Dom Roman – @DomRoman
Dom discusses talking points ahead of the game at Plainmoor
BIGGEST GAME OF THE SEASON
This may just be the biggest Torquay United game since that play-off final at Ashton Gate. Over the last few months we have clinged to the hope that existing players will improve, Gary Johnson will get the best out of the squad, loan players will make the difference etc etc, but we remain in the s##t, and losing to Yeovil at Plainmoor would only reinforce belief that we are destined to end 22/23 back in the NLS. Win the game and we are suddenly only 2 points behind the Glovers and move into 2023 with some momentum. The Xmas/NY games should not be this important, but let’s face it they are huge.
Gary Johnson decided to stick with 2 upfront again on Tuesday against Chippenham, and once again the gaps in midfield were exploited as the Bluebirds went 2 goals up. In the end some half time tinkering and the introduction of Dillon De Silva did the trick (the winger will surely start the Yeovil games), but there’s no disguising the tactical malaise we are currently in. Aaron Jarvis should be ready to replace Andrews, who despite getting an assist still looks way off full fitness, whilst I think we have to hope at least one of Asa Hall or Tom Lapslie are ready to return to stiffen up the midfield in place of Ryan Hanson. At the back the question is will Dylan Crowe be trusted on the right again, or will Shaun Donnellan return there and another centre back come in to partner Mark Ellis? The back-up CB options are Marshall, Omar or Tomlinson, no perfect solutions for GJ here, that’s for sure.
GULLS ATTACK V GLOVERS DEFENCE
Yeovil Town’s recent upsurge in form under Mark Cooper has been almost solely based on a stout defence (the team have conceded the same amount of NL goals as Notts County). The Glovers like to play a back four, with two strong midfielders sitting in front, including skipper Josh Staunton, so the safe bets are they’ll let United have the lion share of possession and then attempt to make hay on the counter (with recent signing Jordan Maguire Drew a dangerous winger). This means the Gulls will need to be positive and proactive in attack, and the key to this could be Will Goodwin, who’s arguably been our best player recently. Will’s ability to find some space around the penalty area and take a chance could swing this big match in our favour, whilst after his Trophy exploits Stephen Wearne will fancy another goal to add to his tally. GJ will want a high tempo and aggressive approach to disrupt the Yeovil defensive resolve, otherwise a repeat of previous stuttering performances could lead to another frustrating game for United and the Yellow Army.
2022 hasn’t been a good year for us has it. A sad decline started by an exodus of players in the summer of 2021 was propelled even further by more disappointing outgoings in 2022. Add to that recruitment more haphazard than David Brent and we are in big trouble. We can but hope for better in 2023, but whatever the occasion and division, our passion for the club continues and we will be there covering (and supporting) the team. In the meantime enjoy your Christmas and charge yourselves up for these Yeovil games. We need proper noise and atmosphere at Plainmoor to help inspire this nervy bunch to better things. It’s only really a Merry Christmas with 3 points for the Gulls, no excuses lads just make it happen.