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Five things we learned: Ipswich Town 2-0 Millwall

© Edmund Boyden
© Edmund Boyden

#1: Holloway still searching for a 90-minute performance

Despite taking ten points from their first five league games, Ian Holloway had one major gripe about Millwall's start to the Championship season.

"We haven't been able to manage a 90-minute performance so far," he said.

Unfortunately for the Lions manager, that was very much the case again at Portman Road yesterday, where his side failed to build on some early promise.

The visitors were quick to impose their passing game on Ipswich, pressing the ball high up the field and forcing the hosts into rash clearances as they tried to get out of their own half.

During this dominant spell, Millwall missed two excellent chances to score the opening goal.

The closest they came was when Jermaine Easter drilled against the crossbar at the end of a flowing move involving Scott McDonald and Scott Malone.

Mathias Ranegie then played in Martyn Woolford, who sliced into the side netting after his first touch took him away from goal.

"Somebody asked me why we started slowly, but I didn't think we did, I thought they were good," Blues boss Mick McCarthy said after the game.

So the way in which the Lions surrendered their ascendancy in first-half stoppage time was unforgivable.

A hopeful punt forward was collected by David McGoldrick, who exchanged passes with Teddy Bishop before his deflected shot arrowed into the far corner.

Holloway attempted to "muster the troops" at the break but his side staggered through a second-half in which their display was flat, tepid and tame.

Daryl Murphy's second goal came from a poorly-defended corner just after the hour mark.

Holloway claimed McGoldrick's opening goal had the effect of a "fatal wound" – and his players certainly looked like dead men walking.

The second-half was totally uncharacteristic of Holloway's reign and the Millwall boss will be glad of the chance to make amends against Reading on Tuesday.

#2: Ipswich exploit the flanks and run the channels

Ipswich did two things particularly well yesterday.

In the first half, their general play was disjointed and direct – but strikers David McGoldrick and Daryl Murphy – two physical, powerful, willing runners – always gave them an out ball.

It wasn't pleasing on the eye, but the Blues were very good at going from back to front and turning defence into attack simply by lofting a long pass in behind the Lions' defence.

McGoldrick and Muprhy are both strong in the air, quick on the ground and their hold up play drove Ipswich up the pitch.

The first goal, scored in the dying embers of the first half, came from a aimless hoof forward and McGoldrick's pace and power, with a touch of finesse at the end of the move.

In the second half, full back Tyrone Mings caused Millwall huge problems with his pace.

Instead of being able to join in with attacks, Carlos Edwards was largely pinned inside his own half by the £2.5million-rated 21-year-old, who bombed forward at every opportunity.

Time and time again, Mings drove into acres of space down the Lions' right flank.

After the game, McCarthy was asked about his tactics and said: "Because their two full-backs rampage forward there's always room to catch them on the break.

"We trained accordingly this week and we actually did catch them on the break because they were having a corner and we've speared them from their corner kick.

"If they're very attack-minded, which Ollie's teams are, they can leave themselves a bit bare at the back but nevertheless it was still a very good, well-worked goal.

"Their full-backs are particularly good at doing that and I said to ours that I wanted them to be better than theirs and I thought Tyrone was the pick of the bunch."

#3: Lee Martin – the ghost at the feast

This was supposed to be Lee Martin's big moment – his chance to show Mick McCarthy and Ipswich fans what they're missing.

Martin has been excellent so far this season – Holloway reckons the winger is in "the form of his life" – and he would have been desperate to impress against a former club.

So when news broke before kick off that the 27-year-old had tweaked a knee ligament in training, Lions fans collectively despaired.

And for good reason, because Martin's influence was certainly missed at Portman Road.

Looking at the bigger picture, Millwall will be short of wide options in Martin's absence and Holloway may be forced into the loan market for reinforcements.

The Lions boss said afterwards that he intends to give someone else in his squad a chance, possibly Fred Onyedinma, but he will undoubtedly be looking at options outside of the club.

Mathias Ranegie was quiet and starved of service on his full debut for the club; if Holloway continues with one up front, he'll need his widemen to whip more crosses into the box.

#4: Millwall too slow in the final third

Despite being on the wrong end of a 2-0 scoreline, Millwall had more possession and just as many shots as Ipswich.

The problem for the Lions, and one of the big differences between the two sides, was the speed with which they attacked.

When Millwall did have the chance to counter, they didn't get enough bodies forward in support fast enough, leading to backwards and sideways passing.

Holloway admitted after the game that there "maybe wasn't enough fluency or movement" about his team, whereas Ipswich were direct and shifted the ball quickly in the final third.

Scott McDonald was the Lions' brightest attacking player and did his best to give them an attacking impetus, but his options on the ball were limited by static runners ahead of him.

