TT TALKING POINTS
Dom Roman – @DomRoman
Suddenly the play-offs look a little further away. The battle of the mid-table teams trying to push higher was touted to be a tight scrap and so it proved, here’s my talking points from Torquay United 0-2 Solihull Moors:
NO REPLACEMENT FOR DANNY
It’s been a concern since last season, have we got adequate resources in the striking department to deputise for Danny Wright? That question got another airing after 5 minutes on Tuesday night as Danny hobbled off, and the answer somewhat inevitably was no (and I wish you’d stop asking!!). It wasn’t for want of trying by Dan Holman to be fair. I’ve been critical of ‘Goalman’ this season, but he came on and got straight into the action, linking up play well at times and taking up a number of promising positions. The trouble being that he couldn’t replicate the physical presence of Danny to occupy Mark Ellis and friends, and like the rest of the team he couldn’t find an authoritative finishing touch. With Klaidi Lolos disregarded to a late substitute role in recent weeks and injury news awaited from Wrighty, it’s clear and obvious that another striker will be needed very soon. Guys like Sinclair Armstrong don’t come along very often unfortunately, but we’ll soon see what Gary Johnson can muster.
Speaking of players who have been criticised this season… Ali Omar came in last summer in a blaze of enthusiasm and popularity, which soon disappeared when the Yellow Army realised he just wasn’t very good at playing football! But with COVID hitting Lewis and Moxey and other options unavailable, Ali has come in and to his credit done very well. There were anxious moments at Alty, but against Solihull the big man was quality throughout. His mindset was clear, don’t take any liberties with the football, stay focussed and get tight on the strikers. Sure we eventually conceded two, but this was not down to Ali and I think we all walked out of Plainmoor very impressed by his 90 minutes. This week a glimmer of potential has crept in and I’ve enjoyed this underdog getting stuck in and making the opportunity count. Whether it’ll be enough to convince GJ of his long term prospects is another thing entirely, but there is certainly something for the boss to work with.
LACKING SQUAD DEPTH
In another season where you’ve got to cope with not only injuries but also COVID creeping in, our lack of squad depth is stretching even Gary Johnson’s managerial majesty to it’s limit. It’s been so frustrating see different players drop out of the squad for different reasons week in week out, with important chaps like Tom Lapslie continually struggling with injuries and the subs bench capabilities stretched consistently. Tuesday night was a closely matched game between two even teams that cried out for impact from the bench, Solihull got their impact from Kyle Hudlin (I didn’t see that bit of skill coming) and won the game. If this season is going to be a mid-table one, then Gary Johnson will be desperate to stretch his budget to form a stronger, fitter and more agile National League squad for 2022-23.
PUT YOUR FOOT THROUGH IT!
We played some nice football on Tuesday night, the interplay and movement gave Moors trouble at times and there were enough moments and possibilities to create the all-important first goal. What we were not in any form was clinical and there were a number of occasions when we just seemed to over-think the finishing touch, trying to tee up the perfect pass instead of taking responsibility and just leathering that football hard and low! In the end Ryan Boot found himself pretty much untroubled in the Moors goal other than scrambling away a Little miss-hit shot from the loitering Dan Holman, and we really should have tested him more.
CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR
The disappointment I had from the defeat on my drive home was more entrenched in the result and how it slims up our play-off chances, than in the performance of the lads. I saw determination from everyone in a yellow shirt, I saw commitment to winning a game and I saw skilful touches and distribution from the likes of CLE, Little, Duke and Wearne that bode well for future games. In the end football is ultimately based on that final goal-scoring touch though and Torquay United just could not find it, with (there’s only one) Mark Ellis standing firm on his return to Plainmoor (and probably being the best player on the pitch). Another short break to come – time to source reinforcements, hope the squad can assemble properly and get ready for a tasty clash against the Hollywood all stars! Spending 300k on a striker, what a barmy league this is…
COYY – Dom
TT MATCH VERDICT – TUFC 0-2 SOLIHULL MOORS, 25th Jan 2022
PROUD AWAY SPONSOR OF KLAIDI LOLOS