Date: 15th November 2009 at 11:35am
Written by:

I’ll try and keep this short & sweet.

The performance was brilliant from Tranmere yesterday. Bar Ricketts, everyone put in a shift and the lads can hold their heads up high. We were arguably the better team over the 90 minutes but definitely the better side in the first half. The amount of chances we created was pleasing although what was not so pleasing was the fact we failed to convert any of the chanes, a majority of which fell to Shuker.

There were times in the game yesterday when we passed our way through Norwich, who are one of the better sides in the league so that is a very positive sign. We limited Norwich to speculative efforts in the first half which was also pleasing as it meant the likes of Grant Holt (who is a top bloke, enjoyed my banter with him over that six pack of his!) and Wes Hoolahan couldn’t get a clear-cut chance.

We were playing a very high line in the first half, which was worrying but when the ball was played over the top, the slick surface either took it straight through to Daniels, who had a good game, or it went out for a goal kick.

Admittedly, when I saw the team which included Broomes at RB and McLaren in the centre I did let out a groan or two but both players did well, McLaren in particular. He won the ball and distributed it well although when he was freed down the middle I felt he should have squared it for Curran/Fraughan (couldn’t tell who as I was at the other end of the ground) for an easy tap in as opposed to Shuker, who had a tight angle to shoot from but fair play to their keeper for making an outstanding save.

The penalty decision was debateable to say the least. I haven’t yet seen a replay of it but a lot of people have said it wasn’t a penalty. I do think the referee was swayed somewhat by the Carrow Road crowd, who were becoming more frustrated by the minute as we defended resolutely until the penalty, which was dispatched by Hoolahan.

Ricketts MUST be dropped next game because all he’s doing at the minute is breathing my oxygen and getting in the way of players who are making positive runs and thus killing what could potentially be a threatening attack. His lack of movement and willingness to jump for headers is really starting to annoy me. I expect him to be a free agent come the summer.

I thought Les left the substitutions too late yesterday. Ideally, I’d have taken Ricketts off and put Bain on at HT. As it was, Les left it until 15 minutes were remaining to make a sub. Thomas-Moore and Gornell were ineffective but Bain looked lively and had a few half-chances. I think he should start at Orient in midweek.

The second goal killed the game really although Bain had a few half-chances as I mentioned in the previous paragraph.

Don’t let the match stats fool you by the way, we were well in the game for most of the afternoon. I think Norwich fans will admit we gave them a very good game yesterday and could easily have won it had Shuker found the target with any of his 4 efforts.

Lets not dwell upon the negatives from yesterday (of which there are little, or big as the negative is Ricketts). We’ve got Leyton Orient away twice in 4 days now and I have to say, I’m confident about us picking up at least one win at the Matchroom Stadium if we play as we did yesterday.