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Everything posted by frastheowl

  1. Potentially, although I don't think he's played as a wing back all that often. Think he's probably done it on occasions, to do a job rather him been genuinely versatile and comfortable in the role. That said, if Moore sees him as that, then it probably does open up the possibility of another forward player...so maybe Wilks won't be dead in the water, even if we end up bringing Joseph in.
  2. Looked like a cut and dry hamstring injury. Overstretched when making a high tackle. Fingers crossed its a strain (3-4 weeks) rather than a full on tear (3-4 months).
  3. Dawson Iorfa Heneghan Palmer Hunt Bakinson Byers Adeniran James Gregory Paterson If Sow is potentially on his way, I wouldn't risk him, especially if his departure is dependent upon us bringing somebody else in. To be fair...I think that it probably highlights the issues we've still got to address...despite seemingly bringing in a lot of players, we still look short in depth in so many departments (GK, centre midfield and LWB aside).
  4. I think one striker with genuine pace/trickery is required, however that is dependent upon how long Smith is likely to be out for. I agree we need a centre half, and after Famewo's likely long term injury yesterday, that HAS to be somebody capable of playing LCB...which probably rules Dean out tbf. Our current centre half options are... RCB - Ihiekwe, Palmer. DC - Heneghan, Iorfa. LCB - Famewo (injured), Palmer And I think we need an genuine alternative to Hunt. Palmer isn't, has never been and will never be a wing back. Palmer is now a wide centre half in either the RCB or LCB position. We haven't replaced Mendez-Laing yet...the attacking alternative, or option from the bench to potentially change the game. LCB, RWB (who's strength lies in attacking) and a forward (with pace/trickery).
  5. Stockdale - 8 - Man of the Match - Pretty much a spectator in the 1st half. But made three key saves in the 2nd half, and couple of key punches/collections when required late on. Famewo - 7 - A very promising debut cut short. Looked strong and quick in the 1st half an hour. Looked like a hamstring from the challenge, so I suspect we won't see him again this side of Christmas. Heneghan - 7 - Clean sheet, and to be fair, rarely looked in too much trouble. Very strong aerially...but MK Dons looked a shadow of the the side they had last season, and didn't ask too much questions. Did get caught for the chance, in which Stockdale made the smart save down to his right however. Ihiekwe - 7 - Looked a lot more comfortable on the right hand side, probably aided by the conservatism of our wing backs yesterday also. Palmer - 7 - I don't like him as a wing back, don't think he offers us enough in either directions tbf, however, cannot fault the lad's performance when moved to LCB. He's reliable there, and does a 7/10 job there consistently. Johnson - 6 - Much more restrained performance today, rarely over-committing himself. Did a job up against MK's winger and WB. Wasted a good crossing opportunity in the 2nd half, with a woeful delivery. Vaulks - 7 - Good solid game. Got himself into some promising attacking positions in the 1st half, and in the 2nd half demonstrated the abilities we need him to, to replace Luongo. Lots of interceptions and tackles, and general mopping up. Dele-Bashiru - 7 - Grew into the game, and looked a real threat in the last 15 minutes when the game opened up and he was pushed into a more advanced position. But, overall, did well. Competed well and stuck to his task defensively, and show three or four moments of genuine strength and physical disrespect. Good follow-up on last weeks display. Bannan - 5 - Poor. His general play and passing were well below par, and his hesitancy led to MK's only clear cut opportunity. He's playing far too advanced at present, and we are struggling to get the ball to him. Something needs tweaking. Windass - 6 - Did well for the penalty, and took it nicely. But, struggled to get into the game. Cannot understand why he didn't go and isolate himself up against Lewington. There was only one winner in that scenario. Paterson - 5 - Offered absolutely nothing. Cannot remember him winning one aerial battle, his general hold up play was abject and like always, seems more interested in fouling and general sheethousery than actually doing his job he's paid to do. Hunt - 6 - Defended well enough, and kept the right hand side relatively quiet. Overall... It wasn't pretty...in fact, it was a bang average performance. However, given our attacking options (or distinct lack of them), I'd have taken a scrappy, dull 1-0 victory at the start of the game. It was vitally important, after last weeks defensive shambles, that we demonstrated an ability to dig in and defend our goal. And although MK Dons were a shower, and barely troubled us, we did show those attributes, which can only stand us in good stead. Would've taken 4 points from the 1st two games, but we still need to address some strikingly obvious imbalances and deficiencies within the squad. Following Famewo's likely long term injury, we can add a LCB to the list, along with another a RWB with pace, and a forward player with genuine pace/trickery.
