Meltdown After First Defeat Of The Season – ‘The Millwall Way’


It wouldn’t be the Millwall way without a huge wake up call along the way would it? After suffering our first defeat of the season, the aftermath is a reaction I don’t think anyone would’ve anticipated.

I’ve tried three times to write my player ratings article, as I try to do each and every game. However, each time I find myself repeating the same flaws and negatives for each and every player.

To sum the match up, Peterborough were clearly on song and up for the match, whereas we were as far opposite as physically possible. Slow to react to attacking movement, sluggish with our passing on the ball, it was a real let down from the team, with many fans hoping for a typical good result on the road.

We all knew what to expect from the home side, as I had mentioned over and over again in my last post, they’re a side who like to play from the back, and cause havoc up top with their three forwards leading the line. The movement done our defenders, with Craig and Webster having no chance to keep up with Maddison, Taylor and Nichols.

I don’t think any player comes out of that game with any credit, our young keeper who is the best in the league was far from that. Our strikers who dominate defences done nothing, and our midfield full of energy and ability to get stuck in were nowhere to be seen.

It couldn’t have gone any worse if we decided to just stop playing, and despite this result only being our first of the season, it seems there is more behind the scenes that need to be rectified as soon as possible. Okay, we got battered and played off the park in a 5-1 defeat, however what has caused major speculation is the post match comments from manager Neil Harris. Obviously hurt and let down by his players, the manager had some choice words after the match…

After one defeat, granted a terrible result and performance, the whole interview after the game feels like overkill. If we had walked away from the night as 5-1 winners, comments like this would be nowhere to be seen. These words from Harris just feel like excuses where his players were outclassed on the night, Peterborough done a job on us, having clearly done their homework.

Nonetheless the words are worrying, with no one quite sure who they were aimed at from the squad. My logical guess is the words were aimed at Jordan Archer, with only a year to go on his existing deal, it’s been mentioned a couple of times in pre-season how the club hoped to sit down and tie the keeper down to a longer deal.

Having let Forde go out on loan to Portsmouth, and Harris confirming he won’t recall the keeper we’ve put all our eggs into one basket with Archer. Now our number one with no direct competition from his understudy Tom King, I think he and his agent feel they have bargaining power to get a deal to suit them. Of course, if you were a key player, it’s not out of order to be pushing for a deal worthy of this squad status.

Another talking point from the night has been the reaction from the fans in the stands on Tuesday, with others believing we are too quick to be negative and give stick to the players. To be honest, having been at the game on Tuesday every fan at London Road has a right to moan about being 3-0 down after 20 minutes, especially when you factor in the costs of following the club.

At half time, fans either love him or hate him but Steve Morison obviously didn’t take kindly to the stick and was giving it back to our own fans. But for me Morison didn’t have a leg to stand on, and giving it back hasn’t done him any favours, what does he want us to do when we are getting thrashed and the team are performing in such a manner?

With Harris coming out like this, what does this do to the morale of the squad? You can guarantee changes will be made on Saturday for our game against Sheffield United, and you’d imagine the likes of Nelson and Onyedinma may get their chance to make their mark on the first XI and keep their place in the team.

Going into a game like Sheffield United at home though, there isn’t anyone else I’d want in charge than Harris. Will we win? No one quite knows, however one thing is for sure it will be a side leaving everything out on the pitch and doing their best to earn the three points up for grabs.


Peterborough United – Scout Report


Tonight Millwall travel to London Road, or as is the modern day sponsorship The ABAX Stadium, as we take on Peterborough United.

Known for their ‘Value for money’ football, they’re a side who you expect to be a constant threat in attack, however leaky in defence. Having suffered defeat the last time we travelled to Peterborough in a 5-3 defeat, Neil Harris and co. will be keen to avenge that result.

With summer additions and a lot of change at Peterborough since we last played each other, here is the low down of our opposition…


A win and a defeat so far in the league, Peterborough haven’t had the perfect start they would’ve hoped for. Having picked up a 3-2 win away at Rochdale, fans were hoping the team would follow that up with a win at home to Bradford. Instead, they suffered a single goal defeat in new manager Grant McCann’s first home game in charge.

