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Mental Weakness.


TroyDyer
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Have been thinking a lot about this recently, and would be interested in peoples opinions on it. 

It seems that for the last few years, when the going gets tough, we fall apart. Is that a recent thing, or is it something endemic within this football club? Even in Billy's promotion season, we capitulated and bottled automatics quite dreadfully. 

Made me think back to Pompey away a few years ago. (Cywka gate) I was living on the Isle of Wight and a load of us piled over. One of which was a Leeds fan. At 1-0 up with seconds remaining, the Derby fans were silent. My mate turns to me and says "This is bizarre. You are winning 1-0 away and no one is singing or jumping around?" At that moment Nugent equalised, and I turned and said, "That's why". 

You just know that in the end, they will let you down. But the fans, owners, players, management etc all play a part. I am as guilty as anyone. At 2-1 against leicester with minutes remaining, I cashed out mt bet. I knew we would concede, because we always do. 

Some stats showed that if a game lasted 80 minutes, we'd be 5th. 

In life I believe you attract what you most fear/believe will happen. That's why Ronaldo and Messi are so good. yes their ability is incredible, but they also believe they will win. 

Russell is a great example for me. Was fearless and was superb. Now he plays with fear and doesn't go past a player any more. Razza already looks like he is going the same way. 

Is it time that the club brought in a top sports psychologist? It won England the rugby World Cup according to Sir Clive Woodwood. It turned Barton's career around as he said in his autobiography. 

Surely given the money spent on the club, a top sports psychologist to work with the players/management would be an outlay worth spending?

And as for the fans, do we need to believe a little more? Or do we even deserve to believe given the dross we have to witness weekly?

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McClaren was one of the first to champion a sports psychologist in Bill Beswick?.

Sadly though, when you put a golden saddle on a donkey, it doesn't become a thoroughbred, it remains a donkey. 

This thread will ultimately become a Keogh debate, and my opinion for a few years has been that he's awesome in some games, but when we NEED him to be awesome, and hopefully drag performances of those around him up, he's mentally incapable.

McClaren needs to bring some steely leadership in on the pitch.

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4 minutes ago, Mostyn6 said:

McClaren was one of the first to champion a sports psychologist in Bill Beswick?.

Sadly though, when you put a golden saddle on a donkey, it doesn't become a thoroughbred, it remains a donkey. 

This thread will ultimately become a Keogh debate, and my opinion for a few years has been that he's awesome in some games, but when we NEED him to be awesome, and hopefully drag performances of those around him up, he's mentally incapable.

McClaren needs to bring some steely leadership in on the pitch.

Spot on !

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5 minutes ago, Mostyn6 said:

McClaren was one of the first to champion a sports psychologist in Bill Beswick?.

Sadly though, when you put a golden saddle on a donkey, it doesn't become a thoroughbred, it remains a donkey. 

This thread will ultimately become a Keogh debate, and my opinion for a few years has been that he's awesome in some games, but when we NEED him to be awesome, and hopefully drag performances of those around him up, he's mentally incapable.

McClaren needs to bring some steely leadership in on the pitch.

 Whats this? A self fulfilling prophesy?

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12 minutes ago, Mostyn6 said:

McClaren was one of the first to champion a sports psychologist in Bill Beswick?.

Sadly though, when you put a golden saddle on a donkey, it doesn't become a thoroughbred, it remains a donkey. 

This thread will ultimately become a Keogh debate, and my opinion for a few years has been that he's awesome in some games, but when we NEED him to be awesome, and hopefully drag performances of those around him up, he's mentally incapable.

McClaren needs to bring some steely leadership in on the pitch.

Is this because of his armband? Because I think captaincy in football is pretty symbolic on the whole, there's enough people that should be 'leaders' in our team that it shouldn't be Keogh's responsibility to drag performances up.

There might be a mental weakness in the overall squad, but who's to blame for that? Almost a completely new set of players, changes in management, boardroom changes? Hard to pinpoint it.

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My impression is because we had one good run in Mac's first season, which seemingly came from nowhere, that we are now "expected" to compete each season. We have done well to be in the play-offs 2/3 past three seasons, but it doesn't give us a right to be there, nor should it mean the players aren't good enough if we're not. 

We've stayed in the championship because, ultimately, we haven't been good enough to be promoted. I imagine it's not easy on the players to stay focused if they've had a new manager each season, combined with this sudden surge of expectation from a fan base that wants everything now. If we're truly to build a system that works from bottom to top of the club we have to be patient. Southampton didn't happen overnight, if we go up I want to stay there, not yo-yo like Burnley or Norwich.

