Bally’s Backchat: a ‘good shift’ not enough against Liverpool


Kevin Ball has good reason to be proud of the effort his team put into the game against Liverpool. Everyone expected us to lose and we did. But we were not as second best as 1-3 suggests and key decisions went against us for the first two Liverpool goals. All the same, that’s one point from six games with Man Utd up next. This is how Bally saw it …

Dear Colin,

We said before the game that we wanted to win it but I said we had to take care of the performance first.

I think overall in terms of the game and how we set out for the game it was very good and I think the players endeavour and commitment to the cause was excellent.

I think when you’re 2-0 down it’s a case of ‘what are you going to do now?’ ‘Are you just going to rollover or are you going to have a go?’

We spoke about that at half time and I think in the second half everyone in the stadium saw us having a right go at doing it correctly.

When we scored the goal we had chances to get right back in the game.

You’re always going to be susceptible to the counter-attack, the only thing is the set-play, with bodies in the box, and could we have done better with that?

It would have been nice to come out of the game with something but today the performance was the most important thing and to a degree I think we got that.

The players should take heart from the game. They put a really good shift in.

The question was ‘What are we going to do second-half?’ and they answered that emphatically by having a really good go.

It would have been lovely to get the second-goal and see what happened then but unfortunately for us we were always susceptible to the counter attack and they went away and scored.

We just need to turn that performance into results.

All the best,

Kevin Ball

9 thoughts on “Bally’s Backchat: a ‘good shift’ not enough against Liverpool”

  1. Drummer said “You would recognise De Fanti, he looks like Keith Lemon”

    Thanks for illustrating my point. The former I have heard of but wouldn’t recognise should he appear at my front door. As for Mr Lemon, I have no idea who he is. Is he a relative of Paul Lemmon by any chance?

  2. I am of that view Joan. I would prefer to see someone come in with a wise old head to help him along. One of the reasons I didn’t want Bally was because the odds are slim against him making a real fist of it, and we would lose the U21 coach and a man who is part and parcel of the club. Good men like KB come along once in a lifetime and I would hate to see him leave. That would seem inevitable were he to become the manager.

    There’s a dearth of what appear to be suitable candidates (and that must be evident to Mr Short as well, otherwise someone would be in by now).

    Given the circumstances that we find ourselves in the only name that has been mentioned who could possibly save us this season is Pulis. I know Pete will hate me for saying that but we are in a horses for courses position here. Circumstances dictate I’m afraid. None of the others such as Poyet, Zola, Pearce are the men for this job right now. I wouldn’t have a problem with Bally working alongside the older hand.

    We are doomed in my view if we don’t have someone who can get a grip. How about Bally and Reidy? Fight and determination are what’s needed right now. I never thought that I would advocate Reid’s return but the fact I just did shows how desperate we are right now.

  3. We are on the same page Ian. Ki looks a canny footballer and Clatter ’em all had the best game I’ve seen him play for us.

    I can’t see a manager who can save us but we know a man who personifies the club, the fans and our history. That man is Kevin Ball.

    Get the tracksuit back on Bally and get rid of the daft suit.

    We are the worst in the league. After 6 games, the rumours of 4 and 5 games in become the truth, the real deal, which may be uncomfortable.Johnson remains consistently shocking and isn’t worth his place. That was as true 12 months ago as it was today, If we had paid 10M for Cabral he would be playing every week. TIme to get him out of the team. He’s just a more expensive version of McClean with the experience to mask how poor he really is. Can’t take a corner, produce a decent cross and the odds on him scoring are lengthening with every kick. Bally might was well start with Mavrias and the Swedish kid.

    On a positive note I though that Westwood was superb today and a great replacement for Mignolet.

    • Are you coming round Jeremy to keeping Bally at least till the end of the season or the end of the year? He’s not had much time to work on set pieces etc but why would he be any worse at it than anyone else? As Louise Taylor said, no-one’s got more coaching badges than he has. Why do we have to go for some big name foreign manager? At the moment, the priority is to meld these players into a team and generate a good atmosphere in the dressing room (sorry about the cliche). Then again, I know nothing about football. I suppose I just think he’s a good bloke and that’s what the team needs at the moment.

  4. This is all a bit fatalistic. There’s only 6 games gone.
    But at the same time, I too am worried. We need URGENTLY to get someone in who can drill the players at set pieces. We’ve leaked too many soft goals from them. Westwood needs to improve pretty soon in commanding his box.

    Ki and Catts make a pretty good central two midfield IMO. Johnson is just not firing. Perhaps Larsson out there might do a better job? Celustka at RB in place of Gardner for me.

    There is a danger of being cut adrift and that brings a “Mount Doom” mentality with a fragile “we’re the worst in the league” mentality.

    The sad thing is: I can’t see a manager out there and available who can save us.

    • I was watching Westwood’s body language on the few occasions play was down the other end in the first half.Crouching down , looking to the heavens, the man is in mental turmoil and needs a break.Put Mannone in the fireing line for Man Utd.

  5. Gritty, determined effort from our players today, Spirited and admirable in so many ways. You might say that the team displayed the same qualities and attributes of the caretaker coach. Good, that Bally could instill that.

    Not good enough.Not Bally’s fault. Poor defensive display; also not Bally’s fault. There may be enough to get us out of the mire before we lose touch with the rest of the also rans, but a couple of wins need to be delivered really soon. Otherwise we will be cut adrift. I’m not convinced that any of this was really Paolo’s fault either.

    PDC was landed with a most peculiar bunch of new signings, some of whom he clearly didn’t want. There obviously wasn’t much choice. The man responsible for the summer signings is anonymous to the extent that should be choose to walk into The Wheatsheaf at 2 o’clock on a Saturday the chances are that nobody would recognise him. Anonymity and a lack of day to day involvement are close cousins of lack of accountability and lack of commitment. Keane was sacked for a whole lot less a few years ago.

    My conclusion is that there probably isn’t anyone available or with sufficient self destructive urges who can save us from the drop even at this point in the season. If Fletcher comes back early and ready to go then we have a chance but that’s it. There aren’t any other possible saviours in this rank of players.

    Give the job to Bally and accept that we may be doomed. Prepare to come back stronger from a season in the Championship because hoping realistically for anything better is whistling in the wind.

    • Using a business model to ‘source’ players, in the same way that you might ‘source’ parts to build cars does seem a bit odd. Leaves little room for a manager’s instinct to go after the players he ‘fancies’.

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