Ben Barrett was in the press box for the Glovers’ 2-0, defeat to Oldham.

It was a tough, stressful and genuinely quite emotional experience.

Here’s his five conclusions.

It’s probably worth bearing in mind I haven’t seen this Yeovil Team since mid August.

Back go back games against Barnet and Altrincham were both either reasonable performances or a reasonable result, since then I had been told tales of some of the good, the bad and downright ugly side of YTFC.

Regardless of what had gone before it, we had to come out strong, we had to be the first to draw blood and to kick ourselves out of our slumber.

To go down 1-0 early was an almighty hammer blow.

Obvious as it may seem, that sixth minute goal, the scrappy defending and the unlucky deflection set the tone for a torrid afternoon for the Glovers.

A ball that could have been prevented from coming into the box, fell into an area from which it could/should have been cleared. I felt the ‘hear we go again’ from the 144 in the away end.

Shall we wrap up the positives in one go next?

Owen Bevan. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Owen Bevan and Ollie Hulbert did alright and Grant Smith is the best keeper in the league. 

Bevan had an important role as the central figure in a Staunton-less defence and I think he shone the most of the back line. In the second half, Ollie Hulbert sensed a chance to make an impression on debut, and in difficult circumstances, I thought he did alright.

He’s quick, direct, showed some nice little link ups. I reckon he’s got every chance of getting more minutes over the coming weeks.

And Grant Smith is the best shot stopper outside the EFL. He just is.

Chiori Johnson. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Positives taken care of, who wants some more negatives? Jolly good.

I don’t like wing backs, you don’t like wing backs, we get it.

But if you have to have wing backs, you’d probably want them to be Chiori Johnson and Jamie Reckord.

So… why on earth did we start Sam Pearson at wing back and Johnson in the middle?

I’ve said this 100 times before but why we can’t start playing our best players in their best positions I simply do not know.

Chris Hargreaves thinks this formation has worked OK so far. It hasn’t Chris, it just hasn’t.

I’m not a qualified football coach, but I have eyes. There are some simple, tactical tweaks which I’m convinced would make a difference;

The front two need to be closer together, there was no chance of catching a flick on, or getting a little combo of passes together in the final third, nobody close enough to get busy and pick up the pieces of a broken down attack and it was infruariating.

Set pieces need a complete overhaul because we are shocking at defending them and trying to score from them and please, play people in their best positions.

Josh Staunton was on a one man mission to play in all 10 outfield positions, as admirable as that is, it stopped him being good at what he’s good at. I felt for him, he’s clearly feeling everybit of the disappointment we all are.

Confidence is rock bottom.

So many times, players were showing obvious signs of the sheer lack of confidence we as a unit are struggling with right now.

Maybe it’s a fear of making a mistake, of losing possession. Maybe it’s a desire to get off the ball as quickly as possible. A panicked clearance, a slashed ball forwards, a overhit pass, a sideways or negative move when a braver option was on elsewhere.

There’s no magic wand to make confidence just appear out of nowhere, it’s down to working hard (to levels where socks indeed come off), positive reinforcement and some excellent man management and leadership.

Finally, then.

I’ve not said it on the podcast before now, I’ve kept my mind open, my thoughts to myself until I can see with my own eyes what’s going on.

In the current state of the country, it feels odd and to be honest, fairly horrible, to talk about someone else being in or out of employment.

But purely from a football point of view, I have no choice to confirm that I am absolutely Hargreaves Out.

I’m sorry, Chris, I am.

But this formation doesn’t work, there’s no plan B, our side looks a dishevelled shell of what I think it can be. Results haven’t been nearly good enough.

I feel like when you appeared on the pod, we were all backing you. We forgave some early season wobbles, we saw glimpses of what this side could be, but it’s time now to call it a day. An experiment that didn’t work.

I feel like I could chat football with you over a beer all day long, but right now our football team is hurting, things have to change.



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Alan Jacques
1 year ago

Totally agree

1 year ago

And take Priestnall with you close the doors and F*ck off

1 year ago

Is CH Liz Truss in trousers! A shame really, but there are better coaches out there in the lower leagues TBH. Of course Priestnall wants to take us down to a lower level and part time to cut costs. CH is the ideal man tom do that for him. A lot more pain to come I fear, as if we have not had enough