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Match thread: Fleetwood, away
at 08:33 19 Aug 2018

Safe to say we got away with one yesterday, but I'd have taken a point before the game and you can't beat a last minute equaliser (I almost typed 'winner' because that's how it felt). It was especially nice to do it against a side that became cynical and nasty once they had taken the lead for the second time. Fleetwood looked well capable of playing good football and if they had stuck to that rather than time-wasting we would have been comfortably beaten, so serves them right. Yes, it is all part of the game, but that doesn't mean that the paying fan has to like it, so it's nice when it is punished in the best possible way.

Hill will forever be in positive equity at Rochdale Football Club, but at times within matches he doesn't half put that to the test! The most bizarre decision yesterday was moving Rathbone to right wing back. He and Henderson had just combined for our best piece of play of the half to set up the penalty incident and to get us back in the game, and then, before Fleetwood had even restarted play, Rathbone was moved out of a position where he had been one of our better players and had just, in effect, set up the equaliser. It seemed we got a result yesterday despite Hill's changes and not because of them. It will be interesting to see if he sticks with this system despite, so far, clearly being unable to find the right sized pegs to fit the holes.

Getting a draw yesterday could be hugely important. We've got two games against unbeaten sides coming up and there aren't too many positives to take from the last two games other than a last minute equaliser which is huge for moral and confidence. Always nice to keep the scoreboard ticking over no matter how it happens. The biggest worry at the moment is that we seem to find it very easy to concede goals even when we're not under all that much pressure, while we have to work very hard at the other end to create very little. It's much easier to solve problems at one end of the pitch than it is to solve problems at both. Still plenty of time to solve the issues, but they do need solving. Over to you, Keith!
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Match thread: Grimsby, League Cup
at 22:55 14 Aug 2018

On paper McNulty might not be individually better than any of those three, but I think we defend better with him in the side. The three goals we conceded in the first half on Saturday all came from collectively soft defending; no one individual to blame but a team weakness. McNulty might not be able to knock a nice pass 50 yards, and he makes some glaring errors that are easy to criticise, but he can defend basic situations. It might be a complete coincidence, McNulty might have nothing to do with it, but when you find that you somehow concede fewer goals with a certain player in your backline then it's worth sticking with him. Purely on the basis that we've won two out of two and only conceded once with him the side I'd start him on Saturday. It might not work, but in August you can afford to find out what works and what doesn't, and we certainly can't afford to defend like we did against Peterborough and ever expect to get away with it.
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Macclesfield friendly
at 10:51 10 Aug 2018

The single most relevant post to have been written on the subject. Dale fans come from all walks of life. The only thing that unites us is the football club and such chants can serve no other purpose than to destroy that unity. The country (and Rochdale itself) has a myriad of economic, social and political issues. Saturday at 3pm is a chance for everyone to escape those issues rather than extenuate them.
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Cem cliquers
at 20:19 7 Aug 2018

Can I bring my tenner for my exiles membership to the Cem on Saturday, receive my membership card, and then take my membership card to the bar? This would strike me as particularly efficient Trust streamlining of its services, and would be commended by its members, I would have thought.
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First manager goes
at 10:08 7 Aug 2018

They're favourites for relegation but I don't think they'll sack Adkins no matter what happens. Their owner wants to sell so they have invested next to nothing in the squad because they don't want to drive up the price of the club. They already can't find a buyer at the current asking price. Doubt they will want the added hassle of paying off Adkins' contract and finding a replacement. They are in a right state but Adkins kept them up last year and the fans and chairman know that Hull face an uphill battle this year. They're in that half of the Championship where they will be judged on their results against the likes of Rotherham, rather than Villa, who had far too much class for them to handle. Expect them in League One next year unless they can find a buyer sharpish.
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Quest EFL highlights
at 12:43 6 Aug 2018

It's worse that they couldn't even be bothered to find out how many days it had been since the World Cup! ;-)
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Dale fan abroad: Burton reflections
at 12:15 6 Aug 2018

Thanks EllDale.

I used a bit of artistic license with the 'pensioners' since M.J was with us last season. Sorry if that was unclear. M.J is certainly a whippersnapper in comparison to Perkins and Wilbraham!
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Blog: a Dale fan abroad
at 09:07 31 Jul 2018

Regards passed on and reciprocated.

Bobbyjoe remains an enigma (although that might be giving him too much credit!), but he might have more to say after I drag him along to the Barnsley game when I'm back home next month.
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Blog: a Dale fan abroad
at 20:57 30 Jul 2018

Thanks for the kind words everyone, and great to hear from other Dale fans in a similar position around the world. I'm hoping to keep up with the blog throughout the season as long as life doesn't get too much in the way.

