Following the departure of Chris Hargreaves, Glovers fan and now multiple time Gloverscast blogger, Jake Gallagher penned some words on how Hargreaves couldn’t get the best out of his side, and how whoever comes in has an almighty job on their hands… take it away, Jake.

“Don’t suppose you want a 1,000 word rant for the website?” That’s how I pitched this to the Gloverscast team.

Okay so you were right. You are all right and I was wrong.

In early October I penned an article asking for the fans to give Chris Hargreaves time and detailed some reasons why. You can read that piece here and you can call me a fool on Twitter here.

So where did it all go wrong? It’d be easy to blame the manager’s lack of experience, call him the P.E teacher and suggest he’s just a pundit out of his depth. Let’s do some actual analysis.


We can’t avoid the topic of the formation despite feeling like it’s all we’ve discussed in recent times. Against Aldershot Chris Hargreaves did finally alter the shape to the 4-3-3 we were all begging for but with it came with a couple personnel changes in key areas which smelt to me of desperation. In a must-win game against a team next to us in the table, is it the right time to give a first start to 19-year old Ollie Hulbert and a debut to 19-year old Ewan Clark on loan from Bristol City? Come on, Chris. Don’t stand there after the match saying we lack experience when we have Gime Toure (28) on the bench. We needed goals, bravery, know-how. The team picked was lacking in know-how, and it really showed.

Ultimately the formation change came about six or seven matches too late. Hargreaves’ pig-headed commitment to the 3-5-2 (which always turned into a 5-3-2) didn’t work and didn’t suit the players in the squad. It was the hill he died on.

“He lost the dressing room.”

This is an overused cliché in football but against Aldershot I’ve never seen it truer. The body language of the players was abysmal and it’s because they completely lost confidence in the manager’s methods. There were two moments in the second half, at 0-0, when a free kick was awarded to Yeovil in our own half and all three central midfielders were head down, not looking at the ball, walking to their position up the pitch. Sam Perry, Matt Worthington and Callum Rowe all trundled slowly forward as Grant Smith lined-up. There was no urgency, no grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck, no understanding of the gravity of our situation. It was 0-0, all to play for, and our engine room workers looked resigned to defeat.

This was a new development by the way – the players not playing for him – ever since the Taunton Town debacle(s) and was truly evident after Richards-Everton and Worthington were fighting and arguing after being humbled at Wordsworth Drive. Before that though the players were playing for Chris Hargreaves and they were playing for each other. But not anymore. And that’s why he had to go.

Tactical Ineptitudes

It was clear throughout most of his tenure that Chris Hargreaves could motivate the group, that was shown by how we started matches.
We tended to score early when games weren’t yet settled into their tactical patterns. In fact, we scored before the 10th minute on four separate occasions but never went on to take all three points.

There was a theme about our play, we’d come out of the blocks fast but started to look flat and without ideas as the games grew.
As Hargreaves would say, we ‘worked our socks’ off but ‘lacked ruthlessness’ or started to look ‘leggy’.

In truth, he bemoaned the lack of ruthlessness because we simply had show a sniper-like ruthlessness to score from the only decent chance of the game we got. Without the killer instinct of someone like Erling Haaland, if you’re only going to create one or two chances in 90 minutes of football, if you’re not ruthless, you’re f*****.

Chris Hargreaves in conversation with his assistant Chris Todd. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

It’s also a myth in professional football that players look ‘leggy’. Often if a team looks off it physically it’s because they can’t get near the opposition tactically.

They would be two yards off the pace because the team’s shape and set up isn’t allowing them to get into the game. ‘Leggy’ is the excuse managers give when they can’t see what happening in front of them.

They can’t see that they’re being overrun, out-manoeuvred and as Sam Allardyce would say ‘out-tacticed’.

Being ‘out-tacticed’ by the opposition is one thing. But ‘out-tacticing’ yourself is another.

​Against Wealdstone, after they had halted us to a 0-0 despite being down to ten men in the 9th minute, opposing manager Stuart Maynard said: “Yeovil made it comfortable for us today, they changed their shape at half-time and it helped us. They went 4-4-2 and we were banked up in 4-4-1 so it helped us. We even looked more dangerous on the break.”

After our 1-1 draw with Dorking Wanderers, manager Marc White said: “Yeovil’s back three defend deep and narrow. The wingbacks work hard to make it a back five.”

Chris Hargreaves couldn’t see that his system and his tactics were failing and instead blamed lack of experience, lack of ruthlessness and a lack of leaders.

What’s Next?

As was evident on Tuesday night, not only had Hargreaves lost the dressing room but he had lost the fans. I have never seen a more toxic atmosphere at Huish Park, or any football ground, than at the final whistle against Aldershot. Singing about the owner is fine, it’s clear his intentions aren’t best placed for this football club.

The Thatcher’s Gold Stand at Huish Park. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

But singing about Hargreaves, and Alex Fisher, that was low. How you can chant “Fisher is a w*****” and call yourself a supporter is beyond me. Alex Fisher is not the reason we’re in this mess. He’s just one of many out of form, out of confidence players in the squad who needed support. Booing him when we got substituted was unacceptable. It was embarrassing.

​One thing is clear, whether it’s Jamie McAllister, Carl Dickinson or one of the other 40 phantom applicants in the summer, whoever replaces the manager has quite the job on their hands. They must reunite the fanbase, the squad and restore some much-needed confidence at the football club all while upward managing an owner who cares little for the future of Yeovil Town Football Club.

If you’re reading this Jamie or Carl, all the best.


As ever, we always value a range of opinions here on the Gloverscast and you can contact us in all the usual ways, on social media via @Gloverscast or via email,

Support the Gloverscast

The Gloverscast is a volunteer run website which costs money to maintain. If ever you feel like supporting with our running costs, which include our website hosting, Zoom subscription, The Daily Glove, we’d be extremely grateful for your donations.



Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments