Please log in to use all the site's facilities
|Prediction||Prediction Logged by at 15:56:16|
Queens Park Rangers v Middlesbrough prediction logged
|Prediction||Prediction Logged by at 15:55:46|
Burton Albion v Queens Park Rangers prediction logged
|Antti's 6 Knee Jerks: QPR 1 Bristol City 1|
at 08:54 25 Dec 2017
Would have settled for a draw before, wouldn't have settled for a draw at half time, annoyed that we drew in part thanks to an awful penalty decision, but, let's be honest, a draw was fair. Draw.
OLLIE'S XI: Well, apart from a fully fit Hall in for Baptiste and, well whoever Ollie thinks are his best options up front this week, that was Ollie's best XI. And for the first half at the very least, you could see why. QPR were much the better side than the much-vaunted but perhaps hungover City, and a 1-0 half time lead was the very least the team deserved.
With the back three all playing in their most comfortable roles, Onuoha already looking fitter, Scowongoman back on song, Pav happier being allowed to attack more and Osayi-Samuel's pace clearly worrying City's defence, we suddenly looked like the upper mid-table side we might have been if not for debilitating injuries at the back.
Granted, the second half saw us pegged back, especially for the last 20 minutes, but you'd expect that for a team in the top 4 chasing an equaliser. It's kind of worrying that with a squad this big, you realise that it's only our top 14 or 15 players who genuinely seem to have the quality we'd need for a comfortable season, but at the same time our proper first XI probably is a match for most sides in the league. Any sort of result against Cardiff in January will underline that - Wolves, Sheff U, Cardiff and Bristol will have all been to LR and none will have come away with the three points.
PAVEL WSOLEK: He's been a little frustrating this season. He started really well, then his form drifted, then he was in and out the side in a variety of positions, none of them his strongest. But he's stuck with it, manfully committed to a role at right back and yesterday he was more of a wing back, but with license to really go forward. This was due to the experience and confidence of Baptiste, who covered him really well, and got forward very effectively himself. In the first half in particular, the pair of them really pushed back the Bristol left side, so that very little came down their left, but most of our best play came down their right, particularly with one lovely move that ended with Baptiste attempting a backheel on the edge of the six yard box when he might have been better taking a swing at it.
Yesterday I thought Pav was brave, smart, strong, skilful and dangerous. The problem was his crossing. Always good with a pull back from the byeline, his crossing from deeper wasn't good enough, and too many decent opportunities went begging. Hopefully, though, he's coming back to his best and a settled role as an attacking wing back (I thought defensively, especially in terms of positioning, he improved yesterday too) could pay some dividends - we badly need someone other than Freeman to create decent chances.
3. BRIGHT OSAYI-SAMUEL: Bit of a curve ball thrown by Ollie to play BOS up front, but it overall worked pretty well. He enabled us to break a little quicker than normal and unlike the confidence-free Washington he was always looking for the ball. Early on, he battled well and ran through to force the Bristol keeper into a good save and afterwards was neat and tidy in possession and gave Scowongoman another option for some of the quick passing through the centre of the park.
I have to agree with other views on here that taking BOS off contributed to our gradual fading from the game. Bristol had been clearly worried by his pace throughout the game and while he wasn't exactly battering down the door to score, he was a concern. Once he went off, that threat receded and Washington never managed to carry the same kind of threat. There's been a couple of patronising things thrown round about BOS, including from our own manager, but the guy's played a few Championship games for Blackpool, 26 at League One Level and a full 42 at League Two - a great record for someone his age. Bought for the future, but he certainly has a great upside.
4. ALEX SMITHIES: A rare rick from Smithies last week, but back to his absolute best again this week. I just re-watched some of his superb saves, but the one from the header has to be the pick of the bunch - superb reactions. Also, after spilling the shot last week, the way he clung on to the skiddy, deflected strike was first class. that's the sign of a strong keeper - one who can put mistakes behind him. As Clive says in his match report, he deserved a clean sheet for that performance, even if Bristol deserved a draw for the chances they created.
