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  1. Byrne coming back in is completely expected but I think it's a mistake, I think we'd be better off sticking with Ebosele and let him have a good run of games.
  2. It's tough to say because I think there is an argument that the system is largely working in that we are creating good chances, just not taking them. The system we've built is essentially designed so that two wide attacking players can come narrow into a whole pile of space in front of the back 4 and that the full backs can push aggressively high and wide. The main issue with this is the players that are being provided the levels of freedom to exploit aren't really making the most of it. For example Lawrence has had enough opportunities in the last 3 games that he should have at least bagged a couple goals and therein lies the issue if the system is set up to get the most out of Lawrence but he's not providing is it the right system ? Truth be told I do think there are tweaks we can make in terms of personnel in order to get significantly more out of the system from an attacking perspective. Byrne -> Ebosele The system is designed to give the fullbacks an aggressive amount of license to get forwards and so we need players there who make the most of it. This might be a controversial suggestion but I think this an area we might gain quite a significant amount from with one simple change; drop Byrne. Byrne is good at gaining half a yard on a player and floating a ball into the box but the problem with such a delivery is it's generally easy to defend, especially if you lack players good in the air. This means that a big chunk of his attacking output is just wasted possession. He doesn't really have the pace, physicality or dribbling ability to properly beat his man to get closer to the box to drill the ball in. I don't think it's a coincidence that we looked sharper in attack in the cup with Ebosele or Mcdonald playing there. It might seem an aggressive choice but Ebosele carries significantly more threat in similar positions that will lead to a higher creation of chances as well especially as teams will have to start to compensate opening more space elsewhere. Shinnie -> Knight -> Bielik Shinnie is a fan favourite but he causes a fair few issues in our ability to play out through midfield especially as it means the midfield is imbalanced because teams know he's not comfortable. Switching in Knight there gives somebody who is more comfortable on the ball so there is a better balance and somebody who's good at really driving forwards with the ball which I think you need a little of in a 4231 to help break a team's shape. With that it means we have a better chance of pulling a team out of position and therefore creating chances. (The later switch to a fit Bielik I don't think requires explaining). The Front 3 This one of the elements that I think we are still striving for the right balance. Strangely to some I think it's noticeable that we miss Jozwiak when he isn't playing because he has the best linkup play and the ball sticks far better to him than that it does our other forward options. Sibley I really rate but if a defender gets touch tight to him he's a little easy to bump off the ball right now. Lawrence can score from nowhere but can also be pretty wasteful. Baldock has good movement but his finishing is lacking. Stretton I like the look of and wouldn't mind getting a run but it's hard to say for sure whether it will click. Personally I think our attack looked the most fluid and dangerous against Forest and I think that's where I'd probably start with option of bringing on Stretton.
  3. On the flip side: Peterborough concede for fun and have the worst goal difference in the league. I think as the season goes on and the more hidings they get their confidence will evaporate. Barnsley have lost the manager that turned them from relegation fodder into a playoff team, I think we are seeing a revert to type from them. Forest is a hard call, I suspect they might get their heads above water and I don't suspect they will be as bad as they were in the first 6 games or so. However once the new manager bounce has somewhat faded I'm not entirely convinced they won't get dragged back into the mire. The likes of Blackpool could easily fade as the season goes I just don't see 3 out Hull, Peterborough, Bansley, Forest and Swansea turning around their form to the point they end up on 50+ points. I do agree Reading likely get a points deduction and still pull their way clear. I don't think it matters a huge amount though because even with those forecasts I think overcoming a 21 point deduction will likely be too much.
  4. I get where you are coming from but I really don't see it. There are currently 5 teams on course for doing worse than that and in the case of 4 of those they are currently on course for doing significantly worse than that. I just don't see 3 of those teams turning it around to the extent that they at least end on 50 points and I think it's more likely that as the season wears on that a couple other teams get dragged down. As I mentioned elsewhere on the post I think 22nd will end up with somewhere between 40 and 46 this season. I think this division is 3 stand out excellent teams, a whole pile of varying degrees of mediocre and then about 5 outright poor teams.
  5. I did a similar breakdown a couple games ago. The first thing to know is how many points would we need. The average number of points needed to better to stay up over the past 5 seasons is 44.6 with a range of 40 to 51. So the question following that is where will we land on that range ? I think we can get an idea of that from the teams above us in the table; there are 4 teams average less than a point per game with 3 teams going at 0.8 ppg. If you project that out you get those teams only making around 37 ponts. That's 4 teams expected to do no better than 37 points come the end of the season on current rate. Even with an amount of improvement in performance it suggest that the points total to beat this season is going to be low. I think you can treat a point per game as a hard limit on what 22nd will finish up on come the end season i.e. 46 points and I think based on previous history it's reasonable to set a low limit of 40. So somewhere between 40 and 46 points is what I think we likely need. With a 21 points deduction we'd then need somewhere between 61 and 67 (assuming we only need to match the points tally because of goal difference). Currently (ignoring the deductions for a second) we'd have been on course for 60 points with our ppg meaning we'd need to improve a little to get another 1-7 points out of the remainding games. To my mind that looks theoretically possible. Ultimately though I don't think it's likely because it needs an awful lot to go right in terms of injuries, fitness, an overall improvement in performance, not to get asset stripped in January and morale staying high after another points deduction.
