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    The Lounge

    I’ve decided to spruce up the web-site a wee bit (even with our new logo – any comments?). Another new feature is the single thread forum, so you can jump on and have your say, ask a question or just read what is being said. As I always say the forum is only as strong as what you make of it, so I would urge you to contribute and regularly to keep it all worthwhile. BTW, if you want to check something in the old forum it is now archived and the link is below… Okay let’s hear from you …

    Looking for the old forum? You can view the read-only archived version here.

    • This topic was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by  Adam Dodds.
    • This topic was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by  Adam Dodds.
    • This topic was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by  Adam Dodds.
    • This topic was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by  Adam Dodds.
    • This topic was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by  Adam Dodds.
Viewing 6 replies - 697 through 702 (of 1,206 total)
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    Aha – are we now hearing the latest sproutings of a more widespread discontent with the Gaffer? The last time we had such a germination was about one and a half years ago. Clearly we need some new potting mixture upfront. Taylor appears to be a liability and Poleon was fortunate enough to have a purple patch upon gaining a first team place, but clearly requires more time to fully grow. Hey, can we get Dean Holdsworth back? Ah well, it is good for this site, as there is a strong correlation between posts and the performance of the Gaffer. That said, I do feel sorry for him. The average fitba manager (square ba’, on the ‘eid, that wisnae a penalty) is a numpty and the average player even thicker; so you can imagine the frustrations when the management tries to get their latest plan across the dressing room void and into the 11 craniums. Anyway, I love the bit about the hopping player. Very Australian.


    Devon Womble

    Being a Don in exile I am dependent on these excellent reports, and of course what I can glean from Radio WDON, iploughlane and other sources.
    Sadly, from every one of them it is clear we seem to have fallen off a cliff.
    In fact, while tuning in last night, I got so fed up with our banal, lacklustre, performance that even when we scored at the last gasp (for the second match in succession), I remained entirely laconic about it.
    In fact, I don’t think I have ever been this morose about the Dons in all the years I have supported them. It’s not an expectation that we will win everything, but an expectation that we will give every game our best; that every game will leave one feeling we played well, we tried. Right now, the only expectation is that if we are lucky we might steal a point.

    One issue I find myself trying depserately not to profane about is NA’s lame comments about how Coventry came with a “plan”. Well what did he expect? Every game we play and fail to perform well in, NA always laments that the other side came with a plan.
    Well, NA, why the hell don’t you come up with a plan too? Three months ago we had a couple of plans in the kitty, today we evidently have none.

    While some may believe we owe NA the right to lead us out at NPL, personally, on this form, I don’t think he has a hope.


    Windlesham Don

    An accurate description from Singapore Don, nicely summing up the atmosphere from the evening – it really was depressing to watch.

    I feel the performance summed up where we are as a club at the moment. Without 5 key members of our strongest starting XI we really do not have the ability to compete at League 1 level. Add back into the mix Fuller, Meades, Charles, Parrett and Elliott and the side looks very different – and it is not just their ability on the pitch, these guys are some of the main leaders and personalities in the squad.

    As Singapore mentioned, we are misfiring in front of goal, with every striker bar the suspended Elliott looking like a rabbit in the headlights when confronted with a shooting opportunity. However, the problems in my view extend further than this. Defensively we are also struggling – Shea made another error conceding a goal from a saveable shot last night, Robinson looks to have played a season too long and is panicking on the ball if an opponent is close by and Robertson’s early season decisiveness has deserted him. Add to that second choice full backs and things are in a poor state at both ends of the pitch.

    However, despite all these issues my main criticism from last night has to be aimed at NA and the coaching staff. Tactically it was dreadful and I struggle to understand how we were expected to create anything by sending 50 yard hoof balls into a front line of Taylor, Poleon and Barcham – if those were to be our tactics then we had to start with Barnett!

    Tactically things appeared to go from bad to worse in the second period, as Fitzpatrick was mysteriously brought on for Bulman – was this injury or tactical? Either way we now had two wingers on the pitch but continued to thump those 50 yards balls up to a bunch of short arses!

    Finally Barnett was brought on, but then he was soon paired with George Oakley, a youngster broadly in the same mould as Barnett and so both then ended up looking to lay the ball off to non-existent runners!

    If Bulman was to come off and we were to continue with the long ball then bring on Alfie Egan, who can break from the centre of midfield and give the front men some support.