In between their league games, Peterborough also progressed in the cup with another high scoring game against Wimbledon. Two 3-2 wins and a 1-0 defeat last time out, what to expect tonight? God only knows…


Despite being the home team last time out against Bradford, The Posh finished the match with 45% possession, with nearly 20 counter attacks registered despite being the home team. Much like our side in that respect, despite still being early days into McCann’s reign, they seem to be a side who look to sit back and break at pace.

Having come against MK Dons last time out and being done by their forward lines ability to break on the counter, it will be interesting to see how we deal with Peterborough for the 90 minutes. Having controlled the game in the second half by chasing after MK Dons, I expect Harris to instruct the players to follow suit next time out.

Despite not having much of the ball, Peterborough still manage to complete 400+ passes a match, this is due to their nature of building from the back. Unlike the modern style of keeping possession, expect Peterborough to get hold of the ball and pass around at speed looking for a breakthrough past our midfield of Thompson and Abdou.


Having lost last time out against Bradford at home, it would be anticipated a change or two is likely from manager Grant McCann. Having looked at the starting XI’s from their opening three games, I don’t anticipate any changes to the backline, however a change of players up top could be possible.

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In goal, having been on the books of Sunderland and Tottenham Hotspur is Alnwick. In front of the keeper in defence is Baldwin and make shift central defender Bostwick, more known for his ability in midfield and picking a pass from deep, also once on our books as youth scholar. Expect both full backs Binnom-Williams and White to commit forward on the overlap and provide an outlet in the wide areas.

In a midfield three, expect movement box to box from all of the midfielders, with Forrester the deep lying player to pick out a pass, with Lopes and Edwards your ball carriers when moving up the field.

Finally, up front expect another trio of Maddison, Taylor, and Nichols. None of which are your physical target men options, instead expect none stop movement and change of positions in the attacking areas.


The main threats in this side come up top, with Nichols, Taylor and Maddison all live wires in attack, with each having an eye for goal. Maddison finished last season with 13 goals, whereas Nichols, a January signing from League Two Exeter still getting on his feet at this level, but has scored two in the cup already.

Aside from the attackers, it’s important we don’t give the likes of Forrester time on the ball to pick a pass, a player when afforded time can punish any opposition.


The obvious strength in the Peterborough side is their attacking style of play, with goals in their forward line. Peterborough also provide a threat in the wide areas with their full backs constantly getting forward and looking to provide assists for the forwards in the box.

With that in mind, how are Millwall going to get a result we all want tonight? Well with our own ability in the wide areas, expect the likes of Worrall and O’Brien to peg back the full backs, and if they happen to commit forward on the break expect some joy in these areas.

Another possible weakness is their lack of protection to their central defenders, with no obvious ball winner in midfielder or someone to sit in front of defence. If Morison and Gregory turn up and beat their markers man for man, we should come out with the desired result of a victory.

MK Dons Vs Millwall – Player Ratings


Saturday brought our first league away fixture of the season, ending in a 2-2 draw at Stadium MK, against recently relegated MK Dons. Having taken a two goal lead against the home side, it is certainly viewed as two points dropped, despite only weeks into the season.

I think before the game, we all would’ve taken a point from a side expected to be near the top of the table along with us this season. But the nature of how we folded a commanding lead left a sour taste for all involved.

We managed to get in front through a deflected Craig header and a first goal for the club for winger Worrall, timing his run and providing a classy finish past Martin in goal for MK Dons. However the home side hit back immediately, and in the space of 5 minutes were back level thanks to a brace from debutant and record signing Agard.

I guess it shows the sort of level we need to be at to compete at the top this season, when a team like MK Dons can afford to smash their record transfer fee, and the new signing comes up with two goals while on debut. However, both goals were avoidable from a  defensive point of view.

With make shift left back Ferguson failing to clear his lines, Agard pounced and produced a classy finish into the bottom corner past Archer. While the second, a hopeful ball over the top caused havoc in defence as Agard broke free of Craig and Webster, and beat the on rushing Archer to loop a header into the back of the net.

The majority of the second half was us on the attack and in control but for the odd chance for the home side, however when scoring two away from home you’d hope we’d have enough to see out the game.

