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  • #14904
    onyadon
    Keymaster

    TRANSFER WINDOW UPDATE
    [No players involved in this update but two significantly outgoing…]

    It is with a genuinely heavy heart that I have to announce that we have parted company with Glyn.

    CEO Joe Palmer made the announcement of Glyn Hodges leaving the club by mutual consent just hours after the club’s poorly-received loss to THEM at Plough Lane. Given the raw emotionalism of the defeat, given the historical background and just TWO points from the last 33 – and a sixth consecutive defeat at fans-less Plough Lane – the writing was well and truly on the wall. Yet, given Glyn Hodges stature in the Wimbledon story it is a sad, poignant day.

    Joe Palmer…
    I think it says it all about the man and his love for the club that we were able to come to this decision together. I want to place on record my thanks to Glyn and Nick Daws for their efforts in my time here, and I wish them both every success in the future. Glyn’s service to Wimbledon goes back a long way and he leaves the club today with our thanks for all he has done for us over the years, as player, coach and manager.

    The first team squad will be looked after in the interim by Mark Robinson as the club faces the daunting challenge of escaping relegation in the remaining 21 games of the season. We’ve been through all this before, it will be another tough struggle especially as the Dons have not won a league game since December 2. As good a coach as Robbo undoubtedly is he somehow has to pick up a squad massively down on confidence and self-belief and saddled with a brittle defence. Robinson only has goalkeeping Ashley Bayes left as support, but the club is expected to announce coaching reinforcements to help with training and match preparation.

    Robinson’s elevation is shades of Simon Bassey’s caretaker role following the sacking of Terry Brown and leading into the Neal Ardley era. It is hoped whatever the club decide going forward that Robbo does not become another casualty, given his immeasurable work over the years with the club’s academy and development of current first teamers – Hartigan, Nightingale, Rudoni, Osew, Kalambayi, Zach Robinson.

    Found this lovely tribute to Glyn Hodges. For many of us it is a sad time to realise his time as player, coach and manager at Wimbledon has come to an end. Football is not always about fairytales.

    #14906
    MacWomble
    Participant

    It is getting desperate! I’m not sure what sacking Hodges will actually achieve. It may even hasten what we dread. You just wonder how well thought out these decisions are? Sure, losing to MK Dons is no good, but that is our fault, not theirs. Losing him two hours after the match may have been a tad an over-reaction? We lost to Doncaster today, so sack the interim manager today? Dunno, I thought we had more spirit and gumption.

    #14914
    Windlesham Don
    Participant

    Some positives from last Saturday’s match:

    The switch from 3-5-2 to 4-2-3-1 – 3 at the back had not been working for a while and the new formation gave Rudoni and Chislett free rein to be creative, knowing that there were two holding players behind them.

    The midfield shape also produced much better connectivity between defence, midfield and attack, allowing a high press without the ball.

    Nightingale and Chislett seemed to acquire a new lease of life under Robinson and there seemed to be a new found freedom within the team.

    Some negatives:

    Sam Walker seems to have lost confidence. The first goal was appalling, with Walker first failing to claim a cross within his 6 yard box (with no ‘blockers’ employed to stop him coming for the ball) and then fumbling a soft header. This mistake seemed to drain the confidence of his defenders.

    The switch of formation did not seem to improve our defending. Despite our wing backs now playing as orthodox full backs, we failed to stop the opposition delivering crosses.

    My thoughts for this Saturday:

    I would change the back 4 – Nesta may look good going forward, but his prime job as a full back is to defend and he is very poor defensively. O’Neill may not be fully fit, but he was lacking energy and his crossing (supposedly his main strength) was poor. I’m not convinced by DJ and if Henneghan is fit then he plays for me. Csoka played left back in his time with Wolves academy and I would bring him in instead of NGW, this would also improve the height and aggression in defence. At right back I would bring back McLoughlin if fit.

    Rochdale have been shipping goals for fun and so we need to be positive, aggressive and confident. A win would be a huge boost for our chances of escaping the relegation zone and it would also improve the chances of Mark Robinson getting the manager position, at least until the summer…

    #14934
    Windlesham Don
    Participant

    A cursory glance at this week’s fixtures shows what an important few days it could be for our chances. I understand that Robbo wants to change culture and introduce a process, but this work has to be accompanied by the acquisition of points or he will not get the chance to complete his work.

    On Tuesday we entertain Gillingham, a hard working and physical side who will be in our faces from the off. However, they are no Peterborough and shouldn’t have the quality to unlock our defence if our players maintain concentration and stick to their game plan.

