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blueandwhitematt

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Everything posted by blueandwhitematt

  1. The big issue with 3 at the back at this level is they’ll all see a load of the ball. They need to be good enough in possession to get moves going. Last year Hutchinson and Palmer played a lot in that back 3 during the good run, and both were very good either on the ball or taking it forward. The 3 that played yesterday were all very uncomfortable having to roll it around between themselves. It’s not a leap to think having to do something they know is a bit out their comfort zone makes them a bit unsettled, and then can creep into the rest of your game. If we’re sticking with 3 at the back, then we need to tactically adapt and get the ball forward quicker. If we’re doing the same as last year, Palmer is going to have to play in the back 3, and hopefully Famewo is OK on the ball too.
  2. Hunt is a great player for RWB in League 1 - and it was a disgrace really how he was messed around in the playoff semi-finals (but thats another conversation). However, we absolutely need another option there. Not just for covering injuries, but think back to those games at home last season where teams came and parked the bus, that's where we need another option out wide who actually almost plays more like a right midfielder than a wing back. Something a bit different, that sort of pace/trickery that gets the opposition on the back foot. Palmer/Paterson aren't the answers to that issue - I hope we've got our eye on a PL loanee to address that gap in the squad.
  3. Not a bad run out. Some look a bit behind others fitness wise, as you might expect I guess. Think we looked solid defensively, but isolated at times going forward. A familiar pattern. We’re in serious need of a couple of flair/pacy type players, probably at right wing back and up top, to give us a bit of a different option, but nothing we didn’t already know there. Impressed with the new lads at the back.
  4. Agreed. Against the weaker sides at home, who just park the bus, Palmer is actually quite useful in a back 3 for the reason you state. I think it’s arguably his best position these days too. Iorfa, Ihiekwe, Heneghan, Palmer and one more commanding centre back covers us I think. We’re going to have to be smarter with our spending now so not sure recruiting more than 1 more centre back is doable.
  5. Find them incredibly boring. These big matches are about the only time you ever get to see a slight bit of emotion from the players you pay a lot of money to go watch every week, but instead of seeing that they mostly run off the pitch as quickly as they can and do all that in the changing room. Why not stay in the stand and actually give the players the chance to celebrate with you? And that's before we've even got into the realms of football herd mentality, and fans doing it purely because they've seen someone else do it the week before.
  6. In an ideal world you'd keep this squad together and add in an extra key player here and there, and you are right it would (should have done this year but I'm a broken record) likely go up top 2. However, we are now faced with circumstances slightly beyond our control. Championship players who signed up for this season on the proviso we'd go up, will they want another year in L1? Further reduced income by getting stuck in L1 again, can Chansiri afford to keep funding us at a loss? Does he want to? Loan players going back, the more successful ones probably looking at Championship teams next season - who do we replace them with? Etc. We can't really know the answers to these at the moment, but either way its going to need strong leadership from the club as a whole to deal with it, and make the case for staying. I think like it or not, we could be in for another summer of high turnover. Out of the 15 that were on the pitch at any point in last night's game, you don't have to stretch too far to see a situation where a lot aren't here, whether through our choice or not.
  7. Whether explicitly told or not, I thought we were more concerned about being solid and started deeper, than getting up the pitch. Especially first half. Almost like we didn’t want to go a goal down first half. So we let another 45 ebb away. To me that looked partially due to Sunderland’s wide players pinning us back, but also partly us letting them and not giving them something to think about and getting higher up ourselves.
  8. I was being slightly tongue in cheek with my comment. Something like 4 minutes more realistic? Interesting comments about Lee Johnson and being too nice to be successful in a horrible league. Some lessons to be learnt from our management setup there for sure.
  9. The ball will only be in play for about 7 minutes in the final if both teams play like they have in the semi finals. Yet it’s worked, clearly - refs let them do it so why not they’ll say. Still hope Sunderland absolutely do them over though. And I think they will comfortably; they can match Wycombe at their game but still have pockets of quality out wide.
  10. I think we’ll offer Hutch something otherwise we’ve a big job on recruiting centre backs this summer. Luongo will quite rightly be off - for his benefit (playing standard) and ours (financial). Our biggest task this summer is going to be keeping hold of Gregory. Way he’s been playing you’d think lots of Championship managers will be having a strong look.
  11. BPF 6 Distribution was poor but otherwise didn’t have much to do. Storey 6 Battled away but (unsurprisingly) he’s another L1 defender who is uncomfortable when rolling it round the back. Dean 7 Grew into the game. Just a shame we hadn’t got him a bit more match fit. Hutch 6 Solid enough but just lacked a little edge. Hunt 5 Pinned back by the tactics of both managers, couldn’t get into the game. Johnson 6 Lovely assist but again struggled with the match tactics. Luongo 4 Looked shattered most of the two games. Maybe wasn’t fit? Sad way to end for a good player. Byers 5 Tried to get a bit more involved but game seemed to be happening a yard too quick. Bannan 6 Suffered due to Luongo and Byers being unable to get the ball to him. One moment of quality created the goal. Looked like a man playing through the pain barrier too. Windass 5 Rolled the dice with him but looked every bit a player just coming from injury. Tried hard so hard to knock too much. Gregory 8 A terrific strikers performance, battled hard against tough centre backs, took his goal well, and fed off scraps. We’ll do well to keep him next season. Subs Palmer 6 Would have to watch the goal back at some point to see if was at fault, but generally thought he looked solid. Paterson 7 Good hustle, seemed to open things up a bit more. Should have come on sooner. NML 4 Shadow of the player he was when signed. Poor decision making at both ends of pitch cost us. Berahino 5 Not on long enough to really comment.
