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at 22:04 1 Jun 2021
Yep, and the way I understand it from talking to a family of Brentford fans a couple of years ago is that they buy cheap from the continent (Danish etc leagues). All of their players have an internal evaluation, meaning that once their price is met they are sold, with the money being used to fund more players from the continent, and so the cycle continues. It explains why they lost their front three (Maupay, Benrahma and Watkins) in the space of 12 months and still have made it to the PL.
Whilst the Brentford model is certainly interesting, it’d be going too far to say it’s the best way to the PL. After all, my team Brighton made it to the PL (and have stayed there for 4 years on the trot) using almost the opposite approach (and coincidentally our owners despise one another!). Yes we’ve made shrewd signings, but we’ve had a policy of practically NOT selling our best talent (irrespective of price) and our highly rated academy has produced Lewis Dunk, Ben White, Robert Sanchez and Solly March - players integral to our PL success. When you consider we were playing the U’s fairly regularly 20 years ago, it shows how investing in an academy can work very well. Palace and Southampton have profited from their academies too.
What will be interesting to see is if Brentford’s approach will differ now they’re in the PL. Will they continue to sell and buy cheap from the continent, or shut up shop and spend as so many other teams do when achieving promotion?
[Post edited 1 Jun 22:05]
|U's Reveal Retention List|
at 21:39 14 May 2021
Big clear out which was a shock at first, but now the dust has settled it really is time to rebuild - as long as Cowling is ready to sign plenty. Was disappointed with Pell being released as every team needs a swash-buckler like him, but makes sense if a move to a League One club was in the offing.
Would be delighted with the Ipswich three. Is it just fans making assumptions or are there concrete indications that they will join?
|HM gets the nod|
at 07:51 14 May 2021
Pleased for HM on a personal level. It must have been an extremely tough season for him to see people depart as the season progressed in the downwards spiral. He lost Ball and Brown, not to mention Norris and Bramall’s departure. He had an unenviable task but managed to steady the ship and keep us afloat when we looked in serious danger of going down.
However, my fear is that so often appointing the man who swooped in to keep a club up so often ends in tears. I know nothing of a football dressing room but I can imagine how the right man can rally the troops for 10 games, with the objective of staying up. However, players can only play “back to the walls” football for so long. HM kept us up, no more, no less. As RSCOSWORTH pointed out, we didn’t suddenly shoot up the table with his arrival. We ground out the necessary number of points, but we can’t play that way for 46 games next season.
I hope my fears turn out to be wrong of course. I think we could do a lot worse than signing the Ipswich trio of Chambers, Skuse and Sears. Chambers and Skuse are best friends off the pitch and at 35 could offer excellent experience on a one year deal. It was only a couple of years ago that both were regular starters in the Championship. Chambers also played both CB and RB this season, versitility that would be very useful. Skuse would add experience in the middle of the park. Sears is still only 31 and would be an excellent addition up front. He’s been plagued with injuries but if we manage his health and game time well, he could be very handy in this league. We have a heck of a lot of youth in the squad, so experience would complement this.
Of course, we do need to look at signing a couple of League 1/2 calibre players who are in their prime, a bit like Pell when we signed him from Cheltenham.
[Post edited 14 May 7:52]
|Dirty Old Town - Super U's to prevail against the Ammies|
at 19:56 1 May 2021
Very enjoyable viewing. Watch Welbeck's goal on MOTD tonight - exquisite is the word!
Delighted for the U's today. Post-mortem on what went wrong this year can be had over the summer, but most important thing is that Cowling, Mullins and Tisdale got it right when it counted most.
Up the League Two U's!
|Happy League 2020/21 Week 34 (of 34) - Deadline Saturday 1st May 15.00|
at 07:30 25 Apr 2021
Absolute sickener. With twenty minutes to go I was on course for c.15-16 points with about 3-4 three pointers. I then watched with dismay on Final Score as each of my carefully aligned three pointers all turned to zero and then to top it off, Crewe gave me false hope, only then to concede to Rochdale in the 97th minute! My slimmer than slim hopes for the play-offs went down with a whimper. Epitomised my season and reminded me why I'm not a gambling man!
Here we go then. Huge thanks mfb for all your hard work this season - it is a real joy every week and my Saturday's would be worse without it!
