disappointing game today. We were going to be pushing it right from the
outset when we were reduced to 11 players overnight but even given that,
we did not apply ourselves well. In the end, a 6-1 loss was a fair
reflection of the way we played. Several very tired players during the
second half and we were reduced to 10 players on several occasions. We
have a wide range of fitness within the team at present - some very,
very fit players who can run hard for the full 80 minutes and others who
need to continue to work on full fitness.
4 played well today but we lost it in the the midfield and up-front. Our
heading outside of the defensive 4 was generally poor and as we did not
play the ball effectively on-ground, we were consistently out-gunned in
effectively moved up a division this year when the league was reduced from
3 Divisions to 2 so the competition has (and will continue to be)
stronger. We are starting to get exposed in the more cutting edge
elements of play - the heading mentioned already (watch the top teams
play, heading is a critical element of play for all players) and first
touch control. When we did manage first touch passing, the control was
generally lacking - when we had to take 2/3 touches, we were generally
closed down quickly, the options reduced and the ball lost. Quality first
touch control is a key aspect of our game to work on.
Despite a very encouraging pre-game talk, the
ref allowed a very physical game to develop with many blatant pushes and
a general ignorance of the linesmen - a bit strange really - but not an
excuse for the result.
We allowed the poor play to spill over to some small breakdowns in team
unity - critical to encourage each other - it is a rare person who
responds to criticism from team-mates so work on accentuating the
positive - your team-mates support on the pitch is the most satisfying
and supportive encouragement you can receive.
But out of the
disappointment, some good individual performances. Andy
played a solid game in defense - never flagging in his determination.
James again swapped from attack to defense and ran the
ball down tirelessly. Man-of-the-match today was Jack -
he played a great defensive game turning many opposition drives into
attacks through pace, determination and aggressive running of the ball.