5. SUBS: I also agree with the general feeling on here that the subs made by Ollie, who often affects game positively with his changes, made us weaker. Washington for BOS seemed needless - he wasn't tiring and he clearly looked disappointed to come off, especially so early. Smith for Sylla was a little more understandable, but despite the tiresome moaning about Sylla for the entire game from people around me when he failed to get his head on balls 9 feet in the air, Smith was even less effective. And that was predictable. Smith is a good player to bring on when you're chasing a draw or a win - not when you're defending a lead. He was never going to get the service he needed and he's not great at holding the ball up. In the end it felt like as much a decision to have an extra decent header at the back for their set pieces than any hope he might score. To that extent, it worked, but once Freeman went off too (to be fair to Ollie, he had been feeling his leg a bit before that, so it may have been precautionary) any hope of late attacking intent went out the window.
Still, I felt the team worked extremely hard and were very resilient. Once again, this is not a team that looks like it's not playing for the manager. And Bristol, for all their much-vaunted passing game, were outplayed for about an hour, with the whole team working to shut them down and give them no time on the ball. Three times in the first half they played aimless balls straight out of play because we had closed down all the options. Only the switch to route one stuff aimed at the effective, if niggly, centre back Flint, brought them into the game.
6. REFEREE: I'm not one to blame referees for results. The decisions they make rarely totally influence a game in my opinion. Good teams get more decisions because they attack more and put themselves in areas and create pressure that leads to rash challenges. Look how many pens we got the year we won the league - and not always because of Adel's theatrics.
But this was a strange performance. I thought he was very good first half, refusing, on the whole, to give easy free kicks and allowing the game to flow. He even did a drop ball, which is always welcome. Second half, things began to unravel. A few odd decisions led me to predict he would award a penalty - and three seconds later he did just that. I've watched it again now and there is a bit of a melee in there, but I'm still not quite sure what he thinks he saw. One Bristol player (Flint, I think) launches himself into the air, misses the ball, crashes to earth and appeals for a pen, another may have had a minor push, but it was nothing he wasn't doing too. It doesn't look a pen to me, and if it had been us, I don't think I'd have been on my feet demanding one either.
Still, any anger I had was tempered by the fact that Bristol deserved a point in the end and that we showed great heart throughout the match.
Merry Christmas to you all!
|Prediction||Prediction Logged by at 12:02:22|
Queens Park Rangers v Cardiff City prediction logged
|Prediction||Prediction Logged by at 12:01:32|
Millwall v Queens Park Rangers prediction logged
|Prediction||Prediction Logged by at 12:01:13|
Ipswich Town v Queens Park Rangers prediction logged
|Prediction||Prediction Logged by at 12:00:48|
Queens Park Rangers v Bristol City prediction logged
|Prediction||Prediction Logged by at 19:49:43|
Birmingham City v Queens Park Rangers prediction logged
|Antti's Six Knee Jerks: QPR 1 Leeds 3|
at 09:35 10 Dec 2017
Another depressing day at the office as a decent first half gives way to a crushing second. A long, cold winter ahead... I'll try and start with some positives.
1. CHAIR: Well, he looked extremely comfortable on the ball. Busy, tidy, with a couple of nice through balls during the first half. There's definitely a bit of hope there. But overall, he was lost in the maelstrom of four central midfielders trying to play together and was then withdrawn probably too early.
2. RETURNEES: It was great to see Ned and Hall come back - that is big news. Although, obviously, we conceded three at home regardless. First half, apart from one customary mistake, I thought Ned was fine. He may have tired a bit in the second, which would be understandable. Hall looked fine too, so maybe some hope lies ahead. We desperately, desperately need to find a way to keep some clean sheets. Allowing Kemar Roofe, who Leeds fans have basically written off as their version of Washington, a hat trick is a real indictment of our defence.
