TT TALKING POINTS
Dom Roman – @DomRoman
It’s back to away days for Torquay United and the Yellow Army this week, Barnet (a) is filed under ‘winnable’ in the TUFC 21-22 dictionary but let’s be honest nothing can be taken for granted this season! 17th versus 14th in the National League, not one for the purists perhaps, but a big game for the Gulls at the Hive. Here’s my pre-game Talking Points…
THE YELLOW ARMY
Games around the capital are normally well attended by the Yellow Army, and with tickets going for a tenner that should be the case again on Saturday afternoon. It’s time to draw a line under last weekend’s dreadful MOTM episode (I’m sure Armani will want to move on), push on in style and show our best side at the Hive, getting behind the lads and making our voices heard above the home crowd as always. YELLOW ARMY, YELLOW ARMY!
RETURN OF ARMSTRONG AND THE LEMON (*AND MAYBE ASA)
Sinclair Armstrong’s return from international duty cannot come soon enough, add to that Connor Lemonheigh-Evans coming back after the birth of his 2nd child and the Gulls should be able to play with more swagger this weekend. Sinclair’s pace over the top just adds a new dimension to United’s attack, and Barnet’s defence will be nervous about him gobbling up a long ball over the top. He’ll be desperate to come back and get on the scoresheet again. Meanwhile Connor will no doubt play. In which position is anyone’s guess, but he’s far too important for United to leave on the bench. *Maybe we’ll also see Asa Hall in action again as well, I think the midfield needs his size and leadership.
Keelan O’Connell has been getting some positive reviews this week, and it’s fair to say he was one of our liveliest performers at Plainmoor (yes I know…the competition wasn’t fierce!). With Connor returning, the winger will have his fingers crossed that he still remains in the starting line-up and I think he deserves to. Keelan may have lacked end product in his play all season (and I’m sure he’d be the first to admit that), but I’ve appreciated his proactive effort and enthusiasm. The lad is a trier, and for the width and running off the ball he gives United, he’s worth sticking with. Maybe that first goal for the Gulls is just around the corner for Keelan, I’m sure it would mean a lot to him.
The Gulls desperately need to find some kind of form on their away travels if we’re going to become play-off contenders. Only one win so far and that was in that wild game at Maidenhead, coincidentally one of only two away fixtures where we have scored first. In the rest we have given ourselves an uphill task by starting slowly, and although some games have been salvaged in draws, GJ will demand far better concentration and composure from kick off. Quietening the home crowd can be so vital and TUFC just haven’t done it enough. Barnet’s form isn’t great and we certainly don’t have anything to fear from them, so the opportunity is there to make the running in this game…if the Gulls can find enough confidence and quality to take charge.
THE NATIONAL LEAGUE
The National League is such a crazy competition this season. Stockport have just beaten Bolton Wanderers in front of a big crowd, after signing their captain and stealing Hartlepool’s manager; Wrexham are owned by Hollywood actors, sponsored by Tic Tok and have last season’s League 2 player of the year on their books, and then you’ve got established ex-league clubs like Grimsby, Notts County and Chesterfield pushing hard for a return to the EFL (Chesterfield just casually plucking one of Solihull’s defenders off them last week!). It really is a Conference league like no other year. But the good news is inconsistency reigns supreme and with only 14 games played, time is on our side to get into the mix. Alongside the ex-league teams is the likes of Bromley, Boreham and Solihull, and if they can be in and around the top 7 this season then why not us? Positive thoughts people!
HER GAME TOO
Not Barnet related but it was tremendous to see Torquay United partner with the Her Game Too campaign this week. I have heard from fellow contributors Rachel Malloch and Rowena Williams about the disrespectful comments and remarks they have suffered as women watching football matches and hopefully this campaign is a real turning point going forward. I have two daughters at home and if they ever decide to take an interest in the Gulls, I hope football has progressed enough for them to enjoy it to it’s fullest.
Safe travels to all.
COYY – Dom