Life after Antonio?

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September 1, 2015 by notjustpumpkinbread

Of course there is! It’s funny how a player that wasn’t really on the radar 13 months ago has (according to some “shouters”) become an intrinsic part of whether we succeed or fail. Players come and go – that’s why I don’t get a name on the back of my shirt. Let’s be under no illusion; Antonio’s already scored 4 goals for us this season and with the greatest of respect to young Tyler, he’s the only one that’s really looked liked scoring. In fairness, when your game plan is “give the ball to Antonio” for 90 minutes, he’s seen enough of the ball to get the chances. Tyler needs more passes like the one he got in the first half against Cardiff – turning the centre half and rifling a shot at the keeper. At the moment they’re few and far between. Long balls over the top for him to hold up just isn’t his bag man – not yet anyway.

Ironically, the best I’ve seen us play this season was the 0-0 against Charlton – and Antonio wasn’t on the pitch. We looked like a balanced side, invigorated by Jorge, Tyler and Oliver in the second half, working their socks off. Henri looked like he was enjoying himself, playing the role of seasoned pro to the Academy graduates and Vaughan was getting back to his best. To hope our youngsters will get that much game time in the future is probably an exercise in futility, but you never know. We’re going to have to fill the void left by Antonio somehow.

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With the loan signing of John O’Grady from Brighton (despite what a lot of fans are saying on social media) could be what we need – someone who can put himself about a bit up top. He’s got to be better than Henderson; he was rejected by Mr Dougie in pre-season. So we’re having to cut our cloth. This FFP thing isn’t going away anytime soon and its restrictions are plain to see. One man’s Sordell (or whoever you think is rubbish) is another’s Crouch (or whoever you think isn’t rubbish).

There’s still the possibility of Ryan Mendes, a winger/ striker from Lille coming on loan as well as Jonathan Williams from Crystal Palace. Let’s just hope these additions don’t stunt the first team development of our Academy lads. We’ll have to wait and see. The squad’s looking good on paper, but player stats don’t win you anything. It’s now up to Mr Dougie and his team to make this assemblage of football professionals understand what it means to play for the Garibaldi.

COME ON YOU REDS!!!

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