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Can we beat the relegation?


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7 hours ago, Jourdan said:

At the moment, our fate isn’t in our own hands. Why are we having to follow Rotherham v Stoke and Cardiff v QPR? Simple. Because we have dropped far too many points against poor sides.

Take the eight points we have dropped against the bottom three alone and we’d be on 30 points now and bidding for a top half finish.

You keep referring back to the first 13 games of the season to defend Rooney. But Rooney knew exactly where we were when he took the job because he played a significant role as a player, coach, and co-manager. In any case you can bet your house that he would have earmarked games against Wycombe, Coventry, Rotherham and Sheff Wed as important games for any potential revival.

Yes, anyone can beat anyone in this league but us beating Bournemouth and Swansea will only hold weight if it’s consolidated by getting results in the games against the teams around us. 

It’s very easy to be blasé and say points are points and it doesn’t matter where they come from, but we are giving teams around us lifeline after lifeline when you think about it.

Continue as we are and we are going to leave ourselves in a position where we have to go to Reading away in April needing to win because we dropped the ball against much more favourable opposition. I’d much rather take control of our destiny by taking care of business against QPR and Rotherham and other such teams, wouldn’t you?

Of course you would but this is the championship. It doesn’t work like that and never has.

Regardless of how we’ve improved under Rooney this was always going to be a slog, when he took over we were almost cut adrift at the bottom of the table. It was a long way to come back. Another 11 games like we’ve just had (or hopefully better) and the picture will look much better. That is the balanced way to look at it. 

And my caveat to all my views on how Rooney is doing, he is taking a team that should be top half and pushing,  out of the bottom 3 and hopefully away from it. If he achieves survival the season has still been a failure and he has to then demonstrate he has what it takes to make us more competitive with let’s face it, what is likely to be limited resources.
 

 

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Personally I think if the takeover is still on, I believe we would be more likely to survive because the players may still have the wage thing in their heads. So we need this takeover asap. We need a couple of players in January, so I think getting the takeover done is crucial to our survival chances.

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2 minutes ago, Tiverton Ram said:

Personally I think if the takeover is still on, I believe we would be more likely to survive because the players may still have the wage thing in their heads. So we need this takeover asap. We need a couple of players in January, so I think getting the takeover done is crucial to our survival chances.

I really don't think its going to happen , although hopefully we can find investment elsewhere now its sort of out in the open 

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19 minutes ago, dcfcreece1601 said:

I really don't think its going to happen , although hopefully we can find investment elsewhere now its sort of out in the open 

Yeah remember they said they wanted it done before Christmas, and that didn't happen. I hope it happens, but you're right it looks unlikely now

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9 hours ago, Jourdan said:

9 of Rooney’s 11 games in charge have either been a draw or decided by one goal, but in six of those nine games we were victims to those tight margins.

I thought we had lost only 3 under his leadership ? 4 have been wins and the rest draws.

As for beating our relegation rivals, yes it would be better if we did but a draw would be ok based upon fairing better against other teams. 
 

You seem to have created an stick to beat WR with for performances being inconsistent, I would say the opposite. Other than Rotterham, we have performed well is all the others, the problem being that we can't score goals.  The more time he spends with the team though, the more chances we create.

Even without beating these teams around us, we are currently in a better position that we was before he took over, to think these games will determine our fate is flawed, the next 23 will do that.

I still think off field matters will be the defining factor if we stay up or not, with the current squad possibly, weaken it no, strengthening I would be confident, fate is very much in our own hands.

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3 hours ago, Dimmu said:

This is way too dramatic and I couldn't disagree more. Get 1.4 points per game rest of the season and we'll be safe and sound with games to go.

Most likely less than 1.4 will do. Therefore, we don't need help from others to stay up and our fate Is firmly in our own hands. 

It's a different question can we do it.

Not dramatic at all. It’s too close for comfort right now.

We are depending on other teams to get results against Rotherham, Sheff Wed, QPR and a few others to help our chances, so our fate isn’t in our own hands. Especially not when we are not getting results in the games we can directly affect.

Bear in mind, Rotherham have two games in hand on us currently and also play us at home in the next two weeks. They could easily overtake us if things go in their favour.

PPG is a poor indicator. We don’t know how the teams around us will perform to say with any great certainty what will be enough. Every year is different. Sometimes it’s 48 points. Sometimes it’s 50. Sometimes 54.

