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Messages - TonyM

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General Discussion / Re: Leamington at home Tuesday.
« on: November 12, 2019, 01:30:57 PM »
Tonight, barring injuries not reported, I would go with:
Ward, Burrows, McAuley
Jones, Jarvis, Payne, Fox
Gash, Marriott

Thinking - Clunan has looked jaded at home and IC did hint he had a knock last weekend so give him a rest, Payne is more than capable alongside Jarvis and we have to find a way to cut down on the goals against column - last 8 league games since the clean sheet vs Darlington has seen a minimum of two conceded per game and Marriott can't be expected to cover that every game (in those 8 games we have conceded 17 and Marriott has scored 11!)

For Saturday assuming we are missing Gash through suspension and without any further injuries I would go with a front 3 of Kelly, Hawkins and Marriott and move the ball through the midfield more

General Discussion / Re: Tom Ward
« on: November 08, 2019, 02:55:59 PM »
When all fit  Fryatt, Smith, Ward, McAuley (Centre Backs) and Barrows, Jones and Fox and Kelly (Wing Backs) and Clunan, Jarvis, Richards and Payne, Stewart, Carey, Henderson (midfield) and Gash, Marriott, Limb and Hawkins (Strikers) - THAT IS WHERE I SEE THEIR POSITIONING  :oldman" I suspect some out On Loan again.

However, what a team selection dilemma for Ian Culverhouse.

My Team:
3 from 4 at the Back                       Fryatt - McAuley - Ward           
1 from 2 on Right Wing Back           Jones                                     
1 from 2 on Left Wing Back             Fox
3 from 7 in Midfield                        Clunan - Richards - Jarvis
2 from 4 Strikers                            Gash - Marriott

Subs:  Barrows/Smith - Henderson - Carey/Payne - Stewart/Kelly - Hawkins/Limb

I think of Kelly as more of an attacker than wing back and Stewart is a forward but must be the prime candidate to go out on loan.  Once (if) everyone is fit then that's a squad of 18 (don't think Stewart or Limb are anywhere near step 2 standard) but injuries and suspensions are likely to mean IC will rarely have to perm 16 from 18 for a match day squad.  We can all agree to disagree over who is then in the starting 11 (I would have Henderson and Kelly well ahead of Richards in a midfield 3)

One thing that does concern me is that IC seems very fixed with his starting players - having said he was going to get on the bus and see what he had on Tuesday he then fielded the same 11 and didn't really use the bench.  Personally I think some of the lads on that bench are equally as good, if not better if given the chance, as the starters.  If tomorrow goes ahead then I would like to see some of those other lads being given the opportunity to play from the start

General Discussion / Re: Tom Ward
« on: November 06, 2019, 05:09:30 PM »
If it is Ward then an great bit of work by IC - Ward was the most improved player in IC's first spell at the club, can play in a two or, more importantly, in a three and will add real competition for those centre half spots when everyone is fit.  Just what the squad was missing at the start of the season, better late than never.

We all knew the squad was paper thin at the start of the season and given that IC likes the option of 3 at the back we always looked to be a centre half light, although Burrows looks like he could do a job in a back three, playing as one of a two really does expose him.  Personally if it needs to be one in - one out then the squad could perhaps lose an attacking midfield option (bench had Carey, Hawkins and Kelly on Saturday) if IC does have a defender earmarked but can't find the finance although this really would send a clear message to IC and the fans about where we are as a club.

Certainly not coming on here as a SC backer as he has got, and continues to get, lots wrong but I really don't buy into the idea that the club should be sloshing in cash after a reasonable cup run and a rise in gates from last season as I still think we are a good way away from break even and that's before the club has to spent anything on upgrading the facilities, albeit at a reduced cost after the grant application was successful. 

Priority for this season has to be 1) staying in this league, 2) funding the ground improvements and 3) taking steps towards putting in the structure off the field that will support a viable step 2 side.  This isn't all down to SC and finding a 'big name' sponsor, I still think the Trust could and should run further GDF fundraisers and 'ordinary' fans can still do their bit in terms of the various Friends fundraisers (just compare the numbers we have on the 12th man or the ground squares compared with other clubs at our level)

One last thing, forgive me if I don't 'enjoy the ride' if it ends in a crash, was on the terraces under Bobbins and don't want to be there again, IC is the best thing that has happened to this club in a long, long while and as fans we have to realise this and SC needs to do what he can to work with all of us to ensure we can keep him as long as we can.

General Discussion / Re: Tactics On The Pitch
« on: October 10, 2019, 10:32:13 PM »
I watched Chester early doors in the season. Big team, quite direct and scrap for everything in the middle Of the park.  Think thatís the battle we have to win.

Can IC come up with the combination that can compete in the middle?  Do we look to be more solid early on with Clunan, Jarvis & Payne or play our usual attacking option (probably Henderson) but risk losing that key battle?  I would certainly go with a back three to allow Jones & Fox to push that little bit further up into the midfield to allow the two/three lads in the middle to put in the hard yards - Gash & Marriott up top are a handful for most teams.  Big thing for me on Saturday (and any game really) is that we go out to dominate possession and play the ball around, not many even at step 2 can keep us out when we move the ball quickly.

