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Dean Smith

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5 minutes ago, villalad21 said:

It's not about giving up on our style of play.

Some times you have to accept that the opposition players are better than you and adapt.

We have been adapting.

This has been necessary, as we would have even less points than we currently do. But we have also be trying to implement an attacking and more possession based style of play. The problem is we have an entirely new team. So first Smith prioritised the defensive shape, and countering. Currently he is trying to implement the pressing style which is essential if you want to play on the front foot in this league. Then we can work more on passing patterns.

He is trying to take a step by step approach and has actually prioritised defensive and tactical organisation. His approach has been the correct one and his team selections have been generally good.

The team needs time, it's frustrating, but there aren't any short cuts. The style we want to play takes great organisation and understanding between the players.

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2 minutes ago, useless said:

I've watched Sheffield United play several times this season and they play good football, it's not like they're playing overly defensively or hoof ball. The difference between us and them is that we needed to change most of our side, whereas they just needed the odd signing here and there, similar to Wolves when they came up. And the difference between them and Norwich, is that Norwich didn't spend any money at all. Also they're only six points ahead of us, we still might finish ahead of them, we play Newcastle next and they have Man Utd, not beyond the realms of possibility that after the next round of fixtures we'll be just three points behind them.

I have as well, and they have looked like you say both good and solid. I don't want to take anything away from them. They have done incredibly well.  But personally I think that it will only take you so far. You are more likely to reach long term success, win trophies and establish yourself with a more modern approach to football. At some point in time the effort will fade off, and then you got to have a team that can dominate football from ability and being able to create in possession, and I think you're more likely to have that with Deano's approach. 

 

I might be wrong, but that's just how I see it. Very often teams who have a lot of effort, are good at set pieces and the more classic british football, are excellent at keeping their spot in the top flight, but they won't win a whole lot. The only exception I can think of are Leicester. 

Anyway, I can see where this discussion is going. We all want to stay in the division, but I hope we have patience with Deano. We all saw how it turned out last year. 

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Edited by nick76
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As @useless mentioned I think it’s a bit unfair to compare us to Shef United. Yes we have better players but we’re a massive work in progress. Sheff United team have been playing with each other and the same way for  over 2 years now.

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3 hours ago, Dr_Pangloss said:

Agreed, there's something deficient with the coaching. What I would say is that United have been together a lot longer as a squad so Wilder has had more time to get his methods across. The only concern I have is that it's not a matter of time just capability. Are our players being conditioned for keeping the ball and having a high press? It's not clear they are.

I can't say that, because I don't know.....they said that about Bruce and I said then I don't know.......unless you go down every day to see what they do and compare that with successful sides its hard to make a judgement

Sheff Utd was like this last season, yes they have been together longer, but we arguably have better and more expensive players....Chris Wilder is like a Ron Saunders character, puts a lot of emphasis on work rate and intensity......They know what standards they have to maintain......Leicester too have adopted this same work rate and intensity, except they have been very prudent in the transfer market over the seasons in adding quality.....but the important thing for me is, they have added quality to an already great platform of work rate and Intensity.

I'm sorry.....I don't think in the main we have that same platform, so our players are not looking as good as we thought at times.

Personally, I would like to see a balance of players coming in who can mix it like Mings, but further up the pitch.......l would like to see players who relish the battle, when the chips are down......you only have to look at Arsenal with all the money they spend, without the ball they just stand off like pussies.

The Fergusons, Klopps and Guardiola's add that steel and vibrancy that brings that winning mentality.....sure we all know you have to have talent.......but when Villa Lifted that European Cup against probably the most talented team in Europe ,Bayern.........We all really knew why, because the teams DNA was 110% work rate....that was the mantra Ron Built the team on.

We will never survive or improve on talent alone.....We have to apply ourselves and compete.

The most pleasing thing to date is .....Dean Smiths assessment of Sunday, an Honest man who is spot on in his comments.

Edited by TRO

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19 hours ago, Laughable Chimp said:

Liverpool were battering us throughout that entire second half and most of the game. It was eerily similar to how our Spurs game went down, we were subject to relentless pressure from their end and honestly, I think we were quite lucky to hold on to the match until there. We lost 3-0 against City, I don't really see how that can be considered a game where we played well. Palace we were shite the entire game, we definitely should've gotten an equalizer but it did not reflect how good we were at that game and ask anyone who watched that game and they'd agree that we were absolutely outplayed in that match. I don't remember the VAR decision that **** us at Arsenal but considering we still lost despite playing against 10 men for more than half the match against a mediocre Arsenal side, we really couldn't have played that well.

Liverpool batter most teams.  Sometimes a defensive rear guard type of game is as good as a solid attacking game.  We were in the 86th minute one nil up against the European Champions and the team that are dominating the current league then your expectations are way too high.  Literally 4 official minutes from full time.....yes injury time as well but jeez, how close were we

I've known games in the past where we have dominated teams and not got just rewards, it happens.

