I start writing this just before the game against Burton Albion – a top-half side with a useful attack, but one I expect us to be beating if we’re going to take automatic promotion. That’s the only target this season.
I was almost disappointed to stay in the Carabao cup – we aren’t going to win it and all I can see is fixture pressure with the cups this season. Forget the cups, embrace the league.
It’s a long, long season. Lots of games. Lots of mid-week travels. We are going to need more than an 11 who can compete, and I was concerned at the start of the campaign that we had no depth. We had no defenders! We are still well shy.
We’ve seen the 4 attack-minded players of Stewart, Gooch, Embleton and McGeady really threaten – they should stretch every defence in this league, with Broadhead adding real options. The all-round play from Stewart is just light-years ahead of Wyke.
Be honest, we all wanted to drop Wyke last season. He made our play one-dimensional and added nothing except a streak of 30 goals (yes, I know!). When they stopped, we didn’t have a plan B. Without McGeady putting the ball square on his forehead, Wyke is not good enough.
Stewart can head the ball too, but he has hold-up play, the ability to pass and dribble, cover lots of ground without the ball and also score with his feet. You know. He’s a footballer.
Half time – why aren’t we 2-3 goals up? Burton are canny going forward but we are so much better. Couple of good bits of play from their keeper kept them in it. The game is maybe a bit too open but we’ve largely controlled it so far.
The forward players are very much helped by actual forward passes from O’Nien and especially Dan Neil rather than the stop-turn-passback that characterised a lot of last season’s midfield play. Cirkin is looking promising, too, but needs to flatten out his mistakes.
Stiffen the defence, which should happen when Doyle gets more game time and we add some more depth, and we could actually sort it out this season. I’m almost excited!
Full Time. Oh FFS. 1-0 defeat when we were more than good enough for the win. Their goal was the result of a bit of slack defensive play. Maybe it was just one of those games where you can’t score, no matter what you do, no matter how long you play. One has to assume the officials got the offside at the end right (when obviously they fucking didn’t. The officials at this level are just so bad). It doesn’t detract from my opinion that we can and will do it this year. The subs changed things up well too. Promising. Very very promising.
You can’t win them all. HAWAY!