Ben Barrett Sports Writing

Sports Writer and Yeovil Town Fan

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It's the Championship with Yeovil Town.
We'll bring you blogs and thoughts as the Glovers embark on their first ever season in the second teir.

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Blog - Williams or Wont-iams?

Posted by Ben Barrett on August 22, 2013 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Williams or Wont-iams?
Returning hero or unwanted Judas?


Today, (Thursday) it emerged that Yeovil Town had made a “tentative enquiry” about getting Andy Williams back, from Swindon Town.


Careful you don’t cut yourself on that open can of worms… and get ready to clear up the mess now that a cat has been flung among the pigeons.


Williams is a controversial figure at Huish Park, after two years scoring the goals that helped keep Yeovil in League One, he signed for Swindon Town – turning down a contract described asthe Glovers “biggest ever” in the process.


Tough to take, sure, but we’ve had players leave for nothing to divisional rivals before; Huntington, Bowditch, Welsh, Smith – you get the idea.


Why was this different?


For starters, Williams was signed after being tossed on the scrapheap by Bristol Rovers, he quickly became one of the Glovers’ key men and as Gary Johnson had taken the helm, was seen by many to be the man who would lead Yeovil up the table rather than scrapping at thebottom of it.


Did he owe Yeovil some loyalty? Is loyalty a part of football anymore? There’s a whole essay in that alone.


But, in this article, Williams isquoted as saying that he needed to “consider my family and how far away I am from them so that comes into the equation”…


Fair enough, Huish Park is pretty much twice as far from his home town of Hereford as Swindon is, but it’s still only a couple of hours drive.


It would also be a factor in decided whether or not to re-join Yeovil, should it come to that.


So, it must have been the money… nope, he said that it wasn't due to the money.


“The offer that Yeovil gave me has been matched by other clubs, so it's not a financial decision.”


So, that’s that then… but hang on, if Yeovil and others matched each other, why did Yeovil fall short?


The Swindon interest was a long procedure, on signing for the Robins, Williams confirmed that there had been an enquiry during the January transfer window of 2012.


Williams said that he had wanted to test himself and see how far he could go; if we’re taking his word as golden he means that he thought Swindon had a better chance of progression into the top half of League One and onto the Championship.


If you’ve all switched on your ‘irony-o-meters’ we’ll begin; Yeovil went on to finish fourth, two places above Swindon. The sides avoided each other in the play offs, and well, you all know what happened there.


Of course, there was no way anyone could know that was going to happen.


Consider this, too, Williams had the chance to work under Paolo Di Canio, a striker with buckets of Premier League experience and the showmanship that is sure to tempt anyone in that position.


One thing was for sure, Williams would have led the line pretty much every week at Yeovil, with players like James Collins and Rafael De Vita at the club and Adam Rooney joining later on, would that be the case at Swindon?


It would actually; Williams played the vast majority of the league games for Swindon under all their managers.


So, he’s got to move closer to home, still play at League One level in a side that made the play-offs and probably on a substantial wage rise.


I’m nearly starting to understand where he is coming from, but allow me to put my Green and White glasses on.


The return of Gary Johnson has reinvigorated Yeovil, the club was buzzing, the fans were in dreamland and all we needed were the players to believe in the club and the project.


In the summer of 2012 it wasn’t just Williams who needed a new deal. Ed Upson, Luke Ayling, Gavin Williams, Paul Huntington, Dom Blizzard and two loanees from Middlesbrough were deliberating over deals.


The ‘boro lads chose northern clubs close to their parent club, and Paul Huntington had made no secret of his desire to return north – the proper north, Preston.


But key players, Upson and Ayling had signalled their intent to stay and be part of the project. Gav Williams and Dom Blizzard (eventually) followed suit. With Marek Stech joining, we had a spine of a side that needed a front man.


Williams could have been that man, supporters all wanted him to stay, but alas, he didn’t.


Could there be some hard feelings about that? Did Williams not believe in what Gary Johnson was doing? – I have no answer to these questions; I’m just putting them out there.


So, he’s a Swindon player, he’s said some pretty respectful things about Yeovil, but he would put them all behind him when the sides met in November of 2012.


He scored. Others may call it ‘doing his job’, which is fine. But those few seconds after he scored seem to have set emotions blazing.


He may or may not have kissed the Swindon badge; he may or may not have celebrated like he won the world cup. But he did not make one of those respectful and quiet walks back to the centre circle.


Should he have celebrated? Again another debate for the pub, personally I’m not a fan of celebrating against clubs that mean a lot to you. James Hayter didn’t against Doncaster and the one that sticks in my mind is Jon Obika, never a Yeovil player on a permanent basis, but on returning to Huish Park on loan for Millwall refused to celebrate a last minute equaliser. A nice touch.


