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frastheowl

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  1. 4?! He kept Huddersfield's best player extremely quiet. Defended brilliantly against Grant. A player who's scored nearly 60% of Huddersfield's goals since he signed. You might not rate Odubajo, but c'mon, that's ridiculous.
  2. Westwood - 7 - A couple of regulation saves, but on the whole, a really quiet day at the office. Odubajo - 8 - Good performance, shackled Grant, Huddersfield's main threat, well throughout. Iorfa - 8 - Man of the Match - Excellent display. Looked assured and dominant, with a cool head when in possession. Borner - 7 - Just the usual no-nonsense display. Happily played understudy to the brilliant Iorfa. Palmer - 7 - Generally did well, defended solidly against Huddersfield's advanced full backs, although lack of composure cost Fletcher a 2nd goal late on. Hutchinson - 7 - Thought he was pretty average first half. Seemed to get dragged out of position and miss his tackles far too often. Settled down 2nd half and protected the back four far better. Bannan - 7 - Asked to do a lot of donkey work, screening the back four. And in the 1st half especially, thought he didn't use the ball well at all. However, the ball for the 2nd goal was sublime and that's what you're expecting from him frequently. Reach - 6 - Looked lost in that No. 10 role again. He consistently struggles to find a happy medium in that position. However, worked hard and looked better and more comfortable when shifted out wide. Harris - 7 - Thank the Lord for Harris and Fletcher this season, from an attacking point of view. Without those two, we'd be utter dross. Fantastic work for the 1st goal, and late on, was pivotal as we began to pick Huddersfield off on the counter. Murphy - 4 - Fookin' awful. Looked half-arsed, and his quality on the ball was abysmal. Needs to up his game...and quick. Fletcher - 7 - Did really well for the 1st goal climbing above Elphick, and from then on until 70 minutes, was asked to do an impossible job with us just hoofing the ball up to him. Once we went 4-4-2, we looked a much more effective unit, and Fletcher looked to thrive having support close by. Winnall - 7 - Fantastic cameo appearance. Gave us a real lift and zest up front. Took his goal well, and seemed to ooze confidence after that. Good signs. Nuhiu - N/A - Not on long, but a lot of positives. Lee - N/A Overall... I suppose you could say it was the "perfect" away performance. Clinical in front of goal, and resolute and solid defensively. However, for 60 minutes, we were dreadful in possession. It was a really poor performance...from an offensive point of view. And I'm certain Monk won't be happy with it. The same problems were there. Reach looking lost, Murphy under-performing, Bannan unable to effect the game in the right areas and Fletcher woefully isolated. If we're to play 4-2-3-1, we need to find a No. 10...but I don't think we've got one. What Monk will be delighted with though, is our defensive display. We defended the central areas well, diverted play out wide and defended out box. Restricted Huddersfield to nothing more than a handful of speculative efforts. And, to be fair, a new manager will always opt for defensive stability over attacking efficiency early on in their reign. So PLENTY of things to improve upon...but a win's a win, and we looked resolute defensively...albeit against a poor side.
  3. STATS ALERT: He is shooting, slightly less than he was last season. Reach had 81 efforts on goal last season at an average of 1.88 shots/game. This season, he's had 7 attempts at goal, at an average of 1.16 shots/games. So if he carried on with that average, he'd end up having over 30 less shots on goal than last season. However, what has not changed between this season and last, is the quality of efforts he's having. Both this and last season, the average xG of Reach's effort was 0.06. Essentially, he has an average of 6% chance of scoring with every shot he takes. Which isn't really conducive to producing a regular stream of goals. Very inefficient. Compare that to an in-form player in Harris, who has had double the amounts of efforts as Reach, but also at an average xG of 0.13. In effect, at that rate, Harris will score a goal every 8 shots, whilst Reach will only score a goal every 17 shots. After Reach's glut of spectacular goals, it became a habit of his to have a lot of speculative efforts, and of course, consistently shooting from low xG's, over a prolonged period of time, will yield pretty poor outcomes. If Monk is to improve our fortunes, he needs to make Reach (and others) far more efficient in front of goals.
