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Paul Hayes echoing what I've been saying for ages

Last season we could have had anyone up front and they would have struggled. Interesting to see Hayes coming out in the press with it now. Is he fighting his corner about being over the hill or has he seen things in training that suggest he might be a little more productive this season?


  • Id imagine if we had Southwell and Akinfenwa up front last season we would have scored far more goals.

  • I think you're right @Midlander.

  • Why do you imagine that? The issue is the lack of service to the front players. Akinfenwa has qualities but picking up the ball from the back, going on a solo run beating a few opponents before dispatching the ball into the corner isn't one of them Let alone repeating the feat several times over throughout the season.

  • I think the plan is for the Beast to stand onside and wait for the younglings to get the ball to him...

  • @Bluemoon - did you see Dayle Southwell in the friendlies? Touch of the Beavons about him. None of last season's strikers came near him,

  • I did and he certainly looks promising. However, I prefer to give him a fair chance and see what he can do across a few months of playing competitive league 2 football rather than a couple of friendlies. Hayes is proven to be a top player and scorer over many seasons and I dare say if the service is there he will score plenty this season too. Southwell has also scored goals albeit at a lower level. My guess is he would of struggled last season to score for us given the style of football and lack of creativity. To just point the fault at Hayes is somewhat simplifying the problem. I believe it was as much do with tactics, formations, lack of width, Woods lost form, JJ not being as accurate with set pieces, no playmaker in midfield, no Nico or Saunders,injuries especially to Paris after he joined on loan and probably a few others than just the strikers inability to put the ball in the back of the net.

  • Agree @Bluemoon it was the service...Hayes and Thompson seemed to spend too much time dropping deep, so you could often never be sure what the formation was!

  • "Often never"?! I too agree with @Midlander's analysis of the factors which made our strikers' lives difficult. I accept that I may have been slightly OTT in suggesting that none of last season's strikers came near him but I had in mind the younger lads who have been released (for obvious reasons). I don't see Paul Hayes as an out and out striker. He has a wider, more important role as captain and midfield/striker link man. And Garry Thompson has been a wide man for most, if not all, of his career. What I saw in Dayle Southwell was a mobility and positional sense coupled with sharpness, industry and determination that reminded me a little of Stuart Beavon. If he develops the understanding with Paul Hayes that Stuart Beavon had we could be in for a treat!

  • Yet another senior episode! I was referring to @Bluemoon's analysis of course.

  • It's all very well Hayes passing the buck but he was the captain and talisman and bears a lot of responsibility for the team providing a lack of service. It wasn't helped by his continual dropping deep, getting the ball passed to him just beyond the centre circle then trying a Hollywood flick to no one. Or simply getting out-muscled by a younger, fitter central midfielder. He also spent far too much time on the wings to no avail, being far too slow to play there. I agree we need to see more balls played out of defence and through midfield and as captain he can surely influence Gareth to make sure that happens. But he has to play his part too by staying in a position where he can influence the match. If that's as a goal-hanger then so be it.

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