Early in the season it could be argued none of Carlisle’s squad have been alarmingly out of form, or indeed setting the world alight.
Nonetheless, in what is a much more threadbare squad to previous seasons, weaknesses in some areas show vividly in Carlisle’s performances.
Arguably, John Sheridan has a very pragmatic approach and is doing well so far considering the little time he had to muster a squad together. Despite this, he is going to have to take his time to win over many fans with little interest still present at Brunton Park come a Saturday afternoon.
In a mixed, but commendable, start to the season here are my picks for some five star and low par performers in the Carlisle ranks:
MACAULEY GILLESPHEY – LOW PAR
Young defender Gillesphey returned to Brunton Park this summmer, signing from Newcastle after a previous loan spell two seasons ago.
Ever since Gillesphey has had to ply his trade in Newcastle’s academy and under 21 teams, becoming a very important figure.
However, this in most cases isn’t the best way to learn for those wanting to progress into the professional league game and Macauley has took a massive step in leaving boyhood Newcastle.
He has taken cautious steps into senior football, though Carlisle fans will hope he can make big strides soon with promise showed in his previous loan spell.
With Danny Grainger likely to come back into the team after injury, Gillesphey looks destined to be back on the bench and needs to up his game to challenge for a starting birth.
JAMIE DEVITT- FIVE STAR
Despite a frustrating weekend for Devitt, missing a match changing penalty against Tranmere, the attacking midfielder is arguably Carlisle’s new star man and linchpin to their success.
The Irishman had a slow start when arriving from Morecambe, though late last season and at the start of this he has stepped up to the plate.
Carlisle lost star man Nicky Adams in the summer and have lost midfielder Mike Jones to injury so without Devitt there is very little attacking spark.
The team have, nevertheless, coped so far and adding goals to his game has been key with some early season crackers.
Fans will hope his form will continue, as if if he isn’t on his game, in my eyes neither will the whole team on most occasions.
RICHIE BENNETT- LOW PAR
The big man upfront certainly splits opinion of many occasions.
The figures suggest a promising start to the season for the striker; 3 goals making him Carlisle’s top scorer.
The bigger picture, contrastingly, suggests weaker stats with a less than 1 in 5 ratio for his time at Brunton Park.
Maybe a low par rating is harsh but in terms of his overall contribution, sometimes he doesn’t help Carlisle’s cause.
Saturday’s defeat at the hands of Tranmere rang true to this, with his lack of control aswell as an inability to hold the ball up.
This, all in all, also had a degrading effect on his strike partner Ashley Nadesan who ran tirelessly without much joy.
KELVIN ETUHU- FIVE STAR
This could probably also be called the most improved award, as Etuhu has cemented his place as a rock in the centre of midfield.
Chances came few and far between last season for the experienced signing. This season, however, he has made himself done of the first names on the team-sheet with many solid performances, despite the injured Mike Jones being out the team.
A strong midfield seems to be the foundations now for Carlisle, despite that being an area of worry in the summer and hopefully Etuhu and Devitt can continue this trend.