With 6ft 4in Ranegie up front, Millwall didn't get anywhere near enough crosses into the box and instead saw their attacks falter in central areas 20 yards from goal.

#5: Football bureaucracy is ridiculous

Millwall accidentally forgot to include the name of young goalkeeper Tom King on their teamsheet, but they realised their error an hour before kick off.

Referee Carl Berry, though, insisted on applying the letter of the law, as Holloway explains.

Alex Aldridge

(@accordingtoaldo)

41 thoughts on “Five things we learned: Ipswich Town 2-0 Millwall

  • September 14, 2014 at 13:38
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    IH also forgot to include the name of a striker.

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  • September 14, 2014 at 13:56
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    1,2,3,4,5. ARGEE

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  • September 14, 2014 at 14:04
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    My turn:

    DUNNEY MIGHT NOT BE THE ANSWER EVERY GAME: Against two big strong strikers I always though Dunney might struggle physically (no doubting his determination but he is small for a centre back) I know he is captain but there may be a case for a Beevers/Webster partnership in these circumstances. We have to also remember Dunney is new to this position.

    WE NEED A PLAN B/C/D UP FRONT: Ranegie needs time but he also needs service and in all honesty he probably needs a partner. Ipswich showed that with two up top, when its not going your way, you still have the option of going long and direct and if nothing else it knocked us out of our stride and put us on the back foot. I would like to see Gregory up front with him or if not McDonald playing directly behind him and not in midfield.

    WE ARE NOT THE FINISHED ARTICLE: Cast your minds back to last year we were bloody awful, this year we are better but no doubt a long way off of where Olly wants us to be. The priority this year has to be NOT to be involved in a relegation battle. So far this looks a possibility.

    YOU NEED LUCK IN FOOTBALL: Lee Martin's injury hurt us, not as much as it hurt Lee Martin denying him the chance to put one over Ipswich , but it no doubt upset the entire balance and tactics.

    STILL PUNCHING ABOVE OUR WEIGHT: Small crowds, small budgets but still competitive. That doesn't sound that bad does it.

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    • September 14, 2014 at 19:28
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      @Vinny Shell: The old 'punching above our weight' chestnut - the first I've heard that this season.

      We might not have a sugar-daddy owner, but we're as much as home in this division as most other clubs. Likewise, our crowds aren't as good as they could be, but our income is relatively good compared to other clubs with bigger attendances.

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      • September 14, 2014 at 20:33
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        @Micky Lions: Compared to some of our fellow Championship clubs we are a small club. Look at what clubs have spent compared to us and most clubs double our attendance but that doesn't mean we can't compete, look at Burnley. It just means we have to be smarter.

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  • September 14, 2014 at 15:18
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    I hope Martin didnt get this injury through jumping into a tackle in training, because I did see it coming as I said previously on here. Maggie would have scored that Easter chance. In my opinion I'd replace Easter, Ranagie, Beevers and Dunne. I'd play Maggie just behind Fuller, I'd put Webster in for Beevers, get Shittu fit to replace Dunne (or look for a loan player) and make Carlos captain. We had a good run, Ranagie needs some time to sharpen up, but replace the other 3 and we look a good championship side.

    I know Ollie is loyal, so he'll never replace Dunne, but we cant afford so many mistakes, we are conceding from counter attacks, its up to the centre halves to stay organised. Ollie knows what he is doing, but he must see Beevers cant pass, creates no time on the ball, and Dunne is struggling with tall strikers and reading the game. Sorry to be so blunt. On the flip side we got Williams, Carlos, Malone, Woolford, Martin, Forde, Maggie who could compete in the Prem all day long, and a great setup now at the club- so happy times ahead. 😉

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    • September 14, 2014 at 22:47
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      @Alexdangelo: agree in part but disagree with you on beevers and Maggie. I don't know if you went yesterday but I did and beevers did not deserve to be on the losing side, he passed well when having options to do so. Yes he played a fair few long balls in the 2nd half but no one was interested in making runs or moving into space to receive the ball from him.he won most of his headers and put his foot in. He only looked bad at times cause the man next to him put him in an awful position. Maggie looked weak slow and indecisive when he came on. Too many times he got pushed off the ball and no sub should look heavy legged.
      I do agree about dunne and said very similar to a friend during and after the game.
      we rarely come across 2 forwards and dunney just couldn't cope with em he made beevers cover him far too much and sold Carlos short on more than 1 occasion as well. But he was always going to start cause he has deserved his chance. Let's see if he gets the same reward against the royals.
      Not convinced about ranegie can't see him doing much for us even with the obvious lack of a winger which yesterday proved.
      Be good to see what sort of response they make on Tuesday and 1 good thing we can take from this is it has certainly sent us back to earth with a bump and should stop the unnecessary expectations, let's stay grounded and keep under the radar in typical Millwall fashion.
      Early doors with plenty room for improvement. Not as bad as previous seasons thus far.

