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What do you think of it so far? Half time report
chunkyinargyll (IP Logged)
28 June, 2018 07:05
Exactly half way through the season. April, May and June gone, with July, August and September still to come. Royal London over and done with, half way through our championship matches with 67 points from 7 matches, and the T20 starts next week. Traditionally, our poorest format, but that is all that is left.

Averages (scroll down for championship)-


Time to keep calm, or time to panic?

Re: What do you think of it so far? Half time report
BarmierKev (IP Logged)
28 June, 2018 08:45
I am immensely disappointed. The only positives are the 2s

Barmy Kev
I'm only here for the tele

Re: What do you think of it so far? Half time report
BREARS (IP Logged)
28 June, 2018 09:12
Less than 2 years ago, we won the title without losing a game. We were ruthless, efficient and dogged, apart from being incredibly talented. Now we are a rabble, disjointed, weak and easy to play against. Recruitment since 2016 has been abysmal, heads have to roll, Scott sounds increasingly weak and desparate in every interview. Time for change

Re: What do you think of it so far? Half time report
28 June, 2018 09:36
When we won the championship the whole was greater than the sum of the parts. A lot of it was down to teamwork. You simply cannot say that any more.
Our recruitment policy has been poor. We foolishly assumed that we had plenty of pace bowlers, forgetting that a number have been serial sicknotes.

Must try harder.

Re: What do you think of it so far? Half time report
Sussex Seaxe (IP Logged)
28 June, 2018 09:55
I too have been very disappointed to the extent that Mrs Seaxe has been heard to ask whether I have lost interest. I must confess, to some extent, I have.

This is not entirely down to Middlesex - I have watched for years through good times and Shaun Udal's captaincy (joke). The game seems to have, at one level, lost balance between bat and ball, but then we are dismissed appallingly twice against Kent. The focus all seems to be on white ball and hitting every ball for six and many nuances of the game have diminished.

I hate saying this because I never want to be a grumpy old git, but I am looking for a distinct improvement.

Re: What do you think of it so far? Half time report
BeefyRoberts (IP Logged)
28 June, 2018 11:13
Report Mark for me would be a C- and,as others above...Must try harder or see the head at end of term.
2nds have been a shining light,offering hope for future,if any get selected on the 'Giving Youth a Chance',or 'Promoting Youth' project.

From the glowing,happy faces of 2016 to the downbeat faces this year when going to games hurts us all.

Re: What do you think of it so far? Half time report
Jack Hearne (IP Logged)
28 June, 2018 12:11
Despite occasional highlights, we have been disappointing on the whole. I would like to see the issues addressed and resolved as soon as possible.

I am not offering personal criticism but standards need to be raised. Chunky has reminded us with his averages links how it currently looks.

Re: What do you think of it so far? Half time report
Jonathan Winsky (IP Logged)
28 June, 2018 20:37
Middlesex’s season so far has been a disappointment.

In the County Championship, we have performed worse in division two than we did last season in division one. I was rather hopeful that some of our players would be keen to make up for last season and would feel they had a point to prove, perhaps making it seem like an anomaly that we find ourselves in division two. After all, if either Arrowgate hadn’t happened or we gained two more bonus points last season, we would have had the same amount of points as 4th-placed Yorkshire and been within an extra win of getting close to 3rd-placed Surrey, which would have represented a decent title defence. However, the way we have played this season means that we can hardly complain about where we now find ourselves. We are currently 45 points shy of 2nd-placed Kent, which isn’t insurmountable with half our matches to play, although to get promoted, we will have to play a lot better and record at least four more wins, although I would like us to record six or seven more wins to give ourselves some breathing space.

It would be nice if I could console myself by saying that at least a few youngsters likely to be at the club for the next decade have got a few Championship appearances under their belt this season, but I can’t really say that, as although Max Holden has played made six appearances and Tom Helm has played four, we haven’t given a run in the side to anyone like George Scott, Robbie White, Martin Andersson or Tom Barber. Then again, Barber probably needs to gain more control of the ball before he merits a run in the side.

In the Royal London Cup, we were our typical selves, wining half of our matches and losing half. Hopefully the ideas of Daniel Vettori and the presence of Ashton Agar and Dwayne Bravo can enable our Twenty20 campaign to go at least one better than our RLC campaign and see us reach the knockout stages. If we do the unthinkable and mark the 10-year anniversary of our 2008 title by winning in 2018, then our trophy cabinet would suggest that it was actually a successful season for the club, although if it isn’t coupled with Championship promotion (or at least an upturn in our performances in the second half of the season), then I am sure our supporters would let our management know about it.

Re: What do you think of it so far? Half time report
chunkyinargyll (IP Logged)
29 June, 2018 07:47
I know people say the coach can't go out there and score the runs, and take the wickets himself, but there again, the conductor of an orchestra doesn't play a musical instrument, but he must do something useful, as they all have one.

People do take their lead from the boss. Remember when we were dreadful (rather than just not very good) at T20. That was because all the messages at the time was the one and only thing that mattered was the championship. So, when the bosses were sending out the message that T20 wasn't the main focus, we got performances to match, because the players knew nothing much would happen if they lost, because the boss wasn't that bothered.

We now have the 'rebuilding' message (leaving out Compton to give youth a chance). That is almost saying 'We won't always pick the best possible side' which isn't a great message if you are trying to get promoted. A controversial thing to do. Maybe some players agree with it, and maybe some don't, and maybe some might be thinking, 'That could be me next year', but you have created a situation that could easily divide opinions in the dressing room. Not great for unity.

