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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. Another one who needs to go...Van Aken. What a waste of space he's been. 1290 minutes played / 8100 = 16% playing time. And to think, we trawled through 200 centre halves, and he was the best buy we could find. £3m just flushed down the bog, plus I'd imagine £15k a week at least in wages. It's no wonder we find ourselves in the mess we do.
  2. Maddison has been involved in more goals/game than Taylor! But Taylor's goalscoring record is exceptional. Former United player aswell.
  3. To be fair, if Maddison isn't consistent at League One level, I'm not sure ANYBODY can be classed as consistent at that level. His record is phenomenal. This season alone, after not featuring under Steve Evans, he's scored 8 goals and 14 assists from 31 starts. He's got as many assists in 2018/19 as Eden Hazard (13 assists), and more than Christian Eriksen, Ryan Fraser and Pablo Hernandez, who have all had brilliant seasons (12 assists). Only Nicky Adams (15), and Said Benrahma (14) have more than him. Only FOUR players have been involved in more goals than him (either goals or assists) this season; Pablo Hernandez (12G, 12A), Pogba (13G, 9A), Jamal Lowe (14G, 8A) and Reece Brown (10G, 11A). In League One, ONLY Jamal Lowe has been involved in more goals...and he's played 12 games more than Maddison. And finally, since the start of the 2017/18 season, Maddison has scored 16 goals and had 29 assists in League One...only Lyle Taylor has contributed more in that time (34 goals, 15 assists). I think it's fair to say...he's the epitome of consistent. And I'm certain somebody from the Championship will take a punt on him this summer (assuming Peterborough don't make a late dash for the playoffs and get promoted).
  4. Dawson - 7 - Confident performance. Looked assured at all times, and made two crucial saves late on to deny Bristol a sniff. Did struggle with his kicking however. Iorfa - 7 - Athletic. Solid. Dominant. A all-round steady full back display. Lees - 7 - Dealt with Diedhiou, a strong, difficult opponent, very well on the whole. His distribution wasn't great yesterday however, too many, aimless, floaty balls into No Mans Land. Hector - 8 - Class. Act. Another calming, commanding display which oozed class throughout. If we don't sign him, he'll take some replacing. Lazaar - 7 - A performance like he produced prior to his injury. Strong and positive when defending, presses and anticipates rather than looks to contain. Constantly a good option going forward also. Pelupessy - 7 - Often a critic, but thought, after a slow start, he grew into the game and performed his role well. Bannan - 8 - Man of the Match - He produced the perfect 1st half performance. Before his goal, he looked in the mood, spraying balls from flank to flank. Absolute belter, and a sumptuous ball for Joao's goal. Dropped off a tad in the 2nd half, and struggled to have as much as an impact, due to Bristol's dominance. Reach - 6 - Had a decent 1st half, saw a lot of the ball, but didn't really do enough with it. Tidy performance. Nothing more. Boyd - 6 - Another workmanlike performance, which is what Boyd gives you. But offensively, he does limit us somewhat. Hooper - 6 - Thought he struggled for parts of the game, but then showed his quality in brief moments. Could/should have done better with the chance early on following Lee's header back across goal. Assist for Bannan's goal also. Joao - 7 - It was one of those games he decided to turn up for. Despite us going fairly direct at times to him, he competing well. Stretched the play and gave Bristol's centre halves a problem when looking to run in behind (his goal a prime example). Took his goal superbly. Onomah - 6 - Agreed with his introduction, Hooper was becoming anonymous and Bristol were dominating the midfield. Helped shore things up, and allowed us to break on a couple of occasions. Forestieri - 6 - Glimpses of quality, but seemed obsessed with playing as a left back. He was clearly instructed to help out defensively, but he was playing behind Lazaar at some points! Matias - N/A Overall.... Bristol perhaps a tad unfortunate to not take anything from the game. We were exceptionally clinical, and Bristol weren't. Had they taken their chances (two glorious ones), the result could've been different. That said, Bruce has made us proud to keep a clean sheet, and the whole team worked tremendously hard to make it happen...right from the goalkeeper to the centre forward. We played some good football in the 1st half, but also had to defend well against a dangerous Bristol side. 2nd half was attritional, and ensuring Bristol didn't find a way back into the game. Good attributes to make habits. That said, if we keep that back four next season...we'll continue to be a tough nut to crack. It's full of athleticism, strength, pace, and good technical ability. Unfortunately, I fear Hector and Lazaar may well be financially beyond us.
