Anothe lacklustre performance for travelling army

‘Well what can be said about possibly the worst performance of the last four games,first half anyway? I went to this game not overly confident due to the way we have been playing recently. The performance level of Plymouth is looking a long distance memory at the moment as the players seem to be struggling both with their individual performances and in their actual roles in the way the team perform. Too many of them are looking disinterested but we all know that this is not in their repertoire as we have a bunch of players who would give their last breath for DC and the club and therefore we must look deeper into what is going wrong. Most people are looking at Liam Lawrence and wondering if his signing has “rocked the boat”? I must say that it does amaze me that such inept performances have seen him keep his place and surely must cause a player like Montano or Gosling to wonder why they get brought off and dropped for similar levels of performance. Chris Lines whilst not being brilliant against Morecombe surely was worth his place more than Lawrence?

Anyway on to the difficult job of looking at the Players performances and trying to input a bit of positivity for the coming games in the most important stage of the season. I say most important because the next six matches and what happens in the Loan Market will decide whether we will still be in the pack for the final run in! If we are then that run in will be the most important part of the season.

Mildenhall 6.5
I’ve marked his performance down from Man of the Match because of his involvement in the moment that decided this contest as a football match. Mildy has been outstanding since his return but for the second time on the last four games he must be questioned on his dealing with a match winning goal. Should he have come and collected a very long free kick or was it a defenders ball? Certainly he should have either come all the way or remained on his line rather than be caught out in “no mans land”. He does not appear to have called for the ball which at the very least means a centre half should have been up and competing for it. That aside it was a very competent performance with a couple of good saves and generally very good handling of crosses and through balls.

Leadbitter 3.5
Awful. Sorry but gave us nothing out wide and seemed to spend his entire time on the pitch looking totally lost to the cause. I can hardly remember a worthwhile run,shot or cross and should have been replaced by either Bodin or Montano as early as half hour in.
J. Clarke 5
Got into the game as the first half went on after an opening spell where he looked less than inspiring in winning the ball or doing anything with it. He was way of his player too often but thankfully he got into his stride and I would describe his overall performance as OK. Neither hugely positive nor negative.
Lockyer 6
Not at his very best but seldom beaten but the main problem with a defence that contains him, James Clarke and McCrystal is there is not going to be very much football played and the midfield three are going to have to battle for 90 minutes to have to try and get the ball down.
McChrystal 5
Certainly showed all the signs of a player lacking Match practise and was very lucky not to have an early bath for what should have been a second yellow card in the first half. With that hanging over him I was very surprised he was not replaced by Parkes at half time as with such a poor and IMO biased referee his type of player with that lack of pace it always looked on a knife edge as to whether he would get a red. His lack of pace and general rustiness looked in question right from the start and I really don’t see many more appearances in the blue and white quarters for him.
Brown 6
An average game from Browner. Wasn’t involved enough as a wing back but still managed a couple of copybook crosses. Sometimes we seem so devoid of ideas that our only source of “assist” is from Lee’s movement and crossing. Was better second half than first but would like to see him release the ball earlier and pass the ball inside more.

O. Clarke 6.5 mom
It was difficult to pick a Man of the Match and Ollie for me yesterday was the best of a poor bunch for the fact he did at least battle and put in our best shot which the keeper pushed over. He was at least trying to make things happen and get in a few challenges when others around him went totally missing. Is he the answer in the midfield I don’t think so as we really need a player who imposes himself on the ball and on the midfield area but well done Ollie for a willingness to get forward and at least look possible to get us a goal.
Mansell 5
Well below his best and his performance for me really made me wonder whether all is well in the camp. Seemed to be;like most of our players in the first half; second to most balls and far from the driving force of our first half of the season performances. He seems to be the player most put out by the inclusion of Lawrence and that was particularly evident against Pompey where he was pushed out wide, The fact he was left out of the squad completely for the Morecombe game but then brought straight back in for this game was a strange decision in itself but in a rusty performance he did not influence the game much.
Lawrence 4.5
For a player with such pedigree he just looks …,well to be completely honest over the hill. Perhaps I am being harsh and perhaps four games is not enough but on present form it is four games too many. He did improve second half as did the team but that was not difficult for either after a first half that lacked really all the qualities of a football match. In truth Wycombe were not much better!

Easter 5
As usual retained the ball and rarely gave it away but also rarely had the bloody thing. Out attack were totally relying on second balls as they rarely received a decent pass . He was involved in probably the best move of the first half (in all honesty it was probably the only good move) with a shot that hit a defender and went wide. He does seem a bit unlucky that when he plays up front the service is almost non existent as he is very good at holding off defenders but yesterday when he did he received no help from a referee who was absolutely dire from start to finish and linesmen to match.
Gaffney 6
Tried hard but like Easter the service was very poor and he seems to spend far too much time on the wings. Has a very good long throw but surely our attack “leader” should be in the middle trying to head throws as James Clarke is also capable of a long throw.

Bodin 6
Yet again he came on and improved things but Darrell didn’t he do that last game and was rewarded with…….a place back on the bench!! Still for me lacking the pace to be a winger but surely he deserves a go either in the hole or as an out and out striker. Should have been given a nailed on penalty that could well have given us the points-there again on yesterdays performance who would have taken it!!
Taylor 5
Managed one shot which brought a save from the keeper but little else.
Fallon Not on long enough

Crowd 8
We were the crowd because Wycombe “turned up” with a drum and that was it. The numbers that have turned up yet again deserve so much better from the team and yet the strange thing was about yesterdays game was that in the second half we were by far the better team and yet in no way did we play well! With a referee and Linesmen who gave us at least a fair amount of decisions we would have been coming back with three points.
Ref 2
Bloody incompetent in all aspects and IMO biased. Any foul was a booking for us and nothing for Wycombe and was not at all helped by a Linesman who also didn’t have a clue. By the way fourth official is the rule that the Manager must not go into his box?
Wycombe 5.5 Better than us (but not by much) in the first half and second best in the second. Irritating cheats as always and it was all this referee needed. How I hope that we get to the Play Offs and get Wycombe because unlike Portsmouth,Oxford and Accrington there is not a great deal between us and surely next time we won’t be as bad?

DC For me these last four games he has lost the plot both in terms of team selection and tactics which is very strange because until this recent spell he rarely got things wrong two games running. Has his signing of Lawrence upset things? I don’t know but certainly all is not rosy on the pitch which is a great shame as things off the field are looking up. How fantastic to see our new Owner at half time- I wonder what he made of it all?

So we move on to what should be a slightly easier run of games but they are only easier if you play up to the standard that you have set and at the moment we are far off that. If I look for positives then I need look no further than to say that we have 14 games left with 8 at home and only 6 away and our last six home games have resulted in 5 victories and a draw. Unfortunately our recent away form has been back to the norm rather than the excellent prior to that. Hartlepool on Tuesday will not be easy as they will be buoyant from a draw with the runaway leaders. What would I suggest maybe has been learnt from recently.
Leadbitter is not a winger and never will be.
Lawrence must be dropped.
Mc Crystal is rusty and well below his best
Constant changing has been successful in the long term but surely now we should be looking at consistency.
We are at least two quality signings away from having a team that will stand a chance in the Ply offs even if we get there.
We should give our only natural winger (Montano) a run of games or sign a new winger.
The struggle to score goals is not necessarily down to the strikers who are playing.

I just hope that Tuesdays performance and result will be a much better write because the last four games have all been very difficult to write on and produce positives. UTG

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