That went well then didn’t it. In front of a bustling crowd at the Ricoh..

Not many here tonight. 5k? on Twitpic
Image courtesy of @downatthericoh

Circumstances dictated we were forced to field a reserve team to start the match, and a youth team to end it. But I surprise myself when I say this (especially as I usually cry myself to sleep for week when we’re beaten); I couldn’t really give a monkeys about losing the game.

There were only 2 things that annoyed me about last night and neither are a reflection on the team as a whole:

1) What in the name of Peter Ndlovu was this fixture doing being played during an international week anyway?
2) and Freddy Eastwood’s continual inability to up his game.

Looking at the first annoyance, surely it needs to be acknowledged that The Championship is one of the top leagues in Europe before scheduling all these international fixtures? The clubs are so well supported, the teams generate so much money.. so while it may be a second tier league, they’re going to attract some very good players.

Even on occasion, those international-type players…

You see where I’m going?

This would never be allowed to happen during a week when Premiership teams had domestic duties. But for some reason it’s been agreed that it’s fine for all (well, 4) of our first team players to be taken away, then force us to play in a competitive match? Agreed, we should have bigger squad. But if you look at it objectively – how many other squads in the Championship would be able to field a suitably competitive team (consistent with what league they’re in) if you took away most of their first team?

I’d imagine most would (and they have) struggle a bit. Tis medium bullshine.

So that’s why I don’t have any real apathy towards the club for losing last night and congratulate Hartlepool. Although I still think we should have scored at least 2, and Dimi should definitely have done better with their goal. And should have bleedin’ won you raging swines..

…Nope, doesn’t matter. I’m fine.

Freddy disappointed me though. I’m in the camp of people who thinks he’s got something, and is desperately waiting for him to show it for once. Last night appeared to be a good opportunity for him to stamp some sort of authority on a game and have a real influence. He was playing against players from a lower league, and was alongside a young lad making his debut.

He didn’t manage it though. He still looks quite cumbersome, and just got in the way most of the time. I don’t like to focus on him because it’s not like it was an awful performance or anything. But I was really expecting a lot more from him last night, and he didn’t deliver.

On a positive note, we’ve now been able to give a lot of our youth team some valuable first team action, which would never have happened otherwise. So that can only be a good thing for their development. And while in the main we lacked confidence when attacking, I was pleasantly surprised with Adam Walker who went some way to proving that he could actually be a good attacking midfielder in future.

He’s the one from the new bunch who I’ve not been sure of, but last night he had a couple of good efforts and showed decent attacking instincts (take note Mr Osbourne).

I’m not going to rate the players, because over 120 minutes, that gave most of them more than enough time to go through periods of indifference. Dimi being a good example – made a couple of good saves, but let in a poor goal so I’m still cross at him. Harsh isn’t it.

 

Martin Cranie, come on down..

On a seperate note, we appear to be pretty close to tying up young Martin Cranie from Portsmouth. Bravo Coleman and Ranson if this goes through – he’s always impressed me.

Played in the European U21 Championships over the summer, and had a very solid tournament, especially showing some resilience in the first game against Finland, when most of the attacking players were running around with jelly legs.

My only worry is what this now means for Elliott Ward. I like Wardy and his new posh haircut, but it seems more and more likely that he might be on his way. That’d be a big mistake if you ask me. My reasoned argument for this is that Wright and Turner are simply not a sustainable partnership over the season ..

But what I really mean is Elliott Ward is just miles better.

Anyway, here is a video of Cranie scoring in those Championships, for your perusal (excuse the German commentator).

 

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