  12. This is the crux of it. All this talk about continuity and we just need a new signing or two, it’s not just how it’s going to pan out sadly. I think we’re in for another big summer, either with out of contracts or several players not being willing to stick around in L1 for another season. And then it’s on Chansiri into how much he is willing to spend (through desire or actually what he has available) to how it’s rebuilt. Such a missed opportunity.
  13. He was a shambles, but nothing we haven't come to expect, it was another who it was just too much for. I've been saying this for years, but we need to stop being a soft touch with the officials too - players and staff. Its not nice, but they come here and know that its a great chance for them to show how tough they are, standing up to the home crowd and not being swayed etc., and they over-compensate. They know they'll maybe get a bit of booing from the crowd but other than that generally get an easy ride from players and coaching staff. That referee tonight wouldn't have dreamed of trying that performance at Sunderland with Neil on his case. We need to smarten up on that front if we want out of this league next year. (As bad as he was, he wasn't the reason we didn't play football for 2 games though, before anyone says)
  14. My guess is Windass will be on the bench tomorrow in case of emergency, and we might see him start Saturday depending how desperate we are. Wouldn’t surprise me if he plays as the top of that midfield 3 too if we’re chasing. In the meantime, despite his horror show in front of goal the other week, I’d still stick with Berahino over the other options.
  15. The more you see it, the worse the decision gets. Absolutely outrageous call, the one thing it just isn't is a foul by Dunkley, but sums up the refs we've had to endure this season.
  16. It’s not the decision making on judgment calls that drives me (and many others I suspect) mad - that’s part and parcel, and while frustrating you simmer down a day or two later. It’s an absolute inability/unwillingness to deal with time wasting. It’s not just a little game management these teams are coming and doing now, it’s full on mickey-taking as they know the refs won’t do anything beyond a theatric arm wave now and then. Any referee, at any level, at any standard should be able to deal with that. Refs at Hillsborough this season are choosing not to. It’s happened too much now, so it can only be they come here trying to prove a point about being ‘influenced’ by the big home side. Or they are scared about making their afternoon harder work than they want. I don’t blame teams coming here to do it, while ever refs let you do it they will. Some of the stuff they’ve been allowed to get away with this season is incredible (the fake goal kick by the keeper yesterday in middle of a sub, Gillingham game when 4 of their players went down injured at once to kill momentum, only to all spring back up when they realised if the physio came on they’d have to go off).
  17. I’m not one for conspiracy theories and think everyone is one to get us etc, but it’s not even subtle what many of them are doing this season. Go out of their way to make it look like they aren’t giving the home side at a big ground (for L1 anyway!) preferential treatment. Can only assume it plays well with their assessors for some bizarre reason, when it should do the exact opposite. Shows a weakness in their own abilities. You don’t mind them not being very good, or making mistakes, or even missing things. But the ref spent most of the second half today giving Wimbledon the pretend angry hurry-up in response to their time wasting. And then added on just 4 minutes which is the usual minimum you get these days. That’s not an oversight, that’s deliberate.
  18. Interesting question. At the time, I don't remember many of my peers (openly anyway!) saying they didn't like them. But I suppose even though they were riding the first music internet wave of Myspace etc, they were still pre-Twitter and the more opinionated/contrarian element you maybe see today - so the anti sentiment was probably there it just wasn't as in-your-face. Though I knew people who had zero interest in that 'sort' of music go completely mad for them, it was great looking back really - round here it was more than the music too, it was a Sheffield identity thing. I love that first album, and its by far their best (though these days I'd find myself listening to AM more). The one album I do have a bit of a cringe feeling with is Favourite Worst Nightmare, and I'm not 100% sure why as there are some great songs on there (505 etc). I think it may be in the over playing of songs like Fluorescent Adolescent and its tying in with its being used on shows like the Inbetweeners - its link just made the album feel a bit off? I was actually glad when they turned away from that sound from Humbug onwards, they got interesting again then and didn't just get stuck in the mid-late 00s like so many bands did.