Below, as always is my player ratings from our draw:

Starting XI

Jordan Archer – 5 – Probably the lowest rating I’ve ever left for Archer. I don’t think Archer was terrible by any means, and was still confident at dealing with set plays and deliveries into the box. However, as is the case with goalkeepers mistakes are magnified when in goal and tend to always go punished.

Mahlon Romeo – 6 – Wasn’t at fault for either goal, and still attempted to get forward where possible on the overlap. Having also kept danger man Powell quiet on the left side of the MK Dons attack, Romeo went about his job as expected from any full back in the side.

Byron Webster – 5 – With lone forward Agard scoring twice for the opposition, blame has to be aimed towards the centre halves in charge of keeping the player quiet. Both Webster and Craig were at fault for the second goal of Agard’s brace, being caught over the top with a hopeful ball aimed to the forward.

Tony Craig – 5 – As above with Webster, Craig failed to deal with the pace of Agard. Dealing with pace in opposition attacks is the only concern we have with our central defenders, playing a too high line invited Agard through to pounce onto his second goal.

Shane Ferguson – 5 – At fault for failing to clear when under no pressure, Ferguson had a major say in MK Dons’ first goal in getting back into the game. Aside from his mistake, at least in my opinion we continue to look light in defence, with MK Dons targeting our left side of defence from goal kicks to expose Ferguson’s height. With Martin now probably match fit, I won’t be surprised to see him in the side on Tuesday night.

David Worrall – 7 – Off the mark with a perfectly timed finish at the back post, Worrall continues to impress as I always seem to be writing in these posts. Also putting in a superb delivery for our first goal, Worrall seems to produce at ease and growing with every game.

Shaun Williams – 6 – Having got the nod once again, lining up against his old club I think everyone would be disappointed to see Williams go off injured. Early on Williams looked to be getting the better of Upson and Potter in the MK Dons midfield, and was looking like having another good game.

Ben Thompson – 5 – As I’m writing this I’m struggling to remember Thompson’s impact on the match on Saturday. It seemed to just pass him by, not making any mistakes nor any massive contributions. Perhaps a deliberate ploy from MK Dons but they seemed to play down the wide areas throughout the match.

Aiden O’Brien – 7 – In full flow with confidence clear to be seen, O’Brien edges to my man of the match. Despite not getting on the score sheet, playing in the free role O’Brien seemed to be everywhere throughout the 90 minutes. Unlucky to not score bringing the keeper into a smart save in the second half, I hope we get the same O’Brien performance on a consistent basis.

Lee Gregory – 5 – In our style of play, we rely heavily on our front two to make the ball stick in the final third when on the attack. Perhaps due to Williams going off injured, I feel the contribution of Morison and Gregory wasn’t quite what we are used to seeing.

Steve Morison – 5 – As above with Gregory, I felt both tried but at times were left isolated or lacking the required service when on the attack.


Jimmy Abdou – 6 – Introduced in place of Williams, not a ball player I already mentioned how we suffered in the middle of the park following Williams’ departure. But as is always the case with Abdou, for me he prevented the MK Dons midfield from having a big say on the match, with his typical 6/10 performance.

Fred Onyedinma – N/A

Joe Martin – N/A

MK Dons Vs Millwall – My Preferred XI


Game number two, and our first away game of the league sees Millwall travel to Milton Keynes to take on MK Dons. Recently relegated, Karl Robinson still has a very good squad at his disposal, which will contribute to a very good match I hope on Saturday.

Check out my scout report of our opposition on Saturday here.

With 2,000+ Millwall fans also in attendance, fresh from two wins and seven goals without reply, confidence is high with the hope we can make it three wins on the bounce. Below is my starting XI for Saturday’s game:


Unchanged from our win last weekend, I don’t think many would argue with this XI after winning 3-0 last time out in the league. No one knows whether Gregory is quite at 100% after his knock last weekend, however being named on the bench on Tuesday means to me he should be able to play.

Fresh from two clean sheets in a row, Archer continues in goal. Despite winning 4-0 on Tuesday night, Archer still had to get his gloves dirty with a few good saves. Confidence is sure to be high for the keeper and I have complete confidence he will be behind everything on Saturday too.

