On this page will be my exclusive articles. The ever popular "Life After Yeovil Town" as well as match reports and "Barrett's View from the Terrace".
|Posted by Ben Barrett on May 7, 2013 at 11:45 AM||comments (0)|
Barrett Sports Writing End of Season Awards.
The time has come ladies and gentleman for the biggest award ceremony any Yeovil Town based blog has to offer.
(Until one of you smart arses makes a better one)
That's right, the BSW end of season awards are back and celebrating one of the Glover's most incredible campaigns.
As this goes to print, Yeovil fans are in the process of finalising who is going to Wembley, how they're getting to the home of football and who is paying £52 (plus delivery, card charges and travel) to see the soon-to-be-named 'best team in the west.
It really has been a season to remember for so many reasons, we've got the top scorer in the league and we've had some real fun following our side up and down the country.
So charge your glasses, don your best suit and enjoy the awards.
Match of the season
Previous Winners: 2012 – Tranmere (H) 2-1 Win 2011 – Sheff Weds (A) 2-2 draw.
Nominations: Scunthorpe(a) 4-0, Portsmouth(a) 2-0, West Brom(h) 2-4, Bristol Rovers(a) 3-0, Coventry(a) 1-0.
Runner Up – Sheffield United (h) 2-0 [Play Off Leg Two]
Back where Gary Johnson began his second stint in charge of the Glovers our season kicked into gear.
Part of the magical 8-in-a-row winning streak that put us right into the promotion hunt, we took on the big boys and what’s more, became one of the big boys. The atmosphere may have been exceptional at the play-off game, but this takes the award due to it's importance in moulding our whole season.
The WATN award for post-Yeovil exellence
Previous Winners: 2012 – Stephen Caulker 2011- N/A
Noms: Gavin Tomlin (Southend goal hero), Lee Johnson (the league’s youngest Manager)
Runner Up: Andros Townsend (QPR star towards end of the season)
As we predicted last season, a summer at the Olympics was followed by a seasonin the Tottenham first team, but the piece de resistance was his full England debut, complete with a debut goal.
Every Yeovil fan could be proud that an England goal scorer had played such a key part at Huish Park a few years before.
Previous Winners: 2012 – Gary Johnson 2011 – N/A
R-up: Joe Edwards
Be honest, who imagined that Marek Stech would be in goal for Yeovil this season? Not me, that’s for sure, I can count the number of errors he has made all season on one hand. Without him, we wouldn’t be in the promotion chase.
The best keeper in the league, they chant. In my opinion no-one else comes close.
Chant of the season
2012 – “He Scores when he wants [Andy Williams]"
2011- “Football League is upside Down”
Nominations: “Byron’s gunna get ya” “Sam Foley, left a non-league side, to play in green and white”
"We've got the best 'keeper in the league" "You're [Dave Kitson] just a shit Matty Harrold"
Runner Up: “Paddy Madden’s unbelievable, lalalalala.”
Paddy's song may have been sung more, others may have come and gone, but this little number got everyone chuckling. He will score one of these days.
Image of the season
Previous Winners: 2012 – N/A 2011 – N/A
Due to unforseen circumstances (namley Yeovil's amazing extended season) this award will be awarded after the play-off final. Current nominations include "Super Stech" (Mike Kunz) "Byron Webster - I'll Be Centre Back" (JRH Media) and "The Three Wise Men" (PA)
Previous Winners: 2012 Richard Hinds 2011 Paul Huntington
Nominations: Joe Edwards, Sam Foley, Byron Webster, Marek Stech, Jamie McCallister
R-Up: James Hayter
There comes a point where I feel like I’m sharing these awards out to make it fair, it could easily have gone to any of the players nominated and James Hayter’s position as Runner Up is to highlight his importance to the side.
But Paddy’s impact on this side is massive; before he joined we didn’t have anyone prolific enough to fire us up the table, now we do.
He is, as they say, unbelievable. He's signed up for the next two years and Yeovil fans will be hoping he wins more BSW awards.
(Paddy Madden and Joe Edwards are excluded as they went on to sign permanent deals)
Previous Winners: 2012 – Jonathan Franks 2011 – Stephen Henderson
Nominations: Matt Dolan, Gozie Ugwu,
R-Up: Korey Smith
With more games under his belt, Matty Dolan could have taken second spot and probably got closer to Dan Burn, but Burn’s towering performances at the back, have helped a settled back four become more and more secure over the season.
Maturity beyond his age and experience during a season where his performances got better throughout mean he was the only likely winner for this award.
Lifetime achievement 45-minute award
Previous Winners 2012 Flavien Belson 2011 Craig Calver (Award called “Fringe Player” )
Noms: Archange Nkumu, Rohan Ince, Ben Gordon, Wes Fletcher, Jordan Cook.
R-Up: Daniel Johnson
Honestly, what happened there? One second half substitute appearance before returning to Watford because of something or another - we're not sure.
Tweeter of the season
Previous Winners 2012 Paul Huntington 2011 Nathan Smith
Nominations: @KevinDawson10 , @Luke_Ayling8, @edupson,@danburn3, @YTFCOfficial
He had some fun with #followfoley & gave us all some Cheltenham Festival tips, as well as constant interaction with supporters.
Graham Westley award for Villian of the season
Previous Winners: 2012 – N/A 2011 – N/A
Noms; Trevor Kettle, Karl Robinson, Steve Claridge
R-up: Andy Williams
Just, well, because. This new award is named after him, the least we could do was ensure he is the first reciepient, however hard Williams and Robinson tried to take it!
.... now for the big one...
Player of the season
Previous Winners: 2012 Paul Huntington 2011 Paul Huntington
As per previous seasons, the BSW panel of 12 had to name atop three players for the season.
The player voted in third got one point. Second place got three points and each person’s player of the season was awarded five points.
Individual scores can be found below.
Third Place: Sam Foley (14pts)
Second Place: Paddy Madden (38 pts)
What can we say? Paddy has cleaned up the club awards and taken the plaudits on a national scale, but for any club to succeed a solid ‘keeper is key.
From last year’s farce of getting through five of them, Stech is our only ever present this campaign and put in some match winning, match saving and all round amazing performances.
