Millwall exit Capital One Cup: Three things we learned

© Millwall FC
© Millwall FC

WE take a look at some of the talking points after Millwall were knocked out of the League Cup by Barnet.

The Lions came back to level through Steve Morison after John Akinde had put Barnet ahead before Andy Yiadom sent the Bees through to the second round.

From Lee Gregory’s importance to the side to Millwall’s habit of going behind in games, we analyse the Lions’ latest result and what it means.

1. Gregory makes a difference

Neil Harris wanted a trimmer squad this season – and the stats show a positive correlation between the fewest number of players used per season and final league positions – but two or three injuries can quickly reveal limitations.

Harris rested Lee Gregory last night and probably would have liked to have been in the position to leave him on the bench for the entire evening.

But, with John Marquis struggling to impose himself and strike up an understanding with Steve Morison, Gregory was summoned on 66 minutes to replace his team-mate.

The former Halifax Town striker has a knack of always seeming to find himself at the centre of the action in and around the box.

He immediately unsettled the Barnet defence last night and linked well with Morison and with Fred Onyedinma and Paris Cowan-Hall.

It’s crucial Gregory stays fit if Millwall are to challenge for a top-six spot. He scored nine league goals last season after his move to the Championship from non-league football, so reaching a target of 15 this season – with Morison already on two in two games – will surely leave Millwall duking it out towards the business end of the table.

2. Archer enjoys target practice

Jordan Archer has had to bide his time for his competitive Millwall debut. He finally got his chance last night and produced several really excellent saves, as well as some truly heart-in-the-mouth moments.

It is tempting to think regular number one David Forde wouldn’t have got down to tip Luke Gambin’s 26th minute shot against the post to prevent Barnet taking a two-goal lead.

Archer also showed lightning reflexes to keep out a John Akinde shot from inside the box in the second half, again getting down smartly, this time to his right, to divert the ball around the post.

Forde, along with club captain Tony Craig, is a key player for Harris in the dressing room and is quite vocal before games.

He is also at this point a steadier presence than his understudy.

Twice last night Archer had Millwall fans holding their breaths. First he looked like he was going to try to take the ball around Akinde close to his own line only to be quickly closed down. He was lucky – and relieved – that the ball squirted harmlessly wide.

In extra-time he raced out of his box to clear, only to see his header go behind him to Michael Gash whose shot towards an open goal was on target but cut out by Webster.

Archer has an all-action style, cat-like reflexes and an eccentric side that could make for some interesting watching this season.

3. Space invaders

Moses Emmanuel. Lyle Taylor. Luis Machado. John Akinde.

Millwall went behind in three of their four pre-season games and have done the same in both competitive fixtures so far.

A feature of the goals scored by the players above for Bromley, AFC Wimbledon, CD Tondela and Barnet was the space those players exploited behind Millwall’s defence.

Harris wants to play a high, pressing game, but the Lions defence has been caught out with long balls over the top or passes played in the inside channels between the centre-backs and full-backs.

When teams have broken through the first line of defence in midfield they have often found time and space to play a ball in behind a high line for pacy strikers to attack the spaces between the back four and goal.

Last night, Akinde warned of the threat he posed a few minutes in when he took up a position off Byron Webster’s shoulder and with Sid Nelson slightly out position the striker worked space for a shot that went over.

A few minutes later he was able to isolate Webster and after being picked out with a ball down the inside-left channel he raced away from the defender only to be brought down in the box.

In the 102nd minute of extra-time the scenario was repeated, this time in the opposite channel but against the same opponent. Akinde had done all the hard work when Andy Yiadom arrived to finish past Archer.

On Saturday, Webster could find himself directly up against Adam Armstrong, Coventry’s quick, on-loan Newcastle forward.

He played in a left-sided role against Wigan, scoring twice in a 2-0 win.

Millwall will have to be aware of the danger he is capable of posing, especially if Coventry work space in midfield or, as against Wimbledon and Tondela, just after possession has been turned over.

Staff

(@NewsAtDen)

42 thoughts on “Millwall exit Capital One Cup: Three things we learned

  • August 12, 2015 at 14:23
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    Can we swap John Marquis for John Akinde plus a few quid? Then our striking options really would look like promotion material. Secondly I wonder how long NH will give Webster to come good. Otherwise we will start to get punished and concede goals and lose games more regularly. Maybe he was a decent player at Yeovil and scored goals for them. For us, i'm still not convinced.

