Thursday, 30 August 2007

The mystery of team selections

Having had just over 24 hours to reflect on the 5-0 spanking we received from Aston Villa, I can't help thinking that maybe things would have been different if we had have fielded a full strength side.

Before you start thinking that I'm slating Brian Carey, let me categorically say that I am not, and that I fully support his as manager of Wrexham. I just think that his team selection for the Villa game was a little odd.

Brian justified it by telling the media that Saturday's game at home to Hereford is more important, and that he wanted to rest players in preparation for that, and I can understand that. What I don't understand is that if you're going to pick a youthful, lightweight looking side, then why not include some older, more beefy players on the bench? Danny Williams for example, we missed him immensely. Poor Levi Mackin looked lost without someone like Danny alongside him, to guide him through the game against classy premiership opposition.

To be fair, the team held there own for the first half hour of the game...then when we conceded, our heads dropped, and we never really recovered from that. That's when the likes of Danny Williams and Neil Roberts really add something to the side.

Putting Proctor up front on his own didn't really work all that well either. I really like Michael, I think he's a really good player, but with him liking to come back and help out in midfield (not totally a bad thing), he's leaving a vast open space up front where he should be, thus meaning that we often gave the ball away.

Llewellyn and Spender linked up really well on the right flank, and Eifion did well on the left.

Mark Jones managed his first full game of the season, and he did ok, though he told me after the game that he felt tired towards the end. Hopefully we'll see the Jonah that we all know and love sooner rather than later.

Pejic had a stong game at the back, and he was my man of the match. He was solid, and his distribution was good as well.

Steve Evans however, didn't impress me. In my opinion, he looked like a bit of a liability, and my first choices for centre backs would be Pejic and Hope.

It will be interesting to see how we done against Hereford with our 'full strength side' on Saturday. If we slip up, Carey won't be able to complain, and maybe it'll leave a sour taste in supporters mouths, after the weakened team on Tuesday evening. Several supporters have told me that they felt annoyed by the fact that we didn't play a full team, and felt robbed that they had to pay full price to watch a half strength Wrexham side. Villa were there for the taking, but we didn't capitalise on it.

It is also good to see that Juan Ugarte and Matty Crowell are starting to make there comebacks in the reserves. Both came through 90 minutes in a 'behind closed doors' friendly against Stockport. Matty even scored the games only goal! New signing Silvio Spann also played 60 minutes of this match.

Lets hope that Carey and Weaver can get the lads confidence back up after the embarrassing 5-0 defeat to Villa, and we can take 3 points of Hereford on Saturday.

See you at the Racecourse!


Thursday, 10 May 2007

What does the future hold?

Well, quite simply, we did it! We held on to our league status by beating Boston 3-1 at the Racecourse last Saturday. Was it a great achievement? No. We can't be proud of the fact that we were staring relegation in the face. The win against Boston was a good one, don't think I'm taking anything away from the players, the second half performance showed guts and passion. What worries me is the fact that it takes a goal against us to get us going. This shouldn't happen.

Brian Carey has been officially announced as our permanent manager today on a 2 year deal. Is this a good call by Nev and Geoff? Who knows. I'd like to think so though. Brian has make a few changes around the club, bringing in Andy O'Boyle for example, which nobody can argue with. What gets me is the fact that we didn't have a dedicated fitness guy/sports scientist before.

The signings of Williams and Proctor on loan were inspired signings for Brian, and they certainly did the job for us late in the season. Both of whom have expressed on numerous occasions that they wish to join us permanently, and I have to say, Id be straight in there with a contract for the pair of them. Williams is fantastic at commanding his box, and Proctor looks creative both on the wing and up front.

Brian has released Mike Ingham and Lee Roche, this says to me that he must be totally confident of securing Williams signature for next season. I'll be honest, I'll be sad to see Mike go, but can understand why Brian has let him go. Roche I'm not surprised with at all, he hasn't featured for the last 6 games, and has been plagued with injuries. One thing that does worry me, is that he's offered contracts to everyone else...the team that nearly got us relegated from the football league. Hopefully Brian has made a good judgement call here, and hasn't screwed up.

It's going to be interesting to see how many accept their contracts, and how many refuse and put in transfer requests, I'm thinking that maybe Danny Williams and Chris Llewellyn will be angling for a move, I do really hope I'm wrong however!

