Skip Navigation Links
Skip Navigation Links
Quick Links


One Man Team?
Izale By: Eric Hitchmo 18/12/2011
Cheltenham Town H
16/12/2011   (Click date for match details)
League 2011-2012
D  2- 2
Attendance: 1775  (220 Away)
More On Cheltenham Town

"It seems like much of the week was almost exclusively dedicated to what was going on with Underhill, so much so that we almost forgot that we had another evening of Friday night football to look forward to. A nippy evening ensured that a handsome crowd would be unlikely and that proved to be so with just under 1,800 in attendance including 200+ from Cheltenham. After a 2-2 draw, there is another thing that worries me about our future - obviously that thing is Izale McLeod.

He is so, so good isn't he? It is clearly obvious that the guy could be doing better than Barnet FC. He is proving his fitness, and he is proving once again that he is an outstanding League Two striker. We shouldn't be surprised if, in January, he moves on, or more likely in the summer when his contract is up. For this season's sake, I hope it's the summer, though we would be missing out on a justifiably hefty transfer fee. Goals are not in abundant elsewhere in the side right now, McLeod has scored six of our last seven goals in all competitions, so goals drying up would be something of a concern.

Another thing to worry about in January is the status of the three defenders on loan, who I believe are all due to leave on January 2. It's no coincidence that since we bought them in, the performance of the team in general has improved significantly. Results have also seen an upturn. You would surely assume that we would be looking to increase their loan deals, hopefully until the end of the season. We can then see them on their way back to their respective clubs and on to the bright futures that they all have in the game.

Back to McLeod though, after his eighth brace for the club (including the hat-trick at Gillingham) he yet again demonstrated his worth. Both goals were so typical of his ability. The first, being in the right place at the right time to delicately poke home a Sam Deering centre, levelled affairs after a bit of slack defending from a set-piece saw us trailing. It was a great header from the Cheltenham man though. The second was all his own work, a driving run was halted in the area and he got up to calmly slot the penalty home. I'd like to work out just how many penalties Izale has won for us, because he is just so good at it. It was yet another that was obviously coming the moment he got into the box. Make no mistake, this is not diving, this is some very clever forward play, buying penalties out of helpless defenders. The stats say he scores at the quickest rate, both in terms of time and appearances (though pre-1997 is as yet uncovered), and has scored more league goals in a calendar year (25) than even Giuliano Grazioli ever did. Surely it is only a matter of time before big clubs come sniffing, if they're not already.

Let's be realistic, if McLeod does leave, can you blame him for wanting better than a League Two relegation battle? When the inevitable does happen, we should be appreciative, because without his goals we could well be a Non League club again.

With Steve Kabba seemingly out for the remainder of the season, our reliance could well fall on Ricky Holmes, returning to fitness as injury curtailed some excellent form. It will also be up to the midfield to start chipping in too. Marshall has three goals, Byrne and Kamdjo have two, Hughes and Deering have one each. We'll be needing a little bit more from the rest of our team if we want this upturn in fortunes is to continue. McLeod has provided nearly half of all competitive goals this season.

The performance of the midfield is not really in question here, just the number of goals. In particular, Sam Deering is looking very useful and Clovis Kamdjo is looking like an ever increasing rock in his new role in the centre of the park. Kamdjo picked up his fifth booking of the season on Friday, meaning he will miss his first minute of football this campaign at Dagenham on Boxing Day. Unfortunate, as had he left it until Dagenham, the suspension threshold would have increased to ten yellows (thank you Twitter for that one). It's an important game, as a win would take us nine points clear of the Daggers whose form at present is absolutely horrible, although they did halt their run of defeats with an impressive point at Burton Albion this weekend. With things as they are at present however, we feel we can approach each game with some confidence and belief that we can take the points. That's something that was certainly not prevalent in the beginning stages of the season.

There is reason to be optimistic on the field, but as I have suggested above, my feeling is that is largely down to the continuing presence of Izale McLeod. Hopefully we'll be pulling out all the stops to try and keep him for as long as possible."

Back To Article List

Got something to say? Agree or disagree? Maybe you can write your own? Head to The Mailbox post haste!

All Articles By This Author:

13/02/2022 The View From Afar
19/04/2013 Underhill
03/04/2013 Away
02/02/2013 Questions
21/12/2012 Miserable
07/11/2012 Corner
21/10/2012 Win
15/10/2012 Burst
08/10/2012 Glimmer
04/10/2012 Same

Other Articles By Category

  All materials on this site copyright Downhill Second Half and its individual authors. Content may not be reproduced without prior written permission. Special thanks to Chris Holland for use of photography and John Snow, John Erroll and Tony Hammond for statistical compilation.

A huge thank you also to Rob Cavallini whose Barnet history books set the basis for our journey to complete all statistics back to the start of Barnet FC.

Club crests, player images, and company logos are the property of their respective owners. They are included in this website for reference purposes only./span>