It’s not green-tinted propaganda to say that we truly have got the best ‘keeper in the league.
Congratulations to Marek and all the winners of today's Barrett Sports Writing awards.
See you at Wembley!
Player of the Year votes, by person.
Final Scores: Stech: (44) Madden (38 ) Foley (14) Webster (6) Edwards (5) Hayter (2) McCallister (1)
|Posted by Ben Barrett on May 2, 2013 at 2:10 PM||comments (0)|
The good people at online tipping service "Free Bets Free Tips" asked me to put together a few thoughts on the League One and League Two play-offs from a betting point of view.
The link for League Two tips can be found HERE
But, for the majority of the people who find their way to this site, it's the League One play-offs which will be of more relevance.
That link is available HERE.
I would like to take this opportunity to promote responsible gambling, as well as reminding anyone who does follow any of my suggestions that if you lose money... please don't hunt me down.
Thanks to Free Bets Free Tips
|Posted by Ben Barrett on March 3, 2013 at 6:50 PM||comments (0)|
The Final Countdown.
It’s officially time to admit it. Yeovil Town are in a promotion chase. Others may have come to that conclusion long ago, but I haven’t let myself believe it until now.
So, with the help of Colin Redman, a fellow Northern Glover who has put together a handy little Excel spread sheet, it’s time to look ahead.
Firstly, a look at the League Table.
So you’ll probably all agree that the plays off positions are tighter than the average European government budget.
Five points is all that separates first and sixth and then just two more points bring in 7th place Bournemouth.
One thing worth noting is that for the first time in a while, the games-in-hand are pretty much as close as they have been, aside from Brentford who have two games to catch up on; everyone sits on 35 or 36 games.
Brentford probably count themselves as front runners for the title now, a win and a draw in those two outstanding fixtures could see them go top, but Doncaster would probably claim that you’d rather have the points on the board than be the ones chasing.
It’s not just the column on the far right that needs some attention, but the one next to it too.
Goal difference may well play a part inthe season’s final standings as, except for Swindon, everyone is within touching distance of one another. Yeovil on +14 GD are actually in the weakest position here, but that could all change as those around us take points off one another and goals exchange hands willy nilly.
So, onto the run in and for the sake of ease, Colin has produced the spread sheet for just the top seven sides.
It should be noted that Walsall’s recent run of form isn’t showing any signs of stopping and so ruling them out would be silly with many points still to be played for.
Coventry, in ninth, are now seven points off of Tranmere in 6th and have played 36 games, unlike any of the top five.
Here are the final fixtures for those in the hunt for the Championship.
Lots of pretty colours and lots to get heads around.
What I am looking for are two different types of 'six-pointer'.
There are 'six-pointers' against one of the other top seven sides and those against sides in the relegation dog fight.
For the purposes of this, those fighting relegation are; Colchester, Scunthorpe, Oldham, Bury, Hartlepool and Portsmouth.
Those sides at the bottom, much like Yeovil did 12 months ago, will be making their ‘now-or-never’ moves sooner rather than later.
Starting with the side at the top of the graphic and Swindon play four sides in the top six before the season’s end – all of them away from home. Brentford, Yeovil, Doncaster and Sheffield United are all tapped into the Swindon coach’s sat nav.
Add to that two games against teams in the relegation fight; Scunthorpe on the final day and Oldham. That only leaves five games against those in the middle somewhere, one of those is against Walsall.
That’s tough, a really hard run in if the form book is anything to go by.
Onto Bournemouth and well they have gone from top to seventh in no time at all, another defeat yesterday vs Orient shows everyone that taking anything for granted is a very bad idea.
It’s tough for the Cherries too, they have Doncaster to come and a trip to Tranmere on the final day, whilst they go on a run of four games vs relegation candidates.
Six more six-pointers for Eddie Howe’s men.
League leaders Doncaster might have the toughest of the lot, trips to Bournemouth and Brentford bookend more tough fixtures against Portsmouth, Scunthorpe, Swindon and Tranmere.
Two other away days to MK Dons and Coventry might not count as six pointers for this little piece, but they’re hardly the kindest.
Sheffield United currently occupy the second automatic spot, they don’t play another six-pointer until March 23rd vs Brentford and that’s a home game.
Tranmere, Swindon and Scunthorpe are also to come for the Blades and they have possibly the kindest final day fixture a home game against Preston who may well be on their holidays by that time.
This looks like a nicer than average run of games, certainly not easy but there are only four six pointers, where others have to play six.
I’ll skip Yeovil and move onto Tranmere who sit the right side of the play-off line and they too don’t have the nicest of times ahead.
Four home six pointers versus; Oldham, Sheffield United, Hartlepool and Bournemouth and two more on the road down at Portsmouth and at local rivals Doncaster. Again trips to both Walsall and Milton Keynes in the near future also stand out as two of the tougher fixtures agains the so called 'middle men'.
Brentford have the most congested fixture list, only two free dates for them between now and the end of the season. Seven of the Bees final 12 aren’t 'six-pointers' but only two of those seven are at home.
Of their other five ‘six-pointers’ three are at home, including a potential vital final day fixture vs Doncaster.
Two tricky trips to Hartlepool and Sheffield United could prove pivotal for Uwe Rosler’s men.
So where does all that leave Yeovil?
We’ll start with the final day and it’s both away and at relegation scrapper in Bury.
But it’s worth noting that there are only two other ‘six-pointers’ in there; Swindon at home and Oldham away.
That’s fewer than any of the others in the fight for thetop, to make up for this, we have to travel all the way to both Hartlepool and Carlisle – two epic trips that can wipe out training plans and often see fewer Yeovil fans make the trip.
Of the five remaining home games, only one is a ‘six-pointer’– the live SKY game vs Swindon. None of the others count, despite some tricky looking games including a visit from Walsall.
Is everyone suitably confused? Not just me then.
The truth is, no-one knows what the heck is going to happen, it’s quite conceiveable that Doncaster win their six pointers, but lost all their other fixtures and end up in 6th. It’s not beyond the realms of thought that a new manager at Swindon could see them go unbeaten and end up going up automatically.
