Trust board member James Spencer evaluates the early signs under Wellens and what has changed, plus what is needed in January.
Richie Wellens has started well as the new Swindon Boss, the defeat today at Grimsby was unlucky by all accounts, we played well and lost to simple mistakes, a little more luck and composure in front of goal and we would have at least got a point. Under Phil Brown we would have lost that game by a bigger margin and likely crumbed under the pressure. So what has changed then from the Brown days..?
I thought I would take a few moments to evaluate what has changed under Wellens, and I think this comes down to 3 critical areas/changes, these being:
- Greater pace in the passing (we get the ball forward quicker), no longer do we play slow tippy tappy football at the back. At some points under Brown it was like watching paint dry with constant passing sideways, we became just too predictable with the outlet always being Taylor at left back which the opposition new and tried to nullify..
- Moving Taylor from left back to midfield – Most fans were of the same opinion Taylor got found out more often than not at left back with his lack of pace.. Having Ellis now in this position we have tightened up and have pace at the back again. However I am sure Richie will strengthen here in Jan with a new dedicated left back.
- Put simply Michael Doughty is back and firing on all cylinders, he is critical for us and adds that quality to provide the final ball which we seemed to be largely missing when he wasn’t playing.
I then thought about what is needed in the January transfer window and I know Richie has spoken of more experience but in what positions?
Put simply we need the following I feel:
- A new striker who can hold the ball up and is clinical in front of goal – we currently miss too many chances, if we had an all out poacher I feel we would be in a much better position than we are. The problem is all other teams want a proven goal scorer.. This will be a tough one and I can see Mr Power having to sell and get his cheque book out to provide us with such a forward.. They don’t come cheap! Someone along the lines of Thomas today who scored for Grimsby several times (and was on loan with us previously) would do the job I feel.
- A new Left back as already mentioned – someone with pace and who can just do the basics of defending well..
- A new Centre back – I am concerned that from what I hear League 1 teams are interested in signing Nelson permanently in January so we might need to either buy him or replace him, however defending is our weak point and a new centre back will sure up the leaky defence even if Nelson does stay.
So in summary under Richie there are very positive signs, we are better defensively than we were under Brown (not hard!), play better football, actually look like scoring goals and with a few additions of experience in key positions in January I feel we can make the playoffs at least this season. Lets hope I am right!!
Trust Board Member.