Mellon’s men beat the Gers on his return to Prenton Park.
Tranmere Rovers v Rangers – Match report
Saturday 10th July 2021
Pre season Friendly @PrentonPark
It was great to be back at Prenton Park, for the first time since we lost against Morecambe in the Play-offs with interim gaffers Ian Dawes and Andy Parkinson in the dugout. The sun was shining, the pitch looked great and is a true credit to the hard work that the groundsmen have put in over the course of the summer and there was a decent atmosphere created by the many CH and L postcode havers and the Gers fans that sneaked in somehow.
Rovers ran out eventual winners 1-0 and there were so many positives that you could take from the ninety minutes that was played out on the Wirral, from a Tranmere perspective. The whites were deserved winners, defending and attacking as a pack when needed and the performance epitomised exactly what I have been describing as the sense of unity that I believe Micky Mellon has brought back to a club that looked to be in relative disarray under the managerial leadership of Mike Jackson and Keith Hill.
I know it was a friendly and thus it’s quite unfair to heavily criticise any team or player, especially one which has just won the league for the first time in a decade. However, I thought that Tranmere’s opposition would have performed better than they did and it came across in Mellon’s post-match interview that he went into the game with the same mindset that I did. ‘I was a bit scared about the quality of opposition we were up against because it’s our first game back, we had to do something that I didn’t really want to do and gave some players more gametime than I wanted’. Goalkeeper Joe Murphy played the full game and that was subject for discussion, youth players such as Max Fisher coming on with five minutes remaining. Steven Gerrard’s men looked promising at times but lacked the clinical edge to their performance that saw them win the league last season, James Tavernier being one man that impressed me today simply due to his ability of trapping and crossing the ball.
So other than the sense of unity, why am I greatly pleased with a win against the side who I thought would’ve played better than they actually did? At the end of last season, I put a piece out in which I said that I wanted some players to leave the club as they hadn’t shown their true potential. I said that I’d refrain from naming any of those names who I thought hadn’t reached the levels that I thought they could’ve but after watching today’s game I want to praise the club and praise the man himself for the improvements that I believe he’s made in his game. In truth, the ability was there and always has been.
Liam Feeney is a prime example. The forward put a beautiful ball into the pathway of what I believe was a trialist, I may be wrong as it’s somewhat difficult to tell who new players are when they haven’t got their names on the back of their shirt. He tracked every ball down, helping and communicating with the recently turned pro Elliott Nevitt and he put in two spectacular crosses which landed on the heads of Peter Clarke and Nat Knight-Percival.
In my honest viewpoint, I think this season is one in which will test a few of the lads that have something to prove such as the man above. I thought it would’ve been a mistake to keep him on for an extra year but like I’m usually done, I was proved wrong. If he can keep showing the same attacking and leadership capabilities he may even stake a claim for player of the season.
Elsewhere, I thought plenty of our new recruits showed what they can bring to the team ahead and throughout the new campaign. Jermaine Defoe will tonight be emptied out of the pockets of Tom Davies, Knight-Percival made many clearances but none were as great as his on the line block, Josh Cogley put in an exceptional performance in and it showed exactly what a naturally gifted right back can do. Genuinely I was pleased with so many of the players as the workrate that was lacking last season shone, there is still more to be added in terms of signings etc but Micky knows that more than anyone and has in the post-match interview that he is in regular conversations and working hard with owner Mark Palios to do so.
The club and the team are in great hands, the talent and chemistry is there and will improve .. starting with five days away somewhere where they will gel together strongly ahead of pre-season fixtures against Warrington and Stalybridge Celtic. Jay Spearing, for one, is looking forward to the next week as he stated in his personal media duties with the press.
I’ll be keeping you up to date with the latest Tranmere related interviews, articles, ‘meeting the opposition features’ and news ahead of the new campaign on ‘www.Ethan Hoijord.com’. There is a lot to look forward to and the excitement, just like the team’s chemistry, is certainly growing.