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Webbo MFI

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Looks like it !


First half we didn't do too bad and but for a couple of good saves from Wilmot we could have gone in ahead at half time. The second half started okay but all seemed to fall apart when De Souza went up front. Mind you, we shouldn't forget that Hitchin aren't a good side either.


The disappointing thing is that half the team just stroll around as if the shambles is nothing to do with them. The other half of the team spend most of the time arguing with each other.





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A couple of points:


1) Why bring Edwards off at half-time? I know he should have scored at the end of the first half but he was causing all sorts of trouble up front and provided a target for the defensive 'hoof'.


2) Why was there nobody on the right until Cogger came on? Lee Gledhill at right-back didn't have a soul in front of him all game until then.


Tactically, it was a nightmare in my 'I know nothing about football' opinion.

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I think that EFMTFTV was employing irony when he said "What happened to [Richards} etc.




I don't know anything about football but I think you will find that the starting formation was 3 at the back, De Souza, Thomas and Campbell, with Gledhill and Jones playing as wing-backs, Oakes, Wraight and Deacon in the midfield and Edwards and Tomlinson up front. On the back foot, that set-up looks like 5 at the back, of course.


On that basis, Gledhill didn't have a soul in front of him, and nor should he [if you see what I mean].


The formation was changed to 4-4-2 just after half time with De Souza moving up to the front with Richards, and Gledhill, Thomas, Campbell and Jones at the back.


To complicate matters further, Tomlinson clearly likes to play in the pocket deeper than a traditional 'centre forward' such as De Souza. Richards drifts to left and right 'looking for the ball' and at times in the last half-hour, it looked like 4-3-3, at others, 4-3-2-1.


I imagine that Edwards was taken off as it was perfectly evident that t'lad is way out of his depth at this level and his ability to head a ball is on a par with Simon Martin's. I notice that he didn't come out of the dressing room for the second half.


As someone else said, it doesn't matter which formation is played if half the team are arguing with each other, and half strolling around waiting for someone else to do something, and more than half looking as if they would rather be at Sansburys with the missus.


In case no-one realises it, we are in real trouble.


Always pleased to assist.

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"Panic" is rarely a solution to a problem in my book, Laz.


There was nothing wrong with The Manager's tactics on Saturday. The loss was nothing to do with tactics. It was perfectly evident during the week that Hitchin would be forced to field a below strength side with players drafted in from the Reserves and the villages. We wont get away with wing-backs of this calibre against quality opposition as the space behind them will be exploited. It's an attacking formation ideal against that lot on Saturday.


At half-time it hadn't worked due, in large measure to Wilmot, and it was the right move to change and push De Souza up front looking for the first goal which was bound to be enough.


The Manager did everything right on Saturday [apart from win, of course].


The problems are other than 'tactical'.

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Hi JKiF.


For the second time in our life, we must agree to disagree [Chris Piper was rubbish that night against Enfield].


With the personnel available and on the basis that Hitchin didn't look like coming close to scoring for the first hour on Saturday, and with a back four available of Gledhill, Thomas, Campbell and Jones, and with a side struggling to put the ball in the back of the net, to continue with De Souza at the back would have been a waste, in my view.


Hi Rob.


I don't know anything about the day-to-day running of this, or any other football club and I have to believe that Gibbo and The Board of Directors, Associate Directors and Officials have everything in hand. I may be wrong because I don't know anything about football but my views are as follows:


a). As a broad generalisation, that team, individually, with some notable exceptions, and collectively, do not give me the impression that they are are out there battling for the points that will take us up towards mid-table. It's clear from the terraces that severall players are bickering with each other from the first whistle. Setting team-spirit on one side there doesn't seem much passion and committment to the cause to me.


It would be good to see the players in the clubhouse after a game but that doesn't seem to happen any more.


B). The recent additions to the side are not up to the task, possibly against the back-drop of a). above and c) & d). below.


c). If Gibbo and The Board haven't cut the playing budget more than once in the light of the significant drop in income over the past 3 months, they need their brains tested. The signs are that they have.


d). Without naming names, let's take Miguel De Souza as an example. Is he a quality player? Is he likely to be amongst the highest paid in the team? Does he work his socks off on the pitch to give 100% each game? For me: yes to each of those.


Can the same be said for ALL of the other 'senior players'? For me: No.


Why are some of them still here then? Is it 'hope' that next Saturday they will show their class and put on a performance worthy of their reputation and ability? If that's it, the hope factor hasn't worked in some cases for 12 months. It didn't work for Cookie and it's not working for Steve Castle.


e). If anyone is thinking of calling for Castle's head to roll, just remember. It's the easiest thing to sack the Manager, it's not so strightforward to find the replacement.



I may well be well wide of the mark but we didn't play well against Aylesbury U15's on Boxing Day or Hitchin Extra B XI on Saturday. Steve Castle needs to start to turn it around and soon.



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fair enough AFF

just dont see de souza as a player who'll conjure something from nothing, rather play Cogger up there


as for your other pts all well and good .

However the buck starts and stops with the manager. disapproved of his appointment but there u go i know less about football than you...


No heart/spine/guts/passion/ambition this football club...


O well i can console myself with watching a bunch of players this Weds, who put their clubs needs before their own...and i aint talking about Chelski

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Agree with comments about effort; not sure about tactics. 2nd half at Hitchin we were overrun in midfield & brought on another striker.

Recent signings have been a joke; way below standard I agree that its easy to sack a manager but with the current set up I can't see us winning another game all season. We will never meet weaker opposition (Wilmot excepted) than on Saturday. It was the worst performance for years. The midfield lacks both steel and creativity; Oakes is not interested, Wraight hasn't got a clue, Greg is understandably inconsistent, Thomas & Oxby aren't up to much, can't think of anyone else who's fit that's left. Very depressing.

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It was the worst performance for years.


Have to agree Alban, if you could even call it a performance. In all my years following the Saints, I cannot remember a game as bad. It was an insult to all of our travelling support. Even at Grays this year, at least we were playing a decent side. On Saturday, Hitchin had something like 7 reserves playing but they played for each other as a team. Our tactics were naive and poor in the extreme but JKiF has really hit the nail on the head. Excluding the youngsters, who always give 100%, the side is absolutely devoid of all spirit, heart and backbone. It is obvious that this goes far deeper than what we are seeing on the field.

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AFF said:

I think that EFMTFTV was employing irony when he said "What happened to [Richards} etc.

Actually for once I wasn't, I didn't hear the team line up and with all the action up the other end in the 2nd half I didn't notice the boy Richards come on.
I guess I was just wondering why somebody who scored a brace in the previous game was relegated to the bench for a player making his debut, who had moved up two divisons (and isn't even amoung the Div 2 high scorers) and as far as I'm aware hadn't even had a reserve game under his belt.
The new lad did look out of his depth and it must be noted that somebody on here did comment on Castles lack of contacts in the non-leauge game, from what I can see the only two real signings made by him have both started at the Norwich academy and came to us via lower clubs and have been pretty rubbish. Is Castle's only contact the ex-norwich released list??????
People talk about not blaming the manager, well our last two games have seen us play youth and reserve teams with players in our team with a stack of league apparences behind them, it is obvious that motivation isn't Castles strong point and thats what we need at the moment, I thought that this was obvious anyway when neither him or Cooky could get them playing earlier in the season.

And RTS, where was Brown exactly?
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Had we not arranged a game, what would have happened if Steve Castle had wanted to call a training session on Saturday? Do trips abroad take priority?


This has happened at least three times this season, including, I think, Grays away.


If his business is too important then he should tear up his contract and free up some funds so we can replace him.

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