• limpid

      Just visiting?   27/12/16

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  1. Transfer Speculation Summer 2017

  2. Transfer Speculation Summer 2017

    Bit harsh, that team needed time to gel... and once it did we went on a pretty impressive run. Don't get me wrong, i'd also be disappointing if that's how we line up next season, but that team would still hold it's own with a full preseason under its belt.
  3. Transfer Speculation Summer 2017

    Still need a striker who can hold the ball up well and act as a bit of a battering ram. Sam Gallagher would fit that role nicely. Also Hogan and RHM strike me as being very similar - small, light, speedy... not complaining but we need different kinds of striker to give us options when plan A isn't working.
  4. Steve Bruce

    As much as I get why we're doing it, I don't think you can take his average points return this season and use as a bearing on what'll happen across 46 games next time out. This season has seen us go through so much fluctuation, it's been like 4 mini-seasons in one: 1. The Di Matteo mini-era: Everything was new from owner to our divisional surroundings. Not only that but we had massively unrealistic expectations/pressure to start well, loads of new faces trying to bond/gel together, as well as loads of crap going on in the background. In hindsight it was naive to think much could be achieved in that period. 2. Enter the Bruce: Lots going on... New manager bounce coupled with the benefit of us having had a bit of time to get used to things, yet many underlying problems to deal with. If you class this as the period between him first taking charge and the end of the year, then the average points return here was just under 1.7 points per game, which over a full season equals 78 points, right on the knife edge of making/not making the playoffs. 3. The January 'boom or bust' period: It smacks of a gamble gone wrong - trying to fix too many things at once. It was probably worth a go, but ultimately it just threw us back into that world of unfamiliarity we suffered with at the start of the season, not to mention the extra work involved in transfers which probably had a negative impact on game prep. No point doing the maths, that was a bad time. 4. The here and now: Better players in, a bit more settled, but lets face it, we're probably still only halfway down page 1 of 4 on Steve's to do list. This period which I've (some would say conveniently) taken as the first win of the year, i.e. when we finally got our **** together, equates to a return of just over 2.08 points per game or 96 points for a full season. A Championship winning return. It'd be foolish to assume the form we've been in since that first win this year is how we're going to go about next season - especially as the consensus of opinion is that we've been lucky, grinding out wins despite some pretty poor football being played. However I think you can take some solace in the fact that Bruce (hopefully) won't be having to deal with anywhere near the kind of upheaval, unfamiliarity or behind the scenes problems as this time around.
  5. Steve Bruce

    Would be great to see Micky P come in during the summer, but after Bruce's very pro comments re Calderwood this season, I can't see it.
  6. Steve Bruce

    My take on Bruce is this... We needed a strong minded, well respected manager to come in and sort out the mess which was going on behind the scenes. None of us really understand the full extent of those problems, other than to know they existed and (from the outside looking in) there were plenty. I'm taking a guess that it took a lot of hard work, patience and resolve to turn the club around in that respect, we sure hear a lot of subtle comments from people within the club and the wider game about how big a job it was - and not a pleasant one either i'm sure. It might not yet be fully sorted, but noises suggest we're in a much better place than the seasons start. At the same time as that he's cured our mentally weak defense and made us hard to beat... steering us away from any threat of relegation and almost, nearly into playoff contention towards the end. All that for me earns him a free pass from criticism for this season. I can't deny i'd have liked to have seen us bring in a Wagner, Jokanović or Monk... but then I wonder whether any of those three could have achieved anything more than Bruce, under the pressure and poisonous circumstances at our club. I think Steve's biggest problem in getting us playing better, more attacking and ultimately more successful football is getting a settled side and formation. We've seen what major disruption to the side does to our results both in August and January of this season - we seem to be suffering the same on a smaller scale every time he changes things from week to week. I think he knows this and he's using the rest of this season (now results are pretty much meaningless - Sunday apart) to learn as much as he can about the players he's got. If he then brings in 3 really good quality additions, early doors in the summer, he can sets his team out as he intends to play all season and get them gelling together all the way through preseaon. After which all the excuses go out the window and he has to achieve from the off.
  7. Pre Match Thread

    3-4-3 Chelsea style: ------------------ Johnstone ---------------- --------- Chester -- Jedi -- Baker --------- Hutton -- Lansbury -- Bacuna -- Amavi ------ Adomah -- Hogan -- Grealish------ Need to have Jedinak playing that deep and owning that space just at the top of our own box, so that all 4 mids can press forward and swarm the buggers! Got the option to revert to 4-1-4-1 with the same players, pretty quickly if things aren't working.
  8. Carles Gil

    Not quite sure what word i was thinking of there. I considered attempting a Partridge style "worth of boast worlds" explanation but gave up. Anyway, moving on... chocolate oranges are available at Rawlinsons.
  9. Carles Gil

    I don't particularly abdicate keeping him, especially against his wishes as we've all seen what a disengaged player can do to team morale - however I'm not sure I fully agree on this physicality excuse. I think in the PL he was met with players who didn't just out muscle him, but who were more athletic and more intelligent than you get in this division. You still have tricky little players who are good technically who thrive in the Championship... Ritchie and Knockhart prime examples (albeit they have greater pace), but also Jota at Brentford who strikes me as a similar type of player. He isn't strong enough to play in the middle, but as a wide option against teams who come and sit back against us - where we need intricate passing to unlock a defence, i think him and Grealish offer that inside fwd option vs Green and Adomah who can play that bit wider when we need pace on the break. If we don't get a decent offer in the summer, I'd rather bring him back than flog on the cheap - plus it may be that with Steve's arm round his shoulder and a much greater feeling of togetherness in the squad he finds it easier to fit in this time around.
  10. Scott Hogan

    Basically, if he starts passing to me, I might have a ****ing chance of scoring
  11. Steve Bruce

    All the people who are really responsible for our demise are gone though. Short of pulling Lerner up on some set of footballing war crimes there's not much we can do but (and colour me crazy here) accept it, stay calm and be reasonable in our expectations. Course should you want to mail a few dog turds the way of messrs Fox and Faulkner, then go right ahead, might take the sting out of your anguish. Personally I toyed with the idea of sending hate mail to Eric Black , but in the end... I couldn't be arsed.
  12. Ross McCormack

    It's a double wammy. Not only did we waste £12m, we also funded much of Fulham's rebuilding and made them a very good team as a result.
  13. Steve Bruce

    The Samba situation is a perfect example of a Bruce dropping another clanger and he knows it. Look at our defense, it's tiny! Chester, Elphick, Amavi, Bree, Richards - all sub 6ft! Only Hutton and Baker are of a reasonable height (not giants mind) and you can't rely on either because ones too injury prone and the other's a positionally inept waste of time. When we had Benteke and to a degree Gestede, we had a big guy we could bring back to help defend those situations. We don't even have that now (you could maybe argue Kodjia, but to a much lesser degree). Right now, i'd say Jedi is our only decent threat/defense aerially and that's pathetic. Ask any proper defender about the golden rule when it comes to defending long balls, corners, free kicks etc - DON'T LET THE BALL BOUNCE IN THE BOX. Newcastle was a prime example of what happens when you do. But how do you stop that happening with midgets (pardon the exaggeration)? We should have signed a big imposing centre half (and kept Gestede) but we didn't and now we're scraping the free-agent bin trying to rectify the sorry situation.
  14. Prematch Thread

    --------------------- Johnstone --------------------- -----Hutton -- Elphick -- Chester -- Taylor------ Hourihane -- Jedinak - Lansbury -- Bjarnason ----- Kodjia ------------------------------------------- ---------------------- Hogan -----------------------
  15. Ross McCormack