    Anyway, I guess you get the picture from last night – not one of our better performances! We have enough to limp over the line this season, but the management team have a massive task in the summer recruiting 5 or 6 League 1 quality players on a limited budget, whilst also adding a tactical ‘Plan B’ which is woefully absent at the moment.

    Roll on Saturday…


    Singapore Don

    We are in a bad place right now. What we saw last night was poor, very poor, with a complete lack of ideas, creativity, imagination. Possibly the only fresh approach was putting David Fitzpatrick on for the second half, but even his youthful enthusiasm and freshness failed to break our stodgy, deadlocked mindset. We looked like a team running on empty, and the most depressing thing was not being able to see any way out of the dark place in which we find ourselves.

    Our biggest failing is becoming blatantly clear now: we have a front line that is misfiring, low in confidence, lacking in sharpness, basically a toothless collection who pose no threat at all. Taylor is running around headless chicken like, tetchy and frustrated and reduced to theatrical displays of despair and frustration. DOm Poleon is completely off the boil, running in dead ends, not looking as fiery and quick as he did earlier in the season. And when Barnett and Oakley came on as our new front row threat, the resignation set in that we really have run out of options and ideas.

    And that is the mood of the Dons’ camp now, it seems both on and off the field. A resignation that all is not right, but resignation that there is little we can do about it. Some Ardley supporting friends were for the first time last night saying that it was time for a change at the top to bring in fresh direction and purpose. I don’t agree – yet. I think we’ll be survive this season, just, but the manner of our survival could well determine Neal’s fate in the summer. As has been mentioned, this season smacks of Terry Brown’s first one in the League – Neal needs to be aware he may face a similar fate unless our fortunes transform dramatically.

    I no longer pull my hair out in despair or sink into the depths of gloom that defeats and poor performances made me do earlier this season. I’m resigned to the fact that we’re not very good any more, that we thankfully did enough earlier in the season to (hopefully) mean we’ll still be playing League One football next season. But the passion for success has fizzled out in me, much as it seems to have done in the players that take to the field. I still dream and hope for a run of two or thee games in which we turn things round, and I’ll be going to Shrewsbury and Gillingham still in a spirit of hope. But it is hope, not belief. Only when belief returns, on and off the field, can we hope that this terrible purple patch is behind us. I guess at least we got two points from out last two woeful home performances. Another point at Shrewsbury on Saturday would be fine. Three, and I may start believing again.



    Just a couple of further observations. Having watched the highlights, my initial suspicions were confirmed.

    • There was a blatant handball in the run up to Coventry’s goal.
    • James Shea was slow to get down to the shot, or am I being harsh.
    • The Coventry fans were terrific all game, until we equalised.
    • The commentator may have though Soares was called Suarez, so lets hope he doesn’t have the same appetite!


    What did we learn last night? Not a lot.

    • We struggle to break down teams that come to defend in numbers.
    • Our forwards aren’t scoring.
    • Neil Ardley has as much confidence in Tyrone Barnett, as I do.

    Surely we’ve used up all of our “Get out of jail” cards now. The Coventry players were crestfallen at the end, and rightly so. They played well and so very nearly got their reward. If they are relegated, they may look back at last night at the time they realised it was hopeless.

    The bright sparks of a utterly dismal game were Jake Reeves and young David Fitzpatrick. If we lose Jake in the summer, it will be a major blow unless we find someone similar. Tom Soares was missing (again) for most of the game. Maybe it’s still early days, but the signs aren’t promising. As for David, his cameo off the bench was terrific. Keep that up young man, and you’ll be rightly asking for a regular starting line up.

    Of course we were missing key players. Frankham did well at right back, although he’ll get sterner tests than this. Elliott and Poleon up front tried hard, but delivered little. Which brings me on to my next point.

    As a long ball team, why the hell do we play two players up front who are not your typical centre forward? Neither are great headers of the ball. It’s not their strength. So if we hoof long ball up to them, the results are inevitable.

    We do have a backup centre forward of course, but Tyrone is so out of sorts that Neil rightly left him on the bench. Even when he came on, he barely touched the ball. He seems clueless of what to do, and when he does make up his mind it’s too late.

    One thing I’ve noticed about him is that he never seems to have his feet settled in a position where he can react. He has a habit of hopping around rather than running, which makes him slow to react. What’s even worse is his football radar seems to need recalibrating. Tyrone, why do you run away from the ball? We’d love you a whole lot more if you looks like you were making an effort.

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