  4. With Luongo been on international duty for Australia, I think it forces his hand a bit to be honest. The midfield is desperate for a shake up, but with only Luongo not arriving back from international duty til later in the week, I suspect we'll see the same midfield we've seen so far for the mostpart, Hutchinson-Bannan-Lee. Can't see past him playing a 4-3-3. Bates will come in for Lees if he's not fit. Harris and Reach will be either side of Fletcher. Suspect Odubajo and Fox will get the nod at full back.
  5. Westwood - 6 - Had very little to do. Dealt with the few crosses better than he has done previously this season. He'll be disappointed not to have saved the 1st penalty. Odubajo - 4 - Two inexcusable errors which has cost us dearly. Thought up until the 1st misdemeanour, he was our best defender, but you cannot let the ball bounce like he did, nor can you challenge like he did for the 2nd. Bad day at the office. Lees - 7 - Thought he defended very well. Preston didn't really cause us any issues whatsoever, and Lees' performance was one of the reasons for that. Shackled Stockley well. Borner - 7 - Similar to Lees. Defended well enough, very rarely looked troubled. Probably our biggest goal threat today also. Fox - 6 - Defended adequately enough, but didn't use the ball as well as he could've. Hutchinson - 6 - The game seemed to bypass him, much like it did for the 1st half on Tuesday night. Struggling with form a bit at the minute. Lee - 6 - Flashes of what he's capable of, but struggled to make a strong impact on the game. Bannan - 5 - Totally anonymous in the 1st half, and to be fair, Preston did a job on him. They pressed him quickly, which seemed to really put Bannan of his stride. Abysmal set pieces today aswell. Harris - 6 - Few moments of brilliance in the 1st half, but his final ball let him down. Like Bannan, Preston had done their homework; they didn't leave much room in behind whatsoever. Murphy - 5 - Didn't see a great deal of the ball in the 1st half, and when he did, despite threatening to cause some issues, seemed to make the wrong decision on a couple of occasions. Fletcher - 6 - Yet again, I felt for him a wee bit. Left totally isolated, and was forced to drop really deep into midfield so to see the ball. Took his goal, and his general all round play was decent enough. Forestieri - 6 - Couldn't get into the game until Nuhiu came on. Looked to burst into life for the last 15 minutes. Need more. Reach - 7 - Done his chances of a recall no harm. Exquisite cross for Fletcher's goal. The type of quality he's capable of, and need to see more often. Nuhiu - 8 - Man of the Match - How much of a difference did he make? We had looked like creating to square root of SFA until his arrival, but became a constant threat when Nuhiu came on. He created space for Harris and Reach, pinned Preston back and was unfortunate not to get an equaliser in the end. Alex Neil 1 - 0 Lee Bullen. Think today will go down as one of those game, where the opposition did a job on us. They pressed high, harried Bannan in particualr, and their full backs remained very much as part of a back four to allow Harris and Murphy no room to exploit in behind. And, up until Nuhiu's introduction (which was far too late in hindsight), we just had no answer. For 75 minutes, it was a totallly inept attacking performance, confounded by two elementary defensive errors which have cost us. Preston were no better than us today...they were just as poor in an offensive sense... they were fortunate to benefit from two stupid errors. Missed opportunity, and it's a type of performance which will cast doubts over Bullen's credentials. It was another performance that looked disjointed and lacking cohesion...like Millwall for 45 minutes and Luton for 45 minutes. We have a pretty ominous look of yet another season filled with inconsistency and frustration.
  6. Having possession doesn't mean "having a go". Some of the most defensive sides in recent years have enjoyed huge margins of possession in games. It was a constant talking point re. West Brom last season, that their results when dominating possession were greatly inferior to those when they ceded possession. Nobody who went to the Barnsley game can dispute that Wednesday didn't "have a go" at them. They were positive, on the front foot and played open, attacking football. Despite having hugely inferior possession statistics. We didn't play well in the 1st half against Luton, but, again, in the 2nd half, the team cannot be accused of not having a go. Genuine question, would be prefer us to sacrifice our strengths within the squad, just so we can come out of the game with higher possession stats?
