Match report v Crawley

Well I have just watched the extended highlights on AFCB TV, and I don’t know what everyone is complaining about.

Danjuma looked very positive and exciting. Wilshere looked composed and classy. Brooks was in the right position several times, although not wearing his shooting boots. I saw a (just) forward pass from Kelly! I saw a pass from Danjuma to Rico on the overlap!

Obviously I didn’t see the whole game, but in the highlights I thought we looked very good. Perhaps JT only watch’s the highlights too when analysing our games post match.
Things like getting too much on the shot or not quite enough can happen and that was often the case last night. Very fine margins and we could have easily won that game 4-1 or 5-1.
Yesterday was one of those days. Just about nothing was going right for us.
We had to create an immense number of chances to win the game (barely), but to our credit we did.
Sometimes that's how it is - when things don't go your way, you have to be persistent and do more than you think you should have to. Anyway, we did it.
You didn't mention the 5 on 1 situation which Solanke handled sublimely.
I do think my living room behaviour is becoming more like my normal self in the ground. My wife was quite startled when I shouted "f*cking hell Solanke" at the top of my voice as he overhit his pass by about 50 yards :grinning:

For the record AC I still share many of your doubts, I just thought that against Crawley it was mission accomplished with some positives... Reading will be another matter of course. Let's hope Tuesday helped...
---- Conclusions -----

- We won. We’re through. If we somehow scramble past our bête noire in the next round it’ll be an FA Cup quarter final so that’s something.

- If the idea behind playing so much of the first team was to try and blow Crawley away and rebuild confidence then we have to say it failed. The same problems that we’re suffered in our recent games were all still there, only masked a bit by slightly lesser opponents and Danjuma’s willingness to run at opponents.

- The 4-3-3 looked interesting at times with Wilshere in the central role. He’s still not completely match fit but you could see how it would work with him.

- Please take Rico off corners. If I promise to give money to a charity JT names would that help?

Even if it gives the guy a break and a chance to reset his set piece taking and look back at what worked in Spain. It can’t have been this.

- 29 AFCB shots on goal. 10 AFCB shots on target. Yet their keeper only really have a couple that were tricky saves to make. We need to make our chances count better.

- See pretty much any previous recent game for comments on the issues playing out from the back. It still hasn’t been sorted.

There’s nothing wrong with the concept but our execution is often shocking.

- I bear no ill will to Crawley as a club but Yems can do one. Your contract ran out man. It happens to people every day. Deal with it like an adult.

- Normally I’d say children should not suffer for the sins of their father but I’ll make exceptions for a Windass or a Hessenthaler. So a nice little bonus that we sent one of them out of the cup.

---- Player Ratings -----

Begovic – 6
Sloppy moment nearly cost us, even if it was from a hospital pass.

Stacey (off on 67) – 6
Up and down as normal.

S Cook – 5
After his action man performance last time this was like a knock off version of himself bought down the market for a fiver. Not good.

Kelly – 5
Gave away silly free kicks and a little fortunate not to give away a penalty, even if it would have been soft.

Rico – 5
I’ll give him credit for getting in the forward positions. It was a shame what happened almost every time he had the ball at his feet.

L Cook – 6
A game which didn’t require too much from him.

Wilshere (off on 67) – 7
Rusty but had moments of quality on the ball and drifted around a bit trying to make things happen. A little bonus to his score for the goal.

Billing (on from 67) – 6
He was alright. Box to box and putting himself about. Didn’t dominate them but maybe enough to catch the eye of any watching scout.

Brooks – 5
Pretty woeful still. Didn’t deserve to start this game and did little to change that. Actually looked marginally better when pushed into the central role but… it was marginal.

King (off on 83) – 7
At least showed desire and also left his selfish streak in the dressing room which should be lauded as, amongst other things, it brought about the first goal.

Danjuma (off on 78) – 7 and Man of the Match
Not everything he tried came off. In fact, an awful lot bombed. However, he was the guy trying to make life difficult for a team set on sitting in against us. Great to see him back, just a shame it has coincided with Junior being out.

--- Subs ---

A Smith (on from 67) - 6
Like Stacey, up and down.

Solanke (on from 67) – 6
Comical bad control in stepping over the ball for a good chance but apart from that not a lot.

Lerma (on from 67) – 6
Ridiculous booking.

Riquelme (on from 78) – 6
Usual story. Neat at times on the ball whilst always looking lightweight.

Surridge (on from 83)
Did he touch the ball? I know he only gets minutes and that’s tough on him but he needs to make some kind of impact when he comes on.

Overall Grade: C
Let’s be honest, it wasn’t a great performance despite dominating. It felt like that came about from a function of our opposition than from our play. Still, we did the job and got through but every question I had before kick off about things that need addressing remains unanswered.

Tindall stuck to his system throughout and truthfully it was preferable to the three at the back. Wilshere could yet be the key to unlocking this season if he can get up to speed and we can learn to utilise him properly.

Que sera, sera. We’re going to Burnley...
Thanks for another great report on the match, I think a C was generous. they played some good football but a lot of poor football. Poor passing & decision making, a lot of faffing about a the back could have cost us the game against a better side . This playing out from the back is costing the team, it is school boy errors. They need to be schooled when & where this is appropriate. I think Kelly needs to be replaced with CV he is more solid than Kelly. Hopefully they will improve against Reading.