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86 Schmokes & a Pancake

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About 86 Schmokes & a Pancake

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    Dooby chuffer and lover of total football

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  1. Not sure why folk are writing England's chances off. By far the strongest squad since 2003 and for the first time in several years, most of the squad are in rude health with Mako the only certain starter who is likely to miss games. The front 5 are a hugely powerful unit and more mobile than one might expect, the back row (Durry, Billy and Sam Underhill) look a decently balanced outfit who are top class defensively, offer plenty of go-forward and are excellent at the breakdown. The half-back pairing of Ford and Farrell seems to be working better than ever and in Tuilagi and Cokanasiga we have two strike runners who can punch holes in any defence, not to mention Jonny May who has gears to spare and Anthony Watson who we've not seen since a starring performance in the Lions tour of NZ looking super sharp again and a possible bolter with Elliot Daly looking suspect in defence. I certainly don't think that makes us no-hopers and would expect the winner to come from the Kiwis, the Springboks and our own much maligned team with the preference marginally for the first-mentioned, but don't underestimate England who have strength in depth second only to the All Blacks and can be lethal if allowed to play on the front foot.
  2. Hmm. Maybe just stick to drilling Shearer.
  3. Seem to remember reading about a report commissioned to analyse and identify young English talent from the U16s and upwards. Would have been about 6 or 7 years back at a guess and it painted a very bleak 10 year outlook. Happily, it seems to have been well wide of the mark as the current squad seems pretty strong to me with any number of good youngsters waiting in the wings. With younger players we do seem to have lost that fear of losing, somewhat at least, which is also good to see. As for 2020 I'd like to see the likes of Mount, Foden and Maddison given a chance and I'd also throw Grealish in the mix. The latter-named has had some early season woes but from the little I've seen, teams are setting up to neutralise him as he is Villa's heartbeat and in a better side I think we'd see how good he really is. As with our beloved Rams, if the current squad has a weakness it seems to me it's in our midfield and link up play so blooding some of the kids who have potential to change games seems worth a shot. Lastly, I seen a few folk criticising Southgate across the match threads but for me he's done well and he can't play the best 11 every game anyway. Players need resting and he has a lot of players to look at not just for the starting 11 but those who will make the squad. Surely the fact that we can do that in competitive matches and still be winning games comfortably bodes well for the future.
  4. Hey John. Nothing really to add to what the DCFC faithful have already posted other than to send my best wishes to all of the Conehead clan. I know that you are very matter-of-fact about how you all cope but I'm sure I'm not the only one who finds you guys more than mildly inspirational. Fingers crossed that all is as well as can be.
  5. Just wasted 15 minutes trying to find parts 1 and 2 so I could read them in sequence. What a blockhead!
  6. Hark at Facty McFactface. There's no room for critical thinking here mate! 🤣
  7. Not happy. We get the pen and go 2 up it's a different game. Ref's made this a dogfight which is just what Cardiff will want.
  8. I was one of the mugs that stood by him, at least until he was off on his toes to Stoke but some folk have offered some sensible commentary as to mitigating circumstances for that too. I think he probably is more aligned to Derby than any other club and perhaps his 'we' comment reveals that? I know you're not being mean anyway, I'm just thinking out loud btw!
  9. I agree. I think a few are assuming otherwise but I think it's an attacking selection not a conservative one. Bringing Clarke back in to help with the direct stuff gives me a bit more confidence too. I think he'll prosper with Bielik shielding the back four and might be tailor made for this kind of game. Overall I'd say the line up is about as attacking as we can get right now and we have a bench that can hurt a team with tiring legs. Wittering on a bit now but think Dowell might also prosper in a team that is more solid in midfield. He's been getting pelters but I've a hunch that Bielik might be key to a good few improved performances, a la Eustace, Thorne etc.. Dowell has a lot of technical ability and my instincts tell me he can show a deal better with the right players around him. In all honesty, only bummer is Jayden still not fit but I might be eating my words a little later! COYR
  10. Think Huddz has been below par recently but don't really get the snide comments. Cardiff won't look to overrun us in midfield, least I doubt it, more likely they'll sit deep and try and nick a goal. If we are to break them down, Huddz remains the guy to pull the strings. Seems to me that Cocu's assessment of players is unsurprisingly Dutch - can they play, can they pass, everything else a long way third. Also, and it's just a guess, with Clarke starting Bielik obviously gets his first start at CDM so Huddz role will be different to recent games with less of a focus on defensive duties. Folk do seem to forget how good he can be in a team playing on the front foot. Do understand folks' grievances but Tom is by far and away the best passer of a ball at the club and if I were Lawrence, Jack or Waggers, I'd certainly want him in the starting line up, especially without Jayden. WHo else will provide them with service? Anyway, perhaps Huddz will put on a show tonight, I certainly hope so and while others might be all doom and gloom, I think our midfield looks pretty tasty. Also hoping Lawrence will be allowed to roam inside where he can do some damage. There's goals in this line-up for sure if they even half click. Great to see Duwayne starting (and not at RB too!). I can see him causing Cardiff some problems. COYR
  11. For a savvy lad that comparison is a bit of a stretch 🤣 I think Cardiff's promotion season took a lot out of him and that is when for me he started going too far. As @LeedsCityRam correctly pointed out, before there was always a panto feel to his rants. He actually used to be really entertaining and quite often very funny is a waspish way, but that season he just seemed to lose it and the Nuno episode was particularly unsavoury. It was a huge game and admittedly Nuno probably should have shook Colin's hand first, but Warnock's behaviour and comments lacked class. Nuno pretty swiftly realised his gaffe and did his best to put things right, but Colin's bitterness was clear to see. Likewise, his reaction to SnowGate was risible but it did at least provide some amusement. I think it's no coincidence that he announced his retirement at the start of this season and he's had a long and successful career so I'm glad he'll predominantly be remembered for that not the other stuff. Good timing IMHO.
  12. Ickle Stevie is just bitter that he can't really stretch to the same £80 mill Mel did. Mind you, when you look at how much cash Boro have smashed though in the last few years you can understand his frustration. Bet Mel hasn't stopped chuckling in months.
  13. I know this isn't true but I can't put into words how much I wish it was 🤣
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