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  • Writer's pictureTUST

FANS' ZONE 17/09/2021


Forget waiting for the first ten games to assess the start to the new season United boss Gary Johnson, after Tuesday’s fourth defeat in six at Solihull Moors, has seen enough. As many as six players could, over the coming weeks, find themselves sidelined either gone completely or sent out on loan. Time will tell.

And will the owner sanction more funds for recruitment? With the club’s still stated aim of returning to the EFL the chances are likely to be favourable.

It was another miserable evening for the 212 Yellow Army as the Gulls came unstuck at Damson Park as their support deserved better.

It was another grim afternoon at Plainmoor on Saturday as the Gulls were all at sea as the Mariners from Grimsby swamped Gary Johnson’s new look side.

That’s three home losses on the spin shipping ten goals in the process despite United taking an early lead, helped by the visiting keeper’s mistake, from Armani Little’s third goal in two games.

But clearly all is not well and in his post match BBC Radio Devon interview Johnson, sounding particularly ‘mal de mer’, pulled no punches when he said, “ I’m seeing what the supporters are seeing.”

On the evidence so far a number of the new recruits are on a steep learning curve. Add in the mounting yellow cards as United top the disciplinary chart with 18 yellows and two reds.

Last week Johnson was the ‘pizza delivery man’ taking the headlines, this week he had to swallow coke, as in Grimsby’s Giles Coke scoring the visitors’ crucial second goal, his first for eight years.

With three going off injured plus Chori Johnson and keeper Mark Halstead picking up knocks, which may have contributed to his half-time substitution on Tuesday, as well as Andrews and Lapslie sidelined, the squad of 22 is looking particularly depleted especially when adding in three others out on loan. Looks like he’s in need of a loan lifeboat.

As now is customary the arrival of pacy forward Alex Addai, ex-Cheltenham, was announced just before kick-off on Tuesday night making a positive impact off the bench late on.

It is still early days into the new season and Johnson is an experienced manager who’s been through similar times so keeping a cool head is important but not how he would have wanted his third anniversary at the club to be remembered.

Former player and manager, Kevin Nicholson, was BBC Radio Devon’s summariser on Saturday and his immediate assessment, on seeing Torquay for the first time this season, was that the side lacked pace, not getting in behind the Grimsby defence giving Wright and Holman no service all game.

Disappointing too was the attendance last Saturday, taking out 462 from Grimsby the Yellow Army support was below 2,000 with more discontent not only due to the poor football but also a backlash from some concerning the club’s new ticketing policy with more incidents of fans being turned away after the ‘one hour before kick-off’ deadline for in person ticket sales. *************************************************************************************

The National League board has been under new management - new chairman, new CEO and new board members (who are they?) - for a while but little seems to have changed. There’s still no news about clubs being allowed to stream matches outside the ‘blocked hours’ as EFL teams are able to do; there’s no news of dialogue taking place with the FA over the National League becoming part of the EFL - a remit placed upon it by the Fan-Led Review - nor does there appear to have been any progress with the proposed salary cap for next season. Why the silence?

There’s a growing opinion that the National League should be levelling up to get closer to the EFL to enable it to get better TV deals and more promotion places, after all it is the only official feeder league to the EFL. It’s time for the National League to re-brand itself If this is ever going to happen now is a good time as whether it’s due to the pandemic or just a co-incidence there appears to be a wind of change running through football.

First there was the wish for a European Super League, swiftly shelved but not gone away, leading to the Fan-Led Review looking to re-assess the way football is administered from top to bottom.

Now we have FIFA, using Arsene Wenger as its cheer leader, advocating that the World Cup should be every two years. Cynics will argue this is all down to money, primarily TV rights, as the game is to go through a radical reorganisation after 2024 when many international broadcasting rights finish. Many football clubs and groups have already opposed the plans. **************************************************************************************

Torquay United Women’s team let a 2-0 lead on Sunday slip as visitors Ilminster Town grabbed a 2-2 draw in United’s first home league match but continue their unbeaten start with goals from Ellie Bishop and Helen Kukor.

Last week’s Three Word Fun produced contrasting emotions following United’s first win 4-3, ‘Three precious points’ thought one but Nina Peters offered ‘Raising false hopes’.

Many of us, thanks to Channel 4’s late intervention, sat up till late to watch Emma Raducanu create a bit of tennis history, taking our mind off football, so what are your three words to sum up this amazing achievement?

Send your Three Word Fun to: or Twitter: @FanszoneT Saturday sees the arrival of recently relegated Southend with their fans turning on them following their mid-week 2-3 home loss to Aldershot and yet another manager threatening wholesale changes with players coming and going. Should make for a battle of the seasides.

To all the Yellow Army stay safe. COYY




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