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About frastheowl

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    AFC Owlstalk - Double Premiership Champions
  • Birthday 17/09/1986

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    Wadsley, S6

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  1. Shouldn't be the case in this thread though should it? Can't fans, regardless of your dislike for our manager, look at a game objectively and give credit where it's due? I find the faux outrage regarding Friday's match nauseating. To the extent where they'll bombard United with undeserved superlatives for, which was, a fairly flat, mundane display from them. Very odd, but not surprising.
  2. Of which, none were on target from inside the box from open play. But yeah, they slaughtered us...
  3. The OP is bang on. I thought we were extremely comfortable. I didn't watch the game back until the following morning, so I already knew the result, which I accept takes the emotion out of watching the game, but, penalty aside, United didn't look like scoring...at all. And that deserves a lot of credit that I don't think we got from Sky at the time nor from our own fans. We did not get slaughtered. We did not get hammered. Yes, we ceded possession. But United dominate possession in the majority of their games. They suffocate teams, that's their strength. But if you set up, accepting you're not going to dominate possession, you can defend against it. The longer the game went on, the more blunt and toothless United looked. In fact, in the last 15 minutes, especially after Matias came on, I thought we were the team who got ourselves into better transition phases, and with a bit more quality at the right times, could have created chances ourselves. The fact is, the penalty was the key moment. That goes in, we aren't having this conversation now. But it didn't. And after that moment, Dawson didn't have another save to make from a shot inside the box. That stat doesn't suggest any side slaughtered or dominated the other. Statistically, discounting penalties which skew stats somewhat, it was our most comfortable defensive performance of the season. But statistics aside, actually watching the game back without the emotion of the live game, we were very organised and totally nullified United's tempo and style of play which cause so many team problems. Give the lads credit when it's deserved.
  4. frastheowl

    Andy Hinchcliffe

    The jizz fest over United was ridiculously OTT. Despite them been a side already ready to challenge for Europe according to Hinchcliffe, they failed to have a shot on goal inside the box from open play over the 90 minutes. They flattered to deceive. Everything was played in front of us, and at no point watching the game, did I feel they ever truly troubled us. Even the penalty was soft. I didn't think we got the credit deserved for the tactical and defensive display we produced...and the plaudits United got were unfounded. If I was a United fan this morning, despite the bile Wilder was spewing, I'd be very disappointed with United's display last night. Huge missed opportunity (for the 2nd consecutive season).
  5. frastheowl

    Man of the match

    Here's my view on the game. I will say, that I only watched the game this morning, already knowing the result (I was working last night), and I'm sure the emotion of the game will influence people's thoughts immediately after the game. I have to say...I thought it was a very impressive performance given the current situation. Penalty aside, United didn't have a shot on target from inside the box the whole game. Aside from the penalty, Dawson made two very routine saves from long range efforts. All this jizz fest about United, I don't get. Yeah they dominated the ball, but not once did they break down a side, who previously had failed to keep a clean sheet. I didn't think Wednesday got their defensive, and tactical display deserved last night, and the superlatives for United were way OTT. They're a decent side...but nothing more than that. Anyway, players ratings: Dawson - 8 - Solid performance throughout, and a superb save for the penalty. Didn't put a foot wrong. Ballsy performance given the unwarranted criticism he's received lately. Baker - 7 - Very confident and assured display from the young lad. Lees - 8 - Much better performance from the skipper. Defended positively. Hector - 9 - Man of the Match - Man mountain. Bossed it. Won everything, organised the shape superbly. Thorniley - 7 - Another very accomplished defensive display from one of the young lads. In the toughest of occasions, credit to them. Fox - 8 - Defended superbly (and I thought he was harshly penalised for the penalty). His aerial ability and defensive outlook makes us far more solid. No surprise he was part of the backline for our 1st clean sheet. He was a regular in the run of clean sheets last season when Luhukay arrived. Has to keep his shirt. Pelupessy - 7 - Much better protection job in front of the defence. Put in several strong challenges, made good fouls when needed. Bannan - 7 - Wasn't his kind of game yesterday, but worked ridiculously hard. Pressing high at times, closing down their centre halves and then getting back and breaking up play. Penney - 6 - Defended well (there's a theme developing here), but struggled on the ball. Tried to do too much at times, and I'm not convinced he's ever going to be a central midfielder. Reach - 5 - Our weak line yesterday in my opinion. The way played, relied on Reach turning those transitions into attacking opportunities and far too often he lost the ball, delayed the pass or shot unwisely. I keep saying it...he's not a No. 10...never will be. No surprise we looked far more effective when Reach dropped back into midfield and Matias played alongside Fletcher Fletcher - 6 - Chased lost causes and work hard from the front, but feeding off scraps would be an understatement to make. On the whole...we have to be pleased. Before the game, we were lambs led to slaughter. And, for the 2nd consecutive year, we've rained on their parade. Yes, as Wednesdayite's we want more. We want more attacking impetus. We want a bit more quality on the ball. But lets put things into perspective. We were a side in disarray, with a continued injury crisis, on a run of four defeats on the bounce conceding 12 goals in the process...and without a clean sheet all season. Going away from home against a side in form sitting at the summit of the table...forget the fact it's United...had that been Derby, or Leeds or WBA, we'd be very happy with the result and performance. It needs to be a spring board for better results, like it was last season. But, thank God its out of the way!
  6. frastheowl

