Re: Worrying times
I have to say I agree with all of this. 3 is probably a bit harsh, and I do agree with the other comments in this thread that his poor performance against Orient could well have been because he hasn't played for so long. That was how I saw it at the time. I'm happy enough with him in the team, but I think we are at the stage where it comes down to "How do we push on from here?"
And on that note, you're right that there isn't much of an end product from Read. He doesn't seem to have a killer pass in his locker. The question is, does Lines either? I'm not convinced. Unquestionably he's a better passer than Read, but he loves the sideways and backwards passes, too
Our lack of goals isn't simply down to our lack of fire power up front. The midfield aren't chipping in enough. Carter has scored a couple, but his goals have come from playing up front, and he hasn't contributed enough from midfield. Osborne's injury hasn't helped, because I think he'd have bagged a few this season otherwise. But who else from the midfield is chipping in with goals? No-one, really. Aitchison looks capable, but produces nothing. List is ineffective out wide. Smith, while promising, isn't a goalscoring midfielder. And irrespective of your opinion on Vincelot, scoring isn't what he is there to do.
I think Pett has both the ability to chip in with goals and the ability to find a killer pass, but he has been playing far too deep for him to be in the right positions to do either. I'm not sure if he is just more of a deep-lying playmaker than an advanced playmaker, or if it's down to his midfield partner not doing a robust enough defensive job to allow him the freedom to move forward.
I think a better combative midfielder should be one of our top recruiting targets in the summer. From what I have seen of Vincelot, he just isn't mobile enough and his distribution is far too inconsistent. If we can find a top quality holding midfielder who can sit alongside Pett, allowing him the freedom to push forward, I think we'll find that he'll chip in with not only more goals, but with creating more chances for others around him. Ironically, a player who could do that job is Paul Digby, but we never played him in midfield and it seems we missed out on a lot of what he has to offer.
In the interim, I wonder if Osborne and Pett is a worthwhile experiment in the middle. Osborne can play the advanced role, while Pett pulls the strings from deep. You could argue there's not much bite from either of those, but neither are shrinking violets, and in games where we expect (or should expect) to have the lion's share of possession, there is less need for a ball-winning midfielder.
Even if Osborne and Pett does work, though, it doesn't really fix the problem. As much as Osborne may be more effective through the middle, is the winger who comes in to replace him a better option than having Lines in the middle? I don't know that any of our wingers have the quality to be a better option than Lines in the middle with Pett, and Osborne out wide.
I'm relatively positive right now. Norris being dropped today shows that Revs sees the light. And, more importantly, isn't too big of an ego to admit his mistakes. Credit where credit is due. The summer is going to be interesting and I'm feeling positive that we have the start of a very decent League Two team. A few key additions in the summer and I think next season will be more positive all round.
Good post, Jayess. Some really good discussion points there.
Edited by AgentEves at 14:46:22 on 13th March 2021
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