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1 hour ago, BIllyD said:

I thought we had lost only 3 under his leadership ? 4 have been wins and the rest draws.

As for beating our relegation rivals, yes it would be better if we did but a draw would be ok based upon fairing better against other teams. 
 

You seem to have created an stick to beat WR with for performances being inconsistent, I would say the opposite. Other than Rotterham, we have performed well is all the others, the problem being that we can't score goals.  The more time he spends with the team though, the more chances we create.

Even without beating these teams around us, we are currently in a better position that we was before he took over, to think these games will determine our fate is flawed, the next 23 will do that.

I still think off field matters will be the defining factor if we stay up or not, with the current squad possibly, weaken it no, strengthening I would be confident, fate is very much in our own hands.

Yes, we have lost three games. When I talk about us ‘being victims to fine margins’ in six games, I mean results didn’t go our way in those six games.

We lost games against Rotherham, Sheff Wed and Preston by a single goal. We drew with Wycombe, Coventry and Stoke when we could and should have won.

In some games, the margins have gone our way. A big save by Roos and we go on to beat Bournemouth by a single goal. A big save by Marshall and we go on to beat Millwall by a single goal. Brentford hit the woodwork twice and we go on to earn a point.

You say draws against the teams around us are OK if we fare well against other teams, but at the moment, we have picked up 7 points from three games against better sides under Rooney. How likely are we to maintain that? It is much easier to improve on 9 points from 24 against poorer opposition than it is to maintain or better a rate of 7 points from 9 against better opposition.

This is not a stick to beat Rooney with at all. In earlier posts, I have acknowledged the good he has done, but it’s my belief that if we are going to stay up, it will be on the strength of what we do against Rotherham, QPR, Forest and other struggling or inconsistent teams. Not Swansea, Brentford or Bournemouth.

We are in a better position now than we were before. No-one is disputing that. The question is: could it be better? 

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41 minutes ago, Jourdan said:

We lost games against Rotherham, Sheff Wed and Preston by a single goal. We drew with Wycombe, Coventry and Stoke when we could and should have won.

In some games, the margins have gone our way. A big save by Roos and we go on to beat Bournemouth by a single goal. A big save by Marshall and we go on to beat Millwall by a single goal. Brentford hit the woodwork twice and we go on to earn a point.

You say draws against the teams around us are OK if we fare well against other teams, but at the moment, we have picked up 7 points from three games against better sides under Rooney. How likely are we to maintain that? It is much easier to improve on 9 points from 24 against poorer opposition than it is to maintain or better a rate of 7 points from 9 against better opposition.

This is not a stick to beat Rooney with at all. In earlier posts, I have acknowledged the good he has done, but it’s my belief that if we are going to stay up, it will be on the strength of what we do against Rotherham, QPR, Forest and other struggling or inconsistent teams. Not Swansea, Brentford or Bournemouth.

We are in a better position now than we were before. No-one is disputing that. The question is: could it be better? 

Things can work both ways. There's no point trying to go into individual games and justify exactly why we won. Generally, over time you get what you deserve. That is why some went from saying, 'give cocu time' to 'he needs to be sacked' because it became clear over 11 games that we were just a poor football team, rock bottom of the league with nothing improving. Rooney has also had 11 games and we can now conclude that performances are better, the attitude is better, the players can run for days, they win battles, we create more, we keep clean sheets, I could go on... 

Bottom line is, Rooney has managed to get 16 points from 11 games. That is good, you cannot knock him for that. We will survive.

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14 minutes ago, Rammy03 said:

Things can work both ways. There's no point trying to go into individual games and justify exactly why we won. Generally, over time you get what you deserve. That is why some went from saying, 'give cocu time' to 'he needs to be sacked' because it became clear over 11 games that we were just a poor football team, rock bottom of the league with nothing improving. Rooney has also had 11 games and we can now conclude that performances are better, the attitude is better, the players can run for days, they win battles, we create more, we keep clean sheets, I could go on... 

Bottom line is, Rooney has managed to get 16 points from 11 games. That is good, you cannot knock him for that. We will survive.

Who is knocking Rooney? 16 points from a possible 33 is very creditable. No-one is taking anything away from Rooney at all, as far as I can see.

