But I’m really up for the FA Cup. Feels like it’s got a bit of its magic back, it was great to see Dulwich Hamlet in the 1st round, a club I know very well. Chichester too, in the 2nd round. Couple that with the fact we’re top of the league and winning matches, perhaps it’s a case of looking forward to town games generally more than recent seasons, and that’s having a halo effect on other competitions for me. Given we’re out of the league cup, and I’m not too fussed about the Mickey Mouse competition irrespective of whether it yields a Wembley visit, this is our 1 shot this season to do something meaningful outside of the league. How good would a cup run be? 5th round or 6th round at Portman Road, lovely. Getting back to the Championship this season has to be the priority of course but I do hope lambert takes the FA cup seriously.
A decent enough away performance, particularly 2nd half. Please to see us get another clean sheet, I thought Chambers and Woolfenden deserved that. We got lucky on 1 or 2 occasions but equally we really could've score 3 on another day.
Norris - Solid enough without really having a proper save to make. Distribution was good, some excellent kicks out to the touchline to find a man. This is an obvious edge over Holy and I feel much more confident with Norris in there.
Edwards - Very poor positionally and defensively. Rochdale had 3 decent chances, all from Edwards right-back position. Notable the header he missed on the touchline 1st half, with Garbutt doing well to block the resulting effort. He also got found out 2nd half, with the ball making its way over to Henderson who tried to dink it and put it over. Better sides put one of those chances away. Much more comfortable going forwards, but that's to be expected given he's not a right back. The sooner KVY gets back the better.
Chambers / Woolfy - Solid. I think its our best central defensive partnership. Chambers was composed and won an awful lot in the air, and Woolfy is a real player who seems to be getting better with each passing game. We need to build the side around players like him and Downes. My only criticism yesterday was that he didn't score 1, maybe even 2. Chambers would've buried those chances.
Garbutt - Played really well I thought, I really like him. Kept his man quiet and looked composed going forwards, linked up well with Rowe 2nd half. I like technical players and he's one of them, clearly been schooled well.
Rowe - Poor 1st half, came into the game more 2nd half and pleased to see him score. Looked much more effective on the left, not sure what was said to him at half time but clearly it worked.
Judge - Seems to be getting better and sharper each time I see him play, and yesterday showed glimpses of his quality, particularly in the 2nd half when he roamed inside looking for the ball and looked capable of dictating the play. That said, he still gave the ball away cheaply on too many occasions for my liking. A couple of poor passes, the crossfield switch to Rowe 1st half etc, not difficult things to execute and expect more from Judge. I still think he'll get going before too long and be a key player for us. Really needs a top performance to get his confidence up.
Skuse - About as classic a Cole Skuse performance as you'll see, highly effective, made a lot of interceptions and broke up play excellently, recycled the ball well and always offered protection and an out ball to the back 4.
Nolan - Started slowly but another one who improved 2nd half. When he plays well the team play well. Won the ball back countless times and keeps the ball moving quickly. I like Nolan but I wonder who starts from Nolan / Downes / Skuse in a 4-4-2. That's the conundrum and the sole reason why Lambert has explored the 3-5-2.
Jackson - Question marks over his first touch still, and technically no in the same league as some others in the side but compensates for that with his pace and work rate, defended from the front brilliantly last night and didn't give them time on the ball to pick a pass out of defence.
Norwood - As above. Without possession I thought our front 2 were excellent. With the ball I thought we could do more, and there were times in the 1st half where Jackson & Norwood were so far apart. Clearly our best partnership though, although I am looking to see if Sears can find his pre injury self in the new year and offer something a little different up there.
Solid performance overall, got to be satisfied with that. Keep ticking them off, 5 points above 3rd with 2 games in hand. Hopefully we take the FA Cup match seriously on Saturday, especially given we don't have a league game for a while. Would be nice to go on a little run.
Does anyone know a good / cheap email hosting option? I’m in the early throws of launching a business with an ex colleague of mine, we have domains registered and in order to sound somewhat credible at this stage it would be great to have a more professional sounding email as an alternative to @gmail, particularly as we’re starting conversations with manufacturers.
Or are there significantly less coppers in lay-bys with speed guns than there used to be? A consequence of reduced police numbers perhaps? Or maybe just that most of my driving tends to be very early of late at night nowadays.
I’m sure I’m tempting fate in some way but I genuinely can’t remember the last time I saw a speed camera van or copper with a speed gun.
Out of the League Cup, fine with that. We’ve got the 2nd string cup which could yield a Wembley trip.
Anyone else hoping we take the FA Cup seriously this year? Would be great to get to a round 4 or 5 tie at PR vs. someone decent. It feels like forever ago that we did anything in the FA Cup. Obviously I don’t want anything to compromise us getting up but with the squad we have you would think we can rotate sufficiently.
I'll kick off with the Woolpack. Really nice looking pub, in my favourite part of town too with some really characterful properties surrounding it. Reminds me of visiting my auntie as a kid who lived on Constable Road at the time. Many hours spent in the Woolpack after spending an afternoon dicking around in the park. Not been in for a long while mind.
Is it just me that doesn’t find it remotely funny? I’m not offended by it, not in the slightest, I just think it’s such low grade ‘bants’. It’s neither original or funny is it? Now I’ve seen stickers with it on and a group of virgins squarking it at Chambers on the train, and grinning because they said the word c0ck. He looked so embarrassed at how tragic it is and I’m not surprised, I’m embarrassed for them.