A lot has been made recently of developing our academy players- Smyth, Oteh, Chair, Osayi Samuel, Eze have all gotten increased opportunities with the first team in the last 2 months.
This is progress, but there is still a collection of youth team players with first team appearances for us who are languishing in the U-23s and no where near the first team.
Why are none of these going out on loan to get first team football at a lower division?
Shodipo- has about 20 appearances between the Championship and League 1 Kakay- 20 appearances between the Championship, L1 and Scottish Championship Hamalaien- 4 QPR appearances and a brief spell in L2 Chair- who hasn't featured recently but has a handful of appearances to his name
Ideally, all of the guys i listed above would go out on loan for the rest of the season, but with 36 hours left in the window, it may be too late
I'm curious what the explanation is on this one. Surely these guys are good enough to get a look at other football league clubs. Do we just lack the connections with managers/football directors across L1 and L2 (other than Ainsworth and Derry)?
I was excited to see Eze play today, but i was left a bit underwhelmed by his performance.
The positives: he has an absolutely rocket for a right foot (based on his first shot within a minute of coming on). Is very comfortable on the ball in tight places. Was very impressed when he dribbled along the edge of the box before overhitting a pass to the Freeman on the left wing. He also seems to have good awareness of space in the final third, regularly finding pockets of space towards the edge of the box. Would not be surprised to see him score a goal or two off a second ball from that area of the pitch.
The negatives: he seemed to be a bit slow- both in his passing and decision making. He may have had a second or two longer on the ball at Wycombe, but he's going to need to adjust to the quicker pace of the higher division.
It seems he's also been a bit influenced by the hype surrounding him. I was disappointed to see a lot of the unnecessary tricks- back heels, stopovers, etc. On the one hand, i'm glad to see him express himself and play with a bit of flair and arrogance. On the other hand, he needs to get the basics down at this level before the other stuff comes along.
All around, and in contrast to Chair, he didn't have much of an impact on the game once he came on.
I think we have collectively forgotten how steep the jump is from League 2 to the Championship. Eze is young and will improve, and I think he can be a valuable asset for the remainder of the season. Ollie just needs to find him minutes. We fans also need to collectively lower our expectations, because based on what little i saw today (and admittedly, its a small sample size), he doesn't seem the answer just yet.
I thought Chair was our best player in the first half.
Positives: he's just a very very tidy player. Everything with Chair was one or two touch. Displayed a footballing IQ and understanding of space that was very impressive for a player of his age. Lots of one-twos. Buzzed around the midfield the entire first half and repeatedly showed for the ball. He probably had more touches than anyone else int he first half.
His short passing is superb. He also seems pretty tough to dispossess despite his diminutive frame.
Way too right footed. Needs to develop his left foot.
i thought he was a bit reticent to play longer balls, opting to play shorter passes. he did play a lovely diagonal ball to Freeman on the right wing. I think he has the pass in his locker, just needs to play it more often.
He faded away in the second half before his substitution. I'm not sure if this was because of the formation shift whereby Hall went to midfield, but he definitely found himself on the ball less.
Ollie needs to find Chair minutes. He's a wonderful little player.
I wasn't at the match yesterday, but can someone who was there try to rationalise Ollie's substitutions?
After Mackie went off in the 20th minute, a draw seemed the best likely outcome- why did he bring on Smith as the first sub?
And having played for 60 minutes with 10 men, with the players presumably tired, why didn't he bring on some fresh legs to shore up the defence? He didn't bring on a second sub until after Preston scored.
We ended the match with an unused sub, which seems unconscionable in a match played almost entirely with a man disadvantage. Manning or Cousins could have really helped shore up defence.