  6. I'm a huge fan of Dele-Bashiru, always have been tbh. I think he genuinely has the skill set and physical attributes to play at a high level. But, for him to become an all-round midfielder, he needs games and time to build on that awareness from a defensive aspect. Something we haven't awarded him so far, nor am I sure we are now in a position to allow him to go through that learning process. Such our aims and expectations. Alternatively, you make sure there's somebody with a genuine defensive head behind or alongside him, and if he puts in game-changing performances like he did last week, you make all the adjustment you need to make make FDB is playing week-in week-out. Vaulks is the obvious choice, but I do wonder whether Bakinson could be ideal, in that sitting playmaker role, if the centre halves continue to struggle to find the midfield like they did on Saturday. Whatever way I look at it though... it always ends up with a three-man midfield (or even a diamond!)...but that's based off one game, so perhaps we can find some fluency and consistency in the current system over the next few games.
  7. Apologies. Tbh, I haven't been on here for a while, and I totally forgot about the MotM thread. I promise to be back on form this weekend! As a summary, I felt that last Saturday poised far more questions, than it did answers. I felt our balance looked out of kilter from the get go tbh. There's no doubt, we were the better side in the 1st half, but I genuinely think that was down to a No Show from Portsmouth...they were utterly awful in the 1st half. And, it seemed that we felt things we're going to be a bit of cakewalk, and as a result, allowed Portsmouth an opportunity to stay in the game, and ultimately end up looking the more likely to win the game. I don't think playing Bannan in the No.10 worked...at all. He played noticeably higher, and although he still showed his class when he got the ball, I don't think we saw him enough. As a result of Bannan's advanced position, we were totally reliant on Byer's to link the play...and when Byer's was marked, our centre halves never looked comfortable enough to bypass the midfield, to find Bannan or the forward players. Consequently I don't think we ever poised a genuine, probing threat, until Bannan was dropped deeper in the 2nd half. The introduction of Smith, and Windass dropping into the hole, gave us much more options, and I'd like to think, that would be our blueprint for the season ahead. The drawback of that...with Bannan a sure starter when fit, it only leaves one more slot in that midfield...with a whole raft of names and good players to choose from. Can't help but think, we might have caused ourselves a bit of an issue in terms of squad balance, just by attempting a slight tweak in system. Wasn't impressed with Stockdale...at all. His distribution was poor, and I've seen the goals back...and I think he's got to do better with those first two goals. Had Dawson let those in...he'd have been vilified by many. The back three looked fine in the 1st half against effectively no opposition, but looked vulnerable down the channels (Ihiekwe & Heneghan in particular looked sluggish covering the space in behind our wing backs). And the less said about our ability to defend crosses the better. Farcical. It wasn't an awful performance by any stretch...but it was way below what I expected in terms of familiarity and cohesiveness. Dele-Bashiru was exceptional in possession, but is he disciplined enough defensively?...I'm not convinced a Double Pivot of Byers and Bashiru will be effective enough at sniffing out those counter attacks we're bound to encounter, given how high our wing backs play.
  8. Similar to Palmer really. Wouldn't be in anybody's 1st XI, but will likely play 30 plus games because of their versatility. I'd be more than happy to keep him around the squad, but, I'd be surprised if Paterson himself is happy been a generic squad player in a League One side. If we get any interest in him, I suspect we'll allow him to explore any options out there.
  9. You may be right, I've just gone off Sofa Score's profile of him tbh. If he isn't naturally left footed, if really emphasises the need to get one (or two) centre halfs who are naturally left footed to give us that balance, we so often lacked last season (when playing Hutchinson or Palmer there for long periods).
  10. Yeah, I think Palmer will be utilised as an option in either of the wide centre half roles. He did a reasonable job last season, and as a versatile option to have in the squad, that could also fill in at RWB (and LWB) at certain points also. Looking at what we've got: Iorfa - Quick, aerially strong. Happy bringing the ball out of defence, but perhaps limited technically in terms of ball control and passing ability. I think he's ideally suited to the centre of the back three, with his ability to sweep and cover space in behind...but I'd imagine, he'll be utilised as a RCB primarily. Heneghan - Old fashioned type centre haf. He'll be an option in the middle of the back three. But, I think he'll be very much a back-up, who might be employed in certain matches, where the aerial bombardment is expected. Ihiekwe - Comfortable playing in all three positions across the back. Left footed, so makes sense for him to be the 1st option at the LCB position, but looked comfortable last season playing as a RCB (when Wes Harding was employed at LCB for Rotherham) Palmer - A solid back up option for both LCB and RCB positions Right Centre Half - IORFA (Palmer) (Ihiekwe) Centre Half - HENEGHAN (Iorfa) (Ihiekwe) Left Centre Half - IHIEKWE (Palmer) So, we've already got a degree of versatility within our limited options at centre half. I'd like another left sided centre half as a priority. I thought Purrington would've ticked a lot of boxes tbh (left footed, comfortable on the role, an alternative to Johnson at LWB in certain games/situations). Gibson is another interesting option if he is available...I genuinely think there's a very good player in there, if he can get some consistency and games under his belt. And maybe another option to centrally... Dean is the obvious one. But that won't cheap, but he'll be a cut above most at this level. The links with Charlie Goode is interesting (if there's anything in it). Goode is a player who is very capable and comfortable in possession, but is right footed, so would be ideally suited to RCB. That on paper would be a great signing, and could allow us to play Iorfa in, what I feel would be his best position, which is centrally. In essence, we need two centre halves, one needs to be able to fill in at LCB, and the other, dependant who's available, could determine the role Iorfa plays this season for us. (Regarding Iorfa, I've no doubt, that with a strong pre-season under his belt, and hopefully a campaign without too many injury issues, he'll be a key player for us. At the start of last season before his injury, he was immense and looked a cut above)
  11. Cracking signing for Shrewsbury. Good move for Dunkley. Stays in League One. Two (plus one) year deal. Close to home.
  12. I'd surprised if Gregory leaves, but given we've signed Smith, and potentially look close to signing Wilks, from the club's perspective, at the right price, there might be a deal to be done. Given his form last season, you can see why he'd attract interest, and the opportunity to get around the £1m mark (which I think would be a fair price for a 33 year old), might be too much for Wednesday to turn down (and represent a affordable gamble for many Championship clubs). It presents an opportunity to reinvest in potentially a younger striker who could represent a sell on value later down the line. Like others have said, I'm not sure Gregory would be particularly keen on leaving...but everybody has their price.
  13. Not quite sure why I'm even bothering to reply to such a pointless discussion...but hey ho! Straight from the EFL Regulations: Expiry dates - All Contracts expire 30 June with the exception of Monthlies/Multiplicities which must expire on or before 30 June following registration.
  14. All end of season contracts finish on the 30th June.
  15. I'm not overly fussed about the whole situation, but Cardiff and Wimbledon have allowed Vaulks and Heneghan to begin their pre-season with us, before the official expiration of their contracts. Not sure whether Stockdale has started yet or not, but he might have got an extra week off because of the Playoff final. Most clubs wouldn't prevent players, who are never going to play for the club again, from beginning pre-season for their new clubs. Seems needlessly petty, but in the grand scheme of things, won't make one iota of difference.
  16. Peacock-Farrell - 7 - Couple of saves you'd expect him to make, unlucky with the goal, and looked assured enough with crosses/corners. Storey - 7 - Looked very good again. Stood up to periods of pressure, and never looked too troubled. Dean - 7 - Dealt with Stewarts aerial threat well enough, and looked like he slotted back into the defence without too much trouble. Hutchinson - 6 - Up to until the goal, he was probably our best player. But, that mistake, at that time, in a match of this magnitude, was simply criminal. Inexcusable. Had it happened on the 34th minute, then I wouldn't be so harsh, but on the stroke of HT after the side had kept the crowd very quiet for 45 minutes, it just needs to go. Made a decent block in the 2nd half, but ultimately, he's cost us the game. Hopefully we don't pay the ultimate price on Monday. Palmer - 7 - Man of the Match - I was surprised to see him preferred to Hunt, and even after the game, and a good performance with Palmer, I'm still unsure as to whether it was the right decision. Hunt has been brilliant of late, and I struggle to find a reason for his exclusion. However, fair play to Palmer, he put in a shift, looked to get into dangerous attacking areas, and although he'll always lack quality (because he's technically limited), he was probably our most likely goal threat. Just sneaked MotM, because of his surprising performance! Johnson - 6 - Struggled to get into the game in the 1st half, and Roberts seemed to push him back to limit his attacking opportunities. No surprise