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Match day thread: Cheltenham



  • On Kid Simulator?

  • edited November 2022

    Trends tend to come down from the highest division but without the talent to execute, far too many players who want an extra touch , play "off" their position (or behind someone else who presumably has to do all the work), fiddly stuff that slows us down. Mehmeti, GMac and one of our other creative midfielders behind a central striker should produce plenty but it's all too slow and by the time a ball comes in to Vokes the defenders can snuff it out.

    I think some of the players genuinely think we play, or try to play, good football , and then when we end up clueless as nothing is working they pump the ball in aimlessly. Changing Vokes out wil probably just see them hoofing it over Hanlans head but Vokes isn't really getting into good positions or contributing anything so he'll probably need a rest. Bizzare to think that with a good run and good service he could have been an outside option for the World Cup.

    We are too slow and not physical enough all over the pitch though at the moment, and not good enough to get a nil nil when the attacking doesn't produce a goal. Agree with others we have good players but unless they can hit on something some of them will have to go. A proper quick winger who can carry the ball some distance and cross a ball should be a January priority, on loan if necessary.

  • edited November 2022

    The worst bit at the moment is how far away we look from a team that can claw back a result after going down.

    2 changes for me after the mini break. Hanlan for McCleary to go 2 up top with Vokes with Anis behind, and Wheeler dropping back into a deeper box-to-box midfield role as he has a knack of getting the second balls, which isn’t Freeman’s game. Maybe even bringing in Wing for Freeman as Lewis is more of a natural midfielder out of the two and when he’s on form he’s a starter for us, but honestly I think it’s less about the players at the moment and more about the constant need to pump it long and try and feed off the scraps.

  • edited November 2022

    Also - on the point about assuming GA is permanently safe due to RC openly saying he’d never sack him, clearly people who believe this haven’t been holding RC accountable to his words in the last few years. If RC had done everything he said he would, by now we’d be a best-in-class food venue, have the best stadium facilities in the country and the people who donated their season ticket money to the club in 2020 would have merrily enjoyed the party to end all parties.

    To date, none of this has happened, so I don’t see why the never sacking GA promise is any different.

    Finally, GA is a football manager with the huge pressure of trying to deliver the desired result on a wild £3m gamble that risks the future of the club. Say what you like about his tactics, but to say he outright doesn’t care about results as he knows his job is safe is completely ridiculous.

  • All the talent is there. We just don’t have a clue what to do with them.

    You cannot argue that in almost every position you have some of the best players to wear the quarters. So either they are not being given the tactics, they are not doing what they are told, or a combination.

    We paid decent money for Hanlan and still don’t start him. We pay decent wages for Horgan and Kaikai (I know yesterday he wasn’t available) and don’t play them. We are spunking away cash at alarming rate and are rudderless. And the owner says the manager is unsackable so who the fuck cares?

  • edited November 2022

    Not to snipe at RC but yeah, he chose to boost the manager and is obviously a fan of his with no intention to get rid unless absolutely necessary, but it's not like Ainsworth was working 23 hour days 7 days a week before the meeting and now just pops in for matchdays...and yeah, he'll sack him if he wants to.

  • We do seem to be distilling down to the realisation that the £3million quid was on the pitch yesterday. The legacy of that season in the Championship that should have secured our club for years to come got spaffed away on players that perform worse than the bunch of rejects, misfits, overlooked underdogs that got us there. There is barely a tangible benefit at AP from that season. No better catering*. No better bars. No better toilets. No better parking. Wifi? Cool but I use 4G. A scoreboard?

    *A BBQ company partially owned by Pete does not count and when they charge what they do for a burger that certainly does not count.

  • edited November 2022

    Its always interesting the views people have of the same game & those who participate in them; a good example is Jack Grimmer, who I think had a fair game yesterday, but was horribly exposed by GMac failing to track or tackle back & Wheeler playing too far forward (which also exposed Scowen & forced Freeman too deep). Yet he also seemed to be expected to bomb forward & create overlaps etc., therefore often ended up being caught in two minds as to where he should be. Jordan Obita didn't get as exposed as Mehmeti has added that determination & grit to his game & tracks his man back (more often than not) & will try to tackle back as well. I suspect Horgan ended up in no man's land when he came on as he was covering Jordan, who by that point was playing as another left wing.

    The upshot of this is I think there is a level of positional discipline that is currently lacking, especially at the back when we play with a flat back 4, leaving us prone to overloads on the wings & the danger of getting turned & th eopposition being able to play in behind our CBs. I find this especially surprising given Mawson & Tafs experience & the amount of talking Tafs is alleged to do through the game.

