Oxford Utd v Exeter City : FAC 2nd Round : MDT

JW57++

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Today was worrying for me, not the result but the performance. Every single player except Jamal, Stanno and possibly Archie was utterly abject. Misplaced passes, ponderous beyond belief, telegraphed balls, missed tackles, it was embarrassing.

I genuinely don’t know what GC is going to do with them after that, he can’t just change a player or two as they were all terrible. And he didn’t cover himself in glory either, if playing Josh left midfield / up front is the answer then you’re asking the wrong question. He was awful but I at least had sympathy for him.

And sweenz can point the blame at others if he wants, but he was just as shiite as the rest of them.

I still love them all to bits, but they’ve got a lot of making up to do with me.
I agree with this summary. So many players out of sort at the same time.
In Josh’s case he seemed more out of place on the left rather than out of place by being upfront. Our set up with Jevani on the right and Josh on the left meant that we were less likely to get crosses in from the byeline.
 

Rosencrantz

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First things first, it really doesn't matter what formation or style you play, if you make as many basic errors as we did today it's going to go badly. It started badly, it continued badly and then it really tailed off towards the end. Jamal played well today. Struggling past that really. When I saw the team I guessed it would be Josh pushed forward. I actually hoped it would be Jack. Josh needs the room to attack in to and generally goes in one direction, forward. Jack is a technically more proficient player and with a left foot like his, only needs half a yard. He is also calmer around the penalty area than Josh and I would back to score more in that position.

I just hope that GC doesn't try to go too far, too quick with implementing his style. We have a Matt Taylor squad which was built for his running football. Getting a change to a more technical, passing game won't happen overnight. It might be better to wait until January where we could get a couple of players more suited to that game.

The key position in a passing team is the holding midfielder, deep lying playmaker, No 6. However you want to call it. It does call for a strong midfielder although not necessarily as mentioned previously. It calls for a Matt Gill, David Noble or Matt Grimes type of player. Strong of mind and mentality to accept the ball, often under pressure, and look to play forward through the lines. If that's not on, then retain possession and look to receive the ball back and look to play forward again. We don't have an obvious option in our midfield. Tim was today's choice, Archie maybe the closest but then we are taking away his more natural attacking play again. Harper might actually be more suited from what I have seen of him but doesn't seem to be in favour and hasn't totally convinced yet.

That midfielder, whoever it ends up being, then needs to have two more ahead in a three man midfield. Collins and Kite would be an ideal choice but Dieng and Kegs are also capable. Harry would give you the energy and ball winning capability and, with Archie, a goal threat from around the penalty area and third man runs.

This means a decision to make at one end or the other. Either a forward or a defender needs to go. It's either a 3-5-2(ish) or 4-3-3. You could argue for a diamond midfield which did us well with Noble-Sercombe-Dunne-Harley in our 8th placed finishing season. Of course a back four opens the question of left back which goes back to the too far, too soon bit. And as I said above, I would rather see Jack pushed forward than back.

The most important thing though is the players have to buy in and believe in it and themselves. That looked a long way away this afternoon.
 

Snoop Fog

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His track record suggests otherwise unfortunately.
This is what worries me. I'm not writing him off as he deserves time which he'll obviously get, but on the whole under MT we were a cohesive unit with each player understandingtheir role, something the GC has been criticised for not creating at his previous clubs and today did nothing to dispell this.

If the players don't know what GC wants, or know what he wants but don't buy into it, or are incapable of delivering what he wants, then you get the shambles that we saw today. I just hope the players don't lose faith in the management team as that's only going to go one way.
 

manc grecian

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How about we play direct into Nombe and then our athletic young players pick up the second balls and we play from there.

Seemed to be working OK.
 

SaintJames

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I travelled to Oxford today fully expecting a close game and given Oxford's home form a chance of a win. The Diabate error seemed to affect the whole team with countless errors everywhere and for some a total inability to pass to a team mate. That wasn't the fault of the Manager and for some at the game to suggest it was the fault of the Manager for so many individual player errors need to have a word with themselves. Perhaps we need to go back to what was working well with the forward triumverate and forget trying to plug holes in midfield. We seem to have become more defensively frail by adding another body in midfield so lets just go back toJevani,Sam and Stanno outscoring the other team.
My main concern is with Josh Key in that wherever the manager plays him he seems to not be able to defend at all. Goals 2 and 3 arose from his inability to clear the ball and this has been a recurring theme for a lot of this season. He isn't learning and I do wonder whether Sweens was referring to him and possibly Hartridge in his comments about to many of the team being too nice? Defending at this level requires a bit of nastiness and aggression otherwise you get walked over too easily
 
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007

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Was sweeney playing LHS of the defence today ?
 

antman

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Personally I don't understand a starting line up with Key, Caprice and Sparkes all in it. I'd much prefer a concentration of players in the middle than out wide in the games which have to be scrapped out. Not a big fan of having all 3 of Brown, Nombe and Stansfield on the field at once either, unless it's the last stages of a game we're chasing. I didn't see the game though due to the overseas restrictions on FA Cup games so I'm not pointing any fingers.
 

Memphis09

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Haven't had one of them for years, though Kite is surely capable of establishing himself in this role. Nor a specialist left back who can defend well. But neither position fits in with the 5 2 3 (or slight variation thereof) that we've been playing for a season and a third now. Maybe time for a rethink, or simply do what we do now better? This is how Gary Caldwell earns his salary...
Those of us that can remember
We need a John Delve in there who win the ball good engine and a good leader
 
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