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN v COVENTRY CITY 1-3
ROTHERHAM UNITED v BLACKBURN ROVERS 0-2
SWANSEA CITY v DERBY COUNTY 3-1
FLEETWOOD TOWN v MILTON KEYNES DONS 0-0
PLYMOUTH ARGYLE v SUNDERLAND 0-1
SHREWSBURY TOWN v OXFORD UNITED 1-2
BARROW v SOUTHEND UNITED 1-1
FOREST GREEN ROVERS v TRANMERE ROVERS 2-0
MANSFIELD TOWN v OLDHAM ATHLETIC 1-1
NEWPORT COUNTY v CHELTENHAM TOWN 0-1
|Shrimpers to be potted by the Super U's at the JSCS|
at 21:41 20 Apr 2021
Hahaha absolutely brilliant!!
Fantastic from the U’s. Only the third time I’ve watched us this season, but a worthy £10 spent tonight. It’s a little difficult to see us lack identity with the style of football, especially when comparing us to last year. The long balls made me think that Norris would have thrived with that style of football. HOWEVER, now is not the time to be implementing a style or identity - it’s the time for whatever will get you points, and tonight Mullins and Tisdale had it spot on. Disciplined, strong, tough, physical. Pell put in a magnificent captain’s performance. Nouble doing exactly what was required. Saw the game out excellently (even PL teams can’t run down the clock by the corner flag as well as Pell and Harriott did between 83-86 mins)!
For all intents and purposes that’s job done and dusted in my eyes. A bad season remedied by two huge results against the teams who, where and when it counted most.
Up the U’s!!!
|Happy League 2020/21 Week 33 (of 34) - Deadline Saturday 24th April 15.00|
at 06:53 19 Apr 2021
WEST HAM UNITED v CHELSEA (17.30) 2-2
QUEENS PARK RANGERS v NORWICH CITY 0-2
CHARLTON ATHLETIC v PETERBOROUGH UNITED 0-1
CREWE ALEXANDRA v ROCHDALE 1-0
GILLINGHAM v NORTHAMPTON TOWN 2-0
LINCOLN CITY v HULL CITY 1-1
CAMBRIDGE UNITED v STEVENAGE 4-1
CHELTENHAM TOWN v COLCHESTER UNITED 0-0
EXETER CITY v NEWPORT COUNTY 0-1
SOUTHEND UNITED v LEYTON ORIENT 0-1
|The Big one v Southend - huge game - what say ye?|
at 20:13 11 Apr 2021
Beat Southend and we're safe in my mind. Players have to go into the game with that level of hope/belief - 90 minutes of exceptional work to all but assure their jobs.
|I told 'em Oldham, the first time battery - U's to prevail at flat Boundary Park|
at 09:58 11 Apr 2021
My perspective is from the outside looking in, having only followed the U's for a few seasons and only managing 2 games this year online. For that reason I may be wide of the mark in my assessment of the situation! For what my opinion's worth: in the big picture I've thought for quite some time now that McGreal's inability to get the U's promoted with the squads he had would eventually come back to bite us. You simply can't keep losing League One quality players (Kent, Bramall, Jackson, KV-Y, Szmodics, Mandron etc) and others to clubs around us (Prosser, Norris, Comley). Even if some of those players didn't excel with us (e.g. Mandron), they were still recognised for their talent. You can only keep replacing them with youth players and cheap transfers/free agents for so long.
In the immediate picture, losing Bramall and Norris seems to be the nail in the coffin. I was listening to the Ipswich v Lincoln commentary a few weeks ago and the BBC Suffolk presenters were really impressed with Cohen - and that's at League One, play-off chasing level. He had such a positive impact, both defensively and going forward for the U's. And even though Norris wasn't prolific, he's a natural striker who'll pop up with a goal every 4-5 games, which at this stage is more than good enough for us. His new club Stevenage are 14th, and I reckon that's where we'd be if both players had stayed until the end of the year.
What's happened to Brown? Ball had seemed to unleash his potential at the beginning of the season, but he's not even a regular starter now?
|Happy League 2020/21 Week 32 (of 34) - Deadline Saturday 17th April 15.00|
at 08:54 11 Apr 2021
You can only do so much in a season where you get 0-6, 1-5 and 1-4 away wins in one weekend, all by teams not in the promotion places!
