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Smyth as our 2nd Striker when we go 3-5-2
at 15:48 7 Apr 2024

Given we now have 4 quality 10's and Smyth's crossing is inaccurate, would he be better used as a 2nd striker when we go to 3-5-2.

Always lively, quick, can beat a man and just seems to have a footballers instinct which is lacking amongst our forwards.

My preference is to starts Dykes (just ignore that bit if you don't agree)) to get some control of the game but if I'm Manager and I want to go 2 upfront they have to play close together and Smyth is the better option for me,

Armstrong (needs L1/L2 football to develop like Smyth) or Frey (too immobile and needs a pre-season before I make the dreaded Conor Washington call on him) just not doing it for me right now.
Bristol City - Marti's Winning Gameplan
at 18:50 20 Feb 2024

Northern posted on Andersen thread earlier, thought worth a thread on its own as this article shows with Andersen & Hadyn now available there's cautious reason for optimism, hopefully below link works!
Chair in the Middle - Last Hope of Staying Up
at 13:20 29 Jan 2024

I think most would agree that Smyth, Armstrong or Willock are worthy of a starting position in the wide positions,

I think most would agree we struggle to transition the ball out of defence, either via the Full-Backs or the two CDM's,

I think most would agree Chair was our most effective player on Sunday with two superb early crosses, one on his left foot and one from wide right (showing the benefit of early balls before defenders have time to get their body-shape right Ilias!),

I think most would agree we saw the best of Chair & Willock when they play narrow and close to each other with their very effective quick interchange of short passes,

So, why, why, why is Chair not playing in the middle as the 10, behind Dykes (ignore that bit) with Smyth on the right, Willock on the Left and Armstrong coming on for last 30 (ignore that bit as this post is about Chair)

Northern maybe rightly thinks this is moving the last few chairs on the Titanic whereas I think there always time to keep looking for the last life-jacket. If we don't make this change, this team is relegated.
Bannan, Livermore, Chair
at 07:50 15 Jan 2024

A few times now we have been undone by the best individual player in the opposition's team.

Livermore sat deep yesterday but as the game wore on and we crucially dropped too deep mid-point in the 2nd Half he stepped up into the space and won the game.

Chair can do this for us, leaving him wide left where he can be easily managed like yesterday (as doesn't like to use his left foot or possess real pace to hurt the opposition) just doesn't make sense.

Football's a simple game, the more ball your best player has the more effective your team will be.

Now Marti has realised we don't have the players for a 4-3-3 and has reverted to a 4-2-3-1 which suits his players better, play Chair in the middle.

We'll have an out-ball from defence,
We'll have a player who can half turn + pass forward,
We'll have a player who can run with the ball,
We'll have a shooting threat from outside the box,

Seeing Smyth + Armstrong step up yesterday and offer more goal threat than Chair shows me they are ready to start either side of Chair and we can now get our best player in space to run the game and not isolated on the left touch-line.

www & ebi / positives from today / still hope
at 15:05 14 Jan 2024

WWW - Positives - A fair few today:

1) Defending - Set pieces - three markers - Field / Dunne / Dykes - much improved
2) Tactics - eg Dykes dropping back to track Livermore, see below
3) Chances - created more chances today than of late
4) Armstrong - much improved and definitely a role as a 30 minute impact sub
5) Dozzell - benched, competed much better in Midfield, bar Willock being a weak link
6) Dunne - even when went up top was dropping deep to show for the ball, never hides

EBI - Negatives - A few to address:

1) Fitness - noticed our energy drop before goal, Dykes gave Livermore too much space
2) Substitutions - see above, need to do early as too many players not match-fit
3) Set Pieces - beyond comment, beyond dreadful
4) Finishing - Colbacks was the chance for 1-1, Armstrongs & Dunnes were good saves
5) Chair & Willock - have to player closer together, Willock not fit enough to cover flank so has to be him in the middle in a 4-2-3-1 with Armstrong on Right, Chair on Left and Dykes with back to goal.

Much improved, a worldy 1st goal undid us, well done to fans for their backing today, there's still hope!
Vocal Support Tomorrow
at 18:41 13 Jan 2024

Tomorrow really is a must win + we need to be noisey as to give our team that extra few percent.

