Fan’s View – Exeter

Article by Paul Beasley Friday, October 25th, 2013  


We had a bit of thunder, we had lightening but we had no striking. That’s three clean sheets in a row. I salute the back line and our management team. It’s now also two 0-0 draws in succession, just seven goals scored in seven home league games which is pretty pathetic so no saluting anybody here. The opposite in fact.

Yet, amazingly we are still joint top scorers in League two and if it hadn’t been for Rochdale’s two late goals against Northampton would have been out there on our own and still only one point off top spot. As it is we’re three off the summit but the tightness all around has got even tighter. Six points covering the top 13 is an amazing statistic.

This tells me the margin between success (promotion) and failure (another year in League 2) is small indeed. I’ll come clean and say that I think we’ll fail unless things change. I think most people consider our defence to be good enough. The goals against column says we’ve now got the joint third best rearguard. At the other end our overall scoring record says we are good enough at hitting the back of the net but I think this gives a false impression. (Lies, damned lies and statistics and all that). I reckon we are well short in this department.

Is Deane Smalley anything other than a crock who hasn’t really done it for us?

Dave Kitson is not being played as an out and out centre forward and the way things are going doesn’t really look like scoring; plus he is likely to be, rightly or wrongly, suspended as often as not.

Beano sometimes looks the part but quite often doesn’t and anyway there’s just one of him.

As for any of our young strikers; I don’t think so.

This brings me to the conclusion that we need a new striker. But when I take a moment to reflect I can see flaws in this argument.

How many chances did we create for our striker (Beano) and the other one (Kitson)? Perhaps it is a really creative midfielder we lack, particularly when our wide men are not right at it.

Or is it just the way we approach games, specifically at home when a change of personnel would make little difference?

The game against the Grecians was a typical case in point. It was classic Chris Wilder tactics designed for home turf. And before I go any further I need to point out that I dislike constant long ball football and like passing football. However, this comes with a massive BUT.

After a while I would quite like to see this passing take us forward. I hate this mindset that we seem to have which is to go sideways or (spit spit) backwards. Yes of course there is a place for this but not the majority of the time. My mate Mark loves this stuff. “Keep the ball”, he yells. Look how much running the opposition are having to do, they’ll be knackered, he points out. He has a point. And so did we. That is not acceptable, that means there were two more we didn’t have.

I noted that our two best chances of the first half were when Sean Rigg and Ryan Williams just went for it and ran at the heart of the Exeter defence. I hope they weren’t told off for doing so. These were the only two occasions when I felt genuine excitement.

Tisdale’s boys are of course a good side. They too passed the ball around well and in doing so progressed towards our goal at a much faster rate than we did towards theirs.

I don’t think it was any coincidence that Ryan Clarke had to pull off better saves than Artur Krysiak. In fact I thought that Krysiak looked a bit dodgy and had a reluctance to come for high balls. So I didn’t understand why we didn’t test him out much more than we did. There were times when we had a free kick within range of his area but instead of getting Michael Raynes and Dave Kitson up there menacing him we just tapped the ball a few yards and began another training session around the half way line. But we haven’t scored from a header yet so perhaps we did the right thing after all.

Did I think we played badly? Absolutely not but I really want better performances than this and also to be more entertained. The fact that there were just 4721 home fans present for 4th v 3rd is telling us something.

Did we largely control the game? Some thought so but I couldn’t see that at all and the official stats, that I don’t believe anyway, don’t say we did.

As for individual performances, I fully agreed with Danny Rose picking up the man of the match award, proving that the sponsors sometimes do actually know what they are on about. I received a bit of feedback from someone after the match telling me that they agreed with almost everything I said but that they thought I have been too harsh on Rose. Well not today. Perhaps it is because I am expecting and hoping for more creativity from our central midfield and I know that is not going to come from Andy Whing. Perhaps I, and others, sometimes criticise players for doing exactly what they are told to by the manager.

Of the two bald headed full backs I thought that Dave Hunt had the better game but liked the way that Tom Newey fully acknowledged one glaring error. They had something of that solid citizen look about them again.

Callers and texters to Radio Oxford were hyper critical of Dave Kitson. Overall I have been a bit disappointed with him but I refer to my point above about playing where they are told. And referees just can’t wait to get him booked and sent off can they?

Keith Stroud likes to wave a few cards. He is another referee who plumbs the depths looking for new low standards. How many times do these tossers think that by pointing at four or five areas of the pitch it justifies the booking of a player who has committed his first, rather innocuous foul of the game? Kits was the victim and for his second yellow I thought the player with the ball turned back into him. A foul yes, but not a booking. Stroud couldn’t wait. Earlier we’d seen Danny Coles smash Hunt in the face. Between them Stroud and his partner in ineptitude saw it (unless they just guessed at everything, which wouldn’t surprise me) but out came a yellow card. But we’re not surprised any more are we?

And finally, I must mention Michael Raynes. He has been a tower of strength recently and part of a unit that is now keeping clean sheets (cue letting in loads at Wimbledon). Yet one text Jerome read out slated Raynes for being useless and requested that he didn’t play for us again. If that was from someone (I won’t use the word supporter) who actually follows the club then I think we really can do without their sort. But at times I suspect these texts may come from mischief makers down the A420.

This entry was posted on Friday, October 25th, 2013 at 5:53 pm and appears under 2013, Comment, News Items. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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