League Two Rovers v Stevenage

Match result

  • Tranmere

    Votes: 8 80.0%
  • Draw

    Votes: 2 20.0%
  • Stevenage

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    10
  • Poll closed .
Rovers v Stevenage
Posted by Ian
Prenton Park
Saturday, July 30, 2022 - 03:00 PM
Until: Saturday, July 30, 2022 - 05:00 PM
(Adjusted for timezone: Europe/London)
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Sparky

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It looked good at times in pre season. Although that said I went to the hearts and Warrington games and we weren’t great in either game. The others were an easy win at Southport and a hammering by Huddersfield so I’m not sure sure how well the 3-5-2 looked overall. As RLC says though we can’t judge it until we’re at full strength but each side gets injuries of course and are our back up players good enough?
 
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Boz

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Iain Hume
Due to train issues, didn't get home until late and not in the right frame of mind for posting then; tbh still feel like that, but here goes...

The defensive line up yesterday was the same as the one in the last friendly v Huddersfield, so they weren't slung together for the first time in this match, which is the way their play suggested in the first half. There seemed to be a tendency whenever we got set pieces or possession to pass it backwards, something which wasn't so evident in the friendly, unsure if it was express instructions from Micky and team or as a result of the lack of options further forward. However Jamieson especially, but Robinson also didn't look that comfortable in possession, the near miss og from Jamieson being an example. Byrne as the senior pro in the central defensive trio didn't offer much in the way of leadership. Haven't heard any definitive explanation for Hockenhull's absence from the bench, if he was available then Byrne could have moved into the centre of the three giving a more balance. It's a shame that Turnbull isn't the new Goody, capable of slotting straight into the side without a pre-season!

There was a sharp contrast between our play on the left and right-hand sides. JDC on the right was alert to his defensive duties, there was some good link up play with O'Connor and McAlear setting up promising attacks and most of our threat came from that outlet. By contrast virtually nothing came from the left. Bristow had positive reviews for his pre-season, but felt his inexperience showed in this game, he appeared too far up the field almost detached from the defence and didn't seem that involved defensively. Hawkes who was notionally on the left, though with a free role rarely got involved with any link up play around that side. Lewis made minimal impact when he replaced Hawkes. Sadly, Micky won't consider it, but I'd like to see Merrie replacing Hawkes, as a foil for Bristow to link with and because we need a decent corner-taker. McAlear did have involvement in the goal from a corner, but most of his other corners were poor, in an otherwise promising performance.

Up front there was little. Hemmings took his one chance well, but there was a lack of good balls in and around the box for him that had been evident in pre-season. Nevitt had one good chance and put it wide, therein lies the difference. Yesterday the forwards were feeding on scraps. Certainly additions are needed to the forward line, I don't think Mumbongo when fit will solve all the problems. It might have been worth giving Taylor a few minutes yesterday, his pace could have posed some different questions to the Stevenage defence.

I felt that because of the influx of new younger players, we needed to hit the ground running and make a positive start. That hasn't happened and the fixtures coming up feel harder as a result of what happened v Stevenage. For all of the talk of a more attacking approach, that wasn't apparent in this game. Who knows what next...
 
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Jason Koumas / John Morrissey
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Having watched the full replay of the match I think the second half performance was ok and we should have taken a draw from the game.

However, we can't have any complaints at the result because of the sheer number of free headers we gave meat-and-potatoes opposition in our eighteen yard box. It was an error strewn performance from Jameson, several of which resulted in Stevenage chances. Their first goal is a crude ball lumped into the box which he should have easily headed away, but he did not even jump. The ball is allowed to drop and Stevenage have a tap in. Their winner is another free header, in a period of the game where we looked quite comfortable.

The positive is that in the periods when we were on top we played the better football. Cogley had an excellent second half and there were some lovely balls from McAlear. I laughed out loud at the divvy Stevenage commentator informing us that McAlear is crap.

It was a patchy performance, but with basic defending we would still have taken a result from the game. There is no reason why we can't get results in the weeks ahead, particularly when Turnbull and Davies return.
 
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I also did not think Hawkes was any better or worse than several others. He was playing as a number ten yesterday, where he was good in pre-season, and Merrie can't fill that role.
 
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It looked good at times in pre season. Although that said I went to the hearts and Warrington games and we weren’t great in either game.
In fairness, I thought we looked good against a strong Hearts side until we made changes and brought the youth players on. We were the better side in the first sixty minutes of that game.
 

Sparky

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Y
In fairness, I thought we looked good against a strong Hearts side until we made changes and brought the youth players on. We were the better side in the first sixty minutes of that game.
Yes although I thought they started with their younger players and when the likes of boyce came on things changed.

Anyhow still 135 points to play for!!
 
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Y

Yes although I thought they started with their younger players and when the likes of boyce came on things changed.

Anyhow still 135 points to play for!!
Boyce did not come on until the second half, but it was still a strong starting line up. In the periods of the game where we got the ball down and played, I thought we looked fine yesterday, and Cogley gave us the width on the right that the system should give us.
 