    As others have said, there is no shortage of talent in our squad & with few exceptions we have adequate back up for each position, however we are managing to make the sum of the parts less. We really need to go back to basics & get back to being a team that is hard to break down & score against, my preference is 4 at the back but YMMV. I would then have 1 holding midfielder to shield the defence, 2CMs & utilise the undoubted quality we have in our wide players to turn defences or play the ball into the feet of the CF to act as a focal point for attacks. We most assuredly have the players capable of doing this, sadly we just seem incapable of delivering at the moment. If we keep the ball on the floor it plays to both Vokes & Hanlan's strengths & it becomes less relevant who starts & who is subbed on, mindless hoof ball & head tennis just does not work for us (or anyone really) anymore, if it ever did.

    Ah well enough from me, back to No Man's Sky for a bit or maybe the final few episodes of Warrior Nun

  • Brian Clough famous saying “ We had a good team on paper. Unfortunately, the game was played on grass”. Best squad we’ve had in the last ten years ( Ainsworth regular comment this year) but despite this, football this season has been turgid and uninspiring in the main . The question is whose to blame ? Not sure you can blame the Couhigs who clearly have backed the manager financially.

  • @Erroll_Sims was nodding along to that post before the "YMMV" part in relation to the back 4.

    Apologies if that's some well known tactic, or type of back 4!

  • Your milage may vary - basically other opinions are available.

  • As someone has already said over the last Seasons our sum as a team was more than our component parts. This season arguably the reverse is true.

    I was at the game yesterday and it was an all too familiar pattern. A reasonably promising start with a few half chances created then the opposition get a grip on the game and start to out pass and out think us then our play becomes totally predictable and easy for even, with all due respect, average teams like cheltenham to suss out not sure if their keeper had a shot to save

    we go back to the long ball game that we had to perhaps deploy out of necessity a few years ago when it perhaps suited the team that we had at the time I believe we have a team that doesn’t need to do this and indeed as stated here the big hoof is largely a futile exercise which very few teams deploy

    maybe me but looking at the body language of some of the team I am nostalgic for they never say die attitude that we had up till it seems about May

    strange preseason in terms of lack of fresh blood, odd preseason friendlies and overhyping about us gaining automatic promotion

    you can get away with poor performances and poor football just about if you are winning games. When you are not the downward spiral of poor home crowds and maybe a relegation struggle will sadly prevail

  • Comments like 'possession can do one' do worry me. We should have developed beyond this by now. Still asking people to swallow this stuff is becoming tiresome. I was hoping Gaz could have deloped as a coach a bit further by now, but nothing has changed. I'm convinced that we will struggle to improve attendances unless we can put a more exciting product on the field, win or lose. This squad is capable of far more. Don't get me wrong, I love GA but he needs more help on the coaching side. It's not like it's cheap day out, and people need to feel excited at the prospect of going to Adams Park and spending their hard earned. You can only get away with dull football when you're winning, just ask Gareth Southgate.

  • Has there ever been such a strange mix of so few players brought in in a summer window, yet talk of how we've really gambled hard to go out for promotion?

  • edited November 2022

    Watched the Taff YouTube of pre FGR. The briefing meeting of oppo play, video watching etc suggests someone on the coaching staff is doing the scouting of the opponents vulnerability. So, who came up with the strategy that the Cheltenham central defence would struggle against looping hoofs into their box?! Their centre backs must have thought Christmas had come early with that plan (as someone else said the easiest thing for a defender to deal with). Indeed we could have slogged away with those balls until late December and still got nothing out of the game. Depressing.

  • Whoever is doing out scouting work is taking the p1ss. I reckon they are just putting in receipts. Everyone appears to know how to nullify us we don't seem to have clue how to unlock anyone. We do seem to have had a minor staff exodus over recent months. Once upon a time we all about the backroom staff with stats and analysis high on the agenda. Now we seem to use a Speak N Spell with 'LUMP IT' writ large.

  • MON knew he couldn't coach, so he left it to people who could. Instead of spending money on roads, toilets, burgers etc, get some coaches in who know how to get teams playing football. We've had false dawns before where it looked like we might evolve, only to go back to hoofball at the first sign of a couple of defeats. I always associated this club with at least trying to play some decent stuff, even when we were getting our arses kicked every week in the conference. This stuff is a hard watch, and I know a lot of older fans who feel the same way. Maybe I'm being an unrealistic old git.

