Remaining fixtures

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Worthy4England
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Remaining fixtures

Post by Worthy4England » Wed Mar 03, 2021 7:37 pm

Just thought it might be useful to remind ourselves of how we did in the reverse fixtures, for the remaining games. W3 D5 L6. 14 points, so plenty of room to better that, but we'll need to. There's a group of 5 in the middle where we lost them all.

Bradford - won
Cambridge - drew
Port Vale - lost
Walsall - lost
Forest Green - lost
Colchester - lost
Newport - lost
Harrogate - won
Salford - won
Grimsby - drew
Carlisle - drew
Morcambe - drew
Exeter - drew
Crawley - lost

To give a bit of context, The last 9 we've played in reverse have shown an improvement we turned 2 losses and two draws into wins, maintained 4 (won both or lost both) and got one worse result. 14 points first go v 22 points this go.

Oldham L-W
Barrow D-W
Scunthorpe W-W
Southend W-W
Mansfield D-W
Stevenage W-W
Orient L-W
Tranmere L-L
Cheltenham W-D

This was leading somewhere, but buggered if I can think where, I guess, broadly that there are tougher games to come than in the recent run.... :-)

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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by TonyDomingos » Wed Mar 03, 2021 8:19 pm

As Tango said in the Oldham thread: best to leave the stats to DSB :lol:
Às armas, às armas!
Sobre a terra, sobre o mar,
Às armas, às armas!
Pela Pátria lutar!
Contra os canhões marchar, marchar!

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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by Abdoulaye's Twin » Wed Mar 03, 2021 8:21 pm

I too normally start out with an idea and by the 3rd sentence can't remember what the point was :lol:

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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by Worthy4England » Wed Mar 03, 2021 8:26 pm

It was TDs post that triggered my in depth analysis... :lol:

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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by officer_dibble » Wed Mar 03, 2021 9:02 pm

Ummm well it’s nice to have the fixtures in one place! I think we can win em all...the problem is we won’t and it’s how we react when we don’t. Can’t help shake the fear of the streak!

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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Thu Mar 04, 2021 10:05 am

Ah cmon folks don't leave it all up to me :mrgreen:

Worthy, it's a worthy point - we've had a run of winnable games, and now we need to maintain momentum even if games are harder. However, this division is so curious that most opponents can be judged in two different ways; take Oldham - ooh they score a lot of goals - oh but they've lost 10 home games already.

We're similar - the team so easily outfoxed in autumn had a golden November then got 4pts from 6 games. So it depends whether this is a(nother) false dawn or a paradigm shift based on January strengthening and players "getting" Evatt (who has also started to become more flexible).

What we did against teams before is a useful yardstick but we've travelled miles since. Apart from Vale exploiting the space down the channels, and Newport absolutely pulverising our (temporary) back four in the air, I don't think I saw much tactically terrifying. Recent form might be a more reliable guide to each fixture: some teams aren't coping at all well with the three-game weeks.

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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Thu Mar 04, 2021 10:06 am

Abdoulaye's Twin wrote:
Wed Mar 03, 2021 8:21 pm
I too normally start out with an idea and by the 3rd sentence can't remember what the point was :lol:
Whenever I'm asked to give writers advice I recall John Lennon's guide to writing songs: "Say what you mean and make it rhyme." You can skip the rhyming bit. :mrgreen:

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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by Worthy4England » Thu Mar 04, 2021 10:58 am

Dave Sutton's barnet wrote:
Thu Mar 04, 2021 10:05 am
Ah cmon folks don't leave it all up to me :mrgreen:

Worthy, it's a worthy point - we've had a run of winnable games, and now we need to maintain momentum even if games are harder. However, this division is so curious that most opponents can be judged in two different ways; take Oldham - ooh they score a lot of goals - oh but they've lost 10 home games already.

We're similar - the team so easily outfoxed in autumn had a golden November then got 4pts from 6 games. So it depends whether this is a(nother) false dawn or a paradigm shift based on January strengthening and players "getting" Evatt (who has also started to become more flexible).

