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Everything posted by Benjrider10

  1. I don’t think the league had any choice. Though I feel sorry for teams that were dead certs for the title or promotion. Nobody could have predicted this and I doubt that the league’s constitution allowed for anything else. It is perfectly clear that the 2019/2020 season can not be finished - I just hope that 2020/2021 can start afresh on time.
  2. We’re under strict curfew in Riyadh. Nobody outside between 3pm and 6am next day. From next week, will work mornings in office and afternoons from compound. Enjoying watching the ETFC highlights from seasons gone by on YouTube! And still recovering from daily “PE with Joe” sessions .....
  3. Hard to believe just 10 days ago I was driving back from Bishop’s Stortford with son no. 2, thinking we still had an outside chance of a play-off place. Now the UK (and most of the rest of the world) are effectively on shutdown for an undetermined period and I’m stuck in Saudi for god knows how long. Difficult to get your head around, to be frank, and I’m sure most forum readers are as bemused as I am. Probably not of much use but after 6 days of working from “home” in self-isolation, these are some tips that worked (so far) for me: 1) don’t have Sky News on in the background. It’s disheartening. 2) keep your mobile or laptop charged. FaceTime /Skype are life-savers. 3) Pray to the WiFi gods for unbroken service 4) take anything you read on WhatsApp or Facebook with a VERY large pinch of salt (having said that, the Simon Pegg / Nick Frost parody doing the rounds on social media is a cracker!) Can’t help but wonder what the 4 deleted posts said 😝 Stay safe everybody and look after each other! PS: separate thread but don’t care - good statement from the Chairman. Hope to see an update in a couple of weeks’ time.
  4. Correction to third para. from last. The Saudi government is considering instructing ALL private companies to close for two weeks.
  5. Interesting post, AT. Coronavirus chatter got louder and louder during the 2 weeks I was at home. I flew back to Riyadh on Friday (the 13th - gulp) and contrast what is happening at home, with what is happening here in Saudi. The LHR-RUH flight I was on turned out to be the second last, Saudi closing its borders on 14 March. Heathrow terminal 4 was very quiet except for the Saudia check-in desks which were besieged with Saudis heeding their government's advice to return before international flights stopped. All passengers had to complete a self-declaration form, including contact details (and seat number) and hand them over at immigration. I am now in a mandated 14-day self-isolation period and am working from "home". This is compulsory for ALL expatriates returning to KSA from ALL countries. Fortunately I can work from home without too much disruption. All mass gatherings have been stopped. The only shops open are supermarkets. All schools and universities have been closed for the last two weeks, and will remain closed for the foreseeable future. Restaurants/coffee shops are open only for deliveries i.e. no sitting in. All leisure facilities (gyms, pools, salons, barbers etc.) are closed. Hospitals are open (as you would expect) but are starting to fill with people with symptoms. And I am just hearing (not yet confirmed) that the Saudi government has just instructed ALL private companies to close for two weeks. I was pretty cynical while back in Enfield and thought most European governments had over-reacted. Now I am not so sure and am nervous that the UK's response is not sufficient. This virus may spread fast and we need to protect the elderly. It hasn't taken hold in KSA to the extent that is has in the UK, but the difference in measures the respective governments are taking is striking. As for completing this season - I'm more worried about my mum and dad. I echo your closing comment.
  6. Agree with Theo re the first half during which we dominated possession, scored an excellent goal, yet could have gone in 1-2 down at half time! Second half we didn’t play as well but made several clear cut chances which we didn’t put away. Thought Ikoje looked very promising, linking up well with Bricknell - if we had been more clinical with our finishing we should have got that all important second goal to ease any nerves. The shape and balance of the team looked good. The only change I would have made would have been to bring Ken Charles on for Bricknell earlier in the second half. Youngs was my man of the match and Della Verde threatened each time he had the ball going forwards. Muleba had a good game at right back though will regret the unnecessary tackle that gave away the first half penalty. With our goal difference considerably lower than those teams already in the play-off positions, we need a run of wins now. Saturday against Worthing will be a proper test of our credentials.
  7. Disappointing performance last night. The starting 11 looked strong on paper but we never got going. Too many aimless balls out of defence, constantly handing possession to Lewes. On the few occasions when we played the ball out from the back on the ground, we looked threatening but, apart from the first 15 minutes or so, there simply wasn’t enough movement off the ball. Having said that, I thought Ken Charles worked hard (I thought the incident Andy H mentioned in his post was aimed at another player). Billy had an off night. Ryan Blackman has his critics and his recent red cards have been disappointing, but I think our midfield is stronger when he starts. I hope he gets the nod on Saturday. This squad is good enough to compete for the play-offs but we can’t afford many more dropped points like last night. But we’re still in the mix which is no bad thing in early March.
  8. I saw the teamsheet on Twitter before falling asleep (don't misinterpret - purely time difference). On paper, the starting 11 wasn't as strong as against Cray which made waking up to this result all the sweeter! We're so inconsistent I genuinely have no idea how we're going to play these days. It must drive the management team absolutely up the wall. But important we praise the team when they turn in a performance like this. Now for Mr. Leese to bottle up whatever magic was sprayed around the dressing room last night, seal and re-spray this Saturday for the Hornchrch away game. Good luck!!!!!!!
  9. Well done to the club’s Public Relations team for the game 1,000 publicity. I love reading the Twitter feed and photos, the website article was excellent and Mr. Chairman’s contribution on the Non-League Football Show was first class and well worth a listen. I also thought the publicity the club released recently pointing out the 4 ETFC players who have since moved to football league teams, was timely and well handled. The more hooks we set, the more bites we get - there are plenty of Faal’s , Whiteley’s and Davison’s looking for clubs like ours. This type of differentiator will us help attract quality players - it’s not always just the money. All helps supporters like me who can’t get to many games, stay connected and feel proud of the club. Well done guys!! Now hoping for a performance and result at Cheshunt tomorrow to keep the feel good going!!
  10. Any discussion on finance is inextricably linked to the supporter’s owned model that we were the first in the country to adopt, back when ETFC was formed. I recall reading somewhere (don’t recall where) that the board is confident that we can maintain the existing model should we achieve promotion to Conference South, but would need to revisit were we ever in a position to grow further. So the question we must ask ourselves, as club owners, is how much more can we all afford to stump up? In my opinion the current model works, and if that means Conference South is the most realistic target using the current model, so be it. Our club is so much more than just the first team. Were independent finance offered in future e.g. local businessman made good with cash to burn offers significant investment in exchange for majority control (I.e. change the supporter’s owned model), the various community projects of which we can be very proud would inevitably suffer (as funds would be channelled to the first team and little else). That doesn’t work for me. A look from our bar across the playing fields to what used to be, and the mere thought of the name “Lazarou” (and there are still so many Lazarou’s out there) should always be taken into account, should we ever hold a vote on changing the model. On the flip side, sometimes change is good. Look at Wycombe Wanderers. They got to League 1 using the supporter’s owned model and have only recently voted to change (admittedly, unlike us, they didn’t start from scratch). I agree with Anfield Towner’s post higher up the thread. There are no easy answers. Unless one of us wins Euromillions 😜
  11. Good post Anfield Towner, you picked up on the two issues which I noticed from the Potters Bar game yesterday. Up front, our shape didn’t look right. Ken Charles looked completely isolated on the wide left, way too far from Bricknell. I agree that we look much more of a threat going forward when Bricknell has another forward near him to feed off/set up. And we are very short of pace at the back (I’d have Weatherstone and Muleba as the two centre backs). Plus right back is a concern. On the plus side, the new midfielder is good quality and has improved the balance and creativity already. Good signing. A midfield three of Blackman, Youngs and Della-Verde works for me. And with Mohammadu off to pastures new (full credit to him for watching the match from the sidelines - plenty of players don’t have that common courtesy), the manager will have some funds available to strengthen areas that he thinks needs improvement. We had the run of the ball against PBT and were lucky to get the win. Not complaining though! Carshalton away will be a stern test but, unfortunately, not one I will be in the country to see. See you all in March.
