League Two Rovers v Saddlers

Match result

  • Tranmere

    Votes: 5 83.3%
  • Draw

    Votes: 1 16.7%
  • Walsall

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    6
  • Poll closed .
Rovers v Saddlers
Posted by Ian
Prenton Park
Saturday, December 5, 2020 - 03:00 PM
Until: Saturday, December 5, 2020 - 05:00 PM
(Adjusted for timezone: Europe/London)
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bigmart

bigmart
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Ian Muir
Even harder to believe we were unbeaten in 8, thr back 5 were awful monthe had a stinker they thoroughly deserved the victory and should have been by more goals.

Need to bounce back after this
 

Sparky

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Chris Greenacre
Well as I thought might happen, along come the returning fans and our winning run ends.

Thought we started nervously and went behind. But when feeney scored I thought it would settle us down and we’d go on and win the second half. However whatever they had at half time worked because they battered us. They scored a brilliant second and a scrappy third but it could have been 5-1 at least. Hard so say what went wrong today and hindsight is easy but we need another front man. Vaughan can’t do it all and Ferrier won nothing. We have arguably too many attacking midfielders who aren’t natural strikers.

Let’s not go overboard though. The run had to come to an end sometime and we have more winnable league games coming up. Keith Hills first real test now to sort that performance out
 

frenchrover

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aldo
It was not just the defeat that hurts but the nature of the defeat.....that was a really poor performance all round.
 

Boz

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Iain Hume
That was a troubling performance by Rovers, against a Walsall team who played well and are probably in a false position at present. The reality is that had it not been for the woodwork and a couple of excellent saves by Scott Davies, it could have been worse.

The big area of concern was the defence, playing like strangers at times and well-taken though the Saddlers' goals were, the marking was woeful. A couple of sides recently had adopted the strategy of pressurising the full-backs and leaving the ball to the central defenders who invariably hit it long. The visitors executed this perfectly and although O'Connor/Feeney had a decent understanding down the right in the first half, very little reached CBT, who was anonymous. The commentary team, who stayed on topic today, wondered if the players had become used to hearing the opponent's movement and the crowd noise made this less audible, but Dave Higgins also thought we failed with some of the defensive basics.

Things weren't much better in the attacking sense, our build-up play was poor and aside from Feeney's unstoppable effort only Khan had a shot on goal late in the game. Vaughan signalled to come off injured, hopefully not out long or it might be a problem. Might be worth giving Burton a game in the EFL Trophy, as while he didn't have a much opportunity to turn things round today, I don't think Ferrier is ever going to be a prolific striker.

Time for Keith Hill to earn his corn...
 
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Jason Koumas / John Morrissey
I am not sure one performance tells us much about the quality of either side. We were due a very poor display and it was always going to come today.....

I did not think our attacking display in the first half was much worse than the Carlisle and Oldham games, and our major problems were all defensive. Walsall have an experienced manager in Clarke and got the better of us tactically. They set traps by sitting deep but then pressing when we reached the halfway line, but we contributed to our own downfall with incredibly sloppy defending, both the back four and as a team. When possession was turned over it was far too easy for Walsall to get in behind us, with both full backs having poor games defensively, and Manny getting roughed up by Adabayo and having an absolute nightmare. We really should have lost by four or five today, and the much maligned Scott Davies kept the scoreline respectable with some excellent saves.

Despite the poor display, I was glad to be back in Prenton Park, and I was still impressed by some of those players I saw in the flesh for the first time - Spearing and Feeney in particular.

It was a collective horror show today, but the best thing Hill can do is ignore some of the hysteria and stick to the principles which saw us have such a fantastic run of form in the first place. Still thirty games to play, and every successful season features results and performances like today's.
 

Sparky

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Chris Greenacre
Yes agree things have worked well recently with the defence in particular fantastic so let’s just put it down to a bad day at the office.

I still think the squad is imbalanced with a lot of attacking midfielders and very few decent forwards but it’s been working recently.
 
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I am still not sure the lack of an orthodox forward to partner Vaughan (although any of Payne, Ferrier and Woolery can perform that role) is a major issue. Recent weeks have shown us we are capable of scoring goals from a number of areas of the pitch. And realistically, how many clubs at our level will have two strikers of the quality of Vaughan?

However, if we lost Vaughan to injury it would be a major issue, as we don't have anyone else that can lead the line and link the play the way he does, even without considering his goalscoring.
 

Boz

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Iain Hume
I don't see that we've got that many defensive options, Nelson lacks Manny's pace and strength for example, but I would like the central defenders to be encouraged to carry the ball out more, when opponents are pressing the full-backs, which has been a popular option recently. Both Clarke and Monthe are capable of doing that.

