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The Generals and the replacements

We probably all have a theory for what happened between December 2001, and the swashbuckling 5 goal victory over a good Brentford side, and September 2003, the meek 5 goal defeat to a average Oldham team. It strikes me that GA is about to face some of the same issues that ultimately undid Sanchez.

Unprecedented success, followed by the slow departure of the players that got him there. In the last 20 months of his reign LS had to deal with losing Paul McCarthy, Andy Rammell, Jason Cousins and Dave Carroll, as well as Keith Ryan and Steve Brown moving into the autumn of their careers. How many of the Generals that played a part at Wembley will still be here in two years? You can argue that Bayo, Blooms and Darius are probably in their final few months of their playing careers with us.

I think GA has some strengths in areas where Lawrie struggled, so hopefully he won't sign replacements from Berkhampstead and Beaconsfield, but we might have to exercise some patience in the next couple of seasons.

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Comments

  • I think you've just identified the players likely to end their careers. There are a few who may be sold, and a few who will move on, but I'm confident we have a management team with a good eye for a player and enough experience now to rebuild the team.

  • They made a point of having Anthony Stewart captain the side last night. Looking at the group from the outside he seems an obvious candidate, although I think some people have suggested he might be a bit of an introvert/shy character - nothing wrong with that but may mean he’s not vocal enough for that sort of role.

    Otherwise there are plenty of players that seem to be made of the right stuff and capable of leading by example: Uche, Grimmer, Tafazolli, Wheeler, Samuel, McCarthy, Allsopp...

    I’m speculating of course as it is hard to get a sense of the personality of individual squad members from the stands. But from what we can see, and based on the management’s availing to identify players with the right temperament, I’m not too concerned.

  • When Bloomfield came off the other day Grimmer got the armband for 20 mins or so, before Bayo came on and he handed it over to him. Tafazolli looks like a decent captain in the making and I'm surprised Wheeler hasn't taken on that responsibility yet.

  • The tricky thing with this is that ideally a general should be someone who makes the side more often than not, and can lead on the field as well as off the field. It is hard when most of your generals are out - indeed, before Gape came on last night, there were no generals in the side at all.

    Going forward, JJ is obviously a general for as long as he is a regular in the side. Gape is the "bridge general" who will likely play a part in two generations of general if he stays with us. He also is very likely to be the future captain for some time - again, assuming he stays.

    The armband last night shows Stewart is regarded highly enough to join them. Besides him, there are several options, as detailed well by @Glenactico above.

    It is going to be tough, even though we continue to recruit based on character. Bayo is so unique for his personality, Blooms for his long service, and Charles for his inspirational story. In one sense, everyone is always replaceable. In a deeper sense, everyone is unique, and irreplaceable.

  • Poor Lawrie rather lost the plot towards the end and either loaned out or fell out with several senior players and bought badly at times. Let's hopefully not go there.

    Character shouldn't be a problem given the recruitment methods but it's still too early to know how high up the shopping list we'll be looking at next year. Stewart, Wheeler, Gape, Grimmer and others all seem decent people even if nobody has quite the reach of Akinfenwa, Blooms won't be going anywhere anytime soon regardless of wether he plays and the idea of having several and making the place as open and caring (for want of a better word) should mean the love is shared round. Think I'm maybe 3 days late with this post.

  • I was extremely impressed with Jack Grimmer's communication during the only game I got to this season vs Stoke. He was constantly talking to and encouraging his team-mates. I think this squad has more than enough about it to promote a few generals from within before we even start looking at bringing anyone in.

    The point about not signing players from Berkhamstead or Beaconsfield is a strange one. Surely if they are good enough, it doesn't matter where they come from - look at Mehmeti. And remind me where we signed Keith Ryan from?

  • I think the point was that Steve Dell and Charlie Mapes weren't good enough.

  • You'd imagine JJ will play on next year, definitely if we're league 1.

    Bloomfield will surely step into purely being a coach, and Gape is already a general.

    So there's still good continuity there.

    Bayo is irreplaceable as a character, and Uche is a different player, but evidence so far suggests we have the man to spearhead our next few years on board. Big Phil cleverly pointed out that Uche wins a heck of a lot more free kicks than Bayo did for one, and is more mobile.