What we did against teams before is a useful yardstick but we've travelled miles since. Apart from Vale exploiting the space down the channels, and Newport absolutely pulverising our (temporary) back four in the air, I don't think I saw much tactically terrifying. Recent form might be a more reliable guide to each fixture: some teams aren't coping at all well with the three-game weeks.
Agree DSB, I guess the point was, the popular narrative has us needing probably between 71 and 75 points to make 7th and maybe 80-84 to make automatic. So that's 7-8 wins worth (obvs 3 draws would overall help) to make "above the dots", and 10/11 wins to make 3rd. That's the scary bit.

From watching the reverse fixtures (for all bar Colchester because I was in a BEER GARDEN and 4g was awful!) there isn't anyone there that I'm thinking, on our right day, are unbeatable. Colchester, Newport, Port Vale, won at a bit of a canter and I worry about Newport and Port Vale - we didn't adapt well to their playstyle. Bradford, managed somehow to lose at a canter, after comfortably beating us in the EFL Cup (or somesuch) and dominating the second half (we were pretty good first 45) . Harrogate and Salford 8) ) we beat comfortably enough. The remaining 8 games could probably have gone either way - which given 5 were draws is probably no surprise. And crucially, to your point, the form of those teams isn't sparkling at the moment, Morecambe looking the best of the bunch.

Cambridge - drew - DWLWL
Grimsby - drew - LLWLL
Carlisle - drew - LDLLL
Morecambe - drew - LWWLW
Exeter - drew - WDWLD

But even the sides that won comfortably (or in Bratfut's case somehow managing to lose) aren't in great form (really poor form) apart from Bradford.

Colchester - lose - DLLLW
Newport - lost - DLWDL
Port Vale - lost - LDDLL
Bradford - won - WWWWW

The remainder are patchy - Forest Green have been pretty consistent all season and Harrogate on a bit of a roll. Salford, Crawly both look beatable and Walsall aren't resulting it out at the moment, Forest Green will likely still present a challenge... :-)

Walsall - lost - LDLLD
Forest Green - lost - WWLWL
Harrogate - won - WLWWW
Salford - won - WDLDW
Crawley - lost - LWLWL (guess we don't want to play them after an "L" :-) )


All in all, as long as we keep our upturn in performance, I think we have a credible chance, even though it's not an insignificant ask.

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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by BWFC_Insane » Thu Mar 04, 2021 11:05 am

There isn't a game in that list where we can't go and win. Arguably there isn't a game we shouldn't given our squad be favourites to win.

It could all go South from here but I'd be disappointed and think it would represent a poor return if we didn't win at least 6 of these games. And a few draws along with that and it gives us a chance. The longer we stay on this run the more chance we've got.

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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Thu Mar 04, 2021 11:34 am

Yep. Still just over 30% of our fixtures left. Most pertinently right now:

9/3 Cambridge (currently 2nd) H
27/3 FGR (3rd) A
5/4 Newport (8th) A
13/4 Salford (7th) A
24/4 Morecambe (5th) A
1/5 Exeter (H) 9th

... but things change fast.

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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by Abdoulaye's Twin » Thu Mar 04, 2021 1:12 pm

Dave Sutton's barnet wrote:
Thu Mar 04, 2021 10:06 am
Abdoulaye's Twin wrote:
Wed Mar 03, 2021 8:21 pm
I too normally start out with an idea and by the 3rd sentence can't remember what the point was :lol:
Whenever I'm asked to give writers advice I recall John Lennon's guide to writing songs: "Say what you mean and make it rhyme." You can skip the rhyming bit. :mrgreen:
The rhyming bit is less trouble than saying what I mean :lol:

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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by TonyDomingos » Thu Mar 04, 2021 1:26 pm

Dave Sutton's barnet wrote:
Thu Mar 04, 2021 10:06 am
Abdoulaye's Twin wrote:
Wed Mar 03, 2021 8:21 pm
I too normally start out with an idea and by the 3rd sentence can't remember what the point was :lol:
Whenever I'm asked to give writers advice I recall John Lennon's guide to writing songs: "Say what you mean and make it rhyme." You can skip the rhyming bit. :mrgreen:

Say what you mean? I am the feckin' walrus? The Beatles - and Lennon in particular - are vastly overrated. Best that no one embarrasses themselves by trying to argue otherwise! :D
Às armas, às armas!
Sobre a terra, sobre o mar,
Às armas, às armas!
Pela Pátria lutar!
Contra os canhões marchar, marchar!

