Dom discusses the loss at Solihull Moors
MAKING THE SAME MISTAKES
Why is this Torquay United team not learning from their mistakes? On Saturday we gave away another goal from a corner, last night we failed to stop crosses again and paid a heavy price. This squad must be the most frustrating to ever represent the Gulls. I assume these aspects are discussed by Aaron Downes and Gary Johnson between games – ‘Get tight on the wingers don’t let them get an easy cross in’ that sort of basic managerial spiel…well something is not getting through, and just like Dorking we lost goals 2 and 3, and ultimately the match. We keep saying how much this team is trying, but on all three goals conceded against Solihull they could have put more effort in. Not good enough all-round and it’s pains me to say it, after a ‘Tragic Tuesday’ the NLS really does seemingly beckon us down into it’s regional clutches once more.
RETREATING INTO THEIR SHELLS
Torquay have played in spells this season, 10-15 minute bursts when they look like an actual professional outfit and surprise the opposition with some enterprising play. Tuesday night saw one of those bursts, with Kieron Evans and Lewis Collins busy and energetic, the Gulls caught Moors napping and had a rare lead to celebrate. Unfortunately all Moors had to do is roll up their sleeves and push back. Rather than stick to their guns, keep pressing and keep playing football, United retreated back cowardly. A team lacking confidence, authority (especially without Aaron Jarvis upfront), and fitness to keep up any standards once the tables of the game had been turned.
LOVETT, TOMLINSON, MARTIN, OMAR, MENSAH
The subs bench this season has been the stuff of nightmares and Tuesday night was embarrassing. Not one Midfielder or Striker amongst the five. Not one impact sub to help the team out, with Ali Omar coming on at half time for Ben Wyatt, presumably because Ben’s limp attempts at stopping the crosses had been woeful. There’s no denying Gary Johnson (and his brother) is at fault for assembling such a poor squad, but having kept him on, we also needed the owners to back their guy and add sparkle to this workmanlike squad, something they clearly have not done. Very bad signs in the short and longer term for our club.
Credit to Kevin Dawson last night. The midfielder’s signing has only raised grumbles (understandably so), but you could see that he’s played at this level before and he did a lot of good work in the early stages. Of course, with match fitness completely lacking it could never last and with a jittery team around him, any joy was short-lived. However maybe he can be a good signing for Gulls as we head into the final 11 games…Gary can I borrow some of those straws to grasp.
I think I’ll have to stop watching Gary Johnson’s post match thoughts to make it through this season without imploding in a fit of rage! ‘
GJ – We had a bit of a go’ – WHY ONLY A BIT?, ‘GJ – They had a big chap upfront’ – YES SO WHAT!, GJ – ‘It’s football innit’ – ARE YOU SAYING THIS IS ALL UNAVOIDABLE OR DOWN TO BAD LUCK?, GJ – ‘We’ve got players coming back…erm whatisname’ – WHO ARE YOU TRYING TO KID! Oh god it’s painful isn’t it. Where’s the rage at his players that we’ve seen in the past? Where’s the strong standards he used to set as a manager? Where’s the fire and enthusiasm? It’s all felt like bleak acceptance in the last few games, a chap who’s just glad the press don’t ask him any proper questions and would rather mutter non-descript answers instead of just taking responsibility and being honest.
I’d love to know his thoughts on the owners. Is the apparent harmony from August still in place, have his recent pleas been met with negative responses? The truth will come out…perhaps. In the meantime blame should not just be placed on his shoulders for this season, but across the whole club, from the top to the bottom. A club where a losing mentality now reigns and a 2023-24 double header with Taunton seems sadly inevitable.