TT TALKING POINTS
Dom Roman – @DomRoman
Beating King’s Lynn never felt so good did it?! Last Saturday’s game came into the category of “just win lads”, and win they did…comfortably in the end. Next up is one of the most eagerly awaited fixtures of the season, Reynolds, McElhenney and all that at the Racecourse Ground. The big spenders versus the frugal Gulls, Tic Tok V Sparkworld, Mullin V Armstrong, a fascinating match awaits. Enough faffing…this is pre-match talking points for Deadpool…I mean Wrexham AFC (a)…
1 – BABY STEPS
Not to douse the Yellow Army fires too much from last Saturday, but for around 70 minutes it was two rather poor teams trying hard but failing to do many of the simple things…like pass the ball to a team mate! Thankfully Sinclair Armstrong rose above the poor play and banged a shot home to give us a grateful and vital lead….more about him later. But then the 2nd half arrival of Keelan O’Connell for Dan Holman gave us better balance, poise and purpose in our play. Suddenly we had more width and cohesion to get around the Lynn defence, and looked far happier banishing the surprising 4-3-3 formation for something different. In the end Joe Lewis snaffled us a second but it could have been more. But these are baby steps for this side. Any result other than a victory against a very limited King’s Lynn side would have been frankly depressing, and on the day better opposition could have taken us to the cleaners. Wins breed confidence though, and boy do we need that at the moment.
2 – BIG MATCH BUZZ
With the Hollywood owners in town (as if you hadn’t heard!), the Racecourse Ground is going to be buzzing with expectation on Saturday (not to mention media exposure with Deadpool around) and the pressure will be on the Red Dragons to perform. That could mean anything when the match kicks off. Either the home side are inspired by the crowd and we are in trouble, or something resembling nerves and apprehension kick in. The Gulls have already done well in two big away days this season at Notts County and Chesterfield, and can gather confidence from those draws. This isn’t a Wrexham team on a fine run of form at the moment, and if United can grab a foothold in the game, then there’s no reason why they can’t claim at least a draw…maybe better. Dealing with the noise and keeping composure will be key, cool heads required from the United lads. An excellent and no doubt chaotic away day test awaits.
3 – DEALING WITH MULLIN
Now Wrexham have some good players around the park, but the key to stopping them has to be nullifying striker Paul Mullin. Mullin’s arrival was arguably the biggest news over the summer, as Wrexham flexed their muscle to tempt the League Two player of the year to the Racecourse Ground, and at the same time show the financial craziness of the National League! The striker has inevitably scored goals. 7 in 10 NL games so far for the Red Dragons is a good start, and he’ll expect to grab at least 30 this season. The Gulls defence has been wobbly up to this point…but Harry Perritt’s debut last Saturday gives us hope for better going forward. A solid partnership between him and Joe Lewis could be massive for the Gulls, and what better way to test this than taking on Mullin this Saturday?! Lapses in concentration have cost us frequently on our travels, avoiding more of those is crucial this weekend.
4 – MORE REQUIRED FROM CLE
Last season’s player of the year has had a mixed start to 2021-22. There’s been occasional moments of brilliance, but too often the games have slipped frustratingly away from his grasp. It’s been difficult for the Welshman, as he’s been shunted around the team, from midfield, to left midfield, right midfield and behind the strikers, meaning the established rhythm in Connor’s game just hasn’t materialised. Last Saturday was no different. With three strikers fielded, the midfielder found himself on the left wing and looked decidedly uncomfortable. In truth the tactics didn’t particularly suit the team, and Connor spent far too much of the game away from the attacking third. Getting the Lemon up and around the attackers, pushing into the penalty box and popping up with more goals would be ideal, but in the meantime he just has to find a way to influence matches and show his class. He’s certainly got that.
5 – SINCLAIR ARMSTRONG
Very early last Saturday Sinclair Armstrong showed us what he was all about. A long ball banged way over the top and he was on it, pushing the defender aside and beating him easily for pace, before testing the keeper with a left footed shot. Simple football, but having not seen any TUFC striker outpace a defender all season at Plainmoor, this was a breath of fresh air, this was different! His goal was simple as well, head down and bang it, no second thoughts and no hesitation. Youthful panache and exuberance, he was loving it. In truth we didn’t have the quality to feed Armstrong frequently enough against King’s Lynn, and Gary Johnson will be demanding more composure and accuracy in the passing to get the lad involved. Wrexham should push up on Saturday, as a home team in front of an expectant crowd that’s to be expected, leaving space in behind and chances for Sinclair Armstrong to punish their defence. Judging by Saturday’s performance he’ll be ready! An exciting player who’s already putting smiles back on TUFC faces.
Safe travels to those making the journey on Saturday!