The closer we get to the end will see some of the relegation scrappers drop off, or even get out of trouble and switch off.
Brentford’s two games in hand; away at Stevenage and Crewe should result in six points, potentially sending them top.
Here’s my guess.
Brentford will win the league, Sheffield United will go up with them and the final positions will all be up for grabs until the final day.
Whoever finishes in seventh will feel as sick as a pig, but seven doesn’t go into six. Someone will miss out; if Walsall get involved two sides will miss out.
Strap yourselves in.
|Posted by Ben Barrett on January 13, 2013 at 7:45 AM||comments (0)|
Out of the cup, dreaming of the top and bad puns like that.
The week in words for Yeovil Town
The first Sunday morning after a week that Yeovil Town fans will look back on with equal measures of elation and despair.
The proverbial rollercoaster ride has parked up in south Somerset once more, ensuring that it is never boring being a Yeovil Town fan.
From Tuesday against Leyton Orient to Saturday vs. Sheffield United, us Glovers have ticked just about every emotional box.
This was the week that was…
So, we’ll start with Tuesday and I guess it’s only right to start by hammering home the excellent work done by board members, sponsors and Gary Johnson himself to get 11 coaches, two minibuses and two nutters from the north to get themselves to East London.
815 travelling fans packed into the Matchroom Stadium with an expectancy, a hope that despite the lack of glamour to the trophy, the JPT was not only still in our sights but a real chance for silverware and a Wembley final.
The visiting fans were loud and proud. Much better than anything the home side had to offer, the football did not live up to the hype.
Neither side were any good, I’m not going to sit here and hammer Yeovil; we were awful, they were awful.
Both sides seemed intent on not losing – not making that vital mistake that cost their side the game – neither side played anything on the deck and both looked nervous.
Two of the less fashionable sides in League One were playing for a two legged game against a League Two team for a chance at a Wembley final, I guess nerves were to be expected.
It was only going to take one moment, one heart wrenching, played out in slow motion, extending the trip home by a long time… moment, to secure the win.
I guess David Mooney couldn’t have picked a better spot, the only spot Marek Stech couldn’t reach.
For all the pain and despair, something – I don’t know what – felt like it had still been a success.
We were out of the cup at the penultimate hurdle and it stung, but the support seemed to suggest we’d be alright.
What we needed was a nice, easy home game against someone we could put four or five past.
What we had was Sheffield United, away.
Our squad is threadbare at the best of times, but during the Leyton Orient game Ed Upson, Dom Blizzard, Byron Webster and Sam Foley had all had treatment on injuries; the Blades hadn’t had a midweek fixture so were well rested, add on top of that the knowledge that 20,000 home fans would be behind their side and that our form against the top seven is, well, naff and the script was pretty much written.
We’d be giving debuts to two lads without much recent football and despite rumours of a couple additions they had come to nothing.
Hands up, who went into this game thinking anything other than we’d get beat, go-on own up.
Not me, I thought we’d put up a fight but the likes of Dave Kitson and Danny Higginbotham should not be in League One – their class would show through and we’d be on the end of a hiding.
Well, here goes. My Name Is Ben Barrett and I was very, very wrong.
But, even as I sat in the stands – blind optimism had a “Madden first goal and a 1-1 draw” bet in my pocket, there was just something about the atmosphere. You just didnt know what was about to happen.
A year to the weekend that Gary returned, just how far had we come in a year? Heck, how far had we come in 4 days?
The Sheffield United side complete with players on triple or quadruple what our boys are on, with a squad big enough to put two decent sides out and fans in numbers we can only dream of – were outplayed, outwitted and out supported.
Let’s start at the back and work our way forward.
Marek Stech won’t play against many top sides and get bored. He was calm and assured when called upon, but I don’t remember him having to even make one of his point winning saves. A bored ‘keeper is a good thing.
The reason Stech had time to think about a tricky Sudoku puzzle that had troubled him on the bus was because of the four men in front of him.
Ayling and McAllister in full back positions were on form, we’ve had our issues with positioning and aerial ability for these two, but they both seemed to be performing in sync with everyone else.
McAllister was a captain too, he was notably pointing and shouting all the time – I don’t think I noticed it on Tuesday – people were responding; Sam Foley did get back when asked, Kevin Dawson did mark the wide lad when he was told to. Some really good, crisp defensive teamwork.
The centre backs were different class, I felt it harsh on Rich Hinds who was probably our best player on Tuesday, but Dan Burn and Big, Bad Byron were something else.
If they’re reading this, they are doing so with a serious headache. The reason Kitson was anonymous, the reason that nothing troubled Marek Stech is that these two were always in the way. From the opening exchanges until the 93rd minute block on the goal line by Burn both of these two were immense.
(A moment here for the “Byron's gunna get ya” chant… good work.)
Into midfield and I’m not sure Foley nor Dawson are natural widemen, but they both impressed me.
Everyone knows my ever increasing love for Foley; he makes things happen, he gets a move going, he turns a defensive situation into an attacking one at the drop of the hat. Please, please get that man on a longer deal. Even if we don’t keep him for the entire length of the contract, he’ll be worth money and clubs at higher levels will want him.
Dawson on the other side was playing like he had been in that side since day one. He missed out on my ‘top three’ in the car on the way home, but more I think about it, the more I think he might get in if I were to pick again.
Like his Jedward team mate, Paddy Madden, he worked his backside off, ran down every full back and went into tackles with confidence and gusto.
He stuck to his position, it’s almost a criticism that we didn’t find him enough in acres of space in the first half, but once the United left back remembered he had a job to do, all that did was open huge holes for the attackers to get in.
Maybe it was a bit of momentum in an extraordinary game for a debut that carried Dawson a bit, but performances like that every week are going to see him play an increasingly important role over the season. Fitness and confidence will come off the back of more minutes and more success.
I think the same applies to young Dolan, he did everything neatly and tidily, he got himself booked for a silly foul and Gary has said he took a knock himself, which might have prevented us from seeing his full array of passing and skills, but I’m certainly not moaning, he did what he had to do and he did it well.
