I would like to begin this match report by congratulating Lloyds on achieving their first win after promotion. After having been in that position last year I am aware how hard it is to get those first points on the board. However, it is a complete travesty that they did, and AP should hang their heads in shame that we allowed it to happen. What will follow is the blueprint of our downfall.
1. Arrive Late – 30 minutes before kick- off we had 5 players. The squad was only completed at 2.48pm. Not only did this mean that the team could not get any form of warm up in, but it meant that I as a captain was unable to prepare. I rather stupidly made 2 of the earlier players to arrive substitutes, and for that I apologise. I know there are large amounts of traffic, but I am not having that as an excuse – I drove and got there at 1.40pm. Leave early enough and you won’t be late. It shows a complete lack of respect for me, the club and your team-mates. If I can organise kit, balls, referee cards, starting line-ups, handle cry-offs and still manage to get their early, I expect my players to at least get there on time. As of next week, if you are more than 15 minutes late of the meet time, you will be made sub.
2. Do Not Warm-Up – Crossing into the box is not an adequate warm up at this level. If we do not to the ground early enough, we cannot warm up correctly.
3. Profligate Finishing –I defy anyone who either played in or watched the game to argue that we should not have been 4 up in the first 10 minutes. In this period, I counted at least 3 1 on 1’s missed. Added to that we missed an open goal, had one cleared off the line, forced saves, had excellent balls centred that were not met. We have loads of quick attacking players who are quality, and not to score in game like this is criminal.
4. Lack of Concentration – I am not lying when I say that Lloyds sojourns into our box were few and far between – I think they had 3 shots and scored 2 goals. I reckon we had about 12 and scored none. With both goals we were architects of our own downfall – the first saw the midfield and defence static with Smudger making 3 great saves before the ball was hammered in. The second saw us lose the ball in midfield, and let in a soft shot.
5. Questionable Priorities – I question our priorities as a team, as at the moment I do not feel that is how we are behaving . We need to train together, arrive together, change together, warm up together, have a team-talk together, play together and for each other, change together, eat after the game together. If you cannot give up the 3 or so hours on a Saturday to do this I suggest you find a different club.
In short folks, we have quality but if we continue the same way as Saturdays shambles we could quickly find ourselves in relegation trouble. A few people have put the result down to a ‘bad day at the office’ – I agree but it was completely self-inflicted. I expect a massive response on Saturday. If you do not feel you can sign up to the ideas espoused here, let me know and I will happily find you another team. If you want to be part of this, no half measures – but I promise you success.