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Gills endure tough start to season
Gills endure tough start to season

Looking back after a difficult start to the season for The Gills, we assess the squad and what’s gone right and more importantly wrong.

After the summer transfer window slammed shut on September 1st, the Gills brought in 15 players to bolster the squad following relegation from League One. 

Gaffer Neil Harris described the window as “horrendous” to the media, also saying: “It has been a tough four months, I have to be honest, not just for me, for the football club, to re-jig a whole club and a squad, but in many ways I am delighted. I can get on now with the group we have got.”

Now we have had a good look at the squad we have on offer for this season, I will grade each part of the pitch from the goalkeepers to the attack based on quality, depth and what we’ve seen on the pitch so far.


After Aaron Chapman was released and Pontus Dahlberg’s loan ended, Gills needed two new goalkeepers. Free agent Jake Turner was signed by Gillingham after being released by Newcastle United. The 23-year-old had loan spells at Morecambe and Colchester United during his time on Tyneside. Glenn Morris was also signed by the Gills, on loan from Crawley Town for a second spell in Kent. Now at the age of 38, ‘the Cat’ won Player of the Year four times after joining the Red Devils from Gillingham in 2016.

I feel that we have two very solid keepers for the level, with both stop-stoppers making their claims to be number one. Glenn Morris has made some vital saves in league play, while Jake Turner has been one of the heroes in the Carabao Cup.

Grade: A


After conceding a total of 69 goals last campaign, including scorelines of 4-0, 4-1, 5-1, and 7-2, Gills needed a strong defence going into the new campaign. New faces Will Wright, Elkan Baggott, Cheye Alexander, Ryan Law and Haji Mnoga arrived in ME7, along with Robbie McKenzie coming back to the club. Max Ehmer and Dave Tutonda both remained in Kent.

It is a very inexperienced back line, with the average age being 24; Haji Mnoga’s debut dismissal against Swindon Town shows what can happen when you have inexperienced players. A big reason why we conceded so many goals last season was down to individual errors, something the players have to get out of their system. I have seen some good stuff from the likes of Baggott, Wright, Law and Tutonda this year, so there’s no doubt that these players can improve throughout the season. The clean sheet against Swindon shows that, as a team, we can defend.

Grade: C


Contrary to the defence, we have a very experienced midfield. Veterans such as Stuart O’Keefe, Shaun Williams, Olly Lee, Alex MacDonald and Ben Reeves are among the names in midfield. Depth-wise, we have a lot of options in the centre of the park.

Overall, I think our general play in midfield has been decent this season. Hopefully, we can see more of Dom Jefferies soon to get some youthfulness in the centre.

Grade: B


Unfortunately, I can only go off what we’ve seen and not what we hope to see. Two league goals in nine games, the lowest in the EFL, is not good enough at all; they have created chances but rarely troubled the opposition keeper. Gills have missed seven big chances in total this season, which really sums it up. 

On paper, we do have some good names, but not enough. Neil Harris missed out on a striker on deadline day, meaning we only have Mikael Mandron and Lewis Walker as our out-and-out strikers. You can put some of it down to luck, Mika was very unlucky not to get a hat-trick away at Grimsby, but there just seems to be a lack of confidence going forward.  

Grade: D

Picture supplied by Gillingham Football Club.