As for Upson and Blizzard for the final ten, well, you know what you’re going to get – effort and a competent performance. You can ask no more, with those around them providing the attacking flair and creating the chances, it was up to someone to keep their responsible head on. I think Upson is moulding himself into that.
Not as deep as Paul Wotton ever was and he still loves a well-timed surge into the box, but with Foley, Dawson, Madden and Hayter (and even Webster and Ayling) all flying forward he knew not to get excited and leave us exposed.
So to the front men, I’ll deal with Mr Madden in a moment, but James Hayter works as hard as anyone, he’s put in a lot of effort recently missing only seven minutes since his mini spell out of the side in December.
I thought he looked a bit lost on Tuesday, without a proper partner and without much to feed off other than long hopeful hoofs.
But today, with Madden by his side and a midfield firing on all cylinders, he was able to bring the ball down, get others involved in play and get a shot or two off. We’ll need him to stay fit and at this level of preformance, especially if Reuben Reid doesn’t have a future and nobody is going to come in.
Time to do the PadMad.
Run around your front room, arms stretched out either side of you, talk in an Irish accent and boom, you have the PadMad. Do it, I’ll wait…
Right, very good, you can clean up the plant pot you knocked over later.
Any Carlisle fans who have stumbled across this should know it’s going to get a bit mushy, but as many have said to me on Twitter, it wasn’t working out for him up there, it was down here. So, fair play to him.
He runs, a basic requirement I’ll agree, but when it comes to this division having someone who will put a shift in regardless of opposition or ability and you’re onto a winner. I'd love to know the distance the front man covers in a 90 minute spell.
It helps in Paddy’s case that he also has ability, 12 goals for the season now, not bad for a man who didn’t kick a ball in anger until he joined us.
The TV and Newspapers will pick up on the United ‘keeper and his howler, but there wouldn’t have been a howler if Madden hadn’t put him under pressure. He’s done it before, too. A mislaid back pass against Orient got him a goal - His own pressure again – and earlier in the game on Saturday he worked a defender into slicing a header into his path leaving him one on one.
He’s got the effort, he’s got the ability and now he’s got the confidence.
He knows he is going to get picked every week, he knows he’s got people around him who work well with him. He’s mentioned his relationships with Hayter, Dawson and even Webster in interviews and that can only be a good thing.
Again, it’ll be about managing fitness, the last thing you need is an injury or anything, but I guess that’s the same for every side and their star men.
We deserved it yesterday; Gary Johnson said it, Danny Wilson said it, my mate Ryan (a Sheffield United fan) said it and big Leroy said it on the Football League show.
There seems to be a wind of change, maybe I’m jumping the gun a tiny bit, but for the first season in I don’t know how long, we’re not ‘little old Yeovil’ any more, we’re not the plucky non-league side who got a bit ahead of themselves.
“Judge us after 10 games” they say. “Judge us in 10 more” “We’ll see where we are at Christmas” – well, we’ve had all those cliché ridden milestones and guess what, we’re 8th.
EIGHTH. On merit too, on effort and on course for a really good end to the season.
I’m not going to say the P-word, I don’t need to; you’ve already thought it.
We’ve got the one remaining duck off our back, winning away at one of the top sides, we came so close at Tranmere and threw it away, but yesterday - to quote Dan Burn’s tweet – we showed we are as good as anyone on our day.
So, happy anniversary to my favourite couple, Yeovil Town and Gary Johnson.
It’s been fun this year; it’s been fun this week.
Personally, I’ve travelled from York to Leyton Orient (Via Preston) and back, then onto Sheffield. I’m a little bit mental, or maybe I just don’t want to miss a minute of this season.
The overriding theme is – you just never know.
Disclaimer: If we finish 12th, that *STILL* a success, let’s get that straight, it’s progression.
But now we’re within touching distance of the P-words, it would be rude not to have a go.
Strap yourselves in; it’s going to have some ups like Brammall Lane and some downs like Brisbane Road.
But you know how the old joke goes… An English [manager], an Irish [striker] and a Scottish [captain] walk into a bar [just outside Wembley]…
I’ve said too much. Yes I’m dreaming. No, I’m not expecting and my feet are firmly planted.
But enjoying it never hurt anyone.
Across two 'Team of the Day' line ups, from The Sun (right) and the Football League Paper, Yeovil had no fewer than five players that made the cut. Madden made both and Gary Johnson got the top boss too.
|Posted by Ben Barrett on November 3, 2012 at 4:45 PM||comments (0)|
When Yeovil were drawn away at former big shots Preston North End, Somerset, as a whole, sighed.
It was away, again, a long way away at that, it presented a game with no hope of TV coverage for some extra pennies and unfortunately a game where we wouldn’t even be close to being favourites for progression.
It was, to anyone who only sees the results, just that. A 3-0 win for the home side. Bish bash bosh, job done.
In truth, it wasn’t quite that clear cut – don’t get me wrong, Preston had three chances, took them all and won through but if that exact game had ended 5-5 it wouldn’t have been that much of a surprise.
Both sides were poor defensively. For the Glovers, Byron Webster has been on form recently, he was missing. The only fit right back, Joe Edwards was barred from playing leaving us with a midfielder at right back and two of the most painfully slow centre halves.
He scores when he wants - Pic from TeamTalk
PNE gaffer Graham Westley is known for his robust teams and love of the neck ache style of football made famous by Stoke, but with our weaknesses being in the foot races he kept his team on the deck and just settled for half of his usual style.
North End got about Yeovil, ruffling some feathers and forthe first 30 minutes not only were we wise to it, but we played around it, using advantages played by the referee to get at the gaps.
Paddy Madden showed he is more than a finisher, he did somehard graft today creating moves with Keanu Marsh Brown and Sam Foley – if anything Madden’s extra work was keeping James Hayter quiet, or at least that is how it seemed to me.
KMB’s performance was summed up once the late tackles and little nicks from the home side began to get under the skin of our players. His late challenge on Joel Byrom (I think) wasn’t nice, it was only late rather than nasty but it showed that the frustrations were bubbling under.
The referee did lose the game; both Yeovil and PNE were on the wrong end of some poor decisions.
KMB was booked, and rightly so, Paul Huntington also booked for a shocker of a challenge, which in the interest of keeping the game 11 v 11 I can almost forgive, but to then send off Ed Upson for a challenge no worse than those that had gone before was baffling.