General Discussion / Re: Chester
« on: October 10, 2019, 10:23:50 PM »
...big crowds, big budget , large  full time a nut shell, all the things Lynn aspire to, but are currently a few years from... while the club is not ready to progress thru the leagues...It's why I have been keen to put most emphasis on the league fixtures

OK, maybe I have been slightly selective in editing your post and this isn't a pop at you personally but how can you say 'the club isn't ready' (which is isn't) and then in the next breath say that is why you are keen to put most emphasis on league fixtures?  I have serious doubts that the club infrastructure can reasonably cope with part-time at step 2 so why would anyone want to risk what we currently have for moving into a full time league?

What we should all be wondering / working towards is what part each of us can play in helping things off the field move closer to matching the fantastic performances IC and his squad are giving on it. 

General Discussion / Re: Windfall
« on: September 27, 2019, 04:31:33 PM »
I see the club has received a massive grant ( in excess of 70k) for ground improvement at The Walks

Where did you see this?  Have you got the link?  Would echo the praise for the person(s) who managed to secure this for the club

Does this mean the upshot is the massive uplift in gate receipts can be spent on squad strengthening  ?

Still don't think we are running at breakeven, plus I would imagine (without seeing the document) that there would need to be more than £4K contribution from the club to get that level of grant so improvements will still cost, albeit less than they could have been.  Hopefully this will allow some other infrastructure projects to be considered and then, and only then, should we be worried about squad strengthening.  IC is right that we are still finding our feet at this level, even after such a good start and there are lots of other things that need to be in place before we consider 'pushing on' on the field - houses built on sand and all that.

Trust has gone a bit quiet, shame that after running a successful (on all fronts) quiz night they couldn't maintain that momentum and have scheduled another event (quiz or something else) for the GDF.  There will always be more work that could be done to the Walks, either required by FA grading requirements or just as a general uplift to facilities so it should be an ongoing fundraising activity imo and allows Trust members and non-Trust members alike to make a contribution towards something specific for the benefit of the club for years to come.  For those who want to contribute to more immediate aims (squad strengthening, pitch etc) then there are more suitable routes via the Friends (12th man, pitch squares etc)

General Discussion / Re: FA Cup Replay v Alfreton Tuesday Evening
« on: September 25, 2019, 02:11:38 PM »
...Donít quite agree that Kelly didnít take his chance.  His ability is obvious and he is one of our most important assets...

Wouldn't disagree with the comment about Kelly's ability, although not sure I (nor IC it would appear) would class him as 'one of our most important assets" at present.  I think we are just struggling a bit to find a role / team shape that gets the best out of him, in a similar way as happened with Ryan Hawkins.  Against Gloucester he suffered from the team not moving the ball quickly enough, he was finding gaps / space but often didn't receive the ball.  Personally I would have liked to see him stay on for the full 90 last night and slot into Henderson's position (slightly inside) to see how he fared as I still think he needs minutes.  Unfortunately for Sam, but great for the team, I think IC currently has better options in terms of shape / form with Fox having a storming season, particularly when playing slightly forward when we have a back three and Henderson also having stepped up well playing in that more advanced midfield role.

General Discussion / Re: FA Cup Replay v Alfreton Tuesday Evening
« on: September 25, 2019, 08:46:40 AM »
Really good all round performance last night, particularly in view of the change in formation caused by Gash's absence, possibly not a system we could employ away from home on heavier pitches but given the massive improvement at the Walks something that we look at again, even if only as a plan B.  Certainly will have given IC food for thought with how some of those who haven't had loads of game time took their opportunity.

I didn't hear who was man of the match and would probably have given it to Marriott who worked tirelessly throughout but for me the biggest performance was Burrows as the spare centre half, given that he can't be 'match sharp' I thought he looked more comfortable there than he has in his games at right back.  Payne and Carey again impressed in a packed but fluid midfield and IC has to find a way of giving them more game time, we also moved the ball much, much quicker (and slicker) than against Gloucester and duly got the rewards.  I guess the only slight disappointment was that Kelly didn't fully take his chance - he looked good early on but then got a bit one dimensional always wanting to take a player on when, in truth, where we were hurting them was by moving the ball on quicker.

General Discussion / Re: Alfreton FA Cup
« on: September 20, 2019, 01:49:42 PM »
I think IC may opt for a back 3 even without Ross being absent - Alfreton's front two caused problems in the home fixture and we did swap in the 2nd half albeit briefly as we then went down to 10 men.  As well as strengthening the midfield hopefully it should give a few more options as I thought we didn't move the ball quickly enough at the weekend vs Gloucester.  So my team would be:

Fryatt, Jones, Smith
Clunan, Carey, Jarvis, Kelly, Fox
Marriott, Gash

Happy that you could bring in Burrows if Clunan or Jarvis needed a rest and possibly Payne for Fox.  Still think letting Toby go to Dereham was a mistake as there isn't much option up front, not that he is in anyway a like for like replacement for Gash (particularly in the form he is in) but he would be a more viable option than anything else we have in the squad.

