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Lionel Fessi

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  1. I think we’ve done some excellent business so far, DM almost has exactly what he needs to contend for an automatic spot. I would argue we still need another striker and a centre back but we are looking much stronger than I anticipated. We’ve signed EXACTLY what we’ve needed, in particular Wing & Shodipo I think will be big players for us this season. I’m sure not all our signings will pan out, it’s inevitable there’s a few duds in there but overall very positive.
  2. Looks set to confirmed a WBA player today, as *some* of us expected walks straight into a top 6 side challenging for promotion. The Adam Reach conundrum is actually a great way to tell how credible a poster on Owlstalk is...anyone who consistently slated him last season for bizarre reasons like ‘not getting stuck in’ or is perplexed why he’s walked straight into a good team are the posters you want to avoid.
  3. That really is a big blow for us, he was looking like our most important player this season. *sighs* What forward options do we actually have now? Paterson + some kids from the development squad yet to play a professional game? Our list of players we need is pretty long already but you’d think another forward would be #1 now? Especially if Windass does end up missing the first 20+ games.
  4. He’s going, we desperately need the money and even if he stayed his value would only depreciate...being top scorer in a mid table side that’s in L1 is a harder sell. The big worry is, when he goes there is absolutely nobody in the squad I can see breaking 10 goals this season
  5. Ooooft tricky one! Westwood Hunt Hector Loovens Buxton Antonio Lee Bannan Brunt Forestieri Hooper Honourable subs to mention Pressman, Pudil, Lees, Whelan, Ross Wallace, Fletcher, JJ and Wickham. Could argue including any of those in the first team! Surprised how many people aren’t picking more of the players from the CC golden era - players from a side that finished 6th & 3rd in The Championship who were only 90 minutes away from the PL. The best team we’ve comfortably had since leaving the PL.
  6. Very worrying interview. I interpreted it that the club isn’t going to be in a position to bounce back next season and he’s going to push for a move elsewhere.
  7. Interesting one. If it wasn’t for the season ending injury to Irofa he probably doesn’t get a sniff this season. Very much made the most out of his opportunity and that should be a big encouragement to others. He owes us nothing and I would leave, that’s now the 2 best players who have come out of our academy set up in the last 10 years both leaving, for free.
  8. How dare you offer an insightful and factual opinion on Owlstalk! The biggest thing that haunts me from that game is the ridiculous tactics and style of play Carlos turned to in his last 6 months... Insisting on playing 3 CM’s in a 442 with a huge reliance on an haggard Ross Wallace (who unluckily went off injured early on) and being content to pass it round the back for 120 minutes and invite pressure was never getting us a win. Even so, with that team we still should of won....Fessi, Bannan, Lee, Rhodes, Fletcher all needed big games and they all hid...nobody wanted to be the hero. Especially not record signing Rhodes. How things could have been different if we had a fit Gary Hooper & Ross Wallace! The standard of teams in the playoffs that year were so poor Huddersfield, Reading and Fulham. Even favourites Fulham were embarrassed by Reading in the semis and eventual winners Huddersfield went on to finish 20th in PL only winning 2? Games all season.
  9. I reckon the first XI almost picks itself this year, I just hope Southgate doesn’t try and play some stupid 532 or self sabotage tactics as we’ve seen a few times under him. Pickford (reluctantly) Shaw Stones Maguire Walker Rice Henderson Mount Foden Kane Rashford I actually really like that team, especially with the likes of Sterling/Grealish coming off the bench, although whoever we play alongside Kane will still be a strong team. As long as Henderson & Maguire are both fit I’m quietly confident! My only worries are Pickford is prone to dropping a clanger & that CM 3, I think if Dean Henderson, Mount and perhaps Bellingham were a little better/ more experienced I’d be very very happy with that team - think we’ll have a really excellent team for the next WC! Abit sceptical of Southgate too, our WC success in 2018 was still very fortunate and we lost all 3 games vs ‘big’ teams. How he’s set us up in the qualifications and friendlies makes me wonder if he’s going to try and be too smart for his own good....playing 5 at the back is not the answer! Weve still got that England big game mentality curse, until we beat Portugal or Croatia I’ll not get my hopes up!
