Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Dungannon Swifts 1 Linfield 1

Billy Joe's Wonder Goal (courtesy of Crooksy). He'll not be with us much longer.

JJB Sports Premiership, Stangmore PArk, Tuesday 26th August 2008

Team : Mannus, Burns, O'Kane, Murphy, Bailie, Curran, Mulgrew, McAreavey (Martin 60), Downey, Ferguson, Carvill
Subs not used : Douglas, Lindsay, Addis, Miskimmin

Scorer: Burns (92)

Attendance: ca. 1000 (750 Bluemen?)

Right, I've just got in, and I'm pissed off after watching that.

First, as objective a summary as I can give. Both sides had chances in the first half, the Swifts looking dangerous every time they attacked, having a goal disallowed for offside/a foul on Mannus/goodness knows as we were at the other end and it didn't look like a foul. Linfield managed to break through on occasion, Mulgrew forcing a couple of saves from long-range shots, Carvill shooting straight at Nelson after breaking through, and Billy Joe heading wide when he should have done better. The Swifts took the lead in controversial fashion. They got a free-kick after Bailie was harshly adjudged to have pushed their forward (McAllister?), Carvill got booked for not retreating enough, the ball came in, looked to have hit Carvill on the knee, a penalty was given, McAree converted.

The second half saw Linfield with the bulk of possession but not a great deal of chances, Dungannon hitting us on the break. McAree cleared off the line, Carvill's follow-up from a Downey shot was ruled offside, Linfield had a number of ineffective long-range shots, and Billy Joe volleyed home spectatularly in injury time into the top-right corner to gain us an ill-deserved point.

Where do I start with that abject effort? The good:
-Billy Joe Burns. MOTM again. Confidence personified.
-Carvill worked hard
-Curran was better, always does look for the ball and played the simple passes well
-Aidy was ok

The bad:

- Our central midfield. Maccers was unfit. Again. A passenger. Again. Too slow. Again. Downey is not a striker, nor a in-the-hole player. He's too slow, can't shoot, too greedy.
-Our central defence. Leaky, rushed, panicked, like they've never played together. A season too far?
-Our passing was fu cking shocking. Atrocious.
-Our tactics, given the lack of width which we've been bemoaning for 2 years, was the same old predictable hoofball bollocks AGAIN AND AGAIN. We play a couple of pretty passes in the middle third, get nowhere with them, then hoof it up to Spike. Except a) Spike is getting too slow and laboured, and outbattled in the air, and b) half the time tonight, the hoofball was put up to Carvill, the smallest player on the pitch. We have no pace in our team save Carvill and he's not getting the through balls or the service. We're too slow, and static. The lack of movement in our team is scary, especially when Gault is missing.
-Our substitutions. Martin comes on for Maccers, with 30 minutes to go, we seem to shift to 4-4-2. Then... nothing. If Martin is the only Plan B we have until Christmas, we're fucked, quite frankly. Jeffrey clearly doesn't trust Miskimmon at all, if he's not prepared to throw him on in a game we're losing, where our main striker is knackered. I've said it before and I'll say it again, our (sorry, DJ's) over-reliance on Spike is going to cost us dearly. It's already foreced potentially able replacements out of the club, cemented our reliance on the panic hoofball and the precentages game, and it's going to take a lot of adjustment once Ferguson can continue no more. Jeffrey's incompetence in contract negotiations and dealings these past 8 months have meant we have to rely on him now until New Year AT LEAST. He cannot last 90 minutes anymore. The pace, the presence, has deserted him. We cannot rely on him anymore.
- Fearless Leader. Displaying his remarkable leadership qualities once more when the chips are down. Barking orders to his troops, motivating them, railing them, driving them on to get the equaliser? Was he fuck. Hiding in the dugout, hardly a peep out of him. I've rarely seen a Linfield support so quiet, subdued and resigned as tonight. We weren't clapping you, Jeffrey. We were criticising.

Billy Joe got you out of jail. Simply not good enough, Jeffrey.

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