THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

16 September ~ Give many Tranmere fans reason for optimism and they will react with gloomy caution rather than risk being happy that the glass is half full. This time around, having started the season with two straight wins for the first time in 22 years, and losing only once in our opening five games, we should have been letting ourselves enjoy the view from the top half of the table for a change. Instead, much of the Prenton Park faithful is worried that we were simply getting all our good results in early.

Our most recent league games have encompassed our annual loss to Huddersfield and Tuesday's depressingly familiar home defeat to Carlisle. Although mid-September is rather early to talk of turning-points, this weekend's visit by Wycombe is looming large as a signpost for our season. Fail to win and the prevailing bleakness of the last two years will get its foot firmly back in the door.

On the face of it, however, our overhauled squad is showing real potential, none more so than midfield bulldog Andy Robinson. Shrugging off last season's indecisiveness, he has been seizing games by the scruff of the neck, typified by our August visit to Brentford, where he orchestrated as convincing an away win as we have seen in years. Sadly, with "Robbo" joining the equally influential Mark McChrystal and Martin Devaney on the treatment table, the team sheet is looking distinctly threadbare before the clocks have even gone back.

New keeper Owain Fon Williams is already performing wonders in goal, but at the sharp end of the pitch we seem decidedly blunt. Last season's Player of the Year Enoch Showunmi still seems affected by a summer injury, while new boy Mustafa Tiryaki, hauled up three levels from non-League, is looking out of his depth.

As ever, a vocal element of the support lay the blame for any footballing malaise (and many of the world's other ills besides) firmly at the feet of manager Les "Physio" Parry. Parry's detractors can always lean on the tired old saw that he has never played a professional game in his life. Those of us who back him continue to trust in the fact that as he has been present at every Rovers team-talk since before many of the current players were born, some of the knowledge must surely have sunk in.

For all the message-board bluster, the ongoing pro- and anti-Parry argument is a bit of a red herring. It is the players themselves who made a good start, and Saturday is the time for them to reclaim their early confidence. Wycombe, who have made a slower start, will see this as a perfect time to face wobbly opponents. Our job is to prove them wrong and top our own glass back up into the bargain. Tristan Browning

Comments (4)
Comment by Paul Rowland 2011-09-16 12:33:23

Quote: "Enoch Showunmi still seems affected by a summer injury, while new boy Mustafa Tiryaki... is looking out of his depth."

Enoch Showunmi and Mustafa Tiryaki - cracking pair of names there! Having two fellas with names like that leading the line must be like a dream come true for all you boys behind the goal at Prenton Park. There is virtually unlimited potential for daft nicknames, crazy chants and the like.

At least there will be, if they ever get round to giving you something to chant about ;-)

Comment by adebayors_left_foot 2011-09-16 15:11:49

the thought of tiryaki is making me hungry

Comment by Liam Scarth TRFC 2011-09-16 19:26:57

Interesting read. I was at Brentford and Huddersfield, there ofcourse was the obvious positives to take from Griffin Park but I also took some from the UFOesc Galpharm, Lucas Akins had another MOTM performance and ofcourse the composed display of Max Power. Although this Tuesday was quite blatantly a dreadful match, the way we started the 2nd half was a glimour of hope, which faided straight after the goal, but why? We easily could have nicked a draw on Tuesday, yet the players looked as though they thought the equiliser was just going to come without the same application that notched one back on the scoreboard. Oh well, bring on tommorow, I shall be optimistic as ever. It will also be interesting to see the new lad from Toon, Ryan Donaldson. He's been heavily slated, however I'm yet to see him.

Comment by Commodore 2011-09-18 21:15:46

Love the badge. Fair assessment too.

However, there was an initial sign of 'wtf' especially as we beat the Bees at Griffin Park (a feat as rare as rocking horse shit) followed by winning a penalty shoot-out (even rarer).

Without the magic of Robinson, McChrystal and Devaney, if you can call it magic, then Rovers appear to be cannon-fodder. It's extraordinary that a team can be transformed from respectability to mediocrity by virtue of the absence of some key personnel. This hints at a lack of tactical instruction on the part of St. Les.

Anyway, rot stopped momentarily by the non-belief of Wycombe. It seems as if there are more than 4 clubs in a worse shape than Rovers. Small comfort.

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