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About Barney

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  • Birthday August 23

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  1. Something of a latecomer to the party - my first game (I think) was a 2-1 home win over Grays in 1992
  2. What a frustrating afternoon - we can clearly play better than that, and have done on numerous occasions, but I was thinking when the referee got injured that it might actually be in our best interests for it to be abandoned and replayed! We did have the better of the chances before their goals (apart from them hitting the post in the first half), but I agree with much of what's been said above, we didn't look like we either wanted to, or could string 3 passes together. I'm fine with us clearing the ball when under pressure, as we aren't going to concede with the ball in touch, but too many times we just hit aimless long balls down the middle of the pitch which were bread and butter for their center backs. Whilst I'm not totally against playing it long at times if it brings results (obviously we'd all like to see free flowing passing football), we just don't have the personnel to play this way - I lost count of the number of times that Bricknell, Davidson and Youngs were beaten in the air... seriously - if the plan is to go long, then let's sign a proper target man and play off of him! Youngs looks lost on the right, he's clearly a quality player at our level, but needs to be playing an attacking CM role to be effective in my opinion, which would necessitate a change of formation / system. Not a good day at the office 👎
  3. Rian has joined Doncaster's development squad, I very much doubt he's going to be near their first team for some time - clearly a good young prospect, and did well for us when he played, but IMO a little lightweight at the moment for the rigors of our division. I think it was the right decision to play Rumens and Weatherstone and since those two have been together, we've looked a lot more organized and stable defensively. Hope that this move is going to be a good one for him, and that he becomes a regular for Doncaster in time.
  4. Strikes me as an inherently sensible signing - I'm not expecting him to set the world alight based on his recent form, but with Mo injured, if anything happened to Bricknell, we'd be stuffed. At least with Ibe, we have someone in the squad with experience who knows how to play the position. Believe Andy said in his update that it's likely to be a short term arrangement (reading between the lines, I guess that means until Mo is back up and running again).
  5. I can't really comment on recent performances as I'm not able to attend games that regularly due to other commitments - from what I've read and obviously from looking at results, things are not going well at present. It sounds to me like we're a side very low on confidence, and the buck clearly stops with the management team to try to turn that around. I don't think we've become a bad side overnight, and remain hopeful (not using the word confident anymore) that we can turn this around - it just takes one performance, and things may well click into place. There's been talk of new signings, which might also shake things up a bit and provide a catalyst to kick on. I'm still not in what seems to be a growing "change the manager" camp, as I think that Andy has put together what on paper is an excellent set of players - and I think he should be given more time to turn around this recent poor form and get us back up the table. That said, my backing isn't open ended and if we don't see a turnaround relatively soon it will be increasingly difficult to continue to stick up for the management team. So in summary, I'm still hopeful that a lot of people on here are proved wrong - but certainly not confident of it
  6. I can't comment on the match, as family commitments make it difficult to get to every game. Obviously a terrible result against a side in 18th, and we need to get back to winning ways sooner rather than later. I agree completely with Lovely Stuff's last post: for me Andy has the rest of the season to prove himself and I would say anything short of a play off place (or at least being in with a shout until the last few games) would be falling short. Immediately after the Tonbridge game, I'd have backed us to do that comfortably, right now I'm starting to have my doubts, but football is a strange game and it's possible for just one good performance to spark the team and for us to go on a run. I remain hopefully optimistic. As a side point, regarding formations, people were suggesting that we play two up front and that Adams got a start - for me, confidence and attitude is far more important than formations. You get that right, and results will follow regardless of how you line up. Good points by 4WF about the need for a focal point in the team, whilst I like Johnson and Blackman and they both lead by example in midfield, clearly a player of Crooks quality would improve us massively, but would obviously be difficult to find at this point in the season.