  5. Have to say, despite a decent performance with a patched up side, our inability to pick the right option or do the right thing has cost us three points. Epitomises far too many players in our squad...we just cannot rely on enough of them enough of the time. So here goes... Dawson - 6 - Shaky start. Not sure what he was doing for the handball. Not sure he can be blamed for either goal (I know for sure, if Westwood had let those goals in, nobody would be blaming him!), but a really smart save to deny Pukki in the 1st half. Iorfa - 8 - Fantastic defensive display, and matched the explosive Hernandez for pace throughout. Lees - 8 - Another rock solid display. Dealt with the majority of difficulties Norwich posed. Just switched off for the MacLean chance in the 2nd half, that should've been buried. Hector - 8 - Seemed to start off a tad hesitant again, but stepped it up and read the game brilliantly. Lost count of the number of times he effortlessly stepped in front of Pukki and intercepted a forward pass. Palmer - 7 - On the whole, he did alright but he was one of the players who was guilty of totally unforced errors which presented Norwich with a way back into the game. He has to get rid of those lapses in the concentration. Hutchinson - 5 - Started the game poorly, got caught in possession and off injured yet again. Onomah - 4 - Looked ring rusty. His touch was off, he struggled with the pace of the game and his passing was poor. He needs games, I appreciate that...but he struggled last night. Matias - 5 - At times, he did very well. He was a good threat on the break, and used the ball well. But, in that last 20 minutes, he was Norwich's best player. He totally went to pot...and he epitomises the unreliability that is rife amongst the squad. It started with the needless header out for a corner, continued with the aerobatic shank of a volley out for another corner, then he went about constantly giving the ball away in midfield, and eventually culminated with a totally unnecessary foul which led to the equalising goal. So frustrating. Boyd - 6 - WHAT WAS HE DOING FOR NORWICH'S 1ST GOAL?! Just wandering around looking lost...almost bored. That said, I thought when Bruce switched to a 4-1-4-1 in the 2nd half with Boyd centrally, it helped us control the game much better. His work rate in there prevented Norwich from penetrating centrally, which meant we forced all danger out wide. Forestieri - 9 - Man of the Match - He's back. What a performance. He was busy and dangerous in the 1st half, where he was given licence to roam and go and find space. At no point did he play as a centre forward, and he totally suited his game. It goes without saying how good his goal was. However, the really step up in performance came in the 2nd half when he was moved out to the left wing. It is, without doubt, his best position, and Norwich couldn't contain him. He was finding space and time and he was causing numerous problems. Great to see. Fletcher - 8 - Another fine centre forward display. He's oozing with confidence and it shows. Holds up the ball brilliantly, and got a deserved (if rather fortunate) goal, and unlucky not to get another. Pelupessy - 6 - Stuck to his task, and did his job. He always looks half a yard off the pace, and he's extremely limited. That said, he sat and protected and diverted danger out wide. Which is exactly what was asked of him. Bannan - 6 - His total absence of a right foot, potentially cost us three points. Why didn't he shoot when one-on-one with Krul? 3-1 with 5 minutes to go...game over. Ridiculous decision to try and back heel the ball to Fletcher. Joao - 6 - Came on and provided a threat. Again, like Forestieri, I think his strengths lie when playing out wide. But, like Bannan, his poor decision making cost us three points. Great play late on, but kill the game. Instead he lost composure at the key moment, gifted the ball to Norwich, up they went, won the free kick, two points chucked away. Overall...there was so much good to come out of the match. Bruce's ability to keep eeking more and more out of limited players, and tactically looking ever more astute. Thought the switch to a 4-1-4-1 after the break really suited us...despite been forced to play Boyd in centre midfield. Forestieri back at his best, Fletcher continuing his fine form, and the back four, on the whole, looking very impressive yet again. But, the issues that Bruce is presented with are still prevalent and clear to see. Hutchinson will be worrying Bruce. His injury record is poor, and that now 3 games in the last nine games he's started, he's had to come off. Basic errors made by too many players. Reliability a huge issue. If we are to mount a challenge next season, we need players who make the right decisions, the majority of the time...at the minute, we don't have enough of those players.
