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Everything posted by cowl

  1. You were clearly doing precisely that.
  2. Also, just to add on the subject of Rhodes staying beyond this season; I don't envisage a scenario in which this happens, personally. But I've also no doubt he'll be staying in the Championship anyway, irrespective of whichever division we start next season.
  3. Yeah, I remember the 6 game run well, and I think you're overstating Rhodes' role in those victories. The stat about Rhodes' presence on/off the pitch and goals scored is obviously compelling at face value, but in only 2 of the goals did he play a direct role; in fact, one which you characterise as him having ‘made ... for FF’ was really him having a shot saved, only for it to be followed up by FF on the rebound, which is very different from an assist. In fact, the other goal that he was directly involved in was also via his own shot (a header) being saved, but the rebound being put in. The other 8 goals he played next to no role in. But as I say, I remember those 6 games well, and the lasting impression of them was of Hooper's brilliance; he'd been out injured for 4 months, and yet his individual performances in those 6 games were excellent. He seemed to be the catalyst and I distinctly remember his impact being roundly hailed at the time. Really though, that was my main point about Rhodes' initial time at the club; we had a lot of good strikers at the time and competition for places was fierce. Last season and this season is when Rhodes has been most markedly and most frustratingly under-used, because it's during that time that the struggle for goals and lack of striking competition has been most obvious. There so often seems to have been this almost grudging reluctance to play Rhodes; indeed, he'd get a start and score, so the manager feels obliged to start him next game, but if he didn't score again, he'd be on thin ice and very likely out the side again for the game after. It's not that I couldn't see where the manager was coming from because throughout much of Rhodes' career (so not just at Wednesday) there's often been the question mark over what else does he bring to the table when he's not scoring, and really there's not a great deal to speak up for there, beyond perhaps a vague correspondence between the team's shape when he's on the pitch compared to when he's off it; it's something I've noticed enough times now for there to be something in it, and yet it's difficult to pin-point it to Rhodes because we're often talking about games in which he did very little. Having said that, (and as already stated before) his performances since the turn of the year have been far more rounded anyway. Much more lively; aggressive even. His hold up play has also been very good, and there's a much better sense now of his contribution to the team beyond just goals. He'll not necessarily score every game, of course (very few strikers do!), but it's paramount that we keep him in the side for these remaining 9 games. Staying up is unlikely still, but I do believe Rhodes represents by far our best chance of scoring goals not just as a direct source, but as a team as well; he just has to be playing now.
  4. Since his first half season. Just after he first signed, he played 12 games straight, but only scoring 3 times. After that Hooper returned from injury (momentarily) and were it not for that and that 6 straight wins that followed, I doubt we'd have even made the play-offs that season, but such was the competition for the striking spots at the time.
  5. 14 league starts and only 3 goals in his first (half) season, was probably the worst of it oddly enough. Since then it's been 33 league starts and 14 goals; that's really not bad at all. But in that time, and despite not being injured even once (I think) in his time with us, he's only ever had a run of 4 consecutive league games. When we had Hooper, Fletcher, João, and Nuhiu, it was more understandable, but these last two seasons at least he should've been playing so much more. Just give him a run; put a bit of faith in him—and perhaps most importantly, don't just drop him if he doesn't score for two games. Having said that, I do think his performances since January have been different in the way's he put himself about too. More energy, more fight, more involvement. 9 games left. I still think it'll be a bridge too far, but if we're to go down, at least let's go down fighting.
  6. All our centre backs seem to be very particular about where in a back 3 they play. Well, it's not likely to be just our centre backs, in fairness, but nevertheless over the last year or so as we've regularly seen a back 3, I've noticed that Lees actually seems strangely uncomfortable in the centre. Having said that, in these observations it's hard to rule out whether the discomfort is down to the teammates around them or just down to an absolute discomfort in the position. But Lees isn't the only one, as I've noticed that Börner has often struggled on the left. This one's a strange one because he's left-footed, and it's not merely his lack of pace that seems to expose him there as there seems to be a further discomfort to it. Börner actually looked good in the central spot away to Swansea and Norwich. As for Urhoghide, I think it's a shame he's getting most of his playing time on the left because he seems so painfully uncomfortable on his left foot a lot of the time. Even with everyone fit, I don't think we have a perfect combination of 3 centre backs all playing in their most comfortable spot relatively to the pitch. Hutchinson (who I really hope remains at the back now) is perhaps the one who finds it easiest to move along a back 3, but I think even he looks strongest centrally.
