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Eze, BOS, Chair
at 22:12 21 Aug 2019

On a positive note, all 3 again looked very good. Eze and BOS tracked back well too in the first half. But their touch, control, quick feet, passing...they’re our best players.

When you’ve got Scowen taking 4 touches to play a 10 yard pass backwards and you look at what these lads can do with the ball, you have to find a way to play them.

I don’t think it makes us more open (they all tracked back and worked hard), but they make us a damn sight more dangerous. Put simply, everyone else in the league would rather play against Scowen than Chair.

Warburton missed a trick not bringing Chair on for Amos first half.

But these 3 lads are bloody good. Just need to find a way to let them play together.

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Leistner for Barbet
at 22:03 21 Aug 2019

An absolute must. Shambles of a performance from Barbet. The pen was rank stupidity. That’s now 3 goals in 3 games he’s been at fault for.

But that’s the obvious. Where was the great ball player? Lots of long diagonals a la Lynch. Where was he for their free header for the third? How many times was he beaten to the ball by their forward?

On current showing he’s neither quick, nor strong, nor good in the air, nor good at positioning, nor great at tackling. He’s competent on the ball but no more.

We will continue to concede 2+ a game with him and Hall. For all his faults, Leistner gets himself in the way and defends. We desperately need to be able to defend. On the ball we looked fine today and it wasn’t Barbet orchestrating things.

If Warburton is operating a meritocracy, Barber spends a few games on the bench.
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Eze
at 22:22 3 Aug 2019

Not there today, so can’t comment on his overall performance, but, please, as a fan base, can we get behind this lad and give him all the support we can?!

His goal today was sexy. The way he runs with the ball, like he’s slaloming, it’s wonderful. He will have bad days, but no way could we afford someone like him. And he’s ours. Came through our set up. We gave him a chance Millwall wouldn’t at 15. We’ve developed him.

When he plays well, he is genuinely great to watch. He should be someone this entire fan base backs to the hilt.

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Barrie McKay
at 21:37 3 Jul 2019

Are we signing McKay? Seen it reported by a Rangers website. Isn’t this the absolutely rapid lad who tore us apart at the City ground a couple of years ago?? He looked absolutely class that day.

I know we’re loaded on wingers, and perhaps some will be repurposed as forwards, but I think this would be a real coup.

Or am I missing something? Is there something wrong with him?
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That game was crying out for Eze
at 17:23 9 Mar 2019

Two big slow centre halves. Two old slow central midfielders. It was crying out for a creative playmaker at no. 10. Instead we persisted with the half hearted efforts of Wells and Hemed, the latter being dreadful.

No idea what McClaren was watching to leave us in a 442 shake against a large ugly side in a 441 shape.
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Central midfield
at 17:09 19 Jan 2019

Christ! We miss Luongo and Cameron. Cousins and Scowen today, and even Freeman when he moved more central we’re awful today. You could count on the fingers of one hand how many tackles they won today. We miss Luongo so much in there winning the ball in the middle third kick starting attacks.

Obviously everyone had poor games, but the core problem was Scowen and Cousins.

Cousins off made sense, but not for Matt Smith. We changed to a diamond, which actually suited them even more.

Dreadful from McClaren and the players today.
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Pavel
at 18:19 15 Dec 2018

Outstanding. Goal and an assist. Forget this “mediocre output” nonsense. The bloke knows the right winger role well, does it well, is a great outlet, and works his Polish socks off. Love him.

Starts every time for me.
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Lynch
at 17:08 1 Dec 2018

Wtf was he up to today? He, especially, and the back 4 were all over the place. This week has really been back to the old Lynch. Stoke, Rotherham, today. Positioning and reading of the game: very poor.

Whoever thought he was a potential PoTY, Christ alive.
[Post edited 1 Dec 2018 17:10]
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It's the system...
at 17:08 27 Jan 2018

We need to change it. I love Holloway to bits, but he needs to swallow his pride and change our set up.

We have no clear way of playing out at the minute. We don't appear to go about creating chances in a clear manner. It's all "play it by ear". The lack of clarity in how we're meant to get the ball from A to B is reflected in how slowly we move the ball, how we can't retain possession when we don't play Smith and how we lump it long when we do. We'ever so narrow when attacking: 2 forwards, Freeman in the hole, two central midfielders behind him. It's easy to defend against; opposition teams can just go narrow and crowd us out, and when they get the ball they exploit the wide areas where we only have defensive wing backs, which then requires our central midfielders to be pulled out of position.

We have two forwards (Sylla and Smith) who can get on the end of crosses. It's not much, but it's something.
We don't have many forwards though (Sylla, Smith, Wash, Oteh, and then you're into the kids)
We have a plethora of wingers (Samuel, Pav, Wheeler, Shodipo...Smyth plays there for the U23s)
We have lots of full backs and no wing backs
We've had lots of injuries at the back, at centre half specifically

We have to move to a 451/4231.

-----------------Smithies
Furlong Onouha Robinson Bidwell
------------Scowen Luongo (one holding, one the ball tackling harrier)
Wszolek-------Freeman--------Samuel
--------------------Sylla--------------------

When we're really on top it becomes a 424, with Freeman playing right off Sylla or Smith and the wingers pushed on. When we're up against someone, it becomes a 451, but with an aerial threat and the ability to counter.

We even have a 2nd XI with that shape:
-----------------Lumley
Perch Baptiste Lynch Hammalinen
-----------Cousins Manning
Wheeler--------Eze---------Smyth
------------------Smith

Our squad is built for that shape.

This shape allows us to play to our strengths:
- our 3 central midfielders stay
- target men who can be supplied from wide areas not from deep
- our full backs can play as full backs
- we utilise the wingers in the squad

It gives us width, which in turn stretches opposition teams and will free up space for Freeman, allows us to inject some pace into the side, and negates the need for our centre halves to have to play the ball out. Scowen and Luongo can do it.

To get to the point in the season where we're playing Washington & Oteh in a 532 shape, where Poland's right winger doesn't make the squad just seems, to me, like Holloway's lost sight of the wood for the trees.

I want him to succeed and certainly don't want a change of manager, but surely he can see that our current set up, especially bearing in mind the personnel he's selecting, is hindering us.
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Onouha stat
at 21:48 18 Jan 2018

Read this stat on social media and have stolen it from the chap who posted it. Kudos to him.

We have 33 points from 27 games so far this season.
Onouha has played 14 of those games where we got 22 points.
The 13 he was injured we got 11 points.

That's the difference between being on the edge of the play offs and relegation.

Interesting.

Perhaps he doesn't quite get the credit he deserves both for his individual performances, and in terms of how he makes Holloway's back 3 work.
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That ref....
at 17:23 23 Dec 2017

What a c*nt.
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