Gape's goal was clearly brilliant, but I think Mehmeti's was better (then again, totally different types of goal, so maybe comparing them is a bit redundant). To create that opening (and it was still only a slightly ajar door) and score from that angle... He had no right. He's going to do that an awful lot this season and we need to extend his contract as a matter of urgency or we'll lose a £1m+ player for nothing.
is he not contracted until 2024?
Highlights voice-over bloke just called Freeman our longest-serving player and I'll admit I had to double-check he was wrong (it's JJ, obvs), but he's been here since 2016! Bloody hell.
So he is. But extend it further anyway!
Anyone who comes sniffing after Mehmeti should be shown the clip of him failing to score from a centimetre out
Not taking anything away from Nick’s wonderful strike, but credit too for the marvellous assist. What excellent feet from Wing, retaining the ball whilst looking around for options, waiting for just the right moment to slip Freeman in.
Freeman's goal was the most heartwarming given the context, but as Gape rarely scores either it was a magical moment from another L2 stalwart. Mehmeti is just something special.
Despite the doom and gloom you have to love the players Gareth and Dobbo have assembled for us...and some saved from oblivion, but raised up and supported. Unless it is silly money I reckon Mehmeti will stay to help us up...again.
First half an hour we struggled, with lots of long balls and aimless play, showing a real lack of confidence. Stryjek made an exceptional save from a header and looked calm and assured throughout, comfortably taking some crosses, kicking really well, and throwing the ball out nicely. I don’t think he’s going to be a keeper that comes off his line massively, but he has already shown he has brilliant reflexes and is quite decisive in his actions. He exudes confidence and I think he could be an absolutely excellent signing.
Then Mehmeti scored a fantastic goal from pretty much from nothing and we never looked back. The confidence flowed back through the team and we finished the first half very strongly. In the second half we were nothing short of magnificent, and we could’ve scored 5 or 6. Dom Gape capped a great individual performance with a truly memorable goal, and Nick Freeman scored a lovely goal which I think we’re all really pleased with, after good work from Wing (who looked a lot stronger today, second half particularly). Josh Scowen showed boundless energy in midfield along with Gape and the two of them dominated everything from 30 minutes onwards - both could easily have been MOTM. Mawson looked good again in defence and if he can stay fit, him and Tafazolli could be a wonderful central defensive partnership. Reasons for be optimistic again, well done everyone!
Think we sometimes forget all about the opposition so obsessed are we about our team. They were big and strong and a talented team who started off quite well and our defence held them out. As we scored and the game got further on their fans got on their backs and their heads dropped and they settled back in to some bad habits from getting slapped every week in the championship last year.
We were first to pretty much everything and didn't let them settle or get any space and then scored 3 great goals to finish them off. We tired a bit towards the end as you'd expect but it doesn't matter so much once your team spirit is going and the opposition have lost hope.
With the doom and gloom before hand and changes to the team it has to rank as one of our best performances in a long time. Easily the best we've played since mkdongs in the home leg.
It's a win that will send the fear of God to every player in the League
Thoroughly enjoyable afternoon and @Quarterman’s review pretty much captures what I would have said.
A couple of additional comments/observation that I don’t thing have been mentioned yet.
it was a pretty tricky wind out there and both Mawson and Forino misjudged it a couple of times (as did the Barnsley defenders). No criticism of them but I mention it because I thought Stryjek handled the crosses he dealt with relatively comfortably, and somewhat better than his opposite number.
On the Wing debate (whether he was fit/good enough to be starting) I think at the moment he is starting due to his height and aerial ability. In a relatively short midfield and front three I think that attribute can be key (and I thought second half he played really well).
in a memorable afternoon, on reflection one of the most pleasing aspects for me was the 10 minutes or so before Gape scored. I can’t recall Barnsley even getting into our penalty area we were defending (as a team) so well at the time.
"Poetic grace" is the perfect phrase for Freeman's style. He doesn't seem to run at all but just glides across the the pitch. Brilliant result which, having glanced at the league table this morning, puts us back in the pack.
I’ve noticed a weird thing on the half time stats on WTV in the last couple of matches: both games had Wycombe’s “Successful crosses” stat as 0/0. The Exeter first half had plenty of crosses and there was definitely more than zero in yesterday’s first half too.
How do you pick a team for Saturday assuming everyone was fit?
McCarthy, Mawson, Taf, Obita
McCleary, Wing*, Mehmessi
*Wing edges Horgan imo, but each offers different things in that 10 role
Just occurred to me that Forino is the only player in yesterday’s starting eleven that hasn’t played at either tier one or two levels in England and Scotland. Plus we have three international players currently out injured. Adds weight to the theory that this is the best squad the club has ever had.
That looks one hell of a talented line up for League One, especially when you consider the quality of players who haven’t made your starting eleven. Also, I repeat what I wrote a couple of weeks ago that I think Freeman will be a big player for us this season.
With the addition of Mawson and Stryjek we are certainly close.
Losing Bayo is the real issue here. The way we play he was key on many occasions to finding that extra goal or defending to keep that lead in the last 20 mins. He was irreplaceable in that role as an occasional starter or cameo role. Vokes will now have to play more minutes or we will have to completely change the way we play once Vokes is subbed.
Anyway a fantastic 3 points on the road at Barnsley with three of the best goals you will ever see.
Did he play enough last year for it to be that big a deal? Ainsworth talked about not being able to replace him with one player, If we get some combo of Taff and Mawson playing most weeks and the goalie stays strong then the defence doesn't need so much aerial set piece cover, perhaps Wing can also help here. Going forward the quick wide play and passing combinations we maybe got spoiled with yesterday would mean less need to smash it up long and have it held there. Spirit is the other area, they all seem still to be good lads, going to allow myself to be optimistic this morning.
I have a feeling, based on nothing but my own gut feeling, that Sam Vokes is sat on his injury lay off itching to get on the end of those diagonal balls from Mawson.
Nick Freeman. One of the good guys. Lots more to come. Today is a good day
Yeah, I think the intangibles were always going to be the biggest miss with Bayo. Maybe we just need to find another big, jolly, loud bloke. Brian Blessed?
Assuming players are fit, I would rest players for the midweek Carabao Cup match, and give the fringe and current subs a run out, then play the same starting lineup as yesterday in the league. Keep a winning team together and work on a consistent lineup. Returning players will have to fight for their places.
Apart from Vokes
And I'd say McCarthy too as Grimmer hasn't exactly had a great start to the season
I would definitely play Dickinson against Bristol City and as many of the fringe players as possible. I don’t care at all for the League Cup…the FA Cup is a different matter
I'd be tempted to play the same back 4 (fitness permitting) + GK. The defense is a unit which functions best when everyone is familiar with the others play so better not to make changes - even for a cup game - unless necessary while we are trying to familiarise Mawson & Stryjek with the others.
Midfield & strikers we could afford to rotate with squad players as there's more of an element of energy and enthusiasm involved (yes I know skill is important too).
Would be sensible to play Stryjek. I know he had a great debut, but it would do him and the whole team good.