Is Keates Good Enough?


Well, it looks like opposition sides will have identified that Jarvis and Cook partnership as our main attacking outlet and will set up to counter that threat accordingly. Given that he’s clearly got a lot of footballing intelligence and ability, it might give the opposition something different to think about rather simply having him stuck out on the left wing.


But that’s his strength? It’s like saying Cook gets isolated as a striker but that doesn’t mean you play him out of position. Move him and you nullify his threat for the opposition anyway.


True, but from what I’ve seen of Jarvis I don’t think he’s as one-dimensional as that. His obvious strengths as a winger are his ability to beat a man and cross the ball, at 32 though it might be something that he has to consider if he wants to continue his career at a higher level. It’s certainly not uncommon to see wingers convert into central midfield players as their career comes to an end. James Milner and Stewart Downing off the top of my head.

I’m not saying it’s the perfect solution, just that it’s an option worth exploring given his obvious talent and our lack of creativity.


I do but that’s no bad thing considering he looks a cut above alone doing just that but hey who knows, it could work.

He’s one of the things that isn’t broke in this side at the moment so I’d be reluctant to fix it but that depends on how dire our situation becomes and how desperate we are for a solution.

It’s clear Keates has brought 2 players for every position in a 4-4-2. Jarvis is a bread and butter winger. I feel like your fears with being stuck with that system may well be correct.


An observation from the last 2 home games I’ve been to is it got me thinking in years gone bye at home, if we ever played like poop when you were standing there at half time you always looked forward to the players coming back out. The reason being, we usually could immediately see a rocket has been put up the asses of the players or a strategic change has been made. Yet right now, what I’ve seen is its like nothing has changed from the first half. I desperately want Deano to succeed. I wish he was animated on the touch line mimicking how he was as a player.


We can argue about Player X being better than Player Y till we are blue in the face nothing will change until there is a much needed regime change

Everything about the club is done on the cheap and on a shoestring and just to tread water. The the No 1 fan’s ultimate No 1 priority is £ 440,000 ( almost 10% of our turnover ) for the rent

As much as I would hate to see DK get the bullet and have even suggested that the club pay for some part time mentoring/advice from Sir Ray for a day or two a week, but no doubt there is no budget

Keates has served his purpose to the regime, he probably came on the cheap, he pushed a few more early bird sales and kept the rent paid for 12 months and will be easily got rid of to appoint someone else to build our hopes up and keep the rent flowing ad infinitum

The whole of the finances of the club revolve around the No1 fan fully and as a consequence

a) The team management and players are all inexperienced and on the cheap

b) The facilities provided to the paying customers is cheap with inexperienced staff that is reflected in the disgusting state of the toilets, catering facilities, bar areas and

There is a common cancerous connection to all of the team’s issues


A bit like asking is a Prime Minister good enough. As with managers, we have to put up with what we’ve got until they run out of support.


Supposedly we paid for him. I agree with most of you post but Bonser did pay some money for the goodwill that came with bringing in Keates.


I think Keates has become so concerned with conceding from set pieces that he has been picking his big lads and dropping his little ones. Which is under 11 stuff and also deprives us of genuine mobility in the middle of the park.

So if everybody is fit I’d go 442 because every player tends to know their job in that formation. I’d go Oteh for Ferrier, Dobson for Osbourne, Taylor for Devlin and Laird for Leahy. I would also restore Kinsella and Ismail to the bench for Devlin and Osbourne.

I would just revert to trying to play it through midfield and wide rather than lumping it. And back some mobility over height.


Whitney and DK to me the same in that neither can really read a game if it’s starting to change after an hour.

Can’t remember who said it on here last season but basic comment was Whitney would just sub off after an hour those who’s fitness was flagging (think Flo and Simeon Jackson) so he was just doing that from a physio mindset rather than acting on how the game was heading.

Disappointing given what he was achieving at Wrexham that Keates seems really weak in game management in second halves. Sunderland 2 up and couldn’t close it out, same v Luton (although to give him credit he got the tactics for the first half spot on and Luton actually had to change it), in the game at Bolton until the hour and all these relegation six pointers that are poised at 0-0/1-1 going into the second half (Scunny, Plymouth and Rochdale).

I’m not expecting brilliant tactical masterclasses but a sub early on or a tweak of formation instead of just crossing your fingers that 4-4-2 will see the game out hasn’t had a good success rate recently.

Smith was better at this (his main issue was Plan A not always working from the start of games) so really if DK is eventually going to manage in top two divisions he needs to start changing games quicker with his decisions. Otherwise the team could easily get relegated and he could be going back to non league sooner than he thought.


Sloppies again giving a decent strengthed Wolves team another tremendous battle…I actually think Bolton was one of the worst results of this season and summed up DK’s weaknesses.

I know Bolton are a league higher but they are rubbish as their weekly results show and you get league one teams below Walsall giving mid table premier league clubs good games.


I think there are more selection problems after this weekend than there were before.

All three subs played well when they came on, especially Oteh. I thought Ferrier played well before being replaced. I think there are plenty of options going forward. I have no problem with any forward line we pick to be honest. Jarvis is our most effective winger and obviously starts. I have no problem with the villa lad or Devlin on the right. Edwards is looking more and more like his old self every week. The continued selection of Osbourne baffles me. Not only did Dobson look better than him when he came on, there’s a better CM that wasn’t even in the squad.