that our best spell came in the last 20 minutes, when Johnson began to start seeing a lot more of the ball however. Luongo - 6 - Struggled to get on top in the 1st half, and although screened well enough, failed to get his foot on the ball and calm things down. Grew into the game. Byers - 6 - Jekyll and Hyde performance. Thought he was hopeless in the 1st half. Treated the ball like a hot potato, zero composure, and was responsible for gifting possession back to Sunderland. However, 2nd half, when Sunderland tired and their press wasn't as effective, he began to make things tick like we know he can. Bannan - 5 - Totally anonymous. Seemed to try and play the role he did at Mk Dons, but without getting the press right nor getting the service high up the pitch. Got a little more joy as he dropped slightly deeper in the 2nd half, especially when Windass came on...but I'm not convinced he was fit. Berahino - 5 - Tough night for both strikers. Feeding off scraps, but Berahino looked physically weak, and never looked like causing Sunderland's backline any problems whatsoever. Gregory - 6 - Toiled away, had our best chance early on the 1st half following Dean's knock down. Will need more from him on Monday. Windass - 7 - Came on, and had a positive impact. Stretched their defence, created more space for the midfield. Has to start on Monday. Dele-Bashiru - 6 - Showed glimpses Overall... On reflection, I don't think it was the shocking performance some are making it out to be. Possession wise, we were very poor for 70 minutes. For whatever reason, and some credit has to be given to Sunderland's work-rate and pressing, we just couldn't get into any rhythm when we had the ball. Which is disappointing given the amount of quality we have in central areas. I was clear Sunderland burnt out at 70 minutes, and they dropped off, and as a result, we began to look more threatening. Defensively however, I thought, bar the 10 minutes after the break, we looked remarkably comfortable. Just before the goal, I said how well we'd dealt with Sunderland's attacking threat and how quieten the stadium was. Hutchinson's mistake was fatal, and it gave the whole place a massive boost at HT, and it was no surprise how quickly Sunderland came out after the break. However, we weathered the storm, and slowly began to get a foothold in the game. I wouldn't have taken 1-0 before the game (because I genuinely thought we had enough quality to get a result), but its not a disaster. Sunderland threw everything at us, and they relied on a gift from us to get the only goal. We have nothing to worry about, and I fully expect us to cause Sunderland more issues than they caused us on Monday. Conversely, I expect Sunderland to cause us more problems than we caused them also. Monday is perfectly balanced. But, in isolation, if somebody would've said at the start of the season, that we'd have to overturn a 1 goal deficit against Sunderland, at a sold out Hillsborough under the lights to get to Wembley, then I reckon most of us would've taken that. We need to be better than last night...and I fully expect us to be. Whether that's enough or not, is another question!
  17. If he's fit, he starts. Simple as that. Too good for this level. Experienced. Big game player. We need that in abundance tonight. Be harsh on Palmer, but there's no room for sentiment tonight. With a back three of Storey - Dean - Hutchinson, I'd be confident of been able to withstand the inevitable pressure we're likely to be exposed to at some point.
  18. Some of the average scores are undermarked I agree, but for the the four you've mentioned who you believe are overmarked, it's no surprise that they are above the three you perceived to be undermarked. Dunkley, before his injury, was genuinely in contention to be one of the players of the year. His form was absolutely phenomenal, and he single handedly held a defence together that was made up of a mix of strikers, full backs and youngsters. Without Dunkley form's in that period, we'd have been miles off the playoff pace. Iorfa started the season brilliantly, was part of the defence that didn't concede for the 1st four games, and genuinely looked a different class for much of those games. Your perception of his performances have been warped by a couple of shakey performances following his comeback from a long injury. Gibson has done very well when he has played, it just hasn't been enough, and likewise (though less so) with Adeniran. Palmer is steady, and he may be slightly under marked, but I think an average mark of 6.5ish is about right. He's a steady eddy, that does alright in a couple of positions, but let's not get carried away. Paterson has had a very average season, and on a game-by-game basis, is rightly marked under those you have mentioned. And Johnson, although he has probably been one of the top three players in the 2nd half of the season, started the season very poorly. Over the course of a season, that's going to affect your mark over 46 games.
  19. To be fair, that's an astonishing turnaround statistically, if true. Wasn't too long ago, that his record was worse than that of Jos Luhukay. The pick up in form and consistency shown, whilst also playing entertaining, front foot football, since the turn of the year has been particularly impressive. Here's hoping it continues for another three games!
  20. Think we've got to a point now, where the side pretty much picks itself, when everybody is fit. If Dean is fit, he comes in, and Hutchinson moves to LCB. Other than that, it's pretty obvious. The only change (injuries permitting) I should envisage seeing before the end of the season (hopefully another three games), is Windass replacing Berahino. Otherwise, it's.. BPF Storey Dean (Palmer) Hutchinson Hunt Byers Luongo Bannan (FDB) Johnson Gregory Berahino with the replacements of those who are doubts in (brackets).
