Sunday, October 19, 2008

Altrincham 1 Yellows 0, Yellow 2 Burton Albion 1

In the car park there was a transit van painted like the Dream Machine – yes, it seems that the mystery surrounding Friday’s fire attracted Scooby-doo and the gang. You just know it was Firoz Kassam in a rubber fright mask. He would have got away with it if it wasn’t for those meddling kids…

To stretch an analogy to breaking point, the biggest mystery of all has yet to be solved. How can you lose to Altrincham and then dominate and win against Burton – the team I have down as favourites for the title.

Currently, my thinking is pace – we have, for the first time, a team that enjoys playing at the Kassam. It enjoys playing a high tempo, expansive game. Murray spreads the play, Haldane, Yemi and Deering prowl the flanks, Constable and Guy pull defenders all over the place. One of the reasons Phil Trainer has had a goal-rush is because he’s been able to exploit the space being created behind the front two.

The problem, then, is guile. When pitches are small and teams are compact, breaking them down is going to be difficult with the personnel we’ve got. I’m not necessarily suggesting that we need more creativity in midfield – Adam Murray is pretty capable at mixing up his passing. The key, I think, is in the efficiency of set pieces. When we gain territory, we’ve got to make it count better than we do currently. Oddly, our season may be defined by the number of goals our centrebacks end up getting.

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