  7. Cheers - and agreed completely on the points to games ratio, but the league is what it is this season... For us to kick on, we need to be turning those draws against lower/mid table side into wins - as someone else quite validly pointed out, far better to win 2 and lose 1 than to draw 3... Long way to go, but I genuinely believe that if we keep supporting the management and this group of players, we have a lot to look forward to as a club 👍
  8. Agreed FJ - I actually wonder about fitness too, whilst we arguably have our best squad ever, we do have a habit of fading in games. Defensively we need to defend as a team, be disciplined and cut out the mistakes (although arguably the best way to defend is to retain possession better - no team can score without the ball). I would love to have an experienced centre back come into the squad, especially with MMK seemingly out long term, but I doubt they're that easy to come by
  9. Having slept on it, here's my take on the game: I actually think we were a lot closer to Worthing than the scoreline suggests, another game of fine margins and frustratingly (I seem to use that word a lot), we didn't take our chances when were well on top towards the end of the first half - Worthing looked really vulnerable at this point. Half time came at a bad time for us, it was only a matter of time before we equalized, and how Chaney didn't get on the end of that ball across the goal, I don't know. That said, we absolutely must cut out the individual errors, their first goal was a bit of a lucky break leading up to it from memory, but they cut though us far too easily. They're clearly a dangerous side, with pace in wide areas and looked to pass the ball in every position, which was nice to see, but I do wonder how they'll go doing this on heavy winter pitches. We started the second half asleep, and this was the most disappointing thing for me, we switched off badly leading up to the penalty, and Hatton was in a no win situation: 2-0 or 10 men. With hindsight he probably made the wrong choice, especially with so many of our full backs now injured, but it's a split second thing, and I don't blame him, especially when Wright saved the pen (how many times have we seen that now?). After this and when they scored their second, we were right up against it, a side moving the ball well, being patient with the ball, switching play and stretching us in all areas, and for me it was only a matter of time before we saw another goal. It was a pleasant surprise that it was us that scored it, and for 5 minutes or so, we actually looked like we had a sniff of getting something, especially from set pieces. Sadly the inevitable happened, Worthing worked the ball really well down the left, and scored a nice 3rd putting the game to bed... after this it was damage limitation, and Wright made a couple of smart saves towards the end to keep the score slightly more respectable (insofar as 1-4 can be respectable). I know that some of Andy's substitutions have been a little formulaic at times, but I don't think he can be accused of that in this game. We had 2 genuine injuries, and his hand was forced. As for Rumens for Parcell, Mickey was playing right back / right wing back at this point, and we were still (just) in the game, so bringing on a forward wouldn't have been the right choice for me. I suspect the thinking was "try to contain them as much as possible, and then maybe nick something from a set piece" - I don't have a problem with that. Bringing on Hope rather than Adams I don't think matters particularly either, they both bring different things - once we were effectively down to 9 with Sutton injured we could have brought on Lionel Messi and still lost the game. Some positives: - The first half performance, especially the last part of the half, where we clearly rattled a good side, and probably should have been level if not ahead at the break on chances. - Bricknell looks sharper than when I saw him last, won and dispatched a pen, and will be a real asset all season. - Chaney looked good when he came on, and hopefully will have a big part to play. - We didn't give up at any point, and judging by some of the tackles made in the second half, you could see that the players cared. - Joe Wright (don't need to say anymore on that point) Some negatives: - We don't take nearly enough of the chances we make. - We keep making silly mistakes / switching off, which is costing us so many points. Whether this is tactical, or individual errors, I'm not sure, but it's SO frustrating. - We now have 3 full backs either injured or suspended. Although disappointing, I'm not nearly as downbeat as I was after the Mertsham and especially Brightlingsea games - those were games that we could and should have won, this was a game against a side who I expect to be either top, or right up there at the end of the season - we weren't far off matching them, and were better than them in the first half (in my view). I'm not sure I buy into all the questioning of Andy's tactics either, he's clearly got a decent track record with a system that works, and whilst we're competing at the right end of the table he's justified in what he's doing. We also have a lot of good midfielders in the squad, and probably just one stand out forward in Bricknell, I think this is why we end up playing Youngs just off Bricknell, rather than two up front. If you look at our bench we had Chaney and Greene, plus 5 very capable starting midfielders, I don't see that strength in depth in forwards, so actually don't think it would improve us playing a second out and out striker. That said (and I know I always say this) football is all about opinions, and this is mine... I'm not begrudging anyone else their views if they're constructive. What I do note at times from reading this forum is that there seems to be a disproportionately strong reaction to losing games compared to praise when things are going well. I get that people are down/annoyed/frustrated when we lose, but we aren't going to win every game. Yes we could be higher in the league had we turned a few draws into wins, but on the flip side, we're still right up there in the mix, aren't (in my view) playing badly and hopefully have plenty more to give, especially as we're only a third of the way through the season. Glass half full, keep believing, keep supporting 💪
  10. Re: centre backs... Is Mitchell-King still with us? Last I heard he was injured near the start of the season, but I can't remember seeing anything since that.