But what do you do about the defence? People cry out to drop John Guthrie. I agree he’s been ■■■■■ since the turn of the winter. Who for? Johnson? Fitz? Neither of them have been any better for me. Scarr was at fault for their second so he’s hardly made a storming start. Norman has the shirt for the rest of the season what ever happens. What’s he going to do, restore Devlin to the defence? He’s already taken him out because he’s not good enough defensively so what is the point of putting him back in? We might as well give Norman the shirt and see what he’s about. People want to drop Leahy for Laird. I’m not convinced he was our answer to Roberto Carlos BEFORE he spent a season and half twiddling his thumbs at football league giants Forrest Green Rovers.

People can talk about which winger and midfielders and strikers they want to select all they want but on the whole those aren’t the players that aren’t performing. I don’t see what we do about the defence.


For me a Ferrier comes out on the basis that he doesn’t score goals neither does he have an impressive assists tally.

Agree about Laird he offers nothing more than Leahy , both are sub standard and carry a risk either way you look at it.


I’m not so worried about his assist tally but I can’t deny his goal scoring record isn’t good enough for a striker. I’m just talking about his performance Saturday which I thought was good, may even have been our best player but if Oteh was to come in for him I would have absolutely no complaints.

He looks pacy and like he can trouble defences at this level. Particularly when the game opens up.


Ye but if he’s not scoring the only argument you can forge for him is number of assists.

No surprise Dean wanted him gone.


In answer to that. Laird is a better defender than Leahy, I can’t remember him making many mistakes in his first spell here, just a solid league one defender. People question whether he is fit, well if he isn’t why has Keates signed him? Only way we will find out is if he plays, so I would pick him. Johnson has been quite impressive, he is also comfortable on the ball so I would pick him. Of the others available I think Scarr and Norman deserve a bit of time to bed in, so that would be my back 4 Saturday. Midfield, like you Jarvis is a shoe-in, and similarly I don’t mind either Edwards or Blackett-Taylor on the right, probably Edwards to start for me. Centre-midfield is a problem. For me if you are going to play 4-4-2 its no good moaning about other teams having an extra man in the middle, because logic dictates if you play your system correctly that should put them under pressure in areas where we have an extra man. The key to that is having at least one midfielder that can carry the ball and if necessary run beyond the target man (Cooke) thereby giving their centre-halves something other to worry about than doubling up and fighting Cookie. The whole system falls apart if you lump it forward to an isolated out-numbered forward. So for me Dobson in that role, with Oteh alongside Cooke. The other centre-midfieler should be Kinsella but I doubt Keates will pick him, because I fear, DK has a bit of a stubborn streak when it comes to certain players.


He’s better defensively than Leahy, no doubt. I’m not sure he’s a better all round full back though. Either way it is defensively we need to improve so bringing him in would make sense on that front.

Johnson has been the best of the three I named this season to be fair. My only problem with that is a Johnson Scarr partnership has 25 Football League games between them. I wouldn’t have dropped Johnson for Scarr in the first place, he did nothing to lose his place, much like Kinsella. At least we know Fitzwater has Football League experience and has played well in the exact situation we find ourselves in now. I’d be tempted to go Fitzwater Scarr at the back but there is no ideal solution.

Edwards on the right is interesting. It’s a good shout to play him there. It’s a good shout to play Joe Edwards anywhere, he’s that versatile. The only way I’d want to move him out to the right is if, as you say, Dobson and Kinsella start. I’ve defended Keates a lot. He’s in a really tough situation. But I haven’t seen one good reason to drop Kinsella. Not one. I really don’t get it.


Just a couple of points on the Leahy/Laird comparison, and I was quite surprised when I saw this.
Laird is only 30 years old, so hardly heading for the scrap-heap, and quite possibly looking at a good few years left in him at this level. Leahy, is 26.
Laird has made circa 400 senior appearances, scoring 36 goals, and I seem to remember a couple of important ones in his first spell with us.
Leahy has made 91 starts for us (his only club apart from Falkirk), scoring 6 goals.
Leahy has a good record of assits granted, but we now have Matt Jarvis on the left flank who’s role is to provide assists.
Also in the 26+2 appearances that Scott Laird made in our colours, the team kept 8 clean sheets, and only conceded more than 2 in a game twice, one of which was in the Checkatrade.
Not particularly knocking Leahy, but I would definitely look to Laird in the situation we’re in and with the defensive problems we have.


The goals stat is interesting, but as you say Leahy has a very good assist record and I believe he’s also the most accurate passer in the squad this season according to stats. I also think his delivery is as good as anybody in the team. They are always on the money and it’s disgraceful that we’ve relied on our left back for that for so long. A damning indictment of Morris Ismail and Ginnelly.

I’ve got absolutely no problem with Laird’s age at all. I’ve got a problem with the fact he wasn’t good enough to get into a League 2 team that was struggling last season and has been inactive for some time.

This however is definitely a fair reason to bring him in. We desperately need to tighten up.


Ahhhh so you finally agree :slight_smile: