Fri 26th & Sat 27th November

Chief Rocka

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What's with that short goal kick routine Hartlepool fans? It put you in bother 3 or 4 times. It amazes me that teams at this level believe they have the ability to play out from the back.

We do it all the time, it was a staple of Dave Challinor, play it out from the back, worked a charm in non league, get punished for it regularly up here.

Suppose on the flip side we don’t have players at the top end of the pitch with the physical attributes to flick a header on or hold it up, so we’re pretty limited.
 

The Terminator

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Congratulations to all league 2 fans who turned out today, real fans every one.

I'm nearly 37 and have been going to football matches for near enough every Saturday/Tuesday since I was ten years old - Today was easily the coldest I can ever remember being at a game - the wind was chilling, even with 3 layers and my huge winter coat.
 

Essex2Wessex

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Absolutely bitterly freezing at TNL today, maybe serving as a reminder that we home fans in the North and South stands, while having shelter overhead when it rains, are in other conditions barely better provided much better for than away fans on the west terrace - the ground and its facilities simply can't cope with near sell-out games like today.

And getting there and back was no fun (roads blocked by newly fallen trees on the way out, and others closed because the engine of one of the rail replacement buses had blown up on the way back....), compounded by a power cut that left most of Nailsworth (FGR apart) in complete darkness for hours...and absolute gridlock on the roads after the game.

But, man, we were on fire for a fair bit of the game. Smooth, connected, resilient, just getting on with it. Matt obviously on top form, but at the back, the more unassuming Dom Bernard was very useful too, among others. A real team effort.

I'd expected a lot more from the Gas than what they offered today. Maybe they were having a bad day, but on the basis of what we saw today I thought they seemed to be one of the weaker teams we've played, at least at home, so far this season. They posed a threat only intermittently, and also didn't seem to work out how to deal with the strong winds. I guess just how quiet their fans were, despite selling out their allocation, might have reflected some frustration. If so it seemed a dignified silence.

Hope they get rid of Barton sharpish and pick themselves up and restore some pride in the club. Our fans certainly gave plenty of encouragement on the first of these two points. Tbh kind of impressed at both the crudity and originality of some of the chants. Quite incredible atmosphere from the South Stand - the best for a long time.

It was certainly a world away from the polished and sanitised Premier League, classic English winter lower league stuff! Which I guess is what we're here for...
 

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Poor game today in horrible conditions. Hartlepool were exactly the sort of team we needed to play, lightweight, no presence up front, overplaying it rather than getting balls in the box.
We did say on here that you couldn't have wished for an easier opponent to get you back on back.

Press us high, we don't have any answers. There's no out ball to escape the press. As a result loads of errors in us, and very little goal threat. I haven't been angry all season as its a step up, expectations are not that high and we've at least been competitive overall. Today we didn't put a shift in. And for the first time I am proper pissed off. I was fuming watching that.
 

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i only went and got covid so i missed the freezing cold fun.

it feels like a really important win as i can't help but feel the next month or two are going to be a struggle with Wilson/Proctor out.
 

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i only went and got covid so i missed the freezing cold fun.

it feels like a really important win as i can't help but feel the next month or two are going to be a struggle with Wilson/Proctor out.

Get well soon Soz.

I think it’s now a case of needs must and look at switching to a 4-3-3 formation just to get through this time. We don’t really have anyone to play that central striker still but a rotation between Rodney, Worrall, Politic and Amoo is probably the best of a bad situation. Not sure how long Lloyd is out for otherwise might have included him even if he is rather innocuous to be honest.
 
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A rather poor game at Sutton yesterday. Barrow perhaps deserved a point, however a combination of poor finishing and some good stops by Bouzanis in the Sutton goal ensured a second consecutive home victory and clean sheet combination.
 

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A rather poor game at Sutton yesterday. Barrow perhaps deserved a point, however a combination of poor finishing and some good stops by Bouzanis in the Sutton goal ensured a second consecutive home victory and clean sheet combination.

Zanzala couldn't finish the egg and spoon race at his lad's sports day.
 

Soz

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Get well soon mate.

Get well soon Soz.

I think it’s now a case of needs must and look at switching to a 4-3-3 formation just to get through this time. We don’t really have anyone to play that central striker still but a rotation between Rodney, Worrall, Politic and Amoo is probably the best of a bad situation. Not sure how long Lloyd is out for otherwise might have included him even if he is rather innocuous to be honest.


cheers folks, mild symptoms only so far so i've been quite lucky

agreed kieran, 4-3-3 makes the most sense, to be honest I'd play Amoo as striker if needs be. i think that would then suit rodney to play out wide again, obviously worrall is a starter on the other wing and then maybe we'd see the best of politic lw too.
 

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Been out and about so it’s amazing to see we’ve won away again, totally unexpected about the dire loss to sutton.

Sounds like clough made the necessary changes and we’ve won!

Dropping the captain, going three at the back, Hawkins back up too. Fair play to Clough he got it spot on tactically.

Oates is showing more signs he’s starting to improve his final product, great finish yesterday, the pass from Hawkins even better.
 

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looked so good for us last season... admittedly that was only half a season, and believe he started well enough for you but must lack the consistency.
I’d take him in our team right now. And I think we’d have a good few more points on the board if we did have him or a player like him.

Our current forwards make Zanzala look like prime Suarez.
 

shoddycollins

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I’d take him in our team right now. And I think we’d have a good few more points on the board if we did have him or a player like him.

Our current forwards make Zanzala look like prime Suarez.
He definitely caused problems for our defence the other week, even though his shooting was a bit off it's something we haven't been able to do to our opponents defences who have far too often had an easy day. We finally scored last night from a well-worked set piece, which is nice to see given how poor we've been from them, but only one one occasion (when Gibson hit the post) did we test their defence in open play; there was a chance for Fishburn the commentators remarked on which from my vantage point didn't look like as great a shooting opportunity as it was made out since I couldn't see Fishburn for defenders.
 

Sestonpoolie

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We did say on here that you couldn't have wished for an easier opponent to get you back on back.

Press us high, we don't have any answers. There's no out ball to escape the press. As a result loads of errors in us, and very little goal threat. I haven't been angry all season as its a step up, expectations are not that high and we've at least been competitive overall. Today we didn't put a shift in. And for the first time I am proper pissed off. I was fuming watching that.
Yesterday was the first away game in years I haven't watched or listened to,as I knew what was coming.
But christ,I was still shocked at those two goals.
I can hack players with limited ability, but what I won't put up with is lack of effort.
The players need to stop sulking that DC has left & start acting like the professionals they're supposed to be.
 

Soup Ladle

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Yesterday was the first away game in years I haven't watched or listened to,as I knew what was coming.
But christ,I was still shocked at those two goals.
I can hack players with limited ability, but what I won't put up with is lack of effort.
The players need to stop sulking that DC has left & start acting like the professionals they're supposed to be.

There's certainly a lack of belief from what I can see. The players know probably better than we do that at least half of the squad are not L2 players. So it appears there's a lack of faith in each other that they'll get results. When you're getting squeezed to death and the release ball is to Will Goodwin or Mike Fondop, is it any wonder like?

I really hope these bargain bin signings are only on 1 year deals.
 

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A footnote to Saturday's game...

That is the first time we've ever had five ex-Poolies play against us in a single match. I hope that the esteemed Cass, Johnson, Walker, Rodney and Jones appreciate this singular honour.
 

valefan16

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A footnote to Saturday's game...

That is the first time we've ever had five ex-Poolies play against us in a single match. I hope that the esteemed Cass, Johnson, Walker, Rodney and Jones appreciate this singular honour.
Cass has been out of form the last couple of games but looked a bit better, Walker and Johnson hadn't played for months in a league game but thought both did well, Walker was up there for man of the match.

Rodney has gone from potential million pound sale last season to absolutely dogshite this season, not sure whats up with him.

DJ has been a good signing but had a mare and cost us against Walsall, probably unlucky to be dropped as he had been better than Cass in recent games.
 

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Cass has been out of form the last couple of games but looked a bit better, Walker and Johnson hadn't played for months in a league game but thought both did well, Walker was up there for man of the match.

Rodney has gone from potential million pound sale last season to absolutely dogshite this season, not sure whats up with him.

DJ has been a good signing but had a mare and cost us against Walsall, probably unlucky to be dropped as he had been better than Cass in recent games.

Johnson did a decent job for us in the NL. I wasn't too put out when he left as I thought he was easily replaceable, but I appreciate the work he did for us. Losing Cass was a much bigger blow, and that may well have been a consequence of our chairman's game-playing with the budget in the summer as I think Challinor would have been keen to have him back.

Walker played 100 competitive matches for us while still a teenager. He was genuinely excellent when he first started but tailed off a fair bit, possibly due to a bit of burnout, maybe off-field distractions, I don't know. No surprise at all to see him have a decent career. Jones was a good, solid, left-sided defender with a decent long chuck on him. The archetypal reliable lower-league squad player. I liked him at Pools, but wasn't heartbroken when he left.

Rodney is one of the most baffling footballers I've ever watched. He had pace and power, and looked every bit a footballer, but he couldn't read the game. For someone who spent time at top academies he looked remarkably uncoached. He was terrible at judging a ball's flight, and had an uncanny ability to get himself into the exact position where the ball wasn't. He was like his namesake waiting for the wrong chandelier to drop. I liked him, and always wanted him in the squad because he was young and there was definitely something there if it could just click, and but for a late Mark O'Brien goal at Newport he would be a Poolie folk hero, but by god he was frustrating. Playing in a shit team didn't help.
 

kieran_vale

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Johnson did a decent job for us in the NL. I wasn't too put out when he left as I thought he was easily replaceable, but I appreciate the work he did for us. Losing Cass was a much bigger blow, and that may well have been a consequence of our chairman's game-playing with the budget in the summer as I think Challinor would have been keen to have him back.

