Well, we are off and running for the 2022/23 season and the outcome of the opening game wasn’t what any of us were hoping for.

Ben was there for BBC Somerset and has rattled his brain for some thoughts.

Having watched the game against Scunthorpe from the press box at Glanford Park I feel like I could have 10 conclusions and narrowing them down to five key ones isn’t going to be easy.

However, we will have a go.

Firstly. 3-5-2… simply didn’t work.

It’s a thoroughly boring subject to most people if you want to get deep into the nuances of tactics and their pros and cons, at its best, with plenty of the ball and a rock solid spine, 3-5-2 is lovely.

Wing backs flying forward, crosses galore and plenty of extra bodies in wide areas.

At its worst… well, it looked like that first 50-odd minutes.

Two huge holes of space where full backs would normally be gave Liam Feeney and others all the time in the world to create and attack.

It made players like Morgan Williams move out of position and kept Charlie Wakefield far too defensive.

It might be better at home when we have more possession, but it cannot be the go-to set up with that personnel.

However, credit where its due, the change to bring on Pearson and the switch to 442 sparked us into life.

This is something of a double header conclusion actually because I am really excited to see what Pearson brings to this side during his time with us.

Fearless, exciting, quick, direct, strong and powerful. More of that please, he has to start against Wrexham.

The ‘jekyll and hyde’ performance showed just how important the senior players will be.

Staunton probably didn’t have his best game in a midfield that was getting overrun with ease, especially in the first half.

But Smith made big saves, Reckord was outstanding on the left and Fisher was desperately trying to make something happen and grab a moment by the scruff of the neck.

There were shaky moments for Hunt and Richards-Everton, but with time I think they can be a formidable partnership in both boxes.

It was only when I looked at the team sheet and saw a very youthful bench did it really hit home how much we need some significant and senior players in the door

The match was crying out for Lawson D’Ath, how amazing would it have been to bring a senior front man on instead of a young lad who has goals at Warrington Town on his CV and not a lot more. I’m excited by the young lads; Grivosti, Perry, Pearson, Craske, Hulbert etc etc, but we cannot be asking them to save us or win us games.

I’ve got to end on a positive note haven’t I?

What I saw in the first half was a shell shocked, undercooked, rabbit-in-the-headlight side who didn’t know if they were coming or going. But, the last 20 minutes showed me enough that there’s something to build on, to learn from, to be excited about, to get behind.

We did look dangerous and if Alex Fisher’s studs were longer or their keeper doesn’t pull off a couple of good late saves, we would be talking about a point or maybe even three. It’s a big week coming up for a lot of people at Huish Park, that’s for sure.


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