Saturday 15th October 2005
By Danny Saines
The first match report I have had the pleasure of being asked to submit. Unfortunately under the circumstances I''m afraid to say that it is not going to be a happy one. Firstly may I ask my players (again) to stop bloody moaning and start trying to enjoy their football again please.
Although we all want to win desperately every week you must remember that you are not all Zinedine Zidanes and it is a sporting activity that allows you to play football with your mates, train on a Wednesday and socialise on a Saturday afternoon with a first class clubhouse & bar. Not to mention all the behind the scenes work that goes into giving you all this on a plate. Therefore I do not expect players to whinge at one another right from the kick off, criticising everybody else''s mistakes or ''wrong'' passes etc. As I keep telling you all (every week at half time), what is the point? All it does is lose you games, solely because attitudes are not right, it is always somebody else''s fault, and destroys confidence. Then as team you do not perform. And no one enjoys it. You cannot play football individually or as a team this way because you are not 100% focused on the job at hand, which is foremost to play enjoyable football to the best of your ability giving all the effort you can for 90 minutes.
We were 2 - 1 up at half time, but all walked off the park p*ssed off. Then there was a ruck between 2 players. Great. Just what was required. I have heard that inter team handbags had happened whilst I was away as well. Grow up. And guess what happened? As with last week, after bossing the last 20 minutes of the first half, we went out for the second and didn''t turn up (again). Surprised? I''m not. I cannot believe we allowed them back in the game, let alone letting them score 4 goals. Somebody questioned my half time tactic change after the game. Maybe I got it wrong. Or maybe it was another excuse. Personally, myself and Lee who were running things from the line thought that Matt Pragnell was lost out at left midfield. He was asked to play out of position and got rucked for his efforts as well. Therefore we felt Matt was getting frustrated and didn''t see any harm putting him back in the centre and back in the thick of things. Judgie was playing out on the right and again my decision to play him there was questioned, although as far as I was aware Judgie always used to play right midfield and usually plays there on a Sunday morning as well?? Anyway we thought swapping him over to the left and putting Ray out on the right to attack down the flanks, getting decent crosses into Barry wouldn''t have caused too much upset. How wrong we were, although I still believe this has more to do with our own problems rather than the tactic change. Again I changed it with 25 minutes to go (when we let them in to score once again). Richie Davies'' (who was helping us out by the way AND was playing centre mid) legs seem to go, and gaps started appearing between the midfield and the back four. Hooper came on as a substitute. Again that was questioned, although that''s what I thought subs were there for? To bring on fresh legs for tired ones?? Again it seemed like another excuse for an extremely poor team performance overall. As Adam put it, everyone had a bad game and there are no excuses for the way we conducted ourselves. Saying that, I thought Chrissy Greenhough was our man of the match, doing his man to man marking job (as instructed) on their quick centre forward, never questioning and ignoring all the sh*t that was going on around him between supposed team mates. Oh and Tant broke his shoulder.
Finally and last moan. Preparation. Or lack of it. For the 2nd week now our preparation has been dreadful and it showed up out there when the game got under way. Last week, due to lack of players, there was no pre-match preparation whatsoever. This was mainly due to me still being in the changing room area 5 minutes before kick off after spending the previous hour chasing up players who had decided not to turn up.
Again - this week. Team sheet says meet at half one. NOT A QUARTER TO TWO. If I can be there slightly early then so can everybody else.
TEAM SHEET ALSO SAYS IF YOU CANNOT MAKE IT THEN YOU ARE TO CONTACT VIC OR MYSELF. Dave Hooper, Tony Kemp, and Jason Goodchild. You all know my number. A text will suffice if you are not going to turn up. Squads of 14/15 are not squads if people do not bother turning up or at least letting the management know of their intentions of not turning up. We will not survive in this league with this sort of attitude. Everyone to turn up - on time and focused from now on please.
Which brings me on to this week. Sevenoaks Charity Cup against old rivals Halstead. One that we must win. Treat as a Cup Final boys, I will not accept anything less. Positive attitudes, leave your egos at home and come mentally prepared. Apart from Matt Pragnell (working), is everyone else up for it? Lee, Hooper, Tant, and Jay Hardy - I need you fit boys. Let me know asap if you think you are going to struggle. Kempy and Jay Goodchild. You are both down (again) on the squad sheet to play. Please let me know of your intentions if this is going to be a problem.
With a bit of effort we can all put this bad patch behind us and start enjoying ourselves on a Saturday afternoon once again. I know I want to as I presume you do.