TT TALKING POINTS
Dom Roman – @DomRoman
From heroes to zeroes – from the highs of Wealdstone (h) to two lame away defeats, taking the wind right out of our sails and leading us to question exactly what the Gulls can achieve this season. A handsome Cup win can chirp us all up tomorrow, no pressure lads… Pre-match talking points – HAVANT (H):
LEFT FOOT FORWARD?
Three substitute appearances, but no minutes yet for Jake Andrews. Instead Ali Omar has been chucked onto the field in almost banter style, offering nothing that was required in these games apart from the clear indication he’s not yet ready to be starting. All slightly puzzling to be honest! Havant (h) is surely the time to get the left winger back involved. Jake can be a frustrating player at times, but what he gives us is quality crosses and balance on that left flank, two things that could help improve this stuttering United squad.
When you’ve got no new players incoming, all you can do is work harder to patch up the problems the current squad possesses…and Gary Johnson has been pushing them firmer than ever this week. There are limitations to work with that’s a given, but squeezing improvement out in all facets of the game is possible, from the pressing; to the passing; to the interplay; to the control and the defensive organisation. This is Gary’s biggest challenge as Torquay United manager so far and his body language has been telling by it’s frustration. But with two home games versus Havant and King’s Lynn to come, two wins are a must. He’ll demand nothing less.
A CUP RUN
What would we give for a plum 3rd round tie away to Premier League giants? It all seems like an impossible pipe dream, but maybe we can win a couple of rounds this year and fill the coffers with some FA Cup TV/crowd funds. Financially any help that allows Gary Johnson more room with his squad budget would be very welcome, but no counting chickens – we must triumph against Havant, and that’s no sure thing.
Who’s the latest on the treadmill of ex-Gulls strikers to play United I hear you ask? Well this week it’s Scott Rendell’s turn to return to his old stamping ground. In typing out Rendell’s numerous former clubs for Steve Harris’s preview article I almost got writers cramp! Scott has scored a few times against us since leaving (unsurprisingly), and will enjoy another chance as he moves into his mid-thirties (yes that nifty partnership with Benyon was a long time ago!). Another ex-Gull in the line-up is Joe Oastler, someone who was a steady utility man 10 years ago at Plainmoor, when midfielders at right back was very much in fashion. Havant will love the opportunity to play at Plainmoor and after a 5-2 win last weekend have their tails up, so no complacency please.
No denying it, Asa Hall had two poor games at Boreham and Bromley. After last season’s amazing performances from the skipper, another similar season was always going to be a big ask, but it’s alarming how little influence Asa has had on games. Poor distribution and just a lack of swashbuckling tackling and runs into the box, we desperately needed more from him to get anything from either fixture. Very few players stood out that’s for sure, but very few are as important to the Gulls as Asa Hall. Is the implementation of Tom Lapsloe interupting the balance of midfield and making a difference on the impact of the skipper, or is he just suffering a run of bad form? We’ll soon see in the coming games, big performances needed to bring smiles back on faces.
COYY – Dom