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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. The standard of defending

    I thought the defending in transitions and general play wasn't too bad today to be honest. But we really struggled with Vila's deliveries. Think that was down to two main reasons: 1.) Quality of delivery. Snodgrass in particular put a couple of brilliant balls into the box. Some crosses are extremely difficult to defend. 2.) Wildsmith's reluctance to come and take command aerially. Now, this isn't necessarily knocking Wildsmith per se, because it's an issue that effects the back line also. But, there were balls into the box, which was close to, or curling into towards Wildsmith. If a keeper comes, he's favourite for them. As a result, our back line had to drop to reduce the space, and unfortunately, if you don't win the headers in that region of the pitch, they are more than likely going to score a goal. Boyd didn't do enough to stop Snodgrass or El-Mohammady either today. Too many times they were allowed to create overloads against Fox, and too often they put balls into the box without much pressure. Hunt and Venancio dealt with the threat much better down the right hand side.
  2. How did you rate the players

    Wildsmith - 5 - Should've held Terry's header for the first goal, and wasn't commanding enough coming for some dangerous crosses throughout the game. Also, baffling decision making when it came to playing out from the back. Venancio - 6 - Thought he did alright today again. Positive distribution, and was strong throughout. But, he's part of a backline that's conceding 4 goals. Pudil - 6 - Same as Venancio really. Didn't do a great deal wrong, some important headers/challenges. Fox - 6 - Generally, did OK. Looks much better at centre half than at left wing back. Up against Snodgrass and El-Mohammady is a tough gig...Boyd not exactly too much help defensively. Hunt - 6 - He's looking much better in this wing back role, and was a threat going forward. However, should've defended better for Villa's 2nd goal. Boyd - 5 - Decent first half, couple of decent balls across and maybe should've won a penalty. 2nd half, he was much of the problem as to how Villa came back into the game. Little back up for Fox, poor decision making, and looked out of gas after 60 minutes. Switched off for 4th goal. Pelupessy - 6 - Better game today from him to be fair. Looked on top for much of the first half, although another poor first touch led to him getting his caution. Perhaps didn't get to grips of the midfield as much in the 2nd half. Reach - 7 - Another class display. Looks effortless on the ball, and remains our key player. Clare - 9 - Man of the Match - What a wonderful performance. Full of energy, oozing confidence. Made Villa's ageing players look geriatric. Continually glided past them, with direct, penetrating runs. Superb finish and unlucky not to get a 2nd. Need to sign this lad up. Based on the Derby performance, and today's, he could easily pick up the void left by Lee's injury. Joao - 8 - Another top notch display. Run Chester and Terry ragged. Superb touches and flair. Great header for the goal. Looking every bit the genuine top class striker he could be. Nuhiu - 8 - Impressive yet again today. His hold up play was key. Very much the catalyst to our pattern of play today...play through the thirds into Nuhiu's feet, he drops it off, and advanced players look to run in behind. Looks a lot fitter, and as a result, a much more effective player. Overall...a positive display, and you cannot knock the players at all. They gave their absolute all, and on another day would've won that game by the same scoreline Villa have. The intensity in the 1st half was brilliant to watch, and I thought we managed the game reasonably well in the 2nd. Had we scored the guilt edged chances we had or had a referee who gave us a decision, we'd have won at a cantor. The result wasn't what we wanted, but as fans, with the situation we find ourselves in, we have to be encouraged by that display. I hope Luhukay takes Tuesday seriously...it's a great chance to make this season memorable. I know the gap is now only 7 points to the drop zone, but based on that display, we shouldn't be worried about the drop (just yet!).
  3. Long term Jos....

    The likes of Forestieri, Bannan, Hooper, Lees and Lee are all good enough. Put those five into a side with Luhukay's added organisation and solidity, I'd like to think we'd see some positive results. Unfortunately, I do fear, that if we want a clear out, four of those five (assuming Lee is shot) are the most likely to demand fees that we may be desperate to accept.
  4. Long term Jos....

