• Nigel Adkins has been given the Tranmere job on a permanent basis signing until the end of the 25/26 season. Continue the discussion here.

League Two Crewe (2) v Rovers (0)

Match result

  • Crewe

    Votes: 8 80.0%
  • Draw

    Votes: 2 20.0%
  • Rovers

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    10
  • Poll closed .
Crewe (2) v Rovers (0)
Posted by Ian
The Mornflake Stadium
Saturday, October 14, 2023 - 03:00 PM
Until: Saturday, October 14, 2023 - 05:00 PM
(Adjusted for timezone: Europe/London)
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Ian

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these highlights include the jester just to add to the comedy value.
 

Sparky

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Pity we couldn’t have put the Jester in at centre back!
 

Sparky

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Joking apart that’s the Dorking Wanderers manager who we could play next season
 
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Boz

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It concerns me that we don't seem to have improved defensively since Adkins became interim manager and that surprises, given his playing career was as a keeper. There was some good attacking play, mainly in the second half from Rovers, which was an upgrade from Dawes' side. All in all it was by no means the worst performance from a Tranmere side in recent history, but with our current league situation that won't be enough.

The first Crewe goal came when Connor Jennings gave away a typical attacking player free-kick. It happens all the time, wasn't in a particularly dangerous area. The poor defending that followed was responsible for the goal, the failure of anyone to track Demetriou's run into the box initially and him ending up against one of our smaller players meant a goal effort was inevitable and he took it well. The Crewe second from the free-kick after McGee's sending off, while well-worked might have been prevented had we attacked the ball as soon as the free-kick was taken, instead it was drilled through the defenders and guessing Murphy saw it late.

Connor Wood is a proven footballer at this level. He had a torrid time yesterday, but this was up against one of the more tricky Crewe players in Shillow, while he was getting little protection from midfield or Hawkes on the left side of the attack. Too early to write him off yet. I'm not convinced that a Liverpool reserve who they chose to deploy mainly as a left-midfielder is the answer to our left-back problem either.

Interesting post-match interview with Adkins. It would have been good for him to be asked about his reluctance to use a defensive midfielder. He did get a bit prickly (for Nigel) when asked about the decision to take Kieron Morris off, who the interviewer suggested was one of our better players; that's a matter of opinion said the manager. For me, Jolley was the prime candidate to come off although Hawkes was having a quiet game for him. He also seemed unhappy with the referee for reasons he wouldn't go into but it seemed to be more connected with the handling of the coin throwing incident than the dismissals.

Briefly on the referee though probably more topics for a ref's forum;

  • Should when Jolley was clipped on the boot and went down in the box have been given as a Rovers penalty rather than a corner?​
  • The McGee red card in isolation seems unarguable. However, the ball from his first challenge strikes the attacking player with his arm away from his body. While I don't like the current handball interpretation, have seen those given as penalties inside the box​
  • Tom Davies slipped going at speed and skidded into the Crewe player, would a free-kick and no more have sufficed here?​
I don't think the result was down to the referee in any way, nor did he seem one-sided in his decision making. Yarney and Hendry on another day might have seen straight red and Crewe had a penalty.
 
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Joking apart that’s the Dorking Wanderers manager who we could play next season
..and whose players are paying for the fans‘ coach travel to their next away game after their own debacle yesterday. It might catch on. Maybe..

Anyway, I’ve only just noticed we actually moved up a place in the league yesterday! Take the positives!! ;)
 
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Adkins is clearly a vastly superior manager to Dawes but has inherited a complete mess from the individual you consistently championed and claimed would be an upgrade on Mellon.

If Mellon was still in situ we would not be in this mess. I maintain this group of players is similar, if not better, than the one we had last season. If Adkins had taken over as permanent manager last May we all in all likelihood would not be in this position.

Palios is ultimately responsible for this situation, but the biggest of many mistakes he has made was appointing Dawes, which could ultimately kill us as a club.

You would think you would show some humility having called that decision so spectacularly wrong. The vocal minority of 'supporters' who consistently hounded Mellon and encouraged Palios to get rid of him are largely responsible for the position we now find ourselves in.
Taking the emotion out of the situation, I’m finding it difficult to swallow that Palios was influenced by the vocal “minority” to get rid of Mellon; if there’s anything we should know by now is that Palios clearly has his own mind. Blaming a minority of supporters for largely being responsible for the position we find ourselves in is a red herring. As much as I’d also like to believe it, stating that if Mellon was still in situ we would not be in this mess is pure conjecture.
Just to reiterate, I was not one who called for Mellon to go, so have no axe to grind on that score.
 

