Luton v Stevenage 2/5

Kenneth E End

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A very small chance that Luton could sneak into the final play off spot at the expense of Plymouth who travel to Shrewsbury, a team that have an unbelievable home record and who battered us there back in August. Reason why I'm a little bit optimistic is because there's as much chance of it happening as Elliot Justham letting in his goal v Southend last week. You can get 1211/1 at the league sponsors for a 5-0 Luton and 3-0 Shrewsbury double.

However, Stevenage are perhaps the worst team in the league to try and be free scoring against. In all the meetings between the 2 sides, they've been extremely tight affairs with a bit of magic separating the two sides. Westley is an indicative man, so he'll probably stick 10 men behind the ball and offer nothing, knowing that Luton need to chase the game.

Luton have promised that they'll go all out attack. We do need to be a bit patient and try and set a target of getting at least 2 by HT and see where it goes from there. It has been a poor week for the club after 2 players were arrested for an incident after the club's awards night.
 

That Fat Centre Half

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Well that was alright really, I knew we didn't have a shot at playoffs so I'm not disappointed at all. The game was quite enjoyable, we perhaps should have scored a few more but some decent performances all over the pitch.

Think some changes need to e made but I think we have a decent base to go on from for next season.

Not reading too much into Stevenages performance as they made 8 changes but they were pretty poor I thought, rarely threatened but had a few flurries toward the end.
 

Kenneth E End

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I'm sorry, but Stevenage are a horrible side. They were probably the worst team to play against in this sort of situation, as Westley would use every trick in the book to slow the game down, defraud the referee and wind the crowd up. Not sure what their team gained out of it to be honest. They're coming back to Kenilworth Road next year.

As for us, 8th place we shouldn't be too downhearted about - despite the situation we were in around Christmas time. A solid foundation for next season, with obvious areas to be looked into during the summer months. I'm bullish as to our chances next term.
 

That Fat Centre Half

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They weren't as bad as I recalled from their conference season to be fair.

Still used the old Mid half drinks break trick in the first half when there was a spell of pressure.

Think it was Lee who went down with a "head injury", and they all went for a team talk. I wouldn't mind if Lee was actually hurt, as I think Ashton was later in the half, and needed treatment but the physio didn't even bother coming on on that occasion.
 

Judge Dredd

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Yeah the drinks break/team talk was as laughable and predictable as ever, it's amazing the refs still fall for it. But it is what it is, they are in the play-offs and we aren't so we'll have to wait until next season to take the piss out of Westley properly.

Alas, a season of what ifs but a solid enough foundation to build on for next season. Assuming that McGeehan and Harriman are already more or less done deals, for me we need four signings of genuine first team quality (one central defender so we have a genuine choice out of three good ones, one right sided winger/wide forward, one left sided winger/wide forward, one proper brute of a target man). Maybe two squad players too depending on what happens with the contracted players not getting a look in (if Drury and Robinson go, another central midfielder required, if Onyemah isn't ready to step up, we need a left back to cover Griffiths).

Ship out all of the ones currently out of contract bar Smith (who's already been offered a new deal) and some of the contracted ones too (Cullen, Miller, Lafayette, Robinson, maybe Lacey if that Sunderland coke-head guy is ready to be fourth choice, maybe Drury depending on if he sorts himself out and wants to stay... shift out Hall if possible too, he's done absolutely nothing and seems to have no pace whatsoever anymore).

Get rid of all the loans bar the two likely permanent transfers and maybe keep Lee on a season-long loan if possible, not a natural fit for Still's system but a good player so worth keeping around as a luxury if possible.

Smaller squad with more genuine quality, use the loan system/youth players if we have ridiculous injuries again.

Sounds easy in theory. I suspect we'll end up with Stockley instead of a proper target man though.
 

Kenneth E End

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Still has said in his interview tonight that it'll be a very busy month, taking just a couple of days off and getting back to work.
 

That Fat Centre Half

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Yeah the drinks break/team talk was as laughable and predictable as ever, it's amazing the refs still fall for it. But it is what it is, they are in the play-offs and we aren't so we'll have to wait until next season to take the piss out of Westley properly.

Alas, a season of what ifs but a solid enough foundation to build on for next season. Assuming that McGeehan and Harriman are already more or less done deals, for me we need four signings of genuine first team quality (one central defender so we have a genuine choice out of three good ones, one right sided winger/wide forward, one left sided winger/wide forward, one proper brute of a target man). Maybe two squad players too depending on what happens with the contracted players not getting a look in (if Drury and Robinson go, another central midfielder required, if Onyemah isn't ready to step up, we need a left back to cover Griffiths).

Ship out all of the ones currently out of contract bar Smith (who's already been offered a new deal) and some of the contracted ones too (Cullen, Miller, Lafayette, Robinson, maybe Lacey if that Sunderland coke-head guy is ready to be fourth choice, maybe Drury depending on if he sorts himself out and wants to stay... shift out Hall if possible too, he's done absolutely nothing and seems to have no pace whatsoever anymore).

Get rid of all the loans bar the two likely permanent transfers and maybe keep Lee on a season-long loan if possible, not a natural fit for Still's system but a good player so worth keeping around as a luxury if possible.

Smaller squad with more genuine quality, use the loan system/youth players if we have ridiculous injuries again.

Sounds easy in theory. I suspect we'll end up with Stockley instead of a proper target man though.
Agree with all of that in terms of players we need.

We need some decent wide players as a priority, in my opinion we haven't had a single one who has been up to standard all year and that's a huge reason we have struggled for goals.

I think we are going to be stuck with some of the deadwood unfortunately, I really don't understand why we gave Robinson a 3 year deal for instance and Drury would be a big contract to pay up so we may as well keep him on.

Depending on how many we clear out up front if be fine with Stockley as a back up, not a first team Ayer for a team with promotions ambitions though.

Above all though I want a smaller squad built cohesively with a clear idea of how everyone fits together. This years recruitment has been far too haphazard.
 

Kenneth E End

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Jayden Stockley was a hardworking player, but he's going to be nothing better than 4th choice. We should only be signing those who will be better.
 

Judge Dredd

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Yeah, assuming Still wants us to play 4-2-3-1/4-3-3, we don't really need too many out and out strikers on the squad. Two or at a push three target men types to compete for the lone central role and then some pacey/direct/goal threats from the flanks are what is needed (the wide signings are so important to make it work, without those the system just falls apart).

Benson is contracted and will stay, he should be back-up target man moving forward for me if we have genuine promotion aspirations. We need someone better than Benson to come in and improve us, and that's not Stockley; he couldn't get in the team once Benson came back. Also, we have Angol coming back who has to be worth a shot as a third choice as he has scored the goals, is the right age and has the right build/physical attributes for the way Still wants his striker to play.

Not sure who is actually about as an alternative mind you. I'd hope for someone who is an actual brute/bully of a target man, Benson is more Sheringham than Steve Howard if you know what I mean, as is Stockley; they are tall and awkward, reasonable in the air and can hold a ball up but they don't bully defenders, you never think they are favourites in the air against most central defenders. If we're going to play direct football we might as well do it properly...

No more no-pace, no-height strikers like Cullen/Miller/Walker who can only be effective in a formation we don't want to play. Maybe Lee on a season-long loan as a plan B as he has real technical quality, but I would not care one bit if we gave Cullen to Peterborough for a fee equivalent to his train fare because he just doesn't fit the system (and he's not that good anyway frankly, lack of technical ability, poor first touch, can't dribble, can't pass).
 

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