3. PAWEL: One bright spot was Pav. Probably wasted at right back, it was nevertheless good to see him get a whole game. I thought he got forward well, twice getting to the byeline to play decent balls across without reward. One was on the end of a genuinely brilliant move that cut Leeds apart right through the heart of their team, and would have been goal of the season had Freeman managed to tuck away the cross. And then he scored a fortunate goal at the end, thanks to yet more comedy goalkeeping at LR. Of the last five goals we've now scored at home, three are down to catastrophic goalie errors, which says a lot about our 'fire power'.
4. OSAYI-SAMUEL: I saw plenty to like from Bright. He looks strong, has a bit of pace, decent on the ball. But he didn't really get much of a chance. He came on and seemed to be inexplicably asked to tuck inside rather than offer us a genuine wide option. Then he was bizarrely switched to what looked like full back. Then possibly wing back. And towards the end he did finally play a bit further forward. What chance did he have with that kind of muddled thinking? Four positions in 25 minutes. Poor kid.
5. RELEGATION: Well, I'm ready to join the pessimists I'm afraid. I had some hope after the Brentford comeback that it might spark something, and maybe it would have without the Mackie sending off. Instead, we've lost another two. Six games, one point, scoring just four goals. I feel for the players, because there's no lack of effort and at times yesterday, particularly the first half, we looked ok, without ever really looking threatening. But we can't keep clean sheets and we can't score goals. The early season gung-ho attitude that saw us raining in shots all day (even if they didn't yield much) has now gone. Yesterday I don't think we managed a shot on target - because I'm not counting our goal as a shot. Because it wasn't.
Yesterday we were up against a truly awful keeper, who Leeds fans are terrified of. We had Smith up front. The plan was surely to properly test him. We didn't. In fact, we did, right at the end, with a harmless chip, and he missed it. So here was a lame duck goalie with a recent history of clangers, and he barely had a thing to do. Smith was dominated by their centre backs, but when he did win flick-ons, as usual Washington was nowhere near them (to be fair, Washington was nowhere near the ball all afternoon). We have a striker who thrives on crossed balls into the box, but no wingers and no width - even when we brought on a winger he didn't play on the wing. So Leeds strolled away with three easy points that they fully deserved.
This is now serious. And unlike last time Ollie was in this position in our second season back in League One, there are no magical Lee Cooks on the horizon. He has to make do with what we have and what we have is just too easy to play against at the moment. We're miles away from those Sheffield and Wolves results. What's happened?
6. HOLLOWAY: It's like deja vu. Spending loads of time defending him, saying we should stick with him, that we can't keep changing managers when the same problems remain. It's the noughties all over again. A new manager still won't have any strikers (although he might at least start Sylla every game and give the guy some confidence), and he'll still have defensive injuries, but you start to wonder.
I like Ollie, i think he's brought out some decent performances in this team and he's made solid signings. But, hypothetically, how much longer can this go on? I think the stat was we had only lost six in a row once in our entire history up until December last year. Now, had it not been for an extremely fortunate (if immensely enjoyable) comeback against Brentford, we would have lost six in a row three times in under 12 months - and we weren't even playing for three of those months. We haven't won away since January. Our home form, so solid early on, has collapsed. At the moment, I'm hoping there are three worse teams than us this season, and banking on the fight this team undoubtedly has to keep us up, but a loss to hapless Birmingham next week and we are right in the mix, if we're not already.
A Birmingham loss would make six out of seven. A loss to rampant Bristol City the following week looks pretty nailed on. So that's seven out of eight. It's hypothetical and I don't want a change of manager, but how many can you go without falling on your sword? Perhaps more importantly for Ollie, how long can this go on before the Twitterati convince Fernandes that his trigger finger needs its annual scratch?