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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by officer_dibble » Thu Mar 04, 2021 1:55 pm

What won’t happen, I imagine, is there being any games against teams with nothing to play for. Exeter and Crawley perhaps?

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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Thu Mar 04, 2021 2:21 pm

officer_dibble wrote:
Thu Mar 04, 2021 1:55 pm
What won’t happen, I imagine, is there being any games against teams with nothing to play for. Exeter and Crawley perhaps?
True, in such a tight division. If Carlisle carry on they'll be out of contention by the time they come on Apr 20.

Some teams get a sort of don't-care bounce anyway - but I always feel that "nothing to play for" matters more for teams trying to stay up, who can enjoy a minor upset by beating say a 9th-placed team, than promotion-chasers – who should be better than the teams below them. I would hope we don't try to justify losing at Grimsby on Apr 17th by saying "they're still in with a chance of avoiding relegation."

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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by Worthy4England » Thu Mar 04, 2021 2:39 pm

Dave Sutton's barnet wrote:
Thu Mar 04, 2021 2:21 pm
officer_dibble wrote:
Thu Mar 04, 2021 1:55 pm
What won’t happen, I imagine, is there being any games against teams with nothing to play for. Exeter and Crawley perhaps?
True, in such a tight division. If Carlisle carry on they'll be out of contention by the time they come on Apr 20.

Some teams get a sort of don't-care bounce anyway - but I always feel that "nothing to play for" matters more for teams trying to stay up, who can enjoy a minor upset by beating say a 9th-placed team, than promotion-chasers – who should be better than the teams below them. I would hope we don't try to justify losing at Grimsby on Apr 17th by saying "they're still in with a chance of avoiding relegation."
Cutting through rants about commentators and stuff. I am happy that Evatt keeps messaging that he's not happy with our current position. :-) I think he still would be disappointed if he didn't manage to get us out of this Division at the first attempt.

After 32 games in 1988, we were sat in 5th place on on 52 points which was 2 points behind 3rd with a game in hand, so we're only a couple of points behind that particular mark. For those lacking in a bit of memory, we ended up 3rd on 78 points. The two additional points we had, made all the difference in terms of automatic v playoffs, the teams in 4th and 5th both had 77 points at the end (Scunthorpe and Torquay).

From 32 games forward, 4 of the top 6 remained in the top 6 (there were only three play-off places from Div 4), but Swansea made a late dart from 11th after 32 games and Torquay made up ground from 8th.

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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Thu Mar 04, 2021 5:09 pm

Dave Sutton's barnet wrote:
Thu Mar 04, 2021 2:21 pm
Cutting through rants about commentators and stuff. I am happy that Evatt keeps messaging that he's not happy with our current position. :-) I think he still would be disappointed if he didn't manage to get us out of this Division at the first attempt.
Oh indeed. Now ain't the time to soft-pedal.

Also think you're right about Evatt. There may have been a time in December when Evatt might have reconciled himself to another season down here If We Have To – but once the January signings arrived, followed by the February results, he'll have been back about his self-improving business. Nothing particularly wrong with that, even if you might not want to sit next to it on a plane...

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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by The_Gun » Thu Mar 04, 2021 6:00 pm

I think we can all agree that we haven't actually played tremendously well yet, despite the winning run (bar vs 10 men on Tuesday). I'd say we will need to raise our game to pick up the requisite number of wins during our run in, but that's not unlikely given the limited time we've had with the Jan signings.

That said, I certainly wouldn't be scared of any team in this division, and at this stage my guess is our best is better than anyone else's best.

Do we have the best squad in the division? Probably none of us are familiar enough with the other clubs to make a call on that. I'm fairly confident, however, that in Santos, Lee, John and Sarce we definitely have some of the top individuals in their positions. Santos is comfortably the best centre back I've seen in League Two, and Lee is at least close to being the best midfielder. Doyle and Dapo also look as good as anyone other teams have in their positions.