Let's hope that we are never in this situation again, and that we're challenging for a play-off place at the very least next season. It's a big ask, but it's what we HAVE to aim for.

Enjoy the closed season!

Thursday, 3 May 2007

Wrexham go into their game at home against Boston United on Saturday needing only a draw to secure our Football League status...with over 9000 tickets sold already, I hope to God that Brian Carey is telling the lads that he expects nothing less than a win, as whenever we need a draw, we lose. Boston are travelling with only eight professionals, the rest of the squad will be made up of the youth team.

It's also been announced recently that Boston will enter into a CVA (Company Voluntary Agreement) on Saturday, and the 'vote' will be timed according to how Boston are performing on the hallowed turf of the Racecourse Ground. On Wednesday of last week, Boston's creditors and shareholders agreed that the club should enter the CVA, which is similar to administration and also carries a compulsory deduction of 10 league points. The creditors agreed to accept 47 pence for ever £1 of monies owed.

If Boston are winning, then the 'vote' (which will be done by proxy voting) will be held off until after the final whistle, meaning that Boston stay in the Football League and will start next season on minus 10 points. However, they have stated that if they look 'dead and buried' with minutes left to play, the 'vote' could be cast before the final whistle, meaning that the points deduction will come off this seasons total, meaning that they will finish bottom of League 2.You can imagine the situation, 2 minutes of injury time left, Wrexham winning 1-0, Boston enter the CVA and then score 2 very late goals, which would have then relegated Wrexham if they hadn't have entered the CVA. To me, this situation is an absolute joke, not only are they trading illegally whilst knowingly insolvent, but they're also using the CVA to their advantage. The Boston Chairman said today that they could have entered the CVA last Wednesday, but they've held it off. This is cheating the system pure and simple. Wrexham had to go into administration has our debts had been engineered to ensure the club had to fold, we took the 10 point deduction and were relegated by only a few points come the end of the season. But the people running Boston United, who it has been said are 'shady characters', are once again taking the law, and the league rules into their own hands.

The Football League have been made aware of this. Will they do anything? Will they hell.

It's going to be emotional on Saturday, I don't know whether my heart will be able to take it. If we lose, there will be riots. One thing is for sure though, the atmosphere should be electric. As usual, I've been reading the forums on Red Passion this week, and the thread discussing where people are coming from, and the sacrifices they're making to get to the Racecourse on Saturday makes me so proud to be a Wrexham fan. Let us all just hope that we the result we need come 5PM on Saturday!

Come on the town!

Saturday, 28 April 2007


Looks like I'll be listening on Wrexham World today as I can't get hold of my mate who was supposed to be driving me. :-( This is a knightmare.

Friday, 27 April 2007

Walsall (away) and a brief look back at Shrewsbury and the inside of my mind.

Well, one point from the Bescott tomorrow and our Football League status is safe! It's 3 wins on the bounce now, and the lads must be full of confidence going into tomorrow's game.

I thought that we'd beat Shrewsbury, and I feel that we can beat Walsall as well. I'm not as confident though as Bury beat them last weekend, but still, if we go out there and play like we are capable of, then we are more than capable of brushing them aside.

I was so jealous on Tuesday evening, the Wrexham fans went wild when Michael Proctor smashed the ball off the underside of the cross bar into the back of the net, and the scenes at the final whistle almost brought a tear to my eye.

So tomorrow, there's a possibility that I'm going to leave the commentating to the ever professional Mr. Griffiths and join the Wrexham fans in the away end. It's been a couple of seasons since I watched Wrexham from the terraces rather than the press box, and Tuesday night was the first real time that I felt left out of the celebrations, and Rich Williams from the Evening Leader said the same thing, before and after the match! I did give out a little yelp (for want of a better description) on Tuesday night, and I did jump to my feet (much to the displeasure of the Shrewsbury directors the row in front of me), but then so did the Radio Wales commentators! My Dad told me that he was listening to Radio Wales on the way home from work, and when Proctor scored the winner, the commentators on Radio Wales didn't have a clue who scored, because of the celebrating they were doing!! Happy days!

