I Can’t Fault The Lads….

Saturday 1 September – Gills 2-1 Walsall

In management and programme speak, the “Super Gills” got their season up and running, there’s lots of optimism that we’ll push on from here and all the off-the-field successes will start to be reflected on the pitch at the KRBS Priestfield Stadium. In reality that’s far from the truth, but it’s a relief to post the first points of the season, even if it was simply by edging an encounter that didn’t exactly ooze class against another very poor side.

The fact of the matter is that we are where we are. The transfer deadline has passed, we haven’t got the budget to bring in more players so we’re stuck with the side we put out against The Saddlers. Some of us were caught in a dilemma of actually wanting us to lose to put another nail in Jepson’s coffin, but Scally is notoriously reluctant to sack managers (Hess, Cooper…), partly because we can’t afford to pay anyone off and partly because he plainly doesn’t like doing it (not that his affection for Jepson is likely to run anywhere near as deep as it did for Hess). So Jepson is here to stay for the foreseeable future.

On the bright side, some things were better. The return of Mulligan, obviously. Southall pushing forward was an improvement. Even Facey looked a bit sharper at times, though he has a tendancy to make some baffling runs. Royce kept us in it at times, including a staggering one-handed save onto the post at the end of the first half.

But the pace of the side – Christ, Mullers was the speediest of anyone in blue! Our overlapping attacks were practically going backwards. To say Armstrong is not as nippy as he was during his first spell is a staggering understatement – the thought of a fullback partnership with Jupp would give us more balance only in having two immovable lumps in the back four. Cox – bless him : three errors of judgement or control in ten seconds led to a lunge and a booking. And the standard levels of fitness – players were collapsing alarmingly with cramp throughout the second half. And the defending in general….the goal was result of a mis-kick and a sharper opposition forward line would have secured a result for Walsall by capitalising on the times our back four were pulled all over the place.

The fact that all this was played out in front of our lowest home crowd for many many years – 1996/97? – is evidence of the current disillusionment. But let’s be grateful for the points, hope Mulligan stays fit, pray that the little improvements continue, assume the first victory will instill a bit of belief and be thankful that we’re not Walsall fans. By all means call me a grumpy sod (I’m on anti-biotics and haven’t had a beer for a fortnight) but I haven’t changed my opinion that the season is going to be anything other than a hard slog. And I didn’t get my free sticker book with the programme (22,000 produced yet they run out inside the stadium despite under 5,000 in attendance)…..

Champagne Moment

In a game littered with attrocious errors (throw ins going up in the air or straight out of play, clearances sliced into Gordon Road, routine passes being played into touch) it has to be Mullers’ brace. A goal-scoring return which will have struck fear into the good people at Elland Road as mighty Leeds try to get off the bottom of the table…

The Morty Vicker

27 Responses to I Can’t Fault The Lads….

  1. Haydn says:

    I think it was the lowest attendance for a home league game at Priestfield since 10th October 1998 – when we beat Wycombe 3-0 in front of just 4575 souls. But I stand to be corrected if anyone can find a lower home gate in the league since?!


    PS. Personally, I thought Facey looked a lot better today – supplied vital touches for the lead-ups to both of Mulligan’s goals and, unlike half the side, didn’t collapse with cramp in the second half. Was it lactic acid being sprayed on the pitch at half-time?!?

    I think the midfield and attack doesn’t look too bad – it’s the back four which needs loads of improvement. Armstrong just doesn’t cut it, in. particular!

  2. Bring Back Les Berry says:

    I actually thought the first half performance was pretty decent. What worries me most is the complete shambles in the second half. What exactly were Jepson’s inspiring words at half time? Like you say, a good three points, but a better team than Walsall would have scored three or four in the second half.

  3. Jon says:

    BBLB, thought of you during the game yesterday when dear Les was mentioned on the Gills World commentary. I think Peter Lloyd was suggesting that Gerrard at the back for Walsall was as bad as Les…

  4. Bring Back Les Berry says:

    Hey, that is slander. The man is a god and no one will convince me otherwise!

