In all seriousness, it clearly played a huge part in the shambolic defending on show yesterday, as both sides displayed an almost comedic collective inability to cope with the admittedly gale-force gusts.
My actual award though goes to a young lad who’s making his way in the game, rather than a weather condition.
While understandable, with him only leaving his teenage years behind in a couple of weeks time, there are obvious flaws in his game which need an awful lot of work on at the training ground and as he gains further match experience but George Thomason has something you cannot teach.
A footballing brain.
His clever outside of the boot passes, the curled balls into the only player in space, the vision to see a line-breaking ball. It’s all there and that is an absolute joy to see and know that we are going to be able to nurture the other sides of his game that need the development in order for him to become a well-rounded midfielder.
Positioning and defensive acumen are two facets that need a hell of a lot of fine tuning but the willingness is clearly there from the ex-Blackpool academy prospect to become an all round box-to-box central midfielder in the mould of Steven Gerrard, or for older readers Bryan Robson.
Some worryingly panicked first half hoofs in entirely the wrong conditions for them to work (one he attempted I’m sure went backwards by the time the ball fell to earth) illustrated the naivety and rawness in his game and he certainly wasn’t a shining light in amongst the madness of that first 30-40 minutes. He regained his composure however and really played his part in turning the game around for us. Thomason would’ve been afforded hero status had his one-two with Eoin Doyle resulted in him beating Paul Farman at his near post, rather than hitting the outside of it.
At this stage his game actually reminds me a little of a more positionally advanced Michael Carrick, that calmness in possession and perfect weight of pass. It would be nice to see what his shooting boots are like, as I can’t remember him taking a potshot at goal yet but in five consecutive league starts now you can see the confidence building, the risks being taken without nervous thought and his first goal for the club, getting in the right place at the right time to nod home Peter Kioso’s deflected cross, will give him a great boost and certainly gave us the platform and belief to mount our belated second half, pretty terribly monikered ‘Carlistanbul’ on social media, recovery.
While the balance of the midfield three looks better now, we still desperately need a naturally left footed wing-back to compliment the attacking instincts of Kioso on the right. Our attacks go down that side too often for them to be a surprise to the opposition. The spirit we showed in coming back from three goals down in atrocious conditions though is not to be sniffed at and while we shouldn’t be getting ourselves into these abominable situations there were a number of factors that were in some ways anomalies or beyond our control that could help explain the horrific start.
The weather conditions, Gilks fairly uncharacteristic (at this stage anyway) mistake for the crucial opener, the fact almost everything fell perfectly for them in amongst the chaos each time the ball entered our box and that almost everything they hit went in does give some measure of excusability to the fact we were 3-0 down at bloody Carlisle after 36 minutes.
Let’s hope we can put on a show against an in-form, confident and composed Morecambe side at the UniBol on Tuesday evening and embark on another run that would see us properly challenging the top 7 in this godforesaken division.