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jjvale_03

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jjvale_03 last won the day on May 21

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  • Birthday February 26

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  1. Maybe a little OTT on Martin, although he signed a two year deal and the thought of him anywhere near a L1 squad (let alone starting XI) scares me based on what I've seen so far. I'm not a huge fan of Leon Legge, but the fact I'd pick him over Martin any day is telling. Personally, I wouldn't put that down as an 'ok' signing. I've been pleased with Cass, but he is only on loan and therefore it's a short term signing where his future is not our decision. I'd rather judge us on permanent signings on multi-year deals that may prove fairly expensive failures. In saying all of that, our defensive record is very strong this season and long may that continue. Just frustrating that with the number of defenders we have in the squad, it still doesn't feel like there's much quality in depth. I'd be extremely concerned if Dan Jones got injured.
  2. Pretty much everyone had an off night, including the manager. It was almost like we approached the whole game as one we just wanted to get out of the way, rather than one against a side super low on confidence on a night when a win for us would've been huge considering the other fixtures. I'm definitely in the 'trust the process' camp. However, at this point we have to say that the recruitment in defence has been a failure on the whole. Dan Jones has been superb this season and was a fabulous signing. Cass is a young lad who's stepped up well when asked to do so. Crucially though, the two 'commanding' centre backs we bought in to replace/challenge Legge are so far off it it's unreal (Martin and Johnson) and Benning is a finished player and should never start a game ahead of James Gibbons unless the latter has two broken legs. We shouldn't be in a position where Smith and Legge are still our best two centre backs (I count Jones as more of a hybrid left sided defender). It cost us the game at Sutton and we were lucky to get away with it last night. Already looking ahead to January, I'd hope that we can ship out Johnson and replace with a CB who can push us onto promotion in the 2nd half of the season.
  3. A very, very healthy crowd against an 'unfashionable' opponent. Rome wasn't built in a day, but it already looks like the work put in by the owners since they arrived to engage the fanbase/local community is paying off. People see the direction we're heading and want to be part of the journey.
  4. They look a decent side who (apart from when they went 4 at the back at Bradford) have employed a 3-4-1-2 formation away from home, similar to us. So, it could come down to personnel and I think we're better on paper. They've got Josh Gordon up top - who we were heavily linked with over the summer - and Remeao Hutton at RWB, who I liked a lot in a very poor Stevenage team last season. Should be an interesting game, I don't think they'll be coming here to shut up shop. Looking for Captain Conlon to put in a League One/Championship standard performance he is well capable of, after a couple of weeks of dropping down to League Two levels.
  5. Two sides who are doing well yet are both in the bottom four in terms of possession. Perhaps similar styles of play could cancel eachother out? I think both sides would take a point right now, but i'm hoping our superior quality can get us another win to keep this run going.
  6. It's been a while since we've been odds on for an away game. The bookies know how good we are.
  7. I reckon you're right! On the back of a first promotion in 20 seasons and against far bigger sides (two of whom are now in the Prem). More signs of a club going in the right direction.
  8. When was the last time we got over 5k home fans for all three of our opening (Saturday) home matches?
  9. I'm staggered by the numbers of U9s at home matches. The fanzone definitely helps - a place where as a parent you can still have a drink pre-match without having to take your little'un to a pub. The strategy isn't just about the kids. Very easy for people in their 20s and 30s who are starting a family, getting married etc to drift away having once been ST holders etc. But, if you throw everything at their kids (free kits, summer camps, matchday fan packs) you give yourselves the best possible chance of retaining that demographic of fans, as well as getting that new generation involved. We've been lucky with the weather so far - I wonder if there are any plans in place to make the fanzone 'winter proof'?
  10. Within the first 20 mins on Saturday he'd setup Proctor for his volley by being sharper than anyone else in the box and winning a header against two defenders, and again was sharper than anyone else to offer for a quick throw and then fire a wicked ball across the 6 yard box which first Smith and then Cass were unable to stick in the back of the net. He does stuff like this every single week and is only getting better as his confidence builds. You don't see many players at this level who do things before the crowd sees them. Wilson is one of those players, as shown by his excellent goal on Saturday. He's going to be a great asset in League One next season, too.
  11. I think it's fair to say that with Max we were getting a Ferrari for the price of a Fiesta. Some of the content/output during his period at the club was simply stunning for a young guy in his first proper role.
  12. The highlights make it look like Covolan could've done more for the first and the third, but in real time in the ground he had no chance. Particularly with the 1st which was fizzed across and he had no chance with. I'd have liked to have seen him come and take everything for the 3rd, but that would've risked giving away a peno and potentially another red - which he can ill afford from a personal perspective.
  13. I really, really want Devante to come good. Mostly because he's still got 2 years to run on his contract, he has all the physical attributes to have a good EFL career, and because he's only 23. But, I don't think he has that footballing instinct/brain - and that's not something you can coach. You can put in all the hours possible on the training pitch, but you can't teach a player to make the right split second decision if they're just not tuned in. He scored some nice goals last season and looked really dangerous when picking the ball up from deep and running at players and was really looking forward to seeing him in the flesh this season. However, from what I've seen he doesn't know how to read the game (how to time his runs for flick ons) and lacks awareness when in dangerous situations (making the wrong choice). I think the best avenue for him is down the wing - where his job would be to isolate a full back, beat them for pace and fizz balls into the box - but I don't see how he fits into our system unless he's dropping deep on the left side of a front three, and I don't see us employing that formation too often.
  14. Nathan Smith was a cracking young defender half a decade ago who didn't look out of place in the league above, despite his age. At 25, I fear he's regressed to the point that he'd struggle to get another club in the EFL if we didn't renew his contract. He's always looked best with a big 'head it and kick it' lump next to him, or in a 3. However, as we saw on Saturday, once he's exposed or not paired with someone who compliments him he looks lost. It was noticeable towards the end of the game that Rochdale were happy for Smith to have the ball, instead of pressing him, because they know how poor his distribution is. I've always thought it was a weak (and wrong) move to allow Smith to come back after looking like he's found pastures new two summers back. It's such a negative way to re-sign a player - he couldn't find anywhere better so 'settled' for another contract with us. On the whole he's looked poor ever since.
  15. The only area of recruitment that concerns me is the defence, despite the fact that until Saturday our defensive numbers looked good. Apart from Dan Jones - who apart from a wobbly 15 minutes on Saturday has been outstanding so far - we've signed players who either look well off the pace or simply not good enough. I'll put Benning and Martin in the first camp and Johnson in the second. It's quite scary that our first choice pairing in a two would be Smith and Legge, with Jones alongside them in a three. If the recruitment in this area had been anywhere near good enough, surely nether Legge nor Smith would be first choices. Elsewhere, I think we're stronger than last season. We have younger, better players in midfield and up top than previous seasons.
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