The back four at the minute picks itself, with Ferguson being forced to fill in with Martin’s absence. Despite playing 80 minutes on Tuesday, it would be a big ask to risk Martin to throw him in for the 90 this weekend. Perhaps Peterborough on Tuesday will be Martin’s return to the side in the league.

Craig, Webster and Romeo also pick themselves with none putting a foot wrong last weekend or Tuesday night. Despite Nelson playing at Barnet instead of the rested Romeo, Romeo is the obvious option and his understanding with Romeo will be crucial in any positive result we get on Saturday.

In the middle of the park I’ve opted for Williams alongside Thompson once again after running the show last weekend as a pair. This was the one position I couldn’t make my mind up on. Playing against a side who like to keep hold of the ball, Jimmy Abdou is the obvious candidate to pick in the side. However, Williams really impressed against Oldham, and if we get the same sort of performance from Williams it will go a long way in us winning the game. Let’s not forget where we got Williams from too…

On the right Worrall returns after playing a bit part role on Tuesday. Despite being reduced to the bench Worrall had enough time in his 15 minutes spell to lay on another assist in his short time as a Millwall player. The partnership between Worrall and Romeo is our main outlet in the side, and as we saw against Oldham if we get the same combination working we will cause MK Dons havoc.

On the left, fresh from two goals in two games is O’Brien. Another I was unsure on, however after scoring two already confidence will be sky high with O’Brien who is the prime example of a confidence based player. The only worry is O’Brien will need to be alert defensively against a side like MK Dons, and will need to contribute defensively and help his full back throughout the tie.

Up front, no shocks with Morison and Gregory up front. Both already with a goal each to their name, and hopefully both will be able to add to their own tally come 3 o’clock on Saturday. As mentioned above Gregory did suffer a knock last Saturday, but should be returning to the side having been named on the bench on Tuesday night.



Milton Keynes Dons – Scout Report


Saturday brings Millwall’s first league game on the road, as we travel to recently relegated MK Dons. With both sides picking up wins on the opening weekend, it presents an interesting contest with each club having their own aspirations of promotion to The Championship this season.

Both sides also managed to progress into the next round of the EFL cup, with a rotated MK Dons side enough to see off League Two side Newport County. Perhaps more of a footballing side compared to the likes of Oldham Athletic, I thought I’d bring you up to speed with what we can expect from the opposition this weekend.


Okay, only two games in but much like ourselves MK Dons have had the perfect start to their campaign. It’s never easy bouncing back from relegation especially in this division, but having managed to largely keep their squad intact with a couple of smart acquisitions, they’re certainly pointing in the right direction.

Having kept a clean sheet away to Shrewsbury on the opening day, the hosts will be hoping to build on that clean sheet and carry this into the match on Saturday. Quite an obvious issue was their lack of clean sheets last season and goals against, ultimately contributing to their relegation.


58% possession in their opening game, while also playing away from home. This side like to get on the ball and play from the back where possible. With ball playing midfielders such as Upson and Potter, as well as the attacking trio of Powell, Carruthers and Williams behind their lone forward. All of the above have the ability to keep hold of the ball and lay on constant pressure against their opposition.

85% pass competition to go with the above, whereas against Oldham, Millwall posted up a 70% pass completion in our 3-0 win. Stats don’t always dictate a result with different playing styles for both sides, however we will have to force the opposition into a mistake to get hold of the ball.


Having made a host of changes for their cup tie, you would expect Karl Robinson would revert to a similar line up to last weekend’s victory. During the week the club had eclipsed their record transfer fee, with forward Kieran Agard joining from Championship side Bristol City. However having completed his move on Thursday, I would anticipate Nicky Maynard would continue up front.

Elsewhere there is a familiar face in the middle of the park, with former lion Ed Upson forming part of the MK Dons midfield. Having made an impression in pre-season, Upson put in a standout performance on debut for his new club.

Dean Lewington offers stability in the backline, having been with the club for many years and provides a consistent option at left back. George Baldock, brother of forward Sam Baldock lines up at right full back with both Joe Walsh and Paul Downing in the heart of defence.