Yesterday wasn't a terrible performance, but the second half was a bit nothingy. We were probably better than them before the break, but they came out hungrier, possibly switched one or two things around, and scored three despite not having a recognised striker on the pitch. The answers Ollie had were muddled, with Osayi-Samuel being shunted around and Sylla thrown on to no real effect because of a lack of service from wide areas. I appreciate if we play two wingers we look vulnerable through the midfield, but he needs to find some way to sort this and quickly, because at the moment it's simply too easy for teams to beat us and we're sinking very fast.
|Prediction||Prediction Logged by at 16:25:26|
Preston North End v Queens Park Rangers prediction logged
|Antti's Six Knee Jerks: QPR 2 Brentford 2|
at 11:32 28 Nov 2017
I wasn't looking forward to this game. I was convinced we'd lose 2-0. I didn't particularly want to go. I felt like leaving early (but didn't). But every now and again you need a game like this, amidst all the drudgery, to remind you why you fell in love with football. I don't believe any of us fell in love with it because of patterns of play or style or clever tactical nuances. All those things are lovely, don't get me wrong. But I suspect we all fell in love with this: the complete, total, bonkers, unpredictability of the sport. Unlikely comebacks, great thrashings, fights, red cards, unfair penalties, scoring direct from corners, smash and grab efforts. As a kid, you may have loved Disney, or Star Wars. As an adult, you may prefer something a little smarter, a little deeper. But every now and again, you can re-watch those classics and realise they're pretty good films too. And for a few minutes last night, I was lost in baffled joy at a most unlikely scenario, the ludicrousness of that late comeback. And I couldn't give a fk if it 'papered over the cracks' - it was fun.
1. KARMA'S A BITCH: During the match, the Brentford fans sang eloquently about Jake Bidwell being a c**t for the heinous crime of earning their club £1m and moving somewhere to earn a little more money. Few people, as we know, are more hypocritical as football fans. It led to a conversation around me about chants we'd never chant. My friend said he'd never chant 'you're getting sacked in the morning', for example (he's nice like that). It was interesting later, then, when Brentford fans did exactly say that. And then, which seemed unwise to me even when I was positive we wouldn't score a second, they sarcastically celebrated our late consolation goal, dancing around to Pigbag, lording it over their bigger rivals. Karma's a bitch.
2. THAT SINKING FEELING: At 92 minutes I was thinking about my Jerks, and this was going to be number one. That sinking feeling was back. The same one I dismissed far too hastily on this board late last season before something approaching all-out panic ensued as the defeats racked up. Four in a row. Preston away coming up - another well-organised, very decent side up north. Four would become five. Leeds at home. Five would become six. How many could Holloway stand before he'd have to go? Six? Seven? Eight? Even allowing for the injury list?
I looked at the team and all the potential I saw after the Wolves and Sheffield Utd results seemed to have melted away. We can't score, we can't pass very well, we can't keep clean sheets. Scowongoman can't be relied on to carry the team every single week. Even if Onuoha and Perch came back soon (Hall apparently a write-off for the season), while that might help us concede a few less, we're still not scoring. It was more like how I felt at the start of the season - I'd be happy to get out of this season still in the same division.
But then came the miracle. And perhaps, maybe, that might restore a bit of faith and belief and with faith and belief comes confidence, the willingness to take risks, a surety in how to play the game, rather than a desperation. The bastard hope. Guess we'll find out at Preston.
3. NEVER LEAVE EARLY: I never do, as I said. If I did, off the top of my head, I'd have missed that wonderful last minute goal by Ishmael Miller against Leicester. Gareth Ainsworth's last gasp of brilliance to help peg Preston back to 2-2 in a very similar comeback to this one. The Liverpool 3-2. Furlong's final goal for us in the last minute to snatch a 3-2 win against Luton. Cisse's house-bringer-downer against Stoke. Furlong again with a 90th minute winner at home to Leicester after being two goals down. Matt Smith's equaliser this season against Millwall. Port Vale away. Stockport away.
