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Real Tuesday 4 - 9 The Moonies


As the closest thing we have to 'management' these days, thought I should jot down a few thoughts after last night's game. Not expecting you to respond - this is just a review of the game, and some stuff we might want to consider for our next 11s game.

It's possible to play a lot of good football, and still lose 9-4. Some of our midfield play (in particular) was very impressive, but we periodically tended to lose our shape and let the Moonies break up field (and, often, score). Still, I've rarely seen Real play so much football in an 11s game.

Correct footwear and 11s experience are sometimes overrated. Ian was in trainers last night, and played a blinder - besides notching two long range goals, he really anchored the midfield. And boy, did it need anchoring (as usual!) He got my Man Of The Match vote. And Pauline, despite never having played 11s before, did really well when she came on in the second half - just passing the ball, keeping out of bother and generally calming things down in the midfield.

We need a 'proper' keeper at all times. John and Al did their best, both making several key saves, but we really need to get David or (better still) Lee between the sticks for the next one.

More thought needs to go into who plays where. Rather than rely on a couple of folk to pick the team, I'd like to see a group of our regular, experienced players (say, Al, Ian, David, Keith) pick the best team for each 11s game. If that means leaving regular 5s players out because there isn't a place for them, I don't see a problem with that - certainly, if we had enough players in defence and midfield, and the 'selection committee' didn't think I could hack it up front (he hinted), then I would happily give that game a miss. Don't think anyone would have a problem with that? It's not as if you wouldn't get a game at 5s the following week if you'd been dropped for one of our rare 11s games. I'm basically fed up of Real Tuesday getting horsed at 11s, you see ...

3-5-2 really doesn't work for us. When we switched to that formation in the second half, that's when we started p*ssing goals (six of them, given that it was 3-1 at half time). OK, we needed to score, but 3-5-2 left us awful exposed at the back. Maybe 4-3-3 if (OK, WHEN) we find ourselves in similar circumstances again?

We need to get our substitutions sorted out. Malky and Pauline both did well when they came on, but it took too long for us to figure out where they would be playing. Need to try and work all that stuff out in advance (poss via the above mentioned 'committee').

Maybe our fitness isn't so bad, after all. OK, we had a lot of young players in the team (Gary, Scott, Craig etc) this time around, and the Moonies are all getting on a bit, but they did look knackered by the end. When we play them again, if we can keep the scores tight till well into the second half, we should be in with a chance.

We really need more 11s experience. With that in mind, I have asked the Moonies for a rematch at Peffermill within the next month. And I'll ask Stew Mel again if they are up for a game soon.

Despite the foregoing, I really enjoyed last night, and don't think we disgraced ourselves. Thanks to all of you who turned out - nice one!



Pretty much agree with your analysis, but for what it is worth I would add the following:

There was nothing wrong with 3-5-2 for the second half - but we didn't clearly set out what we expected of everyone. As a result Billy still thought he was basically left back, and nobody was dropping back from midfield to cover the full back positions when we lost the ball.

Also, although we did at times play some good football in midfield, too often it was too tight and in the end made it easy for them to defend. There was a lot of space out wide (and we used it well in the first half at times) but for much of the second half too many of us were drawn to the ball rather than looking for space. A five man / woman midfield with five free roles does not work, and when we lost the ball nobody seemed willing to chase back. We had as much of the ball as they did but did not use it as well in the final third of the pitch.

The main point from this is that we need everyone to know what is expected of them, and for people to stick to their positions rather than get caught following the ball. We also need to defend better further up the pitch and to follow their runners more. If we all know where we are supposed to be playing and stick to it it should make subs more effective as well as it should be more obvious what is expected. Also, when you are playing the ball out from the back you do not want to see the backs of everyone's shirts ahead of you.

Up front we need at least one player who can hold the ball up and chase their defenders / punts from the back. Too often the ball was coming straight back.

Also, at times we were very static and prone to waiting for the ball.

Finally, I cannot play that badly again (I hope) so bring on the re-match!


(Match Stats to follow)