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Old friends 08:34 - Mar 5 with 1693 viewsnix

Not sure if this is a Spackman, but anyway, I couldn't sleep last night. Terrible insomnia. So my mind goes down a rabbit hole of strange facts. I was wondering about our old continental players after we ditched that rather unsuccessful and expensive experiment, and I thought of El Khayati.

It's strange comparing his stats across the Championship and the Eridivisie. So for us he got one goal and two assists in 25 matches. For Den Haag in the Dutch first division he got 36 goals and 24 assists in 88 games! I'm not sure what that says about the standard of the two divisions but it's also true that Matt Smith (the smaller) played an entire season for FC Twente (in the equivalent Dutch Championship level) and they finished as Champions.

Weirdly after such a successful season he was then transferred to Qatar. Even more weirdly, given we had to terminate his contract, he actually commanded a 1.5 million fee.

Other strange fact I didn't realise as I'm clearly completely out of the loop, and for others similarly challenged, Pards Pardew is now the Den Haag manager. I wonder if he's had cause to bossa nova down the touchline yet...
[Post edited 5 Mar 8:34]

Old friends on 09:53 - Mar 5 with 1600 viewsfrancisbowles

Just guessing really, to get the thread going but maybe it says that it is less physical, that midfield players are not closed down so quickly and wide players are not immediately surrounded by up to four opposition players as soon as they get the ball.

From what I remember about El Khayati in the few games that he played was that he looked skilful and comfortable on the ball but struggled to get into games. Smith also looked like he needed games that we couldn't give him to strengthen him up a bit.

Old friends on 10:04 - Mar 5 with 1575 viewsnix

Yes, I agree it's probably the physicality and the fact that the Championship is probably much quicker. I suppose I was thinking that it's very difficult to work out who might be able to step up and raise their game for the greater physical demands and who will never make it. Which is why we may have abandoned the experiment with continental players. Interesting that other clubs have managed to unearth players who adapt. Luck or just that they are better at assessing who will step up.

Old friends on 10:14 - Mar 5 with 1558 viewsBlue_Castello

Where are they now - just googled Samba Diakite the Mali assassin, not surprisingly his career has gone the best part of nowhere , we just couldn't pick a good one, he ended up with a French third division outfit called Red Star and now he's of no fixed abode.
We really do need to infiltrate Brentfords scouting approach, I know it's this Moneyball system but can' we not give it a go once we have a few pounds in the bank, assuming we get a very healthy transfer fee for Eze.

Old friends on 10:20 - Mar 5 with 1543 viewskarl

All good points, I think it's generally true that a player has to have the right physical build and the skill level is then important.
I say it often that Scottish players who get signed by Championship clubs are more often only a success once they're over 22, very few seem physically capable before that. Scottish game is fast paced so that's not their problem but in England the players are much stronger and athletic.
Some will laugh at this but in my experience a Scotland team of mainly English Championship players always does worse than a team with the majority from SPL as their ball retention and skill levels are not good enough and they've possibly had to concentrate too much on physical aspects?
Bit bizarre as they're probably on 5 times the wages and to get the move south (unless they're qualified through relatives) they've played to a high standard in Scotland.
Same will be true of players like El Khayati, Tom Carroll and Smith I'm sure

Old friends on 10:48 - Mar 5 with 1497 viewsBazzaInTheLoft

Always thought we ditched El Khayati too quickly. In regards to his lack of physicality he was good in a combative Burton side that we signed him from.

I wish him well.

Old friends on 10:55 - Mar 5 with 1484 viewsdublinr

Probably being a bit thick, but what does 'qualify through relatives' to get the move south mean? Scotland and england still parts of the same UK for the time being at least, though it doesn't feel like it any more.

Old friends on 11:26 - Mar 5 with 1427 viewsLazyFan

El Khayati was played as a forward, which he probably thought he was. Hence managers playing him there.

But sometimes we would play him on the left when he would cut in on his right and then he was really really good. But this happened before we let him go.

So, for me he had the talent, we just did not play him in the correct position that would be most effective for us and him.

El Khayati for me was a talented player. And his record is now showing that.

Also, little Matt Smith got injured and was just coming back and his last few sub appearances I finally started to see what Warbs saw in him. His passing started to get better, it was looking a lot like Wells through ball type of passes. And then we let him go. I would have kept him, especially as we brought in Clarke who does not play.