It's worth it. Every single minute I've sat through of inevitable, frustrating, ball-achingly terrible defeats, I stayed because... well, you just do. To support? Maybe for some just to boo at the end. In hope? I suppose. Sometimes. Sometimes it feels like something might happen. Last night it didn't. I didn't move when Smith scored. I rolled my eyes at the Brentford fans celebrating. But also rolled my eyes a little at our players running back to the halfway line, as if there was time for an equaliser. But 100 games of no late comebacks are worth it for just one unlikely comeback. 1000 games I say! All worth it.
Personally, I think Ollie has to be careful. He's an emotional man, he'd been ridiculed for 45 minutes by Brentford fans, he felt for his players who he knew had worked hard and have worked hard this season, sometimes without getting their just rewards. So I can see why he was angry and pumped with adrenaline. But with his record in the last year, he needs to be careful. He has goodwill from the majority of fans. Don't jeopardise that, because if that goes, and his pattern of results continues, he may not survive, however much he wants to fight to the death.
But I also think he's right. I saw a lot on here and on Twitter about how the result papered over the cracks and so forth. And I fully accept that Brentford were better, maybe even much better. They passed it better. They did less running, because they played sensibly and to a plan. They were quicker. Fresher. They moved the ball faster. They looked more rapid, they broke better, they played first time passes better (especially for a very good second goal). They defended better. The only area they weren't better was probably in goal. I think a few on here will have to admit the club were absolutely right to deny Southend their King's ransom and go for Smithies instead. No contest on last night's showing. And I totally accept we have a long, long way to go and Holloway probably isn't the man to ultimately get us there. But he might just be the man for now. Because he has good will and passion and belief and a work ethic that is valuable in our situation.
And I also, to come back to an earlier point, just can't see the point in being too negative after that. I really can't. Yes Brentford were better and deserved to win. But we deserved a draw v Fulham and didn't get it. Brentford's first was offside, and we were denied a penalty far more clear cut than the one that arguably cost us the game v Villa (although I did think that was a pen). This is sport. It's unpredictable. We were terrible that day up at Derby when Mackie scored that late equaliser (oh, another one I forgot you'd have missed if you had left early), but got an undeserved point and never really looked back. Celebrate it, enjoy it. Why bother going at all if you're going to shake your head and worry about pattern of play and style after that? I'm not saying that's not important, I'm not saying I don't think we could be doing better, I'm not saying we didn't play some unimaginative, ugly football last night, especially in comparison with the opposition. But for Fk's sake. When this happens, enjoy it. Why ruin it? Why be negative? I'm not a happy clapper, I sat in depression worrying about relegation for 30 minutes last night, and I still worry about that. I don't think everything is rosy, I don't think Holloway is the best manager even in the lower half of this league. But come on, if you can't enjoy this, why bother, really?
4. WASHINGTON: But of course, we have to have the negatives, because Ollie was wrong and we were not good last night. We battled, yes, we tried, yes. But it was not attractive, and we did not look dangerous until Smith panicked them. So I'm picking on Washington. I realise I'm picking on him, but there we go. I think I've lost the faith. Earlier this year when he had his run of goals and at the start of this season I thought maybe he was turning. But he's not. It's not going to happen. He has industry, flashes of decent stuff, but that's it. He doesn't play well off a big man, he's not a number 10, he's not a wide-ish forward in a front three, he can't hold it up, he's not that fast. He's not bad at any of those things, but not good enough at any of them either. But most of all, it's his movement and lack of scorer's instinct. Watching Charlie Austin at the weekend only reminded me just how special he was in that regard. Washington just isn;t there when the ball drops, he doesn't make the angles - witness Pav's run last night and him desperately looking for the cutback, but Washington hadn't made the angle. I thought he was pretty ineffective all last night, and I'd have left Sylla on and taken Washington off for Smith, because at least Sylla has that instinct to get on the end of stuff. Sylla had a quiet game, but set up two presentable chances first half and hit the bar second half. Why take him off, particularly when Washington and Mackie were huffing and puffing to no effect?
