An important Saturday for Alexander


We’re doing alright so far, aren’t we? We usually start slowly, like a turtle in treacle, but we haven’t done so this season and we’ve hit our stride early. I felt that was imperative after what happened last term. Alexander knew, he wanted a fast start and we’ve got one, excellent.

Now on to Saturday, Southend, mediocre, we should win. Something to note going into the game against the Shrimpers is this; Alexander has not yet this season had a full squad to choose from, he has now – depending if Ness is fit, which is traditionally a nebulous situation.

So what does he do? Does GA go with the team that has started so well? Or does he change it up, does he bring Madden in? If so, on the wing? Start with three up top? He can’t drop KVV, can he? All these small questions are just a taste of what GA has to wrangle with ahead of the weekend. Interestingly it’s a hard choice, it’s always hard to keep up momentum, it’s always hard to look over your shoulder. And sometimes having many decisions to make is more difficult than having one big one to muse over.

The squad is strong now. Make no mistake about that. Toffolo is good at this level, but so is Townsend, does one of the pair move higher up onto the left wing? Does that mean Morris needs to be moved more centrally, behind the top two? More questions. Hard questions. Though I’m sure GA already knows what team he’ll pick for the weekend, barring any injuries.

I’ve always been of the mind that if we kept relatively crock free this year we’ll go up, or come close. So here’s the dilemma, how do you keep so many excellent players happy? It’s a feat of man management GA needs to wrestle with over the season.

The rhythm needs to be maintained, when you’re near the top the height becomes too much for some, you have to look below rather than upwards – at the same time as keeping people grounded, though of course we are only five games in, ten is a better marker for expectations. But keep the momentum and you’ll rarely fail, something we knew about last season, momentum. It just needs to keep ticking, inexorably, maintained. These words are important. The way this will continue is with the correct selection decisions on Saturday, the nous to know when to change it and where, with who.

These are the questions we ask at this point of the season. When Saturday comes we’ll know if Graham Alexander has the answers.



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Written by Matt Blanchard

Part of the team since 2007, before becoming editor in 2013. Undertaken the role of match summariser during Scunthorpe United live match commentaries for BBC Radio Humberside. Seasonal contributor to football titles FourFourTwo and When Saturday Comes and a finalist at the Football Blogging Awards in 2014.

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