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Luongo and Mendez Laing... are we stronger or weaker, now they have left?


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We didn't lack QUALITY last season - our problem was CONSISTANCY.

 

Luongo played 25 and NML played 18 games and not all of them were top performances.

 

I would have loved to keep both players  -    but we will be stronger, if we have found players, who can play a whole season for us (like Bannan, Palmer, Hunt, Johnson)

 

Only time will tell.

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5 hours ago, BRADDO said:

Recruitment so far is excellent. I loved Luongo but in truth he was only fit for half of his time here. NML is replaceable and he cost us defeat against Sunderland imo. I expect another 6 signings and if of the calibre to date we'll be good to go for top 2.

Storey cost us defeat not Laing. 

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NML played less than 1/4 of the season. His influence was very marginal. However, when played wide he did give us a very different and dangerous option. 
His reputation here has plummeted because he was played out of position for a month.

 

Luongo played 1/2 the season and made an enormous difference. Will Vaulkes or Dennis or Fiz fill that void? No idea, but all 3 have the potential to do so.

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Both should be thanked for their efforts but both are absolutely replaceable for me.
 

Luongo whilst a good player, he is 29, he will have eyes on trying to get in the Aussie’s World Cup squad which won’t happen in League 1, and the brutal reality is he has had injury issues in his whole time at the club.
 

I’m surprised we even offered him a deal to be honest. Whilst he was good when he was on the pitch, re-signing him was a big gamble and he wasn’t worth breaking the bank and paying top dollar Championship wages for. That type of engine room midfielder isn’t as hard to find as a genuine box to box or goalscoring midfielder.
 

In Luongo’s entire career he has finished in the top half of the Championship (12th) once. He is a bottom half of the Championship or League 1 level footballer. That’s a fact. He’s not a Barry Bannan break the budget level type player.
 

Nice guy and he contributed to the team well in his time at the club but I trust the management team’s judgement in letting him go. There should be better value available elsewhere.


NML was a good squad option for us last season. Contributed well at times but often faded. Typical wide player. He’s not someone you would build a team around. Good luck to him  

 

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4 hours ago, GermanBird said:

 

We didn't lack QUALITY last season - our problem was CONSISTANCY.

 

Luongo played 25 and NML played 18 games and not all of them were top performances.

 

I would have loved to keep both players  -    but we will be stronger, if we have found players, who can play a whole season for us (like Bannan, Palmer, Hunt, Johnson)

 

Only time will tell.

 

Absolutely this. You would have thought that by now people would have realised that relying on injury prone individuals as your key players does not work.

 

It doesn't matter how good Luongo is if he can only play half the games. Vaulks playing every week will make us much stronger overall than chopping and changing every time Luongo gets a knock.

 

When you look at teams that get automatic promotion they nearly always keep the majority of their key players fit for most of the season.

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Definitely need a few more signings, NML could beat a man and get the ball in the box, something we are massively lacking in the squad. Luongo had a brilliant 2nd half of the season, will be a big miss. Weaker. Possibly. 

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Midfield with -

Vaulks, Byers, Bannan 

Is as good as anything else in League 1.

Denis, Dele, Hunt in reserve that's plenty of midfield options for 2/3 positions.

Definitely a very strong position for us.

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100% weaker 

 

for me luongo can’t or will be extremely difficult to replace I’m not buying into vaulks being a replacement he’s not he’s another fantastic midfielder that we needed for this level but does a complete different job to luongo and plays differently 

 

luongo needs replacing still for me and he was crucial to making that trio tick last year, take that cog out I’m very fearful of us going back to an ineffective disjointed three like when wing was in there 

 

as for Mendez-laing we are currently weaker, he gave us pace and direct running at players out wide, he was often played out of position and this was probably to do with his strengths for example putting him up from because he’s strong and quick. But that’s not his position and we would have needed Mendez-laing to be available to play in his position this year. We need pace in this squad now we lack it 

 

all that said I believe Mendez-laing can be replaced and I like the noises about our interest in wilks this would be a fine example of his replacement. We would still need a couple on top of that though in my opinion 

 

luongo, not sure how we fill that hole for me personally until he signs for someone else I’d be trying to get him to sign on still 

 

 

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41 minutes ago, edinburghowl said:

Both should be thanked for their efforts but both are absolutely replaceable for me.
 

Luongo whilst a good player, he is 29, he will have eyes on trying to get in the Aussie’s World Cup squad which won’t happen in League 1, and the brutal reality is he has had injury issues in his whole time at the club.
 

I’m surprised we even offered him a deal to be honest. Whilst he was good when he was on the pitch, re-signing him was a big gamble and he wasn’t worth breaking the bank and paying top dollar Championship wages for. That type of engine room midfielder isn’t as hard to find as a genuine box to box or goalscoring midfielder.
 

In Luongo’s entire career he has finished in the top half of the Championship (12th) once. He is a bottom half of the Championship or League 1 level footballer. That’s a fact. He’s not a Barry Bannan break the budget level type player.
 

Nice guy and he contributed to the team well in his time at the club but I trust the management team’s judgement in letting him go. There should be better value available elsewhere.


NML was a good squad option for us last season. Contributed well at times but often faded. Typical wide player. He’s not someone you would build a team around. Good luck to him  

 

Excellent post. Both probably offered deals reflecting the amount of time they'd likely be on the pitch. Mass is a good player but is unavailable too often to build on. Much, of course, will depend on how we invest the considerable wages saved on him. I'm unconcerned  about NML leaving.

Vaulks is an excellent signing with a bit of bite and perhaps more to his game going forward than Mass. He might not be a carbon copy but even so our midfield options look pretty tasty to me with Adeniran  returning and FDB hopefully progressing further as he did last year.