  6. You’re missing the point completely. Its the ongoing issue over a prolonged period of time. The issues run a lot longer than a handful of games when the going is good. Even in that graphic, Hutchinson has come off injured in 3 of the last 9 games he’s played. Thankfully, Bruce knows whats needed. He won’t be fooled by the excellent turn in results since Christmas. And by that, I don’t necessarily mean he’ll get rid of Westwood & Hutchinson...but he needs far more reliability within the squad. At present, there are only two players he can rely on to be 7/10 and fit and ready to go week in week out are Hector and Lees.
  7. Agree with the OP. Far too many basic errors or ridiculous decisions from far too many players affected the game hugely, at both ends of the pitch. Bannan. Ridiculous decision not to hit it when in a great one-on-one position with the goalkeeper. Joao. Kill the game. Go to the corner. Blast it over the bar. Whatever. With less than 2 minutes to go, don't give them a chance to attack. Again...braindead football. Palmer. Keeping the ball in and playing the ball back straight into the path of the Norwich winger. Gave Norwich a great opportunity to equalise. Totally unforced error. We've seen it before from him. Matias. Don't even get me started. He was Norwich's best player in that final 20 minutes. The unforced header out for a corner. The ridiculous extravagant volley he shanked for a corner. Continuously giving the ball away in midfield. And lunging in and giving the referee a decision to make for the free kick. He's like a Springer Spaniel who's just been let off the leash...utter chaos...at both ends of the pitch. And this is where the crux of our issues lie. We have too many players we cannot rely on. Either physically (Hutchinson, yet another game he can't complete today. Westwood...yet another game he missed through injury), or mentally...Bruce just cannot rely on so many of these players. He's hinting strongly at a clear out, because despite how well we've done under him, Bruce knows that there's too many players he doesn't know what he's going to get from when they cross that white line.
  8. To be fair, he's only completed 90 minutes on six occasions.
  9. With Reach, Aarons and Lazaar all not fit for the game, I don't think it leaves us with too many options: Westwood Palmer Lees Hector Fox Matias Hutchinson Bannan Boyd Hooper Fletcher
  10. As it stands, I think the only one who'll definitely be here next season from that list is: Palmer. If Westwood is willing to take a BIG wage drop, then I'm sure Bruce will want him here next season. He's still got a couple of years left at least, and he's proven his worth (and fitness) in the last 3/4 months. It'll be down to Westwood himself. Will be seek a more lucrative contract elsewhere? With regards Hooper, very much dependant on the next 4 games. If he plays in all those games, and shows no signs of breaking down again, like Westwood, I'm sure Bruce will be keen for him to stay. But, again, he'll have to accept a big wage drop, and perhaps a shorter deal than he may get elsewhere. I personally think, there's more chance of Hooper leaving, than there is him staying. We'll see. Out of everyone else who's out of contract, the only other one I think may be here next season is Boyd. Bruce likes him, trusts him, plays him. Again, he'd need to accept hugely reduced sums, but if he's willing to take that cut, Bruce might see him as a good squad option for next season. With regards the loanees, it's out of our hands really. I'd be interested in bringing back Hector, Lazaar and Aarons, but it very much depends on the fees Chelsea and Newcastle would want. My instinct is, I think we'll be priced out of all three of them. Hector, in particular, will be a huge void to fill. He's been our Player of the Season by a country mile.
