I do hope we don't play Hall as a centre-back - needed in midfield.
Another possible option is Wynter to centre-back and Bawling at right-wing-back.
Most likely is a flat back four.
4-4-2? Hall and Dickson in the middle, Williams and Keating up front, perm 2 from Bawling, Banton and Reid wide? Or Dickson wide left with Nabi or Regis in the middle with Hall?
4-3-3? Hall behind Nabi or Regis and Dickson with lots of choice of front three? A front three does not really suit Williams - neither a centre-forward or a wide man.
Or a diamond allowing Williams and Keating up front and choose from Banton/Bawling/Reid/Nabi/Regis in the hole?
Whatever, I would certainly start with Keating as he has been our biggest goal threat so far - but the manager may disagree.
I have just watched the highlights of the match against Slough for the nth time, and was mostly struck by the quality of their no 6, the bald headed guy, who dominated the midfield and seems to have real quality. Does anyone know who he is?
The most disappointing aspect of the game was, for me, the performance of Ryan Dickson, who seems like a fish out of water in midfield. I believe that he should play where he has for most of his career, i.e. at left back, and allow Davis to stay high on the left and deliver the crosses which at the moment are sadly lacking.
The midfield looks weak. Hall is here, there and everywhere, but Nabi seems to wander out to the flanks a lot, and perhaps lacks discipline, thus leaving the midfield so exposed. Perhaps it is time for Regis to come in to bolster the central midfield, and forget this idea of wing backs. Twenty years ago it worked so well with Gurney and Gibbs, but players at NLS level simply do not understand those roles.
You are this forum's expert on formations, Jon, so what do think of this:
Bass Wynter or Essuman, Niate, Cameron, Dickson Nabi, Regis, Hall, Davis Keating, Williams
The issue of the captaincy also seems to be contentious among supporters, and perhaps they are right in calling for it to be given to Asa Hall, as Brett Williams appears to burdened with it and in any case needs to be left to doing what he is expected to do, namely scoring goals.
So, today we take on the mighty Hampton & Richmond! Well they seem to be mighty to us because we rarely beat any of them! Haven't a clue what the score line will be...is Keating playing? If not, pretty close to zero, I would assume! Interesting to see what the crowd is. If we were flying high, 2000+ I would imagine, but after the last two games...1500-!
Well, at least we’ve got an 100% record at home to defend. Scoring goals seems to be our Achilles heel this season but we are creating chances so hopefully if we can start knocking a few in then our strikers will get the confidence to take those half chances. Keating put in a very good performance a fortnight ago so surely has got to start if fully fit again. Looking forward to seeing Wright at some point.
The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him.
With the sun already shining I'm looking forward to getting over to see this one. I can't join in on making much of an assessment of the new players as I didn't get to see any pre-season games, and have only been able to get to the home game against Bath. I was very impressed by Bath's football, but subsequently having seen Hector label them a 'poor team' on another Forum perhaps my expected standards for NLS were set too low.
I see Stewart says that there are supporters questioning Williams role as Captain, even before August is out. It seems only a month or so ago that supporters were observing that Williams appeared to be thriving on having the honour of wearing the armband bestowed upon him, and that his pre season performances were impressive. Against Bath I thought he was crowded out more often than not, and frankly if any opponent has scouted the pre season games, then would they not have concluded that using numbers to stop Williams made sense, as if you could stop him there wouldn't be a preponderance of sharpshooters in our line up with the ability to capitalise on the extra space afforded them ?
Sokolik impressed me against Bath, as did the big black central defender who's name I can't recall. To be missing both those players must surely weaken us at the moment.
Nabi perhaps lacks discipline, suggests Stewart. Keith Curle's assessment of Nabi at Carlisle was, if I remember rightly, that he was fine when the side was attacking, but you couldn't rely on him to be in the right place when his side didn't have possession and defensive considerations were needed. A more serious deficiency at League level of course, and ones that can be overcome with experience and coaching, or by using the player in a different role to take account of certain weaknesses. He does seem as creative as most we've got in the midfield area, and with greater match fitness might go on to have a good season.
Personally i wouldn't move Davis from wing back at the moment. His strength is going past people, but if he does take it from front to back do we want midfielder Dickson already up with him, ready to receive a short pass somewhere near the edge of the opponents area, or Dickson watching the action from a more defensive position ? I'd favour the former, on the basis that crosses aren't Davis's strong point, and do we have forwards whose strengths are making the most of crosses put into the box ? Reid, Keating, Williams, none are disastrously bad at heading, but none of them thrive on high balls either.
Owers will have information on the particular strengths of Hampton & Richmond that he'll have to think about countering, which might be factored into his ideas on formation, and then there's little rest before travelling up to Worcestershire for Monday's game.......so racing into a 3-0 lead so that you can rest some key players for the whole of the 2nd half is what I'd advise for today
Elsewhere, it has been discussed whether or not we should play young Olaf. Would it change his character...would it alter his life...would he still be able to have a dump in the morning! It's a game of football not a drive-by shooting! I have played in harder games in Shiphay park, than some of the games I've seen at Plainmoor! If he can score goals (because no bugger else seems to be able to) get him in!
I can see the sense in using Dickson centrally as he is a quality player - but left-footers often get shifted wide to help the balance of the side.
I like the idea of doubling up Davis and Dickson down the left, but I think I would keep Davis at left-back with Dickson left midfield. Davis would keep some of the license to overlap that a back three affords him if he had Dickson capable of covering behind.
Whatever the formation, we are so thin on defenders and defensive midfielders that the "back seven" picks itself.
It's perm any four from eight for the more attacking roles : Nabi, Regis, Bawling, Banton, Reid, Williams, Wright and Keating.
I think all eight have a realistic chance of starting and nobody is guaranteed a start.
Unfortunately, that is because nobody (Keating possibly apart, but he is returning from injury and Owers does not seem to rate him) has done enough to demand a starting place.