Saturday bought about Matchday One of The EFL League One as Millwall welcomed Oldham Athletic to The Den. In what was probably the perfect kind of fixture to get off to a good start to the season, the team didn’t disappoint as we ran out 3-0 winners.
To be fair, it was a very poor Oldham side which included 10 debutants in their starting XI after a summer of change at the club. However, on the day you need to turn up and beat what is in front of you, and from start to finish we were in control of the game.
As for the starting XI chose by Harris, there were no shocks as Ferguson was put in at left back, with Craig moved to centre half alongside Byron Webster. O’Brien also started on the left side of midfield in our re-shuffle due to new signing Hutchinson’s untimely injury.
Below our my player ratings, and in a 3-0 victory I’m sure you won’t be surprised to see a lot of generous ratings:
Jordan Archer – 6 – Untested throughout the game, it was a quiet day for the Millwall shot stopper, however I’m sure Archer wouldn’t complain with a clean sheet to go home with. Claiming anything thrown his way, it was important Archer had a confident start to the season.
Mahlon Romeo – 7 – Perhaps an underdog to be in the mix for player of the season this year? Romeo just seems to get better and better with every performance in a Millwall shirt, the right side was a constant outlet for us with Romeo and Worrall a constant nuisance to the Oldham defence. What impressed the most was Romeo’s willingness to get forward, but then also get back into position as quickly as possible.
Byron Webster – 7 – Dominant performance and another goal to go with it, Webster seems to be continuing from where he left off last season, proving his strengths both in defence and attack. An obvious target for our attacking set plays, it seems the defender has a knack of getting on the end of all our corners.
Tony Craig – 7 – Like wise to Webster, a dominant performance from captain Craig, obviously hotly debated whether he should be in the side. However, since moving to centre half in the absence of Hutchinson, Craig has looked solid and a lot more comfortable than when forced to play at full back. Being left footed, he brings balance to the backline and both Craig and Webster seem to have formed an early understanding.
Shane Ferguson – 6 – An okay performance from Ferguson, mainly untested there were a couple occasions where Oldham were exposing Ferguson’s lack of aerial ability. Harris mentioned after the game he decided to bring Martin on at half time because of that exact reason. I’ve mentioned where I want Ferguson playing previously, and felt the left side wasn’t the usual outlet we get when Ferguson starts on the wing.
David Worrall – 8 – My man of the match, I thought Worrall produced the perfect debut performance for his new club. The standout new signing in pre-season, the winger continued his form and proved a constant threat down the right side of midfield. With two goals coming from Worrall set plays, his contribution is highly valued and I cannot wait to see Worrall again in a Millwall shirt.
Shaun Williams – 7 – A great start to the season for Williams, who alongside Thompson ran the midfield, leaving the opposition midfielders with no chance. Clearly playing with a point to prove, Williams didn’t shirk a challenge and also contributed as we would expect with his proven talent when on the ball. The question remains whether he could do the same next time out, but after Worrall, the midfielder was my pick of the rest.
Ben Thompson – 7 – Non-stop action from Thompson, who was a nuisance to an Oldham side who struggled to leave their mark on the game. Always playing on the edge, Thompson is the type of player who breaks up the game, and won’t give the opposition a second to think when on the ball. The only thing I’d like to see improved is the fouls committed column, with Thompson making the odd silly foul allowing the opposition to move forward.
Aiden O’Brien – 7 – Got his first goal of the season, and aside from that a solid display from O’Brien. Clearly not a winger I felt at times we struggled on the left side going forward. However what impressed was O’Brien’s commitment to track back defensively and not let his full back overlap when Oldham were on the attack.
Lee Gregory – 7 – Another who got their first goal of the season, Gregory just seems to have the ability to show his class when playing alongside Morison up top. A constant threat as per on the last line of the defence, the only blip is the untimely injury he seems to have picked up, and forced him off at half time. However, maybe an injury until the end of August might do us a favour…
Steve Morison – 7 – Solid once again from Morison, who seems to have the ability to keep on playing without tiring as the game goes on. Morison won’t get the headlines for the goals he scores this season, however his know how on the pitch when looking to see out a game is extremely valuable to our side.
Joe Martin – 6 – Having missed all of pre-season, it was great to see Matin come through unscathed in his 45 minutes on the pitch. Obviously lacking match fitness, Martin brought that bit more of stability defensively, allowing Ferguson to push forward to left winger.
Fred Onyedinma – N/A – Not on long enough to judge, it seems with Gregory’s injury Harris will persist with the idea of Onyedinma playing through the middle and providing an option up front.
Gregg Wylde – N/A – Another not on long enough to judge, however from his 10 minute spell Wylde showed what he was about. Breaking at pace and going on one particular mazy run, it feels like he could be a useful option when opting to play on the counter.