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fbm

Blue tinted optimist⭐
Joined
Oct 28, 2003
Messages
9,084
Location
Cloud cuckoo land
TRANMERE GO TOP AS SOUTHEND SLIP TO SEVENTH


Southend's unbeaten 5 match run came to an end this afternoon as the visitors from the Wirral deservedly ran out winners at The Hall.

Sometimes, Southend play well and sometimes they don't. However, on some occasions, credit must be given to the opponents who stop Southend playing and that is exactly what happened today.

The midfield was moreorless completely nullified as the visitors pressed and chased all over the pitch to stop their hosts getting into their stride. They were also extremely inventive at free kicks and set pieces and it was one these that nearly broke the deadlock early on. A complicated set of movements and perfect delivery found a Tranmere striker on his own at the far post but Collis made a fine save to keep the score level.

Southend hit back when a fine ball from Gower found Hunt overlapping on the right and his pinpoint cross fell onto the head of Clarke who headed back across goal but fractionally over. Odhiambo then raced clear from Clarkes through ball but his shot was saved.

Collis was called into action again to make a diving save low down to his left as Southend were under the cosh a bit. From a non-inventive corner, Maher should really have made a clearance but missed the ball that fell to Chorley 10 yards out whose volley found the net. This was a poor goal to concede as he had no-one around him at all and to allow a free shot at ground level from a set piece is, in my opinion, criminal.

Southend started to work their way back into the match and all of a sudden the previously anonymous McCormack started to become involved. Blues seemed to up the tempo and Gower won the ball on the left before playing an inch perfect crossfield pass to Hunt who escaped his marker, took it into the box and crossed for Barrett to volley home just before half time.

It was 1-1 at the break and Southend started stronger in the second half too, their best early effort coming from a corner when Richards powered a header goalwards, only for the keeper to tip it onto the bar. However, soon after Barrett went in on Shuker for a clumsy and unnecessary challenge outside the box on the right and another non-inventive free kick was simply crossed into the box for Gareth Taylor to power a header home.

Tranmere had a different plan for each free kick and it just goes to show that when you mix it up, even the most uncomplicated tactic can take the opposition by surprise as Southend found out to their cost.

Despite a lot of huff and puff, Southends efforts after this were restricted to long range but there were 2 superb strikes from Bailey that tested the keeper and on the second Odhiambo was unlucky that the rebound did not fall kindly to him.

Tilson made a triple change with 15 minutes to go, bringing on Black, Harrold and Foran for Gower, Odhiambo and McCormack respectively. However, despite a lot of possession, chances were few and far between and it was Tranmere who came closest to scoring from another set piece when Barrett cleared off the line and several Tranmere players appealed for a goal but the ref was having none of it. Eventually they had the opportunity to keep the ball in the corner for the last 2 minutes of injury time.

Credit to them and their small band of travelling fans who didn't stop chanting all match but why were there so many stewards marshalling so few fans?

Next weekends early kick off against Crewe is now a must win match if Blues want to consolidate their position in and around the play off places.


Ratings -

Collis - 7 - Made a few good saves but some of his distribution could have been better.

Hunt - 8 - MOM - Had a fine game and began to overlap with regularity
Barrett - 7.5 - Scored the goal but also needlessly gave away the free kick for their winner.
Clarke P - 7 - Fairly solid but had his hands full with Taylor
Richards - 7 - Again, distribution could have been better. Unlucky with second half header that hit the bar.

Gower - 7 - Generally better than of late, but still not 100% fit.
Maher - 6 - Failed to impose himself on the game at all.
Bailey - 7 - A couple of good efforts in the second half but was not as effective as he has been.
McCormack - 6 - Largely anonymous and ineffective before being subbed.

Clarke - 6 - Should have scored with a header and despite his hold up play being good he was not as effective as he has been.
Odhiambo - 6 - Quite lightweight and struggled against his marker.

Subs -

Harrold, Foran and Black - all 6 - None of these players made any appreciable difference when they came on.

