from the Gulls on Saturday, and that certainly took the enthusiasm out of the post-match social media. I think we always love analysing and disecting Torquay United performances to the hilt afterwards, but let’s not forget to enjoy victories, however they may be achieved. This is a far from perfect TUFC team at the moment, and I’ve no idea what the future results will be due to their inconsistency. But when we do win, make the most of it….3 points is the main thing isn’t it?
One more request for you to vote for TorquayTalk at the FCA awards – see the link below, and a welcome to new TT partners Bay Advocates – see the link below! Thank you for your support. Get yourself down to Plainmoor on Saturday if you can and cheer on the lads, I’ll see you there.
COYY – Dom