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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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    Male
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    Oxford

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  1. Under Mel, the academy and its facilities have improved no end. We've gone from Cat 2 to Cat 1, invested heavily in securing young, talented players. We've won the U18's league and secured European football in the process. Our U23's are challenging this season. This is not a fluke or the result of some strange stellar alignment. This is the product of significant investment, top quality facilities and some of the best youth coaches around. This is the result of a considered strategy. Mel's plan. We've already seen Bogle and Lowe progress to the first team. This season alone we have 4 new kids getting game time with a clutch of other lads looking equally likely to make the step up over the next year or two. Archie Brown, Festy Ebosele, Jack Stretton, Tyree Wilson, Jordan Brown and Trialist all spring to mind as serious prospects. Doubtless there are others I've overlooked. If you need to bitch about Mel, as is your prerogative, then the academy is the last place to go scratching round for ammo. This is the one area where far from mistakes being made, Mel has worked wonders and trying to pretend otherwise just makes folk look petty, disingenuous and a tad desperate.
  2. Yep, with just the likes of Matip, Salah, Lovren, Fabinho, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Firmino and Origi involved they were far less likely to get a result than our line-up on Friday. Jeez!
  3. Yeah, because nobody was expecting them to win that game with a weakened side, were they? What's good for the goose...
  4. So the best team in the world drew with Shrewsbury and by their standards that's an acceptable performance in your opinion, but our lot drawing with Northampton isn't. Well that seems perfectly reasonable! Let's be honest here, if we'd drawn with Shrewsbury half the forum would be losing their poo just the same way they have over the Northampton performance.
  5. Congratulations. Only half a dozen posts and you made my ignore list already. That's a record I doubt anyone will ever match.
  6. Well you kept that quiet. Can you play at CB and do you still have boots?
  7. Loving the fact that some Crazy bloke has 3 times as many points as me. Splendid 😑
  8. Yeah. Should have had a few years at Mickleover or Matlock before taking over Derby. Makes perfect sense.
  9. Yeh. Bet his life's poo compared to yours 😜
  10. Depends though mate. People can fall out over silly stuff and then time passes and it becomes harder and harder to find a way back to one another. In those cases the void can be like a cancer growing inside you. Parents do make mistakes, least I know mine did and I know I have too. Question is are said mistakes forgivable? Obviously some parents are just awful so I get that it's not a one-size-fits-all thing but where that's not the case, I'd err towards forgiveness. Me and my old boy had proper physical tear-ups back in the day because of stuff I'd been told that turned out to be almost completely untrue. Stubborn old sod just told me to respect him rather than point out my old dear had told a bunch of lies. Didn't exactly go down well with me and on things went in their shouty, often violent way. My sis eventually put me straight, I reached out and over time came a see a very different man to the one I'd fashioned in my mind. Love him to bits now. He's been like a rock for me through some awful stuff and I've tried to return the favour more recently, as he's had his own fair share of troubles. Every story is different though, I get that, but I think folk need to understand whether even for selfish reasons, being the one to mend things is the lesser of two evils. We only get one shot at this after all.
  11. Spot on mate. Have a belter of a day 👍
  12. Yep, true story. And we'd almost to a man assumed Sibley would be the first integrated and the one to make the biggest impact, least most of us who follow the youth teams' progress. Cocu knew better. Nobody was saying Knight would come in and make his position his own straight away. Cocu had faith in him and got that right. As you've said, Bird was not considered ready by the vast majority but is looking more and more the part. Cocu got that right too. Whitaker and Sibley are been handled sympathetically as they establish themselves, he's got that right too IMO. Frank brought in Malone because Lowe was not ready, yet under Cocu he's flourished and now looks as able as anyone in the back four. But hey, it's all just happenstance! It's been the same thing on this forum all the time I've been here though. When the team does well it's all about the players and when the team fails, it's only ever the manager's fault. The truth lies somewhere between the two. This season has been a baptism of fire and after looking all at sea, we're now unbeaten in 7. Friday night we were poor, I'll readily accept that but how anyone can say after we're useless and making no progress so soon after an accomplished and stylish win away to Palace is beyond me. We saw quite clearly in that game and to a lesser extent, the few Championship games beforehand, what Cocu is trying to achieve but hey, let's ignore the progress shown completely and assess Cocu purely on the basis of a game where a makeshift and inexperienced line-up played away from home on a cow patch, with a myopic referee, against a team full or orks and got zero protection in the process, because that's a fairer, more rational assessment!
  13. Well that door swings both ways. If you are arguing that other managers deserve credit, of at least not to be criticised then surely the same must be true of Cocu. The fact remains that under his tenure we have seen greater numbers making the step up and his handling of the latest crop, including the development of Lowe as a player, deserves a deal of praise. He's not simply lumped in kids because he had no choice. They've been selectively introduced, given more time where they need it and integrated more fully where they are ready. To suggest there's no art to this is a fundamental misunderstanding of what he has achieved. Perhaps I'll be proved wrong (it won't be the first time) but I posted several times at the start of the season that unde Cocu, Lowe would show himself to be Bogle's equal at very least and my sense is now that next year these kids will have been fully blooded, will cope better with the cloggers and will be tearing some teams apart. That's the vision, that's the benefit and that's the art in Cocu's work, unless like some on here, we all just assume it's merely a fluke.
  14. This one needs a caption really, something like, 'no I've no idea what happened to the cushions, I promise!' or maybe 'no, it wasn't me it was that barsteward cat, she's trying to frame me' 🤣
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