  10. It REALLY worries me when I saw DM quoting how important the ‘development’ squad will be next season. Firstly because it confirms our financial struggles are still very real and unless we sell either Bannan, Windass or probably both we will have very little cash to provide the desperate rebuild we need. Secondly because the best academy play er we’ve ever produced is Palmer (who is a Championship squad player at best). But when you consider the stream of world class talent like Maguire & Walker that appear every 4/5 years and so many half decent players that come out of United’s system it makes me wonder how we’ve been getting it so wrong for so long?!? The only positive is that although Shaw & Osaze have walked away for nothing we finally might have the infrastructure in place to produce some talent.
  11. Oh dear I forgot how bad that team was! In a few years we’ll look back on our squad from this year and wonder how on earth we went down. Forgetting all context and the endless disasters we’ve had, our strongest 11 on paper; Westwood Iorfa Lees Hutchinson Reach Bannan Luongo Harris Windass Rhodes Paterson Alright still not a fantastic side by any stretch but if injuries, managers, tactics etc all work that XI shouldn’t be anywhere near the bottom 3! Comparing that to the team from 2010 feels like worlds apart.
  12. Still cannot believe we signed him when we already had Fletcher, Hooper, Joao and Forestieri...let alone Winnall & Nuhiu who couldn’t even make the bench. The money we spent on Rhodes could and absolutely should have gone on a LB, CB, CM and RM. At the time replacing Loovens & Pudil as well as upgrading Wallace & Hutchinson would have probably taken us up that year and made is a significantly better team in the seasons that followed.
  13. Very true, although when we played he was more the left sided midfielder of a 3 with Wallace & FF playing either side of Hooper. But it worked because we had an excellent attacking fullback behind him in Pudil so we never lacked that wide option. Great example of how good we can be without Bannan in a central role perhaps? We’ve never had quality like Lopez or prime Lee since 2016 so we’ve forgotten what’s it’s like! I look at how Norwich play in there 4231, with 2 dynamic box to box ball winning CM’s running non stop for 90 minutes. Which allows a proper #10 to play just around the striker and 2 exciting creative wingers interchanging and drifting in...so jealous. We’ve never been able to set up a side like that and I don’t think that’s a system that would ever work with Bannan in it. Always makes me wonder what we could do without him! ....but then again under all our recent previous managers I’m 90% certain we would have been a lot worse! Good point. I wonder how involved DM will be with the transfers, I wonder how involved any of our managers have ever been tbh. Either way if he does go or stay, I just hope we bring in or at least start to develop players so come our return to the Championship we aren’t back to square 1 with a squad and a system like this seasons.
  14. I mean if you’d ever seen any of my posts before, you would know I’m very pro Bannan. They are his limitations though? Lack of goals, defensive liability at times, isn’t diverse enough for a CM and needs to play in a fixed system to get the best from him are all legitimate concerns? Good question, realistically 3+ million? But I doubt we would even get that. I wouldn’t be surprised if we sold him for 1.5-2 range. This is the crux of the issue, how much confidence do we have that the money would all go back into the squad? And if it did, there’s no guarantees the players we would bring in would be anywhere near as good.
  15. What do we do? So many questions over the club and the future of our squad going into next season with pending departures, possible structure changes and financial uncertainty how we shape up next season will likely look very different. 258 appearances, 14 goals, 37 assists 20/21 Player of the Season Only Wednesday player to play in every single game this season Alongside Palmer, Wildsmith & Hutchinson * only remaining players under contract for next season since 2015 play-off final loss Turns 32 in December, signed contract extension this season until July 2023 Clearly the best player at the club, at the heart and soul of everything we do and one of the best proper footballers we've had at S6 in recent years...but has his limitations, notoriously difficult to pair in a midfield 2, tendency to drop too deep and with other departures this summer will be the highest earner at the club by a stretch. Chansiri has confirmed DM will lead the team into next season and we know DM likes to get his teams playing with the ball on floor and building play from the back, the type of football that suits Bannan and gets the very best from him like we saw under CC. But I'm torn, with our financial situation still largely unclear and with a obvious desperate need to bring in a number of new players across seemingly every position the club will have to assess any offers that come in - it's well reported the club turned down a bid from Brentford at the start of last season. Plus assuming we did get promoted next season, he would be returning back to the Championship at 33 and may find himself surrounded by a similar quality of player like he has this season. Do we run the risk of selling him and perhaps Windass too and placing the faith in our historically poor recruitment to try to really hit that reset button and give the club at least some capital to go on and invest a collectively better squad for the long term? Or do we keep Bannan and whoever else and try once again to build around him and others to quickly return back into the Championship? Dilemma.
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