Walker played 100 competitive matches for us while still a teenager. He was genuinely excellent when he first started but tailed off a fair bit, possibly due to a bit of burnout, maybe off-field distractions, I don't know. No surprise at all to see him have a decent career. Jones was a good, solid, left-sided defender with a decent long chuck on him. The archetypal reliable lower-league squad player. I liked him at Pools, but wasn't heartbroken when he left.

Rodney is one of the most baffling footballers I've ever watched. He had pace and power, and looked every bit a footballer, but he couldn't read the game. For someone who spent time at top academies he looked remarkably uncoached. He was terrible at judging a ball's flight, and had an uncanny ability to get himself into the exact position where the ball wasn't. He was like his namesake waiting for the wrong chandelier to drop. I liked him, and always wanted him in the squad because he was young and there was definitely something there if it could just click, and but for a late Mark O'Brien goal at Newport he would be a Poolie folk hero, but by god he was frustrating. Playing in a shit team didn't help.

You pretty much nailed it there with Rodders. Physically he has all the attributes you would want in a player but he has absolutely no football brain whatsoever. I suspect with him this is why he’s struggling right now as under DC we tend to approach each game with different subtle tactics and formations. He just doesn’t seem able to adapt to it and it’s better to be honest to tell him to clear his mind of all responsibilities or anything like that and just knock it past the defender and smack the ball at goal when the chance is there and nothing else.
 

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You pretty much nailed it there with Rodders. Physically he has all the attributes you would want in a player but he has absolutely no football brain whatsoever. I suspect with him this is why he’s struggling right now as under DC we tend to approach each game with different subtle tactics and formations. He just doesn’t seem able to adapt to it and it’s better to be honest to tell him to clear his mind of all responsibilities or anything like that and just knock it past the defender and smack the ball at goal when the chance is there and nothing else.
Yeah last season Rodders was ace, pace, power, scored stunners (got 12 I think) but this season seems way off, when hes up against Peter Clarke that first home game and your expecting him to absolutely destroy him up against him for pace and he just didnt go for it, clearly something going on there in the back ground.

As said, decision making wasn't great last season but felt we could coach that going forward but he just isn't looking interested, compare him to Garrity as the POD says and its chalk and cheese, a less naturally talented player but gives 110% to make up for it and wants it.
 

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Yeah last season Rodders was ace, pace, power, scored stunners (got 12 I think) but this season seems way off, when hes up against Peter Clarke that first home game and your expecting him to absolutely destroy him up against him for pace and he just didnt go for it, clearly something going on there in the back ground.

As said, decision making wasn't great last season but felt we could coach that going forward but he just isn't looking interested, compare him to Garrity as the POD says and its chalk and cheese, a less naturally talented player but gives 110% to make up for it and wants it.
Unfortunately I just don't think you can teach someone football intelligence. Look at Wilson's movement, touch and vision in comparison. Like people have said, he should have the attributes to be a great player but I wonder whether he'll ever really change.
 

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There's certainly a lack of belief from what I can see. The players know probably better than we do that at least half of the squad are not L2 players. So it appears there's a lack of faith in each other that they'll get results. When you're getting squeezed to death and the release ball is to Will Goodwin or Mike Fondop, is it any wonder like?

I really hope these bargain bin signings are only on 1 year deals.
I just can't understand why they would lack self belief after beating Northampton & Harrogate after being behind,also beating a strong Wycombe side in thier own backyard.
 

leedsvaliant

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I just can't understand why they would lack self belief after beating Northampton & Harrogate after being behind,also beating a strong Wycombe side in thier own backyard.
Some nice build up play but it was constant side to side stuff. Cullen needs a target man alongside him. You also persistently played out from the back and got into bother a couple of times.

I think there's players with ability in there but it needs someone to have a rethink about how you play. It all seemed a bit rudderless with no real idea about how you were going to score goals. At 1-0 we shouldn't have felt comfortable but we did really.
 

Soup Ladle

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I just can't understand why they would lack self belief after beating Northampton & Harrogate after being behind,also beating a strong Wycombe side in thier own backyard.
Winning away in the cup as underdogs when there's no pressure is a different thing. Look at the away record for a start. Problem there is we go a goal down and the heads do the same thing. I noticed on Saturday that mistakes we made on the ball or in front of goal, face palms all round, hands on head like oh ffs not again. Need to back each other more.
I think there's players with ability in there but it needs someone to have a rethink about how you play. It all seemed a bit rudderless with no real idea about how you were going to score goals. At 1-0 we shouldn't have felt comfortable but we did really.
There is, we can pass the ball well and when it came off earlier in the season it was good before teams sussed us out. Lots of fans saying we looked a good side but it's all one dimensional and we can't change it up that much as we don't have the quality or different options to consider. You also have to bear in mind the caretaker is pretty desperate to hand over the reigns as well, he even said the players don't know what to do at the minute.

As Raj fucked about with the budget, Challinor couldn't sign who he wanted and we would have different options/better players. This is where we're at. He left in a bad way but understandable. Stockport will give him what he wants, they are better backed than pretty much all of L2.
 

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