I think most on here thought we played well against Man City, yes we lost but again we were a championship team six months ago and they were England's Champions....a bit of perspective

Palace - we deserved the equaliser and got it but were denied by a bad ref and VAR decision

Arsenal - Aubameyang's freekick goal, they had players in the wall.  The new rule this season is attacking team must be at least 1 yard away from the wall.  The freekick shouldve been retaken.

Arsenal - Sokratis handled the ball in the box.  A distance shot, which the player had plenty of time to move his hand away, his hand blocked the ball....obvious penalty

Arsenal - Again six months ago we were a championship team they have 72m Pepe, Aubameyang and Lacazette up front to name just a few from their team....while they are struggling and maybe a mediocre team to Man City and Liverpool, the players they have says they arent as bad as you are saying and have the ability, even when playing badly, to turn it on and score goals.

I think you are being a bit too harsh on us, I really feel apart from Wolves we have given teams a good game and yes we have been outplayed in parts by some teams but also our defence has been brilliant and our attacking hasnt been back although we lack some cutting edge and some extra creativity.  We were never going to match pound for pound with Man City but we played well, we almost beat Liverpool and we were unlucky against Palace and Arsenal not to get more points.  If want to take all negatives then you are going to have a hard season.

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Sheffield (and Newcastle) are currently getting pretty much the maximum results out of not having much ball, creating chances, passing and minimizing risks.

At least that's the impressing I get by looking at their team stats. Obviously a limited approach to look at it but since I've not seen enough of their games that's what I have to go after.

Right near the bottom in terms of number of passes made, possession, touches and shots but at the top when it comes to clearances and interceptions.

I doubt they'd be able to keep it up for 38 games. Riding they luck and the odds currently by playing it simple and safe. No doubt it's their best approach to succeed.

Worryingly we are also right near the bottom many of those stats, attempting very few passes, having few touches and blocking lots of shots and crosses while still allowing loads of chances for our opponents.

I still feel that out of the weaker sides in the league we still have the most potential to improve and untapped talent (and money to spend in January) but we are far from there atm.

Edited by sne

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9 hours ago, markavfc40 said:

It is no more than I'd expect though 12 games into a new season where over the summer we saw a huge overhaul in players.

Yesterday 7 players started that were not here last season. Of those 7 only one had played more than 10 games for us. One was making his first league start. It doesn't surprise me that at times we look a little disjointed and our passing breaks down.

Under Smith we also play quite a high risk game. We do pass out from the back, do try to make passes in tight areas. This is to try to help us retain possession rather than hoof it out from the back/when under pressure but it also does mean that if players aren't quite on the same wave length that moves can break down.

As I said in an earlier post I sometimes watch us and think well this isn't working why not change formation. I'd imagine Smith is determined to stick with the same formation/tactics/philosophy though as he realises that having had to sign so many new players it was always going to take time for them to start playing exactly how he wants them to and he is persisting with it rather than swapping and changing due to some poor results or performances 12 games in.

For every bad half of football this season there has been at least one good one. Overall I would say we have good sustained spells of playing really well in 9 or 10 of our first 12 games. For me given the huge overhaul in the summer, given the fact that there have been two international breaks meaning that the coaches have been without half the squad for 3 or 4 weeks of the first 3 months, then I think to have us playing as we are is some going.

This season was always going to be tough. Anyone who simply saw we spent 130 mill equals we will be top half or comfortably clear of relegation was being unrealistic. We signed 12 players for an average of 11 mill which is nothing today. We didn't sign 12 Ronaldos/Van Dykes/De Brynes we signed players who had plenty of room for improvement and were far from the finished article and who were going to take some coaching and time to settle in and who were unlikely to just to hit the ground running. 

There have been ups and downs in results and performances and I am sure we will see more of the same. Before questioning the managers tactics though or what he is doing in training lets give him longer than 3 months to get a squad containing 12 new players to gel and play with some constituency. I am confident it will come together under Smith and confident we are good enough to stay up which is all I expected this season. We can all continue to play a part in that by backing him and the players.

once again, can't argue...but.

I will simply add this, some of the stuff you mention is valid, some is more iffy.

Dean Smith, himself made references to Heading the ball , not winning second balls and not winning duels or passing well.....now if you are right, don't you think, he wouldn't have said that and aimed his mitigation of much what you said.

I accept that things take time, depending on what part of the make up of the game we are talking about.....some stuff is just plain unacceptable and Dean was saying as much.

I am not the only one who was amazed that no one picked up Neves for his shot....a man with a reputation for doing that.....That's just lazy thinking from us.....brain dead.

The first goal for Liverpool....Henderson said " we practice them all the time"....bugger me, they was practicing them during our game, there was that many balls to the far post, I thought they had watched our Brighton Game to see how vulnerable we was .

Mark.....Our team has to wise up and become much more hard nosed, else we will drift in to Norwich and Watford Mode.....its like a slumber, that is difficult to come out of, because losing becomes acceptable.

We have to be very careful.

I agree with all what you say.....I am just concerned mate.

Edited by TRO

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It's frustrating because we just struggle to put 90 good minutes together. We've played much better football than our league position suggests, but we make a lot of mistakes and we're getting punished for them at this level.