Midday games usually means a flat atmosphere but all attending really must be positive and make our support heard.

Local for Watford and likely a decent away following so we need to do our bit.
Hiding in Plain Sight - Andre Dozzell
at 11:14 2 Jan 2024

This post is not about finding another scapegoat as in Dykes, Dunne & Kakay I reckon its easier for the majority of our fans to focus on just those three.

This post has been prompted by what went catastrophically wrong with our team performance at Millwall, the improvement at Ipswich and the reversion to type yesterday.

After the Millwall game I've taken to watching Mr Dozzell closely as thought his contribution, or complete lack of in the Millwall game, meant we were never in the game as seemed to be playing with a man short.

Undeniably returning to his ex-club at Ipswich he had a point to prove and for the first half he actually got involved in the game and in the 2nd half managed to overlap and run into space to put a cross into the box. So low is the bar with this lad, I was genuinely shocked when he did this.

Yesterday Mr Dozzell reverted to his preferred role of hiding in plain sight. Seemed more than happy to let Jimmy Dunne become our main creative spark as he sauntered from one marker to the next.

Again I was pleasantly surprised (so low is the bar with this lad) when he made an ambitious forward pass mid-way through the 2nd Half, which was his sole contribution, apart from pointing to where the Centre Backs should pass the ball (never to him mind) or when he did decide he could'nt hide any longer, he engaged in a a bit of fromyoutomebacktoyou which is his primary contribution in any game.

Until we find a formation that returns this lad to his rightful place on the bench we will continue on a downward trajectory (presume with SJ's demise he somehow became a 1st team starter) as we will be relying on our main creative midfielder to contribute his usual 1 Goal but more tellingly 1 Assist Per Season.

Every player tried their best yesterday, bar Dozzell. I have not given up hope but the longer he remains a starter in a 4-4-3 formation that hope will diminish.

Marti - Wrong Staring XI,Tactics + Subs
at 15:20 26 Dec 2023

Marti, that one's on you, removing Larkeche is beyond belief, amongst other baffling choices.

Larkeche - How To Fit in Starting XI
at 11:56 14 Dec 2023

Larkeche changed that game last night when he came on and but for his concussion I thought was most likely to get behind their defensive lines and deliver a quality pass / cross into the box,

Appreciate he may have ended up as a Left Wing Back in a squad with Fulham's talents, but for me should be a starter in a more advanced position, ideally in a 4-2-3-1 (Larkeche on Left, with Chair & Willock alternating between Central and Right positions in the 3, with Smyth coming off the bench)

Larkeche's aggressive forward running in behind last night was excellent and if Chair (or Willock) in the middle can see these runs and play the early ball, it changes the dynamic of our attacking play.
at 18:01 11 Nov 2023

Seeing as our 3 most sellable assets in Dykes, Chair + Willock have their own threads, thought about time we had threads on players who offer the team very very little.

If anyone saw Dozell make 1 positive contribution to today's game please post with details!
CPR on Guy @ SA Upper Turnstile Before Ko Yesterday
at 12:03 29 Oct 2023

Anyone hear anything since?

Seemed fairly frantic and Paramedics were working full with chest compressions for the 3 or 4 minutes we were diverted to adjacent gate, seemed very serious so hopefully he's pulled through.
Smyth off Dykes in a 2 - Best Starting XI
at 12:02 15 Oct 2023

Get it was only San Marino and Championship defenders will be a far greater challenge, but Smyth showed great pace, movement and most importantly excellent finishing yesterday,

When he was first with us he looked liked he could develop into that 'fox in the box' type little guy playing off the shoulder of of a bigger guy,

Given Kolli is so inexperienced and Armstrong is'nt that type of player, surely playing Smyth close to and off Dykes looks our best option at the moment,

Whether we go 5-3-2 or 4-4-2, we have to get our best 11 players starting, and for me I'd go maybe go 5-3-2 with following, who can also play a 4-4-2 (with JCS or Larkeche playing LB):

Paal / JCS / Cook / Dunne / Cannon
Field / Colback / Chair
Dykes / Smyth

This team, if set up right, are all battlers which is what we need right now as we saw against Watford at home last season (with exception of JCS; altho Cannon is an unknown quantity, he has to be a more natural defender than Kakay).

This team, with a good manager, can keep us in this division.
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