If the ref deems the Upson challenge to be a direct red card, then Hunts should have gone before him. Consistent inconsistency.
I’ve seen each incident just the once, from much worse angles and with green tinted glasses on but I like to think I’m right on this one. If not, I apologise.
OK, so we’ve conceded two goals to a lack of pace at the back and a team who can take advantage of it – we were also taking on their weaknesses, lots of set pieces came Yeovil’s way and Dan Burn was causing problems in the air. However the flicks weren’t falling right or were dealt with by a sometimeslucky back line.
The one thing we cannot blame the ref, or Ed Upson or Pat the Mad Bell Man for is the third goal.
"Those early showers are that way, right?" Pic This Is Somerset.
Anyone who has read (and been bored to sleep with) my tweets may have seen me mention that defending of set pieces has cost us time andagain. Well, yeah. That.
Anywho, positives and there are quite a few.
I’ve already explained that this was the first game I’ve seen Madden as something other than the finisher – this, added to the tiny glimmer of hope that the deal could become permanent is rather exciting.
Secondly, Sam Foley, but I’ll go into more on that in thesection on Gav.
Thirdly, this new lad we brought off the bench, Reuben something-or-another I think, he reminds me of a chap we had against West Brom, he was direct, getting at the full back and becoming a real hassle.
With KMB’s off day, and the midfield being stretched alittle bit with Upson’s suspension he might be set for a spell in the side as a right winger. Not where he’d want to be but on the pitch must be better for the lad than on the bench.
Being out of the FA Cup is never a positive and without telling you to prepare your cliché klaxon we really can now concentrate on the league, we’re friggin’ 10th – 3 points off the play offs. If I was given a direct choice of another crack at the play offs - even if we were to fall short - or have a cup run to lose to a Premier League or Championship side in round three, I think, in the interest of seasonal progression I’d take the league position. Again, I can only speak for myself. Other fans and the bank manager may well disagree.
If I were to make a tiny negative point out of today – I wasa tiny bit disappointed that neither of the young lads got 15 minutes at the end. The game was over – and for example, we could have given Blizzard a rest atright back, with his midfield expertise in need during the next four games hecould have been given 20 minutes with an ice pack and a leg rub whilst Mitch Brundle was given a run – would it have really mattered if he had struggled and we’d conceded again? I’d argue not, and that the postives far outweigh the negatives of giving a young lad 20 minutes of football at League One level.
Anyway, it’s not my position to question Gary Johnson on the upbringing of youngsters – I can’t say I’ve ever seen the Under 18s play so it’s nothing more than a whimsical comment.
Oh this hurts. Do I have to?
SuperGav - Pic Sky Sports
I’ll start by saying I love him, he’s one of the finest men ever to wear the green and white shirt, he ran rings around Liverpool in ’04 and everyone he faced in the league was chasing his shadow but for today and maybe this season as whole, Super Gavin Williams was not fit enough, not ready enough and unfortunately, not at the same level of those around him.
One swift kick early in the first half and the away end took in a sharp intake of breath, shortly after Gav was played through clean on goal, he was 30 yards out and without a defender in sight, in 2003 that was a goal – end of conversation, today he had no choice but to pass it to Paddy Madden who was making up ground to support.
Jeez, this kills me to say, but in Sam Foley and to a certain extend Keanu Marsh Brown, we have two play makers who are more than suitable replacements.
Foley is, to be frank, incredible. He’s too good for League One in both wide areas and in the middle.
The harsh truth is that in playing 90 minutes today Gav practically rules himself out for Tuesday and possibly Saturday.
Again, that’s not helpful for team consistency. Today, his passing wasn’t as crisp, his tackling was a bit rash and his influence wasn’t as great. Where previously everything would go through Gav, now it goes through Foley.
It’s the former Newport man picking the ball up on the edge of his own box, it’s Foley taking three men on, it’s Foley whipping the cross in, it’s Foley who is spraying 40 yard passes.
I’d be really worried if Gav’s recent form wasn’t being replaced, but with Foley in the side Gav could be the ideal role model. His off-the-pitch influence is still as strong I’m sad to say, that on the pitch it’s gone.
Prove me wrong Gav, please.
So we’re out of the cup – take on the JPT, have a crack at the top half and we’ll not give two hoots about today by the time May comes around.
Final credit to the Yeovil fans, out sung Preston andcracked out a lovely “12 Days of Marek Stech”.
|Posted by Ben Barrett on September 4, 2012 at 3:10 PM||comments (0)|
You can all sit back and down and stop applauding at thistremendous news,
Barrett Sports Writing is making tentative steps back intothe blog-o-sphere on the ever eventfull subject of Yeovil Town.
There have been a few reasons for my silence on this blog, firstly I’ve only been to two games this season (Scunthorpe away and West Brom at home) so I’ve not had a lot of chance to form opinions on another new look glovers’ team.
Secondly, every time I get the urge to sit and type one of the other bloggers covers the subject or the twittersphere (why is everything a ‘sphere’ these days?) provides a brilliant platform to discuss it at length with like-minded individuals.
Throw in a holiday to H***ford and a busy work schedule andthere is little time, but certainly lots of passion.
This blog does have a subject, but to start with I just want to have a little round up.
This season has been alright hasn’t it? We’ve scored goals, we’ve played well and the pundits are finally starting to sit up and take notice.
It’s those goals that will form the base of this blog, more specifically those that are scoring and creating them.
Across all the tweets, blogs and conversations that have taken place so far there is one defining subject – the attacking style of play and the players who are executing it.
More than once I have described the ‘front four’ as being the highlight of the season, maybe Marek Stech will get more attention and headlines for some match winning performances but we need to score goals as well.
Currently we have scored 10 league goals and five in the cup ahead of the JPT tie vs Bristol Rovers.
15 goals in total and we’ve only just entered September – as a point of reference, our 15th goal of last season was scored vs Colchester on the 8th of October, our 14th competitive fixture of the campaign.