The ref - Not bad. 6
 
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Yellow Army

Members
Joined
Mar 24, 2005
Messages
1,451
To be fair to Tranmere they played some really good football, had some really well worked out set pieces, unfortuanlty it now means that they are top, but i did not go home dissapointed as felt both teams played well, but Tranmere had that edge.

Looking at results today it still shows this division is the same it was two seasons ago where anyone can beat anyone regradless off position
 

Southminster_Shrimper

Sir Kevin Betsy Fan Club
Joined
Aug 1, 2007
Messages
12,250
Yep, pretty much agree with those ratings and that was the best Lewis Hunt game I have seen for a while.

Ref didnt exactly show who was in charge but on the whole not bad as you say. Bit too lenient with Taylor.

Thought it was a teams bad day at the office. Could be put down to quite a lot of games in a short space of time plus the extra time against Blackpool. Short of ideas and spent far too long watching and not getting stuck in.

Still its early days in the season and we are still in a decent position. Hopefully we will be back on track next week.
 

Lester Bangs

Manager
Joined
Apr 19, 2007
Messages
1,907
Harrold 6

Personally this is my biggest grip of the game. Obviously Odhiambo was having a devils job against his defender (who lets face it had him in his pocket for the majority of the afternoon) and I thought that Harrold might just add that additional strength up front.

I'm not a player a basher but low and behold Harrold added nothing to the game, the last 20 minutes were his for the taking but he looked like someone who'd run a marathon prior to playing for Southend. He was completely non existant. Very upsetting as I thought the set up was ideal fo him to earn his Southend wings this afternoon and finally give some of the doubters somthing to talk about. Unfortunately this was not the case!

As for the match report spot on as usual FBM. I can't disagree with anything you've written there.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 13, 2006
Messages
10,060
Location
Westcliff
Collis - 7 - made two great saves so had a pretty decent game.

Hunt - 6 - looked really dodgy at first but was useful going forward and set up ab's goal.

Richards - 6 - not one of his better games but wasn't terribly. hoofs it a lot.

Clarke - 6 - looke committed as ever but wasn't at his best.

Ab - 7 - great goal, showed how passionate he is about the club but again wasn't his best performance.

Gower - 6 - very quiet at times but also looked lively. got dragged into the middle quite a bit.

Maher - 5 - Lots of stray passes and free-kicks and didn't did particulary well.

Bailey - 6 - had two good shots on goal that i think on another day could have gone in.

Macca - 5 - For his standards he had a poor game. went un-noticed on a few occassions, poped up one or two times with a few bright plays but you could tell by his reaction when he got subbed how dissappointed he was with himself.

Leon - 6 - Couldn't really do much else. tried setting players up but he never really got his chance.

Eric - 5 - Showed pace and bright spurts but missed two many chances without troubling their keeper and looked a light weight against all of their players.

Subs:

Harrold - 5 - Didn't get into the game and when he had a chance he ducked.

Black - 5 - again didn't get into the game. none of the subs had a lot of time.

Foran - 6 - Was really getting ruffed about by their right back. constantly getting fouled but again didn't get into the game.

The whole squad weren't all their today and our midfield played back which is the spine of the team. when they ply bad usually the whole squad plays bad. Need to bounce back next week.
 

Mr Gilbo

Manager
Joined
Jan 23, 2007
Messages
1,317
To be fair to the 3 subs they couldn't get into the game because the rest of the team were not helping at this point. We don't have a player this season that will dop deep pick the ball up and bang it's in the back of the net. This season the team needs to work together like the first goal to score and as soon as we went 2-1 down the team just stopped (although it never really got going for me).

poor display, waste of my money.

still not impressed with leon clarke.
 

Mr. Benedict

The Devious Badger
Joined
Jun 24, 2006
Messages
14,594
Location
Seventeen Kings
Pretty much agree with FBM. We didn't play that badly, they were just better than we were and stopped us playing - for which Tranmere deserve some credit. They'll certainly be in the mix for automatoc promotion come the end of the season.
 