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As above, a particular thereat to us has to be former player Ed Upson. On all set plays Upson will be sure to pose a threat, therefore as mentioned by Harris after Barnet we need to cut out silly fouls giving the opposition the chance to get the ball forward. Also, lets not forget what Upson was capable of the last time he played against us, scoring the winner with Yeovil three seasons ago…

Elsewhere on the pitch, a player who has had some joy in the past is forward Nicky Maynard. A lively player who looks to get on the last line of the defence, we will need both Craig and Webster alert throughout and prevent the forward exposing us on the break. Injuries have plagued Maynard in recent seasons, however also being an ex West Ham player, I’m sure he will be eager to get one over us come Saturday.


To hit home on the point again, MK Dons will be one of the better footballing sides in the division this season. Looking to dominate the ball and retain possession, we will need to be at our very best defensively to keep shape and prevent the opposition playing through us and carving our chances.

With either Agard or Maynard up top, we will also need to sit deep and prevent the forwards getting in behind our backline on the break. Both known for their raw pace, and ability to score goals at a higher level than League One.


There are two areas where, if done right we will win on Saturday. The first with most importance is the midfield battle, playing 4-4-2 with two central midfielders against a three man midfield will be extremely tough.

However, if Thompson and co. can get a foothold and prevent the opposition midfield from getting on the ball, we will then have our chance of overruling their midfield. Despite being a strength of passing the ball out from the back, it can also be a weakness if we are able to steal the ball high up the field.

One other weakness I can see is the backline available to the home side, the likes of Lewington and Walsh aren’t the fastest defenders in the world, nor physical in defence. Therefore if both Morison and Gregory play to their best it will be another battle further up the field that I would back us to win.

Barnet Vs Millwall – Player Ratings


Last night saw Millwall continue their superb start to the season, winning 4-0 in the first round of the EFL Cup away to League Two side Barnet. Having lost to Barnet at the same stage last season, it was certainly a case of avenging that defeat.

An own goal, O’Brien, Morison and Onyedinma provided the decisive moments in a clinical display from the Millwall attack, despite the absence of key forward Gregory. It means after two games The Lions have struck seven goals, with no reply from our opposition with Archer claiming a clean sheet in each.

In total there were five changes from Harris for last nights game, with Martin, Nelson, Abdou, Wylde and Onyedinma earning their first starts of the season. Below are my player ratings from last night:

Starting XI

Jordan Archer – 7 – More action his way despite the 4-0 win, Archer had to be alert at times to a few long range efforts and was behind each attempt. Claiming each and every corner as is the norm, two clean sheets will be a huge boost to Archer so early in the campaign.

Sid Nelson – 7 – Played at right back in place of Romeo, I felt Nelson had a very solid game playing in a position not so natural to the defender. Your typical crunching tackles, but also a couple of occasions where Nelson got forward on the overlap. Nothing on Romeo of course, but a good performance in our win.

Byron Webster – 7 – Having been the culprit in our defeat to Barnet last season, all eyes were on Webster once again facing up to Akinde up front. Showing how far the defender has come in a year, Akinde rarely got a sniff with Webster being the enforcer and dictating where play went to the Barnet forward throughout.

Tony Craig – 6 – Another good performance for Craig, much like Webster being first to the ball ahead of the Barnet attackers. With Joe Martin also returning to the side and stepping up his progress, Craig looks set to stay in the central areas of defence.

Joe Martin – 6 – Another step up in Martin’s return to first team action with 75 minutes on the field. Your typical Martin performance bringing stability defensively and picking up his typical yellow card to go with it, also earning an assist for the own goal from a set play.

Aiden O’Brien – 7 – Played out wide but almost a third striker in attack, O’Brien impressed with a second goal in two games. Looking knackered once again when coming off the field, no one can doubt his effort, and he seems to be contributing more than ever in defensive areas when tracking back.

Jimmy Abdou – 6 – Think a 6/10 already tells you what performance it was from Abdou. Non-stop energy and interception after interception, Abdou along with Thompson didn’t allow the Barnet players a sniff of the ball in the midfield area.