  19. I'm going for a tentative, last-day of the season, yes. In amongst my boredom this morning - its a bit TLDR - I had a look back at our results this season, and tried a bit of amateur and undoubtedly massively flawed analysis. Categorised each team in the league into either promotion contenders (the top 8 currently), relegation types (the bottom 6), then split the midtable lot into 'medium' sized clubs (Charlton, Bolton, Portsmouth, Ipswich - for who playing teams like us mean absolutely nothing out of the ordinary), and then the remaining traditionally 'smaller' L1 clubs (working theory is they raise their games playing the likes of us, Sunderland etc, there's a bit of novelty factor to it). The below is our home/away record again these sides; it's pretty obvious the types of games we've struggled in this year, which isn't anything any of us didn't know, but the numbers back it up. Past performance does not equal future performance, correlation does not equal causation etc etc. But, taking our remaining games and our current PPG home/away values against these 'types' of side, we get to 80 points. Its not that simple I know. The next two games are games we've done OK in this season (though you could argue we've underperformed with the small-ish midtable sides at home), and they are must wins now. We've then two tough away games that we've struggled most with this season. Also at this time of year is strange results start to come out of the bag (which probably renders all of the above useless!). Teams scrapping for points down the bottom suddenly win games they'd not have had a hope in earlier in the year. The risk for us is we have 3 of those games coming up, but the benefit is 2 are at home. We've only got 2 games against promotion rivals, but unfortunately both are away and we haven't done well in those games really. But if we can get ourselves in the playoffs by then, points are good points in those games. I think that's what makes the next 2 games so crucial, we need to get into the top 6 so its in our hands sooner rather than later. In the past 10 years, the highest number of points needed to make the playoffs is 74. I'd say we'll need at least that this season, if not a few more. I think we'll do it, just about. But we need to cut out the unforced errors, and hope our away form can click into a bit more life.
  20. At the end of last season I was very pessimistic, especially when all the talk being leaked from the club was that we were going with young lads, would perhaps only bring 4/5 players in etc. However, with the business we actually ended up doing, I had being around the top 3/4 as my expectation for the season. Most of our signings have played the majority of their careers at a higher level than where we are now. Yes they were freebies and loans, but not many clubs in this league go round splashing the cash. I'm not trying to be overly negative, but for large spells of the season we've underperformed. And this is a poor L1 too, I think the standard is nowhere near what it was the last time we were here. Yet we're doing worse. I just don't think accepting being 7th/8th in this league, with these players, is on track. What I don't think is being acknowledged by many really is if we don't go up this year, we surely can't sustain a lot of these players next season who are on big wages etc. There's a big financial cloud looming, and we might have to cut our cloth. That might not necessarily be a bad thing, but its going to be another reset on further dwindling resources, and that could be a multi-year job.
  21. There certainly is. I've just put this in another thread, but Rotherham use that and are then very strong with set pieces. Its joining the various bits up isn't it; if we're quite average with set pieces and like to try and play 'nice football', then we need our centre backs to contribute otherwise its too predictable. On the other hand Rotherham commit to more standard L1 style and play to their strengths - a recipe for success in this league (yes I know they lost yesterday ). Be strong in both boxes, and get the ball in. In theory we could do this - a team including Dunkley, Dean, Iorfa, Paterson, Gregory, FDB and go for power and athleticism, but Moore isn't going to change now. And in that case, its going to be on our CBs to get involved in attacking build up.
  22. This gets to a very good point. Our averageness with set pieces is an issue (according to whoscored we've scored 11 goals from set pieces this season which ranks us joint 13th, by comparison Rotherham have 19, Wigan 17, Sunderland 15, Wycombe 14, MK 13). League 1 is fine margin stuff at times, and in those tricky games where teams set up to nullify us, our lack of being able to turn to set piece bombardment like Rotherham or Wigan do, again limits our options. You look at our squad and there are players there who should be a threat from set pieces too.
  23. The analysis is perhaps slightly unfair not including Palmer as a legit centre back (in a back 3 system he is certainly more a CB than a wingback), but nonetheless interesting. With how the rest of our team is setup (i.e. not a lot of pace), I think one of the most important factors with the centre backs, no matter which 3 are put together, is that at least one of them has to be either brave in possession (Gibson is the main one here) or willing to break forward with the ball (Palmer had a spell where he did this well, and Iorfa would be the other candidate). My worry is that when they don't do this, either through reluctance or tactics, we can become very easy to match up elsewhere on the pitch. On Tuesday v Accrington we certainly missed Gibson in that regard, and its arguably asking a lot of Iorfa to come straight back in and be driving forward with the ball. With NML and Windass it may relieve some of this pressure - they bring pace up the pitch which means we should be able to turn teams round - but with a back 3 these days we're still going to need the centre backs to provide some attacking input in terms of either distribution or carrying the ball.
  24. At home in games we’re trying to dominate I can see the case for him playing centre back - he’s decent on the ball and can carry it forward, it’s a good option for us to mix it up when teams just sit back against us. He’s a had a good season in that role for me. Away from home though, especially against the physical sides who bring it to us, playing him centre back seems to cause a few issues. These games away at teams who like a scrap and press you, we need to be a bit smarter in team selection and set up for that. To have Iorfa and Gibson sat on the bench today seems a bit of a misstep.
  25. Ahhhh yes a return to the Mandaric/Gray era sand pit. I’m already looking forward to the unrealistic £350k transfer offers this summer to truly complete the nostalgia drive.
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