General Discussion / Re: Missing a Trick
« on: September 16, 2019, 02:05:32 PM »
Just watched the IC interview (thanks Bevan) and wouldn't disagree with a word, I too would have been happy to see us 'not in the bottom three' after 10 games.  Realistically we are miles away in a number of areas of what is needed to maintain a step 2 set up, notably but not exclusively on the commercial side and these things will take time.  As for this group of players and the age profile of the squad that is irrelevant, squads will chop and change every year and it is down to IC to try and ensure that each year the squad is at least as strong as the previous year (more so this year after the promotion and I still think there is some tweaking there to be done). 

The increase in attendance is to be welcomed but I would very much doubt we have got anywhere near SC's break even point and certainly not to the point where we can throw much more at the squad this season, don't forget we have a hefty (appreciate there are differing estimates) bill coming before the end of season on ground improvements to even stay in this league assuming IC's aim of survival is achieved on the pitch.  So where can the club get more funds:

 * The commercial side could do more, although that will probably be a long term fix based on my experience of the standing of the club within the local business community - local companies currently have enough pressures on them and are not really set up with the aim of subsidising a local football club
 * The Friends could play a bigger role and that is down to fans doing what they can, they have options for most budgets with 100 club, pitch squares and 12th man
 * The Trust could certainly build on their GDF initiative and whilst the £4K was a great bit of fundraising I would have thought that they would now be looking to 'go again' with a push to raise another capital sum before the end of the season
 * Attendance - this always has to be budgeted at a sensible rather than an aspirational (1500???) level as it probably only takes a poor run or a few extra midweek games to drop this down, yes opposition teams do seem to be bringing more fans but there are a fair number of factors (like what is happening down the A47) that can have an impact.

Personally I would be (very) happy with a mid table finish without any thoughts of looking over our shoulder in the second half of the season and the ground improvements completed and signed off by the FA in good time.  Going a few rounds in either the FA cup or FA trophy would be a bonus.

General Discussion / Re: FA Cup
« on: September 09, 2019, 10:34:29 PM »
... So maybe its worth trying to seize the day with the league opportunity if its possible to do it and if the club can continue to develop fast enough to support it...

Huge question there and lets just say I remain to be convinced.  As for sanity and vanity, lets just see what last years promotion push did to the balance sheet and I haven't seen much this season to suggest that we are no longer reliant on the goodwill (and cash) of one man - higher gates are a start but it was a pretty big hole to fill by all accounts and the commercial side of the club is remains step 3 at best.

General Discussion / Re: FA Cup
« on: September 09, 2019, 01:47:35 PM »
That's a really tough draw !
Away to one of the most physical and direct non league sides......not really what we wanted with several players carrying knocks...would have been good to be able to rest some key players and be ready for York away the following week.
Be interesting to see what IC does re team selection.

Resting players for the FA cup is the last thing we need to be doing, I am sure the club could really do with the income and publicity a good cup run would generate.  Yes, the opening 10 league games have been fantastic but lets not get ahead of ourselves, stability at step 2 and a cup run would be a massively successful season imo.

General Discussion / Re: vs Hereford 10th August
« on: August 09, 2019, 02:07:57 PM »
Please correct me if I'm wrong Tony but, are you implying the Chairman shouldn't be getting any help or support because of what he has or hasn't done in the past ?

No I am not saying he 'shouldn't' be getting support but he doesn't always make it easy to support him with some of his words and actions.  I don't think the club has ever really had a great relationship with the business sector in the town and surrounding area and to put that right will take an awful lot of time and effort (although I would accept a successful team would also play its part) but to be appealing for a match day sponsor less than 48 hours before the first home Saturday of the season doesn't bode well.  On a personal level, I am supporting the club in the ways that I am comfortable with as a fan.

General Discussion / Re: vs Hereford 10th August
« on: August 09, 2019, 01:37:51 PM »
The Groundsman Steve Curtis has done a fantastic job on the playing surface.  All credit to the guy.   The same can be said for IC in his recruitment and keeping the squad together. Add in Stephen Cleeve who continues to back the Club from top to bottom.  There are however other things at the Club that need addressing to keep pace with the level we are now playing at.  For example Mr Cleeve having to put out a request for a match day sponsor for the big game on Saturday. 

What are these people behind the scenes actually doing ? Letís hope the Chairman gets the support he deserves.

Sponsor now on board, per SC's Twitter
"Big thanks to Jack Webber and Webber Roofing for Sponsoring Saturdayís game against Hereford - support is really appreciated Jack"

My concerns re the infrastructure off the pitch have been well documented but we are where we are so have to make the best of it although I think you could make a pretty strong case that the Chairman is getting way more support than 'he deserves'.  Hopefully over time he will come to realise what is required behind the scenes at step 2 and that it won't be a quick fix.

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