We’ve explored why he may have left a sour taste in the mouthof Yeovil fans, but if Williams was making decisions “purely based on football”, so can I.


Yeovil’s search for a new front man raises questions of its own.


Do we need another striker? Madden and Hayter aren’t exactly firing at the moment, not that they won’t eventually. Back-ups Michael NGoo and Kieffer Moore haven’t been given much of a run yet and Sam Hoskins has been used predominantly in midfield.


Would a fifth out and out striker get much action? Unless one of the four we have is leaving, Moore out on loan for example or Madden to a Premier League side with a few million pounds burning in their pockets.


If the Glovers are looking for a goal scorer, it should be noted that Williams has only notched 13 goals in a Swindon shirt and of course as much Championship experience as the players he’d be trying to push out of the Yeovil team (bar Hayter).  None.


It’s also no secret that Williams’ wage is considerably higher at Swindon. Could we afford to match, or better that wage – we’re a Championship club now?


Let’s say we do, he may become one of the highest paid players which would bring its own pressures.


Based on current form and possible cost, I’d argue that Williams wouldn’t be value for money.


What about others, would Ireland international Paddy Madden be keen on someone coming in, stealing his place and getting paid more? A phone call or two from an agent could lead to that going one of two ways, a new deal or a new club. – Again, this is purely devil’s advocate stuff written in a 'worst case scenario' style.


Williams’ contract runs until the end of this season, so unless Swindon are looking to offload for free or secure a loan deal there would be a fee involved.


There are a thousand different thoughts and opinions, but itis a fascinating topic to look at.


The whole deal is at a very early stage and if we are looking at a late addition it’s safe to assume Williams isn’t the only person we’ve asked the question of.


Furthermore, Yeovil seems to be a place where players can have more than one spell. This applies more so to loanees with those like Shaun Macdonald, Owain Tudur Jones and the aforementioned Obika have been four times each.


But of course, Gavin Williams and Darren Way have both left to further their careers only to return.


Andy Williams isn’t in the same league as these two with regards to legendary status, and I don’t mind admitting he still leaves that sour taste with me. He had his chance to be part of the Johnson revolution and was tempted away by a fancy name in PDC.


I’d rather look elsewhere if we need an extra front man, but I feel that we have all the firepower we need right in front of our eyes.


With Madden, Hayter and Ngoo class is permanent and form is temporary, they’ll keep us up.


Looks like the final 10 days of the transfer window might be interesting for Yeovil Town.


WATTS HAPPENING - DEFYING THE ODDS - PART ONE

Posted by Ben Barrett on July 30, 2013 at 12:35 PM Comments comments (0)

WATTS HAPPENING


DEFYING THE ODDS - PART ONE

With Yeovil Town about to emabark on their history making season in the Championship, BSW hands over the reigns to Alex Watts for a number of blogs about this up coming campaign.

In a section called "Watts Happening" we start with a look at just how the Glovers will "Defy the odds".


 

This afternoon’s [Tuesday 30/07] photo call at Huish Park is the sign that the curtain has been closed on Yeovil Town’s finest Football League hour, but with it, now begins arguably their most difficult.
Memories of last season will never been forgotten by Yeovil fans but they must now be put to one side as full focus turns towards the club’s maiden season in the Sky Bet Championship.




 

Most refreshingly, the majority of last season’s squad remain in South Somerset with the only disappointment coming from the club’s failure to secure another year’slong loan for giant defender, Dan Burn.
After finding his feet in League One, the paring of Burn and Byron Webster was one of the main catalysts for the Glovers rise up the League One table and proved formidable in our play-off campaign.
How we deal with the loss of Burn will go a long way to determining how we fare this year. In addition to this the club have, with best wishes, sent Richard Hinds, Gavin Williams and Dominic Blizzard on their way to new clubs while striker Reuben Reid has played his last game for the club after agreeing a season long loan to Plymouth Argyle.



Dan Burn, or should that be Dan Brum?

 

While work has been going on at the stadium over the summer; GJ, Skivo and Weasel have been working hard to prepare and refresh the club’s playing staff to form a competitive side in the Championship.
In the net, keeping Marek Stech despite rumoured interest is a huge positive.

The only change comes in the form of youngster Matt Cafer agreeing a six-month professional deal. However, his non-appearance in any of the club’s friendlies suggests this is going to prove a largely pointless venture.


The biggest changes have come at the back, with five new arrivals coming in. With Burn and Fulham deciding to go to pastures new, the additions of Dan Seaborne on a two-year contract and the experienced Alan Tate on a six-month loan from Swansea have filled the gaps.
In both the home friendlies, Seaborne has looked calm and solid at the back, fitting in with ease. He is used to the demands of the Championship and will be key if the Town are to stay up.
Similarly, the experience and know-how of Tate will be vital in guiding the younger players through. Tate arrives with a point to prove, having not played many games recently due to injury and the success of his parent club.
If Tate gets a run of continued games, his class will show.