Addressing weaknesses in physicality and aerial  ability up front and CB was crucial.

More signings to come but things are shaping up much better than I expected this early.

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If we had been playing with out and out wingers then Mendez Laing would have tore it up, however we did not have the personnel for that, so he was very limited in what he could do for us.  So him leaving being replaced by players that fit the system is about a break even for me.

 

Vaulks is more of box to box player, likes to take on a long shot, sometimes when there are better options, he will push the midfield up the pitch which is good, but his defensive work is NOT as strong as Luongos is.  While Vaulks is a great player for this level, his game is not Luongos game so we are going to have to adapt a bit to losing that steel in the midfield.  It all comes down to if we adapt well or if this pulls Bannan back down the pitch into playing deeper, if we adapt well, then we are break even, if not then we are weaker.

 

But midfield was the one area we were over populated with quality so if the midfield being a little weaker results in the attack and defence being stronger, then we will be over all stronger.

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If we sign a decent winger with some pace and who can be direct to replace NML and we have signed Vaulks to replace Luongo - we are not weaker, much the same really.

 

If anything, NML is quite easy to replace. He flattered to deceive last season, no where near as fast as some lead you to believe and I do think we can find better.

 

In CM we have great options and whilst Luongo is a good player so is Vaulks and with Luongo injury record last 3 years, I would say Vaulks in for Luongo makes us stronger.

 

We need two more CBs, competition for Hunt and Johnson and a young striker with pace.

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NML going doesn’t bother me at all. That’s not to say I didn’t like him and think he was a good player but really right wingback is Hunts slot and he could only ever really be cover. I expect a replacement to come in without a massive amount of difficulty. 
 

I never for one second really thought Luongo would stay. If he’d have been fit in the previous pre season I’d have bet good money we’d have sold him to a Championship side. He (rightly IMO) sees himself as a Championship level player and wants to play for his country. So the challenge was always going to be how we replace him. We were never easily going to get a ‘like for like’ but Vaulks is a fantastic addition to the midfield and I don’t see our midfield as being weakened overall. 

The fact we have a target man on the books also strengthens us massively IMO. 

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I don't think we miss mendez leng too much as we had to shoe horn him into either a striker or wingback role which he'd isn't really either.

. As for Luongo it's a fine one for me as I think vaulks may not be quite as creative or technical. 

Though I do think that combative ballwinning /defencive area which we asked Luongo to play suits vaulks more. I also am expecting us to get more time out on the pitch effecting games than Loungos usual around 20 games a season.so for me we may be a bit stronger over the full course of a season due to this. 

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Luongo will be missed, not sure if Vaulks is the same type of midfielder, but i'm very confident with that 5 midfielders that we have that we'll be absolutely fine. Don't think NML will be a miss, he didn't have a role in our 3-5-2. He wasn't better than Hunt or Johnson at wing back, and he only got a few games up front because Paterson and Berahino couldn't find much consistency. We've signed an out and out striker now, and probably need a good cover for Johnson but we'll be no worse off

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Although Luongo is a very good player and would have liked him to stay, I think Vaulks may have more to offer, rarely injured. If we are to play 3.5.2 we will need wing backs with pace and the ability to defend. MDL is definitely not capable of defending, so no loss for me.

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12 hours ago, TrickyTrev said:

With Vaulkes coming in I’d say we are about the same.

Far stronger imo.. better keeper,vaulks on par with lluongo but expect more games,good striker,very decent centre half..and maybe another couple..I would have kept Laing for his pace but all quality signings for this division..

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Looking at the bigger picture, all of the incomings so far have just about been 'like for like' of the contracted players who left (apart from NML who has not yet had a direct replacement.) An interesting comparison is the league games played last season by each player: 

  • GK: Out: Wildsmith (3 GP). In: Stockdale (46 GP)
  • CB: Out: Hutchinson (28 GP). In: Ihiekwe (42 GP)
  • CB: Out: Dunkley (21 GP). In: Henegan (41 GP)
  • MF: Out: Luongo (25 GP). In: Vaulks (36 GP in championship)
  • ST: Out: Berahino (29 GP). In: Smith (45 GP)

Out's Games Played: 106

In's Games Played: 210 

 

Hard to say where this leaves us in terms of quality, as admittedly I haven't seen much of the new players in action; but we certainly seem to be trying to build a stronger, resilient and more reliable core of a team which hopefully should force us into fewer changes game to game. The more settled side we played in the second half of last season seemed to be a major part in our up-turn in form. Additionally, I think the games which really cost us last season were against teams such as Gillingham, Lincoln, Shrewsbury, Morecambe, Wimbledon etc where these teams managed to completely out-muscle us and although we had the better quality players; we were never given the chance to make it count. Hopefully the inclusion of the above may help us to better grind out these games and also offer a 'Plan B' where required. 

 

Of course, the above doesn't account for the loan players but arguably only Peacock-Farrel and Storey seemed to consistently hold down a starting spot without injury issues:

Peacock-Farrel - 43 games

Kamberi - 23 games

Wing - 18 games (1st half of season)

Corbeanu - 18 games (1st half of season)

Storey - 17 games (2nd half of season)

Shodipo - 15 games

Dean - 7 games (2nd half of season)

 

I would say to have the core of the squad in place before pre-season is excellent work from all involved and the early signs are that we are in a much better place than where we were this time last year. I would expect a few more signings still to come in and if we can make good use of the loan market to add some extra quality we should hopefully be in a position to really make a solid auto-promotion effort this time around. 

 

That being said this is Wednesday; bring on the opening day 4-0 battering from Portsmouth..😂

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