Another view

Last updated : 22 January 2002 By Kentish Bee
Responding to your latest news bulletin on the current poor run Trandy, I understand your pessimism, particularly if we lose players like Mahon, Powell, Evans and Owusu and don't bring in replacements of similar quality.

I agree that at present there doesn't seem to be much in the way of creative changes to address the situation. Ray Lew changed things around last season by altering the system and putting Mahon into a back three. That had a big effect on performances and certainly made us much more difficult to beat. I would be inclined to do something similar this time.

I do think that Price leaving has been a short term turning point. One of the reasons we played so well up to mid November was his presence on the right (in addition to the excellent form of Powell, Ingimarsson, Mahon, Evans and Owusu - the backbone of the team).

In general I think our form has dipped because we are now weaker defensively on the flanks and because of a dip in form of Evans and Mahon. Previously we had Dobson combining and overlapping well with Price on the right and Gibbs / Anderson doing a similar thing on the left. (I think Gibbo's best position personally is left side of midfield).

Dobson has been struggling recently I think because of the absence of Price and a genuinely right sided player (Sidwell is quite clearly a central midfield player and O'Connor is a forward). I think in any case that Dobson is better coming forward and is more suspect defensively - if we can Danny Boxall back and playing well it might be an idea to push Dobson up to right side of Midfield so that he can run at the opposition defenses down the flank and give us that extra width.

With Gibbs coming back on the left and reforging the partnership with Anderson these two developments might just give us the extra solidity on the flanks to revive the form of Evans and Mahon.
I also think the Wycombe away game was a turning point where we were absolutely murdered down the flanks in the second half and our frailties their were cruelly exposed. This added pressure on our central defenders and led to them making errors.
Another alternative is to introduce 3-5- 2 (bringing in Theobald who toward the end of last season played really well - he was excellent at Cardiff), playing Dobson and Anderson as wing backs, Evans and Sidwell in central midfield and Mahon playing behind them "sweeping" just in front of the back three. Only thoughts I know but I do think a change to tactics a la Ray Lew last season is definitely in order.