    A first?

    To be fair, the man in charge, will have much more idea of the constraints he's fighting against. The fact that the fans aren't privy to that information, isn't Luhukay's fault. And, at this moment in time, it's hard to see how Luhukay can turn it round. The boo boys are out in force (despite the fact that expectations needed to be dumbed down this season), and when that happens, they are a stubborn bunch to turn round. That said...don't underestimate what a Derby victory can do. Both positively, and negatively. It's highlighted the beginning of the end for a lot of managers in the past...Carlos the last one. Robson, Blackwell suffered similar fates. Laws dined off his Derby day record for a long time here. It seems unlikely at the minute, and I'm not confident for Friday in the slightest...but this is the same squad that has gone to Villa to beaten them convincingly. Outplayed West Brom for 80 minutes. When we get it right...we're a match for anybody. It's just not happening enough. But, a victory on Friday, and believe me, the doom and gloom will be lifted instantly, and it'll give Luhukay a brief respite and the slightest opportunity to begin to turn things round. Lose however...he's a dead man walking.
  7. frastheowl

    A first?

    I sincerely hope not. He's not made things easy for himself, but there's no doubt he's swimming against the tide at the minute. Sacking him, certainly won't remedy the whole host of problems that manifests itself in the club at the minute. And I genuinely believe he's trying to safeguard the future of this squad. However, regardless of any of that, it's a results based business. And five defeats on the spin (all of which have been pretty convincing losses) culminating in a Derby Day beating will leave him on perilous ground. Once the fans turn on a manager, especially in the vile Hillsborough atmosphere, there's not many who win them back round. Friday night is absolutely huge. Not only because of the occasion...but because it'll be the watershed moment for Luhukay's reign here.
  8. At the minute, it's irrelevant whether we play 3 or 4 at back. That won't rectify inexplicable errors from senior pros. That won't prevent our offensive players carelessly losing the ball, and giving teams the opportunity to counter. It won't help players hunt, press and track back. Engage with the opposition. Of course, we all have ideas of what system is best (and believe it or not, Luhukay, someone much more qualified than any of us, will also). But, individually, the players aren't performing. And that's the crux of the matter.
  9. Funny you should mention him. I was thinking about the whole Heffernan scenario when writing the post.
  10. I can understand, but don't agree with, people's furore over Westwood not playing. The last time we saw Westwood (which was flippingyonks ago, and well before Luhukay was here) he was deemed one of the best keepers in the division (although clearly deteriorating). But, I recognise than when a player isn't playing, they often get better (in fans eyes), and while ever we continue to concede goals at a rate of knots (despite Dawson not the culprit for that), a call to change the rookie keeper for an experienced keeper will be there. Fair enough. But I will say...Kieran Westwood is 34 years old, and hasn't played a competitive game of football for 14 months. What gives fans the confidence (and audacity) to claim that this injury prone, ageing keeper with no recent football will actually improve things? Serious question? Because, I just don't see it. Anyway...the rest...Hutchinson seems to have become a world beater over the past few days...quite conveniently after a few losses and a rumoured public outburst. Is this the same Hutchinson whose been a liability for us since the moment he signed? Whether it be injury or discipline? The same Sam Hutchinson who has played three games this season, and two of those games were our amongst the worst of the campaign? He was absolutely woeful at Wigan, and at fault for the goal in a terrible first half display at Brentford. It's honestly no wonder Luhukay doesn't play him. He's another who simply hasn't been fit enough or good enough. Surely it's these type of players the club needs to get rid of. And as for Boyd, Abdi and Jones...don't get me started. This forum has been nothing but scandelously critical of these three players. Boyd has looked liked he's towing a caravan since the moment he signed, and put in the most inept display of the season in the cup game at Sunderland. Abdi is, without been too harsh, a complete waste of space. Both Boyd and Abdi are paid an absolute fortune, and simply haven't been fit enough nor good enough. Jones, I actually feel could play a role in this team, but this forum, in the past, have given him nothing but dog's abuse. Why all of a sudden is he the saviour? But these five players all have a common trend...they are paid a fortune, and haven't either been reliable enough, fit enough or good enough (all a combination of the three). Instead of aiming all your anger at a manager having to manage the situation, perhaps consider what these players would actually contribute. And if recent history is to go by...the answer is not a lot.
  11. Luhukay has my full respect. For a manager, from a different country, with no affinity to this football club whatsoever, to come in and take a utterly selfless task of putting the long term future of the club over his own potential short term gains, is truly admirable. And I genuinely believe, he deserves a lot more respect for taking that view than he is currently getting from a fair percentage of the fanbase. Before a ball was kicked, it was very unlikely we would be challenging for promotion this season. Any Wednesdayite with an ounce of realism would agree with that statement. We were a team that did well to avoid getting dragged into a relegation scrap last season, and spent the entirety of the summer under a transfer embargo. This season was always going to be about steadying the ship. In all likelihood, deep down, Luhukay will perhaps know that playing Hutchinson, Abdi, Westwood etc. might well have produced slightly more consistent results. But, don't make these players out to be saviours. They are unreliable. They are past their best. They aren't the future. They'll all be off by the time next summer has been and gone. We are currently sat in the league as a mid table side. Closer to the playoff positions than the relegation zone (just). And that's what we'll be. If we have more good runs of form than bad, we'll finish upper mid table (with an outside chance of the playoffs), do the opposite, and we'll be lower mid table (with an outside chance of getting dragged into a relegation scrap). Do you think Luhukay would welcome this situation? Of course not. He didn't come here to spend three seasons scraping around the 2nd tier. But that's the position he finds himself in...and by taking this stance on certain (unreliable) players, will only benefit us long term (assuming the worst case scenario of relegation doesn't happen). I don't like criticising Carvalhal because at times under his leadership, we were an absolute joy to watch. But had he put even a fraction of the long term interests of the club at heart, like Luhukay is doing, dare I say, we wouldn't be having this very debate now. A manager, of course, will always be judged on results. But the bigger picture has to be acknowledged. Would I accept finishing in 14th place, having blooded several youngsters, brought in a couple of young loan players with a view to signing them over finishing in 9th place, with a few points more, but stifling youngsters progression so the unreliable injury wrecks (Westwood, Hutchinson, Abdi, Boyd, Hooper etc. etc.) could play in a handful of those games? YES. This season (and next) is all about recovering, and putting our house in order. What Luhukay is doing is selfless, noble and to be admired. Will he be able to see that through? Results will always dictate that.
  12. frastheowl

