Dom Roman – @DomRoman
Dom discusses talking points ahead of the game at Barnet
BACK TO THE MAIN BUSINESS
We got our big(ish) FA Cup tie, we got our TV exposure, we got our evening out at a big ground and we got some welcome £ to swell the coffers, now it’s time for the important business of National League football! The Yellow Army will return in decent numbers again (it’s what we do), ready to cheer on the lads with their tremendous noise and loyalty. But can the squad regather themselves 4 days later to take all 3 points at the Hive? A task ask for a squad in need of a rest…here’s hoping.
TIME FOR A REFRESH?
The starting XI in recent games has been tested to it’s limits, and for all their endeavour to take the game to Chesterfield and Derby, they fell way short in both, with tiredness spreading throughout the team and a lack of energy to press attackers before they pulled the trigger. Staying unchanged again is possible and Gary Johnson clearly has trust issues with squad players, but with the likes of Lapslie and Hall positively knackered, and Goodwin/De Silva hobbling off on Tuesday night, this may well be the right time for squad rotation. Scott Smith must be chomping at the bit to bring his busy presence to midfield, whilst Hanson/McGavin keep glancing over at GJ in the hope of getting more minutes. In defence Dean Moxey was a sub at Derby so could drop back in to replace Dylan Crowe, whilst Corie Andrews will most likely remain a sub as he seeks to get fit (again).
STICKING WITH 4-4-2?
There’s something romantic about a 4-4-2, and it felt that way when we were all giddy and lovestruck having crushed Aldershot at Plainmoor. 2 wingers, 2 strikers and 6 goals, rare delight in a mouldy first half of the season. However, since then better teams have found holes in the formation, leaving us defensively exposed and conceding numerous goals. Like a cornered cowboy in a western Gary Johnson is looking to shoot his way out of trouble with a blitz of gunfire and bravado. It’ll be interesting to see whether this attacking policy continues at the Hive, or something more pragmatic (with Smith possibly returning for Goodwin) is used instead. It’s 25 goals conceded in 8 (despite the introduction of Mark Ellis and Lucas Ness), and for all the brave attacking intent, we are structurally chaotic.
The Bees are having a very good season so far, sitting 7th with 30 points from 19 games. Dean Brennan’s team have scored 38 goals in those games, with ex-Eastleigh midfielder Harry Pritchard contributing 7 goals, whilst in attack Nicke Kabamba and Idris Kanu will ask plenty of questions of our beleaguered defence. Defensively they have had problems, but do come into the game on the back of 3 clean sheets. Included in that defence is of course Ben Wynter. It was disappointing to lose Wynts in the summer, a steady player who gave us some great memories and I’m sure he’ll get a good reception from the Gulls supporters. It’s a game on paper that Ben and his team mates should win, no doubt about that. See you there!