  11. I'm of the view that Hope still has something to offer - he's never been a player blessed with loads of pace, but he has a football brain and clearly an eye for goal. I think he's said himself that this season has been the first for a while where he's had a proper pre-season, and he feels fit - he certainly impressed me the couple of times I saw him early season. When he came off the bench on Tuesday night, his hold up play was decent - he knows how to find space and what to do with the ball when he gets it, so that we maintain possession. Also won a couple of clever free kicks in dangerous positions where he drew a slight foul from the defender and made the most of it. Whether he's the answer as a starter remains to be seen, fitness for 90 minutes could be an issue and we then have the dilemma of who to leave out, and what formation to play. One thing I will say is that I don't think it's a backward step re-signing him - I doubt there are many forwards capable of playing at this level who would be happy to be a backup striker, with a lot of bench time. With Bricknell injured at the start of the season, I'm convinced that we wouldn't have started the season as well as we did without Liam in the squad, so for me the decision to sign him has already paid off. Clearly an excellent club man, and a fantastic servant to Town over the years whose goalscoring record speaks for itself. I'll caveat this with the statement that football is all about opinions, and this is mine: Tuesday was incredibly frustrating, as it's a game we really should have put to bed. Had we taken one of our first half chances, I think we would have scored more and won comfortably. That said, I don't think we played well: we looked sluggish at times, didn't move the ball quickly enough, lacked the right decision making around their penalty area and were wasteful in front of goal. On another night, Bricknell could have had a hat-trick. Agreed about not liking us playing it long (e.g. Sayoud is never going to win headers against their centre halves, so why bother?), but at times Wright's kicking can be so accurate that early long balls to the wings can get us on the front foot quickly and should be used. Stand out performances for me were Greene (tricky and produced a couple of superb balls in that were begging to be converted), Blackman (full of energy, drive and clearly cares) and Sutton (who I think is excellent defensively, comfortable in possession, links well going forward and is clearly the left footed left back that we were missing all last season). Johnson deserves a shout as well, he's very consistent in his role, shielding the back four, winning back possession and trying to move the ball quickly. I'm still optimistic when I look at our squad, but we absolutely have to start winning games like these, especially at home if we want to be challenging.
  12. Slightly off topic, but semi related - does anyone know if the spreadsheet with the all time ETFC appearances is published online anymore? It used to be linked to from the old ETFC website back in the day. In terms of legends, I'd consider adding Kirbs and possibly Jordan Lockie to the names above.
  13. Just to chime in with what others have said - I've got no issue at all with Brad. Bottom line, the club that he played near enough all his career with, and who were in a higher league came in for him. He admitted himself that it was a difficult decision to leave Town. I don't think we should begrudge him that move, in the same way that some time in the distant future, we might be in a situation where we'd want a former Town legend doing well in management at a lower level to move to us. Brad was nothing but 100% committed during his time here as a player and a manager, played some excellent attacking football and built an exciting squad, taking us from relegation battle to the play offs. Obviously losing the bulk of the squad to Braintree was quite galling, and consigned Andy to a season of rebuilding, but that's non league football - no different to when Newing and Deanus moved to Town and brought the best part of a squad with them. Regarding Andy, I'm pleased with what I've seen so far - better football than last season, much better players and an improved league position so far. Again this is clearly a work in progress and I don't think we've seen the best from this group of players yet. Our best starting 11 is still quite different to the players we ended last season with, and I'd like to think that given a bit more time to gel and in the case of Bricknell gain more match sharpness and we'll be able to consolidate this league position and hopefully put pressure on the sides above us. I say well done to Andy and the management team for this, and well done to the board for backing them.
  14. I think Andy will be the first to admit that this season has been disappointing. I'm very much of the opinion that he should be judged on how he does next season with a proper pre-season, a more settled side and maybe one or two additions in key areas. Barring a couple of bad results, I'm of the opinion that things are moving in the right direction as we approach end of this season... maybe not as quickly as some would like, but for me, this is a long-term project. Here's hoping we're challenging in the top half next season!
  15. I might well be wrong (I often am), but I thought Hockney got injured when he was starting to cement his place in the team. Out of all the youngsters he's definitely looked like the one with the most potential / ability, and definitely has an eye for a pass. I'd like to think that AL has seen enough in him for him to be in and around the team next season.
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