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Last season - July 2020. What went wrong?


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On 1st July 2020 we had 60 points from 40 games, were in 7th place in the Championship and 1 point behind Cardiff in the playoff places.

We'd just beaten Preston away with the following team:

Hamer

Lowe | Clarke | Evans | Bogle

Bird | Rooney

Knight | Sibley | Holmes

Waghorn

Used subs: Shinnie, Martin, Forsyth, Davies

Unused subs: Josefzoon, Roos, Whittaker, JHI

Cocu was coach of course

The team's changed a bit since then, but there must be more to it than that.  Surely not all those changes worsened the squad? If we started on Saturday with the following team:

Marshall

Buchanan| Clarke | Wisdom| Byrne

Bird | Shinnie

Knight | Sibley | Jozwiak

Waghorn

Would that be such a materially worse line-up on paper?  Personally I'd choose CKE rather than Waghorn, but you get the point.  And I hope we get three points...

First-time poster, so please be gentle...

RLJ

 

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It's amazing that we even got to within 1 point of the playoffs because for most of that season we were very very average if not poor. 

Something clearly happened because the warning signs were there at the end of that season and pre season. 

Getting rid of experienced players didn't help either. Overall this squad isn't as good as last seasons.

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13 minutes ago, Ram Logan Josh said:

On 1st July 2020 we had 60 points from 40 games, were in 7th place in the Championship and 1 point behind Cardiff in the playoff places.

We'd just beaten Preston away with the following team:

Hamer

Lowe | Clarke | Evans | Bogle

Bird | Rooney

Knight | Sibley | Holmes

Waghorn

Used subs: Shinnie, Martin, Forsyth, Davies

Unused subs: Josefzoon, Roos, Whittaker, JHI

Cocu was coach of course

Perhaps a show of the squad might be more pertinent. Cocu didn't just play a single 11 and neither does Rooney. 

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37 minutes ago, Ram Logan Josh said:

On 1st July 2020 we had 60 points from 40 games, were in 7th place in the Championship and 1 point behind Cardiff in the playoff places.

We'd just beaten Preston away with the following team:

Hamer

Lowe | Clarke | Evans | Bogle

Bird | Rooney

Knight | Sibley | Holmes

Waghorn

Used subs: Shinnie, Martin, Forsyth, Davies

Unused subs: Josefzoon, Roos, Whittaker, JHI

Cocu was coach of course

The team's changed a bit since then, but there must be more to it than that.  Surely not all those changes worsened the squad? If we started on Saturday with the following team:

Marshall

Buchanan| Clarke | Wisdom| Byrne

Bird | Shinnie

Knight | Sibley | Jozwiak

Waghorn

Would that be such a materially worse line-up on paper?  Personally I'd choose CKE rather than Waghorn, but you get the point.  And I hope we get three points...

First-time poster, so please be gentle...

RLJ

 

Good post. I think we had a ridiculus run in playing 5 of the top six or something didn't we?

But, yes, the decline from being "ok, not great but just about passable season" to this season is some rapid decline. And with the right mentality I'm sure even the garbage squad we have now should be lower mid table. You've got to look at the managment and coaching or both Cocu and Rooney for this, neither had been good enough.

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Really good first post, @Ram Logan Josh!

I remember thinking at the beginning of the season that our starting XI looked stronger than the season before, so am as shocked as you at how it has gone for us this year. I mean, can we honestly say that there is a huge difference in quality between these (imaging our best available sides, injury free)...

Last season: Hamer, Bogle, Wisdom, Clarke, Buchanan, Rooney, Bielik, Knight, Sibley, Lawrence, Martin

This season: Marshall, Byrne, Wisdom, Clarke, Buchanan, Shinnie, Bielik, Jozwiak, Knight, Lawrence, Kazim-Richards

There's certainly not enough of a difference there for anyone to have reasonably suspected we would end up where we are.

My diagnosis? Two managers who have got it very, very wrong this season. Cocu and Rooney have not been good enough, along with the rest of the coaching team. I think, regardless of what division we're in next season, we need to start the next one without them.

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51 minutes ago, Rammy03 said:

It's amazing that we even got to within 1 point of the playoffs because for most of that season we were very very average if not poor. 

Something clearly happened because the warning signs were there at the end of that season and pre season. 

Getting rid of experienced players didn't help either. Overall this squad isn't as good as last seasons.

I do r think that is entirely true...the performance had been building prior to that and the football was actually coming together as shown by the results....

 

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Great post and I'm a big fan of your username ?

It's easy to forget what a good run of form we had in the second part of last season. As you say,  the playing staff are not all that different to last season and comparing each position the squad really doesn't look that much weaker at all. As Nuwtfly says above I felt it actually looked stronger at the start of the season with the exception of up front.  

Is mental strength (or lack) of the group the issue? Lack of leadership and character? Too much tinkering of line-ups/formations? Injuries to key players have certainly had an effect. There's a lot of potential reasons and I guess a hideous mix of all of them has us where we are 

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1 hour ago, Ram Logan Josh said:

On 1st July 2020 we had 60 points from 40 games, were in 7th place in the Championship and 1 point behind Cardiff in the playoff places.