    On the same evening Bristol Rovers (with their lovely new manager in charge…) entertain Wigan and Northampton entertain Rochdale.

    On Saturday Hull are the visitors to Plough Lane, and the promotion chasers should be tough to get anything from. However, they do not possess the flair of Peterborough and so organisation and hard work could produce some reward. On the same day Rochdale entertain Burton and Swindon entertain Northampton.

    With these fixtures taking place the league table could look very different by Saturday evening.

    To lose 3-0 on Saturday was upsetting, particularly as the first 45 minutes were so encouraging. The midfield seemed to be far more coordinated in an attacking sense and the high press was working very well. Once again Rudoni and Chislett combined well.

    However, once again a defensive lack of concentration allowed Posh to break through early in the second half and what followed was a lack of belief and a lack of leadership. Robbo needs to eradicate the defensive cock-ups, but he also needs on-field leadership as he can do nothing once the players cross the line.

    Will can look so good for much of a game, with eye-catching tackles and towering headers, but he is always liable to panic or lose concentration at vital times. Both full backs are a worry, NGW because defensively his tackling is as bad as his positional play, O’Neill because he is slow and looks unfit.

    IMO Robbo needs to decide on his best back four and stick with them (injuries permitting). McLoughlin should return at RB when fit and Henneghan should also start.

    It will take a while for Robbo to change culture, but IMO we need to pick up a win in one of our two games this week…

    COYD!!!

    #14935
    Windlesham Don
    Participant

    Tuesday’s morale boosting victory would have given the squad confidence going into a tough game today.
    A clean sheet, although less than convincing at times, would also have helped lift spirits.

    Having watched the match on Follow here are my plusses and minuses:
    Plus – Jack Rudoni gets better and more confident with every match. His winner stood above everything else in a match often lacking in quality. We need to get him signed up so that when he inevitably gets lured to the big time, we receive a seven figure sum for him.
    Plus – Darnell Johnson was drafted in to RB to counter the ‘physical’ approach of the Gills and their two man mountain strikers. However, as well as being solid in defence he showed himself to be surprisingly adept supporting the attack. Personally, I’d move him back to CB and bring in McLoughlin against the normal size of opposition, but it will be interesting to see if Robbo keeps the same back four after the clean sheet.
    Plus – Midfield again links up far better than during the Hodges era. Dobson and Woodyard holding, with Chislett, Rudoni and Longman able to attack looks a far better unit.
    Plus – Chislett is returning to his form of the first month of the season. He seems to suit the role pulling the strings in attack alongside Rudoni.
    Minus – Sam Walker is inspiring no confidence whatsoever. Weak commanding his 6 yard box and slow getting down to low shots – as a keeper you need to be good at at least one of these. I cannot recall an impressive save he has made since his arrival and the swap for Trueman is looking a poor one.
    Minus – Defence is still panicking when under pressure. At the start of the second half Gillingham put us under pressure, but we didn’t have the composure to pass our way out of defence.
    Minus – Will, after a strong performance at Wigan seems to have reverted to his nervous self. I am constantly waiting for a mistake from him.

    Hull will be looking for a win without a doubt. Having slipped out of the top two with a poor run of form they cannot afford to drop points against the likes of us. They have scored more goals away from home than any team in the division and have a formidable strike force, with Mallik Wilks being on fire at the moment.

    However, this may play into our hands if we can frustrate them into the latter stages of the match. I am not confident at all for today, but I would like to see further evidence of Robbo moulding the team into an effective unit.

    Our season will not be defined by matches such as today – we need to have a confident and fully fit squad for the run of fixtures in the second half of March, when we play Burton, Bristol Rovers, Wigan, Rochdale and Northampton all in the space of 18 days.

    #14936
    Windlesham Don
    Participant

    Oops, got carried away with the win and forgot a couple more minuses:
    Minus – Joe Pigott seems to be spending more and more time sat on the floor with his arms outstretched appealing to the ref. As a Lon striker he needs to be strong, hold the ball up and bring our attacking midfielders into the game. Sadly, I am not sure that Joe’s first touch is good enough to play this role. It may seem like sacrilege to suggest it, but a fit Ollie Palmer may fulfil this role better…
    Minus – Ryan Longman has not adjusted to his new role, on the left side of an attacking midfield three, as well as hoped and seems to have lost a little confidence. He had a golden chance to put us one up just before half time on Tuesday, but put a tame shot too close to the keeper. He needs to adapt, as I believe the 4-2-3-1 formation is the best shape for us for the remainder of the season.

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