New boy shines as Millwall endure stuttering start to Lomas era

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The optimism, the hope, the expectation. It only lasts about 90 minutes of the opening day for most…

Saturday’s last minute defeat to newly promoted Yeovil Town is of course not the best start to the season, but some fans are overreacting massively to the first game.

The game was not only Steve Lomas’ first competitive game in charge, but realistically no team wants to play a newly promoted side on the first game of the season. They are usually still on a high and have a winning mentality still, there an unknown package in this league.

Look when ‘Wall went to Bristol City first game they were promoted – they went and won 3-0 at Ashton Gate.

Lomas is a novice in management in English football, and he made a couple of mistakes with his line-up. Why start Richard Chaplow, an experienced, competent Championship midfielder on the wing, and play Jimmy Abdou and Josh Wright in the centre?

Wright is a midfielder who can’t tackle, but can’t pass a ball forward, there’s a myth that he’s a “passing midfielder”. On the other hand all Millwall supporters love Jimmy, but he can only do one thing and that’s to defend.

In reality, Nicky Bailey and Richard Chaplow should be our centre midfield pair. A half fit Bailey came on in the second half against Yeovil and was the best player on the pitch, that may show you how good Bailey is, but most likely shows how bad Wright and Jimmy were together.

And Danny Shittu, the man-mountain and hero of last season, looks even slower than last year, it may have been only one game but he looks like he has the turning pace of a cruise liner. Robbo might be a better option this year no fully fit.

Of course it’s not the best start to have to the season, but give the new signings time to gel into the team, we have decent players here now, we just need time for the jigsaw pieces all to fit.

Lomas picked up his first win as manager on Tuesday night after goals from Martyn Woolford and Andy Keogh secured a 2-1 win against AFC Wimbledon in the Capital One Cup. Lomas made seven changes to his team against Yeovil, it seems he stuck to his word after declaring he will give all players a chance.

It also gave the chance for players to shine, Nicky Bailey certainly took up the chance, his second man of the match performance in four days. He seems to be one of the only midfielders we have who seems comfortable on the ball, and seems to know what he’s going to do with the ball before he receives it.

On a free transfer he seems to be a great signing, and hopefully he’ll be paired with Richard Chaplow in centre midfield. Can be a devastating partnership at this level.