  5. Bernard says:

    I didn’t think you could go one article without slagging off Cox. One bad touch which caused him to lunge in late was the one foot he put wrong all game – but of course it has to get a mention doesn’t it.

    Facey had a good game.. ‘even Facey looked sharper’ – is that meant to be a compliment?

    ‘Southall pushing forward was an improvement’. Jesus Christ! He was abysmal. Definitely Southall’s worst game this season – at his ‘best position’.

    Although Armstrong is dreadfully slow he had a very solid second half. But of course, you can’t give him ANY credit can you. A la Cox.

    Take the blinkers off mate.

  6. Binman says:

    Apart from the mad five seconds I thought Cox wasn’t as bad as he has been recently… but Armstrong is still too slow – and unlikely to get any faster…

  7. chrislynham says:

    In response to Bernard, who is clearly intent on coming on here to wind up us up – you’re entitled to your opinion but mine is that we’ve got serious problems at the back and always will have with Cox in the side. Great in his day, but well past his best now, He made three serious errors in picking up his booking. We had no alternatives on Saturday, but we do next week and I personally would play Sodje and King at the back.

    Armstrong lacked more than just pace – he also made several errors of judgement, including one woeful second half clearance which left himself out of position and gave the ball away when he could easily have let it run out for a throw. When he earns some credit he’ll receive it. And Southall pushing forward allowed a recognised fullback to play in the back four, which I thought was an improvement. “And even Facey looked sharper” was not meant as a compliment, he had his best game in a Gills shirt but given that he has been a lumbering oaf to date wasn’t really saying much.

    The positives, were those listed after the phrase “on the bright side, some things were better”. So it wasn’t all carping. Not quite sure why you keep reading this site and responding with your antagonistic attitude but there you go. If you were happy with that performance then I’m not sure it was me who had the blinkers on. Gonna spit your dummy out again like last week?

    The Morty Vickedr

  8. Bring Back Les Berry says:

    I think Bernard maybe on some kind of non-prescription happy drug during the games, and then some kind of violent downer afterwards. You need help mate.

  9. Bernard says:

    So i’m intent on coming on here to wind you you all up? Just because i have deiffering opinions to all of you?

    Why do you assume i thought it was a good performance or that i can never criticise the team??? I thought we were awful on Saturday, but unlike you lot i give credit where it’s due. Cox had a good game, but you lot either arrive at Priestfield thinking he’s going to be shit and not let his performance change your opinion or simply can’t bring yourself to admit it. It’s pathetic. Likewise with Armstrong. He had a good game. He’s far from impressed me, but he had a good game. Your argument against it is ‘he should have let one ball go out for a throw..’. Big deal. One small error for a generall poor player.

    Your Facey comments sum up my gripes with this website. You cannot give credit where it’s due. Facey had a good game. Full stop. Leave it at that. But no.. Compare it to his last (apparently poor) performances.

    Southall was awful on saturday. You surely must agree with that? Yet apparently it’s better because he’s playing there with Clohessy (who had an appaling first half, who can’t defend and is scared to head the ball) behind him. You cannot come to admit that Southall right midfield didn’t work. It may do in time to come, but it certainly didn’t on saturday. Admit it.

    The 2 centre backs were good. The game passed Bentley by. Lomas chased shadows. Crofts was good, but wasted on the left. The strikers were good.

    Is that being postive?? Is that watching a game with blinkers on? Just because i’m not anti everything Gills, as you fuckle guys clearly are, it doesn’t mean i’m completely pro them.

    AND FAO: JON: so you listened to the gills world commentary?? So you weren’t at the game?? Yet you have more negative opinions than anyone else?? Please explain.. I’m intrigued..

  10. ed head says:

    One question Bernard – If we were `anti-everything Gills` as you say, why would we have spent 18 years producing a fanzine devoted to them, then carried on with this website. Just asking like.

  11. I thought Facey was my man of the match to be honest. He helped create both goals for Mullers – and ran himself into the ground for the full 90 minutes. He’s still not 100% match fit, but he put in a good shift on Saturday.