    The squad surely is as strong as we've ever had, and I could see it taking league 1 by storm, if as expected we find ourselves back there.
    Just remember how much of an impact McCarthy for one made in league 1, and he's just one of 2 quality right backs we have for that level.

  • Weird point to sniff at. We should be well placed to pick up on nearby gems, easier to keep an eye on and less upheaval for the player. People are quick enough to moan if we miss out on someone.

  • @Chris said:
    I think the point was that Steve Dell and Charlie Mapes weren't good enough.

    But Charlie was a midfielder, midfielder, midfielder, he was good going forward and good going back, and when he got home he got....

  • @Chris said:
    I think the point was that Steve Dell and Charlie Mapes weren't good enough.

    Yeah, I get it but then neither were Craig Faulconbridge and Elliot Benyon.

  • I still don’t really understand how Benyon scored all those goals for Torquay, he seemed to have no particular strengths as a footballer.

  • I dont like the whole 'generals' thing myself. I think it sounds a bit naff.

  • Stewart, Grimmer, Wheeler all well placed to step up imo. Don’t hear too much from Stewart off the field, but Grimmer and Wheeler both seem top class characters whenever I’ve heard them speak.

  • I’ve been on nodding terms with Anthony Stewart for many years and he is a really nice guy. He does come across as quiet and self-effacing but, as @Glenactico suggests, nothing wrong with that. I’ve no doubt that he would command the respect of his team mates. I was pleased to see him wearing the armband last night but whether he would want to wear it on a regular basis I have no idea.

  • The best leaders aren't those who shout the loudest. Lando Calrissian was made a general before the Battle of Endor, and he was a card player, gambler, a scoundrel.

  • β€˜Hello. And what have we here’?

  • @Rolo said:

    And remind me where we signed Keith Ryan from?

    We signed Rhino because his cousin bought him to training one day. @Chris has my meaning right. We've signed some great players from local non-league clubs before, but sadly Charlie Mapes and Steve Dell weren't two of them.

  • edited February 18

    @LX1 said:
    The best leaders aren't those who shout the loudest. Lando Calrissian was made a general before the Battle of Endor, and he was a card player, gambler, a scoundrel.

    Why is this not getting more thumbs up? It’s the best thing I’ve read all week!

  • @Wendoverman said:
    I dont like the whole 'generals' thing myself. I think it sounds a bit naff.

    I agree, there should just be 3 people in charge,
    Manager
    Assistant manager
    Captain

  • @Chris said:
    Why?

    Perhaps because it runs the risk of the balance of factors in match day selection, which may include footballing ability and leadership, becoming weighted a little too much to the latter?

    Bloomfield is a good example of getting it right recently. Not in the playing squad but part of the management team at the last match.

  • So not one of the arbitrarily chosen three.

  • @LX1 said:
    The best leaders aren't those who shout the loudest. Lando Calrissian was made a general before the Battle of Endor, and he was a card player, gambler, a scoundrel.

    To be fair he also sold out the rebels first (under duress) at Cloud City. It took a while for him to be trusted enough to be made a general, and he had to almost fall into the Sarlacc pit first.

    Sarlacc pit = relegation?

  • I’d like to think our fate doesn’t rest in the hands of a nerf herder taken blind by carbon freezing.

  • @HolmerBlue said:

    @Wendoverman said:
    I dont like the whole 'generals' thing myself. I think it sounds a bit naff.

    I agree, there should just be 3 people in charge,
    Manager
    Assistant manager
    Captain

    I'm a big advocate of having a few leaders on the pitch. Has always worked in teams I've been involved in.

  • Dont mind having experienced players or leaders on.the pitch..just 'generals' sounds a bit naff to me.

  • Seem to recall GA saying something about the team trip to the war graves in France/Belgium a few years ago inspiring team spirit and the term β€œGenerals” coming from that trip. If I’m right the term may not be as β€œnaff” as some think.

  • I believe the generals of that era tended to pass a lot of port and mainly died at home in bed a few years after the hostilities...so possibly not apt if you are referring to brave leaders you would want in the trenches with you...

  • I’m just going to have to sit this one out on the touchline with the halftime oranges
    and the fat, wheezy boys with a note from matron, while you young-
    bloods link arms and go together for the glorious final scrumdown.

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