First of all he admin team here at SLE would like to take this opportunity to wish each and everyone of our members and Silkmen fans across the World a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR and sincerely hope that the grown ups amongst you were not nursing too severe a hang over during that tough fixture against local North West rivals Tranmere Rovers!! 2018 has been an incredible year in which we achieved the impossible dream of a return to the elite 92 clubs of the Football League. 2019 promises to be another roller coaster ride as we seek to maintain our tenure in the Football League over the course of the next few months. Despite the difficulties over the last few months, the support from the terraces has been consistently good, particularly away from home. Sol and the lads on the pitch will need that for the twenty or so cup finals that remain, and we really have no choice than to back the lads 100% and if we can do that there is no absolutely no reason why we cannot beat the odds that seemed so daunting only a few short weeks ago.
Now to yesterday’s game. I have to admit that when I saw the team sheet for the game, I (alongside many of my peers I am sure) was a little bit concerned about the team as it did have a ‘Yatesesque’ look to it!! The absence of so many of our best players due to injury now appeared to be compounded by the absence of Nathan Cameron who was on the pitch before the game but not in the 18 man squad for the game. Views were aired that Nathan may be signing for one of our bigger rivals, although I was mindful of previous comments (by Danny Whitaker methinks) that the context of Nathan’s historical injuries meant that Nathan needed not to play too many games close together, and one only has to consider how many games are played over the Christmas and New Year period. Thankfully Sol’s post match comments appear to have confirmed that Nathan needed a rest, and he will be in the squad for Saturday. As an aside, I would request once again that Sol and the hierarchy at the club PLEASE PRIORITISE SIGNING NATHAN ON A LENGTHY AND FULLY DESERVED CONTRACT, AND EVEN MAKING HIM THE FIRST OF OUR JANUARY SIGNINGS WOULD BE A GREAT BOOST FOR THE SILKMEN FAITHFUL WHO HAVE REALLY TAKEN NATHAN TO THEIR HEARTS!
What was most refreshing to see was that we managed to earn a draw against high flying Tranmere with pretty much the same team that I am certain would have been heavily beaten under Yates’ tenure. Although we were outplayed in the first half, and very lucky to be level at half-time; we showed great character and fight in the second half, and were thoroughly deserving of a draw IMHO.
Without a shadow of a doubt we are certainly an infinitely fitter side than when Sol first came to the club which is clear evidence of the increased professionalism that he is aiming to bring into the club. I noted that the further the game went on, the stronger we looked as they appeared to visibly tire. With a little more belief (and quality) we could have sneaked a win which would have been harsh on Tranmere, but would have taken us out of the bottom two as well as other results from teams around us went in our favour!
Although I did not see ‘Sir’ John in the bar after the game (he had gone before I arrived), I heard from a very trustworthy source that John had commented to him that he had noticed that Mickey Mellon’s sides often start out like a ‘bat out of hell’but in the last twenty minutes of games are really struggling which would appear to justify the above comment!
Callum Maycock has really surprised me in recent games. I have to admit that his presence in the team has often passed me by as I have witnessed very little from him to justify his presence in the team. Maybe it is the‘Sol effect’but at Notts County, Carlisle and yesterday, he appeared to have really ‘stepped up to the mark’and was much more of a visible presence in midfield. It was noted that Callum has been getting more stuck into tackles and sending probing forward passes to our forwards as opposed to three yard sideways passes to his midfield counterparts. Well done Callum and keep it up!
Koby Arthur had arguably his best game in a Macc shirt yesterday; scoring a well taken goal and deservedly picking up the Man of the Match award IMHO. The lad most definitely has talent but he needs to demonstrate it more consistently than he has done thus far. However a big congratulations to you Koby on an excellent performance yesterday!
Jamie Grimes is a much maligned player on the message boards but considering he hasn’t played for a while he did pretty well on the whole (other than for a couple of scary moments) so well done to you Jamie lad!
I have to be honest in saying that I have not been particularly impressed with the Football League officials this season, and this has been intensified having seen what I saw at Notts County (don’t get me started!!) and yesterday. Tranmere players were consistently going down as if they had been shot by some invisible sniper, and the match officials fell for it every time! Ffs the officials in the Vanarama National League were bad, and to be honest, I can’t see that much evidence of improvement in the match officials at Football League level to be honest!
Over 2,000 Macc fans yesterday at the ground in a healthy crowd of almost 3,400 was nice to see, and wouldn’t it be fab if we could continue to attract that sort of number (and more) of home fans for the remainder of the season? It really could be the difference between us staying up and going down. I am Silkmen till I die!!