    Royce hasn’t fully convinced me yet. He looks decidedly wobbly at times, then pulls off wonder saves like the one in the first half where he tipped the ball onto the post, and again in stoppage time, when he clawed the ball away from the top corner.

    I’m far from convinced by Jepson, too. The side still looks worryingly short of pace and worryingly bereft of tactics (reference the same corner routine, every single time and the persistence with the hoofball approach). I’d still like to see a change at the helm, but accept that’s not likely to happen for a wee while yet.

    The trouble is, just how deep in the brown stuff will the chairman leave it before he actually DOES act?

    PS: Fair dos to Cox, I thought he had an OK game on Saturday. The worry is, having an “OK game” is about the best we can expect from him these days, as he’s a liability more often than not.

    PPS: Bernard, it’s a Fanzine – and as such it reflects the opinions of its contributors. It’s not a news service or a neutral account of events. It’s the opinions of die-hard fans who have followed the team for years. Even if you disagree, then surely you can take the comments and opinions in that context.

  12. Bernard says:

    Semyon_Dukach agree with many of my points.. who’s going to be the first one to criticise his opinion?

    But yeah fair play to you SD. I agree whole heartedly. Facey was man of the match but apparently he only ‘looked sharper at times and makes some baffling runs’.

    Mind you, it’s not difficult to see why many have differing views to yourself and me.. as its been revealed today that many who slag the Gills off don’t actually attend the games. Even the home ones..


  13. Bring Back Les Berry says:

    But the thing is Bernard, S_D doesn’t put his point across like a petulent 5 year old. Just because Jon didn’t go Saturday doesn’t mean he hasn’t been to the other games. Nob.

  14. Binman says:

    Well for those that attended the game it was very poor quality from start to finish, our team were less useless than previously this season but Walsall are a poor side, anyone with much pace & more quality would have probably punished our errors and we’d still be on 0 points…

    Compare and crontrast the side we’ve got now with say 98-99… hmm, not good is it? We can gloss over all the fundamental problems if you like because of an unconvincing win over a team likely to go back down, but for those of us who have been going home and away for nearly 30 years (and still do), these are dark days indeed.

  15. Bernard says:

    Fair point Binman, and i completely agree we were poor against a very poor side on saturday.

    But in regards to your point: ‘compare and contrast the side we’ve got now with say 98-99’, erm… why? whats the point? That was nearly 10 years ago!! Accept we’re not as good as we were then. Why keep dragging up the past and comparing it to then?

  16. Bring Back Les Berry says:

    Because it shows just how far we have fallen. Last year there was only one decent team to visit Priestfield (I only went to four away games so can’t really comment from that perspective, sorry Bernard) and we nearly got relegated for the second time in three seasons.
    The team in 98-99 was not spectacularly skillful, but fought and tried with every breath (apart from that god awful performance at Macclesfield on a Tuesday night!), and played to their strengths to almost get promoted.
    This squad has a manager who doesn’t know what their strenghts are, and showed in the second half on Saturday that against the slightest pressure from the opposition that they don’t really give a toss about fighting for the shirt.

  17. Bernard says:

    didn’t give a toss about fighting for the shirt?

    i’d say it had more to do with nerves kicking in cos they wanted their first points of the season in front of their home fans.. everyone who gets nervous camps out on their 18 yard box defending. look at england!!

    but trust you to take the cynical viewpoint.

    just out of interest, who would you rather have than Jepson? And be realistic. By that i don’t mean anyone like Mickey Adams / Martin Allen / Neil Warnock? Just to clarify, cos i know you would have said them – i.e. a clueless Gills fan.

  18. Bring Back Les Berry says:

    How am I clueless Bernard? I believe that having witnessed over 500 games home and away over the last 22 years, I am perfectly justified in stating that the current team and manager are not good enough. Anyway, if you read my first comment in this thread, I stated that I thought the first half performance was quite good. I merely voiced the opinion that Jepson and / or the team managed to once again completely de-motivate themselves and played like bollocks in the second.

    I don’t know who I’d rather have as amanger, because I accept that there probably isn’t too much out there in our price bracket. It doesn’t mean I have to be happy with what we’ve got after the last two years of utter dross though.