Alan Tate - Swans loanee. (Pic Western Gazette)


 

The other two defensive recruits are slightly more of a gamble though. Seth Nana Ofuri Twusami has signed a short-term deal, despite failing to impress most Town fans on his trial. GJ has worked with him before and before his injuries, he had a good pedigree playing for numerous England youth sides.
Yeovil will be hoping he can get back to this although I have my doubts. The reaction of his team mates after his mistake had led to Swansea’s opening goal seemed to show how surprised they weren’t.
As if it had happened a few times in training before! It really has stuck in my mind the reaction some players showed.


On a similar deal, Joey Jones has joined from Leicester City. The young central defender is an interesting signing, potential a plenty but with no reserve team he’ll have little opportunity to develop you would think.
Finally at the back, Liam Davis, another familiar face to GJ, has arrived today on a two-year deal.The length of the deal shows the faith GJ has in the player, but the reviews from Oxford fans and the fact that he did not do enough to earn a deal at Birmingham City earlier this summer fails to fill me with enthusiasm, although I want to be proved wrong.


 

In midfield, the signing of Billy Clifford has been the most eye-catching on a six-month loan from Chelsea.
Against Swansea, playing at right back he was a huge positive and after a successful loan spell last time out with Colchester, the youngster looks more than ready to make the step up.

Winger Joel Grant has made his way from Wycombe on a two-year deal, after being their top scorer and highest assist provider last year.
An exciting, direct winger, Grant will prove a top signing if his work-rate defensively matches that of fellow wingers Sam Foley and Kevin Dawson.



Joel Grant - Wycombe's Wing Wonder
(Pic Western Morning News)


Finally in the middle, Sam Hoskins has joined from Southampton and in pre-season friendlies has been deployed as a left-winger. Although I would love to see him given a chance up front, he is the signing  Iam most excited about.
The reviews he has received from his new team mates and manager constantly refer to his excellent natural ability. Hopefully, given suitable time to be Yeovil-ified, he can prove to be a top player.

 

Up top, the reliable and trusted partnership of Madden and Hayter remains but competition has arrived in the form of 6’6 Michael Ngoo on loan from Liverpool and Kieffer Moore from Dorchester.
These are both players with huge potential yet the real results will come if they can deliver these performances with consistency.
I have my doubts about Ngoo personally. In the Exeter friendly, he was outshone by the evergreen Sam Parkin who played the target man role perfectly while Ngoo spent his evening running down dead ends and turning into players.
Moore has made a huge step up and if he can make an impact then Yeovil will have a top player on their hands, but he needs to be given time and patience from all.



Moore to come from Kieffer
(Pic Pitchero)


 

Overall the squad and new acquisitions in particular have a very “Gary’s Gambles” feel about them.
How well we fare in the Championship will really boil down to how many of these gambles pay off.

It’s going to be exciting regardless, but thankfully in GJ we trust.


  

 

Betting on Yeovil Town 2013/14

Posted by Ben Barrett on July 29, 2013 at 2:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Betting on Yeovil Town – 2013/14




With the Championship season only a few days away, I thought I should combine my job in a bookmakers, my love for Yeovil Town and of course any chance to talk about Yeovil in the Championship to run you through the betting odds for all things green and white this season.


I guess I should get some proper stuff out of the way; all bets are for over 18s only. If you’re under 18… go and watch some Peppa Pig like a good little kid.


Actually, betting should also be done responsibly, click HERE for a link to Gamcare if you or someone you know has an issue withgambling or if you just want some more information.


It’s also worth pointing out that prices displayed below arevalid as of the 29th July 2013 and could change any minute.


  


Anyway, that’s enough of that… let’s see what we’ve got.


After last year’s heroics, I guess it could be said that Yeovil are pretty much the rank outsiders to make any sort of impact in the Championship. If we believe the bookies, we’ll become the first side to finish 25th.


But, nevertheless, there are markets out there to be interested in.


To win the League:

OK, let’s start by making some easy cash… no? No-one out there? Well, if you are. You can get 250/1 (Bet365 / SkyBet) on Yeovil finishing top of the pile come May.


If you’re not feeling positive enough to put us 1stin the table, maybe a promotion via any means is more your style. We’re as short as 33/1 for back-to-back promotions, but you can get 74/1 with Unibet and 888Sport.


We can also be backed at 33/1 (William Hill / Paddy Power / BetVictor) to get another crack at the play-offs can by finishing in the top 6.



(Pic Guardian)


Glass not half full? Fear not, we’ve got you grumpy buggers covered too.


Gary Johnson is 40/1 (Stan James) to be the next Championship gaffer to get the boot and there is of course the relegation markets.