  11. Westwood - 8 - Absolutely fantastic save to deny Roberts' header from point blank range. That said, despite Leeds total dominance, I can only remember a couple of other saves you'd expect him to make (happy to be corrected). Did well to close down Alioski when he had the chance following Bamford's flick on. Palmer - 7 - Defending reasonably well amongst the almost 90 minute onslaught. Lees - 9 - Man of the Match - He was the stand out performer for us today. He was absolutely magnificent. Got it wrong once...when Bamford got the wrong side of him early on. From then on, he was commanding, resolute, brave. Put his body on the line, and cut out potential danger time after time. Unfortunately, he was asked to do it far too often. Hector - 6 - Thought he was fairly hesitant at times in the 1st half. Improved generally as the game went on, and became more positive. Switched off for the goal allowing Harrison to get the run on him. Didn't use the ball well either, gave it away far too cheaply. Fox - 6 - For the most part, he did alright up against, in my opinion, the best player in the division (Hernandez). Seemed to get a wee bit leggy as the game went on, and some mistakes began to creep into his play. Hutchinson - 7 - Felt for him today. Was really up against it in the central areas, and wasn't backed up well at all. Stuck to his task, worked tirelessly til the end. Bannan - 4 - Really struggled today. Failed to back up Hutchinson throughout the entirety of the 2nd half, and his usual calmness in possession under pressure was severely lacking today. As a result, we just could not sustain any control of the ball nor launch any sort of counter. Reach - 6 - Our best period of play came about when he was the on the pitch...and he wasn't on it all that long. Boyd - 4 - Powderpuff performance. Looked leggy, weak, tired. Unlike him. Hooper - 5 - Seemed to struggle with the pace of the game today. Which, to be fair, is unsurprising considering his long lay off...Leeds play at such a frighteningly high tempo. The game could've been totally different had he took the opportunity early in the 1st half. Fletcher - 6 - His hold up play and general quality just wasn't there. But he worked so hard despite him seemingly pi55ing in the wind. Chased the rare lost causes he was given to chase, and defended well in our box. Matias - 5 - At no point did we have any control of the game after his arrival (not necessarily as a result of him), but on the rare occasions we did get the ball, he was as guilty of most of wasting possession cheaply. Should've squared the ball to Nuhiu late on. Forestieri - 5 - Really poor cameo performance. Managed to create a couple of really nice situations, but his quality was sub standard. Nuhiu - 6 - Made himself a nuisance, and allowed us to actually get up the pitch and feed off 2nds when he came on. Overall ... We got a battering. Aside from the 1st 15 minutes or so, when I thought we looked comfortable and potentially quite dangerous, we became sitting ducks. Just could not get out. We were suffocated to within an inch of our life, and to be fair, we're fortunate for some poor Leeds finishing, to come out with just a 1-0 defeat. They are, in my opinion, the best side in the league. The tempo they play at and maintain, is mesmerising, and it's very easy for fans to criticise players, but you've no idea how hard it is to play against such relentless opposition. Disappointing way to finally extinguish that faint glimmering Playoff light, but the fact is, we aren't anywhere near Leeds' quality at the minute. Personally hope that this just sharpens Bruce's vision going forward. That's the standard we have to be at, week in, week out, if we want to get out of this league.
