If you haven’t already, check out my player ratings post from Saturday’s game away to Bromley HERE.
With the first pre-season game now out of the way, it normally is the first indication of how a side will play going into the new season. Today we will look at a few things noticeable from the 2-1 victory at Hayes Lane, against Conference National side Bromley.
As the first game of pre-season got underway, there was a sense of familiarity in the line-up and style of play. Starting in a 4-4-2 formation with Steve Morison and Lee Gregory up top, it’s clear this season we should expect more of the same as we ended the last. I suppose if it isn’t broken, there is no reason to fix it, and reaching the play off final in a transitional season can be viewed as a successful season.
I guess the only criticism from us as fans was in our defeats last season we were often found to be one dimensional. Going up against a good footballing team, such as a Barnsley who would play from the back and would pick their chances, on their day would punish a side who would ultimately punt the ball to the target man up top.
I truly believe with the signings of David Worrall and Gregg Wylde we should expect a slight evolution to the system Neil Harris plays, but we shouldn’t be surprised away from home to be using Steve Morison as our main outlet. Worrall and Wylde along with Ferguson and Onyedinma are ball carriers, and in turn should be able to travel 50 yards at pace to take pressure away from our defence when struggling away from home.
The best run of form last season when playing in our system was when Jed Wallace joined on loan from Wolves, Wallace was able to do exactly the above and lay on crucial assists in games away from home when playing on the counter. With Wallace in the side we also saw the best of our forward Lee Gregory, who went on a superb run of form at the turn of the year.
Lee Gregory Just Scores Goals
Pre-season transfer speculation hasn’t been kind to Lee Gregory, it’s often a positive to be linked with moves to the division above however this summer the speculation hasn’t done any of us fans good. I mean, of all clubs I think even Gregory doesn’t want to end up in The Championship playing for Rotherham United, regardless if the move allowed him to move closer to home.
I’m sure I wasn’t the only one anxious to see Gregory in a Millwall shirt on Saturday, and I think its safe to say the speculation hasn’t got the better of our forward, who went about his performance the perfect way, taking his goal superbly in the first half after being teed up by midfielder Ben Thompson. Gregory didn’t get the easiest of starts at the club, however his transformation is a real credit to Gregory, going on to win everyone over and proving his class in front of goal, a quality we haven’t had for a long while.
I don’t think even Harris knows if we will keep hold of Gregory, but in this case it is safe to assume the club won’t budge from their valuation, something we haven’t always had in the past with our main assets.
Jordan Archer Is Millwall’s Number One
Regardless of being the first game of pre-season, it was a surprise to see David Forde announced in the first XI at Hayes Lane with Jordan Archer only getting half hour in the second half of the game. However, if anything I’m sure Archer watching on wouldn’t have minded watching the first half display of Forde, who looked like a man short of confidence and to be honest past his best before date.
At fault for the only Bromley goal of the game and almost providing another on a plater later in the half, it wouldn’t have been the game Forde would’ve been hoping for on Saturday morning. With Archer seemingly only going to get better, it wouldn’t surprise me if Forde left before August 6th.
Even in his short time on the field, Archer was full of confidence making a smart save and claiming every delivery into his 18 yard box. Last season had a load of positives throughout the squad, however the most important was the rise of Archer who is probably after Gregory one of our most valuable assets. Much like Gregory, he has a confidence in his own ability and more times than not produces performances which will earn him a chance at a higher level, and I’m sure we all hope it will be at The Den.