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Everything posted by ed_tomassi

  1. I like to give people a second chance. But this is an extremely tough one! Off the pitch and in this situation, it looks absolutely terrible and i understand some feeling this to be an unforgivable move. But if we do get him back on the pitch, i don't think he will lack for effort and application, that's just not in his footballing DNA. Something in this situation tells me that FF is in a strange mental state and we should be cautious with accusations. There must me more to it than money/premier league status. One thing's for sure, i trust the club to use this adversity to make us stronger. I expect new signings this week and our attacking/creative players to step up on Tuesday.
  2. Looked good pre-season. Excited to see him with Fletcher hammering the weaker teams in the league!
  3. Abdi and Bannan not quite at the races for me today. Neither were bad! Bud you know they can both offer more. Re: McGugan, he had a stormer of a game on the opening day last season! Shame it's not worked here for him. He seemed to love playing for us.
  4. Admittedly, i don't know a lot about their squad. But Houghton is an intelligent manager, so i'd always be wary of playing one of his sides. Whether they'll be promoted or not, i'm not too bothered. But i always naturally doubt whoever takes the lead purely because it's so difficult to stay top of this league all season. Regarding the game, i'm confident we'll create enough chances to win. But we'll have to be a little sharper in front of goal than we were against Forest to take 3 points.
  5. If Dielna just spent half the amount of time he spends in the gym actually training with a football, he might get a game.
  6. Lees is a northerner. He doesn't seem like a flash dan who'd be tempted by the London lifestyle. He had a bounce back season under Gray after a tough time at Leeds. And there's a very good chance he'll frequently captain the side next season if he's around. To be blunt, I don't see him wanting to leave. Antonio wanted to leave. Forest were a very attractive proposition, investing massively in their side so much so that just about everyone expected then to gain promotion. Fulham are not in this position. They are not a vastly more attractive prospect than us right now. So I don't think we have anything to worry about here.
  7. West Brom release Mulumbu. Would be fantastic if we could lure him into the Championship. Anyone think it's remotely possible?
  8. Id be happy with him Lees and Loovens as our first 3 CBs, fighting it out between them. It's not our priority position and he'd be a good short term signing.
  9. They've released Kim Bo Kyung who was formerly at Cardiff. I'd still take him. He managed to get a couple of goals in that poor side.
  10. Yes Alan. I'm no statistician, so i could not possibly be bothered to go much deeper into the results and re-assess who was were and on what curve of form when we played them. But i just thought this breakdown really justified the weird sort of mixed feelings a lot had to the season. On one hand- we did okay and got a decent points haul, seeing off most sides below us. On the other- really could and should have got more. Shot ourselves in the foot on a number of occasions.
  11. Cheers for the kind words. Agreed Wayne, next season will be tougher. The likes of Bolton, Reading and Brighton will be looking to make big improvements too with managers i rate. But it's the ruthlessness we need to address. I think it was Gordon Watson who highlighted it as the difference between us and Bournemouth a few weeks ago. I'm not wholly convinced it's something Gray has the ability to necessarily coach into our lot, but if we bring in the players with the right mentality, and he sets the right atmosphere pre-season, it could well be contagious amongst our fairly young squad.
  12. Here's a little breakdown of how we gained our points: - vs TOP 8: Won 3. Drew 6. Lost 7. Total: 15/48 - vs BOTTOM 8: Won 8. Drew 5. Lost 3. Total: 29/48 - vs MID 7: Won 3. Drew 7. Lost 4. Total: 16/42 50% from the bottom, 25% from the middle and 25% from the top sort of sounds reasonable and just about proves that we were worth out mid-table finish. But it was those draws against sides finishing around and below us that i think really defined our season. I'd like to take 5 games in particular. Leeds, Charlton, Huddersfield at home and Leeds, Charlton away. We took the lead in each of these fixtures against sides that on the day were very beatable. Due to us being unable to finish teams off, we lost 11 points from these winning positions. On to next season, these figures prove we have to become more ruthless against those sides who themselves lack a killer instinct (Huddersfield and Bolton away, Cardiff at home also spring to mind). And more positively, that those extra 20-30 points aren't all that far away. Another 10 from the bottom, 10 from the middle and a few more from the top shouldn't be too difficult...right? (Side note: only Wolves managed to complete the league double over us)
  13. This article suggests to me he's staying. Westwood: "We've not had a settled backline in the second half of the season and have missed Loovens and Semedo big time and Palmer..." http://www.swfc.co.uk/news/article/credit-across-the-board-2419696.aspx For me, Westwood isn't replaceable. Any other keeper of his standard will want to be in the Premier League next season. And if he wants to be playing in a side with Semedo and Loovens (Palmer is the only other player he specifically credits) I think its important for the club that they extend their contracts, if just for one more year.
