Danny Burnell – @dannyburnell92
FITTING IN THE THREE LOANEES
With the addition of Opi Edwards from Forest Green, United’s loanee cohort has increased to three. And, it’s a very similar three it has to be said. As we have witnessed in the past, Opi offers speed and trickery, as does Duke-McKenna, as does, to a certain degree, Stephen Wearne. I was slightly surprised, as I’m sure a lot of Gulls fans were, when Opi was announced prior to the Halifax game. An area where, for me, was sufficiently addressed with the welcome introduction of the Guyana international back in January. Add to these the already contracted Chiori Johnson, and the (baffling) Joe Felix, it’s an position of (relative) comfort.
All three started in the loss at Halifax on Saturday, and I would be surprised if the same three started on Tuesday. Duke starts, that’s no question. Sometimes frustrating, yes, but he has earned his corn in Yellow and has to be in the starting XI come 7pm. One assumes Edwards will struggle to complete another 60/70 mins, three days after his first game since the end of November, so he may drop down to the bench. Wearne has flattered to deceive. He’s OK, certainly not a bad player, but hasn’t hit the heights or consistency so many were expecting of the Sunderland loanee. It could be a game for him to drop out.
Whatever GJ is planning, at least he now has ample options in the wide areas….
WHERE BEST TO FIT LEMON
A question often asked prior to each game, where is CLE’s best position? Out wide, certainly not, he’s wasted. And, as mentioned above, those areas now seem well versed. Up top in that #9 role he has excelled in the past, notably Barnet, but again, I don’t see him as an out and out striker. For me, he’s not the kind of player you want as your last man.
In a diamond, it works with him being the pivot between midfield and strikers. But, I strongly believe that only works with two recognised out and out forwards. In a AMC role, the number #10, he offers that link up and vision you often need, but if you’re playing him there, Danny Wright in my opinion, cannot be that lone striker. It needs to be that (i’ll say it again) Armstrong-style of player.
LAST CHANCE SALOON
Whilst every victory is greeted with a ‘we can still make play-off’s you know’ kind of talk, every loss is equally greeted with a ‘season’s gone, build for 22/23’. The Gulls will not have a better chance at securing 6 points this season in such a short space of time. They face two teams who sit 21st and 22nd in the form table (last 5) at home! 53 points on the board come 5.15pm on Saturday evening will obviously look rosier, and may tempt a few of the hall-empties to half-full optimism. Yes, of course it’s still a massive ask and even if we do win, we rely on teams slipping up, and a fair few of them. With Stockport, Notts County, Chesterfield still to come before the end of the season, we can at least keep the faith rolling into April!
CAN WE HOPE FOR ONE LAST SIGNING?
There was a time when 1.55pm Saturday signings were the norm at TQ1. Johnson re-introduced this favourite past-time on Saturday, and we can speculate there may be another to come. Striker would be the obvious choice, with the mis-firing Holman and mis-sing Lolos seemingly not the answers. If we want to get the best out of Danny, he needs help from a potent striker (see above for recommendations….). So, whilst a 6.30pm signing would be most welcome, I wouldn’t hold my breath.
ALDERSHOT (H) MEMORIES
Like their near neighbours Woking, Aldershot are a team we meet very regularly. Be it, FA Cup, FA Trophy or the League I’d be interested to know how many times we’ve faced our Hampshire counterparts over the years. They really are struggling again this year, and look set to be spared relegation once more, only by the fact there are three worst teams. The gap in quality between the bottom three seems as big as it ever has this season, and that looks to be the Shots’ saving grace. On paper Aldershot look like the TUFC class of 2015/16/17. Going, going, and eventually gone. For a team that was regularly in the higher reaches of the table, they seem to have fallen on bad times, and maybe a spell in the NLS will do them good. After all, it did us no harm.
Anyway, I leave you with the clip from this classic TUFC-Shots game. I would say more of the same, but I don’t fancy going 0-3 down again!
COYY – Danny
Rhys discusses his team Aldershot Town
Hi Rhys – so how would you summarise your season so far?
In a word atrocious we’ve been terrible
Did you expect to struggle so badly this season and what’s gone wrong?
I expected it in the summer with losing our best players and not getting in the adequate replacements, I was sure if 4 were to go down we’d be one of them
How’s your recent form been?
No win since beating Weymouth end of January, 1 point In the last 6 weeks is shocking
What’s been the highlights of your season?
The beating of Woking away and Grimsby at home. Not many highlights I’m afraid
Who are your key players and why?
Key players I would say are Whittingham but it’s hard to say who’s key right now when we’re missing our best players
Who’s your gaffer and how does he like to set the team up?
The gaffer is Mark Molesley an ex-player with legend status. He sets up with a back 5 and 1 up top
What’s your likely line up?
I couldn’t predict if I’m honest other than 1 striker up top
Will many supporters make the trip down?
I predict 150 maximum maybe less than 100 given form
Which opposition teams and players have impressed you most?
Wrexham have been the best opposition we’ve had and we made Stockport look better than they were live on BT
And finally, what’s your prediction for Tuesday’s game?
2-0 Torquay should be an easy win for you
TALKING POINTS – FC Halifax Town (a) by Matty Orton
TT MATCH PREVIEW – ALDERSHOT TOWN (H) by Steve Harris
PROUD AWAY SPONSOR OF KLAIDI LOLOS