Hmm, that wasn’t in the script.
I suppose after losing 2-0 at Adams Park last night, it very much knocks out the complacency that was building a head of steam. Suddenly, we’re not quite as invincible and swashbuckling as we think we are.
The phrase that sticks out is “low key”. I don’t know whether we were trying a few new things, giving the first run-outs to new recruits – Cody and Kwesi never played together before, and it showed – or something else, but it wasn’t worth the tenner to get in.
This is why I hope our PSF plans don’t end up backfiring on us a bit. The best case scenario is that our likely starting XI has only two games maximum (including last night), and it’s clear we need a bit more work on that.
We’re going to need a decent enough start when the proper games start, so I don’t want us to keep having to find the right formation/formula when a loss means thrown away points/cup runs.
Still, it gave us plenty to look at. Cody McDonald looks decent, although his strike partner still needs to settle in. As the proverb goes, he needs a goal already. Trotter is a big fucker, although Abdou will probably be the unsung hero for a lot of games.
Long wasn’t at fault for either of the two goals (though the first one was down to us failing to clear it properly – hopefully not a sign of things to come), although he does seem to prefer punching the ball to catching it at times.
Deji is likely to have moments of absolute brilliance and will probably gift a soft goal at some point. Probably in the same match at the same time. Nightingale? Dunno, I can see why NA said that ideally he would loan him to a Conference side, as he does need more games than he’ll likely get with us.
Robbo, Parrett and Taylor were on the bench, came on and gave us something different. Though Taylor did come off after about ten minutes – and more on him in a little bit.
Other than that, we treated it as a PSF and it showed. Wycombe didn’t though, as they clearly wanted the romantically titled Cherry Red Records Trophy, or whatever it was called.
It’s funny to think that we wanted to emulate last night’s opponents even before we sniffed the Conference, so to face them at their place in a friendly, and us being the higher placed team, was still a bit surreal.
What is clear is that we would struggle against them (and others) if we were playing L2 again. Especially with Akinfenwa, who managed to do to our defence what he did to many others when he was in our colours.
And yes, his goal was a damn good strike.
Like his first season with us, he’s clearly the star of the show at Buckinghamshire’s legitimate FL club, and it’s obvious what his (literal) strengths are. While we would have swapped Barnett for him last season, I still don’t miss the circus he comes with.
Wycombe were Wycombe, and GA.com has found a style and has used it very effectively with them. That said, I’d like to think in a proper game, we would have been too much for them…
The big story of course is Lyle Taylor. Well, it’s a massive headline if you believe certain people on certain social media outlets anyway.
For those who don’t know, there’s a rumour that’s persisted since Burton that QPR are either in for him, have made a bid for him and we/he has turned it down, and/or there’s been a falling out between player and manager.
Where to start? First things first – none of us actually know if the Super Hoops (sic) are interested in him. They probably are, just as I expect they’re interested in a lot of players throughout England, and indeed Europe.
If they want him though, they’ll have to shell out. And it sounds like there’s a release clause in his contract that – apparently – would ensure we have a decent wedge in our back pocket once the cheque clears.
This is of course all supposition. I’ve become convinced some people want there to be a falling out, so they can go full-on conspiracy theory. I think WUP was about to sign a sponsorship deal with Bacofoil after last night.
“But hang on”, you now chirp up, “It’s odd that Lyle Taylor Baby was sub last night, went off after ten minutes and wasn’t anywhere to be seen against Burton”. Yes, last Friday was odd, but I’m more inclined to believe what I heard last night that Taylor had in fact been ill and was told to stay away.
It sounds as plausible as anything more sinister, anyway. I know first hand that our striker can be a little bit, ahem, sulky, but tiffs between players and managers aren’t anything new. Even at AFCW.
He didn’t seem unhappy at all when he was warming up in front of me, having a bit of a laugh and a few smiles with the other subs. That he was on the bench to begin with may raise eyebrows, but we’re clearly looking to partner McDonald and Appiah.
Admittedly, I didn’t notice he came off, but others pointed out he pulled up while sprinting for the ball. I’m sure he deliberately did that because he was fucked off playing for us. Or maybe he did it because, you know, he was actually injured.
But that wouldn’t make a good story, would it? Or do much for tinfoil sales.
Ultimately, I’m more concerned that he pulled up injured rather than any (real or imagined) falling out. We’ll need to rotate our forward line anyway, and we know what he’s capable of, so I’d rather have him fit and available than not.
If it is a popped calf muscle, I assume he might not be able to play at the weekend. And as said earlier, we need to find a bit more cohesion before Scunny on Saturday week.
Anyway, I guess we’ll find the official reason later today through official channels, and I suspect it will be more accurate than what the rumour mill is coming up with right now. One thing is clear though, things were going a bit too well recently…