  12. Highly enjoyable game between two evenly matched teams. The match report on the website is spot on, congrats to the reporter. Blackman and Youngs both had excellent games in midfield, both tackling and passing well. We were shaky in defence but it seems to me that most teams in this league are stronger going forward than defending. Mohammadu Faal bagged another two well taken goals but I was more impressed by Bricknell who worked his socks off, particularly in the second half. He fully deserved his goal and I think Faal's all round game has improved as a direct result of playing with, and learning from, Bricknell. A closing word about the manager, who, in my opinion, gets far too much stick on this forum. To his credit, whenever the squad has needed reinforcing due to injuries, suspensions or poor form, he has brought somebody in. The new player looked useful, despite being absolutely flattened in the first half, and I won't be surprised if another centre-back comes in at some point, as we do lack cover there. I'm looking forward to Potters Bar on New Year's Day - if we can get a win there, it will have been a good festive period! Happy New Year to all!
  13. Great result to wake up to - sounds like an excellent match!! Looking forward to reading people's feedback. Really good to see Ryan Blackman's name in the starting 11, I was worried that last week's injury was serious and would keep him out of action for quite some time. When he clicks, the team clicks. Beating an in-form team (albeit a league lower) keeps confidence high and continues to build momentum. As did the 0-0 v. Kingstonian. As several other contributors have pointed out, these are the types of matches we would have lost last season. I like the way the management are giving the U23 players who are capable of stepping up, time with the first team squad. Sends the right message. The FA Cup and Trophy runs are a welcome boost to the coffers. Almost GBP 25k by my rough calcs (so far). Kudos to the FA (for once) for apportioning prize money more sensibly down the non-league pyramid. Looking at the upcoming fixtures, 3 of our next 4 league games are at home. If we can maintain Fortress Donkey Dome, it's going to be a terrific season!!
  14. Having started well last year, our season went downhill after the unfortunate FA Trophy exit (our luck changed after the misplaced Matt Johnson back pass). That makes tomorrow's game at Cray an important one. We need to bounce back (hopefully in style) and make sure history doesn't repeat itself. And I am optimistic that it won't, now that Mo Faal is with us for a while longer. I have only seen him play twice but was very impressed both times. There is no question he can play at a higher level, so now the "he's off to Bolton" rumour has been parked for the time being, I hope he continues to show the enthusiasm, skill and hard work that I saw when I was back home. He is deceptively skilful with an excellent first touch. Either Alex Read or Billy Britnell will form a good partnership with him and the longer Mo chooses to stay with ETFC, the better a team we will be. Andy Leese's update on the website is timely and positive. I agree with his comment re our defence. Jon Muleba has made a big difference there. Very solid, reliable player who partners Weatherstone well. With Nathan McDonald in goal and Sam Youngs and Ryan Blackman in midfield, the spine to the team is strong. I hope Weatherstone is fit for tomorrow's game. I'll be Twitter-watching at work even more keenly than usual tomorrow - big game for us.
  15. 4WF the club posts its accounts on the website (as does the ETFCSS). The most recent published accounts (2017-2018) are there. Look under the "Information" tab, then "Documents". Some will disagree but I think the board do a good job in sharing relevant information at the right time. The website must be factual. No place for Trump-like speculation there. This forum, however, is perfect for "locked and loaded" speculation 😜
  16. Good luck today!! No shortage of strikers with Alex Reed's signing but a real shame Muhammadu Faal is suspended. He has been playing outstandingly well. If our defenders and midfield play as well as they have for the two games I saw while at home, I am optimistic we will get a good result Come on the Town!!
  17. Very disappointed to miss last night's match. Knew coach was due to leave Donkey Lane at 4:15 so left Bush Hill Park at 3:25. Picked my son up from Hertford Rd/Southbury Rd but traffic armageddon meant we mournfully watched the coach head the other way along the A10 at circa 4:45. Apologies if it was us that meant the coach left late 😟 Result has cheered me up though. Won't get to another match until Christmas but the 2 matches I did see this time round leave me optimistic. We are playing some excellent football and the squad has a good balance to it. Fingers crossed for a win on Saturday. This club deserves success in the FA Cup. Could this be our year for first round proper?!
