What a horror show! An unconvincing performance, but you can't help feeling we could have come away with a 2-1 win if we had had a middle to our defence.
Has Courtney Richards ever played in the centre of the defence before? It certainly didn't look like he had. I think the Herald has said he played as striker in his youth before switching to midfield.
Given his mature performances this season, it is easy to forget that he is only twenty. A Harding or a Hargreaves of six years ago might be able to draw on a lot of general experience to try a new position - a very tough ask for a youngster.
I can only guess that Hargreaves' logic was to stick as close as possible to the eleven that played so well in the second half against Wrexham. No Angus? Well Courtney's available. He's keen and he can tackle. Sorted.
It wasn't though, was it? You don't just pick eleven players and cram them in - you pick a team with players in positions they can play.
Would Courtney have been o.k. alongside an experienced and confident partner, with a reliable keeper behind him, two quality full-backs and a midfield destroyer ahead to protect him?
We'll never know, because that certainly was not what he got.
Pearce had an awful game. Decision made for Saturday - bring back MacDonald and Downes.
We've probably all had doubts about whether Rice, Tonge and Cruise are good enough. Remarkably, they have done all right this season with a reliable pair of centre backs and Courtney Richards grabbing hold of the initiative in midfield alongside Young.
But of course playing Courtney Richards in defence meant we had no Courtney Richards in midfield. Wakefield did well in the second half against Wrexham and in some ways "didn't deserve to be dropped" but if you have Young and Richards available, you play Young and Richards in midfield. It would be daft not to.
The most significant reason in my opinion why Hawley did not perform at Torquay, more so than not having a big target man to play off, was simply because he did not want to be at Torquay. I heard through a good source even in the early part of Alan Knill's tenure last season that Hawley was homesick. I found this surprising at the time as Hawley was hardly a youngster like Billy Kee who wanted to leave Torquay for the same reason. Hargreaves also mentioned several times last season that there are some players who do not want to be here. It is pretty safe to say that Hawley did not settle in Torquay and he will perform better for Alfreton now he is back to his roots.
It is so important that Torquay managers choose players who are hungry to do well at our club and have not just popped down to get a decent pay cheque. This is where Hargreaves and before him Buckle went to great pains in signing players at Torquay with that hunger. Both have made this point in past interviews and it is an area that Alan Knill got woefully wrong. The players need to have the club at heart and needs careful judgement from the manager he is the right player for this club. It's not just ability and past glories.
Brilliant post Swanny. You've hit the nail on the head.
Daft as it sounds, Knill and Brass did not really take on board just how different it is playing for a club so far out on a limb.
Brass regretted making the move himself and was off as soon as he had the chance.
Their recruitment did not look so bad on paper, but just did not work out.
There are plusses and minuses to plying your trade down in Devon. It is essential that you make potential players fully aware of both and get committed players on board who know what they are taking on.
Buckle was fully committed to the area, sold the area hard to players but understood that it would not suit some players. Hargreaves is in a similar position to Buckle. Knill never was.
What do all these clubs have in common?
Newport County, Aldershot, Chester, Halifax, Hereford, Darlington, Maidstone, Wimbledon
Buckle was fully committed to the area, sold the area hard to players but understood that it would not suit some players.
One of Paul Buckle's strengths was indeed this understanding that the players had to feel comfortable about not only playing at Plainmoor, but living in the area. He put as much importance on this as anything else when making a decision on whether someone was right for the club or not. I recall having a coffee one morning with Bucks and he explained how, having got a player down with a view to signing him, he would then personally take that player on a tour around the place. Not just a quick drive along Paignton sea-front either. A proper morning out, stopping off at various places, maybe a coffee somewhere and gauging the response he got. From this Buckle reckoned he could get a fair idea how the player would respond to working and living in the Torquay area. It certainly seemed to work...
spent the weekend in amsterdam,found a pub willing to screen our game,but when we got there invaded by scots watching their team,i would like to thank them for saving us the shame of watching our lot implode on live tv
what a person is told is not half as important as what they think they have been told