5. GOALS: And following on from that, probably our biggest problem now, perhaps even more than our makeshift defence: goals. How can we solve this? I don't know. Smith and Sylla need crosses. But for that, we need wingers. Which we have. But if we play wingers, we destroy the one thing that is working - the three man midfield (last night, it was more of a 4-4-2 and you could see how much less solid we looked in central midfield, with Woods, as usual, bossing the game against us). Washingotn doesn't score enough, Mackie has lost a bit of pace and doesan't score enough. Smith can score, but never looks effective starting games. Sylla can score, but Ollie feels he needs work horses around him (although you couldn't claim Sylla didn't chase around last night). I actually have no ideas on this, other than maybe playing a 4-3-3 with Wheeler and Pav or Bright either side of Smith or Sylla. But if Ollie doesn't find a way to solve it, I honestly think there's a chance we'll go down.
6. ROBINSON: I think you have to expect dodgy games from a player who hasn't had tons of first team football, is playing out of position and has been hammered by injuries over the last few years. He has credit in the bank despite below par performances recently. But last night I thought he was great. Showed real, Clint Hill-style grit and determination to win the ball. A couple of great tackles first half. Some towering headers second half, and even took a vicious whack on the leg at the end during a big battle after we equalised. No surprise he's been handed the armband recently, because he's clearly epitomising the spirit Ollie is looking for.
at 13:10 27 Nov 2017
Just reacting a bit to Brighton's post in a thread below about 'legends'.
I kind of see both sides of the argument here. Yes, I agree 'legend' gets overused sometimes. But I also think it's a bit unfair that younger fans are denied their own legends, just because they grew up in a time when the club was not as successful - in other words, surely 'legends' are allowed to be relative? Kevin Gallen, for example, was no Stan Bowles, but through sheer appearances, goals, playing at htree different levels, coming through the youths, setting youth records, he deserves the tag? Clint Hill, a rock during awful times, does he deserve the tag? Ale Faurlin? Spent the best years of his injury-ravaged career with us?
I mean, I think these names are bonafide legends no one can argue with:
That's none from the last 20 years. If that's 8, and you could have 2 more, who would they be?
|Prediction||Prediction Logged by at 18:42:01|
Queens Park Rangers v Brentford prediction logged
|Prediction||Prediction Logged by at 15:49:03|
Derby County v Queens Park Rangers prediction logged
|Could Gerry return?|
at 15:32 20 Nov 2017
Ollie makes no secret of his love for Gerry Francis, and it seems both he and Les have tried to get him back to the club in recent years, but have failed because of GF's loyalty to Pulis. Now Pulis is sacked, he'll probably have a rest for a bit, could they try again? Trouble is, his specialty is the defence and I think that Fleming's domain.
|Antti's Six Knee Jerks: QPR 1 Villa 2|
at 11:02 20 Nov 2017
It's hard to say this was disappointing, as it was all so predictable. Thought the boys battled well, but Villa were just better everywhere, except maybe in goal. Overheard a Villa fan on the tube after syaing it was the best they'd played away all season, particularly second half, so that's annoying - particularly as, although they were decent and should challenge for promotion, I didn't think they were amazing.
1. BACK THREE: I won't spend ages on this as I'm sure Clive has covered it expertly in his report already. But Ollie now has a definite problem with the three at the back system. For a while it was working. And working very well, especially at home. Maybe it was adrenaline - Robinson playing his socks off, Baptiste providing experience and knowhow, Lynch good at shouting at Bidwell etc.
But the game that turned it was Sheffield United - a little strangely as that was one of our very few clean sheets - when they found space behind our wing backs and with a roving number 10. Ollie fixed it by putting Furlong at full back and making sure Scowen got a grip by sitting deeper, and we won well in the end. Since then, Forest hammered us by spotting the same weakness and then Villa did it again, with the irritating Snodgrass and the excellent Adomah running riot on both flanks all afternoon. Of course, we won't come up against this quality every week. But we need a different plan. Maybe it could work with Onuoha as the right-sided centre half because of his lightning pace, but at the moment, he might need to consider switching at a 4-3-3 because it's becoming too easy for teams to attack us at the moment.