Fear not though, I will be returning to the mic for the Boston game! I've come to enjoy the work I do with Mark, it's a great honour for me to help Mark provide this service (and even more of an honour that he asked me back after my first attempt!!). I had a shocker on Tuesday night, I can admit that, my head wasn't on the job at all, plus the fact that I held the lip mic too far away didn't help matters! I'm really enjoying the other media work that we're doing (if you can call it that!) such as the podcasts, the vlog and this very blog!

So back to tomorrow's game, I'm predicting a 2-1 win, with Danny Williams and Michael Proctor to score, accompanied by a passionate performance from the lads. One thing that I'm not impressed with though, is the £18 to get in!!

C'mon the town!


Monday, 2 April 2007

Mansfield game

That really has to be 2 points dropped. Mansfield came for a draw, and we let them dictate the play. They were there for the taking, and once again, at home, we failed.

Still, there was positives, Matty Done was absolutely fantastic for the majority of the game, Garrett did alright, as did Mike Williams and Proctor was looking good before he was taken off. The clean sheet is also a big bonus!

I'm looking forward to visiting Macclesfield on Saturday, it's a game which is a classic relegation '6 pointer' and there's two possibilities...the game will be fantastic, or it the game will be absolutely dire. As long as Roberts and McEvilly's injuries aren't too serious, and that Whitley's virus disappears, then this should be a game that we take 3 points from. I'll say it again, SHOULD take 3 points from. I do fear that we will miss Danny Williams though. For this game, more than ever, I'm waiting anxiously for the referee's appointments to be released by the football league. Surely we can't be screwed again?

I'm not going to talk about Accrington Stanley, because I don't want to waste me time writing about a club who cheated, and then tried to cover it up. Bugger, I just did.

So yeah, free coach travel to Macc for the first 1000 supporters to buy their tickets. Lets hope that we have at least 1500 reds at Moss Rose this coming Saturday.

Have a good week

Rich Holmes

Saturday, 24 March 2007

How wrong was I?

Yesterday I wrote that I thought that we would lose against Bristol Rovers today. Now, I don't like being wrong, in fact, this is the first time that I've been wrong about anything! But boy, if this is what it feels like to be wrong, then I want to experience it more often!

I couldn't make it to the game today due to a prior engagement that I couldn't get out of, and I am absolutely gutted that I wasn't there.

This win was just what we needed, it's going to lift the players and lift the fans, and hopefully get a few more people at the Racecourse next Saturday!

We're now one point behind Boston, with equal goal difference and a game in hand, this really is in our hands now. We need to make sure that we give 100% for 90 minutes every game.

It's also nice to hear that we didn't pick up one single yellow card (or red!) today!

We simply must beat Mansfield a week today, and I think that will. This is the turn of fortune that we needed so badly. Let's just hope that I'm right about this, and not wrong (again!).

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Thanks for reading
Rich Holmes

Friday, 23 March 2007

Who said it would be easy?

It's never easy being a Wrexham fan, especially when we're sitting in 23rd place in League 2, but the players now need us more than ever to be the 12th man. This was evident against Bury, 6500 Wrexham fans, on all sides of The Racecourse, getting behind the lads from the 1st whistle right up until the last. All the players were grateful for the fan's efforts, and it's important that the fans turn out in large numbers again against Mansfield on Saturday 31st March, no matter what the result is against Bristol Rovers tomorrow (I personally think we'll be very lucky if we come away with a point). I'd hope that everyone who was at the Bury game (obviously, I understand that people may have other commitments) will try their hardest to turn up again, as the spirited display by the 9 men in red shirts was absolutely fantastic. And better still, it's only going to cost you a fiver again! I was jealous that night that I wasn't in with stands with the fans, singing my heart out for the lads, the atmosphere was electric.

Everybody seems to be saying that every game is a 'must win' now, and well...I can't disagree and I'm sure that whoever reads this ramble of mine won't disagree either! It's quite simple really, if we don't win games, then we won't stay up. This is a fight until the death, I'd really hoped that we would have been safe by now, but this is going to go down to the wire.

We survived Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Gut(t)erman, and we can survive this. Wrexham Football Club must stay in the football league.

So, let's hope for a point or better tomorrow, it's going to be a tough one, but if we play like we know we can play, then we could get a result, but as I said earlier, I think we'll be very lucky to take a point.

Let's all get behind the boys.

Thanks for reading

Rich Holmes