Joined
Sep 12, 2004
Messages
500
Location
South Woodham Ferrers
For what it's worth, I think that we found out today that against the better teams, it is doubtful whether playing three centre midfield players across the park and condensing the play will not work. Tranmere had done their homework stiffled out our midfield, and Macca came searching inside. It then just didn't look as though we had enough guile on the pitch to change things. Same old predictable short throws, and hopeful balls to Clarke, and at times, contributing to our own downfall by bypassing our midfield. When we were in the position to put the ball in the box, too many woeful deliveries from both set pieces and open play.

Certainly a lot for the management team to get their teeth into on the training pitch and hopefully some more variety within our play to come out of it. Personnel? Well I'd like to see a fit MAcDonald up with Clarke and a radical idea to counter the lack of width, but not sacrifice defensive responsibilities, Hunt pushed up to Right Midfield, with Francis at Right back. When francis overlaps, Hunt can drop into a familar right back, whilst Francis can be free in the knowledge that he has capable cover and be a bit freer in his play.

Still hopefully only a blip and a positive result next Saturday will kjeep us in contention.

UTB
 

Yorkshire Blue

Super Moderator⭐
Staff member
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
37,786
Location
London
I agree with most of fbm's ratings, although I'd have probably moved the ineffective midfield and attack all down a notch.

Had Harrold played like Leon Clarke did, Harrold would have been slaughtered on here and given a 3 or 4 by most.
 

Yorkshire Blue

Super Moderator⭐
Staff member
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
37,786
Location
London
For what it's worth, I think that we found out today that against the better teams, it is doubtful whether playing three centre midfield players across the park and condensing the play will not work. Tranmere had done their homework stiffled out our midfield, and Macca came searching inside. It then just didn't look as though we had enough guile on the pitch to change things. Same old predictable short throws, and hopeful balls to Clarke, and at times, contributing to our own downfall by bypassing our midfield. When we were in the position to put the ball in the box, too many woeful deliveries from both set pieces and open play.

Certainly a lot for the management team to get their teeth into on the training pitch and hopefully some more variety within our play to come out of it. Personnel? Well I'd like to see a fit MAcDonald up with Clarke and a radical idea to counter the lack of width, but not sacrifice defensive responsibilities, Hunt pushed up to Right Midfield, with Francis at Right back. When francis overlaps, Hunt can drop into a familar right back, whilst Francis can be free in the knowledge that he has capable cover and be a bit freer in his play.

Still hopefully only a blip and a positive result next Saturday will kjeep us in contention.

UTB

The problem in midfield IMHO was more to do with them not winning enough ball, than us lacking width when we attacked. We failed to dominate the midfield, and so when we won possession, we won it in defence. With Maher having a poor game and failing to make simple passes (which is very un-Maher like) we struggled to move the ball from defence to midfield. The long ball from defence to attack didn't work as we missed Harrold and Leon Clarke is unable/unwilling to hold the ball up like Harrold does.

Finally when we did get the ball we lacked movement, which makes it very difficult to play a passing game. Consider how many goals McCormack and Bailey have scored this season from runs into the penalty area and then try to recall how many runs they made on Saturday.
 

silentshrimper

Director
Joined
Jul 24, 2005
Messages
2,421
I agree with most of fbm's ratings, although I'd have probably moved the ineffective midfield and attack all down a notch.

Had Harrold played like Leon Clarke did, Harrold would have been slaughtered on here and given a 3 or 4 by most.

That is true actualy, Clarke didnt have the best of games, showed a few good touches and should have scored.

FBM mentioned about there varied set play which I agree with, but our set plays were all to similar from what I remember, we should have varied it a bit, alot of our free kicks were way to deep and came to nothing and a few of our corners were poor, cept for when richards hit the bar.

My first league game of the season so I will give some ratings of my own as im bored.

Collis- 7 Made some good saves and was not at fault for the goals and could do not alot about them.

Hunt- 6 Good going forward, out of position alot at the back, not worthy of FBMs man of the match though.

Clarke- 6 Still doesnt win enough headers for me, but he had some big men to mark yesterday and Taylor was a handfull, did OK though.

