Dom Roman – @DomRoman
Dom discusses talking points ahead of the game against the Shrimpers
STOPPING THE ROT
Four losses on the trot is a poor run of form, no disguising that. There’s multiple reasons for this slow start, and although 3 of those could have turned into something better, 4 points is a fair reflection of how well we’ve played so far (badly). The month of September looks difficult on paper – Southend, Wrexham and Wealdstone (a) plus Aldershot and Solihull (h), so for all his talk of ‘early days’ Gary would love any win very soon to stop the rot. More defeats equal more gloom around the club and more frustration, and we do not want that. Our fortunes will turn at some point – why not this weekend…
The Torbay News reported this week that only Tom Lapslie has been ruled out of the trip to Southend, so that is positive news at least. With Mark Halstead on crutches over the weekend, I’d imagine that Rhys Lovett will continue in goal, whilst Dan Martin and Aaron Jarvis will most likely start on the subs bench as they claw themselves back to fitness. 3-5-2 or 4-4-2 is the question for the manager, and how best to find a balance between defence and attack that will reap rewards. Young Nelson Iseguan has potential if GJ decides to commit to wing play, whilst Kieron Evans remains a bit of a mystery so far. Meanwhile, could Asa Hall come back in to give the Gulls more leadership in a soft looking midfield? Decisions, decisions!
Who’s going to score the goals? is the recurring question! Well Corie Andrews had an eventful game against the Cards, with numerous challenges sending him to the floor (right from the first whistle!) and much frustration evident from the striker. However, after a half time pep talk Corie did improve in the second half. His movement became better, so did his anticipation. Perhaps signs that Andrews is regaining some of the sharpness and confidence he had last season, and perhaps he’ll break his Torquay duck soon. We need the likes of Andrews, Goodwin and Jarvis chipping in sooner rather than later, otherwise wins are going to be hard to come by.
Southend United were busy over the summer, recruiting a number of players who they hope will continue the upwards momentum from a strong second half of the 2021-22 season. So far, so inconsistent! They have though won their last two home games against Oldham and Maidenhead, and will fancy making that 3 in a row against the Gulls. The squad has had injury problems but boasts the league’s current Young Player of the Year in Dan Rooney who plays behind ex-Kettering striker Callum Powell. Keeping the skilful Mooney quiet could be the key for us getting anything from the game at Roots Hall. Maybe a job for Asa Hall.
When you are on a bad run of form you quickly find out who the strong characters are around the club, and Gary Johnson will be assessing who is up for the fight, and who isn’t quite ready. Dean Moxey, Asa Hall and Tom Lapslie are players of this ilk, but with Hall and Lapslie struggling to keep fit, others need to stand up and take responsibility. I’m seeing plenty of toil and running, but Woking saw through that and showed up our lack of backbone with their 2nd half comeback. A big month awaits, and in all honesty improvement is needed in every facet of the game from fitness to passing, to movement, shooting, team work and more. Come on you yellows!