  19. Bernard says:

    let’s agree to disagree, BBLB.

    cant be arsed buddy.

    go bum jon, your new best friend.

    ONLY JOKING.. before you bite again..

  20. Kent Boy says:

    You don’t have to have a big name. Pulis and Peacock weren’t proven managers or big names, yet they are among our most successful ever. You could argue that Pulis was lucky and his brand new team gelled in 1995 whereas Jepson’s has yet to. But I tend to think it’s much more about Pulis knowing how to build a team and knowing what was needed to do a job whatever the circumstances – we might survive with Jepson, but we’ll never progress. There are other options out there, though getting rid of the incumbent is a huge decision. Just my opinion, like.

    As for Bernard – you slag off the author and several others and then claim that no-one likes the fact that you have different opinions. But clearly you don’t like others having different opinions, otherwise you wouldn’t say things like “Southall was awful on Saturday. You must agree with that”. Why must others agree? “It certainly didn’t work on Saturday. Admit it.” Why must others admit it? I think you’d find your views aren’t so different if you could find a less aggressive way of expressing them….

  21. Binman says:

    Compare and contrast with 98-99 for one reason, it takes a team that good to get to the Play-off Final… this current team is light years away from it. Simple.

  22. Binman says:

    I mean, not worth comparing with Man U or Liverpool is it…

  23. Chris says:

    First half I thought was a good performance but not perfect and we certainly benefited from Walsall being a very poor team.

    Second half was abysmal. Walsall upped their game and Jepson could/would not change it. I realise the bench had a number of kids on it but if you don’t trust them to do a job don’t put them on it and go with a bench that is not full.

    Although Mulligan had a brilliant game on Saturday, I still think when all players are at full fitness that Graham and Facey are our best combination because Graham is our most natural and skillful forward whilst Facey is in my opinion our strongest forward and given our preference for the long ball that is a vital feature.

    However, I share the concerns regarding the quality of our defence. I believe a quality right midfielder (as shown by Shuker of Tranmere) will make Armstrong look very poor and Cox is becoming more and more prone to errors.

  24. Jon says:

    Sorry Bernard, been away from the site. Yes, I wasn’t at the game on Saturday. Didn’t realise that didn’t entitle me to an opinion.

    My mate – who views the Gills exactly the same as I do – was there on Saturday and sent me regular text updates, and seeing as I’ve been going to games with him for 10 years, I know when he’s lying.

    I’ve not read many positive words about the players, and I’ve seen more than enough “football” under Jepson to know exactly what we played like on Saturday.

    And, for what it’s worth, if circumstances permitted, I’d go to every single game, no matter how much I hate Jepson. But circumstances don’t permit.

  25. Chris says:

    Well having come back from the Southend game I can safely say that I have lost all confidence in Jepson and I was one of the few fans who until today thought he wasn’t doing a bad job (not brilliant but not bad either).

    The performance was reminiscent of the Crewe game a few years back which sealed Hess’s fate and if being that bad is enough to get a Gills legend sacked then I would be very surprised if any bookies take bets on Jepson getting the sack.

    The performance today, especially in the 2nd half, was spineless and Ronnie was unable/unwilling to motivate the players to get them to play for the shirt. Then Ronnie compounded this with his tactical genius of for 5-10 mins of having a right midfielder at right back, a centre back at left back, a left back at left midfield and a left winger at right midfield.

  26. Bernard says:

    lol Chris.. you got your wish!!

    how spooky is that?

    not too bothered about jepson going. just don’t think we can / will get in anyone better.

  27. Jon says:


    I was at Crewe and I was at Southend… And I think you’re doing the performance at Crewe a major disservice. We were woeful on Saturday, one of the worst performances I’ve ever seen. No creativity, no pace. Just terrible.

    I knew Jepson was gone by the way he just sat in the dugout for the full 90 minutes. Still, it’s over now, so let’s hope Scally has the balls to bring in someone good to turn the club around… He’s certainly talked the talk so far this week.

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