|Observations from last night|
at 12:27 29 Oct 2019
Much as it pains me to say it I thought Brentford deserved to win. They were just technically better and more at it than we were.
I can't understand how teams come to us on TV and suddenly play like Barcelona. Someone on here said that it may be because teams have sussed us out at home. There may be something to that. I think it also comes down to teams knowing how leaky our defence is and simply coming to have a go at it. Away from home home teams expect to come at us but perhaps don't think as much about a counter attack risk and that's where we seem to be good on our travels.
Brentford play a very similar brand of football to us but have had quite a bit longer to hone that than us. Some of their link up play in midfield was telepathic last night. They knew exactly where they were and how to make angles to get past us.
Their goalkeeper was very impressive. As soon as he had the ball he got it out and onto the counter attack at lightning speed. All his deliveries where possible were thrown. Kelly was excellent last night but we would benefit from him and Lumley learning how to get play going that quickly and our midfield would benefit from learning to make those very quick run offs from a keeper regaining possession.
Ollie Watkins is some player. He's currently valued at £10m and you can sort fo see why. He is a kind of lovechild of Wells and Hugill. He has Well's pace and movement and Hugill's physicality. Even Leistner had real trouble grappling with him last night, and even though he is middleweight to Leistner's heavyweight Leistner found himself in a real fight at times. Saïd Benrahma also is a very clever player and those two made all sorts of angles that pulled us in narrow and left us exposed.
Their midfield though for me won it last night. Their transitions were so quick and so accurate that we struggled to cope, especially first half when we were so sluggish. That first half cost us dearly because it gave Brentford confidence to come at us. First 10-15 minutes we at too deep and let them dominate us.
The penalty was a huge blow and although it didn't seem to dent our ability to finally go forward it meant we were always trying to save the game and Brentford's game management in that last 20 minutes was pretty astute. Only Eze looked like breaching their backline and he couldn't find a corner.
We have to learn from what Brentford did to us and that had they not got the penalty, committed not by Scowen but by an ill timed challenge by a Poltergeist we may have actually got something out of it. But the learning curve is that Brentford played how we want to play and although it is depressing to say it, we have to watch and learn from that performance against us. In many ways it was better for me than the WBA game as we didn't turn up at all in that game and Brentford were just better and more clever than WBA against us.
People who say they have spent £30m, that's not exactly true. They have bought players in at £1.5m to £3m and sold them on for £10m+. Just a clever strategy and again one we should now adopt as we have to be seen to not be desperate to sell but also sell at the right price and not just move players on because of salaries. That is very much a work in progress.
We need to look in the next window for perhaps two young up and coming centre backs with hunger and pace. We always talk about the next Stan Bowles but we also need to find the next Paul Parker and the next Danny Shittu. They are out there in the lower divisions and in other leagues. Just look at Smyth and Manning as examples. Plus we have some academy talent and Masterson to bring on. We need to look at other club's academies and bring in players from there that we may be able to get on loan with a view to buy. Our defence needs to eventually be younger, brighter, faster, hungrier as we move forward. With this style of play we need to create a long lasting tight unit that can recover through movement and pace and get the ball out to the midfield and forwards quicker and counter quicker from the keeper regaining possession.
We also need to look at the way our midfield is set up. I agree that Manning has done excellently and has matured greatly. He has been good at left back but inclined to get too narrow. However he is much bigger, stronger and aggressive than he was. To me he is the midfield playmaking anchor eventually. He sees a through pass, he can mix it up physically, he has no fear. He can be a mixture of Derry and Faurlin in the middle given a chance and he will give the likes of Wells, Eze, BOS, Chair and Hugill so much more time and opportunity. Warbs has to consider that. Plus Ball and Amos are again young and can get about. Not to have a go at Scowen or Cameron. It's just that eventually we need to evolve with that young heartbeat here. That and more pace about the pitch. Brentford were a yard faster last night and that's because their age range is more evenly spread throughout defence, midfield and attack.
It was a bad night to lose Hugill. I think his physicality would have helped greatly make more space for others but they have to look to give Mlakar more academy game time because he is big and given the right coaching could be something here.
Finally, I was saddened to hear the thread that a 14 year old who's stepdad was on here was throttled by some lunatic at the end of the game when said lunatic called Warburton a disgrace. We don't need such morons supporting this club and I hope the kid has recovered.
This team has been assembled on youth, low cost experience and a very small budget. We can go forward in the same way as Brentford, Bournemouth and particularly Burnley and make this club both sustainable and profitable. We need to be the London Ajax, finding young players and a few older heads wherever they may be and creating a conveyor belt of talent.
Warburton is a very clever man. We got done last night but I think he may learn more from that game than any other. We just need to give him plenty of time with his team on the pitch and off it. We could have gone second as every pundit declared fatally last night, which despite the defeat is amazing considering the limitation we work under.
Get behind this lot. There is no lack of effort or confidence. It is a new team, learning, succeeding and getting punished but I think every aspect of this season and learning how to shut the back door a bit and get the system right home and away will make us a great team to follow for years to come.
[Post edited 29 Oct 12:35]