Abject Rovers humiliated by Wycombe

by on 09/08/06 at 10:37 am

How bad was it? Well let???s just say as bad as any performance under Atkins, Graydon, Thompson or Francis. Yes, that bad. Let me tell you more.

Rovers lined up 4-4-2 with only one change from Saturday. A bigger stronger looking Lewis Haldane replacing wee Jocky Campbell on the right wing. From minute one it was obvious something was wrong. Then we realised it. Wycombe had had us watched and knew our flaws. Our obvious flaws. Our bleeding obvious flaws that the Summer rebuilding campaign has done nothing to address. I turned up a bit late and must have missed the pre-match ceremony where Hinton and Elliott handed wizened old monkey skeleton Tommy Mooney the keys to the City of Bristol and the Freedom of The Park. Mooney???s an OK canny sort of player, but we made him look like Zico.

So much for Trollope???s promise of passing football. In the World Cup this year Argentina scored a goal after a 24 pass movement. I tried counting our passes. I didn???t get much further than 1. The pitch didn???t help. It was dry as a bone and bouncy, ideal for cricket, but crap for passing football, but it wasn???t the pitch launching the ball 90 yards on to a Wycombe centre half???s head or 20 feet above Lewis Haldane???s head. No it was primarily Elliott, Hinton and Hunt.

Err, the match. In the first half we had nothing. No passes, no movement, no possession, nothing. Our much vaunted strike pairing looked like strangers to each other and to the ball. Any time they did see the ball they were quickly and effectively bustled off it. Not hacked, not pushed, despite there constant moaning to the ref, just out-played. Agogo appears to have been affected by the transfer speculation; either that or his is a total nonce.

So our flaws, what are they. Well, Hinton is too easily moved around and this leaves Elliott exposed for pace. Frankly they are the wrong way round. It really ought to be Elliott attacking the ball and organising and Hinton sweeping. Then Lescott who last night couldn???t pass wind let alone a football is easily caught out of position. Again moving Hinton out of position and exposing Elliott, who appears to have developed the movement and positional sense of a cast iron telephone box. Then the midfield is short on legs. James Hunt has stopped dragging his anchor. Now he is carrying it. Disley, has learned a new trick, now he is invisible and incorporeal.

Making it to half time at 0-0 was an absolute get out of jail free card. We didn???t so much need a half time team talk as a half-time application of the humane killer.

In the second half it got worse. Mooney, exercising his Droit De Seigneur left Elliott (again) and pushed wide on to Carruthers, who despite having lesbian hair wasn???t the worst offender last night. Carruthers didn???t challenge as Mooney nodded the ball back in to the inside right channel for some Wycombe player or another to stroll through unmarked in the space where Elliott should have been. Any one of about 30 Wycombe players could have scored as the back four performed some sort of Keystone cops routine. I don???t know which one scored I had my head in my hands at that time. Phillips was less than happy. Where was Elliott? Obviously not accepting incoming calls.

It kept getting worse. Another Wycombe move led to a ball being nodded down outside the box. Our entire team withdrew in the penalty area to form the testudo. Actually withdrew isn???t strong enough, they ran away like frightened convent school girls in front of a flasher. Tommy Mooney, rolled himself a spliff, sipped on his gin and tonic and calmly chipped the ball over Phillips in to the top corner. Good goal. Crap defending.

The Troll made some subs. First Igoe came off. He wasn???t as terrible as some, indeed he had a shot in the first half with a well taken volley. But he gave away shit loads of possession in search of a 60 yard killer ball that never came. He was replaced by Andy Sandell, who looked promising but a little na??ve. Then Disley came off, this was a big surprise as none of us realised Disley had been playing up to that point. He was replaced by Wee Jocky Campbell, who for a sweaty Sock had an incredibly impressive sun tan, unless of course it was dirt or he???d been snorkelling in a peat bog. Campbell made a bit of a difference, for while it was like we had discovered our eleventh player as he made tackles (!shock!), ran with the ball (!awe!), and looked like he cared (!astonishment!). It was during this period we scored against the run of play with a very good goal. Junior picked up a ball on the right and played it in to the box, to Walker???s feet, who knocked of a delightful ball to President???s Club Man of the Match (nurse come quick my sides are splitting) James Hunt who unleashed a fearsome drive in to the top corner. He was probably trying to pass it on to Walker???s head.

We huffed and puffed but Wycombe ran the clock down. Lescott was replaced by Green. He might as well have been replaced by a chocolate fireguard.

Hrumph, what a load of rubbish. Unless there are fundamental changes I don???t see the point in going on Saturday. The new players we have signed had better be better than the old ones or we are in deep shit. Mullings and Lines must be better than Hunt and Disley or they are never going to make it. And ??16.50 to watch that sort of abysmal, miserable, poor quality football just ain???t worth it. For ??16.50 I could buy three gallons of rough cider or three bottles of schnapps from Lidl and I still wouldn???t feel as bad the next morning as I feel now.

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