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About Birdyabroad

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  1. It’s really interesting how polysemic football games can be. I confess that, living in Devon, I don’t go to many games. I have, therefore, to rely on the old, cough, cough, VPN to watch them. But, from my computer screen, I actually thought the following about Fridays game: - Thought we were the much better team. I think Cocu is definitely the right man but has been dogged by some early season bad luck, I.e., the ref not awarding a pen for the foul on Waghorn. 2-0 up and we’ve probably won the game - I enjoyed last year but anyone who thinks we’ve downgraded in the managerial dept since the departure of Lampard is looking through rose tinted glasses. I can’t say I fully knew our identity under Lamps and we were most definitely propped-up by three quality loans, all of whom probably wouldn’t have returned this year even if Lamps has stayed. - Under Cocu, I thinking I’m seeing the green shoots of a ‘footballing side’ take shape, he just hasn’t got the right personnel, YET - I actually thought Lawrence did okay. People on here question his football brain, but it looked to me that he was trying to do the right thing and did play some nice lay-offs in attacking positions - I also (Tin hat time) thought the ref had a good game. He was letting play continue, for both sides, and wasn’t blowing the whistle every 30 seconds. This is football and not basketball, I like that he was allowing some sturdier challenges So, like I say, everyone reads a game differently, but I actually think we’re in a good place. I turned the game off thinking that I’d much rather be Derby than Cardiff, parachute payments and all.
  2. I’m an optimistic soul and have a foot in the ‘happy clapper’ camp. However, having watched the game (on TV) last Saturday, I thought Dowell was very poor. He just couldn’t seem to judge the weight of the ball properly, under hitting passes and then over hitting others; the through-ball to Lawrence that ran out of play when we were in a very dangerous position in the opposition box being the most frustrating example of an overhit pass. I also thought his set pieces were woeful. I’m sure there is a player there somewhere (But what do I know, I said this about Blackman!), but he’s going to have to find some form soon or potentially face the chop.
  3. For what it’s worth, here’s my thoughts on the team for today. I vaguely remember Maclaren version 1.0 saying that a balanced team has 5 defenders and 5 attackers, this has always stuck with me. With this in mind, I would play a 4-1-4-1 formation: Roos Keogh - Bielik - Clarke - Lowe Evans Patt’son - Dowell - Shinnie - Law* Waghorn Reasons: 1, We don’t have a right sided wingback, Keogh is our only option to cover. Other ideas (Lowe / Jozefzoon / Holmes) are truly square pegs. 2, Bielik in centre defence, the new Stimac?? 3, Lowe did okay the other night, keeps his place at LB 4, Paterson, natural winger, got to have a run in the team, can’t be worse than Zoon 5, Let’s see what Shinnie can do 6, Let’s give Dowell more time, clearly a player somewhere in there 7, Waggy on his own as Marriott not fit to start *Lawrence
  4. The thing I find most interesting, and a little exciting, about our transfer policy this summer is that I have absolutely NO IDEA what the policy is going to be. When we appointed Frank and Jody last year, rumours quickly surfaced that we would be looking at some Chelsea youngsters and, sure enough, Tomori and Mount signed on. However, with the new man Cocu, we have ZERO idea whether he is going to: 1, Try and add OLDER or YOUNGER players? The thought is that he will try and bring through youth, but will he want some more experienced heads? 2, Will he go for LOANS or PERMS? How much money is there for transfers? Where are we with FFP? 3, If it is loans, where will they come from? Do we have a secret handshake with Frank that we will get first dibs on Chelsea loans? What about his connections with the Everton DOF, will we get those? How about his past with PSV and Barca, any joy there? 4, So will we go BRITISH or FOREIGN? We have leaned so heavily on British players under Clement/Rowett/Frank, do we have a man now with better knowledge of European/foreign players? 5, Is he going to STICK or TWIST? Maybe he thinks we have enough already? He may have an agreement with Mel that he is going to fast track academy players - Although I’m less inclined to believe that he won’t bring in some new bodies So, all we really know is that we don’t really know, even the ITKers on the site seem to have dried up (No disrespect intended, I’m the first to love a good bit of ITK) I think, therefore, this is going to be the first summer of genuine surprises, names that we’ve never potentially heard of, maybe shock players leaving to raise funds (Marriott? Bogle?) It could be fun, head scratching, exciting or even confusing, when our only signing this summer is the PSV 2nd reserve keeper! We better strap in and enjoy (or not) the ride 😎
  5. I like Frank and was happy when he took over. However, am I the only one who thinks that, if he’s still a Ram, next season may be more of a struggle; the ‘2nd season syndrome’? We’re unlikely to get arguably our two best players back, Tomori and Mount (Although I accept other loans may be available). It’s also looking unlikely that Frank will have much money. Even if rumours of new investment are true, FFP may dictate that we can’t spend it. I’m also not as convinced as others that Frank has given youth a chance. Wilson/Mount/Tomori yes, but all loans. Bogle is, therefore, the only success from the academy this season. Frank has put youngsters on the bench and threw Max Bird into the lions den at Villa, but its been patchy. I question, therefore, whether he is best placed to bring our youngsters through next season? As I said, I like Frank and don’t underestimate the importance of Jody, who may be the real power behind the throne but, if we’re mid table by December, we may look back at this moment as an opportunity missed to stick Chelsea for some hefty compensation and recruit a manager with a mandate to bring through our academy players. Maybe Mel could play a blinder and get a big compo package for Frank and then move heaven and Earth to promote Jody. Morris is also Chelsea inside and out BUT would the lure of being NO.1 at Derby be tempting, especially as he can see the fine work done by the academy?
  6. I’d go for Gary Neville, he’s knowledgeable, probably got good contacts and will have a lot to prove.
  7. Bloomin ell, I live in Newton Abbot, I can’t make the match this Sunday, but maybe we should swap details; be keen to join/share the car duties on another away day.
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