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  • September 14, 2014 at 15:43
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    If martins in the form of his life, I'm disappointed. He's fitness level are good no one can argue that but really? He don't neccessarily do anything wrong but does he do anything right??? (apart from running)

    it don't matter losing to Ipswich really
    Ollie said he wants do what McCarthy done at Ipswich,
    save em from relegation
    have a stern middle table season
    Aim higher next season.

    I'd say we're on the right course for that in terms of how the squads playing and who's in it.

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    • September 14, 2014 at 16:19
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      @conorMILLWALL SORT IT OUT

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  • September 14, 2014 at 16:25
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    I've got to agree about Martin. He does have skill and he works bloody hard, but there's not a lot of end product. He'll maybe beat one player then lose it before he's got a decent cross in. It's almost as though he doesn't quite believe he's good enough, which means he lacks poise. I was up at Forest in April, and on that occasion he scored a lovely goal, and I thought we might have something here. But in truth neither he nor Woolford are threatening enough and are not providing enough chances for our lone striker.

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  • September 14, 2014 at 16:32
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    1. I would play gueye & fred they would get nearer to reggie plus thy can cross the ball 2. time to come clean about Gregory. 3. be more creative in the final third there was times instead of shooting or taking the man on there was better options. 4.give us travelling fans & the ones listening at home & at work something to cheer about. 5 beat reading

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  • September 14, 2014 at 17:00
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    People on here predictably start picking out dunney again, I was there and in my opinion he played ok, BEEVERS on the other hand looks indicisive, will he head it,will he let it bounce,looks a bit ponderous as well. WILLIAMS & MCDONALD I thought were very good throughout and UPSON looked very assured when he came on. We had an excellent 1st half , our quick one and two touch football much too good for them but we stopped doing it for the whole of the second half. Both their goals had luck, I was right behind McGOLDRICKS shot , it was straight at FORD , big deflection off beevers left him stranded. BERRA won almost all his headers against RANERGIE, thought he was supposed to be good in the air,didn't rate what I saw. 3 really good chances in the first half, WOOLY twice, EASTER got to bury the one he hit the bar with. When we had MORRISON the first time round we got it up to him and he would roast defenders on his own , all pace and power, and could slot when he got in. If we could get something like him we would be a very good side, if not we will huff and puff like against ROTHERHAM,BLACKPOOL, And yesterday.

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    • September 14, 2014 at 17:57
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      @bordersarebest0170: Most of us seem to be saying the same thing, get e decent striker then we have half a chance against better sides but for some reason we cant spot a goal scorer if he stood on zamper road with a sign saying ill score twenty a season and play for free and I hate west ham.

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        • September 14, 2014 at 18:49
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          @block 28: oh yeah how did I forget that one. cheers block.

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          • September 14, 2014 at 19:03
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            @LETEMCOME: sorry mate ..was going to give you a like flicked the wrong box.clumsy git

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    • September 14, 2014 at 20:35
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      @bordersarebest0170: Not picking on Dunney just pointing out an aspect of his game that he struggles with. If you had an hybrid of Dunney and Shittu you would have the best defender in the league.

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  • September 14, 2014 at 18:51
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    What the hell is wrong with Ollie. He can see we couldn't hit a cows ars* with a banjo yet he does nothing. How long will it take him to work out we need two up front. He has let decent strikers pass him by and our answer is Fuller and Easter god help us.

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  • September 14, 2014 at 19:02
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    Well we are stuck with that shower of s.hit that call themselves strikers so it looks like a loan player coming in who may score many then sod off back where he came from or go to a rival who has money to spend.

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  • September 14, 2014 at 19:05
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    Yeah, that's why I mentioned MORRO in my earlier post. In his first spell with us all we did was get it up to him, he was not interested in holding it up , he'd pull out ,collect it and go,he'd take em on, go past em,bully em, you could see defenders backing off, he was going for goal. OLLIE seems to go for the hold it up merchant , but that has a tendency to slow us up, it allows defenders to regroup. Surely there's a young MORRO somewhere,young,hungry with a bit of pace and power.

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    • September 14, 2014 at 19:09
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      @bordersarebest0170: Your probably right there is another morro out there but even if he lived next door to IH he would slip through the net.

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  • September 14, 2014 at 19:07
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    Just to rub it in simeon jackson scored for coventry saturday...

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    • September 14, 2014 at 19:15
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      @Jim28: I bet he keeps on scoring as well. Don't worry about the earlier dislike jim not hitting the right box is an easy mistake after watching our strikers.