Yeovil are pretty much odds-on to get relegated across the board, the best available price (should you want to make some cash out of the Glovers’ plight) is 11/10 with Ladbrokes.


Whilst flip those numbers and we are 10/11 to stay in the division with BetVictor.


If you feel that we’ll spend the season propping up the rest of the sides, finishing the season 24th is 4/1 with William Hill, and yes, we’re the favourites to do so.


Top Half finish? 12/1 with BetVictor. Bottom half..? 1/10 on, let’s face it, if you’ve got the 10 to risk, you probably don’t need the ‘one’.


Right, time for some goals. More specifically, those who score the goals.


League One’s top scorer last season Paddy Madden is just 66/1 to repeat the feat with Bet Victor, while you can get a whopping 200/1 on Michael Ngoo (Coral), James Hayter (Bet 365), Keiffer Moore (Coral) and Sam Hoskins (Coral) to take the golden boot.


Combine Paddy Madden with Yeovil winning the league… just 1000/1. Even I’m not sure that’s worth a quid.




Time to break things down, some bookies offer smaller groups:


If Yeovil can top the position of both Bournemouth and Doncaster, we’ll win the ‘Top Promoted Club’ market at 7/1 with SkyBet.


We’re also up against Reading, Brighton and Bournemouth in the ‘Top South/South West club’… we’re at 20/1 with Stan James.


SkyBet also have a ‘Top Southern Club’ and include QPR, Reading, Watford, Brighton, Bournemouth, Ipswich, Charlton, Millwall and 66/1 outsiders in the group… Yeovil Town.


Finally, a league Yeovil did win last season – the handicap market.


Yeovil alongside 22 other clubs are given a points head starton the favourites QPR, at the end of the season every side gets their additional points added to their tally to create a ‘handicap table’.


With every bookie offering different handicaps for all the sides, it’simpossible to go through them all, but Yeovil are given a tempting 36 points with BetVictor and 18/1.


Pretty sure there is someone out there who could explain that better…




Onto the cup competitions and The FA Cup is the big one, consideringwe’re already into the third round, is the 600/1 from SkyBet enough to tempt you into backing something a little bit special?


What about ‘doing a Bradford’ and being the shock of the Capital One Cup… it’s 500/1 to lift that one, Bet365 and SkyBet are the top price.


Finally, there is the Johnstone’s Paint …. Sorry, what’s that, oh… well, Bristol City are 16/1 on that one…


So there we go, anything there to make your betting slip?


I actually don’t think I’ll be placing any bets on us ante-post, but I think a loyalty bet on Paddy Madden from my winnings last season might be on the cards.


Fire us to safety Paddy and you might just earn an Ireland call up in the process.




 

2013 Barrett Sports Writing End of Season Awards

Posted by Ben Barrett on May 7, 2013 at 11:45 AM Comments 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]


Winner: Sheff Utd (a) 2-0


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)


Winner: Steven Caulker


 

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.


 

Returning Hero


Previous Winners:  2012 – Gary Johnson     2011 – N/A


R-up:  Joe Edwards


Winner: Marek Stech.


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


Previous Winners:


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.”


 

Winner:
“Lukey Ayling, you’re the love of my life, Lukey Ayling, I’d let you shag my wife, Lukey Ayling,  I want long hair too.”


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)


Permanent Signing


Previous Winners: 2012 Richard Hinds      2011 Paul Huntington


Nominations: Joe Edwards, Sam Foley, Byron Webster, Marek Stech, Jamie McCallister


R-Up: James Hayter


Winner: Paddy Madden


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.


 

Loan Signing


(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


Winner: Dan Burn


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


Winner. Dale Bennett


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


R-up @Stechy100


Winner: @Sam_foley


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


Winner – Graham Westley


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)

Winner: Marek Stech (44 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)





 


 

 

 

Free Bets Free Tips

Posted by Ben Barrett on May 2, 2013 at 2:10 PM Comments 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





The final countdown

Posted by Ben Barrett on March 3, 2013 at 6:50 PM Comments comments (0)

The Final Countdown.


(do do do dooo... It can't be just me that hums the song after that line?)


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.


It’s turning into the most exciting league in the country, possibly in Europe.


Strap yourselves in.



Am I dreaming.. or am I just going MADD?

Posted by Ben Barrett on January 13, 2013 at 7:45 AM Comments 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.


Oh.



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.


 

Preston 3 - 0 Yeovil - FA Cup 1st Round

Posted by Ben Barrett on November 3, 2012 at 4:45 PM Comments 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.

Right then,

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”.

 

The Awesome Foursome

Posted by Ben Barrett on September 4, 2012 at 3:10 PM Comments comments (0)

I’m back!

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.

 

Barrett Sports Writing - Prostate Cancer UK

Posted by Ben Barrett on August 23, 2012 at 6:45 PM Comments 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... 

      

 



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