NOTTINGHAM FOREST v HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 1-0
AFC WIMBLEDON v SWINDON TOWN 2-0
PETERBOROUGH UNITED v NORTHAMPTON TOWN 4-1
CRAWLEY TOWN v CHELTENHAM TOWN 0-1
HARROGATE TOWN v BRADFORD CITY 2-2
STEVENAGE v MANSFIELD TOWN 1-1
|Happy League 2020/21 Week 31 (of 34) - Deadline Saturday 10th April 15.00|
at 19:03 3 Apr 2021
WYCOMBE WANDERERS v LUTON TOWN 2-2
ACCRINGTON STANLEY v AFC WIMBLEDON 1-0
CREWE ALEXANDRA v OXFORD UNITED 0-1
FLEETWOOD TOWN v ROCHDALE 2-0
LINCOLN CITY v BLACKPOOL 2-1
PORTSMOUTH v BURTON ALBION 3-1
BARROW v CARLISLE UNITED 1-1
BOLTON WANDERERS v HARROGATE TOWN 3-0
CAMBRIDGE UNITED v EXETER CITY 2-1
SCUNTHORPE UNITED v TRANMERE ROVERS 0-1
|Brown out, Mullins in|
at 14:47 31 Mar 2021
Very harsh on WB. Appreciate Cowling’s honesty and assessment of himself however. At least he wears his heart on his sleeve: he’s an owner scrambling around, desperately trying to keep the club in the league, hoping his plan for riding out the pandemic doesn’t fail. I just hope this next change in the dressing room doesn’t further unsettle the players at a time when calm is most needed.
I echo Noah’s sentiments re: people coming through the gates in August/September. If we stay up, Robbie needs to realise that his plan of keeping the club afloat during Covid is dependant upon giving the fans a reason to show up. He might need to do something out of the ordinary and make an outside appointment as manager to reinvigorate the fans.
|Happy League 2020/21 Week 30 (of 34) - Deadline GOOD FRIDAY 2nd April 15.00|
at 08:02 29 Mar 2021
Mid-table mediocrity beckons!
AFC BOURNEMOUTH v MIDDLESBROUGH 2-2
BRISTOL CITY v STOKE CITY 2-1
CARDIFF CITY v NOTTINGHAM FOREST 0-1
DERBY COUNTY v LUTON TOWN 1-1
MILLWALL v ROTHERHAM UNITED 1-1
PRESTON NORTH END v NORWICH CITY 2-2
QUEENS PARK RANGERS v COVENTRY CITY 1-2
WATFORD v SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY 4-1
WYCOMBE WANDERERS v BLACKBURN ROVERS 2-0
BARNSLEY v READING (17.30) 2-2
BIRMINGHAM CITY v SWANSEA CITY (20.00) 1-3
|Happy League 2020/21 Week 29 (of 34) - Deadline Saturday 27th March 15.00|
at 07:45 21 Mar 2021
Knew this week would trip me up. Not sure I'll fair much better this week!
BLACKPOOL v PLYMOUTH ARGYLE 1-0
BURTON ALBION v FLEETWOOD TOWN 1-1
PETERBOROUGH UNITED v ACCRINGTON STANLEY 3-1
CARLISLE UNITED v CAMBRIDGE UNITED 0-2
LEYTON ORIENT v OLDHAM ATHLETIC 2-2
MORECAMBE v CHELTENHAM TOWN 1-1
|Happy League 2020/21 Week 28 (of 34) - Deadline Saturday 20th March 15.00|
at 22:56 13 Mar 2021
A late charge, but I don’t think it’ll be enough to make the playoffs!
BRISTOL CITY v ROTHERHAM UNITED 2-0
MILLWALL v MIDDLESBROUGH 0-1
GILLINGHAM v DONCASTER ROVERS 0-0
NORTHAMPTON TOWN v CREWE ALEXANDRA 2-2
BARROW v CRAWLEY TOWN 0-1
TRANMERE ROVERS v EXETER CITY 2-2
|Happy League 2020/21 Week 27 (of 34) - Deadline Saturday 13th March 12.30|
at 21:31 7 Mar 2021
LEEDS UNITED v CHELSEA (12.30) 2-3
AFC BOURNEMOUTH v BARNSLEY 1-1
NOTTINGHAM FOREST v READING 1-0
WYCOMBE WANDERERS v PRESTON NORTH END 1-1
IPSWICH TOWN v PLYMOUTH ARGYLE 2-1
MILTON KEYNES DONS v ACCRINGTON STANLEY 1-0
LEYTON ORIENT v SCUNTHORPE UNITED (13.00) 2-2
EXETER CITY v CHELTENHAM TOWN 2-2
OLDHAM ATHLETIC v CAMBRIDGE UNITED 0-2
SOUTHEND UNITED v STEVENAGE 0-0
GRIMSBY TOWN v COLCHESTER UNITED (17.30) 0-0
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