Sparky

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It concerns me that we don't seem to have improved defensively since Adkins became interim manager and that surprises, given his playing career was as a keeper. There was some good attacking play, mainly in the second half from Rovers, which was an upgrade from Dawes' side. All in all it was by no means the worst performance from a Tranmere side in recent history, but with our current league situation that won't be enough.

The first Crewe goal came when Connor Jennings gave away a typical attacking player free-kick. It happens all the time, wasn't in a particularly dangerous area. The poor defending that followed was responsible for the goal, the failure of anyone to track Demetriou's run into the box initially and him ending up against one of our smaller players meant a goal effort was inevitable and he took it well. The Crewe second from the free-kick after McGee's sending off, while well-worked might have been prevented had we attacked the ball as soon as the free-kick was taken, instead it was drilled through the defenders and guessing Murphy saw it late.

Connor Wood is a proven footballer at this level. He had a torrid time yesterday, but this was up against one of the more tricky Crewe players in Shillow, while he was getting little protection from midfield or Hawkes on the left side of the attack. Too early to write him off yet. I'm not convinced that a Liverpool reserve who they chose to deploy mainly as a left-midfielder is the answer to our left-back problem either.

Interesting post-match interview with Adkins. It would have been good for him to be asked about his reluctance to use a defensive midfielder. He did get a bit prickly (for Nigel) when asked about the decision to take Kieron Morris off, who the interviewer suggested was one of our better players; that's a matter of opinion said the manager. For me, Jolley was the prime candidate to come off although Hawkes was having a quiet game for him. He also seemed unhappy with the referee for reasons he wouldn't go into but it seemed to be more connected with the handling of the coin throwing incident than the dismissals.

Briefly on the referee though probably more topics for a ref's forum;

  • Should when Jolley was clipped on the boot and went down in the box have been given as a Rovers penalty rather than a corner?​
  • The McGee red card in isolation seems unarguable. However, the ball from his first challenge strikes the attacking player with his arm away from his body. While I don't like the current handball interpretation, have seen those given as penalties inside the box​
  • Tom Davies slipped going at speed and skidded into the Crewe player, would a free-kick and no more have sufficed here?​
I don't think the result was down to the referee in any way, nor did he seem one-sided in his decision making. Yarney and Hendry on another day might have seen straight red and Crewe had a penalty.
As a qualified ref I have some thoughts on your questions Boz. I suspect he could have let Davies off with a final warning because as you say it was unintentional and it was late in the game. He may have seen it differently though and thought intent didn’t matter as it was more than just a basic trip.

I agree with McGee that when he makes the first save it hits their strikers left arm which is outstretched. The question is whether it was unnatural and players often make the point when running they can’t run with hands directly down by their sides. Either way I’m guessing he didn’t see it or felt it was unnatural but given it led to a big moment in the game I would have given us a free kick.

I agree taking Morris off was strange. I’d have rather took Jolley off and pushed Jennings further forward
 
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I’m finding it difficult to swallow that Palios was influenced by the vocal “minority” to get rid of Mellon; if there’s anything we should know by now is that Palios clearly has his own mind.
Spot on.

Mellon was dismissed because the decision had been made not to renew his contract in the summer. That bit makes perfect sense.

What makes much less sense is why his contract wasn’t going to be renewed in the first place (every man and his dog will have their opinions, but we’ve never been given a sniff of the actual reasoning) and the appalling decision to replace him with Dawes.

Anyway, it’s just as well Palios has his own mind if others think trying to make a club sustainable is being “too clever”, or that reintroducing a youth academy in this day and age is somehow a way of making it sustainable, etc etc etc.

The broader business strategy isn’t really the problem here, it’s the decision-making processes and decision-making itself in executing that strategy - particularly in terms of recruitment of players and management - that’s been found wanting. And arguably has been, for various reasons and to varying degrees, throughout MP’s era. One pundit recently opined that we ought to have appointed a CEO, and there’s a lot of sense in that….but the board would still have had to recruit (..that word again) that CEO in the first place!