We'd just beaten Preston away with the following team:

Hamer

Lowe | Clarke | Evans | Bogle

Bird | Rooney

Knight | Sibley | Holmes

Waghorn

Used subs: Shinnie, Martin, Forsyth, Davies

Unused subs: Josefzoon, Roos, Whittaker, JHI

Cocu was coach of course

The team's changed a bit since then, but there must be more to it than that.  Surely not all those changes worsened the squad? If we started on Saturday with the following team:

Marshall

Buchanan| Clarke | Wisdom| Byrne

Bird | Shinnie

Knight | Sibley | Jozwiak

Waghorn

Would that be such a materially worse line-up on paper?  Personally I'd choose CKE rather than Waghorn, but you get the point.  And I hope we get three points...

First-time poster, so please be gentle...

RLJ

 

At the end of last season, there was just about enough to think we had the makings of a good team who finished poorly. It wasn't to be!

Last 2 seasons have followed similar trends of poor start, great middle, dire finish.

If we stay up though, it doesn't seem ridiculous that a good manager and 2-3 decent additions could have us challenging for playoffs again.

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39 minutes ago, Nuwtfly said:

Last season: Hamer, Bogle, Wisdom, Clarke, Buchanan, Rooney, Bielik, Knight, Sibley, Lawrence, Martin

This season: Marshall, Byrne, Wisdom, Clarke, Buchanan, Shinnie, Bielik, Jozwiak, Knight, Lawrence, Kazim-Richards

There's certainly not enough of a difference there for anyone to have reasonably suspected we would end up where we are.

Lol. Maybe Rooney was more important in midfield than as a manager? ?

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Last season we were 1 maybe 2 strikers short, we then released  Martin and loaned out Marriott. We are massively short up top and that has been reflected in the goals scored column. Goals conceded is probably mid/lower mid table. Our lack of cutting edge has put too much focus and pressure on our defence. 

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Relying on too many average academy players (who because they are ours and with rose tinted glasses we think they are the class of 92.....they are not). Spending all available cash on a forward option who doesn’t score and or create. Losing Marriott and losing Martin without replacing them with any quality. Keeping  coach’s who are not good enough. 

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40 minutes ago, RoyMac5 said:

Lol. Maybe Rooney was more important in midfield than as a manager? ?

About the same in both roles, I’d say: a short impressive patch followed by absolute dross. 

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I think the summer window was massive, not just in signings but the knock on effects. Cocu had replaced Keogh with Te Wierik, knew Bielik was coming back and if he couldn’t have Martin then he lined up Dursan. Whilst the start would always be tough without Bielik, he could implement a style of play and start to structure the spine of the side. It may have still not been a great season, but it would have established the spine and improved the youngsters further. The thing is alarm bells rang early on in the window. the Jozwiak “saga” was laughable, the Dursan turned from laughable to embarrassing. But I think this was also ‘line in the sand’ moment for Cocu’s tenure.

He still tried, but he realised the job wasn’t what he was originally sold and now a difficult task had become impossible. I think he lost the spark which knocked on to the players, who collectively weren’t good enough without that spine in the first place. Rooney no doubt raised morale short term, but he over relied on Bielik which became somewhat his undoing. From that he also panic bought which led to ‘square peg in round hole’ tactics and player morale was low once again. In hindsight Edmundson and Gregory were probably enough.

Its the knock on effects of poor finances once again. An extra £500,000- £1 million to spend and we’d probably be currently be looking excitedly about next season with a settled side rather than the current dread for Saturday. 

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1 hour ago, RoyMac5 said:

Lol. Maybe Rooney was more important in midfield than as a manager? ?

Do you know I was coming to that conclusion too (and having to pinch myself) but I think he made Knight and Bird better too

A bit like Huddlestone with Mount and Wilson only not as good obviously

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Just now, Dethorn said:

Do you know I was coming to that conclusion too (and having to pinch myself) but I think he made Knight and Bird better too

A bit like Huddlestone with Mount and Wilson only not as good obviously

Lol. Shhhhh... we'll be saying so Cocu wanted to play him next! ?

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8 hours ago, RoyMac5 said:

Perhaps a show of the squad might be more pertinent. Cocu didn't just play a single 11 and neither does Rooney. 

I think I did list the used subs and unused subs in my original post...

7 hours ago, Nuwtfly said:

Really good first post, @Ram Logan Josh!

Thanks @Nuwtfly.  Don't want to set the bar too high though!

7 hours ago, abertawe_ram said:

Great post and I'm a big fan of your username ?

Thanks @abertawe_ram!  Been lurking on here for about three years I guess.  User name came to me whilst browsing the takeaway menu...

7 hours ago, RoyMac5 said:

Lol. Maybe Rooney was more important in midfield than as a manager? ?

Makes  you wonder @RoyMac5 - Rooney was indeed the goal scorer that night.  When we signed him as a marquee signing, I only ever expected him to be a last 20 minutes impact sub last season.  Never expected him to play 90 minutes game after game.  Seems the start of this season saw his playing decline.

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