I actually have sympathy over letting Higgins and Podmore go. At the end of 2016 Higgins still hadn't done a huge amount, so we were right not to offer him a contract extension at that point. That meant he was out of contract at the end of 2017, and he had a good T20 campaign (but still failed to make a maiden championship 50). I reckon Gloucestershire offered Higgins a capped players salary to get his signature (plus a guarantee- something you should never give- of a regular first team place). It would have been wrong of us to match that, because a capped players salary should be earned, and not given to you on the basis of what you might do in the future. Warwickshire has offered Leicestershire's Zak Chappell 80k a year, which again, can only be based on what he might do in the future, rather than what he has actually done.

The irony is that if he had stayed, Higgins probably would have played every game for us, but no one could have guaranteed that last September (because he didn't have a championship 50 to his name)

Podmore similar, although if he was still with us I reckon he would still have been behind Barber and Fuller, but he would probably have got some first team action if he had stayed with us.

Anyway, if management keep giving out negative messages (conditions were against us, need to rebuild, injuries, England call ups) then it is like giving the players ready made excuses when they lose, which is why all the enthusiasm and intensity seems to have gone.

Re: What do you think of it so far? Half time report
Seaxe_Man (IP Logged)
29 June, 2018 14:25
Gloucestershire operate on a small budget, so doubt Higgo went for money. Morelike game time which he has got, plus his performances leave Glaws with little to regret.

Harry P. A similar story. Kent have to be pleased. Young players (now) in all sports don't want to spend a career shining their pants on the bench for a few quid more.

Careers being finite.

So, a watchful eye needs to be kept on the senior players fitness and longevity. The word I think is rotation. Injuries as with Steve Finn eventually force the issue anyway.

I would say so far, my mark as a form master would be D for the players, E- for the hierarchy.

Re: What do you think of it so far? Half time report
MB (IP Logged)
30 June, 2018 08:47
Agree wholeheartedly with Chunky s comments & Seaxe's grading

Re: What do you think of it so far? Half time report
Primrose Hillbilly (IP Logged)
30 June, 2018 12:23
Apologies, for starting a separate thread that also tries to address this issue.

I think the players' morale, collectively and individually is shot, particularly in the 4 day squad, as they probably believe their days as professional sportsmen to be numbered.

I got a vibe off them earlier in the season that I thought of writing to the top table about.

That this the 4 Day game is the format of cricket by which I believe many on here set most store is no compensation.

The only thing I can suggest is that the only people who can determine their destiny are the players themselves.

What would Steve Waugh do and say ?

If they are concerned that they may soon lose their job, then the only person who can do anything about it looks at them in the mirror.

Management can deliver a boot up the jacksie, and remind the incumbent that he is only as good as his last game and there are others who want their chance, but ultimately, it is down to the player.

If they are all worried about losing their jobs, they are currently going the right way about it.

Agree with Seaxe Man's gradings.

Re: What do you think of it so far? Half time report
chunkyinargyll (IP Logged)
30 June, 2018 13:47
PH- I was thinking the problem might be the other way around.

Complacency, borne out of knowing their jobs are safe. Most signed contract extensions in the winter, and the only two who are bound to be gone are Compton and Franklin. Murtagh is certainly playing like someone who wants a new deal, and he can't be critisised for his efforts. Ravi Patel and James Fuller are the only two from the last game who might be a bit worried about their future, and I wouldn't accuse either of them of not trying their best.

Collectively though, they have taken their foot off the accelerator.

I've no idea if Scott's dressing room talks are as motivational as his post match interviews, but if he needs a new job he'd be ideal for reading 'A book at bedtime' on radio 4, because there's never any 'get up and go' in his interviews, just a resigned acceptance that things aren't going very well. And that lack of enthusiasm could well translate to the general downbeat attitude we seem to have on the field.

Re: What do you think of it so far? Half time report
Primrose Hillbilly (IP Logged)
30 June, 2018 17:47
Gus made a point of saying that when he came in, there were a few players around then who thought they were doing the club a favour, and they were moved on sharp'ish.

Either, Gus has lost his bite, or he's leaving it to Scott - if so, he needs to step in and take action and get his hand firmly back on the tiller, or ...........?

I'm thinking of seeing what odds I can get on us losing all group T20 games. - No conflict for me, because I despise the format.

I shall investigate and report back.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 30/06/2018 17:48 by Primrose Hillbilly.

Re: What do you think of it so far? Half time report
adelaide (IP Logged)
30 June, 2018 20:44

Are you suggesting that they think their days are numbered because of the Hundred and other developments in the game? Unless that threat posts a particularly severe existential threat to MCCC (which it might given our position as tenants at Lord's), wouldn't it affect players at all counties?


Re: What do you think of it so far? Half time report
Darren Gosling (IP Logged)
30 June, 2018 21:10
But for the unlikely run chase at Leicestershire we would actually be 4pts off the bottom of Div 2. I don't know how bad it has to get before Scott goes.
We've gone backwards in white ball cricket ever since he arrived - our T20 success under Toby Radford was built around two spinners who strangled the life out of the middle of the oppo's innings.
Scott has been too reluctant to play even one spinner at times (certainly in the Championship). I too like many others have lost interest in the first XI and are taking more pleasure from following the 2nd XI - that says it all really but I don't expect the hierarchy to do anything about it - not this calendar year anyway.
To see Berg & Podmore playing in a white ball Final at Lords only rubs salt in the wounds...
well done by the way Gareth - when Gus let you go he said he would hope to see you play at Lords again one day, well he just did and he saw you pick up a winners medal - not at all bad for a guy Middlesex deemed finishes 4 years ago. But then again Gus has questioned us supporters cricketing knowledge (at a Forum last season) and in this year's Middlesex Matters says we like nothing better than moaning - so what do we know anyway and what do the hierarchy care.....

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