Or five things we learned from the Iron’s second home game of the season against Oxford.
Our Belgian regista is making quite a name for himself, patrolling the back four and spraying Hollywood passes 60 yards across the pitch, to the toe-end of Levi Sutton no less. There is an argument for Ojo being better than Crooks and Dawson, I find myself on the affirmative side of that argument. Here we have a lad who has ice in his veins while on the ball. In a packed midfield made even more restricted by the cramped pitch at Glanford Park, Ojo seems to find pockets of space to play defence-splitting balls almost at will, and with a habit of nicking the ball off the opposition, he is looking a very tidy signing indeed. Expect to see more from him as he adjusts fully to the rigours of the English game, and develops a better telepathic link with those who dwell higher up the pitch.
After two cracking saves against Oxford, especially the one in the first half, Matt Gilks’ stock grows with every game. I have to admit I had a few doubts as to whether Gilks was up to the job of replacing a rather excellent Luke Daniels (elbows aside) after he fledged for Brentford’s bench this summer, but it seems my worries were groundless. Along with a string of athletic saves to his name, Gilks has made his presence well-known inside and outside the dressing room, with Iron manager Graham Alexander noting that he gets the team ‘pumped-up’ just before kick-off.
Alexander came out after the match – and in his press conference with Radio Humberside singled out Sutton for praise; the makeshift right-back deserved a ‘huge pat on the back’ according to the Iron boss. I doubt many Iron fans would disagree with him; Sutton has emerged as a real contender for Jordan Clarke’s custody of the right-back role. This is well deserved I feel, he was once again excellent this weekend, and it seems that, with a few more games under his belt, we’ll have a real player on our hands – as well as being a great advert for the Iron’s youth system.
Somewhere inside the locked-down Monday of Glanford Park is a screeching monkey pining for the claret adorned back of Iron winger Josh Morris, as his winner against Oxford nestled nicely in the bottom corner of the net, the aforementioned monkey finally came off his shoulders. There’s no other way to put this, but Morris has been crap for around 6 months, although his goal scoring exploits of last season’s early stages set a bar so high he’d never come close to it again, it has to be said, he has been a passenger for too long. We all hope that this is the turning point, even after his cupped-ear celebration aimed at the Donny Road End – you could see he grew in confidence – and should have scored a second soon after. We saw shades of the Josh Morris of last season, even if it was only briefly. Let’s hope he’s finally put whatever demons he had last season behind him, and I look forward to more of the same (hopefully).
I’m delighted to report that it looks like Alexander’s preposterous 5-at-the-back formation appears to be no more. And just as well, we taught Oxford a lesson in football, carving them open almost at will for around 25 minutes of the second half. That was the team I watched so joyously from the terrace last season, when we dispatched almost all comers. Hopefully it will continue in the coming weeks, but that, I’m afraid, remains to be seen.