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  • September 14, 2014 at 19:21
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    As good as Alan Dunne has been i gotta agree with @vinnyshell as soon as he comes up against someone with a bit of power and strength he struggles. Yesterday their goalie was lumping it up Murphy AND Mcgoldrick were getting their bodys infront of dunney and not giving him much of a chance, his not the tallest man in the world and didnt win a single header all afternoon i dont think. Beevers has got better since we've signed him but i still dont rate him.
    Back once again with the Renegie master didnt look to interested himself, i wont s*** him off because its his first game but for a big man he didnt win much in the air yesterday. having such a big man in the box we thought we would knock hopeless balls in to the area and see what happened rather than being patient and keeping the ball (Carlos Edwards was the main culprit)
    For a team thats had 2 weeks without a game they didnt look the freshiest. Woolford looked tired after 40 minutes and he normally runs himself into the ground for 90 minutes. We come out in the 2nd half looking depleted and short of any ideas.
    lets put things right at Reading on Tuesday.
    COYL

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  • September 14, 2014 at 20:01
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    I have to say, this result has just given me the feeling that we're gonna be in another relegation battle this season. I have the feeling that we're now gonna go on a 5+ game losing streak and will struggle to find form again. Why? NO STRIKERS!!!

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    • September 14, 2014 at 20:16
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      @mfclions: Have to agree mfc, if we dont score goals we dont win games. We create chances but no quality up front. The defence must be dreading each game knowing the striker's wont score. Best form of defence is attack. We have to get quality up front. Bad results mean poor attendances. Get results punters will return.

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    • September 14, 2014 at 20:16
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      @mfclions: Iam always being told we cant afford decent strikers, apparently you have to have loads of money to get one. Its impossible to find one from the lower leagues or to have a good scout on the books.

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  • September 14, 2014 at 20:24
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    think its about time ollie spilt the beans on the Gregory situation, he was saying nice things about him and god knows we are desperate for a goalscorer. if this boy who was prolific in non league (big step up i know) and cost £250,000 cant get a look in, my God we must have some top strikers!!! come on ollie at least tells us whats going on please

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  • September 14, 2014 at 20:26
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    Is gregory really injured or is this just another cover up story the guy must be chomping at the bit to prove himself so let him show us what he's got can't be no worse than what we as re showing up front at the moment

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    • September 14, 2014 at 20:41
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      @davep263: Yes agree level with us Ollie, we pay your bloody wages whats going on with Gregory.

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  • September 14, 2014 at 20:45
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    Lee Gregory, who he.

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  • September 14, 2014 at 20:56
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    Agreed we need a striker, to be fair we have signed a Swedish international that what's to get back in the side. But I will take some stick for this but the problem one lies with Alan Dunne being to small for a center back. I am a big Alan Dunne fan , but the writing was on the wall against Rotherham, where a big donkey forward cause us all sorts of problems, and reinforced when he had to bring on Webster in the Blackpool game when Dunney what getting beat in the air time after time. Please look at the football league show, and all the chances and the goals were due to the fact that Dunney is not tall enought to compete in the air with a tall robust center forward . Saying that Easter missed a 3 yard open goal and so did Woolford. But Alan Dunne is not big tall enought to play at center half and other sides have Sussed that and play to it.
    PS. I was at all the games i am talking about , including Ipswich and it sticks out like a sore thumb, look at the football league show and tell me different. Xxx

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  • September 14, 2014 at 22:21
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    Just found this on a website in relation to the basic rules of football 'The aim of the game is to score a goal, which is achieved by kicking or heading the ball into the opposition team's goal'. Its radical I know but perhaps if IH were to pass this on to Fuller, Easter and co well you never know!

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  • September 14, 2014 at 23:43
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    The issue here is that an intelligent and we'll organised team can expose weaknesses in our formation. Upon realising that it is up to the management team to adapt the formation to better effect and make personnel changes. Sounds like Big Mick did a number on us and Ollie.

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    • September 15, 2014 at 01:55
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      @glyngo: make you right.1st half micks lot didn't know how to cope with us..he changed things at ht..was it enough to completely change the game .i'am not so sure. Cos lets face it they got 2 stupid goals.

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  • September 15, 2014 at 02:17
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    #6 If we concede the 1st goal. We end up losing.

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  • September 15, 2014 at 11:12
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    McDonald flatters to deceive. He looks good but doesn't deliver often enough.

    We started well at Ipswich but if you don't score when you are on top then the inevitable happens.

    If you have a great big striker, why not try and cross the ball a few times? How many crosses were put in for Ranegie during that game? Less than three.

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  • September 15, 2014 at 12:03
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    You could of added another 3 to that
    1 we have no pace in the team
    2 we have no width in the team
    3 we have non goal scoring strikers

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  • September 15, 2014 at 22:08
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    I really like the 5-things article, but this was more a match report than the previous 5-things articles I have read. They will get harder to write as a pattern develops and finding anything learnt and therefore new becomes a challenge. Keep these articles coming though so long as hard questions get asked!

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