Richards- 7 Unlucky not to score, good defensive work but annoyed me with his league 2 level distribution. Also annoyed some of our players as he went for the long ball rather than passing it up to midfield.

Barett- 7 Got forward well for his goal and actualy got forward well in general, also solid at the back and I dont mind him playing there. Needless free kick to give away for there second though. ( think it was him)

Gower- 6.5 Got better in the second half and played a couple of nice long passes around the pitch, but he didnt really recieve enough of the ball in first half.

Maher- 6 there 5 in midfield didnt really make him be able to play his game and dictate play, passed it around ok though.

Bailey- 6.5 He looked comfortable in possesion and looked creative.

Mccormack- 5.5 Wasnt in the game a great deal, seemed disapointed with himself too.

L Clarne- 5.5 Should have scored with the header, showed a few nice touches but didnt really impress me to to much on my first viewing of him, hopefully he can keep on scoring though!

Odinambo- 5.5 Light weight, had a couple of chances which im sure he will tuck away in a few years, looked ok on the ball and was unlucky at times that things wernt falling for him.

Subs- All a 6 for me. I think Francis should come back in soon, but give Hunt a few more chances. Hammell still not match fit? I think he would do well in this league.
 

Rusty Lee

Coach
Joined
Jun 9, 2004
Messages
754
Richard was awful, he didnt jump for the 2nd goal and left the guy with a free head and just wacked everytime he had the ball, he looked like a **** mick bodley.
 

Feathers

Coach
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
652
It seems strange to me that Matt Harrold only played 15 minutes and he is still being criticized.

Yesterday we had no one who was able to hold the ball up and every time we played a long ball forward (and with Mr Richards that was a lot of times) Tranmere regained possession. Whilst Harrold does have his limitations we do seem to play better as a team with him in it. Young Eric was out muscled throughout the whole game and as skilfull as Leon Clarke is he looks better when he has someone else to win the ball and take the knocks for him.
 

Beefy

Life President
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
18,906
Location
Old Leigh
I agree with most of fbm's ratings, although I'd have probably moved the ineffective midfield and attack all down a notch.

Had Harrold played like Leon Clarke did, Harrold would have been slaughtered on here and given a 3 or 4 by most.

I'd agree with that. The midfield got dominated and both starting strikers played poorly so probably don't deserrve to be scored as highly as fbm has done. I'd agree with him about Hunt being man of the match though. Hopefully he knows that Francis & Gilbert will be back soon (even if I don't know where the hell they are right now anyway...) and is having to raise his game, particularly going forward.
 

the_saafender

Director
Joined
Jan 6, 2005
Messages
2,782
For what it's worth, I think that we found out today that against the better teams, it is doubtful whether playing three centre midfield players across the park and condensing the play will not work. Tranmere had done their homework stiffled out our midfield, and Macca came searching inside. It then just didn't look as though we had enough guile on the pitch to change things. Same old predictable short throws, and hopeful balls to Clarke, and at times, contributing to our own downfall by bypassing our midfield. When we were in the position to put the ball in the box, too many woeful deliveries from both set pieces and open play.

Certainly a lot for the management team to get their teeth into on the training pitch and hopefully some more variety within our play to come out of it. Personnel? Well I'd like to see a fit MAcDonald up with Clarke and a radical idea to counter the lack of width, but not sacrifice defensive responsibilities, Hunt pushed up to Right Midfield, with Francis at Right back. When francis overlaps, Hunt can drop into a familar right back, whilst Francis can be free in the knowledge that he has capable cover and be a bit freer in his play.

Still hopefully only a blip and a positive result next Saturday will kjeep us in contention.

UTB

I pretty much agree with all of this. I think yesterday we showed the effect a lack of width can have on a side. There was a couple of times when Tranmere were chasing us down when Maher or Bailey had possession in the middle and a quick switch to the right wing would have been the best pass on...but there was no one there! Also I noticed that Leon Clarke went out wide and turned provider in a number of situations in the second half when really you want him in and around the box to be finishing off these balls rather than putting them in. I've got no doubt he naturally did that coz there was no right winger there to do it for him.

