Town’s impressive start to the new campaign gathered more momentum last weekend as a tactical gamble by the manager paid off in some style.
Last week I mentioned the selection conundrum Richie Wellens had to wrestle with as Jerry Yates returned from suspension. Would the manager drop in-form Eoin Doyle for Yates or play them both in the same starting eleven?
It ended up being the latter with Town easily taking apart a poor Morecambe side, Wellens’ team kicked off with a 4-4-2 formation, with Yates and Doyle up-top, supported by Keshi Anderson on the left-wing, Lloyd Isgrove on the right, Jordan Lyden and a returning Danny Rose in the middle of the park.
It seemed straight from kick-off that tactical discipline wasn’t at the forefront of everyone’s mind, as despite the scoreline and the attractive football on display it would’ve been a nightmare for any tactical purest.
This approach worked against a side that will be battling relegation at some point this season, but I can’t imagine the manager being happy to see his side this unorganised when they come up against the best sides in the division.
But despite this, all four of the attacking players on the pitch were superb throughout the first half.
Bradford City being willing to loan their striker to a side in the same division looks a puzzling one as the Irish striker took his number of goals to 5 in 4 games, with Jerry Yates also adding to his tally with a nice finish after some superb work from Keshi Anderson.
After being placed on the transfer list during the summer by manager Richie Wellens the former Crystal Palace striker has enjoyed his best spell in a Town shirt.
His time as a Swindon player has been incredibly frustrating to watch, as it’s clear he has the talent, but his work rate at times and decision-making has let him down again and again.
I would prefer him to start playing behind the striker as he has been at his best in that position, but as he proved on Saturday he can be effective anywhere across the front line.
Another player who flourished last weekend is Mr. Versatile himself, Ellis Iandolo. Replacing Zeki Fryers at left-back the 22-year-old looked at home as he provided a constant threat down the flank.
Now in his fifth season with Town Iandolo and the club has had to be patient with each other, as one waits for a talented player to emerge and the other waits patiently for their chance.
Whether he’s asked to play in midfield in pre-season or as a full-back just a couple of months later, Ellis looks a natural wherever he’s asked to play. After his impressive performance, I’m sure we’ll see him take up the same role this weekend at Leyton Orient.
Yesterday we saw the club bolster the squad with a couple of additions as Swansea goalkeeper Steven Benda joined the club on a season-long loan deal and midfielder Anthony Grant signs on loan from Shrewsbury.
I’m pleased to see a new keeper added to the squad as McCormick needs someone breathing down his neck, someone desperate for their chance in the first team. With Benda highly thought of in South Wales it’ll be interesting to see when the young German will get his chance to impress.
Town’s second signing of the day came from Shropshire and out-of-favour midfielder Anthony Grant.
Despite playing 48 games in all competitions for the Shrews last season the 32-year-old has found himself frozen out the first team in this campaign, but with his 450+ senior appearances over his 15 year career I’m sure he will become a key man in Richie Wellens side as Town lack a voice of experience after the retirement of Matty Taylor last season.