Anyway, I agree with an earlier post that the current squad is still probably better than last season’s, even after the loss of the two good fullbacks. I also happen to think that, with the addition of just two leaders in key positions - say, a Clarke and a Spearing - this squad wouldn't just be safe, it’d be playoff material. Interesting to see how Adkins sees it come January, all else being equal (which might well turn out not to be!)
 
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Taking the emotion out of the situation, I’m finding it difficult to swallow that Palios was influenced by the vocal “minority” to get rid of Mellon; if there’s anything we should know by now is that Palios clearly has his own mind. Blaming a minority of supporters for largely being responsible for the position we find ourselves in is a red herring. As much as I’d also like to believe it, stating that if Mellon was still in situ we would not be in this mess is pure conjecture.
Just to reiterate, I was not one who called for Mellon to go, so have no axe to grind on that score.
I think it is pretty clear we would not be third from bottom of the league with Mellon in charge, given that with an equivalent or poorer squad last season we were comfortably in mid table. Mellon has never been embroiled in a relegation battle in this division.

I think Palios has made some horrendous decisions, but my post was directed at ADD. He claimed that Dawes would be an improvement on Mellon and when - as was completely predictable - that proved not to be the case, he attacks supporters who wanted Dawes removed for the good of the club, as if his sacking was some kind of injustice.
 

Sparky

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The job Micky did last season looks better and better as the weeks pass by. No way would we be in a relegation battle with him in charge.
 

Ian

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I'm not wholly convinced the squad is better than it was last season. The defence is definately poorer having lost two very good full backs and have struggled to replace them, the midfield is pretty much the same and we aren't exactly pulling up trees up front either with Saunders and Jolley now taking centre stage. One big improvement is the GK and I would say Jennings in the middle.
 

Stickman

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I'm not wholly convinced the squad is better than it was last season. The defence is definately poorer having lost two very good full backs and have struggled to replace them, the midfield is pretty much the same and we aren't exactly pulling up trees up front either with Saunders and Jolley now taking centre stage. One big improvement is the GK and I would say Jennings in the middle.
I would agree with that and I'm surprised that others seem so sure that we have a better squad than last season. Managers and tactics can make a difference but ultimately, it comes down to the quality of players you bring in. We have failed miserably on that front and questions have to be asked.
 
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I think the squad’s overall ability is around the same as last season, but worse balanced. Goalkeeper is the only position where we are definitely better.

The back 4 is weaker, yet we can somehow nearly put together an XI just of fullbacks. Midfield is the same, although the fact Connor Jennings has ended up playing central midfield, despite having 7 midfielders on the books would suggest it’s worse.

Out wide we’re still reliant on Hawkes and Morris, two players who for all their strengths, are not consistent and have little pace. Jennings could add competition here, but seems to be playing everywhere but wide left…

Upfront we’re in theory stronger, but the two top signings, Dennis and Norris, can’t fit a 4-3-3 and both seem to be crocked/not fit enough.

I’m bemused that we extended Pike’s deal, then dropped him, signed L Norris and Apter and won’t start them, whilst the only bright spark, Taylor can’t get a game.

Meanwhile, chairman’s favourite Jolley plays every match, yet doesn’t seem to have any particular strengths.

I still think the biggest problem is central midfield, we desperately need two real quality players (a Harris/Hughes, Jennings/Kay, Banks/Perkins) in there and we just don’t have them. All our midfielders are either lightweight, crocks or just ‘Meh’. With the exception of Hendry, I don’t think any of them would get a game for another EFL side, you’d have to be mad to sign Walker with his injury record…

It’s a real mess and there’s so many parallels with 2014/15.
 
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I'm not wholly convinced the squad is better than it was last season. The defence is definately poorer having lost two very good full backs and have struggled to replace them, the midfield is pretty much the same and we aren't exactly pulling up trees up front either with Saunders and Jolley now taking centre stage. One big improvement is the GK and I would say Jennings in the middle.
I would say it is better than last season, but has not been used effectively. The 433 system we have used does not suit the players at all. The strikers and goalkeeper are better, the midfield is similar but arguably better due to the arrival of Jennings, and the defence is weaker.

My argument is not that this is a great squad, but simply that under a decent manager we could be in a better position than third from bottom. Last season's squad had major deficiencies, with awful strikers and inadequate goalkeepers, yet we still finished twelfth.
 
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