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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Wed Mar 17, 2021 1:14 pm

Some interesting games this weekend.

Match of the Day is undoubtedly CAMBRIDGE (2nd, 61pts from 36 games) vs FOREST GREEN (3rd, 61 from 34).

Cambridge won 4-2 at Oldham last night but as I noted before they came to ours for a humbling, they appear unable to put together consecutive wins - they've only done it twice since October, and those doubles included wins over Grimsby and Barrow. That inconsistency is particularly interesting given this fixture starts a run of six consecutive games against promotion hopefuls: Carlisle, Morecambe, Tranmere, Exeter and Newport follow, before an easier-on-paper run-in.

FGR, for their part, appear unable to keep many clean sheets; the late concession that made Saturday's 2-1 win over Harrogate so squeaky they've only kept two clean sheets in nine, although they have already shut out Cheltenham, Cambridge and Newport this season. Hard to know who we want to win, or whether we want a draw that would, if we win, leave us just two points behind both sides. Oh and it might be worth noting that next Tuesday, FGR go to Mansfield, and then on Saturday host us.

Each smarting from midweek failure, CHELTENHAM (1st, 62 from 35) host SALFORD (9th, 51 from 34). Successive midweek defeats to Mansfield and Barrow mean Cheltenham have now lost two league games in three, which is as many as they lost in their previous 14 (W7 D5), stretching back to a 4-0 battering at Barrow, who obviously have their number.

Still, Cheltenham have averaged about 2ppg over the last dozen games or so, which is something like twice Salford's rate – and with the Plastic Mancs now five points below the dots with only one game in hand (while Exeter, two points nearer, having an extra game in hand), the title favourites could well deal a lasting blow to Salford's hopes – or, conversely, Salford could turn Cheltenham's blip into a worrying downturn.

NEWPORT (4th, 57 from 35) host ORIENT (14th, 44 from 34), whom they should beat - but then they should beat Port Vale, to whom they lost last night. Funny lot, Newport - they'd won the three previous games after only winning 2 in 15, having won 8 of the first 10. That sort of inconsistency has them mid-table in the form guides, but Orient are bottom-six in them so I wouldn't expect any favours.

TRANMERE (5th, currently 57 from 33 but they host Grimsby tonight) host EXETER (9th, 53 from 33). Tranmere are disappointingly near the top of the form tables and Exeter are tracking at 7th or 8th depending how many games you consider; in the real table, the difference between 7th and 8th is play-offs or nothing. They'll hope Keith Hill's lot are tired after a big week starting with Wembley. So will we - but as with Cheltenham-Salford, while an away win would increase our hopes of an automatic slot, a home win would strengthen our grip on the play-offs.

WANDERERS (6th, 57 from 35) host WALSALL (19th, 39 from 34). The week before Christmas, Walsall twice came from behind to beat Port Vale 4-3 and were only outside the playoffs on goal difference; in the 15 league games since, they’ve only won once (at hapless Vale), drawing 6 and losing 8. They got a point at Crawley last night, having scored for only the second time in six games. We cannot be cocky but we should be confident.

MORECAMBE (7th, 56 from 35), the side most likely to be caught by late runners, travel to HARROGATE (12th, 48 from 35), who may not yet have given up hope of being among them – especially as they’re in top-six form over the last 6, 8, 10 and 12 games (with Morecambe moribund in 10th and 11th). Moreover, the newcomers’ rise is mostly based on good home form: since Christmas at home they’ve drawn 0-0 with Exeter, beaten Newport 2-1, lost 0-1 to Cheltenham (but with more shots and possession), beaten Carlisle 1-0, beaten Mansfield 1-0 and whacked Colchester 3-0. Not unreasonable here to expect good news – and perhaps from there on to concentrate on reeling in those in front of us rather than looking over our shoulders.

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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by LeverEnd » Wed Mar 17, 2021 2:16 pm

Fingers crossed our favourite postman, Phil Morris, helps Grimsby put one over on Tranmere tonight.
...

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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by officer_dibble » Wed Mar 17, 2021 3:33 pm

That would be nice. We might be in the position of wanting them to beat others so we can finish in the top 3 which will be a bit grim.

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