Marcus takes a look at all things Shrewsbury Town
The past seven days have been a week of highs and lows for Shrewsbury Town with the lows unfortunately occurring on the pitch. The first positive came just as I was writing last weeks Monday round-up and was the return of one of the most successful players in our history. I was surprised at how pleased I was when the news of Dave Edwards' return was broken. Two days earlier I'd waved my son off back to University so maybe one of Shrewsbury Town's sons returning had a slightly more visceral feel for me. Either way it's difficult to see his return with anything other than enthusiasm, he's not played first team football this season so will need a little time to get up to speed but he's going to add so much to Shrewsbury Town on and off the pitch. He started his career here, went on to play at the very highest level for a number of years, what a great example to our youth players, look at what can be achieved if you start your career here!
At some point I'm going to have to mention our games from last week, neither had pleasing outcomes but there are still positives to take from them. On Tuesday against Port Vale a much changed squad looked to be coasting to the next round after scoring and denying Vale any space to mount a challenge. Toward the end of the game Vale put in a cross that probably should have been stopped before it started and might have been cleared but instead went right through everyone and ended up an easy opportunity to equalise. Vale had the inertia to take into the penalties, won the shoot out. There are positives though, I thought the younger players who came in made some great contributions with James Rowland and Ryan Sears the most memorable. The latter had a great game and capped it off with a superb header that gave us our lead. Rowland looks a very talented midfielder who looks to have a rare passing ability in both vision and execution. There were at least a couple of occasions that made me think he's a class act in the making, both of which saw him thread passes through the defence that left them wide open. He's only young and probably has plenty to learn yet but I'm considering a trip to Sundorne to watch the youth team again!
Our next match action was the following Saturday afternoon with 4th placed Charlton visiting. I don't really want to dwell on this one too much as it was a difficult afternoon for all of us. We seemed to compete well enough until the goal went in and then it all changed. Passes started to miss their targets, Charlton were given too much space and the whole team started to look disjointed.
The Addicks goals were annoying as they owed as much to our defending as they did to Charlton's forward play. We were beaten by three preventable goals as our confidence looked to drain away as the game progressed. It's one of those things about football that confuse me, how can a team that played so well the previous Saturday against Stoke change so quickly to something quite different? I guess we all have the occasional bad day at the office, I certainly do but fortunately, mine are in private!
There were a few positives though, I thought Ryan Haynes had another good game and looks to be settling in well on the left side of defence. He has the proverbial “good engine” and his tenacity going forward doesn't seem detrimental to the defence as he's quickly back into position. Steve Arnold was excellent again and we would have been embarrassed without him making some excellent saves. It was also nice to see Dave Edwards introduction, it was a brief cameo but we seemed to have a little more urgency after he was introduced.
This week we face Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium in the Emirates F.A. Cup on Tuesday night. City have parted company with manager Gary Rowett since we played and have replaced him with Luton manager Nathan Jones. Jones saw his new team beaten 3-1 at Brentford on Saturday and will be looking at our away form and hoping to get his first win in his new job.
The Youth Team played at Walsall on Saturday and were beaten 1-0 in a very close game. This weekend sees them travel to Preston North End but they are at home to Wigan the following weekend.
The weekend brings away supporters a seaside away-day in Blackpool to play the Tangerines who sit in 9th place. On Saturday they won for the first time in over a month away to league leaders Portsmouth, so they'll be full of renewed confidence!
Speaking of supporters, the Supporters Parliament are looking for names for the new bar that will replace the Power-league bar. Click the link below to add your suggestion!
In last weeks transfer news, we parted company with Kieran Kennedy, Joel Coleman and Luke Hendrie. We also signed Crewe midfielder Brad Walker last week although he won't play for us this season as he's already played for two clubs and league rules say he can't play for a third club in one season. Brad will spend the rest of the season with Wrexham and join us in the summer. We've also added Dr Rob Chakraverty to the Shrewsbury Town medical team, Rob will work alongside club Doctor Kumaran Subramanian.