Boz

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I also did not think Hawkes was any better or worse than several others. He was playing as a number ten yesterday, where he was good in pre-season, and Merrie can't fill that role.
It was hard to see precisely where Hawkes was playing, but in the first half when Rovers were defending (so nearly all of it) he was mainly on my side of the pitch, the left. Was called by the bench to close down there a couple of times. If he was playing a number 10 role, that might need reassessing given the imbalance between our left and right sided attacking play.
 

ADD

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Was at a wedding yesterday and after reading how poor we were could not face looking at the full 90 minutes replay but from the extended highlights wow we were poor. Wasn't expecting that after pre-season which I thought had been decent despite the Huddersfield drubbing.
Yes I know that 3 x CB pairing is not our first choice but heaven's above they were so poor - Stevenage had so many chances it was unreal.
The fact that MM felt the need after the first game to criticise the effort/ intensity from the team is a big concern. Could be a long season...
 
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It was hard to see precisely where Hawkes was playing, but in the first half when Rovers were defending (so nearly all of it) he was mainly on my side of the pitch, the left. Was called by the bench to close down there a couple of times. If he was playing a number 10 role, that might need reassessing given the imbalance between our left and right sided attacking play.
He was definitely playing as a number ten. In a 532 the only width comes from the wing backs.

Hawkes seems to be the latest scapegoat for some of our supporters, but he was sharp and confident in pre-season playing in a central role.
 

Boz

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He was definitely playing as a number ten. In a 532 the only width comes from the wing backs.

Hawkes seems to be the latest scapegoat for some of our supporters, but he was sharp and confident in pre-season playing in a central role.
Wouldn’t playing with a ten be 5212?

I only saw one pre-season friendly v Huddersfield and Hawkes played ok in that, though didn’t stand out particularly. The goal he scored at Southport looked a quality strike. Yesterday, aside from a shot from distance which sailed over the bar, plus instructions from the bench to help defend the left side, didn’t make an impact. Could he have offered himself as an outlet to Bristow to help build up some attacks on the left? He didn’t seem to be positioned in an orthodox no 10 role, so perhaps. If not, then there is a need for management to address the difficulties from the lack of attacking moves originating from the left. Expecting an inexperienced youngster in the shape of Bristow to do that in isolation is unrealistic.
 
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Sparky

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I’m a big fan of hawkes but he was frustrating at times last season. I think he is an example of one of our younger players who may struggle against teams like Stevenage when you need to roll your sleeves up and battle.
 
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Higgy

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Wouldn’t playing with a ten be 5212?

I only saw one pre-season friendly v Huddersfield and Hawkes played ok in that, though didn’t stand out particularly. The goal he scored at Southport looked a quality strike. Yesterday, aside from a shot from distance which sailed over the bar, plus instructions from the bench to help defend the left side, didn’t make an impact. Could he have offered himself as an outlet to Bristow to help build up some attacks on the left? He didn’t seem to be positioned in an orthodox no 10 role, so perhaps. If not, then there is a need for management to address the difficulties from the lack of attacking moves originating from the left. Expecting an inexperienced youngster in the shape of Bristow to do that in isolation is unrealistic.
Agree with the formation set up Boz. Have also seen it described elsewhere as 3,4,1,2 Can understand both versions. Morris would have been perfect for that no 10 role. Hawkes has skills and strikes a good shot, but not sure he's canny enough yet to be posing the questions to the opposition defence. Time will tell.
Interesting shout with Merrie.
 
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Agree with the formation set up Boz. Have also seen it described elsewhere as 3,4,1,2 Can understand both versions. Morris would have been perfect for that no 10 role. Hawkes has skills and strikes a good shot, but not sure he's canny enough yet to be posing the questions to the opposition defence. Time will tell.
Interesting shout with Merrie.
My point was that the width only comes from the wing backs with three at the back, whether that formation is described as 352, 3412 or 343.
 
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Ian Goodison
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On Sparky’s point, I do think we’ve struggled against the physicality of some sides for a number of seasons. Part of me feels that’s down to the ethos of the club wanting to play football in the “right way” (I’m sold on the theory/rhetoric even if it’s just a manifestation in my own head) and not employing the types of player to rough other teams up; it’s not that we evidence this “beautiful game” philosophy 100% of the time, particularly when the ball goes long.
I like to think of us as a poor (make that destitute and visually impaired) man’s Barcelona.
 

ONIGP

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I’m a big fan of hawkes but he was frustrating at times last season. I think he is an example of one of our younger players who may struggle against teams like Stevenage when you need to roll your sleeves up and battle.
To be honest, I'd forgotten that Hawkes was even playing until he was substituted. Perhaps he was playing on the right in the first half which made him less noticeable from the Main Stand. O' Connor and McAlear were certainly much more visible. Mind you, anonymity was far from the worst thing in the first half... I'd have been delighted not to have noticed our centre backs!
 
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