Dom Roman – @DomRoman
Who wanted a bye week for the Gulls? Not me. Whilst most National League sides enjoyed FA Cup 1st Round ties, we’ve had a break from Football. Not such a bad thing for Gary Johnson and his squad, time to recover from injuries and spend time on the training pitch honing our set pieces! I’d rather have been on a train up to the Valley on Saturday, but it wasn’t to be. In the meantime let’s look at how the squad has performed so far…buckle up please!
Marcin Brzozowski N/A – No rating for this young chap after only 45 minutes of action. Not yet ready for the 1st team.
Mark Halstead 1/10 – Oh dear. In 495 minutes of action, Mark conceded a goal every 33 minutes. Unfortunately one of the worst starts to any Torquay United career that I’ve witnessed…and as you can imagine there has been plenty of nightmares along the way. Will he get another chance in a TUFC shirt? Perhaps they’ll be redemption opportunities later in the season, but having 3 keepers on the books is far from ideal for GJ’s budget.
Shaun MacDonald 8/10 – After the calamity of Halstead, the return of the Mac was welcomed with almost hysteria from the Yellow Army. After some blunders last season I had wondered whether this was destined for failure, but total credit to Shaun he has been marvellous. The back four suddenly had a voice to command them and clean sheets were no longer a pipe dream! A man on form, long may it continue.
Joe Lewis 5.5/10 – The optimism was high for Joe Lewis this season, and rightly so after a series of fantastic performances that kept Kyle Cameron out of the side in 20-21. But without Sam Sherring the Welshman’s early season was full of indecision and errors, as the partnership with Ali Omar stalled in first gear, with nobody taking charge at the back as the team shipped goals. But better performances recently and a couple of goals point at steadier times to come.
Dan Martin 3/10 – Having seen Dan in pre-season action, the new signing looked A) unsteady at the back and B) enthusiastic going forward. And that’s basically how it’s played out. Like Ryan Higgins from a few years ago, the young full back has shown potential in some games but is nowhere near Dean Moxey’s standard in defence. Getting a silly red card at Havant didn’t help and plenty to prove at this level.
Dean Moxey 6.5/10 – Our best defender this season so far. The Mox has tried to bring calm to a flustered TUFC defence, and has been an ever-present – moving between left back to wing back to centre back, as Gary Johnson juggled his defensive pieces. Three assists thrown in for good measure and overall just a decent start to the season for Mox.
Ali Omar 2/10 – The hopes were high in pre-season for the big man, who attacked every header like it was his last and celebrated goals like cup winners. But then the honeymoon period ended as quickly as it had started, the defender looked lost at centre back and strikers found him out. Gary Johnson has restricted his appearances since then, changing to a 3-5-2 and then bringing in Harry Perritt. With maturity and guidance Ali can still become an asset in a Yellow shirt, but currently he’s miles off.
Harry Perritt 6/10 – Not too much to say about this chap so far! Solid against a very limited King’s Lynn side, and then subbed early after a booking at Wrexham. We’ll know more about him soon.
Ben Wynter 5/10 – Ben Wynter is still a good player, no denying that, but there’s also no denying he’s had a tough season so far. A switch from full back to centre back in a three hasn’t helped, but there’s been too many mistakes thrown in from the defender. With Mac returning and Perritt coming in, a more settled defensive shape should help him get back on track and overlapping once again like it’s 2020-21.
Alex Addai 6/10 – Brief substitute appearances have been the order of the day so far for Alex, with a typical Torquay injury thrown in just as we expected the winger to start. Can make a difference, fitness permitting.
Jake Andrews 5/10 – Restricted to only two games so far, both against Havant and then nothing since. Hope to see more of him after this break.
Asa Hall 5/10 – The captain has been out for weeks, but before that Asa just looked nowhere near the player from last season, struggling to get any grip on games and appearing off the pace. As the midfield looks to find a balance, it’ll be interesting to see how Asa slots back in after injury, as I’m sure Gary Johnson will want him in the team.
Chiori Johnson 5.5/10 – Not strictly a midfielder, Chiori has spent time at right back as well this season, as well as wing back. Wherever he’s played, Chiori always puts in a shift and works hard for the team. Whether he’s any better than a squad player though is debatable, but with our injuries that’s an important position!
Tom Lapslie 6.5/10 – The score would be higher for Tom if it wasn’t for dreaded injuries. So far his performances have been as expected, running himself ragged to make something happen for the Gulls and just loving being on a football pitch. I’m not sure where his best position is, but I know it’s better to have Lapslie in the team than not at all.
Connor Lemonheigh-Evans 6/10 – As the line-up and tactics have been shuffled, so has the Lemon’s place in team. He’s been everywhere in midfield, also behind striker, and most recently on the left wing. There’s been occasional moments of magic at Maidenhead, Southend and Wrexham, but more frequently frustration at not finding the form from last season. We’ve all felt that.
Armani Little 6.5/10 – How to rate Armani Little?! The stats are good, 5 goals and 6 assists hints at an excellent season. Dig a little deeper and there’s been far too many below par performances that have let the midfielder down, and let’s not talk about those set pieces. Always best on the attack and creating, Armani must strive for more consistency in his form and composure in his play, starting this Saturday. A key man on his day.
Byron Moore N/A – Only one game, but could be game changer! Bring on Dover.
Keelan O’Connell 4.5/10 – Keelan is a trier, there’s no arguing that. He runs hard and is always keen to help the team. Unfortunately with the ball, there’s not been enough quality so far and most importantly no goals or assists. Potentially a good player for the Gulls in the future though.
Gabby Rogers 3/10 – Started the season in the team but has featured very little since. Gabby has ability, but whatever he’s doing in training, it’s not enough to get him in the first XI at the moment.
Sinclair Armstrong 7.5/10 – Looks a real prospect. If we are going to climb the table then sparkplug Sinclair will need to deliver the goods.
Dan Holman 4/10 – Only 2 goals in 15 games for the striker so far is just not good enough, especially as those goals came in one game! Gary Johnson made a gamble bringing the previously retired Holman here in the summer, and so far it’s not paid off. The effort and application is there, but with Waters banging them in at Halifax, it’s hard not to feel disappointed at this signing.
Klaidi Lolos 6/10 – It’s all about promise and potential with Klaidi Lolos. He’s got a lovely touch on the ball, can turn on a sixpence and has also shown a poachers finish. With any luck this guy could blossom nicely at Plainmoor.
Danny Wright 4/10 – Played 8 x 90 minutes to start the season, and sadly buckled to injury. Unfortunately we went into the season heavily dependent on the 37 year-old and that’s a recipe for trouble. Hopefully he’ll still have a big part to play on his return, but rotation could be key from the gaffer.
COYY – Dom