Dom Roman – @DomRoman
Dom discusses another loss for the Gulls
Let’s start on a high note shall we! Four months into the season and the tactical rejigging continues for Gary Johnson. After some shoots of tactical improvement and defensive shape in the last 3 games, we threw that out of the window against Oldham. With Asa Hall out, Aaron Jarvis was pushed back into support Will Goodwin and midfield was pretty much left to an over-worked Shaun Donnellan, who for all his bluster and endeavour, could not keep the lightweight Gulls balanced in the most important area of the pitch. We did manage to muck our way to half time at only 1-0 down, before two midfielders were introduced and the team found more energy going forward, but no bones about it whilst we could have grabbed a draw the tactics remained messy. Disjointed and confused stuff from an under-performing manager who should know better.
CROWE & MARSHALL
There’s no disguising the fact that Dylan Crowe and Ross Marshall are not currently National League standard. These young lads struggled big time, with a calamitous own goal from Crowe (just use your left foot matey boy!) and defensive hesitance from Marshall making life much easier for Oldham going forward than it should have been. Having those two on the right side of the defence allows other teams to pinpoint the weakness and attack it (Ellis and Moxey’s side was quiet in comparison). It also didn’t help that United’s midfield wasn’t giving either of these struggling players much protection – poor preparation and game management from United. I don’t like to lay into these young players too much, but continuing to count on Dylan & Ross this season feels like a recipe for relegation disaster.
7 goals this season now for Will Goodwin, and boy has he worked hard for them! Will’s attitude and work rate has been excellent since the summer, but now he’s also starting to improve his all-round game, making better decisions to help team mates. And most importantly the lad can find that bottom right hand corner with ease. A young lad who meets the criteria of a proper loan signing, someone highly motivated and totally committed to the cause. The only thing I would question is the partnership with Aaron Jarvis, apart from the Aldershot and maybe Derby games at Plainmoor it’s just not clicking. I like both players, but I don’t like them together! Decisions to be made on that score.
FAILING IN 6 POINTERS
We’ve now played a number of the teams around us at the bottom of the league, and we’ve failed to beat any of them. These games keep coming along and we keep hoping this will be our day, only to be disappointed continually by setbacks. There’s been some bad luck, plenty of effort but overall we haven’t deserved to win them either. The Gulls have now played half the games and need around 30 points from the remaining 23, which means around 8 wins. It’s certainly manageable, but is it manageable for this manager?! Despite some good individual performances (McGavin/Halstead/Goodwin) and second half bravado it’s hard to believe in this current squad and the guy in charge. New additions in key areas could help make us safe but there’s no margin for error and I’m sure Gary Johnson knows that better than anyone. The bumbling Torquay United 2022-23 season remains absolutely infuriating in every possible way possible.
THE YELLOW ARMY
I can’t finish without mentioned the Yellow Army. I love you, I salute you! 87 hardy souls making the trip despite the long distance and freezing weather. Respect.