Just took part in the call with Andy. I fear it might have been for international fans and I gate crashed it as everyone else seemed to be dialling in from Australia, Israel, Paris, New Zealand and I was calling from Hampton Wick.
Anyway it was great to hear Andy's usual enthusiasm and some reminiscences. He's very positive about what the club is trying to do, both on the community and the playing side.
Not sure if any LFW contributors were on the call. If so, it was nice to see you in person, rather than as words on a screen.
Looking forward to Wild Thing doing the quiz on Saturday. Apparently he intends to top Clint Hill's tuxedo.
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...
It would probably be a chance to rest a couple of players. Pretty sure Kelly will come in for Lumley. Another chance to rest Manning, so assuming we're playing four at the back Wallace again, and Kane, who haven't been overworked this season. Leistner maybe needs a break and may have a strain which leaves Grant Hall probably having to play. Could we try out Conor Masterson in a Cup game? If not Cameron could fill in at centre back.
Amos and Ball should be okay in midfield. Then Pugh, Chair, BOS with Jordan up front. So resting Eze and Nahki Wells.
I know we get annoyed about resting players for Cup games but wondering what people think about resting a couple of them? Chair looked rejuvenated after his mini break. Especially since Swansea are in a play off position and therefore likely to rest a couple of their best players.
I know the parent club can recall players but can we also send players back in January? Of our loanees I'd keep Hughill, Wells, Amos (who's starting to look good after injury), and send back Matt Smith and Mlakar, neither of whom look like they could hit the ground running at this level, which is really what you need for loan players.
I'd replace them with a DM and a right back and use our own u23s if necessary instead of Smith and Mlakar as I don't think they'd be worse (although I'm happy to be corrected on that).
All this is provided we don't lose Eze in January.
If this link doesn't work, I'd appreciate someone posting the link to his YouTube post, as many of us have children/adult children. Really admire him for speaking about the issue of young boys and men taking their lives. I've got two boys who are now young men and I just can't imagine anything worse.
If you remember he's the Bolton fan that came to KPMS last season and did a funny vlog about the match. RIP his friend Zac.