Luke Hunter – @gullsgullsluke
Luke discusses a difficult night at Plainmoor.
“THEM BRUMMIES WERE BLOODY BRILLIANT“
There is a scene in Mike Bassett: England Manager were Mexico batter Mike’s three lions 4-0; the post-match team meeting is full of admiration for the Mexicans, in particular ‘Ramirez’… this scene pretty much played out on Bristow’s Bench last night. Solihull were absolutely fantastic, in fact, it was probably one of the most effective and cohesive performances I have seen at Plainmoor in our most recent non-league adventure. Jamey Osborne, Joe Sbarra and Andrew Dallas were at times, unplayable, and largely represented the chasm in quality that existed between the two sides.
WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WYATT
This is a broader point about formations and shock-horror, I am going to disagree with Dominic’s post-match tactical analysis. I think Wyatt actually started as a wingback in GJ’s favoured 3-5-2; it was possibly a little more fluid than weeks passed – for example, despite playing really well, I couldn’t actually say with any certainty where Kieron Evans was playing! Nevertheless, I really do not think Wyatt looks happy there, Solihull were dangerous down that flank and we looked exposed for much of the first half – clumsy almost – not only that, when he was later pushed into midfield it was like a different player emerged. I’m not entirely sure what exactly a few of these players are, and I think to a degree, the management are also still working that out. I’d like to see Wyatt play further up on Saturday – his pedigree surely suggests he’s good enough for this level.
Occasionally, we showed glimpses of promise and I think it would be disingenuous to say it was 90 minutes of utter tripe – Goodwin and Evans were sharp and look to be settling, off the bench I thought Dan Martin was fantastic and Aaron Jarvis offered something different. I’m convinced GJ planned much of this squad around Jarvis and I’m really hopeful that when he’s starting we have a slightly more opportunistic attack. Equally, there were glimpses on the other side of the precipice and I think Andrews, Hanson and Crowe have a lot to learn – I hope we’re in a position where they can do it comfortably here, but a National League dogfight isn’t going to be what they need.
Something that has possibly gone a little under the radar till this point but another five yellow cards last night saw us rise to second on the fair play naughty-list – it again probably boils down to experience but the lads need to be better here, and unfortunately I’m looking at the bench as well which needs to lead by example. I’d really like us to move to the ‘acceptance’ stage of National League officiating and just… sort of… get on with it. It’s rubbish, that isn’t going to change.
Less than 1600 Gulls flocked through the turnstiles. I sound like a broken record at this point, but this is a golden-era for non-league attendances and I continue to find myself frustrated by an ownership and organisation which seems unable to capitalise on this. Off the field, we seem sleepier than ever – have we heard from our owner since the playoff final? There was a smattering of boos at full-time and you can sense the unrest growing – this is a very, very young team and a football club with any foresight must be thinking about the importance of keeping supporters onside for the next few weeks. Now would be the perfect time to reaffirm a commitment to the club (or GJ, if deemed necessary), enlighten us on future plans and try, at least, to offer some unity to the fanbase.