Macclesfield Town (H) EFL Cup 2nd round, Tues Aug 28th 7.45pm


#141

It’s one game - which we still should have won, daft to write off some of the lads who came in on one performance.


#142

That’s the first game that our delivery from out wide has been poor and to be fair only one wide player of four, Leahy, was what you would call first choice so can’t say I’m too concerned about that. Also think it’s harsh lumping onto the Centre Halves. If we signed somebody it’s harsh on either Guthrie or Fitz to be dropped. Both have been impressive and haven’t just put their bodies on the line in a last ditch effort. I think the defending needs to improve as a team. Leahy and Devlin look much better players this year but you can still get at them. The wingers need to tuck in a little more out of possession so that Dobson and Kinsella/Osbourne aren’t running around completely outnumbered and I think Cook needs to press a little more. The centre halves have withstood massive pressure at times very well for me.


#143

The centre halves have done well but all good teams have cover. Gordon is a great backup to Cookie and Ferrier but we have nothing to cover for fatigue / loss of form / injury / suspension or tactical changes at the back. Rather than dropping one, it is more about competition for places and a substitutes’ bench with cover in the key positions. As an example, we’re in a close game and under pressure; the opposition bring in a forward with pace to burn and one of our defenders is getting roasted and on a yellow card. What do we do? Ironically, Matt Preston would have been a more than adequate squad player but I feel we need to pay for a bit more experience and pray for luck with suspensions and injuries.


#144

I’m not saying we shouldn’t try and get one, I’m saying hoping for somebody to just come in at centre half and just solve all of our defensive problems isn’t the answer and that I don’t even think they should be first choice anyway considering the performances of Guthrie and Fitz.


#145

Agreed. Guthrie and Fitzwater have been superb. We need depth and cover and that’s it. No need to change things yet.


#146

Defending for their third goal was abysmal.Two of our players moved away from theirs and allowed a free shot at goal.


#147

If we make a lot of changes, it says we - as a club - weren’t that fussed about the competition so we can hardly be too down about it as fans either. We don’t make that decision.

Key, for me anyway, was that the changes took away the one thing that has made a significant difference this season and that was proper pace and trickery on the wings. The two wingers supplying Cook (who does a lot of unnoticed work to create space and draw defenders) brings more out of him and his partner up front.

Whilst I thought Morris and Kouyar did pretty well, they didn’t hurt the back four as much as the Ismail and Ginnelly have been and it showed I thought. Defending was poor but we should have scored at least two more anyway and would have with a full strength team and 100% focus on getting to the next round.


#148

Morris seemed to hurt the back four when he rifled one top corner from 20 odd yards to be fair. Constant threat all night but I think he’d have to turn into Cristiano Ronaldo to get a bit of credit at this club it seems.


#149

Didn’t say he didn’t. I just don’t think we stretched them enough and the only player who got crosses in from the bye line was Wilson, and not many good ones at that.


#150

To get crosses in you have to play a certain way. It’s pretty clear we changed that without Ferrier in the team and the more pacey and slight Gordon coming in and Cook looking for knock ons and hold up play.

You did say he didn’t trouble the back four as much though, which I thought he did constantly.


#151

Deano must identify with that


#152

Apparently it was Macclesfield’s 8th penalty shoot out and they have won them all!


#153

Morris was our best attacking player by an absolute mile. His improvement this season has been great to see. Long may it continue!


#154

Also, much has been said about our new team spirit, and indeed Dean has done well on this, but lets face it, it could not have been hard to improve on what went before.
I hope we are taking on board Macclesfield`s team spirit and never say die attitude, 0-2 up and then 2-3 down away to a team flying from a division above and themselves 2nd from bottom with a GD of -5.
Fantastic effort from them and perhaps tells us when things go not quite right we may still have a way to go.
UTS.


#155

Speaking for myself,if a player or a team put in 100% effort then win lose or draw there won’t be any complaining from me, we lost on Tuesday but from the sounds of it, it wasn’t through lack of effort,there is a massive difference between not trying and not quite being good enough, the team dean put out had a few changes from the one that has got us into the top 6 at the start of the season, and when they all get up to speed and the bench players are on the same song sheet as the first 11 then we will be a much better squad, I think that we are only a couple of new additions away from being a good hard working side that will surprise a few people this season.


#156

We were good enough to be fair. We dominated and played well. It was a strange game which we didn’t deserve to lose. That’s the beauty of cup competitions though.


#157

Personally thought Morris was our biggest threat. Was my MOTM.


#158

I thought the game showed the difference between the first choice players and their back ups. We have done well so far because of the pace Ginnelly, Ferrier and Ismail have and running at defenders this was misssing against Macclesfeild and we played a different way which was slower and allowed defenders get back and block us out.Although all the replacments played well and gave their all the dfference was there and still enjoyed the way they never gave up when 2-0 down a vast change from last season.


#159

My first game of the season and first since Shrewsbury, so mixed feelings. Some of the play was like a long cool drink after five hours in the sun after Whitney. On the negative, I really think they were naive in not trying to close the game down more late on by keeping possession and holding the ball wide. There have been comparisons with the 98/99 team, but I can’t see a Graydon team being so careless.


#160

While I am generally very happy with the job that Keates is doing so far, he got two things very wrong against Macclesfield.

First he seems very reluctant to use substitutes. We are conceding far too many late goals as our performance dips towards the end of matches when the opposition have changed things and brought on fresh legs, while we have stayed the same. In every match so far this season Cook has begun to look very tired after about 70 minutes, and should have been replaced. He had Ferrier on the bench as well as the two young lads and fresh legs would certainly have helped.

Secondly in his interview he said that “Penalties are just a lottery.” I suppose he said this to avoid blaming the players whose efforts were saved, but it is a very poor attitude. We took five penalties on Tuesday night and all of them were weak efforts along the ground, which a goalkeeper should be expected to save if he goes the right way. Macclesfield took three penalties, all of them virtually unstoppable. One team had prepared for a penalty shoot out and one had not - or had done so very badly.

Penalties are not a lottery - there is a decent amount of skill required to hit the ball hard enough and accurately enough to beat a good keeper. After decades of failure England have finally worked out how to practice for a penalty shoot-out, and won one in the World Cup. I hope that Keates will take penalties seriously from now on. Take the responsibility away from Cook and give it to whoever can hit the ball hard enough and accurately enough to beat a goalkeeper who goes the right way, and to prepare the whole team for a possible shoot-out on Tuesday night at Burton.