  21. It's very easy to blame Hunt, because it's his "man" that's got in behind. But, I'm not sure what else you want Hunt to do. He's gone to engage the player, without over committing, and he's should have cover in behind. Storey has got sucked into midfield (only by a couple of yards...but it's enough), and that's where the goal has come from. Look at our back line as Ogilvie has the ball. Hunt's position is fine, Storey is out of position, and Palmer has allowed Hirst to get the wrong side. At that point, the fact Hirst is the wrong side of Palmer, shouldn't be an issue, because it should allow Palmer to track Hirst's run easier (or at least communicate with Hutchinson). As the move progresses, Storey never makes up the loss ground, Hutchinson has no clue where Hirst is, and Palmer, inexplicably, doesn't track Hirst's run. It's a poor goal to concede from a couple of factors... but it certainly wasn't solely down to Hunt, and Palmer has a role to play within it also.
  22. Peacock-Farrell - 8 - Two fantastic saves in the 2nd half, in what was a very assured performance. Storey - 7 - Probably got sucked in slightly for Pompey's goal, which left Hunt exposed in behind. But other than that, another steady game with an added bonus of a goal too. Hutchinson - 8 - Took the battle with Hirst as a badge of honour by the looks of it. At times, he physically dominated Hirst, both aerially and in the tackle. Superb last ditch tackle to deny Thompson also. Palmer - 7 - Decent game, and made a couple of key tackles to snuff out a couple of Pompey attacks. Doesn't do too much to get excited about, but was dependable as he often is. Hunt - 8 - He'll unfairly get the blame for the 1st, but as a wing back, you have to have some form of cover in behind. But, thought he was terrific in the 1st half down the right hand, which seemed to see a lot of the ball. Johnson - 8 - Back to his best. He's frighteningly good. Always an outlet, calm on the ball and delivers so much quality. Brilliant play for Gregory's goal, but the chance he created for Byers in the 2nd half epitomises his qualities...direct running with pace, a desire to win the ball and the composure to pick his head up and see a pass. His 2nd half of the season has been incredible. Luongo - 8 - Byers and Bannan stand out, but the catalyst to so much of our play is Luongo. No surprise the amount of points we've picked up with him in the side. Picks up so many loose balls, takes the ball on the turn and gets us transitioning so often, and has a calmness on the ball that you don't see from too many "ball-winners" Byers - 9 - Could've easily been given MotM. Looked like he relished the occasion, and played with a real swagger. Fantastic play to set up Storey for the 3rd, unfortunate not to score following Johnson's great work and Bazunu's good save, but got a deserved goal in the end. He's very dangerous making those front post runs from set pieces. Bannan - 9 - Another fine display, where he demonstrated his ridiculous quality. Was well up for it yesterday, and if he's fit (pray to God he is), and on song for the playoffs, then I wouldn't bet against us going up. Couple of good efforts, one which was well saved. Hoping, with every phalanx crossed, that he's fully fit for Friday night. Gregory - 9 - Man of the Match - Just shaded it over Bannan & Byers for MotM for me. He was unplayable yesterday. Their centre half, Robertson, had a torrid time, and Gregory both physically and technically superior. Brilliant strikers instinct for the crucial equaliser, but he all round play was phenomenal. The effort with his left foot in the 1st half, which produced another remarkable save from Bazunu, was fantastic, but his touch and lobbed effort in the 2nd half, was a real touch of class. Berahino - 8 - Did well yesterday. Looked stronger, and seemed to use his body much better than before. Took his goal well, although there's more than an element of handball in there! Overall... Given I missed the 1st 7 minutes of the game (train back from Liverpool delayed due to signalling problems ), I thought we dominated a very open game, where both sides played on the frontfoot with positivity. Portsmouth's openness played right into our hands, and made our task relatively simple. But, fair play to the players, because there's been a lot of question marks hang over them for their mentality and fragility at times this season, and yesterday, 1-0 down in front of a packed, expectant Hillsborough, was a prime circumstance for them to go into hiding. But they did the opposite. Even at 1-0 down, they played with confidence and positivity, and put Portsmouth under the sword. From the moment Gregory's goal hit the back of the net, Portsmouth wilted, and Wednesday smelled blood and made the most of that vulnerability. Huge tie awaits us, in a game which belongs at the very highest level, but we have to believe we have enough to beat any the four playoff sides, and I genuinely believe we have nothing to fear. Friday night will be tough and intimidating, but I've full faith in this team...and with a spine of Peacock-Farrell, Hutchinson (Dean), Luongo, Bannan & Gregory, I fully expect us to get the job done.
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