The point is, do we want to give ourselves the best chance of staying up? Do we want to improve? If so, people are going to talk about the games against weaker opposition where we haven’t seized the moment and people are going to refer to games like Rotherham and QPR as significant to our hopes of staying up.

Rooney has done a very respectable job, but regardless of who the manager is, there is going to be disappointment when you are not beating the likes of Wycombe, Rotherham, Coventry and Sheff Wed, especially so if they are in direct competition with you.

We have to hope Rooney and the boys take steps to correct that, because losses v QPR and Rotherham in the upcoming games would render the work we poured into last night’s game pointless.

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1 minute ago, Jourdan said:

Rooney has done a very respectable job, but regardless of who the manager is, there is going to be disappointment when you are not beating the likes of Wycombe, Rotherham, Coventry and Sheff Wed, especially so if they are in direct competition with you.

We have to hope Rooney and the boys take steps to correct that, because losses v QPR and Rotherham in the upcoming games would render the work we poured into last night’s game pointless.

Sure it's disappointing but the over reaction on here after the Rotherham defeat was genuinely laughable. You had people saying we have 'absolutely no chance' of staying up. From what I've seen in the general attitude and performance since Rooney took over, I'm confident we will start beating these teams consistently and climb out of this.

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2 minutes ago, Rammy03 said:

Sure it's disappointing but the over reaction on here after the Rotherham defeat was genuinely laughable. You had people saying we have 'absolutely no chance' of staying up. From what I've seen in the general attitude and performance since Rooney took over, I'm confident we will start beating these teams consistently and climb out of this.

I tend to agree with you and with half a season to go I'm confident we will secure enough points to avoid relegation. The negativity of some posters though is never much of a surprise is it?

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11 hours ago, Rammy03 said:

Cocu: 11 games, 6 points
Rooney: 11 games, 16 points

Cocu's record over 46 games: 25 points (relegated)
Rooney's record over 46 games: 67 points (top 10)

To say there hasn't been a significant improvement is a ridiculous statement. Football is better, results are better.

results.png

 

10 hours ago, Jourdan said:

It’s a flawed comparison, to be honest. Too many variables at play. Different opposition with the exception of one game, different players available, and form is volatile. You can’t project what either manager would achieve based on what could be Cocu’s worst run versus what could turn out to be Rooney’s best spell. There will be peaks and troughs after all.

At the end of the day though, no one is disputing there hasn’t been an improvement. Some of us are simply judging Rooney on his 11 games and asking the question: is it enough and will it be enough to ensure we are playing Championship football next season?

Right now, it could be argued either way. I just think many of those raising doubts over Rooney would feel more secure with him if we were beating our direct competition.
 

Although I was one of the first on the fast train to RooneyVille, I was previously a proponent of Cocu. I have tried to move on but, in this case, I have to support the statement made by @Jourdan, highlighted in bold.

I do think there is a more pragmatic approach under Rooney, opting for more attacking play with the greater risk of losing the ball so the style of play is certainly different. I think there is more effort, greater fitness, and more apparent team spirit under Rooney. So, massive credit for all of that.

However, one massive change which has coincided with the change of management, has been the return to fitness - and, thus, the availability - of Bielik and Kazim-Richards.

Bielik is a man mountain of a footballer - he is huge for our team in every sense.

Kazim-Richards is the focal point for the attack and, albeit quieter in the last couple of games, still plays an essential role for the team that wasn't available to Cocu. And, before anyone mentions letting the Bristol City forward leave in the summer, I don't believe that was Cocu's decision; it's becoming ever clearer that it was made on the basis of finance.

Anyway, there has definitely been an upturn. I would say that is mostly down to Rooney, Bielik and Kazim-Richards.

Edited by IslandExile
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9 minutes ago, Rammy03 said:

Sure it's disappointing but the over reaction on here after the Rotherham defeat was genuinely laughable. You had people saying we have 'absolutely no chance' of staying up. From what I've seen in the general attitude and performance since Rooney took over, I'm confident we will start beating these teams consistently and climb out of this.

It goes both ways though, doesn’t it? You have people comparing George Evans to Bobby Moore and people saying we are a top six quality team on the basis of last night’s win. Fans overreact when we win and when we lose.

