Magical Vegas FC may have passed into the next round of the Tom Keane Memorial Cup with a 9-2 victory over Clissold Casuals, but much was left to be desired from a team who are looking to win the competition.
Set up in a (unfamiliar) 352 formation the team looked disjointed and confused over roles within the formation. This was despite Patrick Moore Jones taping in to make it 1-0 from 5 yards out only 60 seconds into the game from a Callum Hosier square pass with Clissold not yet having had a touch of the ball.
Clissold returned 2 goals within 15minutes, one from a breakaway down the right side of the Vegas defense with a neat lofted finish and another from an unfortunate handling error from their goalie.
What seemed to worry the manager was the speed at which people began to voice discontent with one-another/the team/personal frustration. Moaning and complaining is a problem within a team environment, as soon as it becomes apparent in one individual it infects the rest of the team and the dynamic of the side is damaged.
IF the team are to understand what they need to do when it's not going their way, they need to understand that it’s about problem-solving for each other – not voicing their frustrations to one another without a problem solving context.
It will need to be applied if they are to be successful this season – luckily in this situation it didn’t greatly effect the outcome.
When Hussein Hussein, Deondre Dewar and Moore Jones agreed the system didn’t suit the players 20 minutes in, Moore Jones switched left wing-back Shane McNamara to right back, pushed Dewar over to the left wing and settled on the right himself to create a (more) stable 442.
Vegas quickly found their feet, created opportunities at will, looked solid and the discontented voices vanished. They should have had 2 or 3 more before they equalised when captain, and man of the match, Jacob Bond pounced on a loose Clissold defensive pass, powered forward and smashed home high into the net with a powerful left footed strike.
Perry Price got his first of four goals when he fired an unstoppable strike from outside the box into the top left hand corner (in off the post) to make it 3-2 and Moore Jones also got his second from outside the box with a low left-foot strike the keeper could only deflect into the roof of the net. He should have already notched his second after Alby Miller, making his first appearance for the club, fired a lovely ball across the 6 yard box that Moore Jones managed to volley wide. Space began to open up and Moore Jones slid a ball through for Price who slid it under the goalie to make it 5-2 on the stroke of half-time.
Changes at half time introduced Ash Webb-Brown and Kadeem Gutzmore to the fold and Vegas pushed on. A wonderful team move resulted with Gutzmore releasing Dewar down on goal, who coolly slotted home to make it 6-2.
Tre Thompson, a 60th minute substitute, fired high into the net to make it 7-2 on 70mins and Price rounded off the result in the last 15 minutes with goals 8 and 9…he could have had easily 6 or 7 on the day had he taken every single chance but those are the standards he sets for himself and will be important for the side over this season.
Overall the attitude, work rate and teamwork level dropped compared to their previous 2 league games but against poorer quality opposition it is always harder to raise yourself.
However, we strive for perfection in every game. Every individual should self-select the moments they believe they could have been more productive for their teammates and try to include them for their next performance or they risk damaging the team spirit and balance in future pressurised situations.