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markavfc40 last won the day on January 5

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About markavfc40

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  • Birthday 19/12/1973

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  1. Below 4th the league is really congested. We are 16th but only 9 points off 5th. Put the kind of run together we did the arse end of last season and we can grab a Europa league place
  2. markavfc40

    Pepe Reina

    He is the same age as Friedel was when we signed him and he was our number 1 for three years until he was 40. He played in 114 consecutive Premier League games for us in that time never missing a Prem game in three seasons. He then went on to spend 4 years at Spurs. If Reina was to continue the kind of performances he has put in his first two games, and with Heaton unlikely to be fit for the first couple of months of next season, we'd surely be looking to sign him up for a year or two.
  3. Been a fair amount of doom and gloom in this and other threads which makes me wonder what fans expectations were for this season. For me given that the minute we got promoted we had just over 2 months to be ready for Premier League football but were in no way prepared meant that success this season was staying up. The signings we made over the summer confirmed that as due to the amount of players we needed it became clear we could not buy quantity and proven quality. It had to be quantity and in the main players with ability, potential but unproven in the Premier League. With 14 games to go we find ourselves out of the relegation places, one win away from a cup final, on a run in the league of 7 points from 4 games and 10 points from our last 6 games half of which we played without a recognised striker. We have just signed what looks like a decent striker and are trying to bring another striker in during this window. In our last 2 games after a going a goal down a team with less character and fight than us would have folded. We didn't and fought back in both. Whilst things are far from perfect there is much to be positive about and I am very hopeful this can be another successful season under Dean Smith.
  4. As long as Watford sell around 1400 tickets this will again be another 40k+ crowd. Great going.
  5. markavfc40


    @TRO I am not really sure what you and some other fans expected mate. I know you have said on numerous occasions you thought we would struggle this season and that avoiding relegation would be success. Therefore I'd imagine the basis of you thinking that we would struggle is that our performances wouldn't be good enough to get results to stay clear of the relegation zone. Now 23 games in recruitment is being questioned because a squad that we expected to struggle is shock horror struggling. A squad containing a lot of players with ability, promise and potential but lacking experience at this level is struggling to adapt and is inconsistent. For me though it was expected and was the reason why many of us felt we would struggle. I don't really see what option the club had though in the summer. We got promoted at the end of May and had 2 months to bring in a dozen players. Quantity and proven quality was never on our menu. We had to go for players who had shown they have got ability and potential to improve due to the amount of players we needed. I am sure Smith would have loved the club to have been in a position to bring in the dozen players we needed and for them all to have been of proven quality and shown they can perform consistently at this level. That would have cost us 2 or 3 times what we spent though or would have needed some of the greatest scouting ever at one club in one window. As I have said before in other threads I do have some sympathy for the argument that we haven't improved as the season has gone on. I think there are two contributing factors to that though. Firstly us not getting the results our performances arguably deserved earlier in the season has meant the pressure has mounted and when that happens even doing the basics can become an issue. Secondly over the last two months we have had injuries to key players with Mings, Grealish, McGinn, Heaton, Wesley all missing games. I think before questioning the recruitment I would give it a little longer than 5 months and factor that we knew we would struggle this season and that we have to accept that having signed so many new players it was going to take time for those individuals to adapt to new players, coaching staff, league and in many cases country and that as a team it was going to take time to gel and become consistent. If we stay up this season that will have been a successful season and whilst that is still a very real possibility lets not write off those players signed in the summer who could well lead us to that success.
  6. A lot of us seem to be really fearful of Watford and there is no denying they have put a great run of results together after under performing for much of the season. They are though still a mid to lower table team who, even without a recognised striker, if we are at it we can get 3 points out of tomorrow. Hopefully VP will be rocking tomorrow under the lights and it will be a special night.
  7. markavfc40


    Aside from Norwich (promoted last season) and Brighton who have been back in the top flight for 3 years the rest of the sides in and around the relegation places with us have been in the Premier League for 5+ years. If our recruitment hasn't been up to scratch then you'd think those clubs with the money and time they have had to build squads must have some right incompetent fools responsible for recruitment. They probably don't though. They have just found that they are competing with 19 other clubs in a very tough league and are coming off worse than the majority at the moment. The job we faced over the summer was tougher than any other club in this league. We didn't know we would be competing in the Premier League until May 27th. We then faced the task of replacing at least a dozen players that were either over the hill, not ours, or simply never going to be good enough to take the step up. We were in no way prepared for Premier League football and had two and half months to get ready when we we got promoted. The club, rightly in my opinion, decided to transition from being a squad predominately made up of aging players with their best years behind them to being one predominately containing players with ability, potential to improve and their best years ahead of them. The fact we needed so many players also meant we were not in a position to buy quantity and proven quality we had to go for quantity and in the main players with promise. When you do what we did regardless of how much scouting you do you need a certain amount of luck in having enough of your players that quickly hit the ground running and won't need too much time to adjust to new team mates, coaching set up, and in many cases a new league and/or country. We had a lot of things that needed to come together and we needed them to come together quickly enough to keep us up. It was a tough ask and so it is proving. I am still hopeful though we will have enough about us to stay up and as I and others have already alluded to I think if we do many of these players will be stronger for having come through this season and we'll be better for it going forward.
  8. markavfc40