Payne is out for a few more weeks, I think, so if Vaughan is going to be unavailable we're down to Ferrier/Woolery and my preference would be for Kayne, although he's less of an orthodox striker.

It wasn't as poor a showing as Cheltenham and Walsall, while deserved winners, got the rub of the green on a few occasions.
 

Sparky

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Chris Greenacre
We can’t rely on Payne or Ferrier IMO. Hill he said post match that Vaughan is struggling and I don’t think Woolery is a striker either.

but as I say it’s not been a major issue of late so I’m not too concerned at the moment
 
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Jason Koumas / John Morrissey
I agree, but realistically we are not going to bring in another top striker in the January transfer window. We just have to hope that Vaughan stays fit for the majority of the season.
 
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Alan King, Barry Dyson
Think we should win but I have a baffling feeling that the crowd will be disappointed and we’ll scrape a draw. Hope I’m wrong.
Apologies for my optimism. :(

Seriously, I had noticed that some home teams had underperformed when the crowd returned. Ours was not the only shock result in League Two. Half the matches were won by the away side.
 

Ian

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Aldo
It was great to be back at Prenton Park today although I had forgotten how bloody cold it gets sitting outside for 3 hours.!

Not a great game today but I don't think we should get too carried away. It's been a great run but we had to lose some time. Walsall simply wanted it more than we did. They chased down loose balls, worked effectively on the wings and gave us problems with balls into the box. They had some big guys in there and we struggled physically to match them.

I'm quite surprised where they find themselves in the division as they were a handful today but maybe our style of play does not work against theirs. Our game is now based around playing from the back and finding openings with our passing. Walsall simply didn't allow us to do that today. They harried us and gave us no time on the ball and we ended up making silly mistakes. Manny looked hopelessly exposed as the result and his distribution and all round game were poor today.

As RLC mentions, Davies made some excellent saves today so save the scoreline a little, but I just hope they learn something from today's game. Walsall aren't blessed with hugely skillful players, but their work rate and determination won them the game today.
 

bigmart

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Ian Muir
The concern for me is that Carlisle, Brackleu & now Walsall have set up to stop us playing by letting our centre halves have the ball but quickly closing down other players which by and large has meant we have struggled for fluency & to create much. It will be interesting to see if we can find a way to counter other teams tactics.
 
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Jason Koumas / John Morrissey
The concern for me is that Carlisle, Brackleu & now Walsall have set up to stop us playing by letting our centre halves have the ball but quickly closing down other players which by and large has meant we have struggled for fluency & to create much. It will be interesting to see if we can find a way to counter other teams tactics.
I think we could tweak things at times, by switching to 442 or 433 and getting greater width when teams sit behind the ball and frustrate us. However, with the squad we have I think we have to be a passing team and the diamond formation still generally suits us.
 

Sparky

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I think we could tweak things at times, by switching to 442 or 433 and getting greater width when teams sit behind the ball and frustrate us. However, with the squad we have I think we have to be a passing team and the diamond formation still generally suits us.

that’s what I thought might have happened today at 1-2. CBT on the left , feeney on the right and Ferrier and Vaughan up front in a 4-4-2. Obviously Vaughan was injured but it looked like Ferrier was on his own in a striking position with Woolery and Lloyd playing wide feeney in a number 10. T
 

Ian

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Aldo
You learn when you win but you learn more when you lose. I like this guy. Let's see how they respond over the next few games.
 
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Jason Koumas / John Morrissey
I think it is a really good tactical analysis by Hill. Pleased also that he emphasises that he won't be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
 

ADD

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Well hadn't expected that! Yes the winning run had to end but I had expected it would be by the odd goal or us being unlucky - not like that!
Seems like teams have been watching and started to work us out - we had 63% posession but they had masses of chances and we created what 2 or 3 at most? Amazing how different from Tuesday when we looked rock solid at the back. As well as their goals they hit the woodwork 3 times and another one off the line plus some very good saves from Davies though on the other hand thought he was poor with his attempted punches and positioning when they hit the bar twice. Manny had a shocker and interestingly Hill said post match he thought Clarke didn't like the zonal marking he was doing - would have preferred to be marking a player one on one. CBT was ineffectual - wonder if still not 100% fit as his last 2 games he has done next to nothing?
Walsall - god knows how they have drawn so many... had a physical presence, some decent players and their pressing was truly impressive - it was interesting to see 2 of their players down on their haunches absolutely shattered from the effort with 10 minutes to go.
Hill won't panic but yes it will be interesting if he does look at tweaking the formation going forward.
 
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