    I can't see it. If it was only a short term appointment, surely they'd have appointed someone with knowledge of the league and the club. Everything Jos seems to be doing, points towards a long term approach. Can't see what Luhukay would've got out of coming to a completely unknown club in a different country, for five months with no prospect of achieving anything. I've been impressed with him so far. Has shown that he's not afraid to make bold decisions, and that he's very sure in his ways how to manage the team. He's turned us from a complete shambles who couldn't keep clean sheets, into an organised unit who have become very hard to beat, with a tiny group of players made up of kids, misfits and players returning from injury. I'm encouraged to see what he could do with our club when he gets our best players fit and performing.
  5. Millwall's gone. ..what about Villa?

    I'd go with: ---------------Wildsmith---------------- ----Venancio-----Pudil-------Fox------ Hunt--------------------------------Reach -------Clare---Jones---Butterfield------- -------------Nuhiu-----Joao-------------- Left wing back is still a position we've yet to find an answer for. Fox isn't good enough going forward to play that role, and Boyd has flattered to deceive in that role twice (plus he's played three times in a week, so he'll be rested). I realise by moving Reach out of midfield, we'll initially miss his dynamism in there...but, long term, we need an answer to the left wing back position. We've plenty of talented midfielders, and when Bannan, Lee, and Hutchinson are back, will Reach be needed in midfield? Reach's fantastic engine and quality on the ball will give us a totally different aspect to our attacking play. Reach looks at his best, coming onto the ball and running at players...in the left wing back position, he'll get that opportunity more often and an abundance of space to go with it. Butterfield did alright against Swansea, and looks better when given licence to get forward. He isn't a deep lying playmaker. He needs to find pockets further up the field. Clare will give us the directness and energy, and Jones will sit and protect. I know Pelupessy scored a great goal last night, but he was abysmal before and after his goal. (again). Loovens has gone. We're a game or two away from Lees coming back into the fold...we should limit his playing time to little as possible. Fox performed well at centre half against Swansea, Pudil and Venancio have, on the whole, done well in the back three. Unless Rhodes makes a recovery, I'd go with Nuhiu/Joao. Playing Wallace up there hasn't really worked. Rhodes can come into the thinking for the Swansea game next Tuesday. Playing that side on Saturday, will give us the opportunity to play something like this, away at Swansea: Dawson Venancio Lees Pudil Palmer Fox Pelupessy Reach Wallace Rhodes Joao
  6. Rate jos so far?

    Last night was his first mistake as far as I'm concerned. He'd have had his reasons, I'm sure, and let's be honest, considering the amount of investment this club has had in the last three years, we should NEVER be even close to a situation where we're unable to field no strikers. Up until last night, I don't think he could be faulted at all. He's come in, amongst a inexcusable injury crisis at a time when we were an utter shambles. He's steadied the ship, made us very hard to beat and with what? Players who were deemed surplus to requirements, U23's and players playing out of position. Every manager makes mistakes, it's how he learns from them. In hindsight, last night was one. And I'm certain we won't be seeing him try that again in the future. But, if Joao wasn't 100% fit, and Nuhiu was been rested, why not try it? The issue last night, wasn't going strikerless as such, but the fact our three most advanced players either aren't mobile or good enough. Had Reach, Forestieri and Matias played up there instead, I suspect the performance may well have been very different. The reaction to last night has been way OTT though. Many by fans who have been waited for the opportunity to have a pop. If Jos keeps us up this season without getting embroiled into a relegation battle, whilst making positive decisions on this squad in respect to the future, he'll have achieved his objective in my book. And I've seen nothing so far, to suggest he won't do that.
  7. What the hell are we playing at since half time?!
  8. What's made Pelupessy's goal even more special, is the fact he's not been able to trap a bag of sand for the entire first half!
  9. Decent enough first half, if not spectacular, in a pretty dire affair. Millwall haven't caused us too many issues, and when they have, it's come from our own doing. Continue in the same vein, and I'd look to bring Joao on to stretch their back line for the final half hour.
  10. Strange selection, especially with the likes of Joao seemingly rested at the weekend. However, Luhukay has got very little wrong so far, so we've got to trust him. He knows the squad far better than we do (and lets be honest, he knows how to manage a football team far better than we do!). I think we'll line up in a 3-4-3 (5-2-3) formation (similar to how Chelsea do). ----------------Wildsmith---------------- ---Venancio----Loovens---Thorniley--- Hunt----------------------------------Fox -----------Pelupessy--Jones------------ Stobbs------------------------------Boyd ------------------Wallace----------------- Pelupessy and Jones give us good defensive cover in the middle of midfield, and given Millwall play a very rigid 4-4-2, we can afford to go without an additional midfielder in there today. Wallace will play a "False Nine" role...similar to what he did on Saturday to be honest. He'll drop into pockets, and look to get Boyd and Stobbs on in behind. I don't see where the goals are going to come from personally...but I don't believe the selection is as negative as it seems. On paper, we'll match Millwall up centrally and in wide areas, outnumber their two man front line, and with Wallace roaming, it'll leave their central defenders with an issue whether to go and follow him or retain shape.
  11. Team for Millwall