The previously mentioned ‘front four’ of Keanu Marsh-Brown [KMB] on the right wing, Reuben Reid and James Hayter up top and Sam Foley on the left have been the stars of the attacking show, with the likes of Ed Upson taking the role of playmaker and Richard Hinds chipping in the attacking flair is there for all to see.
It got me thinking, now Yeovil are hoping for a good season - there have been “P” words mentioned in certain areas – just how important is this group of players going to be?
So, below is an image of the most recognisable front four from the last two seasons that Yeovil Town were successful at the top end of the season –2006/2007 and 2004/2005.
The 2007 four is the one that started in the play-off campaign, whilst the 2005 side includes the two top scorers and the two wingers that were in possession of the shirts at the end of that season.
There are of course gaps, Leon Best (’07) and Andres Stolcers (’05) being possibly the best examples, but the size of the squads were rather different.
What we can see from this is the beginnings of a formulae; football isn’t a formulaic game, but patterns emerge and it can be interesting to look through them.
Firstly, you’ll notice that each of the sides has a striker who could be described as having ‘nous’. Marcus Stewart was that man in 2007 and big Bartoscz took that role in ’05. Neither scored goals in great numbers, but were vital cogs in helping others hit the back of the net.
This title has been labelled to James Hayter already this season. He has the experience, the off the ball movement and ability to hold the ball up and bring others into play. So, already we have a link running through all three.
His partner up front is Reid, the former Oldham man might be the one who scores the goals, the finisher in the side. Much like Leon Best was, and to a lesser extent Wayne Gray.
Gray played the majority of his time on the wing, meaning that his role is blurred slightly with Morris.
But in 2005, Phil Jevons was undoubtedly the goal machine, notching 29 times in total. If Reid can match that it will be a very successful season all round.
We’ve got an experienced old head, and a man to put the ball in the back of the net.
Onto the wingers, and possibly with the exception of Wayne Gray – we’ve already mentioned that he had a shared role with Lee Morris – all the wide men had certain qualities. KMB and Kevin Gall both share their skills of getting beyond defenders and causing havoc with their pace even if they’re not always the best at the final ball.
On the other flank; Foley and Davies share the creative streak, they both set up goals and make things happen in green and white.
Foley’s performances have been a particular highlight for the current crop, only a goal or two is lacking from his repertoire.
Throughout the three attacking set ups we have a sense of consistency running throughout them,
Interestingly, compare that with the side of 2007-08 whe nthe Glovers finished 18th.
Lloyd Owusu was the big man with Marcus Stewart and Paul Warne heavily involved around him, three players with very similar attributes and with a total of just 14 league goals between them that season.
The links go-on slightly further than the front four if you consider that both midfields had at least one playmaker who gets play moving. Currently Ed Upson is in the engine room where Chris Cohen, Lee Johnson and Darren Way have been before.
Now, I’m not saying that the formula for success has been met. There are other factors to consider, for example;
Can the likes of Gozie Ugwu take up the role of Leon Best and those who have stepped in when injury and suspension kicks in?
Bear in mind that we have only really covered half of the pitch, if we concede lots of goals, it doesn’t really matter how well we’re playing up front. Losing 4-3 every game will still get you relegated.
I guess, what I’m trying to say is, that there are similarities between the teams, remember the 2005 side was a Gary Johnson side too – a manager likes to play with some attacking freedom.
We can all get a bit excited about the current campaign. We do have some concerns regarding the defending at corners for example but there might be some method to the madness.
|Posted by Ben Barrett on August 23, 2012 at 6:45 PM||comments (0)|
The 2012/13 season is well and truly in full flow and Barrett Sports Writing is back to join it.
It’s been an odd pre-season both personally and sportingly, we’ve marvelled at our Olympians, moaned at our efforts at Euro 2012 and found ourselves back, full circle cheering on our first loves.
I begin writing this with a rather sizable smile – currently, Yeovil Town sit 5th in a rather meaningless league table, but with results taken from two top teams the club are unbeaten and in great shape for the rest of the campaign.
You’ve read the previews across the main stream media, and I’ll be tweeting the betting odds for YTFC and anything else that might be of interest, so I won’t bore you with another lot.
So BSW will start with something a tad different.
I’m sure you are aware, but the Football League has chosen the Prostate Cancer UK charity to be their official partner for this season.
To highlight the stat that one in nine men will be directly affected by the disease the charity approached myself and 71 others across the Football League to write a short blog on each club’s best (and worst) players to wear the Number 9 shirt.
You can read my selections HERE.
Putting aside that the man selected to be our worst never actually wore the 9 on his back, it’s a pretty decent list, I think, but behind it all is a serious message – so once you’ve finished shouting at the screen that I’ve missed out your hero or reminiscing about just what Kevin Gall brought to Yeovil take a couple of minutes to learn a bit about Prostate Cancer.
He gets the ball ... he score a goal...
|Posted by Ben Barrett on May 13, 2012 at 8:30 AM||comments (0)|
Now that the season is over, it's time to look at some of the facts and figures that helped make the season what it was.
14 – Number of Yellow Cards picked up by Ed Upson in League matches, more than anyone else in the league.
21 – Number of different goalscorers for Yeovil this season.
17 – Number of goals from Andy Williams, the only player to make double figures.
66 – Total number of goals scored by Yeovil this season.
25 – 25.75% of all Yeovil Town goals were scored by Andy Williams
90 – Number of shots by Andy Williams – an 18% success rate. (Rhodes strike rate 29%)
6 – Andy Williams finished 6th on the League One top scorers list.
5 – Number of goalkeepers used; Steer, Stewart, Stech, Gilmartin, Walker.
2 – Number of contracted players who didn’t start a single league game; Rory Fallon and Kelly Youga.
16 – Number of times Kieran Agard was used from the bench, seven more than Curtis Haynes Brown.
15 – The number of players who failed to make 10 or more appearances for Yeovil this season (All comps)
40 – Number of players used by Yeovil Town this season, one more than last year. (Preston used 47)
19 - Nathan Jones would have been 19 years and 6 months old on the day Lawson D’ath was born.
4152 – Number of minutes Luke Ayling played across 44 League games.
