Matty Hayward – @MattyHayward96
A new year is a time for a fresh start, where people make plans, targets, changes in their lives for the coming twelve months. It’s best, of course, to make resolutions that are both manageable and add to our lives, as opposed to those which are either impossible to quantify, impossible to achieve, or require us restricting ourselves. Less “must go to the gym more,” more “will endeavour to use a wider variety of pasta shapes.” Less “NO MORE CHEESE!” more “when I have cheese, try different types.” Less “finish making that thing that’s incredibly cumbersome and I’m not even that bothered about but I said I’d do it,” more “listen to two new albums a month (maybe even take notes about each one, and recommend them to friends!) and two of my favourite albums a month, thus creating approximately an hour a week of quality time where I can enrich my cultural experiences and do something I enjoy.” January is hard enough as it is – pandemic January harder still – the last thing you need is a monkey (of your own creation) on your back squawking at you to remove the Wispa from your trolley.
There’s the sincere advice out the way. Unfortunately, this list of New Years’ resolutions for Torquay players will mostly not follow that advice because these are men I don’t know very well, and because my list of quaint little things one could try to marginally improve one’s life is wearing thin.
(Yes, fact fans, this list is in squad number order!)
A resoundingly tough 2021 for Mark. The route one resolution here is to put the chicken wings down and work on his goalkeeping, but I actually think an occasional poultry treat is probably exactly what he needs. Stick to the chicken wings, Mark, stay off social media, make some time for yourself, and make a little bit of time for catching practice.
I’m working on wild assumptions here, but I have a feeling that Ben Wynter is one of the nicest men – nay, people – in the world. He certainly doesn’t need my advice (I mean, absolutely none of them do, but I’ve been asked to write this article so bear with), but if I could suggest something it would be that he considers getting a tattoo of that goal on his forehead to show his clearly undying love of the Yellows.
Dan started 2021 under contract at Cardiff, on loan at Weston-Super-Mare, so he’s naturally in a better place now a year on. He should spend 2022 biting Dean Moxey’s ear off, squeezing every last ounce of expertise out of the used-to-be-shite defender while he can.
Tom Lapslie needs to do the opposite. He needs to impart expertise. The first thing he should do after on the third of January (I’ll give him a chance to try to get fit for wind-up-Yeovil away) is create a timetable. And on that timetable should have (at least) weekly seminars in shithousery, hosted by him, attended by the rest of the squad. He needs to get on the blower imminently to arrange guest speakers – Pepe, Nigel De Jong, Jamie Vardy and the like – to ensure that everyone in the team is able to perfect the arts of getting opponents sent off, whipping travelling fans up into a fury, and kicking the ball away without getting booked. He is a pioneer, and his skills must be passed on.
Targets should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound), so Ali’s aim is to give at least twenty touchline hug celebrations between now and the end of the season.
The Lemon started 2021 as a key component in the Yellows’ promotion push. His performances, due partly to injury, have waned a little, but his return to a number 10 role behind Danny Wright should coincide with a return to form. As for a resolution, put the bloody gloves away; it’s a very mild winter son!
Grow your hair back. Properly.
Danny needs to buy a share in Superdrug as soon as he can. Then, he needs to use that influence to syphon off industrial quantities of cotton wool. Possibly with the help of his partner and their son whose middle name is “9”, he then needs to wrap himself in said cotton wool every day on which he’s not playing. He doesn’t need to train, ever. He knows what to do and how to do it: he’s very good at it. I’ve sort of resigned myself to us finishing mid-table this season. The only way we’ll mount any sort of a playoff charge is if Danny stays fit.
Armani has been one of our best players this season, about which there can be no question. In 2022, he should turn his phone off, smash it up with a hammer, drop it in acid, put that contents into a safe, lock the safe, take that safe to his hometown of Southampton, get on a cruise ship, wait until said cruise ship gets to the middle of the Atlantic, and throw the safe into the sea. Then get back in time for Dagenham (h). That way, he’ll see neither the daft criticism nor the phone calls from his agent (and/or Kyle Cameron) offering an enticing move to a club whose fans will sing “I wanna dance with Armani” with the passion and conviction the excellent song deserves.
This is, in no way, a SMART target, so I’m sorry to Chiori for that. But what he needs to do is work out what he’s good at and do more of it. Is he a tenacious central midfielder (I don’t think so), or an attacking right back, or a darting right winger? It’s probably a combination of the latter two, but he appears, currently, to look like a footballer with bags of energy and pace but no real certainty about how to channel them.
Sign on the dotted line, son. It’s so obvious that you want to.
Oh I don’t know. Start googling National League South clubs who need a wide option? (This is harsh. He’s not had a proper run in the team in a position that suits him. There’s just very little to say about him).
Gabby Rogers and Olaf Koszela
Two young local lads with similar squad numbers who are yet to prove themselves to be National League quality. Their resolution is to keep plugging away at the current level, make as much of an impact as possible, and have a decent portfolio of achievements to take to Gary’s door in a month or two’s time.
Klaidi needs to do two things. One: be more ruthless! So many times he’s danced past defenders, got to the edge of the box and looked like he’s had no clue what to do next. Have a go; you’ve got the talent! Two: he simply must work out how to turn the first line of Pulp’s Common People into a song about himself. “He came from Greece he had a thirst for scoring” might be a start, but it’s not an end. That said, the Lolos and Armani Little song is obviously pure class in lieu.
Scott Piper and Alex Moyse and Louis Slough
Eat your greens; read Of Mice and Men; bed by 11.
I would like Dean to give Exodus Geohaghon a ring in the new year. Obviously.
Apparently it’s not obvious. Dean’s long throw is good, it’s threatening, but he could do with using his impossibly long arms to add a yard or two and turn it into a serious weapon. Who better than Exodus to give this advice?
Try at least three new pierogi recipes; try not to inherit Lee Mansell’s appetite for relegation; try not to be wooed by Ben Gerring’s car-selling gab.
One: come back! Two: listen to Danny Wright! If you could combine Danny’s intelligence and experience with Sinclair’s fitness and pace and skill, you’d have an international quality target man. That’s where Armstrong wants to be, so he should make the most of Wright’s expertise.
Come back! Or at least send us a text so we know you’re OK!
Stay here! Sever all ties with the rugby lovers up the road. The only Grecian you need is Klaidi Lolos.
Hurry up! Our bench at Eastleigh was crying out for credible attacking options – most of the lads looked shattered in truth – a nippy winger with a point to prove may have been the difference.
Go home, open your laptop, first google “Torquay 5 Wealdstone 0 highlights,” then “Dan Holman showreel,” remind yourself what Dan Holman scoring a goal looks like. Do this every day for the next four weeks. Envisage yourself striking a ball with the veracity that you once did. It’ll come (probably).
Get your hair cut. Then, like Armani, block your agent’s number. Block Kyle Cameron’s too. And Ben Whitfield’s. And don’t, whatever you do, watch EFL ON QUEST and realise that you’re as good as half of the defenders on there too.
Last, but not least. In fact, he’s only last because he chose such an obscene squad number. I mean what is a goalkeeper doing wearing the number thirty-seven? You are an adult! Anyway, in terms of resolutions, Shaun needs to keep doing what he’s doing. He’s made one serious mistake since his return, on Tuesday at Eastleigh, and it’d be nice to keep it at one-per-year in 2022. The worst thing that Mac can do is dwell on that error and let his confidence wane: he clearly thrives on self-belief and he should remember that he’s done so well this season, almost single-handedly turning a defensive circus around, and he needs to continue in that vain. Also, give Mark a hug a day from us, yeah?