  7. Four games played so far, in three of those games we've ceded possession by a significant margin. In one of those games, we dominated possession by a significant margin. Have a guess which games we won? Possession means absolutely nothing. In fact, at this level, teams become far more vulnerable when they have possession...especially teams who try and play out from the back. I actually think our problem this season will be when teams come to Hillsborough, and allow us to have possession. Our strengths at present is our pace and directness in our wide players. What we seem to be lacking somewhat is a craft and guile to break teams down. The 2nd half at The Den was a worrying sign...we dominated possession, played OK...but not once, did we carve Millwall open and create a clear cut chance. The fact is, we're going to have to be able to do both at certain times and in certain games. But I don't see the fact that we cede possession to the opposition at Hillsborough a problem. As long as we're ceding possession with an intent to win it back in dangerous areas. Of course, under Luhukay, we ceded possession and retreated like sitting ducks, which is a different kettle of fish.
  8. Just the one from his own clanger in the 1st half.
  9. Westwood - 6 - Fairly quiet game, especially 2nd half. Error first half, but reacted well to tip the speculative shot over. Odubajo - 7 - Steady performance. Thought he was one of the few players who could hold their head up at half time, and maintained it 2nd half. Defended well when required, and offered good support going forward. Lees - 8 - Brilliant centre half performance, and yet again, when he’s got a partner he trusts and performs, so does he. He and Börner complement each other brilliantly. Börner - 9 - MotM- I think I’ve described him as “immaculate” three times this season already. But he just doesn’t put a foot wrong. Reads the game effortlessly. Fantastic display. Fox - 7 - Looked shaky early on, and that lack of confidence showed when in possession. Seemed to lack support to Harris, however, he defended solidly throughout and got better as the game went on. Crucial block late on. Hutchinson - 7 - Looked off the pace in the 1st half...anonymous almost. However, seemed to be encouraged to press higher in the 2nd half, and his natural game began to flourish. Bannan - 6 - He was abysmal in the 1st half. Lost possession time after time, and was the main catalyst for us looking so disjointed. Upped it greatly in the second half, played a tad deeper and found a bit more space. Dictated things from then on. Reach - 6 - Like Bannan, awful 1st half and was fortunate not to be dragged at half time. Seemed to go and play alongside Fletcher in the 2nd half which improved things. Harris - 8 - He was our only hope in the 1st half, but was left without any support whatsoever. 2nd half, he was given the ball in more dangerous areas and Luton afforded him the space he was denied early on. Another goal, and unfortunate not to provide an assist for Murphy’s header. Murphy - 7 - Struggled 1st half to get in the game, but became a real threat as the game progressed. Great anticipation and fantastic chip to the back stick for the goal. Should’ve scored his header and was unfortunate following a great jinking run. Fletcher - 7 - Really felt for him 1st half, battled away, won a decent amount but was so isolated. Continued to compete 2nd half, got more joy with closer support. Superb header for the goal, and unfortunate to be offside for his disallowed goal. Winnall - 6 Luongo - 7 Lee - 6 Overall... Chalk and cheese. There were some worrying signs 1st half. Too many issues we’ve seen too often previously. 2nd half was better and the direct threat of Murphy & Harris continue to be the difference. Another game we’ve won where we’ve ceded possession. 3 out of 3 now. I think it’ll continue to be a trait we see this season, where our counter pressing & counter attacking game suits us naturally. We’re going to have to to find a way of winning games when teams ceded possession to us (like Millwall), but we’ll enjoy the good start whilst it lasts.
  10. Because our window is shut. He would have needed to have had his contract annulled before our transfer deadline. We could, of course, sign the said player, but he wouldn't be eligible to play for us until January, when the transfer window re-opens. That was the case when Burnley signed Joey Barton on a free transfer after he was released from Rangers. Makes sense really, because if it wasn't the case, whats stopping us going to a club in Portugal for example, and saying, we'll give said Portuguese team "x" amount to rip up their contract, and Wednesday then sign the said player on a "free transfer." The only players we can bring in now, are those who were out of contract when out transfer deadline closed.
  11. No we can't. Our transfer window is closed. We cannot bring anybody in, from any country or continent, unless they were a free agent before our transfer window shut.