  7. Don't really see the problem with Windass having a go back personally. It's not like it went beyond this brief exchange anyway. But the most important thing was that Pelupessy quite rightly had a go at him for not passing in the first place.
  8. I'd remained fairly positive for most of the season, and particularly so after an initial upturn in results under Thompson, but the defeat at home to Birmingham felt pivotal, and certainly the run of results since have only added a certain official line to that. The 2nd half capitulation to Luton felt like it represented the all-round acceptance of relegation. So the change of manager was hardly met with any enthusiasm, and neither are any of these remaining games. The defeat to Rotherham to home was met with little surprise or shock either, even given the nature of it. I just want the season to end now, so the club can plan for League One.
  9. And I suspect none of those 6 were 7 points adrift going into their final 11 games.
  10. Certainly don't start by allowing him to actually watch us.
  11. It's hard to understand precisely why Wilder would have been so resistant to a Director of Football coming in. He'd have had far more of a case if he'd shown that such an appointment wouldn't have been necessary by spending the money he'd been given these last couple of seasons (and particularly last summer) far more wisely; as it is though, he'd pinned there hopes on a young, albeit promising, lad that had never player Premier League football, and indeed only a half (though successful) season at Championship level. I can understand fully why the owner wants a little more oversight and direction when it comes to their transfer policy. He's done an outstanding job for them, mind, and I also think they'll probably struggle to come straight back, but it's very possible anyway that Wilder had taken them as far as he could. The guy has some serious qualities when it comes to management, but you have to wonder about his ability to really step up to them Prem; expecting to manage a Premier League club without being willing to work within a wider structure where you don't exert full control is ridiculous really. You can't spend a combined 40-odd million on the likes of Brewster and McBurnie, have so few goals in return and not expect some questions to come your way. Still, I believe the Prince will regret this hugely in the years to come, but equally, I could see Wilder regretting his inability to be more willing to accept a structure more fitting of a Premier League club.
  12. It's hard to understand precisely why Wilder would have been so resistant to a Director of Football coming in. He'd have had far more of a case if he'd shown that such an appointment wouldn't have been necessary by spending the money he'd been given these last couple of seasons (and particularly last summer) far more wisely; as it is though, he'd pinned there hopes on a young, albeit promising, lad that had never player Premier League football, and indeed only half o
  13. I'll not pretend I'm happy with the appointment of Moore (although, this is DC, after all), but I don't really see a problem with him saying that he was apologetic to Bannan for bringing him off. It's obvious to me why he was apologizing anyway; not for subbing him off, as such, but for subbing him off due to some other team-mate's error. That's the clear and obvious context here. Why make more of it than that?
  14. Aye, I'd agree that it's very debatable. We all know Bullen was limited but he was part of a team that helped us to promotion from League One and then beyond that to remain in the Championship for a few seasons. He served us very well and with plenty of heart but there's a limit to how far I'd let these achievements for what they are trump much greater quality.
  15. Why, when he can play centre back for us and actually help us out of the dire situation we're in?
  16. Yeah, I think it goes without saying that if we had better players we'd be in a better position.
  17. Hutchinson should be playing in defence first and foremost. He's quite simply better there. As for Pelupessy, but for a horror show against Coventry away and a catastrophic penalty he needlessly conceded at Millwall, he's actually done quite well for us this season. Hutchinson's passing was woefully off in the second half today, but otherwise it's not that he's been playing so obviously badly in midfield these last 5 games, but nor has he been excelling particularly but for a few moments dotted around in which he's put in some typically full-blooded tackles. I just really hope Thompson sees sense and puts him back into the centre of a back 3. It's not just that he plays better himself there but he seems to bring solid performances from those around him too (so long, that is that we don't play Dunkley, who I just don't rate).
  18. Lees struggles whenever he's asked to play in the centre of a back 3. On the right he's fine. For me, it should be Lees on the right, with Hutchinson in the centre of a back 3, the spot on the left is a bit of a problem. It falls to Urhoghide, but ideally he'd be on the right (if it's not going to be Lees). Hutchinson could play on the left, but that would perhaps mean Dunkley unfortunately coming back in. I just don't rate Dunkley, but that might be our best trio (Lees Dunkley Hutchinson) if Urhoghide is still felt to be too inexperienced. If Hutchinson is to play on the left, Börner can actually play in the centre of a back 3. Though left-footed, and perhaps a reasonable fit for the left, he really struggles there due to his lack of pace.
