Dom Roman – @DomRoman
Dom discusses talking points ahead of the game in Wales
Being underdogs is often a good thing for the Gulls over the years, almost like a relief from the pressure and expectation of winning allows us to express ourselves, play better and pocket surprise results. On the flip side we often get dragged down into a scrap against poor teams, rather than rise above them. Let’s be honest all the signs point to a Wrexham victory this weekend. Their top scorer (and one of the best players in the league) Paul Mullin has more goals this season than all of United’s players combined, they have better players all-round the park and they will have another big pumped up crowd willing them to make amends for previous failures against the Gulls. Make no mistake United have to raise their game in all areas and hope that Phil Parkinson’s side have an off day, otherwise there’s only one result likely.
In the last year or so Asa Hall has been in and out of the Torquay United team, and it had been hoped that our reliance on the veteran midfielder would lessen with the addition of new players. Well time moves on, but Hall remains a key man in the Torquay United team. The lack of experience and direction in this team is notable, so is the space we’re allowing opposition midfields. The skipper will surely start at the Racecourse, sit in front of the defence, pointing and cajoling his team mates around and try to knit this fragile side together. With loan signings expected, he may have new team mates to keep in check and I’m sure Asa will relish the challenge, and our underdog status in Wales.
We have to find a way this weekend to not give up so much territory and possession, as we have on pretty much all the away days this season. Our away points tally is not bad, but it’s been accumulated based on desperate defending and fantastic keeping, with the team penned in their own half during last week’s draw at Wealdstone. Playing with more courage would help, pushing up the pitch, winning set pieces and throw-ins to give the home team something to think about. Sitting back in this one, letting the home team dictate proceedings and having 25 shots again is not the recipe for success! Get stuck in lads.
I won’t make any bold predictions about the line-up in it’s entirety, as we could have 2 or 3 new signings in the squad for the trip to Deadpool land! Wigan youngster Scott Smith is one name mentioned, as Gary Johnson looks to strengthen the flimsy midfield. Dean Moxey and Tom Lapslie have been on the injury list, and the safe bets are on them still being missing from the 16. Other decisions to be made – Ryan Lovett or Mark Halstead in goal, stick with Corie Andrews upfront or chuck in Aaron Jarvis from the start. Tactically Wrexham play a well versed 3-5-2, so GJ could be tempted into matching this. The line-up and tactics are unsettled and need to come together soon, especially with the important Scunthorpe and Maidenhead double header on the horizon.
Phil Parkinson’s team did not start the season very well, but their strikers started to get in gear with a big win over Maidstone, and they now have an impressive 23 goals from 9 games. They have certainly made hay in their last 3 home games, scoring 5, 3 and 4 against Maidstone, Gateshead and the Daggers, but did stall at Southend last week. Tactics-wise much stems from their attacking wing backs Mendy and Forde, in midfield you’ve of course got a certain Luke Young and upfront the very dangerous duo of Mullin and Palmer, not to mention ex-Luton striker Elliot Lee who has been used as an impact sub. A team built at considerable expense on a budget that Gary Johnson could only dream of. Anything less than promotion is a failure for them this season, meaning an upset would be very sweet wouldn’t it…