SW19’s ARMY. Doing Senior Cup games so you don’t have to.
For anyone looking at the picture above, it will give you an ideal snapshot of what last night against Ashford Town (Postcode) was like. Just look at the sheer, er, beauty of it and you’ll get the idea. Hell, it was so good I’ve even been motivated to re-use the headline of a previous Senior Cup clash….
OK, we won. OK, a lot of our fringers and injury recoverers and youth teamers and other players whose description ends in “ers” got 120 of much needed game time. But despite a new management team, one thing still remains constant about these sort of competitions.
They really are crap.
Well, they shouldn’t be crap, because they’re a useful exercise. But like all these competitions have proven over the years, you often watch the game and wonder how the hell some of them ever claim to be first team squad members.
It’s a bit unfair on some. Pim, Toks and MMK got much needed run-outs, after all. But there’s too much meh there. He may well be ring rusty, but I get the impression far too much hope and expectation is being placed on Prior to come back and start scoring goals for fun.
He does appear to need to go somewhere on loan for a month, just to get his touch and ability to play for 90 minutes back (and that’s assuming that he is going to properly make the step up to League Two football – remember that he’s still pretty much untested at this level). That won’t help our striking options right now, especially with Banjo being rather too comfortable on the treatment table…
The others? Not really going to single anyone out here, but it’s a job to see how most of them bar the youngsters are going to be much beyond fringe players at best. A couple might improve in the better environment of a first team game, but it’s not the first time a Senior Cup game has made you feel flat.
One also has to wonder what is really up with Seb. He didn’t get to play at all last night, and at least Ruiz shouts a lot. Whether he is any good at anything else remains to be seen, but I can see Sully still being our #1 if Donny agree an extension.
But as for our Eastlands goalkeeping hero, something is wrong. And it has to be pretty wrong, because something like this you would expect a run-out for a half at least. True, he’s still young, and after Aldershot NA suggested that Seb had played a lot of games for somebody his age. But to go from an ever present to being hidden out in the woodshed…?
One problem with these sort of games is that they’re not ones where you see a cohesive unit, of course. Unless you play a predominantly youth team, where the players seem to know how to play with each other and as a result the management can set up the team as required etc. The under-21 setup being considered can’t happen quickly enough – especially as for some reason we got shot of both our reserves and Marcus Gayle.
The rumour mill continues to suggest that there will be changes in January, and as usual right now, the stock reply is to what extent we don’t yet know. The same rumour mill is currently suggesting that we might get a fair amount for Jolley, as at least two Conference sides are in for him (but not Newport, who apparently put in a bid but it wasn’t enough for us).
And quite honestly, if we get a decent amount of cash – and maybe a decent enough player who can do us a job this season in return – we ought to deliver him ourselves. It’s interesting that the Jolley that Newport were jizzing themselves over was the same Jolley who looked one of our most ineffective players when he was with us this season. We don’t seem too determined to keep him…
Who else we could get money for is unclear, at least those who are surplus to requirements. Once again, most if not all of them are Conference level, and teams at this level aren’t going to want to spent what little money they have so readily. Maybe the “he’s played in League Two so he must be OK” factor could help us, but you suspect we’ll be loaning more players out than selling them.
Whatever happens, we just need to limp to January 2nd and to limit the damage as much as possible before then. Some of those who played last night will be at Vale Park, but most won’t be. The good news is that the end is in sight for us to still remain powerless, the bad news is that we’ve still got four more games.
And thankfully, we have no Senior Cup games until 2013…