    ---------------Wildsmith------------------ ----Venancio---Pudil---Thorniley-------- Hunt-----------------------------------Fox --------Clare----Jones---Reach--------- -------------Joao-------Nuhiu------------ That's what I'd go with. But, I think it'll be more akin to: ----------------Wildsmith----------------- ----Venancio--Loovens--Pudil---------- Palmer-------------------------------Fox -----Clare----Pelupessy--Reach------- -----------Joao---------Nuhiu-----------
  12. He hasn't been anywhere near as bad as some people have been making out. He's a full back, who's strengths lie in defending. He's not a wing back, and never will be. But he's been asked to play that role, and done a reasonable job of it. It was no surprise that he looked a much better player (against much better players) on Saturday, when his role comprised solely of defending. But I realise, it's not the in-thing to praise Morgan Fox...
  13. 1 Defeat in 9 Games For Jos

    ...Another season of failure.
  14. Pundits have no idea what a dive is nowadays. They've made so many excuses for their fellow professionals who have engineered contact to enable them to chuck themselves to the ground, that it's now acceptable to do what Alli has done today. It's blatant cheating. If Alli continues his normal movement, he doesn't get touched, and he doesn't go down. It's a sad state of affairs, that we now have a culture (in the media) that excuse that. Is it time to embrace kidology (cheating)? If you can get away with it, applaud it? It gets rid of the debate.
  15. Central defence

    Assuming we are going to stick with 3 at the back next season, we really need 6 central defenders within the squad. Currently, we have: Loovens, Lees, Van Aken, Venancio and Pudil from the 1st team squad. Thorniley, O'Grady and Nielson from the U23's. The summer would be the perfect time to cut ties with Loovens. He's been a fantastic servant for us, but it's now time to thank him for his service and move on. I'd definitely look to make Venancio's loan deal permanent. Has come in during a very difficult period and performed superbly. Has adapted to the league remarkably quickly, and is currently, imo, one of the best three centre halves at the club. Thorniley is a player I really like. He has the potential to make the step up, and he should be part of the 1st team squad next season. O'Grady and Nielson I think are perhaps a year behind Thorniley in terms of development. And providing we've got some U18's suitable to step up next season, these two need to spend 6 months to a year out on loan, like Thorniley has done this season. So that leaves us with Lees, Pudil, Venancio, Van Aken and Thorniley. Do we bite the bullet and say to Hutchinson, he's a centre half? Possibly. He'd suit the wide centre half position very well; mobile, good on the ball, quick enough to cover space, aggressive. If we don't convert Hutchinson, then a centre half, preferably a leader, should be on the agenda. Personally, I'd convert Hutchinson, and focus on bringing in a left wing back with genuine quality. Those six, offer a good mix. Hutchinson and Venancio are capable of playing right side. Pudil, Thorniley and Van Aken can play left side. Lees, Venancio or Pudil suited to playing centrally.