    Team for Norwich

    In this fixture last season, Reach played wing back for the 1st time in Luhukay's reign. And we caused Norwich all sorts of problems. By playing three at the back, and a screen in front of the defence, there's much less emphasis on the wing backs to defend first and foremost...they'll be in the side to provide a threat from wide areas. It would suit Reach's game perfectly. Not sure what we'd achieve by playing Reach in a role he's not a natural at, playing him instead of Joao.
  13. frastheowl

    Team for Norwich

    At this moment in time, we are dominating possession, but looking vulnerable to quick transitions from the opponents. For me, time to switch to a back three, with a double pivot, but to play really positively with the wing backs. -------------------Dawson----------------- --------Lees------Hector-------Fox------- Palmer-----Bannan----Pelupessy---Reach -------------------Onomah------------------ ------------Fletcher------Joao-------------- Despite the goals he's scored, Reach doesn't do enough in the number 10 role. The game bypasses him too much, and he's not a particularly "clever" player, who'll find room in tight spaces and make things happen. Shifting him out wide will, in my opinion, help us dominate possession as well as provide a genuine threat from wide areas. Everything has been far too narrow offensively, of late. Playing Onomah in front of the Bannan-Pelupessy double pivot, should give us runners from deep, to provide an extra body in the box when the ball is worked wide. Bannan roaming and dictating alongside Pelupessy, should give us a solid base in midfield. Norwich play a 4-2-3-1, and push their full backs on. Playing positive thinking wing backs could well keep their full backs pushed back. If they don't, there'll be space aplenty for Joao to exploit down the channels (something we didn't capitalise on against Boro at home).
  14. frastheowl

    Team for Birmingham

    ------------Dawson---------- Baker---Lees--Thorniley--Penney ------Hector---Pelupessy----- ------------Bannan------------ Joao----------------------Reach -------------Fletcher----------- They need to be solid and compact, and stop getting so easily exposed on the counter. Playing a strong defensive double pivot, allows us to push the full backs on without leaving us so exposed.
  15. frastheowl


    Nope, never been. That's why I can't spell his name.