TALKING POINTS – Wealdstone (a) by Matt Roberts

TALKING POINTS

Matt_Roberts

Matt Roberts – @MatthewVA438

Matt looks back over the talking points for Wealdstone 1-1 TUFC

Deja vu struck on Saturday, it was 2020 all over again with no fans in the ground and streaming from home. Not Covid this though, just the most tinpot of circumstances whereby Wealdstone’s ground was falling down and unsafe for human habitation. In the end this turned out to be somewhat of a blessing as I’d been planning to go to the game. Wealdstone to their credit put on a decent enough stream given the short notice, the commentators seemed to be enjoying themselves and kept me entertained through what was a mostly turgid affair. Did you know they had a Sierra Leone international playing? Still, there were at least some talking points arising from it all.

Put your laces through it

We’d started the game very well and got Wealdstone camped in their own half almost from the first minute. We were playing some nice football and some passes threatened to split the home defence in two, one such chance came when Lemonheigh-Evans was played through on goal, all he had to do was shoot and surely it would be a goal. Instead, he kept going, took too many touches and the ball was smothered by the goalkeeper. As a side that doesn’t score many goals, you just can’t be missing those sort of opportunities, and how we’d regret that later.

‘None-dimensional’

A phrase used by the commentator to describe Wealdstone’s style of play. Make no mistake, they were rubbish and their tactics consisted of sitting back and booting it up to Umerah who cut a lonely and isolated figure on his own upfront, especially as he seemed to be in a different postcode to his team mates most of the time. Wealdstone were horribly careless in possession, often passing straight to players in yellow. When they were out of possession they stood off so far from our players that at time it looked like we didn’t know what to do with the time we had. That we didn’t put three or four goals past Wealdstone in the first half is damning indictment of our lack of end product, leading perfectly onto the next point.

Lack of goals and options

For all our possession, passing and skilful build up play (in the first half at least), we created very few real goal-scoring opportunities. CLE had his aforementioned chance and Wright had a header that went close but there was precious little else. We were feeble in attack and this has been a problem most of the season. We rely on 37 year old Wright who still has a part to play, but who can’t act as a lone striker these days. With Lolos having apparently played his last game for the club, we have only one other forward in Holman (currently out injured I believe). Unless we get someone in, it’s hard to see where goals are going to come from. Our bench is also weak, we’re almost at full strength but it’s hard to see where the inspiration is going to come from if we need to change things up in a game with Omar, O’Connell, Lolos and Felix waiting in the wings on Saturday.

Last call for Lolos

It’s a shame how it’s worked out for Klaidi. I was enthusiastic on his arrival but things just haven’t worked out at all during his time at Plainmoor. I don’t really know what his role is, and to be fair he’s never had a solid run in the team. I’ve never seen an un-injured player get subbed off after less than 10 minutes before and Lolos was unsurprisingly furious when coming off the pitch. Harsh decision? Maybe, though one imagines there are deeper issues at play than the conduct during his brief appearance on Saturday.

Play-off push over?

Just over a week ago, we were eyeing a move up the table, with a realistic total of seven points from a possible nine. Not to be unfortunately, as we only got three from Barnet, Boreham Wood and Wealdstone. Do we now have to settle for a season of mid-table mediocrity? With Johnson in charge you can never write us off but these were games we needed to get more out of, bluntly. Given where we were in November, the idea of finishing, say, 12th isn’t such a bad prospect though. We haven’t had a mid-table season since 2014/15 and Johnson having a full pre-season to get signings done and bedded in can only help prepare for next season. No more #ManicMonday and last-minute panic buys please this year.

COYY – Matt

img_8082“I’ve just seen the video and, unbelievably, that was absolutely in play when Connor pulled it back for the winning goal, or what should have been the winning goal. It’s soul-destroying when you earn a goal to win the game, somebody has guessed that it was out of play and it’s taken two points off us and there’s not a lot you can do about it” – GARY JOHNSON


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