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    • August 12, 2015 at 20:24
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      @Millwaller: First of all would John Akinde got better service from our creative midfield or our wingers last night had he been playing for us , all you hear is poeple slagging of John maquise he was chasing long balls and getting into that massive centre half and winning a few balls against him Steve Morrison got the better of him when he scored that was the only time .I wonder if John maquise had been give the oppotunity to have taken the penalty would he have scored it certainly would have boosted him in a lot of peoples rating ,we are only 1 game into the league and 1 game into or should say out of a cup , give him some credit its very easy to blame him there were quite a few who were under par last night .

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  • August 12, 2015 at 14:28
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    Good point,especially the 3rd point , Armstrong looked good against Wigan and will exploit what we saw last night,hope the home whodoo is pit too bed this weekend.

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    • August 12, 2015 at 21:13
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      i fully agree with your comments this continual slagging off of John is ridiculous especially when you can see how badly he is served by a very poor midfield who are unable to create decent chances for the strickers.

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  • August 12, 2015 at 14:34
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    If we are relying on Gregory to finish TOP 6 then we are in trouble!! The bloke works hard an runs around a lot but Shrewsbury was a typical performance , he never looked like scoring and didn't create anything for anybody else. Unless I have remembered incorrectly that he got 9 not 10 goals last year and 4 were penalties and one of the others should have probably counted as an OG. That's 5(4) goals in 40 appearances . I think the conclusion is that we need Aiden O'Brien as soon as we possibly can so he can start to work on his partnership with Morro!! O'Brien is the key and Gregory a squad player.

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    • August 12, 2015 at 14:45
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      @Kinet: unfortunately Obrien is the same as Marquis, works hard , runs around a lot and a poor goal scoring record . Marquis should have been let go not given yet another years money. If we paid for a goal scoring forward and midfielder we'd be in business.

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        • August 12, 2015 at 20:58
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          @dave666: 5 goals in 45 games tells it all , you must be thinking of another Obrien .

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          • August 12, 2015 at 21:24
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            @southstandview: obrien has talent you can't say marquis is like obrien totally different players at the end of the season you will eat your words and I'll make sure I remind you of your total crap your opinion is

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        • August 12, 2015 at 21:37
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          @dave666: sorry Obrien is not a striker I can only assume you are impressed with strikers that run around a lot and not scoring. If he does come good I'll be delighted, we shall see .

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          • August 12, 2015 at 21:41
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            @southstandview: your facts as usual are like you're self deluded

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        • August 12, 2015 at 21:46
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          @dave666: sorry Dave I know from your previous posts that your a bit Odd , and that's putting it politely. If Brains were Dynamite you wouldn't have enough to blow your nose . I'll ignore your stupid rants from now on , I can see from your pic your not dealing with a full deck , bye bye Dave .

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          • August 12, 2015 at 21:49
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            @southstandview: you obviously don't know me I'm sure our paths will cross

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        • August 12, 2015 at 22:14
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          @dave666: sorry I can't carry on with your nonsense, we'll never agree so I'll ignore you from now on , now don't be coming back at me hoping to get a reply ok , you can't stop yourself though can you ?

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          • August 12, 2015 at 22:16
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            @southstandview: well your the one who said you wouldn't reply as usual full of s***

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    • August 12, 2015 at 18:51
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      @Kinet: all gregory can do is score the occasional s*** goal and maybe a penalty from time to time

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    • August 13, 2015 at 09:04
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      @Kinet: Dead right. Look at the facts. He has been a very poor signing. Compare him with Akinde. I know who I would rather have.

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  • August 12, 2015 at 15:09
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    I know what I learned-Lee Martin shouldn't be allowed to take another corner or free kick again. His delivery was terrible, any professional player should surely be able to whip those in like nobodys business, I lost count the amount of times the ball went sailing pointlessly over everyone's head and out for a goal kick. When opposing teams have dead ball situations against us they nearly always put the ball right in the danger area whereas our maestro contrives to send it as far into the lower tiers as possible- the poor ball boys are left scurrying round looking for it. So frustrating.