 

 

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I don't think it's a case of mentality as such I believe it is one in a myriad of factors but I'm not sure it's the one that's fundamentally wrong. I personally think the key thing that's stopped us kicking on in the last couple of seasons is poor recruitment again I don't see it being purely down to this. If you want to simplify it there have just been too many teams who have been better prepared mentally, physically and tactically

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Players get absolutely lambasted at this club for making mistakes, the vitriol from our fans at home is ridiculous. De Sart tried to play some nice balls against Burton that went wrong, did he get encouragement to keep trying and battle on? No fookin chance. The expectation around the club must be pretty crippling especially if they start poorly in a game. I know players should be able to deal with it but in reality they are only human. There are loads of factors at play but we as fans should do way more IMO. Until we score at home the place is dead silent, it wasn't before.

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Just now, tomsdubs said:

Players get absolutely lambasted at this club for making mistakes, the vitriol from our fans at home is ridiculous. De Sart tried to play some nice balls against Burton that went wrong, did he get encouragement to keep trying and battle on? No fookin chance. The expectation around the club must be pretty crippling especially if they start poorly in a game. I know players should be able to deal with it but in reality they are only human. There are loads of factors at play but we as fans should do way more IMO. Until we score at home the place is dead silent, it wasn't before.

I noticed this with de Sart. Against a team defending like Burton were, its key to keep spreading the play like he was trying to. Quick switches of the ball, he got a few right and a few wrong, and seemed to be getting pelters every time.

Didn't seem bothered luckily and kept trying but thought it summed up quite a lot of our fans. Impatient and greedy and lacking a little bit of understanding of what is happening before them.

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In an ideal setting, the manager is adequately adept at sports psychology, it's better that the head games come from him, someone the players know and trust.

Have at times discussed what appears to be mental weakness in the squad with a friend of mine and he always arrives at the same conclusion, that young men today are mostly soft and a kick up the pants will only make them sulk more, because there is nothing there to draw upon.  i don't want to believe that, i really don't.  i take some heart in the fact that when we concede i don't see heads drop that much, which would be intolerable, so there is some fight in these guys, but it comes and goes it seems.  We need strong heads in this division, maybe we need a few more and some need to go.

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1 hour ago, Mostyn6 said:

McClaren was one of the first to champion a sports psychologist in Bill Beswick?.

Sadly though, when you put a golden saddle on a donkey, it doesn't become a thoroughbred, it remains a donkey. 

This thread will immediately become a Keogh debate, and my opinion for a few years has been that he's awesome in some games, but when we NEED him to be awesome, and hopefully drag performances of those around him up, he's mentally incapable.

McClaren needs to bring some steely leadership in on the pitch.

 

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Could we do with a Dave Mackay type signing, maybe someone who has leadership, can cover CDM and CB, maybe even a player coach.

I am all for bringing kids on, but someone like this would gel it all together and improve mental toughness.

Cannot think of one though, the closest I can come to is Carrick, but I doubt we could afford him, and I am thinking someone a little younger than that.

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32 minutes ago, tomsdubs said:

Players get absolutely lambasted at this club for making mistakes, the vitriol from our fans at home is ridiculous. De Sart tried to play some nice balls against Burton that went wrong, did he get encouragement to keep trying and battle on? No fookin chance. The expectation around the club must be pretty crippling especially if they start poorly in a game. I know players should be able to deal with it but in reality they are only human. There are loads of factors at play but we as fans should do way more IMO. Until we score at home the place is dead silent, it wasn't before.

This atmosphere has built up over a number of years. Fans generally turn up to the football stadium with a positive frame of mind. Players need to do the same.

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I don't think it's anything to do with this perceived lack of mental toughness.

'When the going gets tough' for me really comes about when we are playing well or getting a run of results and teams start playing differently against us.

Tuesday night was nothing about lack of physical or mental toughness, we just weren't good enough to break them down.

This whole 'bottling it' tag came after Wembley and people are it as something to use against the team every time we lose a match.

Since Wembley we have had 4 different managers and virtually a whole new squad.

I hate to say it but 'bottling it' is a myth that gets in the way of accepting that, for whatever reasons' we have not been good enough to get promoted.

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1 hour ago, tomsdubs said:

Players get absolutely lambasted at this club for making mistakes, the vitriol from our fans at home is ridiculous. De Sart tried to play some nice balls against Burton that went wrong, did he get encouragement to keep trying and battle on? No fookin chance. The expectation around the club must be pretty crippling especially if they start poorly in a game. I know players should be able to deal with it but in reality they are only human. There are loads of factors at play but we as fans should do way more IMO. Until we score at home the place is dead silent, it wasn't before.

Good post although people up and down the country have kids that are seriously ill have to go to work and perform, to keep their jobs at a fraction of the wages these lot earn . So for players on fabulous wages if they cannot rise above the crowd and perform then no sympathy from me .

To be able to earn a living playing football must be one of the greatest privileges going ,they need a reality check .Having said all that our support is **** compared with the past .

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