  19. We all know Reach isn't going to tackle much. Is it frustrating? Of course it is! And that's putting it mildly. But we also all know he's got genuine capability with his left foot. And he's got the assists from there to prove it. I have absolutely no idea why on earth managers persist with trying to play Reach anywhere other than the left. However much Reach can frustrate, it's nothing to the mind-numbing stupidity of persistently trying to play Reach in a more central position when he's consistently struggled to play there. He has a decent game there at a rate of about 1 in 10. If we're not going to play him on the left, then 9 times out of 10, we'd have been much better off not playing him at all. But really, that's on whoever picks the team.
  20. That we've not taken a single point from the 15 games in which we've gone behind with only 31 games played alone is an absolutely terrible stat. The players ought to be utterly disgusted at that. It paints its own picture though: we go behind = we give up
  21. I'd rest (drop) Dunkley. I'm not convinced his presence in the team has improved us. It's not that he has played so obviously poorly, and he attacks the high balls quite well, but I don't think we're looking any better as a defensive unit on the pitch. Yeah, he's shouting a lot; but is he communicating? I'd put Hutchinson in a back 3 again, and I'd bring Pelupessy back in too. For all everyone gobs off about Pelupessy, he had an 11 game run in the side before he was dropped and but for Coventry away (he was atrocious) and Millwall away (actually played well for 40 minutes and then just gave the penalty away and it was downhill for both him and the team afterwards), he otherwise did really quite well in most of those games. I'd also bring Rhodes back in because I think when he finally actually looks like making a decent contribution, he deserves to have a little more faith shown in him than to be immediately dropped after ‘failing’ to score at Stoke in his 60 minutes on the pitch.
  22. I thought the word was that Lennon wouldn't have had any involvement in their pursuit of Shaw anyway.
  23. I agree in that his thinking wasn't about ‘stopping’ the opposition, but rather to gain some tactical advantage, but the point remains that we set up primarily with a consideration of the opposition primarily. We played 3 at the back in the home wins to Preston and Boro under Thompson even though they only had one up top, after all.
  24. To be honest, when I saw the team named I was still looking at it expecting a 3-5-2 with Palmer on the left of a back 3. And my biggest annoyance at the time was that Rhodes had been dropped again seemingly having paid the price for not scoring in his 60 minutes against Stoke. But once the game kicked off and it became apparent that it was a 4-4-2 I was confused as to why we'd changed the formation, and then progressively annoyed about it when as the game progressed and the pattern of our play was so poor and predictable. Our only joy was from pumping long throw-ins and dead balls in their box—did this really necessitate a formation change? Still, even with the formation change, it barely explains why we were so poor. 4-4-2 even with Bannan taken out primarily from the centre should hardly have caused these problems for us. And yet, it did cause us problems. Bizarrely enough, as much as Thompson's reasoning for the formation change sounds fine on the face of it (so long as you ignore the fact we weren't actually playing the Barcelona of the Midlands), it's all the more surprising given the fact that the last time we played 4-4-2 was in another utterly failed performance in the defeat away to Coventry. It was also the last time we played Bannan on the left, Windass up top and Palmer and Penney in the full back positions. We were very poor that night, and I'm not sure why Thompson was expecting something different yesterday. For me though, I still feel the decision to drop Rhodes was a bigger mistake. Rhodes has been rightly criticised for his time here, and little will make up for the past now, but in his last 3 or 4 appearances he'd shown a few things that we'd not seen from him for pretty much all his time with us. A grit and determination for one thing, but actually his ball retention has seemed very good from these games too (although I was surprised to see a statistic to suggest it's one of the worst amongst our forwards?). If Thompson wanted to freshen the forward line yesterday, I don't see why Paterson had to be the starter; the guy has his uses, and he can be a genuine nuisance, especially so given how unorthodox he can be, but it's also that some approach that can be frustrating with him. Against Stoke, he and Rhodes seemed to be going for the same balls a lot of the time, and this is where the ability to play the position comes in.
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