In the first pre-season game I’ve managed to get to this year Chester treated me to a fairly awful display. Two weeks away from the start of the season we were lackadaisical, uninterested and seriously lacking a goal threat. We gave Witton, and Iain Howard, far too much space which allowed them to create more clear cut chances than their opponents two leagues above them. Here are some thoughts…
1. The good
Kingsley James looked good in possession, broke up play well and had a good chance in front of goal which he did well with. He was calm, composed and looked like he is going to be a key player for us this season. Gareth Roberts also looked solid and was certainly our best defender on the day.
2. The bad
Jamie Menagh had a game to forget. He was up against a strong and quick left back in Moyo (ex-Chester) and just had no answers for him. Was out muscled, out paced and out thought. John Rooney – I thought he didn’t look comfortable in a deep lying midfield role today. Was either too high up the pitch or not really getting stuck in enough. For me he is a winger or number 10 and should be played there. Chris Iwelumo – couldn’t keep the ball, couldn’t jump, couldn’t run. I’m hoping he had a few gears to go through once the season starts or he is going to be another older player who signed for the wage packet. John Disney – gave Iain Howard far too much space on the left and was repeatedly beaten by him. One of the goals came when his side was totally ripped apart although I’m going to let him off slightly from that because Menagh didn’t give him much protection. Sean McConville – spent an entire half no where near Iwelumo so any header he did win (and there wasn’t many) was intercepted. He was being played out of position though – he was dropped back into the 10 role rather than being on the last defender which is clearly what he is good at.
3. The indifferent
Everyone else. Both keepers didn’t have loads to do and there wasn’t anything Worsnop could have done about the goals – I do worry about him though and think Danby is better. Centre backs did ok although they had a few dodgey moments. Subs did ok – Hobson certainly put himself about a bit and made Iwelumo look slightly more useful, although he spoiled that slightly by missing a good chance. Special mention for Mahon as well – was pretty rubbish until he was moved into the centre behind Hobson where he came alive and scored a beautiful 25 yard dipping drive. Think he needs to be the number 10 with Rooney and Winn on the wings.
4. Don’t panic
It was only a pre season friendly. Yes it is close to the start of the season but the intensity the players usually have wasn’t there probably because they were mainly trying to get minutes under their belts without getting injury. I do think we need a striker and a midfielder. I would also prefer to keep Danby over Worsnop but if that isn’t in the budget than that’s life.