OK and when we do start beating these teams, I think everyone to a man will share your confidence. Let’s hope we see the beginnings of that on Saturday.

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5 minutes ago, IslandExile said:

However, one massive change which has coincided with the change of management, has been the return to fitness - and, thus, the availability - of Bielik and Kazim-Richards.

Yes it's a shame Bielik wasn't available back then but I can confidently say we were on a downward spiral and one player, as good as he is, wouldn't have made a whole lot of difference. Cocu decided against picking Kazim Richards and opted for waghorn, so that's on him. Rooney has improved us in every sense of the word.

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19 minutes ago, Rammy03 said:

Cocu decided against picking Kazim Richards

I really do not want to reopen the Cocu debate, please, please no more of that, however, I do believe in pursuing accuracy.

Kazim-Richards was not match fit. He made substitute appearances of a few minutes. When he was finally able to start, he had to be taken off towards the end of the game.

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5 minutes ago, Jourdan said:

Yes, we have lost three games. When I talk about us ‘being victims to fine margins’ in six games, I mean results didn’t go our way in those six games.

We lost games against Rotherham, Sheff Wed and Preston by a single goal. We drew with Wycombe, Coventry and Stoke when we could and should have won.

In some games, the margins have gone our way. A big save by Roos and we go on to beat Bournemouth by a single goal. A big save by Marshall and we go on to beat Millwall by a single goal. Brentford hit the woodwork twice and we go on to earn a point.

You say draws against the teams around us are OK if we fare well against other teams, but at the moment, we have picked up 7 points from three games against better sides under Rooney. How likely are we to maintain that? It is much easier to improve on 9 points from 24 against poorer opposition than it is to maintain or better a rate of 7 points from 9 against better opposition.

This is not a stick to beat Rooney with at all. In earlier posts, I have acknowledged the good he has done, but it’s my belief that if we are going to stay up, it will be on the strength of what we do against Rotherham, QPR, Forest and other struggling or inconsistent teams. Not Swansea, Brentford or Bournemouth.

We are in a better position now than we were before. No-one is disputing that. The question is: could it be better? 

Of course it could be better, unless we picked up maximum points.

I think your over complicating it, only my opinion of course, but if we maintain our current form under WR, we stay up. Doesn't matter where then points come from, the end result is the same.

Why we are struggling against the sides around us, valid question but once again won't determine our season if as I say we maintain our current form.

 

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43 minutes ago, IslandExile said:

And you have other people extrapolating comments way too far 😉

I was merely comparing Evans' tackle with the famous Moore tackle from the 1970 world cup. I was not equating Evans to Moore.

Ah fond memories.  Reminds me of the time my manager called me the Bobby Moore of our team.  Didn't mean a huge amount at the time (was early 1980s, so I was circa 14 or 15) but now I look back and realise what a compliment it was.  For me anyway, certainly not Bobby. 

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46 minutes ago, BIllyD said:

 

Why we are struggling against the sides around us, valid question but once again won't determine our season if as I say we maintain our current form.

 

It’s very simple. We must do better against the sides in the bottom half or we will go down. These games will determine our season. Absolutely they will. 

Let’s be realistic. Under Rooney, we have taken 8 points from 12 against sides currently in the top half. Wonderful as it is, it’s unsustainable form. 

We still have to play Watford, Swansea, Reading, Blackburn, Stoke and Barnsley away and Norwich, Brentford, Bristol City, Boro and Luton at home. To ‘maintain this form’, we would have to get 22 points from a possible 33. How likely is that?

Whereas under Rooney, we have 8 points from 21 against teams currently in the bottom half. Maintain that form and that’s 13 points from 33 and a total of 21 points from a possible 54 v QPR, Forest, Wycombe (x2), Rotherham (x2), Sheff Wed (x2), Coventry (x2), Birmingham (x2), Millwall (x2), Preston (x2), Cardiff and Huddersfield.   Worryingly low, no?

Yes, every game counts and all points are welcome, but it’s clear that we have to find a way to get results against poor teams to balance things out, because beating two top sides in a good spell is very different to beating 6-7.

Look at how our inability to beat top teams last season was damaging to our chances of putting together a late play off charge. Our inability to beat the teams around us could be just as damaging (if not more so) in our fight for survival this time around.

We’ll revisit this in May and you’ll see exactly what I mean.

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