I think we knew that eventually Tilson would have to make the decision he doesnt want to and choose his central midfield pairing and drop one of Macca, Maher and Bailey to the bench. The only thing is with JCR gone we'd have to play Tommy Black and although i missed the start of the season I havent been that impressed with him fitness wise. It seems like he can only last half a game and if this continues you've gotta wonder why we bothered investing. Sounds harsh but you've got to have a squad of players that are all capable of coming into the side and doing a job effectively for 90 minutes.
 

Yorkshire Blue

Super Moderator⭐
Staff member
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
37,786
Location
London
I pretty much agree with all of this. I think yesterday we showed the effect a lack of width can have on a side. There was a couple of times when Tranmere were chasing us down when Maher or Bailey had possession in the middle and a quick switch to the right wing would have been the best pass on...but there was no one there! Also I noticed that Leon Clarke went out wide and turned provider in a number of situations in the second half when really you want him in and around the box to be finishing off these balls rather than putting them in. I've got no doubt he naturally did that coz there was no right winger there to do it for him.

I think we knew that eventually Tilson would have to make the decision he doesnt want to and choose his central midfield pairing and drop one of Macca, Maher and Bailey to the bench. The only thing is with JCR gone we'd have to play Tommy Black and although i missed the start of the season I havent been that impressed with him fitness wise. It seems like he can only last half a game and if this continues you've gotta wonder why we bothered investing. Sounds harsh but you've got to have a squad of players that are all capable of coming into the side and doing a job effectively for 90 minutes.

Tommy Black was well worth the investment if he provides us with another option from the bench. Everyone is so obsessed with having a 25 man squad, but then fail to appreciate the value of impact players from the bench.

If we'd gone we'd gone with two out and out wide players we'd have been swamped through the middle more than we were in the end. I can't believe that we've got promoted twice using a 3rd central midfielder and as soon as we switched to two out and out wide players were relegated, yet people are still wanting us to abandon that third central midfielder.
 

the_saafender

Director
Joined
Jan 6, 2005
Messages
2,782
You cant seriously think that the use of 2 wingers was to blame for our relegation. We got promoted twice through leagues where we were no way the richest team but we could at least compete in signing players good enough for that standard of football. In the championship Birmingham spent 3 million on one player and we wouldnt have spent that all summer. Plus Freddy had no one decent up front alongside him all season to help out on the scoring front.

As the guy said in this thread earlier, against the better sides we might come unstuck using this system but it does work well away from home and against the poorer sides in the division.

As for buying decent players to come off the bench, I'll conceed that Tilson's improving but has a reputation for not making subs until around 10 minutes left. IMO thats not long enough to give the sub a chance to get into the game and make a real difference. Yes there'll be the odd exception but generally speaking they need longer.

I was not alone in the East yesterday calling for Black to be brought on.
 

Yorkshire Blue

Super Moderator⭐
Staff member
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
37,786
Location
London
You cant seriously think that the use of 2 wingers was to blame for our relegation. We got promoted twice through leagues where we were no way the richest team but we could at least compete in signing players good enough for that standard of football. In the championship Birmingham spent 3 million on one player and we wouldnt have spent that all summer. Plus Freddy had no one decent up front alongside him all season to help out on the scoring front.

As the guy said in this thread earlier, against the better sides we might come unstuck using this system but it does work well away from home and against the poorer sides in the division.

As for buying decent players to come off the bench, I'll conceed that Tilson's improving but has a reputation for not making subs until around 10 minutes left. IMO thats not long enough to give the sub a chance to get into the game and make a real difference. Yes there'll be the odd exception but generally speaking they need longer.

I was not alone in the East yesterday calling for Black to be brought on.

It didn't matter who partnered Eastwood last season if you concede 80+ goals and give your forwards no service. Part of our defensive woes was the fragility of our midfield. Playing with two wide midfielders we were not nearly as solid in the middle of the park.

Playing JCR and Gower didn't work in the championship, it didn't work in our title season and it didn't work at the start of this season.
 
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