The Game Plan

I seem to remember us signing Gerrard, Sawyers, Mantom and O’connor after loan spells


Yep and look at the reward from it, a decent team.

Hope I’m proven wrong and we’re doing all we can.

I suppose the question to those saying we don’t try and sign them is can you list the loan players that we haven’t signed that you think we haven’t tried to?


And Rory Holden.


Guessing that’s almost an impossibility, but our demise to the bottom of league 2 was no fluke.

Would be nice to know? i just wish the club would put as much trust in the fans that have trusted them by putting and leaving money into the club.

I’m going to again risk a “I can’t believe you’re knocking him” exchange but the absence of Liam Kinsella has helped a lot. And it’s not really his absence it is more that the partnership of Labadie and Earing has flourished.

We have a far stronger nucleus to the team than we’ve had for a couple of years now. It makes us more solid whilst also providing better links with the front bit of the team.

How effective those links are really depends upon whether Osadebe is hot or not on any particular day. His inconsistency means at times we look like we can create chances at will whilst on other occasions, Miller looks completely isolated. Whilst I don’t think I’ve ever seen Holden play as well as Osadebe did at Oldham, Holden is a far far more consistent performer.

The centre back pairing is now far more balanced. Taylor and Monthe are far too similar whereas Menayese complements either. In recent weeks Monthe has been really good.

We’re still weak down the sides. White is getting more confident going forward and another assist yesterday shows this. But Ward is a weak link. I think he’s done. So getting back to the top of this post, I wonder whether Kinsella needs to give or be given a full back berth when he returns.

The plan then seems to be a lower risk one than at the beginning of the season. If there’s time and space we will build from the back and through a clear 4,8,10 midfield. But if, as is often the case, the opposition press hard and high then we are comfortable to reverting to balls either over a full back for a winger to chase down or straight over the top for Miller to harangue in a way he does so well. And whilst that more direct approach isn’t for the purists, it works better at this level than other, higher risk approaches because often a game is decided by who makes least mistakes and sticking a ball over the shoulder of a defender with an attacker breathing down their neck provides ample opportunity for error.

Taylor has learnt that quite quickly. The Hartlepool disaster and the Mansfield win were pivotal. At Hartlepool we were still trying to play the way I’ve no doubt he coached the academy lads at Spurs to play. We went more direct against Mansfield and in George Miller we found we had a striker who can make very average defenders look poor. We’ve become meaner and slightly uglier on the eye. But that’s OK because in the process we’ve also stopped losing.


Loans aside, we haven’t done enough to attract players for years.

Hopefully that’s changing.


And Rose.


I’m not sure why he’s randomly brought up again, but I haven’t been that impressed with Labadie, he was poor first half yesterday, gave away silly free kicks including the one just outside the box and has more bookings than Ed Sheeran.

Which loan players are people on about? I mean Tyler Roberts signed for Leeds so that wasn’t realistic. Ismail was on loan and then signed full time and was rubbish. Most of the loans since have been pretty rubbish.

Guys like Pennington and George Evans weren’t realistic once championship just became a distant dream again. Perhaps Hiwula should’ve been looked at full time once Bradshaw went.

Osei Yaw :grin:

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And also Michael N’goo.


On the game plan front, Miller has helped us a lot. We struggled for an out and centre forward to run the channels willingly and occupy the opposition defence. Wilkinson comes too deep when playing there and Phillips prefers the ball in behind.

On the loan front for it’s based on who I would actually want to keep and recently there haven’t been too many. One name that sticks out for me though is Jason McCarthy. He was brilliant in that wing back role and a massive fans favourite. Criminal that we didn’t push the boat out at that time, although a wing back isn’t usually a priority signing

McCarthy was good but hasn’t he largely played in the championship since that loan spell? Or at least clubs in championship have signed him even if he hasn’t played much.

Think Wilson is probably best example in recent times. Came in to replace James O’Connor and did well but then Lincoln (who were in non league at the time) came in and signed him full time so that’s where it’s difficult to defend the club as could’ve signed him on 2 and a half year deal and he’s the experinced CB you build the defence around.

Just had a quick look and I think you’re right. Given how many times he’s played for Wycombe I assumed he’d gone there directly after us but he went to Barnsley instead. Strange club!

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McCarthy is probably my favourite player of the last few seasons, that post-2016 era. He moved to a championship club after his loan spell with us so perhaps it wasn’t realistic. George Evans similarly unrealistic when we had him, but Mantom and Sawyers were brought in, so when it’s possible, we can do it. In the early 90s there were one or two we’d have liked, but we got the one we really wanted, MOC, although it took a while.
There’s been a few over the years, I recently had a conversation on some thread or other with @Blazing_Saddler about Kevin Harper moving to Pompey when he was on loan with us, and that was a major blow to our hopes of staying up, and left a bad taste too. Added to which we pissed about with Tom Bennett at the same time as well, although we eventually got him.
Of all the loan players we’ve had, and not signed, the one I think we missed the most was Nick Henry. Sign him in the summer of 1999 and I think we’d have got the extra few points to have stayed up. He went to Tranmere, who were also a Championship team. He did well there too. I’ve no idea whether we made him any sort of offer or not, but we needed him.


He was at Millwall aswell for a spell and played a bit for them.

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I think a right footed winger on the left can work, although I do sometimes long for the days where a left footed winger get to the byline of the left side and crosses first time without having to cutback.

I’m not convinced a right footed left back is the way to go as I don’t think White warrants replacing. At present Kinsella has lost his place, he will get another opportunity as Labadie will pick up another knock/suspension and then it is up to him to keep the place and build a partnership with Earring.


Got to disagree there, Labadie is probably our most important player imo. He’s exactly the central midfielder we’ve been crying out for.

He’s one of the best around at breaking up play, winning free kicks and helping us manage difficult periods of games.