Ben Thompson – 7 – Kept in the midfield for two games running shows how important Thompson is to our team. High work rate as we expect and willingness to throw himself into a tackle, but also have the ability to pick a pass. Standout point of the match was when Ferguson was fouled, Thompson quick to get in the face of the offender, one of our own…

Greg Wylde – 6 – High energy again from Wylde, however despite playing the entire 90 minutes struggled to make an impact on the match. Showed glimpses again of what he is all about, but would still like to see more from the new signing.

Steve Morison – 8 – Seeing the game through with the youngsters up top, Morison continue to demonstrate his huge importance to the squad. Also notching his first goal of the season with a smart header, it was your typical experienced performance from the forward.

Fred Onyedinma – 7 – Probably could’ve scored a few more on the night, however a lively performance from Onyedinma. Playing up front alongside Morison, we saw exactly what Onyedinma brings when played further forward. Skill on the ball, the idea of Onyedinma up front is certainly a possibility which could work if we continue to work on it.


David Worrall – 6 – Despite only being a sub, Worrall still managed to add another assist to his already growing tally, important to the side already and continuing to impress with high work rate throughout the second half.

Jamie Philpot – N/A

Shane Ferguson – N/A

Millwall Vs Oldham Athletic – Player Ratings


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:

Starting XI

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.


Millwall Vs Oldham Athletic – My Preferred XI

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It’s here! Tomorrow Millwall kick off their EFL Football League campaign with a home game to Oldham Athletic. 69 days since that day at Wembley, Harris and co have had the off season to forget the misery of our defeat to Barnsley, with attentions firmly on earning promotion at the second time of asking.

Our opponents Oldham have had a summer clear out, with 14 new arrivals during the off-season, presenting a complete unknown to the side we played in our last scheduled home game of last season. Oldham also have a new manager, with John Sheridan leaving Steve Robinson steps into the opposition dug out on Saturday, for his first competitive game in charge.

Looking at ourselves, after a stable summer compared to the last, in my prediction for the coming season I really expect us to kick on this season. So with that in mind here is my starting XI for our season opener:

I’m sure it will split opinion, but that’s why I write my blogs for! I think the majority of the team picks itself, and going on the assumption that 4-4-2 is our strongest formation. I believe with only Shaun Hutchinson, Joe Martin and Shaun Cummings unavailable, this is the XI we should go for tomorrow.

Archer starts in goal, and probably will do so for the entire campaign since David Forde’s departure. Having made the position his own last season, confidence wise it’s important Archer gets off to a solid start to the season. With Oldham perhaps not one of the strongest sides in our division, it presents a good opportunity for Archer to get his first clean sheet of the season.

In the heart of defence due to Hutchinson’s untimely injury I’ve elected for Craig and Webster. Having been moved to the middle during the game last Saturday, Craig impressed in what is his best position in the side. Alongside Webster, probably our best defender at the club, combined the two have a no nonsense approach which typically does well at this level.

At full backs I’m sure no one would be surprised to see Romeo’s inclusion, however I’ve also elected for another young full back Chesmain. Having seen Chesmain throughout pre-season, for me he has been the pick of the bunch from our 21’s side. Willing to commit forward and able to recover in defence quickly like Romeo, I believe we could potentially have the two best full backs in the division for years to come.

In midfield I’ve elected for Thompson and Williams. Thompson is probably the first name on Harris’ team sheet after his performances in the second half of the season, and we all hope there is more to come from the youngster. The position next to Thompson is hotly debated, however I’ve chosen Williams for this game. Playing at home against a side like Oldham, we need to be able to get on the ball and attempt to dominate the match. As much as I love Abdou, we don’t get that sort of passing range which Williams clearly has.

On either flank, I’ve chosen Worrall and Northern Ireland international Ferguson. Although some would prefer Ferguson at full back for this match, in my opinion we benefit more with his influence further up the field. New arrival Worrall has also stood out through pre-season, and a lot like Ferguson will get forward and present opportunities for our forwards.

Up top no surprises with Gregory and Morison leading the attack, in my opinion the best partnership in the division. The pair have hit it off throughout pre-season and look ready to continue the form of last season. The understanding between the two when on form seems to constantly disrupt the opposition defence, and brings other players into the game.