  6. Couldn't agree more. I didn't see it coming at all. I've said it before but in a weird way the management team have done better and better the harder and more dire the job.
  7. It's the major reason why I'm more supportive and willing to cut Rooney more slack when things don't go our way. We are going out to try to win games by trying to play a good passing game and impose that on the opposition as opposed to react to what they are doing. Does it always work ? No but the intent is correct and I think we are on the whole improving in terms of performance.
  8. Mentioned it in the other thread but Stearman's performance can largely described as "just enough". Couple really nervy moments and yet always seemed to do just about enough to snuff out what they were doing.
  9. That's where I come down on. It was honestly surreal at times watching him; 2 similar challenges a couple minutes apart and one wouldnt be a foul and one would get a yellow. Inconsistent is what I'd say if I was feeling cool headed and generous. Incompetent feels more accurate though. Personally I'd like to have a had a neutral opinion on him because it felt like we certainly an unfair amount go against us but I don't know how much of that is my own bias.
  10. Allsop 7 - Really solid game for the most part Byrne 5 - Thought he was a bit poor. Gave up possession cheaply, physically lost out a lot and blunted a fair few attacks. Forsyth 8.5 - Best game from Fozzy we've seen in a while. Deserved his goal, defensively solid, provided an outlet all game and threat on the left. Stearman 6.5 - Best I can describe his performance is "just enough". Couple dodgy passes and couple bits of bad possession but ultimately did enough defensively to keep them a bit. Davies 6.5 - Feels harsh as he had 99% of a really solid game but made one really bad mistake that could have easily been punished. Shinnie 6 - Mixed bag. Few really dodgy misplaced passes but fantastic energy and helped disrupt. Bird 7 - Screened well, used the ball better and looked the most likely to set something up through the centre for the most part. Morrison 6.5 - Used the ball well had a lovely disguised reverse to set up Lawrence. Should score towards the end and occasionally I think he needs to look to be a bit more progressive. Knight 8 - Fantastic game back from Knight. Set up the goal and set up a couple other decent chances. Lawrence 6 - Not a terrible game by any means but really really needs to take one of his chances. Baldock 6 - Pretty ineffectual for the most part but set up a couple half chances. Stretton 7 - Really helped him coming as the ball started sticking and gave us another outlet. One really clever flick to set Morrison going and couple other moments of using the ball well. Probably could have done a better with his chance but did well to help craft it out.
  11. Really well deserved win today. Should have perhaps done more with our chances but also limited them to not a deal. Forsyth and Knight standouts tonight. Other aside observation, I think we look better with Stretton up top.
  12. This is sort of come down on it, I think he planned on staying but was deliberately leaving the door open a bit on the Newcastle job. Why ? I'm not 100% sure, perhaps it was because a premiership job at his boyhood club or perhaps it was because there was a new owner on the horizon and knowing how those things usually go he wanted to insure himself against it. I suspect the apologies when he came back were largely to smooth things over with fans and bury the hatchet. Personally my unfounded cynical suspicion is that the sacking in each occasion was less about him and more about MM getting "his man" in post with both Clement and Rowett being rapidly appointed following McClaren's exit. With the Newcastle stuff being used as a bit of a smokescreen in the first instance and the down turn in results being used in the second instance.
  13. The funding and the building up of the academy is one of the few positives we have coming out of MM's tenure but event that is at risk currently because of adminstration. It's also besides the point. My point is that extra one time theoretical cash injection from selling the likes of Gordon or Delap would highly likely not have prevented the current situation because we'd have spent it on another promotion gamble. Yes there have been events that are out of our control that have made things more difficult for us but if you ride a motorbike without a helmet.......
  14. From a cynical power dynamic perspective it makes sense for them to really make an example of us. It basically sends out the following messages: No club is big enough to be sent down and we can make sure you get sent down if we want to Not only do you need to abide by the letter of the rules but the spirit of the rules or else we will retroactively punish you Take your punishment on the chin early or else we will drag this out and make it extremely painful for you My hope is adminstration, MM out of the picture and a relegation is enough to sate them though and we can start next year with a clean slate.
  15. Not only is it a weird angle to take to insinuate they had some resposnibility for the mess we found ourselves in, I honestly don't think it would have mattered and we'd have ended up in this mess anyway pretty much. What's more in line with actions of how the club has been run: Take the profit made of selling the likes of Gordon for a big fee and use it to ease off the debt and make sure we are financially healthy. Take those funds and just pour them into a big transfer fee for just that one player on big wages who will "get us over the line". Which inevitably doesn't quite work out. We are in this mess entirely down to poor decision making over a long period of time and MM deciding he wasn't going to put any more money in to support us.
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