If we wanted someone to warm the sibs bench, we could have got Shodpio to do that. And at least Shodpio would have been integrated with the team for next season.

I just don't get the Clarke loan, it does not make sense to me, even if we had sold BOS in the Jan window, it still does not make sense.




Old friends on 12:06 - Mar 5 with 1344 viewskarl

Not worded very well.
Scotland has used many players from the Championship who are English born but qualify for Scotland through parents or grandparents.
A Scotland team with a majority of English Championship players whether Scottish or English born imo don't seem as good as a team with SPL based majority, mainly due to creative play and ball retention.

Old friends on 12:07 - Mar 5 with 1339 viewskarl

Would be handy if Lazyfan deleted a few ZZZ's!!

Old friends on 12:29 - Mar 5 with 1274 viewsthame_hoops

Who was the dud we got from West Ham, I’m sure it was a Harry signing, striker?

Old friends on 12:33 - Mar 5 with 1265 viewsdublinr

Got it! Thanks. Interesting observation.

Old friends on 12:42 - Mar 5 with 1241 viewsted_hendrix

Are you thinking about Mauro Zarate?

My Father had a profound influence on me, he was a lunatic.


Old friends on 12:44 - Mar 5 with 1227 viewsted_hendrix

Then of course there was the permanently dreadful Modibo Maïga.

My Father had a profound influence on me, he was a lunatic.


Old friends on 12:44 - Mar 5 with 1220 viewsloftboy

Maiga (sp)

favourite cheese mature Cheddar. FFS there is no such thing as the EPL
Poll: Seeing as the bottom 3 have hit some form. How many points = safety this year


Old friends on 12:45 - Mar 5 with 1219 viewsRs_Holy

yep...Modibo Maïga... absolute toilet!

Old friends on 12:48 - Mar 5 with 1204 viewsloftboy

Scores from a yard on his debut and missed an absolute sitter away at Charlton.

favourite cheese mature Cheddar. FFS there is no such thing as the EPL
Poll: Seeing as the bottom 3 have hit some form. How many points = safety this year


Old friends on 12:49 - Mar 5 with 1202 viewsRs_Holy

back to El Coyote... he may have only scored one goal but what an absolute belter it was :)

Old friends on 14:27 - Mar 5 with 1032 viewsDannyPaddox

Alan Pardy Pards Pardew managing at Den Slaaag!?

Old friends on 15:25 - Mar 5 with 948 viewsBrianMcCarthy


"The opposite of love, after all, is not hate, but indifference."
Poll: Player of the Year (so far)


Old friends on 16:36 - Mar 5 with 867 viewsnix

Yes! That's the one!

Old friends on 20:24 - Mar 5 with 730 viewsTripleR

That's being kind to him, he was worse than that.

Old friends on 02:22 - Mar 6 with 620 viewsPlanetHonneywood

AEK plays for the club about 10 minutes walk from me.

I have yet to saunter along to see a game there, largely due to the fact it’s often a depressing and lacklustre experience. Fair to say the Qatar Super League will not have to worry too much about postponing due to the current coronavirus response; such is the paucity of spectators that watch the majority of league games, depriving 50 people of going to a game would be a complete over-reaction.

However, I caught 10 minutes of a game he was playing in on the telly. He looked to be coasting somewhat. Think he might have been injured for a bit.

'Always In Motion' by John Honney available on We are QataRs!


Old friends on 09:23 - Mar 6 with 472 viewsfrancisbowles

I can see that pov and there have probably been a few you could say that about. David Wheeler is one that I was disappointed to see leave without having a real chance to break through. Others, we may have persevered with for too long, CW springs to mind but he cost a lot (for us) and he had a good attitude.

I guess for the likes of Elk and Wheeler it is how likely are they to break into the first team based on training and development games and if not soon then let's save a wage and try someone else. Change of manager is likely to speed up the process.

Old friends on 09:30 - Mar 6 with 467 viewsthame_hoops

thats him. some murky deal as part of the Ravel Morrison loan if i recall

Old friends on 12:06 - Mar 6 with 382 viewsCroydonCaptJack

He provided the cross for Syllas late equaliser at Forest which was probably his best moment for me.
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