  18. Well the planets certainly aligned for my first home match of the season. What a cracking performance!! Our formation looked solid from front to back and every player did his bit. Standout performances from Ryan Blackman (deservedly man of the match in my opinion) and Muhammadu Faal, but we looked impressive all over the pitch. The first goal followed an exceptional box to box run by Blackman, then a through ball to Faal who took his chance very well. Our passing was slick throughout and I thought the way we marked the Braintree no. 8, who looked to be their chief playmaker, was outstanding. He did look threatening when on the ball but we had done our homework and knew what to expect. I can only recall 1 clear chance for Braintree to equalise in the first half and that was a header from a corner just before half time which fortunately their no.9 looped just wide. I thought our game management through the second half was excellent. Crisp passing and good running off the ball, very few wasted long balls, all extremely encouraging. Nathan MacDonald made a superb save about 15 minutes in to keep us ahead. The second goal near the end was no more than the team performance deserved. Good work by Junior Mubaiyi on the right to win the ball, nice pass to Blackman, first time ball from him set Faal free on quite a long run to goal. It was one of those where every Town supporter holds their breath for what feels like ages as the striker bears down on goal. His first touch was perfect - ahead of him just far enough to draw the keeper off his line but also give him time to pick his spot, which he duly did! Great finish to make the result safe. Terific support as ever on a hot afternoon which must have been draining for both teams. Now fingers crossed for another home draw! The pitch looked superb and the rain forecast through the rest of the week will do it no harm at all. Two more matches for me before I am out of town once again. The whole squad can take great confidence from these recent performances - let's hope we can maintain this form in the league.
  19. Good result yesterday, let's hope we can maintain the momentum against Potters Bar tomorrow. Nice to see genuine competition for places up front. If Josh Davison is not successful after his trial at Charlton (and returns to ETFC), we have 4 very good strikers all pushing for a starting place.
  20. Delighted that Ryan Blackman has committed to ETFC for another season. Unlike 4WF, I enjoy seeing him play 😜. He keeps it simple, which I like. I also remember seeing RB at the ground the Sunday after his nasty, season-ending injury when I was watching the ETFC Ladies first team play (maybe to start physio?) and was impressed by his dedication. Equally delighted that Sam Youngs has signed too, and the feedback from CUFCgeneral re 2 of the 3 new signings is positive. Squad shaping up OK. Keep going, Management Team!!
  21. Seems to me that there is some information on the website already for those on tenterhooks - the 5 pen pictures on scroll make a decent starting point for the squad 😎. Let's see who else comes in. Can't understand why people expect the info to be shared any earlier. Was no different in previous years. Let the management team get on with it - we will find out soon enough. And now, back to the cricket and the women's World Cup .....
  22. Interesting that there is a remarkably similar debate to this one on the Hornchurch forum 🤔 !!! We're all non league fans at heart and just want the best for our club. No point in speculating who's leaving and who's joining. We'll find out soon enough. I think back to the "old" days when I first worked abroad and waited for a monthly letter from my dad with clippings from the Gazette. Now the same gossip is a mere tweet or post away. Enjoy the summer everybody, there's plenty of cricket to keep us entertained 🙂 But please renew!!
  23. Theo, 4WF I understand your frustration and appreciate that you are both long time supporters (EFC and ETFC). You're both better placed than me to comment on the quality of the football over the last 2 seasons - I work abroad and only get to a handful of games each year. My point is we are a supporters owned/run club and if the funding dries up, it's not just the first team that suffers. We've seen the "old" club turn to ashes and I have no intention of seeing the "new" club start spiralling the wrong way. That's why I renewed 2 days ago - 3 season tickets and 7 ETFCSS memberships. Most of my family are members and don't even know it 😋 The debate on the forum is healthy but let's not forget: "no club - no debate". I'd rather have sh** football than no football.
  24. Can somebody explain to me how NOT renewing ETFCSS membership/season tickets timely is going to help build a decent team for 2019/2020? We all know that players come and go each season. I'm as disappointed as anyone that Matt Johnson and Joe Wright have chosen to move on, but that is their call. Let the management team get on with their jobs and let's do our bit by renewing. Very few clubs at our level can afford to keep players on a contract for more than a season at a time. If us supporters hold back renewing, the downward spiral begins.
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