2. LYNCH: On paper, Lynch should be exactly what we require. Tall, strong, decent in the air, loud, a bit of a LEED-AH. And at times he is just that. But at others he is not and I'm starting to get exasperated with his individual mistakes that are costing us. He did it against Fulham and it happened twice again on Saturday - indecision. The worst one was when he made a decent interception in his own box in the second half. He had two clear choices - a quick pass back or a safety first clearance. He did neither, and instead dribbled towards his own goal, coming perilously close to causing us to concede as he was hunted down.
He needs to be better than this. I don't understand why he does this in most games. It's almost like having won the ball he has no awareness that he might be tackled or might lose it. It's where you want the Clint Hill mentality to kick in - just get the thing out the danger zone. No one's asking him to be Clive Wilson and be perfect on the ball in those situations and execute a nice one-two to get out of trouble. But this hesitancy is no good for anyone. I've kind of lost patience a bit, I think, and he still has 18 months to run on his contract.
3. MACKIE: A few weeks ago, near the start of the season, I wrote a jerk saying that Mackie was in the team on merit and how much his all round game has improved as his pace has slowed. There was little sign on that on Saturday. I love him and always will, but too many times his first touch let him down and in truth, although he scored, Villa always looked confident dealing with him. We're into late November now, and while we know what our defence would be if everyone was fit and the midfield three pick themselves, we're still no closer on the front two or three. One thing I do know is that it should probably never be Mackie and Smith. As always, Mackie did his best for the team,. played in two or three positions, never stopped working, but the guile wasn't there, and it just wasn't enough on the day.
4. CARRYING PLAYERS: Which leads us onto this point. On Saturday, we simply had too many players not at their best or not fit enough and there weren't enough subs allowed to fix it all. I thought Luongo was no worse than anyone else before the break, and we certainly looked worse without him afterwards. But we couldn't afford to 'waste' a sub on him like that. Cousins can't last 90. Smith did last 90, but can't really. Mackie was ineffectual. There were too many areas that needed surgery - it was like a Redknapp team. Had we been able to make four or five changes, we might have been able to put some proper pressure on at 2-1 down with 10 minutes left. But we couldn't, and in the end Ollie was just throwing on forwards and hoping.
What was the answer? Maybe not starting Luongo? Putting Cousins in the centre and Pav as the wing back? ~Then bringing Luongo on with about 25 left as they did with his fellow Aussie, Jedinak? That might have been smarter, but if Luongo thought he could play, and he did train on Friday, I can't blame Ollie too much. Should Furlong have come on at half time for Luongo? Then Cousins goes infield? Switch to four at the back and play Bidwell left midfield for a bit? You wouldn't want to make two changes at half time. Too much needed doing, and in the end the changes that were made had almost no effect.
5. SMITH: One thing I felt Ollie did get right was playing Smith. He tied Samba up all game in both boxes, actually dominating him in the second half until Bruce brought Jedinak on to stand in front of Smith and stop him winning about 90% of headers. And what a sad shadow of a player Samba is now compared to that absolute beast that one looked like he might score about 6 when we played Blackburn at LR a few years ago. Smith, I felt, did his job. Defended well, won his flick-ons, had a good first tiem shot go just wide, a header he should have done better with and an unexpected volley go straight at the keeper. But he needs someone better around him. Ollie played Mackie to make up for Smith's lack of mobility, but maybe Sylla would have been a better choice. OK, he doesn't chase and harry, but if Smith could keep Samba busy, maybe Sylla would have found some space.
6. ADOMAH: Albert, if you're not going to celebrate, because we all know that clearly you didn't want to score against your own team, why not try harder to miss the penalty? I know you were hoping to hit the post on your second, but if you're going to do that, do it right, and make sure in future. Also, fancy a pay cut?
|Forum Votes: ||2582|
|Comment Votes: ||23|
|Prediction League: ||35|