    Then we have Williams who is convinced he's a cross between pirlo and iniesta. When he first joined I loved his calm measured passing, but now it's starting to grate if I'm honest, it's one thing being laid back but he's virtually in the car park. Since Christmas just gone something's not right, I don't know if he wants out but I'd be tempted to let Powell have a go, especially after a decent preseason, he's waited long enough for his chance after all.

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  • August 12, 2015 at 15:20
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    Get rid of marquis he had he opportunity totally s*** tbh he dont deserve 2 be in the starting 11 or on the bench give him a ball boy job he still haven't score yet should of got someone better and always play archer better then fordy fordy is a conference player at best 2 slow 2 get down and always moans at other team mates but really it he fault not getting down quick enough anyway roll on Saturday COYL 3pts please NOLU WDC

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  • August 12, 2015 at 15:26
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    Some good points here.
    For me :
    Webster shouldn't be starting.Nor should L. Martin.
    Gregory gives a bit more movement but once again lacks firepower in front of goal unfortunately.
    Shame we don't see a couple of younger players coming through, they need games though.
    Tactically Bomber lost out to Martin last night which is very worrying for the rest of the coming season.

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    • August 12, 2015 at 17:48
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      @Millwallsteve: Not sure your right Steve, we had enough chances to win, the ball would just not go in. Martins one on one miss in the first half and some of the chances in the second half, Fred miss, another that a player shot when a pass was on to I think Morro in the center of the goal, just like Saturday, a couple of real goal mouth scrambles and even last thirty seconds a good shot on target. Bomber can only set the team up to get the chances, would love to know how may we would have got with him in his prime. Take nothing away from Martin though, a willy old manager who knows the game inside out.

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  • August 12, 2015 at 16:13
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    Hope Bomber learned that playing without recognised full backs, and entering extra time with 4 centre backs was always going to end in tears against a very mobile team

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  • August 12, 2015 at 16:50
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    I hate to see us lose, but on a plus note. We did dominate parts of the game..

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  • August 12, 2015 at 17:02
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    Good posts on here today, I said earlier Lee Martin was crap so was our midfield, if we go with players who started last night I honestly think we will end up in the bottom half of the table.

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  • August 12, 2015 at 17:29
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    Well there's a huge wake up call for club and fans alike time for a bit of gritt from the players who ever gets a starting place the most consistent thing we've done for a few season is giving the ball away, sort that out and we will be ok if not 2nd div is on the cards

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  • August 12, 2015 at 18:40
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    Another thing we've learnt. Millwall fans can go from 'we are going up' to 'we are doomed, everyone is s***' in the space of 3 days and 1 result.

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  • August 12, 2015 at 19:16
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    Its a cup game and thats the sort of result which often happens,yes we lost to barnet but last week we beat shrewsbury,who last night beat blackburn. So lets not start judging until at least ten games in and all of our first teamers are back.

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  • August 12, 2015 at 19:23
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    I would love to see George Graham assist Bomber in some way. I feel he needs an old experienced head to help behind the scenes and guide Bomber in his first couple of seasons of management . Just a thought.

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  • August 12, 2015 at 19:24
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    We played fair and square but it was enough, MILLWALL TIL I DIE COYL NOLU WDC

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  • August 12, 2015 at 19:58
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    OMG We can't even beat newcomers to the football league at HOME.

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  • August 12, 2015 at 22:49
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    4. Kids for a quid might be a bit pricey for that pile of s***

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    • August 12, 2015 at 23:56
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      @char: got to be west scum or sad Charlton p***** to post that F.u.ck. OFF.

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  • August 13, 2015 at 00:25
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    Normally it's 5 lessons learnt so here's another one :
    Morison one game in and can't be @rsed - s*** penalty taker

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    • August 13, 2015 at 06:40
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      @wappinglion:
      Yea, he's only scored in both games. What a c***. Worked really hard up at shrewsbury on Saturday and had all 1500 of us singing his name on more than 1 occasion and at the end of the game. Stop over reacting and talking nonsense.

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  • August 13, 2015 at 09:02
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    Whoever wrote this didn't learn Webster was embarrassing to the point that he shouldn't be seen in a Millwall shirt again? Hard to believe that wasn't very obvious. He was bullied like a 10 year old playing in a man's game. I had to look away.

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