  12. Westwood - 8 - Crucial save to deny Lolley in the 1st half, after Palmer's error. Huge moment in the game. Made a couple of other good, but expected saves, and instigated the counter attack following one of those saves for Boyd's goal. Deserved clean sheet. Palmer - 6 - Exceptionally poor in the 1st half, as were most of the pitch. Couple of really poor errors, one which directly led to the golden opportunity for Lolley, which Westwood saved brilliantly. Better in the 2nd half, and got forward well on a few occasions. Lees - 7 - On the whole, thought he was very good last night, but, like so many others, guilty of a totally unforced error, which should've led to more, when he gifted the ball to Lolley (?) on half way, and left us with a 2 vs 1. Hector - 7 - Really slow start from Hector. Seemed to get sucked in to trying to stay really tight to Grabban, and got turned too often, too easily. Gave away a couple of really cheap fouls away as a result. Improved the 2nd half, and made a couple of good interceptions late on. Fox - 7 - Really steady display from Fox. Defended well up against a tricky customer in Cash, and very much involved in the build up to Boyd's goal. Very good comeback to the side. Pelupessy - 6 - Really poor in the 1st half. Guilty of a lack of composure and quality on the ball, and seemed to be chasing shadows for much of it. That said, like so many others, improved hugely 2nd half, and stifled a number of forward passes in the midfield. In the end, it was a decent enough performance. Reach - 7 - The game seemed to bypass him in the first half, but thought he really stepped it up and found his feet in the 2nd. Became a driving force in midfield. Matias - 8 - Man of the Match - He's frustrating, no doubt about it, but he's got goals in his locker, and he always looks to play positively. Fantastic vision and execution for his 1st goal, and although thankful for a bit of fortune for his 2nd, it was good to see a winger making that out to in run in behind the defence. Boyd - 7 - Really quiet 1st half, hardly seemed to feature in anything meaningful. But, grew into the game, became a real threat, took his goal superbly, and works phenomenally hard. I'm starting to wonder whether Bruce might just give him another year. Joao - 7 - Typical Joao performance really. Does so many good things, but far too often, the simple things let him down. His hold up play, to a point, was fantastic last night...but too often, dallies on the ball and ends up getting caught in possession. That said, two assists for him. Great knock down for Boyd, and exquisite back-heel flick through ball for Matias' 2nd. Fletcher - 8 - Another superb display, without getting the reward of a goal he deserved. He was, head and shoulders, the best player on the pitch in the 1st half. He worked so hard, got kicked and knocked, but carried on to produce another brilliant centre forward display. I don't think he'll get the credit his performance deserves tonight, because he hasn't a goal or assist to show for it, but he really was top draw. Hooper - 6 - Probably didn't get into the game as much as he'd like to have, but still showed his quality. Involved in the build up to Matias' 2nd goal also. Overall... Have to say, I've never seen so many basic, unforced errors from two sides in that 1st half. It was a truly awful game of football...which made it bizarrely very entertaining. Thankfully, in the 2nd half, Forest continued in the same vein, but we came out much sharper in the 2nd half, and that goal straight after HT was the catalyst to a much improved performance. We didn't have as much control as we have done in games of late, and in the end, the margin of victory perhaps flattered us. Those fine margins which went against us on Saturday, went for us last night. Contrast Westwood's save at 0-0 to him parrying Villa's winner into his own goal on Saturday; Matias' 2nd goal ricocheting back into his path; scoring two low percentage goals from outside the box yet missing a penalty on Saturday. But, they keep us clinging on. We all know it's not really possible, certainly not likely...but 4 points to make up in 5 games, seems so bloody close. Let's hope we reduced that gap once again on Saturday, and do our neighbours a favour they're all craving us to do.
  13. @Holmowl is spot on. Joao has NINE goals from an xG of only 3.51. And yet, one of the criticisms constantly thrown at him, is that's he's not clinical enough. Infact, Joao hasn't missed a "good" chance all season. He's had four chances with an xG of over 25%, and scored all four of them. Mightily impressive. Iorfa is a close 2nd, although he obviously only has a small sample size, 3 goals from an xG of 1.36. Nuhiu's is pretty poor. He has only THREE goals from an xG of 5.04. Lees pretty much level, 2 goals from 1.79 xG, and Matias is 4th in "Clinical-ness", 4 goals from an xG of 2.28.
  14. I really rate Joao, think he's a potentially wonderful talent. But, how long can you keep waiting for someone to realise that potential? He was woefully mismanaged by Carlos, and a year of his career and time here, was totally wasted. That said, I think £8m, in this day and age, isn't a ludicrous price for such a potentially special talent. I still think, he could well play at the very highest level. He has all the attributes...just his consistency is lacking. In the summer, I think both Forestieri and Joao will be touted about, at a premium price, to see if there's any takers. Would one of the big three in Portugal be tempted by Joao? Not sure. Benfica maybe.... currently managed by Bruno Lage, former Wednesday coach. Nobody else in Portugal would be able to afford him.
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