Dear Roker Report,
Can the fans lay off Jimmy Dunne already?
He only met his team mates 4 weeks ago and has had to get up to speed halfway through a massive season for a club with extremely high expectations. Poor lad’s not long learnt his letters never mind been required to churn out elite performances as a centre half.
To buy a CB that doesn’t make a single mistake you have to spend £75million (just ask Klopp) so bear that in mind too.
Let’s back him, so other young players from premiership clubs see us as a great place to come rather than a toxic cauldron where the fans criticise you.
He’s also made friends with Luke O’Nien so we want to keep him here to keep Luke happy.
Ed’s Note [JN]: On the last bit first, O’Nien has very much taken Dunne under his wing since he arrived at the club, which is just even more credit to the type of infectious and enthusiastic character Luke is at the club. His sheer desire in matches is just spectacular, and I cannot remember last time he didn’t limp off the pitch after absolutely giving his all.
Dunne has made a few mistakes, yet for me performed well in small patches, and had a great game down at Oxford (even putting aside his well-taken goal). As you rightfully say he is still a young lad and is learning the trade. I think many of his mistakes has come down to a lack of concentration and panicking, which has been quite endemic throughout the side in recent weeks.
Though I think it may be best to take him out of the side and restore Baldwin, maybe persisting is the better tactic. Continued game time and familiarity breeds familiarity in ides, especially at central defence.
Irregardless of what Ross decides to do, I think we need to look at Gillingham as a possible turning-point in our recent form and just lay off the Lads quite a bit as the continue criticism is quite frankly toxic at times.
Dear Roker Report,
After weeks of our defenders struggling to cope with the physicality of league 1 strikers is it time to recall Glen Loovens or play Alim Ozturk??
I know neither player gives fans confidence especially after the first home game against Charlton however i felt Loovens had a decent start to the season before his injury at Coventry, Ozturk doesn’t give fans much confidence most times however is Dunne Flanagan or Baldwin giving fans much confidence at the moment perhaps the physical presents of Loovens or Ozturk is what we need to help us deal with the demands of league 1 football they wouldn’t be a paring but along Baldwin or Flanagan could be useful, love to hear your thoughts.
Ed’s Note [JN]: Both have also had their critics this season, with Ozturk coming under some particularly heavy (and justified) fire early on in the season. However, whenever he has played recently (be it against U21 or senior sides) the Turk has impressed and gotten stronger game-by-game. Maybe he could come in and aid our severe lack of physicality - especially now that none of Flanagan, Baldwin or Dunne are particularly impressing of late.
Loovens looks finished, and even alluded on the plane back from Pompy that he may retire at the end of the season. That was his last appearance where he was both sent off and picked up a hamstring injury, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t feature again this season.