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  • #12363

    onyadon
    Keymaster

    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 - 919 through 924 (of 1,206 total)
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  • #12961

    onyadon
    Keymaster

    One of the highlights of the first season in L1 for me, the first visit of Sheffield United, one of the ‘big’ clubs of this league and with pretensions of promotion this time under new manager and former Blades defender Chris Wilder, who guided Northampton Town to last season’s L2 championship. This will be a big test for the Dons, but comes at a time of two draws and a win in their last three games, so maybe Neal Ardley’s men are getting to grips with L1, but they will need to improve even more to get the better of the Blades at KM on Saturday. The Blades moved out of the bottom four last Sunday with a last minute winner at Gillingham for their second consecutive league victory, having beaten Oxford a week previous. It is a richly resourced club compared to Wimbledon and they are prepared for the unique challenge they will encounter at the tiny and cramped Kingsmeadow. This will be a good opportunity to see how our back four along with keeper Ryan Clarke handle the United attack. I reckon we might do well to come out of this with a draw, but maybe SUFC and Wilder might need some more time to bed down their combinations. If you wondered how the Dons would cope with life in L1 you might get a clearer picture from Saturday’s game. Be keen to read the thoughts/assessments of those who will be at the game……

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    #12960

    MacWomble
    Participant

    I agree with you Rob. There seem to be a fair number of fans who have an over-inflated view of our club’s potential. The Gaffer has got this one right.

    #12959

    Devon Womble
    Participant

    It is sometimes difficult to form a valid opinion based on media/social media reports, and for the Dons the debate over Clarke could not be more polarised.
    Nevertheless, while Clarke may be a little rusty, it is clear that he and his defence are not working well as a team.
    True, matters have not been helped by the weakness of Kelly, but it is also evident that the Charles/Clarke relationship is questionable.
    Thus, NA’s public defence of Clarke I think should really have been more about his plans to shake up the defensive unit as a whole, and not one of apparent favouritism… the result of which could end up creating an even more fractious relationship at the back.
    You know… I’m wondering if it’s not time to introduce our new defender in place of Charles perhaps?
    By shaking up the defence, one would hope it has the effect of a wake-up call.

    #12958

    Windlesham Don
    Participant

    The brutal fact is that if your team is struggling then the fans will be looking for a scapegoat. So far we have struggled to adapt to the higher standard of League 1, and Ryan has made a couple of high profile mistakes (aren’t all keeper errors high profile though?) Add to this the fact that he is the only new player in the defence (Kelly was only in while Meades was injured and he has copped it even worse than Ryan!) and that he is not Kelle Roos, and it was always going to be difficult for him. The fact that Darius and Robbo are not at their best is of course ignored if Ryan makes an obvious gaffe.

    Fans of course are very fickle and a couple of good performances, a couple of wins and a move to mid-table and everything will be forgotten. It is easy to go from hero to zero in this game, but the reverse is also possible – a vital penalty save, or match-winning last minute block and the fans’ attitude to Ryan will change.

    I do not feel that NA’s very public defence of Ryan was necessary and I do not believe that it will change anything – it may in fact be counter-productive if he becomes labelled as ‘teacher’s pet’. From my point of view, and I have been to most games this season, there has not been any noticeable ‘bird’ directed towards Ryan. I understand that some of the verbals may have been directed from the RyGas terrace directly behind the home bench, but from the Main stand I have not heard anything.

    One final point, I feel that Ryan could help himself a little by interacting with the crowd more. I know it is difficult if he is slightly nervous and conscious that he has made the odd mistake, but we are all in this together and if the crowd starts to feel empathy with Ryan then I think he could win them over. It may not be natural for him, but celebrating with the fans when we score and interacting with them during the warm up and at half and full time (perhaps more than he would normally be happy doing) can all help to get the majority of fans onside.

    Here’s hoping for a last minute penalty save to safeguard all 3 points on Saturday!!

    #12957

    onyadon
    Keymaster

    I’m scratching my head why (some) fans are rubbishing new goalkeeper Ryan Clarke and scapegoating him for the rash of defensive glitches prevalent in the Dons’ opening matches in L1 this season. Sure, Clarke has made a nervous start to his time in a Dons shirt, but equally so have the experienced defence in front of him. As Neal Ardley said this week:

    I find it really sad when six games into a season there are already people making it difficult for Ryan.
    The biggest thing Clarkey has done wrong is he is not Kelle Roos in a lot of our fans’ eyes and that’s rubbish. We could not afford Kelle Roos – he would have ended up being our highest paid player and we did not have the money for him. We have tried to address it and bring in the type we need in Ryan and now we are going to stick by him and try and make him better. I wish the fans would give him that opportunity too. We have got a player who is here who I think is going to be very good for us. He needs support and we are going to give it to him in terms of the team and the staff. He needs it from the crowd too and there is a lot of poor stuff from us, we are a better club than that. There are two or three outfield players who have made five mistakes that have directly led to a goal and I don’t see them picking on them. You can’t pick and choose. If you are going to pick on people, then pick on them for the same reasons. If you are going to support your team support your team.

    Strong words from the gaffer, but Clarke has been getting a gobful at games and Ardley thought it time to step in to defend his ‘keeper.
    You see, the whining and barracking of Clarke, has a detrimental effect on him AND the team.
    Sure, if Ardley thinks Clarke is a problem, he’ll remove him, pure and simple, that’s his job if he feels that can improve the team. I’m not convinced James Shea, who struggled in L2 last season before the arrival of Roos, will be the answer in L1.
    Clarke did not play much at Northampton Town last season. It’s likely he’ll need more time to settle in and get a rhythm of playing consecutive matches and working up an understanding with his defence. — Liam Nolan said it was very noticeable that Darius Charles and Clarke clashed after the own goal in the Chesterfield win (and it was conceded by Charles) —
    Anyway, that’s what I’m hoping will be the outcome. I just think it’s all very counter-productive for some fans to vent their spleen at Clarke’s efforts with the futile effect of just putting him under even more pressure and stress. Let’s just see how this plays out. After all, he’s not the only one at fault here.
    Like your thoughts???

    #12956

    Windlesham Don
    Participant

    After a first league win of the season I should be really happy, but strangely I am feeling frustrated with yesterday’s performance.

    Firstly, it was good to finally meet Singapore Don, let’s hope we have a chance to meet and chat at many more games! It was also great to see the ‘lucky’ WDSA flag above the Chemflow terrace. Sadly Liam, I am on holiday for both our next two games and so we won’t be able to meet up for a chat.

    Now to the match and I was hoping for no defensive mistakes and no profligacy in front of goal – cue an awful own goal to give Chesterfield the lead! For me, this may have been the poorest performance I have witnessed this season. Chesterfield were ordinary apart from a couple of players, but they dominated large periods of the game and were very unlucky to return home empty handed. I could not understand NA selecting Francomb instead of Whelpdale, that seemed to put us immediately on the back foot. Also, Lyle Taylor is still a pale shadow of the player from last season – some of his diving and petulant behaviour was embarrassing.

    Still, I am not going to knock 3 points, as we have played better this season and returned with nothing. However, my message to Neal Ardley is firstly, to play Dom Poleon until Lyle gets his head straight, second to start Whelpdale as he gives us a goal threat and a physical presence and third to give Parrett more game time.

    Happy to be on holiday, but gutted to be missing two of the major matches of the season. If we can pick up 2 or more points from the next 2 games then I will be satisfied.

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