    It seems that 95% of our supporters thought we'd struggle this season and that avoiding relegation would be success given that when we got promoted we were in no way prepared to be able to compete in the Premier League. Now 23 games in finding ourselves struggling and one point from safety fingers are being pointed whether that be at the head coach, players, Suso etc. Given that what most supporters expected to happen is happening then I don't get it. I hear that some supporters say they expected improvement by now but why? we are 23 games in, a lot of our recruits over the summer still have less than 20 Premier League games experience. We also took no points from games earlier in the season that our performances arguably warranted something from. That then meant we hadn't accumulated the points we arguably deserved, have found ourselves in trouble and the pressure has mounted on the players. When that happens suddenly doing the basics can become difficult. That happens to players at all clubs. In fact it happens to most top level sportsmen. I was watching the snooker last week and it is unreal the easy pots highly skilled top players can miss when the pressure is on. It is human nature I guess. Add to that pressure the injuries we have had to key players over the last 2 months with Grealish, McGinn, Mings, Wesley, Heaton all missing games then it is no real surprise we haven't improved. I think our recruitment has been decent. Trying to get quantity and quality was always going to be tough and we rightly wanted to move from an aging squad with too many players with their best years behind them to one containing players who had shown they have got ability and potential to improve with their best years ahead of them. We also seem to have signed players with decent characters who are striving to improve. I think if we can get through this season then a lot of these players will be stronger for it and I expect will kick on in the next year or 2 and we'll be better for that. I certainly think of those we signed in the summer Guilbert, Konsa, Mings, Targett, Luiz, Wesley, El Ghazi can go on to have long careers playing in the Premier League or equivalent leagues abroad. Add Heaton to that list and that is 8 of our signings in the summer. No one would argue that we should be happy with where we are but I'd rather be in this position with a squad of players with the potential to improve rather than a squad predominately full of players past their best before dates. Others have mentioned it but the key word here is patience. Most accepted this season would be tough and now that it is we all need to get behind the club not constantly question why what we expected to happen is happening.
  9. markavfc40


    @lapal_fanspot on.
  10. Leicester let them off the hook today. I think they will be well in the mix to be relegated as they look very pedestrian and lack creativity. I think West Ham and Watford may well pull away but would not be surprised to see Newcastle or Southampton slump again and get dragged in with Norwich, Bournemouth, Brighton, Burnley and ourselves. It'll go to the wire.
  11. We are going around in circles here as I have said myself that performances have gotten worse. I have also said that was my fear when earlier in the season we were playing pretty well but not picking up the results we deserved. Having not got results earlier in the season I think as the pressure has mounted an inexperienced squad at this level has struggled more. That as also come alongside injuries to key players over the last month or so in Mings, Heaton, McGinn, Wesley. I am not in a position to question players characters but I do think the club tried over the summer to bring in good characters, players who had shown they had ability and the potential to play at this level, had their best years in front of them and were striving to get better. If we can get through this season and survive I am confident that a lot of these players will be better and stronger next season for it. That also goes for the manager. Having stepped up a division and then having to transition over the summer from an aging squad with too many players with their best years behind them to one predominately containing players with their best years in front of them was always going to mean we faced a tough season. I am still hopeful though that with the couple of additions that we desperately need in this window we can survive.
  12. I doubt being set up to be hard to beat will ever become a habit under Smith. There will always be a part of him that wants to go out and attack regardless of opposition. He went more defensive against Man City and we all saw what happened. I found it a breath of fresh air when he came in last season as it was in stark contrast to what we had been dished up before. Taking that into the Premier League though was always going to be tough, especially with so many new players, and so it is proving. He is now obviously also being hugely hampered by having no striker. I think it is a real shame that having changed formation we couldn't take we saw against Burnley forward and continued to play the 3-4-3 we did that day. I think if we can get back to that with a natural striker we can do well enough with it to stay up. If we can bring in the 2 or 3 players we desperately need I think we will revert back to Smiths more natural philosophy of front foot attacking football. I also think that philosophy in the long run will reap us more rewards alongside many of the signings we have made realising their potential.
  13. You are just presenting your opinion of Smith which is fair enough and I don't see it as anymore than that. I think we all agree what the issues are it is just the mitigating circumstances where opinions differ. Individuals expectations at the start of the season will obviously also influence how they are reacting to where we find ourselves now.
  14. He has done a great job but Watford were always in a bit of a false position and massively underachieving given their squad. Last season before dropping off over the last handful of games, possibly with one eye on the FA Cup final, they were well in the mix for a top 7 finish. West Ham are another side that are underachieving and will pull away. The relegation places are 3 from Norwich, Bournemouth, Burnley, Brighton and us.
  15. don't be so defensive? I am not sure what you mean here mate but I only related it back to Smith as this is the Dean Smith thread. I certainly don't feel I am defending Smith like the rest of us I am just presenting my opinion of how I feel Smtih is doing and am happy to have those opinions questioned.
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