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|The nil nil kings|
at 17:06 22 Feb 2020
Well done lads. Another clean sheet and point away from home. With 2 of the bottom 3 winning but many below us losing important to keep putting points on the board. We seem to have the right balance at the moment of robust and flair. Points away from home always a big bonus. Now let's get after the Rooney all stars on Tuesday at home.
at 10:02 16 Feb 2020
12 goals in 30 games so far. Many of those games from the bench. Not too bad.
Up until yesterday he had scored once from 40 efforts on goal. Credit to the lad for keeping his chin up. If he was more clinical who knows hw many he could have scored? Well, perhaps another 40... However, now he has got an extended run in the team, starting games as the number 1 striker and now he has probably got over not being recalled by West Ham who desperately need all the strikers they can get, and hopefully now we are just a little safer, he can relax and just get his average of goals to chances up.
One thing I like about him is that he's always there. He never seems to give up. He finds the runs, the spaces and gets on the end of things. His seeming inability to convert enough has obviously hampered his progress at higher levels but he is still 27 and if he can work on his finishing then who knows.
I certainly like this type of player in the team. We have some very clever ballers in this team but you do also need that big bloke who puts himself about, roughs up a backline and gets into scoring positions. He also has a decent attitude.
With Zamora it was interesting. So many injuries and issues when he came to us. His Ohhh Bobby Zamora thing was almost ironic as a chant when it started. It was more of a surprise reaction to him actually getting involved in play. And then it grew and it helped him become a better player. The more many of us doubters got behind Zamora the more it rubbed off on him and the better and more influential he became in games.
I feel Hugill needs that same backing from the fans. I feel that the more support he gets the better he will play for us. Yes, he is on loan and unlikely to come back but I think he can become a better player with the fans properly behind him. I'm not saying shout Ohhh Bobby Zamora at him. That would just be weird! But a walking in a Hugill wonderland or suchlike chant may help him score us a lot more goals in the last part of the season.
|Hugill and Les|
at 09:36 12 Feb 2020
Jordan gets into all the right places and makes all the right movement but he seems to have a habit of meeting the ball too soon. I am sure Les has had a few words with him but you get the feeling if the two of them went onto a training field and Les showed him how to wait that split second longer and get his knee over the ball that he would suddenly start converting more than he misses. He does seem to be going through a period of snatching at things a bit and it's a shame because he seems to be on the end of a lot and he seems to lose his marker in the process. I wonder if anyone has put a bit of an arm around him to try and settle the instinct to hit the ball that fraction too soon?
|How do we arrest the current slump? |
at 21:19 9 Feb 2020
Problem is we hugely exceeded expectations first half of the season with a young inexperienced team that played with freedom and without fear. If they scored 2 we scored 3. It felt easy. We always had the achilles heal of leaking goals but a team that loves to attack, enjoys their football scores goals.
Then you start losing a few and the heads go down. The young players can't keep up the intensity. Worse still some of the senior team members and the top scorer go mid season. Then younger players hear high numbers banded around about their value and who wants them in the Prem or from teams looking like they are on the way up. Their heads are turned. Not completely but enough to switch off a bit. Those on loan start thinking where they will be next season. With another loan club or finally at their parent club.
Suddenly, a young inexperienced team starts losing focus and on top of that, the club and management are hamstrung to bring in real options, or enough options to plug the gap. The mistakes grow bigger, more infectious and the doubts rise as to how and who can stem it. From a team that played with more ease than mistakes, with more confidence than doubt it has started to turn on its head.
The natural thing to do would be to panic but the reality is that the management and the board have to sit down with the squad and somehow galvanise them over the final third of the season. Re-learn how to play without fear again, start games better, dig in more earlier and work out ways to get the team enjoying their football again.
For me it is down to getting the team's focus back and also making strategic changes in the game quickly if the shape or play is wrong, rather than reacting to things going wrong, which for me is MW's only real weakness. That and just trying to get our defenders and holding midfielders to communicate better and keep their shape more often.
And perhaps most importantly remind the players that results generally come when you relax and enjoy playing, which is what we did so well earlier in the season.
|Phillip Schofield comes out as gay|
at 10:49 7 Feb 2020
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-51414010 - Pretty brave decision to make to be fair. Have met him several times over the years and he's a top human being. My girlfriend's brother made a very similar decision after about the same time and was in a very powerful public position. In the end was the best decision he made and over time everyone got used to it. It took my girlfriend quite a few years to get her head around it but she's now very happy for him because he's just been honest to himself. Tough on Phillip's family but I suspect they have known for a very long time this day would come and for the sake of your mental health and those around you you have to make these decisions, especially if you are in the public eye. Good luck to him. People shouldn't spend their lives hiding. Whether you agree with their decisions or not.
|My film on The One Show tonight|
at 14:51 6 Feb 2020
For all those who occasionally watch The One Show on BBC1 my film about lost Beatles footage is on tonight's show. Please be my viewer! If you like all things Beatles quite a treat.
|Where do we stand on bringing in out of contract players? |
at 20:42 4 Feb 2020
Just thinking if we really do have problems up front or anywhere else can we bring in out of contract players?
Was just looking at a story on Marcus Pedersen who is still only 29. Scored 42 goals in 83 games, admittedly over a number of seasons for his previous club abut barely played last year. But there are a few useful goal scorers knocking around without a club. Maybe Oteh can step up but there are a few players out there without a team who may come in short term for peanuts to get some games.
Just a thought.
|Can we be London's Ajax? |
at 10:29 1 Feb 2020
Watch the video
This has to be our ambition now
This has to be the way to go
Invest in coaching talent
Invest in youth
Invest in youth training facilities
Invest in a playing stye from kids to first team
Connect the training, philosophy and coaching from kids to first team
Accept that every year you will lose talent but sell at good prices to keep the machine above working to bring the next crop through again and again
Reject the British way of doing it and be more Dutch! Even post Brexit!
Send a team to study their ways
Officially partner with Ajax
Exchange young players to gain cultural experience
Exchange young players to get U18/U23 and first team experience
Play some show-piece games at their stadium to gain a new fanbase and revenue opportunities
Main thing is learn from them
They are quite unique
We need to be as smart
[Post edited 1 Feb 10:29]
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