 

I keep hoping it'll finally click, but it'd be nice just to put a few results together and get away from the drop zone

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2 minutes ago, ThunderPower_14 said:

It's frustrating because we just struggle to put 90 good minutes together. We've played much better football than our league position suggests, but we make a lot of mistakes and we're getting punished for them at this level.

 

I keep hoping it'll finally click, but it'd be nice just to put a few results together and get away from the drop zone

We've been good in the first halves generally (Wolves game excluded) but we've been abysmal in the second halves.

If this is down to fitness, squad dept, nerves, our opponents adjusting tactics and us being unable to respond or all of this combined I do not know.

But the way we are dropping points in the second half has to stop.

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40 minutes ago, HanoiVillan said:

I have a long-standing policy of very rarely visiting the thread of whoever the manager is, so apologies if this has already been discussed to death, but I thought his post-match interview was good. Refreshingly blunt about how poor we were in the first half. Obviously the next, harder, part is putting it right and I'm not ignoring that, but at least he's starting from the right analysis. 

Yeah, so much better than that guy who kept going on about pulling up socks, and that other one that kept "going again".

At least this one shows that he can see what we can, it's just time now to see if he can actually do anything about it.

I guess most other teams having a 400-800 million pound head start on us gets overlooked a lot also.

I'd be more than happy with not being relegated this season, then build more in the summer, time will tell as is the way I guess. 

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17 hours ago, AV82 said:

Between tactics, man management, injuries and us having an off day I'm not entirely sure where to pin the tail on the donkey but it really does seem like fitness is an issue. 8 of the Wolves starting 11 played 100 minutes on Thursday and they still looked twice as fit and twice as hungry as we did. That is unacceptable.

Disagree. Second half their intensity dropped considerably, quite a few people around me in the ground said exactly the same that Wolves looked leggy second half.

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There seems to have been a pattern of "glorious"  failure  (Spurs, City , Arsenal (meh)  , Liverpool, Bournemouth  ) complete garbage ( Palace , Wolves , Brighton pre 10 men )  ..with a smattering of Ok Everton , West Ham  and one "Wow" (Norwich)

It's not ideal and its why we are looking like a relegation team , or one that is praying Norwich ,Watford & Southampton don't find any form .

I get we are a work in progress , but its same old same old , the formation appears too rigid , the play too predictable  ... Wolves swamped our wings and El GHazi and Trez offered little in the way of support  , I'm not suggesting we played Taylor and Elmo in front of  Targett and Fred but something in the way of a plan B would have been useful 

couple of weeks now to get Jack back and 3 points v the barcodes will go some way towards the 40 point mark and then maybe all will be good again  ....

 

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I know its obvious but stringing together 3 consecutive wins (which is what we need) is far harder in this division than in the Championship. We have a lot of work to do but having more goal threat and effect offensive play is going to have to be part of that, more than relying on our backs to the wall defending. January window is very important.

I feel something needs to change. 

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Smith has a tough task. On the one hand he's trying to build something for the long term, and on the other hand he just needs to survive a relegation scrap. A lot of our rivals (Burnley, Sheffield Utd) are mainly set up for the latter - squeezing out points by being difficult to play against, and with lots of players at the peak of their career.

We have a young, inexperienced squad and we're trying to get them to play a system that is really best suited to mid-table / top-table football when you have more of the possession.

I think in the long run it's the right thing to do for the club and for the players, but this season is going to be painful. I would definitely think about some slightly more experienced loans / reinforcements in January just to ensure we stay up, because if we survive, I don't think next season will be anything like as difficult for this group of players.

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I can understand he didn't want to make even more changes having been forced to leave out Heaton, Grealish and Engels. But I still think he needs to rotate more, it's not just about the stats how much the players run, it's also the mental tiredness of playing too much. Away to Wolves in cold dark November would be a perfect game for a seasoned Irishman like Hourihane. Both McGinn and Nakamba has showed signs of tiredness and dipping performances of late, I think he must play the likes of Hourihane and Lansbury on theese occations.

I also think it was a mistake to play Guilbert instead of Elmohamady. We already had a new player in Konza in defence and had to change keeper, we would have needed some more stability and the experience of Elmohamady, Guilbert was woeful in the first half.

It's also a bit too adventurous with the 4-3-3 away, as I said before the game I think we should ahve played with two holding midfielders.

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4 hours ago, HanoiVillan said:

I have a long-standing policy of very rarely visiting the thread of whoever the manager is, so apologies if this has already been discussed to death, but I thought his post-match interview was good. Refreshingly blunt about how poor we were in the first half. Obviously the next, harder, part is putting it right and I'm not ignoring that, but at least he's starting from the right analysis. 

It was a similar situation in Feb/Mar and he completely turned it around. He will do it again.

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6 hours ago, HanoiVillan said:

I have a long-standing policy of very rarely visiting the thread of whoever the manager is, so apologies if this has already been discussed to death, but I thought his post-match interview was good. Refreshingly blunt about how poor we were in the first half. Obviously the next, harder, part is putting it right and I'm not ignoring that, but at least he's starting from the right analysis. 

most significant post so far......spot on.

if we don't identify the weaknesses......we can't fix them.

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