3153 – Number of minutes the following players notched up during league games; Gareth Stewart, Curtis Haynes-Brown, Kelly Youga, Anthony Edgar, Michael Woods, Josh Morris, Dean Parrett and Lawson D’ath. (999 less than Luke on his own).
The Managers (League Only)
12 – Yeovil would have finished 12th if the season was based on home games alone.
18 – Yeovil would have finished 18th if the season was based on away games alone.
3 – Yeovil Town only drew three games at home, fewer than any other side.
14 – Yeovil have failed to score in 14 games this season, (Charlton FTS 4 times, Exeter 22)
15 – Number of times Yeovil scored first in League matches. (Won 8, Drawn 4, Lost 3)
27 – Number of times Yeovil conceded first in league games. (Won 6, Drawn 4, Lost 17)
490 – Number of shots taken by Yeovil Town. (257 On target, 218 Off target, 15 Woodwork Hit)
283 – The longest baron spell, in minutes, between Yeovil goals.
(84th min v Walsall 17/3 – 7th min v Rochdale 7/4)
3 – Games won when Yeovil had a player sent off. (Preston H, MK Dons A, Colchester H)
2 – Games lost when Yeovil had a player sent off. (Sheff Utd H, Stevenage H)
1 – Games drawn when Yeovil had a player sent off. (Stevenage A)
41 – No team conceded more goals on their home patch than Yeovil Town, the Glovers conceded 41 goals.
£7.96 – The amount of profit you would have made placing a £1 bet on Yeovil to win each league game.
14 – the number of goals conceded in both league and cups, between the 85th – 90th minute.
0 – number of goals scored between the 10-15th minute.
259,892 – Number of football fans who attended Yeovil Town fixtures. (Home and Away, all League and Cups)
94,918 – Number of people through the Huish Park turnstiles.
9244 – Number of miles travelled by any fan who attended every way game (league and cup – too and from Huish Park to away ground using Google Maps top selection.)
£458.50 – The amount of money spent by fans on tickets alonefor the 23 League away games. (Cheapest Adult Match-Day Prices Available.)
£19.93 – average away ticket price for a Yeovil fan thisseason. Cheapest, £14 Sheff Utd – Dearest £25, Charlton / Hartlepool / Orient. (Cheapest Adult Match-Day Prices Available)
94,000 (Approx) – Number of people who watched the Yeovil vs Fleetwood replay on Tues 13th December (Source BARB - see pic below)
(Note: I am currently waiting on an email from ESPN to confirm a few other facts specifically about the two live TV games)
|Posted by Ben Barrett on May 4, 2012 at 1:05 PM||comments (0)|
BARRETT SPORTS WRITING – END OF SEASON AWARDS
It’s that time of the year once again, the football has finished and the awards are to be handed out to those who have kept Yeovil Town in League One for yet another season.
All the talk might be about who will stay and who will leave the club for pastures new, but at BSW HQ, the assembled panel has been putting together the second annual Barrett Sports Writing End of Season Awards.
As well as awarding some of the players who have played a major role in another successful fight against relegation, we’ll take the time to consider some more light-hearted gongs.
It is with one of those we start, so without further ado, top up your glasses, practice your ‘well done’ face, and prepare to clap ... alot.
The “Haven’t I seen you somewhere before?”award for returning hero.
The most successful return of a former player/staff member.
Nominations: Jon Obika, Max Ehmer, Oli Johnson, Dean Bowditch (For missing the pen for MK Dons).
Runner Up: Gavin Williams
Winner : Sir Gary Johnson
The return of the Messiah was something of a huge surprise, Terry Skiverton and his team were fighting against a heavy tide to keep the Glovers in League One, but the return of Uncle Gary was probably just what the doctor ordered, the ability to make some big calls and bring in some fresh faces could well have been the difference between Coventry in the league and Fleetwood.
Congratulations to Gary, I’m sure the award ranks alongside his two promotions and FA Trophy medals.
Quite where Yeovil would be without another season of incredible support is anyone’s guess. So, in homage to them, we take a look at the best chants the Thatchers Gold stand have come up and taken with them across the country.
Chant of the Season
“Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the way, oh what fun it is to see theYeovil win away” (For the 55 of us up at Hartlepool),
“We’re winning away, we’re winning away, how $*** must you be, we’re winningaway.”
Runner Up: “Gary Johnson’s Green and White Army" - For old time's sake.
Winner: He Scores when he wants, he scores when he wants, Andy Williams, He scores when he wants.
Andy Williams’ goals have worked wonders for the side in the second half of the season and probably fired us to even dream of the top half of the table. He’s been offered the ‘biggest contract Yeovil have ever offered’ showing that he really was that important.
Lifetime 45-Minute Achievement award.
As ever, Yeovil have had their fair share of players this season, many have been and gone, but some have been a case of ‘blink-and-you’ll-miss-them’. This award is for those players, some of them are quite difficult to even remember.
Nominations: Kerrea Gilbert, Rory Fallon, Oli Johnson, Darren Purse, Abdoulai Bell Baggie.
Runner Up: Kelly Youga
Winner: Flavien Belson.
The Former MK Dons and French Fifth Division midfielder joined Yeovil, played 45 minutes, got sent off and disappeared off the face off the planet after his release. Quite how we’re supposed to post him his award is anyone’s guess. Well done though.
Match of the Season
Last season, this award was won by a match that Yeovil Town didn’t even win (Sheff Weds away 2-2), but the nominations that have come through have had far more positive outcomes.
Hartlepool Away (1-0 win, first away win of the season),
Hereford in the Cup (always nice to beat the Bull****ers),
Rochdale Home (3-1 win).
Runner Up: MK Dons Away (1-0 win with 10 men).
Winner: Tranmere 2-1 Home Win.
Gary was back! The axe had been swung within a few days of his arrival and beating a fellow relegation scrapper was worth its weight in gold. The run that followed secured our place in the league.
TWEET TWEET… It’s half time in the awards ceremony, time forsome more light hearted fun.
“Twansfer” award for Tweeter of the season.
Twitter is now a part of football, we have to embrace itlike everything else. This award is to recognise the players that take theirtime to tell us they’re off to Nandos and that we need to be ‘Dench’.
