Not O So Simple

Last updated : 27 February 2013 By deadbat_db

It finished 0-0 and was a dire game. United were awful and even though we got better in the 2nd half we have to do much better than that. Performances like that and we won’t go up (whether we make the playoffs or not). Indeed we could say we were lucky to get a point overall. Chances were quite even but they had the better ones; a one on one Long saved and then a double save that both easily could have gone in. They had another curled effort which grazed the post and several other scrambles. They had loads of corners and free kicks and for an away side had a lot of chances really. We had a Collins shot past the post, Poleon the same when he was one on one and then Flynn hit the post. At the end Doyle’s shot was well saved but that was our only shot on target all game. We had more of the ball but did nothing with it. They defended with a bank of 4 and sometimes 5 and then had 5 in midfield. However you cannot say they just defended as I have mentioned the chances they had. They did not just sit back and relax.

Our passing, touch, urgency and use of the ball were really poor. We took ages to get it forward and everything was done at a snail’s pace. When we got in their half they had men behind the ball and then relied on something from Robson or McDonald. We had little to nothing up front and the crossing and corners were woeful (from a number of players).

It was a game we did not deserve to win and on reflection a draw was the right result. It was a game we so easily could have lost though and it would have been cruel if we had snatched it. I felt if anyone did more to win (certainly for an away side) it was them. Fair play to them. The lad up front worked really hard. They pressed and defended well. They worked harder than us and actually had players who showed a greater desire.

We have to do better at home and can’t keep saying it is the crowd. If they cannot start properly and get the crowd behind them then they can go and play for Chesterfield or Bury in front of a few thousand. Yes it is a more pressure in some ways but some of players need to show some balls and start grasping responsibility. Too many did not want to know tonight and if they cannot break teams down like Orient what chance have they got higher up the pyramid. If we somehow do get up most of these are not good enough and would have to be replaced. Sounds harsh but we are such a slow and predictable side and lack creativity, pace and movement. Orient defended fairly comfortably save for a few long range efforts and the Poleon chance. Overall they did more than enough for their point. When many other sides dropped points it was a chance to push on but now we face two even tougher games in my opinion in Oldham and MK Dons and will have to improve massively on that. We do seem better away from home but with 6 more games to come at the Lane including Brentford and Swindon we need to start playing with more urgency, greater tempo and desire and use our heads more too.

Long 8.5/10 – Excellent. Without him we could have lost. He made a one on one save in the first half, blocked another when the player went through on him afterwards and then made a superb double save (being a bit critical you could have said he might have pushed first shot out wide – like Coventry). However the second save was superb. Caught a few crosses and we our best player tonight.

McMahon 4/10 –Think he is distinctly average at best. Lacks pace, mobility and takes too long to do things. He commits daft fouls and his positional sense is not great either. Can really why he has dropped down the leagues. He did put a few decent crosses in near the end.

Collins 4/10 – Maybe the best of our defenders but only because occasionally he took responsibility and tried to come out with it. Even then he was often taking too long or lumping it too early. When he had the chance to play it often he delayed and allowed them to get men behind the ball. Sliced a few crosses and along with Maguire never imposed themselves totally on one centre forward (Mooney and earlier Batt). Should have scored with a decent chance in the first half.

Maguire 3/10 – A game like tonight shows sadly why no one has come for him. So slow at times and could have cost us a goal and very lucky the forward did not go down when he let him get through as there was definite contact. He made a few other poor decisions such as silly fouls and also some short passes mixed in with aimless punts to no one. Looked very poor tonight and was slow to the ball (see Collins comment). They were taking too long to come out and allowed them to just get men behind the ball.

Higginbottom 6.5/10 – I get called for criticising him but I think he is pretty woeful. His control and basic passing is often a shambles as he seems to control balls and get them around his head instantly. He played 4 aimless balls straight out in the first half; got beat easily twice and generally looked another player on his last legs. I prefer Hill in this position as he is a better positional player, has more pace and at least just keeps it simple.

Robson 7.5/10 – Our best outfield player in my opinion. He at least took some responsibility and actually got on the ball and tried to move it about. Not everything came off but he played some of the better balls (few through balls including the pass of the game to Poleon when he ought to have scored). Tired badly and his set plays were not up to scratch but he is the one player who looks like he can make things happen.
McDonald 7/10 – Mixed bag. Some lovely passes but some giveaways and some bad decisions. Had a few chances to create second half but overplayed or went the wrong way. He was still one on our better players but at times his passing was mixed. He did try and move it about but we had little to no movement and then got frustrated. Physically he is woeful in the challenge and for a big bloke gets moved about too much.
Flynn 3/10 – Really poor. Another who I have been accused of being over critical against but he is so ordinary. He is a winger that cannot get decent crosses in, does not beat a man and often the games just passes him by. Had our best effort with a shot against the post but floated in 4 or 5 awful crosses straight into the keepers hands. He is a player that symbolises our current side for me. Slow, lightweight and lacking in any kind of idea, drive or nous.

Doyle 3/10 – Shocking. He gave it away more than he kept it. He was supposed to be breaking up play but most of the time I was not sure who he was marking or where he was meant to be. He played countless balls to no one in particular and seemed to be always at full stretch or out of the play. He had the occasional decent game but mostly he is poor and it is beyond me why we gave him a new contract. Surely there are better players with more mobility, passing and effort than him. You can hardly say he even puts himself about? Cannot remember a tackle or interception he made all game.

Poleon 7/10 – First half he was off the pace and other than one run where he sort of bumbled through, I cannot recall him getting involved much. He was much better after the break and ran at his men having a few crosses/shots blocked and also getting into the box. He missed a glorious chance when put through when he did not even make the keeper work and shot wide. Surprised he went off as he seemed to be getting better and more influential and we kind of lost the impetus after this.

Kitson 4/10 – Not his night. Seemed to be just looking for fouls and actually lost most headers and was not really a factor. He did link a few times with Robson but his touch was off and he never really looked a goal threat or linked with Poleon. Not surprised he went off.


McFadzean – Never really got into it. Had a few cross field runs at the end but given a few chances to go at his man he opted to go back and never put a ball over. Also committed a wild foul that could have been a red card (high and late).

De Girolamo –Difficult for him as we were struggling and asked to make an impact. He had one run but crosses too soon and tried an acrobatic overhead kick where he missed the ball but kicked the man. Looks lively and wants to get on the ball. Like to see more of him.

Cresswell – Jumped and missed a few headers and then fell over twice. Sorry state of affairs when he is asked to be the saviour.

Crowd - Not the biggest and it was very cold to say the least. Felt they were patient considering the poor play and basics that the home side could not do. Yes second half they started to groan and lose patience but can’t blame them. To pay money to watch players firstly at times not showing enough effort (second to so many balls) and then mainly not using their brains. The lack of intelligence and also nous in many of our players is frightening especially considering many are quite experienced.