I don't imagine the old town of Salzburg has changed much at all since you were here; it's still very recognisable from the Sound of Music! We also enjoy Vienna; me for the history, the Mrs for the shops! The last time I was there was to run the Vienna Marathon, so there are now parts of the city that I don't have quite such fond memories of!
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Match thread: MKDons a
at 15:07 16 Sep 2017

After watching our first five games on ifollow, I didn't watch the game on Tuesday night, so I'm taking one for the team today and not watching again. You're welcome.
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Never moan about Dale again
at 20:55 4 Sep 2017

The "neutral" ITV commentary team made nothing of it, Hoddle in particular trying to emphasize that he did well to get back, but Walker should have been sent off for a blatant trip on the last man right on half time; it was Keith Keane-esque!
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Match thread: Southend A
at 12:43 3 Sep 2017

In making any tackle, if a player 'jumps' into it with both feet off the ground (regardless of whether the feet are together or not) it gives any official the option of a red card. What happens after the tackler has left the ground in relation to the ball or his opponent is almost immaterial in that decision making process. At best, considering the modern game and officiating standards, it is poor tackling technique and it should be coached out of players or run the risk of further red cards.
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Opinions
at 21:51 2 Sep 2017

Damn, so close, I like to think that I'm not that old...
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Match thread: Southend A
at 21:43 2 Sep 2017

I didn't think I had a "hate Hendo agenda" (provided us with some truly wonderful moments and no doubt will again this season) but I must have, because you just can't tackle like that.
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Opinions
at 20:51 2 Sep 2017

It's.

Now how do I block you?
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Match thread: Southend A
at 17:35 2 Sep 2017

I hope the author of the ridiculous post about Moore's credentials after just one game a) watched today's game and b) has the courage to admit, minimally, that he leapt to a very hasty conclusion, even if he felt it was a valid one. Equally, Moore's performance today doesn't make him a world beater but a penalty save and consistently excellent handling of everything that came his way more than made for his poor distribution. The fact that the only challenging save he had to make came from the penalty spot is also tribute to the ten in front of him, including traditional boo boys canavan and mcnulty, who were as solid as anyone else. We wouldn't have scored if we'd been given 24 hours to do so, but that's something to address another day. I'd have taken a point before kick off, and to get one now, under the circumstances, is a big step in the right direction and I think it showed in Hill's reaction at the final whistle in front of the hardy band of travelling supporters.
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Match thread: Southend A
at 16:15 2 Sep 2017

Shocker, jumped in two footed studs up over the ball. Never in doubt as soon as the referee went over to consult the linesman.
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Beware of RAFC
at 19:36 29 Aug 2017

Have to say, just to offer a balanced response on the subject, I have watched all four games so far without issue. I did not sign up for the full season as I feared the sort of issues ellgazzell has faced, but having paid for each game individually I haven't had to do anything other than occasionally refresh the webpage during the game, and then I usually stop the feed at half time to give it a "break". It's fairly primitive coverage but for international supporters to go from nothing to this is a big step. The only reasons I might not now sign up for the whole season are footballing ones!
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Stoke v Dale team news
at 21:32 24 Aug 2017

Not got thyme...
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Stoke v Dale team news
at 09:56 24 Aug 2017

100% agreed with the 'play to our strengths' comment. It's that line of thought that gives me concerns about our use of the so-called defensive midfield player. I think that role is detracting from our attacking strengths, and indeed invites the opposition to exploit our defensive weaknesses. It sounds logical to try to protect a suspect backline but it's doing more harm than good. A team that can't defend shouldn't try to play a defensive game as the inevitable will almost certainly happen, especially considering we need to score at least two goals at the moment to get a win.

Losing Mendez-Laing is almost as big a factor in our slow start as our defensive woes, in my opinion. Any League One side who loses an attacking player who is clearly Championship standard is going to lose a lot of attacking impetus, especially while we get used to playing without him and finding an attacking system that works without him in it. This is especially true of a side on our budget, who has to develop young players and rough diamonds throughout the course of a season, as Hill has always done with great success. Logically however this lends itself to starting seasons off slowly. The same could be said for Lund, to a lesser extent, who has also gone on to Championship football. We certainly still have the quality in the squad that makes me believe we will only ever be a game or two away from getting it right and obviously we all hope that it comes right on Saturday in what has already become a very big game (more so than usual) for both sides so early in the season.
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