  12. Bullen cannot possibly cover every eventuality that may occur during a game of football. He probably thought there was far more merit in having Nuhiu on the bench, should we be defending a lead or a barrage of long balls for the last 15 minutes of the game. I tend to agree with him to be honest. In hindsight, yes, Forestieri may have been a better option...but I'm not sure anybody would've predicted we'd be playing against 10 men whilst trailing in the game for such a long period of time. And as it goes...I'm not convinced the Forestieri we've seen for the past 12-18 months, would've made such a telling difference...but we'll never know. As usual...when a player doesn't play, they become a much better player. Heffernan-syndrome.
  13. Harris wasn't even in the box defending the corner. We had Iorfa, Lees, Borner, Fletcher, Lee, Palmer, Reach and Hutchinson defending in the box. Murphy was occupying the edge of the area. I'm assuming Harris was occupying defenders on the halfway line. Iorfa fails to challenge Smith after receiving a small push from him, Lee finds himself underneath the ball and Westwood...fizz knows what he was doing...awful goalkeeping.
  14. Westwood - 5 - Another potentially game changing error in two games. Elementary mistake which has ultimately cost us. Decent save in the 2nd half from O'Brien's volley, but looked hesitant with crosses in the 1st half. Iorfa - 5 - Steady enough 1st half, but allowed Smith a free header for the goal. Lees - 7 - Defended strongly throughout, and competed well up against Millwall's direct approach. Borner - 7 - Another examination passed without any worry's. Looked strong and assured, like he has done in the last two games also. Palmer - 7 - Another accomplished performance at left back. Forming a good partnership with Harris, offering good support and could've scored with a decent effort in the 1st half. Hutchinson - 6 - Struggled to make an impact on the game in the 1st half, got drawn into making a lot of niggling fouls. Did alright at full back, but lacked a bit of quality in offensive areas. Reach - 7 - Best player in the 1st half. Looked to be positive and play on the front foot. Couple of speculative efforts, and although drifted out of the game a bit in the 2nd half, still provided an option from left back. Lee - 6 - Drifted in and out of the game, but showed some nice, neat touches throughout. Thought it was the right time to replace him, and go 4-4-2. Murphy - 6 - Didn't see as much of the ball as Harris, but was still a threat to Millwall, despite things not really going for him. Harris - 7 - Man of the Match - Saw a lot of the ball, and gave Romeo a tough time (although I thought he defended reasonably well against him). Constant threat, but probably should've yielded some attacking contribution from the amount of danger he posed. Fletcher - 6 - Struggled to compete aerially up against Pearce and Cooper, and as a result dropped deeper. Things improved when Rhodes went to play alongside him, and on another day, would've put away one of the few half chances he was presented. Bannan - 7 - Really positive change. Bannan was afforded the space of The Den against Millwall's 10 men, and his probing from deep areas ensured we dominated possession and kept Millwall penned in. Luongo - 6 - Struggled to have a real impact on the game, and his frustration began to show late on, as he committed numerous silly fouls which played right into Millwall's hands. Rhodes - 6 - The game was crying out for him, and with some better, more measured crossing, could've got on the teamsheet. Probably a bit disappointed with the glancing header from the corner which went wide. Overall... disappointing result, but performance wise, although it could've been better, generally, we didn't do a lot wrong. Millwall really didn't cause us any problems from a defensive standpoint, and following the dismissal we dominated proceedings. That said, despite the number of shots on goal, we didn't really create a chance of real note, and that was a major disappointment. It's these sort of games that highlight our subtle deficiencies within the squad. We've a number of quality players...but how many true match winners have we got? Someone who can win a game with a moment of genius? Not many. Forestieri...and that's only based on the form of three seasons ago. The likes of Leeds, WBA etc. take something from these games, because they have that. Nothing too majorly worry about. I was pleased with the way Bullen went and attacked this game. He selected a side capable of standing up to Millwall's physicality, but still went with an attacking mindset. All three of his substitutions were proactive, and positive in respect to trying to change the game. Too often we've seen managers replace like for like, but Bullen changed personnel, roles and systems in an attempt to turn the game around.
  15. Because if they'd failed to sell Sessegnon (which was a likelihood mid-afternoon), they would've have potentially committed to a substantial fee on Hector, without any guarantees they'd be able to afford it at the end of the season. Hector won't sign for anybody before January, he'd be foolish to eliminate his options. I wouldn't rule us out of potentially pursuing him again in January, if the price was right.
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