  • If we were playing Gormania football and getting the same points we’re getting now (though obviously with a lot more goals at each end), we’d be getting 1000 more through the gate each week. As much as we used to laugh at opposition fans saying “wouldn’t want to watch that every week”, it’s not so funny now that it’s Wycombe fans saying it.

  • Playing poorly and losing is always depressing, doesn't really matter what style you're playing.

    We seemed to try a more passing style of game again Walsall, whilst yesterday was more direct with endless long ball. Both games were dismal, can't say the I felt any consolation in the Walsall defeat that we attempted with a complete lack of success to pass out from the back.

    Of course, play well and lose and you're more likely to feel you've been entertained, but plenty of fans will still only pick faults. Although we lost and the match was hugely frustrating, I though that Cambridge the other week was an excellent game of football.

    Don't agree we'd be getting 1000 more fans if we were playing Gormania football. For a start I'm sure we get bigger crowds now that we did under Gorman. And much I loved John Gorman and the football we played under him, I remember us playing out a huge number of tedious 1-1 draws, where we'd dominate but consistently struggle to break teams down and create chances.

  • Although on a completely different scale, we are starting to get found out like Mourinho did after his 2nd stint at Chelsea. He had a way of playing and refused to evolve with the natural evolution of football. Whilst still a very good coach, he quickly discovered that he couldn't use that method when he didn't have the players at his disposal. Football changes, tactics change.

    "Possession can do one" is basically confirming to the opposition that we will never "mix it up". Whilst we are so strung up on not revealing our injury list, we are quite open about the way that we set up - which is surely a bigger give away for opposition scouts!!

    We refused to/couldn't strengthen - whilst teams at the top of the table added 5-10 players to their ranks.

    We all know something needs to change, but at the same time 14 points from 8 games is not absolutely terrible - it's only bad because of the opposition we have faced. I think we were always a mid table league 1 team punching above our weight, for whatever reason. Now we have just found our level. The sooner we accept that, the better - and we can start building from there.

  • edited November 2022

    On a completely different point but something that really pi$$ed me and my two mates off on Saturday. I purchased three seats on-line and the system required me to choose which ones. Which I was pleased about as we enjoy watching games together in a specific place in the stand (having sat there in previous visits). So knowing our seats were secure we took our time getting into the ground (after a cleansing ale) only to be told “it’s not a sell out so you can sit where you like” which at 2.30 meant we couldn’t be together or in the place where we had purchased our seats. Tinpot! Either sell ‘free seating’ or steward the selected seats properly! Had we not been confident of a comfortable win we might not have been quite so magnanimous. Afternoon went down hill from there.

  • The Gormania era is fondly remembered for some great football, and a superb team. You always thought we'd get a goal.

    But the reality is that we should have been top of the league by a long way, and we weren't. Like you say we let numerous leads slip, and in the absolute opposite of now, barely had any of the dark arts to help us see wins out.

  • Unfortunately this happens at aways.

    I was properly delayed at Wimbledon away last season and joined a massive queue at 2.55, getting in at 3.01.

    This one was actually sold out, but you had no chance of sitting in your actual seat by then.

    Cheltenham away I remember last year as being a sit anywhere.

    One that I was a little embarrassed at was Portsmouth away last year. I'm sure the club had suggested we'd "sold out", so having got there fairly early yet finding someone in my seat, I politely moved them on. Simply not wanting hassle later on if someone tried to move me from where I'd ended up...

    Turned out we were about 40-50% full max. Whoops!

  • edited November 2022

    At Oxford away last season I had to sit in the seat they had allocated to me (selling them sequentially) only choice being ‘singing’ or not. I chose not but found myself in the next row across (with the chanting biffs standing so I couldn’t see a third of the pitch seated) the oiks who weren’t in the singing section then rammed the walkways trying to join their brethren making it dangerous and threatening, such joy, away days don’t ya just love ‘em.

  • @Malone Absolutely, it was a very good team we had under Gorman, but we struggled to consistently score goals and win games. Even during that long unbeaten spell, I think we drew over half our games. Teams worked out how to frustrate us and stop us playing and all too often we never seemed to have any answer to that. That's not a criticism of Gorman, as I say I was a big fan of his. People do tend to look back on that era with rose tinted glasses though.

  • edited November 2022

    You wonder how some of the championship aways would have panned out, with presumably more sell outs.

    I dare say the only way to ensure your seat is to arrive fairly early.

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