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  1. I hope that their withdrawals from international duties were simply precautions rather than anything serious. Both players are so important to how we play. 🤞
  2. Any news on the injuries to Bielik and Bogle?
  3. Who's saying these players aren't feeling pained by their actions? Shame is a very powerful emotion. Ryan Conway's piece in today's The Athletic suggests that both players are extremely remorseful and have been left emotionally shattered by the proceedings. Bennett has a young daughter to support, and Lawrence has a grieving family – I'm sure that this will have been a the source of immense pain for them both.
  4. Totally agree! Hopefully that will come more and more as the team gels and gets used to Cocu’s tactics.
  5. When did possession become a dirty word? Moving the ball sideways shifts the defensive line across the pitch while encouraging the opposition to push up/press, thus creating spaces to exploit. Wasn't it Cloughie who also said "if the opposition hasn't got the ball, they can't hurt you"?
  6. I don't see the 4-3-3 as the best formation to get the most out of Rooney. I imagine that he'll fit nicely in the number 10 role in a 4-2-3-1 or perhaps as even part of a midfield three in a 5-3-2. Will be a interesting conundrum for Cocu. I wonder if he'll be integrated into the team as slowly as Shinnie has been, or whether the economic pressures to play him right away will prove too much?
  7. The finish of a player who doesn't look bothered?
  8. Just watched the match on Rams TV (muted – best way to watch it!) and I actually think we played quite well. Controlled the first half, lots of possession without creating much but not too far away from clicking. The opposition found it too easy to break through the lines in the first half, and in the second half we dropped off too much giving them more space to bring the ball forward and work opportunities from the flanks. But it all looks fairly comfortable to me. Stray observations: Paterson leads the press and the counterpress brilliantly Bogle is so important for providing that essential attacking width Bielik: there’s a player in there somewhere. Tall, strong and mobile. Great vision for a pass. Still lacking a bit of match fitness Josefzoon - could be controversial opinion, but I actually think he had bags of tactical discipline. Was always the first to back up Paterson's press. Tracked back and broke forward at the right times. Maybe lacking the confidence to really thrive. His fluffed chance came as a result of some brilliant controlled possession play from the whole team. Bloomin' 'eck, Wisdom has put on some weight!
  9. I think it's approaching the time that we draw a line under all this as a fanbase and get behind the team. Just my opinion.
  10. Interesting angle, but I'm not sure his nationality has anything to do with it. A family member who works closely with the EU (lol) says that the Dutch people he works with are straight-laced zealots who stuck to the rules rigidly, rather than the easy going types you imagine. I guess there's a big difference socially between those in the political class and an ex-footballer, but I don't think national stereotypes hold much weight. It's far more nuanced than that I reckon. Disclaimer: I could be very wrong!
  11. What kind of reception do we think Lawrence will get if he starts? I anticipate a lot of booing, but I really hope that isn't the case. I don't expect (or want) him to be cheered and wildly applauded, but I can't see how booing him will help him (or the team as a whole) put in a good performance when we're in urgent need of a win.
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