So that’s my XI for the game tomorrow, what do you think of my selection and what would your XI be?

Prediction Time – Where Will Millwall Finish This Season?


We are now days away from the Football League kicking off, as we welcome the mighty Oldham Athletic to The Den for our first game of the season. Having had our last scheduled home game against Oldham, it would be a good indication of how far both sides have improved, or failed to improve during the close season.

As always in the build up to the opening day, the question which is most debated is what place we will finish in the league this season. Looking back to last season, expectations were pretty low in what was viewed as a transitional season for the club. We saw many players leave and new additions to the first team from within our own academy and externally from other clubs. To be fair, I think I got my prediction for last season spot on…

My prediction for last season can be found here

However this time around, with a stable squad kept together after losing in the play-off final, and three additions which seemed to have improved the squad. You can’t help but have an increase in expectations from everyone involved, both fans and the club itself. Ultimately, the goal this season has to be promotion to The Championship, a statement echoed by Harris himself when asked the question at the start of pre-season. The average age of the squad is still very young, however with the experience of last season, and with players like Thompson, Onyedinma and O’Brien with 30+ games under their belt, an improvement on last season should be a big possibility.

The key for Harris will be to replicate our form after the turn of the year. Not only were we picking up consistent points away from home, Harris also oversaw the turnaround of our form at The Den, where we suffered only one defeat in the league at home to Scunthorpe. Our home form in recent seasons before the last has been terrible, however if we are able to carry the form continuing into next season, we will be one step closer to achieving the goal of promotion. Players didn’t want to play at The Den, and fans were becoming inpatient (rightly so) however Harris deserves full credit for the turnaround, with the club facing in the right direction.


Another important factor to consider is the future of Lee Gregory, contributing 27 goals last season Gregory is a player who the club have decided to hold onto despite interest from the division above. Not only did Gregory finish as top goal scorer, along with Steve Morison the pair have formed probably the strongest partnership in the division. With both on form so far in pre-season, it will be important for the pair to hit the ground running to allow us to get points on the board during the early stages of the season.

My honest prediction for the coming season, while trying to not go with just my heart is for us to go on and challenge right at the very top and earn automatic promotion. I just feel with the squad of players we have, we shouldn’t have many off days and barring injuries our starting XI is a match of any side in this division. We have talented players such as Jordan Archer and Mahlon Romeo who I haven’t even mentioned yet, players who have that experience in an academy of a Premier League club and show that bit of class you need in a successful side.

Some of you reading this might think I’m being way too deluded and over confident on this, however on my Twitter Poll you’ll find below, a lot of you seem to agree with me. The only worry which always lurks in the back of my mind is that we’re Millwall, and we thrive on being the underdog and if that bit of pressure is on the team, how might we actually do? I do believe under Harris we should get out of the division this season – my #RequestABet with SkyBet was also accepted with 66/1 on Gregory top goal scorer and Millwall to win the league. Surely worth a punt on that, and I’ll take a share when it comes through!

Can this actually be our season?

Millwall Vs Brentford – Player Ratings


Saturday brought the end of our scheduled pre-season friendlies for the first team squad. Ending pre-season with 3 wins, 1 draw and 1 defeat, with the defeat largely containing under 21 players. Therefore if pre-season results are anything to go by, we should expect a promising season right?

The opposition on Saturday was Championship side Brentford, a club who’s position we’d all like to be in, and a team who likes to play football building from the back in defence. A good test for our squad going into the start of the season, and a game I felt we did ourselves no harm in, with the result ending in a 1-1 draw in Tony Craig’s testimonial.

Below you will find my player ratings for the starting XI along with early substitute Aiden O’Brien, with others too late to come on and have an impact on the match:

Starting XI

Jordan Archer – 6 – Will be disappointed to have conceded Brentford’s only goal direct from a free kick. Having to deal with the Brentford players who decided to stand in front of Archer, the keeper seemed to lose all bearings and allowed the ball to drift into the corner of the net. Aside from the goal, Archer was alert during the visitors best spell of the game, and did superbly to produce a double save denying Saunders and the rebounded effort from Logan.