  14. Gray said after we secured mathematical safety that 60 points was the aim. So if we make that I'll be happy. Top half would be a good bonus.
  15. Maguire will be a late bloomer. I reckon he still has all his best football ahead of him. The big factor being that his game doesn't really rely on pace. His strengths are his work rate and creativity. Theoretically, with age should come improved decision making leading to more sensible use of energy and sharper/ more effective delivery. Also, think operating in a 4-3-3 would suit him better than 4-4-2. Less defensive responsibility. Maguire's a very good option for us. He's not the answer. He's not going to be what's needed every week. But some weeks he will unlock a defence and help us earn a valuable point or three.
  16. Just remember what Leeds fans said of Tom Lees last summer... If Gray brings Noone in during this summer, I back him to get more out of him than Russel Slade at Cardiff.
  17. At the end of the day, I love us to win any game, but out of these fixtures it's Charlton and Leeds at home I'd like to see us win the most. Charlton have proven to be little scrotes more often than not in recent years at Hillsborough. Would be nice to avenge that cup defeat from last season. And Leeds are Leeds. Another home win against them (with the Charlton 3 pts) would be some form of consolation for our season ticket holders. Also think we have a decent chance to pick up points vs Hudds and Brentford. But it could be a real experience for our squad to maybe witness Watford getting promotion on the last day of the season. Just to give them a taste and vision of what the aim is from now on.
  18. How many back-heel assists is that for the season?
  19. Would really like him to get to 10 league goals for the season! 4 to go.
  20. Admittedly, a few of my points come across in a more negative way than intended. Hawkeye, regarding both progression and experience, maybe the key word I missed out was consistency. Mattock for example. I think he's a great asset. Has a good wealth of experience for his age, but he is not yet quite what I'd consider a consistent and reliable championship left back. I suppose it's the difference between having the games under your belt and actually learning from them that is my issue.
  21. Absolutely not knocking Gray. Big Gray fan. However I strongly believe that his coaching staff needs to be beefed up to help the squad continue to progress. And it's something that can be done now, we don't have to wait until the summer. I do think that the progress of certain players has stalled. But that a few more experienced personnel on the training pitch would help Stu get them back on the upward curve. The theory being the more one on one coaching a developing player receives, the greater their improvement.
  22. Chad- I'd argue that if we played him at the back, he might receive fewer cards. I think he struggles with the fast changes of direction and frantic turn over of possession when playing CM. At CB it's far easier to read the game as most of it plays out in front of you. He'd be tracking back and chasing runners far less.
  23. Since he returned from injury in January, he's started 5 games as a midfielder, in which we've earned 1 point. He's also come off the bench in the first half for Semedo once vs Brighton to help us get 1 point. In the 4 games he hasn't started and figured as a second half substitute we've achieved 7 points. I'd like to see Melo start on Saturday.
  24. Spot on! Him and Lees at the back could be amazing. Far less running and quick changes of direction- better for his injury prone knee! AND Mourinho thought he was quite good in defence...
  25. Currently, our coaches for the first team are Stuart Gray (Head Coach), John Deehan, Lee Bullen and Andy Rhodes (GK coach). Does anyone know who else we have around the first-team on the training ground? This area for me is a huge worry for a number of reasons: 1. COMBINING DUTIES- often teams have a Manager, Assistant Manager and First-Team Coach. Some have a Director of Football with a Head Coach etc. We just have Stuart Gray. That's a lot of responsibility for a very experienced coach/not too experienced Manager. Equally, we have Lee Bullen- head coach of the Development Squad and a coach for the first team. Only his second/third coaching role. 2. LACK OF PROGRESSION- quite simply, i don't think many of our players have improved enough during Gray's tenure. I was most excited at this prospect after his appointment. But players like Helan and Lee, both with ability and potential, often look completely devoid of confidence. Maguire and Nuhiu, effective as they can be, never ever appear to learn from their mistakes/failings. 3. LACK OF EXPERIENCE- our squad oozes naivety. How many players do we have who you would class as knowledgable, experienced and reliable for the younger lads to look up to? For me, it's Westwood, Kirkland, Loovens, Semedo and McGugan (perhaps Lees also despite his age). Not many. Certainly very defence heavy there, and it's shown by our 'clean sheets: goals scored' ratio. So when we need to get something from a game or hold on to a lead, we invariably panic and fail. This also highlights Gray's tactical inadequacies. To reiterate, I'm a Gray fan and I completely agree with the way he is trying to move the team forward. But he is clearly too thinly stretched in his duties and it's leading to more mistakes. To progress to the next level, it seems essential that our first signings be in the coaching department. At least two or three more bodies with Premier League level experience to provide a greater chance of maximising the improvements of our players. And to create a better reputation for nurturing individuals to help attract a higher level of "young, hungry talent".
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