Zoo Corner wrote: I know many of you will be wallowing in despair, gazing into the distance out the window, sitting on your sofa miserable without the ability to communicate to loved ones all while your fingers start twitching as you grab your phone and log into social media to write another negative comment about anything PAFC related.
How many of you have really thought about your comments in a deeper context and questioned yourself if you would be writing the same comments if it wasn't for a slight change?
Perhaps Ladapos effort was ruled to cross the line yesterday?
Perhaps Sarcevic put away his chance 6 yards out against rovers?
The list goes on...
And now question the difference in what you would have been writing.
It is those fine margins that can turn a season around. We just haven't been fortunate (or skillful) enough to take advantage of those key moments. I have seen enough this season (think Coventry second half, rovers last 20 minutes , parts of Portsmouth second half) where I, and the rest of you would have seen that we do have the ability to be a good side and achieve something but we just haven't took advantage of our opportunities.
When we eventually do, which could be Saturday. We will start building momentum. There may be moments when we return into a bad run of form but remember, that will be temporarily.
So, please try to think about things in a wider context at this early stage of the season and have some faith.
**looking forward to receiving comments below which sums up the point I'm making above **
I am not a frequent poster on these boards. I am definitely what others would label a 'green-tint'. I agree that there are fine margins in games and I am all up for optimism and support (e.g. while I am by nature not a hugely vocal supporter, I never jeer, never boo, never leave early and try to remain positive).
I was away on holiday for the first home game of the season. However, I thought that in the first-half against Wycombe Wanderers we looked quite good. Canavan did not have a lot of pace but I felt that he had a good footballing brain and his distribution was good. I was not overly impressed with the full-backs but thought they were as good if not better than what we had last year - though Sawyer would still have been my choice. It looked as if Wycombe might score and all the more so as we defended deeper and deeper and when they brought on the man-mountain that is Akinfenwa it was not such a surprise that the almost inevitable happened.
Against Peterborough United we were undone by two costly and very early mistakes. Macey, the young goalkeeper, who had made a good start to the season made a real howler, followed by, in my opinion, a worse mistake from Canavan, and down 2-0 to the top-of-the-league side who looked on their game and the match was all but over. I know we went from bad to worse but perhaps the score-line was a little harsh.
But yesterday, against Blackpool, it all looked very different. The loss of Ness, probably our best player so far this season, before the game, and Canavan early on were bound to have some impact, but we should have a big enough squad to cope with these things - after all, later in the season when injuries and suspensions kick-in we need at least 15-18 players ready to step up and play a dozen or so games.
The Bradley-Vyner partnership was a cut above League 1 standards. I don't see that being replicated unless we bring someone quick on the ground into the back four. Hopefully, we can bring in a loanee who will offer what Vyner offered last year. It doesn't mean he will be perfect (Vyner made some mistakes) but he needs to be quicker than what we have.
We all know the difference that Diagouraga made to our midfield composure last year. Again, we need a loanee who can bring some composure to the midfield. Carey and Lameiras are the sort of players who play well in winning teams. Fox has been a great player but is struggling with his age. Songo'o (probably my man of the match yesterday) has a role to play in the squad but, despite a brilliant 40 yard pass yesterday, does not bring composure and distribution to the midfield. I would have to say much the same for Sarcevic.
I am on the fence regarding Ladapo - he had a good game yesterday and could have so nearly scored with a clever back-heel but he is being asked to do a very demanding job (lone front runner), often against two big strong centre backs, with very little protection from the match officials. I think Taylor is a great player - whether or not he is fully fit I couldn't say. However, he is basically a non-shooting, rarely-scoring target-man and not set-up to be a prolific goal-scorer. That's okay, providing that people to whom he is distributing the ball (normally well in my view) are going to hit the target, which clearly they are not. Joel Grant also had a reasonable game yesterday but I don't think he is the answer.
While confidence counts for a tremendous amount in any team, and we are very low on that, there were three things yesterday that really disturbed me.
1. When Wootton came on for Canavan, he and Edwards looked as if they had never met. Things improved a little but unfortunately Blackpool had scored by then.
2. With about half an hour to go, Adams brought on Taylor and Lameiras - I don't think many people would have disagreed with that. But Ladapo was having a good game and while like-for-like substitutions can sometimes be necessary, when you are losing 1-0 at home to a poor team, it's not a matter of freshening things up in the hope of snatching an equalizer (as it can sometimes be when you are playing well against a good side and just need to tweak things a bit) but a matter of needing a complete change. We had plenty of possession but certainly weren't doing much with it.
3. With a few minutes to go they had two players sent off - a belated if unexpected last straw of hope. Our response, however, was not to run at them and try to find holes but to let them but all nine remaining players back in their box and lump long balls in there. I am no master tactician (like some on these boards!) but surely most people can see that was clueless?
Just because we had a great run after a poor start last season is not guarantee that we will have a great run after a poor start this season. You tend to know what your challenges are after 10 games. That will come all-too-quickly now. I am not necessarily saying that Adams is not up to the job (Pellegrini at West Ham United is in a similar situation, albeit at a different level) but I am saying that, after yesterday's performance, I am worried and I am hoping that we can get two or three more players in.