Ed Upson (@EdUpson for #HuishFortress hashtag),
Nathan Jones (@cocowasp for his honesty at the time of GJ’s return),
Marek Stech (@Stechy100 for this picture of his glovers socks)
Runner Up: Terry Skiverton (@terryskiverton for the “Twansfer” )
Winner: Paul Huntington (@PaulHunts)
Taking the time to reply to fans as well has having a bit of a laugh is commendable, he talks to supporters on an even level, you can’t ask any more from your captain.
A special mention at this time to the fans who are currently doing their best on Twitter to add the #fanpowerstadium tag to their tweetsabout Yeovil Town. At the time of writing, we’re still top and still on course to win £20,000 for the club.
With so many players coming and going it can be hard tojudge just who has been a success, one way is to look at those who have gone onto bigger and better things.
The ‘Where are they now?’ award for post-Yeovil brilliance.
Nathan Smith - relegated with Chesterfield, but a Man of the Match performance at Wembley in the JPT final.
Lee Johnson – helped Kilmarknock sink Celtic in the League Cup final.
Stephen Henderson – manning the ticket offices at Portsmouth after their administration was announced.
Brian McDermott – taking Reading back to the Premier League.
Alan Pardew - Newcastle are on the brink of Champions League football – quite how much credit the Glovers can take for that is debateable!
Runner Up: Craig Alcock. Some doubted his ability to play in the Championship, but his end of season awards from the Posh Community Scheme shows that he really has stepped up.
Winner: Steven Caulker – Premier League Star.
Not content with scoring his first goal for the England Under 21s, Steven has finally shown the Premier League class we all knew he had. His performances at the heart of Swansea’s defence have earned plaudits all over the country. It wouldn’t be too much of a surprise to see him at the Olympics this summer.
Time for the big three awards.
Loan signing of the season
We’ve had our fair share of loans this season, including four borrowed goalkeepers, but here are the cream of the crop.
Nominations: Sam Walker, Jon Obika, Marek Stech, Dean Parrett,
Runner Up: Jon Grounds. – Hopefully a long term result to our left back questions.
Winner: Jon Franks
Just about everyone on the BSW panel said it was hard to pick between the two Middlesbrough loans but Franks nicks the title over his northern colleague by a single vote. They have both proved themselves to be fantastic players at this level; skill, power, pace and have already secured their place as fan-favourites at Yeovil Town.
Permanent signing of the season
Considering that the main plaudits have been going to the so called ‘Big Four’ of Willo, Ayling, Upson and Hunts, finding a player for this award might be one that throws up an interesting alternative as it was only open to new players for the 2011/12 season.
Nominations: Michael Woods, Gavin Williams (Technically new), Kieran Agard.
Runner Up: Dom Blizzard – some cracking performances in the middle of the park, took on the Paul Wotton position with consummate ease.
Winner: Richard Hinds
This one would have been Blizzard’s award all season long until Hinds moved from non-league to form a brilliant partnership with Paul Huntington, his performances – topped off with a goal against Rochdale – have helped secure the club’s status in the League. Cries of ‘Sign Him Up’ are sure to follow.
We have made it, the time has come for the Barrett Sports Writing player of the season award. As voted for by the BSW Panel.
The panel this season is made up of the following people;
Ben Barrett, Andy Easton, Ian Perkins, Alex O’Loughlin,Chris Fox, David Coates Simon Woodsell, Vicki Langsdale, Elliot Watts, Ryan Peasland , Ben Tupman and his son, William.
Between us, some have seen nearly all of the games and some have seen fairly few, some of us blog, some of us tweet – but we all love Yeovil Town.
Each panel member nominated a top three for the Player of the Season award. The player in 3rd got one point, the player in second got three, and the winner got five points.
In the event of any ties, the number of first place votes would decide the rankings.
How they all voted is listed below.
In third place: Ed Upson (16 Points)
Runner Up: Andrew Williams (33)
Winner: Paul Huntington (42)
You may have noticed the inclusion of Ben Tupman at the end, his son, William has been something of a Twitter sensation with regards topredicting the fortunes of Yeovil Town games this season.
Barrett Sports Writing felt it was only right to pick his top three as well just to see how good he is at picking the winners.
So there we have it, another season has come and gone.
To those of you joining us Northern Glovers away at Huddersfield enjoy the chance to say ‘thank you’ and possibly, ‘good bye’ tosome players who have given us the gift of League One football again for next season.
Stay tuned to Barrett Sports Writing as I shall once again be providing a complete stat-pack for all of you to enjoy the numbers behind the football.
For anyone who might want to book it off work, May 19th 2013 is the date for the League One play-off final.
|Posted by Ben Barrett on May 2, 2012 at 12:30 PM||comments (0)|
End of Season Awards - Teaser
In anticipation of an exciting Barrett Sports Writing End of Season Awards post on Friday, I thought that I would share a bit of a teaser as to what is to come…
I asked a panel of 12 Yeovil Town supporters, some who have missed very few games and some who have been to very few to make some suggestions for some awards based on the 2011/12 season.
The suggestions were piled together, then once a shortlist of nominees were drawn up, a runner up and winner for each category soon sorted themselves out.
There are eight awards in total and two of the closest battles ever for the minor trophies.
Both “Loan of the Season” and “Match of the season” both had to be separated as the results were nigh on equal.
There are, much like last year, some more light hearted awards and at least one winner who will probably never know of their success.
Finally, each panel member was asked to provide their top three for a BSW Player of the Season vote.
Each person’s winner received five points, 2nd place received three points the player selected in third got one point.
Last season, with a slightly smaller panel, Paul Huntington won the main prize by a clear 11 points from Stephen Henderson with Andy Welsh in third place.
This season was far tighter, only seven players shared the votes, only four made it into double figures and the difference between the winner and the runner up was just a single point.
The final results will be on BarrettSportsWriting this Friday, and I’ll be tweeting about the awards throughout the weekend.
Following that, I will once again sit down at fire out a whole range of stats and facts once the Huddersfield game has been and gone…
Tuxedos at the ready, the big “Barrett Sports Writing End of Season Awards” are just a few days away…
(I’ve built this up far too much!)
(Note: No-one will be getting an actual trophy!)