Excluding the blip away at Chesterfield, I am very happy with our start. It has been a better start than the season which we ended on 98pts (2011/12) which I believe was our best points total in non league. At this point during that season we had W5 D2 L2, 16 goals scored . This season we have had W6 D2 L1, 23 goals scored. Performances in some games haven’t been brilliant but we have also had great performances as well.
Our form coming into this game is 4W 1D, the 1D being our most recent game away at Southend. We weren’t at our best at Southend, hardly had many attempts at goal if any. We were fortunate that the referee went back on his decision on giving the goal to Southend, and it eventually ended 0-0. Before the Southend game we had been playing brilliantly at times.
Howard has been pushed straight into the deep end straight away, with our first keeper Lainton last season injured and possibly out till December/January time. Even with a few wobbles from time to time after the opening few games, he looks settled now. Mendy didn’t begin to be a first choice wing back it was McFadzean for majority of the opening games. Since then he has played more consistently with the team while playing 3 full 90 minutes and has definitely shown his ability and his quality. He is quick and has good strength, and not easily pushed off the ball.
In defence I would say Cleworth and Mendy. Cleworth is from our academy and considering his age he is a brilliant defender, commanding and very vocal. Young in midfield is a key player for us while also Elliot Lee is when he comes off the bench, which could happen on Saturday if we are looking for a winner or just to freshen up the midfield. In attack Mullin speaks for himself, a quality forward who shouldn’t be given space in the box. Mullin often takes a lot off the focus from defenders and this gives Palmer time to get in the right place to score.
In football us as fans can be reactionary and had you asked me this after the Chesterfield game I would of said not much, as it felt similar to our stuttering start last season. But now after 9 games (10 after this weekend), usually you get a better idea where teams are likely to finish after 10 games and after 9 it’s becoming more clear. I have only missed the Woking away game but the positive way in which we have performed in the majority of the games I have seen has gained my confidence.
Parkinson’s tactics haven’t really changed from last season but how it’s been utilised is now different. We started slowly last season because of almost a complete overhaul in the squad with a lot of new additions, meaning the players were adjusting to the new formation and style. They have started this season better in comparison (less new additions to settle in) to many recent years at the very least. The way of playing is a 5-3-2 in a defensive shape without the ball, but a 3-5-2 in an attacking shape with the ball. The players look to get the ball to the wing-backs who then whip crosses into the box to the danger men up top. We do pass it from the back but our main area of attack when going forwards is via the use of the wing-backs.
Our likely line-up has usually been Howard in goal. Cleworth, Tozer and Hayden in defence, with Mendy and Forde as wing backs. A midfield 3 of Young, J. Davies and J. Jones. While having both Palmer and Mullin as our forwards.
I would say that I am happy with how things are going with the owners. Very down to earth people, they have a passion for the club and it doesn’t look like that will change. The docuseries that both Rob and Ryan had planned (you may or may not have seen it!) has definitely portrayed Wrexham in a good light and has been orchestrated very well. There are plans in place to renovate the Kop that has been left for over a decade now and is in a bad state. If it was ever to be used again it would firstly need to be demolished and have a new one built instead. Plans are to have a 5,500 capacity Kop which could be begin in the summer of 2023 or in 2024.
PROMOTION CHALLENGERSAND IS THIS THE YEAR?
To answer your second part first, am I confident that this is finally our year? I would say no because the 2011/12 season ending on 98pts and finishing second to Fleetwood still dawns on me whenever I think about promotion. Even with that do I think this is our best chance to get promotion and finally end our long awaited return to the Football League? Yes. Do I also think it would be a failure if we don’t get promotion this season? Yes. Only because of the money spent and the quality that Parkinson has at his disposal. Out of the teams in the league that I think would be our main challengers. It would be Chesterfield, main reason considering how Tshimanga performed for them last season and considering they haven’t really had him play much if any at all at the start of this season, they’ve started very well. This shows the quality they have. Also Solihull, mainly because they haven’t got rid of many of the squad that finished 3rd last season, made the play-off final, and haven’t really had a play-off hangover this season. Notts County would be my last contender as a challenger.
Considering the quality we have and we are at home, we should win 3-0…doesn’t mean we will though. Also there is expected to be a minutes silence before kick off in remembrance of the Gresford Colliery Disaster that happened on the 22nd of September in 1934 where 266 lives were lost.