Mahlon Romeo – 6 – Another solid performance from Romeo, his desire to get forward on the overlap never seems to fade away. The right hand side looks like it picks itself, with both Romeo and Worrall already having a clear understanding of each others game. With both an outlet on the counter, expect the partnership to only blossom as the season gets underway next week.

Byron Webster – 6 – Workmanlike performance from Webster, who goes about his business without showing any pressure in defence. What stood out on Saturday was the patience Webster had on the ball, instead of looking to play immediately forward, the defender also looked for the pass when the opportunity presented itself. Probably one of the first names on the team sheet, barring injury or suspension expect Webster to keep his place for the entire season.

Shaun Hutchinson – N/A – The only negative for us on Saturday was 20 minutes into the game with new defender Hutchinson picking up a niggling injury to his hamstring. I’m absolutely gutted for the new defender, who stood out the most for me in pre-season and along with Worrall was a player I couldn’t wait to see going into the season. It’s never nice seeing a player pickup an injury a week before the season, however I firmly believe Hutchinson will be back in the team and keep his place once a chance comes his way.

Tony Craig – 7 – The man of the moment, a player who seems to split opinion among many with a low turnout for Craig on Saturday for his testimonial. Without dwelling on the attendance I believe Saturday was Craig’s best performance of pre-season, which also coincided with his return to the centre of defence. With Hutchinson going off injured Craig was moved over and showed exactly what he is about in this position, with a few notable last ditch tackles and controlling the defence with Webster. Of course I wouldn’t want Hutchinson injured, however the outcome means we won’t see Craig at left back next weekend, and that is a big relief for me.

David Worrall – 7 – Almost my man of the match, I think even Worrall would want to forget his one on one in the first half. However aside from that miss Worrall continued to show his worth, proving a nuisance throughout on the right of midfield. As mentioned above the partnership with Romeo is there to be seen, but what also impressed was Worrall’s ability to take players on and even step inwards from the right flank. Although Worrall is right footed, he clearly isn’t afraid to use his left and it doesn’t matter which foot he uses it normally causes a nuisance in the box, my signing of the summer so far.

Shaun Williams – 7 – Given the opportunity to impress in front of Abdou, Williams certainly took his chance. It’s the hot topic and probably the most debated of who should be playing in the middle of the park. We all know what is offered from our three options including Thompson, who seems to be the guaranteed starter out of the three. On Saturday we saw exactly what Williams is capable of, with Brentford allowing the midfielder time on the ball, we got to see the range of passing available, with Williams able to find attackers with ease deep from midfield. If put under pressure would Williams have put in the same performance? I suppose against a team like Oldham you need Williams in the side, and that looks to be the case going into next week.

Ben Thompson – 6 – A quiet one by Thompson’s high standards, but still a job done in midfield with his constant energy. Looks key to Harris and his plans going into the new season, and I can’t think of anyone who would argue with that decision.

Shane Ferguson – 6 – Having looked bright early on due to Hutchinson’s injury Ferguson was moved back to left back, and went on to have a solid game defensively. With O’Brien in front Ferguson had to be more alert defensively and wasn’t able to contribute as much on the overlap, and with Martin not ready for the season expect Ferguson to continue at full back next weekend.

Lee Gregory – 7 – A handful with Morison up top for the Brentford defenders, Gregory probably should’ve had at least one goal to his name at the end of the match. A threat as always on the last line of defence, Gregory’s movement just gets better and better, to the point you worry if Brentford are in desperate need of a forward before the end of August. You’d think we’d still have Gregory for the season at this point, however in football you never quite know…

Steve Morison – 8 – My man of the match, Morison continued on from his performance at Crawley last weekend and scored our only goal of the game. Looking ready for the season, the work between Gregory and Morison brings us probably the best partnership in the division. Despite Morison getting older, without Morison we suffer in our style of play, although he isn’t the typical target man he does hold the ball up well for the team. Which raises the question of how we would cope if Morison ever picks up an injury…


Aiden O’Brien – 6 – I’m a fan of O’Brien but not particularly in the wide areas of the team, O’Brien is very much a luxury player and against a side who may have full backs on the overlap we need a winger who would track back. It wasn’t a terrible performance from O’Brien, but I felt we suffered on the left side with Ferguson being moved to full back.