Q: Where do you feel the side needs strengthening most?
a. Creative midfielder
b. Right back
c. Centre back
d. Out wide
e. Up Front
On the Forums
The Positive and Negative Thread - Lusitans Mr Polite 03 Jul 2015
With one of the most exciting seasons in years upon it is hoped this thread has a lot more positives than negatives in the coming weeks and months.
As always, this isn't meant to be an exhaustive list of all the good and bad points of the game, merely a starting point for discussion. You may agree with them or disagree, feel free to post your own either way.
As many teams have found out over the years, playing a team of such lower standard is rarely easy, where they lack quality they often make up for in organisation and the large ground and thrill of playing a big team will often bring out the best fighting spirit. I think we can be happy with the amount of positives that far outweigh any negatives from last night.
The crowd - a sellout, a beautifully upbeat atmosphere around the ground and surrounding streets before the game. The weather helped of course, but it was such a good feeling actually looking forward to and getting excited by a football match again. I've vowed never mention his name again, but our previous obese monstrosity seemed like a distant memory. I doubt we'd have seen half as many there if he was still chewing the cud on the touchline.
Bilic being introduced to a great reception. Singing the managers name seemed surreal after having not heard it for years... Probably since Pardew. Also what a breath of fresh air hearing that in his pre match talk with the debutants he bigged up our history, calling on the youngsters to emulate the greats of the past.
The result is obviously a positive, we won, we are all but through to the next round. Good to see the team lineup show that we took the game seriously and it wasn't seen as a distraction.
Now although our defence was never really tested, I thought they all looked solid and comfortable. O'Brien playing the role of senior player really well. Not only did he look to make things happen going forward including fantastic ball in to Sakho, but good to see him talk Oxford a few times, not least a quiet word after the yellow card.
Burke and Page both didn't look out of place in the first team either. Of course we have to take into account the level of opposition, but they handled the occasion well.
Reece Oxford made history being the youngest player to play a competitive game for us and no doubt has a bright future. Have a think about a 16 year old you know and then imagine them trying to function in front of a 35k crowd. That experience will be invaluable and thought it was a great decision to play him in game like this to get it out of the way, where mistakes weren't going to matter too much. Personally I don't think he did great and made a number of mistakes that against better opposition would be punished - but the reason I've put that in the positive section is because it didn't matter and I think in the long run it might help to keep him grounded, to make him realise that he can't take his undoubted quality for granted. He definitely grew into the game too and improved as it went on with some lovely touches... and unlucky not to have scored.
Our 4 forward senior players of Sakho, Amaliftano, Jarvis and Zarate I think did well under weird circumstances. A short break and straight into a competitive game against a team sticking men behind the ball. But they kept plugging away and got the rewards in the end. I hope they see a new manager as a new start as all of them I believe have something to add this season and although you can pick holes in any of their performances I think you have to make allowances for it basically being the first pre season match with very little training time.
Cullen the second half sub has been a player I've enjoyed watching a few times and think has real quality on the ball and could turn into a right little midfield dynamo. A West Ham fan too.
The football we played was mostly to feet, some good passages of skillfull play and a couple of good goals, the second especially. Even the ball boy had a brilliant touch on him.
We only scored 3. Hard to complain when you've done a good professional job, but we could have easily had double that with the good chances we had - maybe even double figures.
Injury to Zarate. With the possibility of playing 50+ games this season it is imperative we don't pick up too many injuries. It was only a knock for Zarate and hopefully he'll be fit for next week.
That's pretty much it. of course there were individual mistakes and some negatives you could pick in each individual player, Zarate not releasing ball quick enough, Jarvis end product not always good enough, Randolf not looking too conifdent coming for balls etc, but bearing in mind all of the above about the occasion and the first game etc I think on the whole it was a feel good night.