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Demitri_C

Dean Smith

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Trying not to over-react is hard when you can't see a combination of players that will arrest the current slump.

Recalling Hause wasn't a bad choice. Bringing Lansbury in obviously didn't make anything in midfield any better, but it was a fair roll of the dice all things considered. But Grealish, El-Ghazi and Wes were utterly ineffectual in front of him, and he didn't show any intent on getting forward to support them. Would Connor or Luiz done any different? Probably not, but Connor can hurt clubs from set pieces at least.

We need a bit of luck from somewhere to pick up a point or undeserved win to arrest the slide. As well as hopefully a couple of new signings to refocus the team.

But we can't leave it all on Grealish.

We need other players to step up and do better.  At the moment we are carrying McGinn and Wesley.

And there isn't a single other player who is showing any kind of real form or consistency. The last two games we have been utterly bereft of confidence.

Easy to be an armchair manager, but i would play Connor, Trez and Kodjia in the next game, not saying it will make a huge difference but right now not sure we can get any worse.

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We find ourselves in a very strange situation. There is no consensus on the root of the problem. Is it defence, attack or midfield?

Attack? As always the temptation is to blame the striker - who in our case rarely gets a decent ball. Playing 4-5-1 makes Wesley (or whoever) the easy scapegoat.Do we need another striker? Probably, but whoever we get still needs a decent pass.

Defence? Up till recently has been fairly solid despite often being under siege making us look like a last ditch Championship side.IMO defence is not our problem.

THE PROBLEM IMHO is midfield. For whatever reason they have not clicked. Partly because DS has switched it around so many times, no-one is certain (apart from Grealish) of starting, Nakamba is an OK DM but offers little else, McGinn has faded horrendously, the management think Jack is a No.10/11 - he doesn’t, Luiz doesnt know whether he is coming or  going - ditto Trez, Al Ghazi is lightweight etc

Despite having the best midfielder in the country, in Jack Grealish, our midfield is *****!  We lack something in the middle and Nakamba, Luiz et al appear out of their depth.

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7 minutes ago, MikeMcKenna said:

We find ourselves in a very strange situation. There is no consensus on the root of the problem. Is it defence, attack or midfield?

Attack? As always the temptation is to blame the striker - who in our case rarely gets a decent ball. Playing 4-5-1 makes Wesley (or whoever) the easy scapegoat.Do we need another striker? Probably, but whoever we get still needs a decent pass.

Defence? Up till recently has been fairly solid despite often being under siege making us look like a last ditch Championship side.IMO defence is not our problem.

THE PROBLEM IMHO is midfield. For whatever reason they have not clicked. Partly because DS has switched it around so many times, no-one is certain (apart from Grealish) of starting, Nakamba is an OK DM but offers little else, McGinn has faded horrendously, the management think Jack is a No.10/11 - he doesn’t, Luiz doesnt know whether he is coming or  going - ditto Trez, Al Ghazi is lightweight etc

Despite having the best midfielder in the country, in Jack Grealish, our midfield is *****!  We lack something in the middle and Nakamba, Luiz et al appear out of their depth.

I think its mainly midfield.

but the problem is spreading to the whole team.......there is no co-ordinated movement off the ball......and they just stand off an ball watch, no challenges, not tracking players.

its just awful.

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Ultimately the successful sides have midfielders who can control the game.. Who in our team, apart from Jack occasionally, does that? Nakamba, Luiz, McGinn rarely seem together. Watching Sheff U’s midfield yesterday, they were playing as a unit. Our MF havent clicked and look like strangers to each other.

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22 minutes ago, TRO said:

I think its mainly midfield.

but the problem is spreading to the whole team.......there is no co-ordinated movement off the ball......and they just stand off an ball watch, no challenges, not tracking players.

its just awful.

In theory, Luiz, Mcginn and Nakamba should have all the facets of a successful midfield aside from height imo. Nakamba as the destroyer. Luiz as the deep lying midfielder. Mcginn as the box to box midfielder and engine of the team. Attributes wise I think they have it in them to control the midfield, so why are they so utterly inept at it? Are they all just not very good, or is there something deeper in the coaching and tactics that's the issue.

Starting Lansbury in midfield was just a desperate move by Smith. He knows neither Conor or Douglas are consistent enough for that third midfield role, so he throws on Lansbury in the faint hope he can maybe do better. Doesn't come off as predicted and Lansbury is the first one subbed off.

What's more concerning to me is that it hints to me that Smith has no idea why his midfield isn't working. It hasn't been working that well for awhile tbf, its just its flaws were severely exposed yesterday because of our entire strikeforce having what I hope to be an off day for them.

Sheffield are not a team that enjoy a lot of posession, so the fact that we let them have it all this game is concerning.

One thing I did feel good about was our defending in the first half. It was good defending. Even in the second half I feel that the problem was less our defending and more the amount of times our defenders had to defend. This isn't an isolated thing, its happened before. Our midfield does nothing in protecting our defence and they ineivitably crack under the pressure. But I think in the first half they showed that they could contribute somewhat to the defence and crucially they did so without us being on the front foot for once.

 

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5 minutes ago, Laughable Chimp said:

In theory, Luiz, Mcginn and Nakamba should have all the facets of a successful midfield aside from height imo. Nakamba as the destroyer. Luiz as the deep lying midfielder. Mcginn as the box to box midfielder and engine of the team. Attributes wise I think they have it in them to control the midfield, so why are they so utterly inept at it? Are they all just not very good, or is there something deeper in the coaching and tactics that's the issue.

Starting Lansbury in midfield was just a desperate move by Smith. He knows neither Conor or Douglas are consistent enough for that third midfield role, so he throws on Lansbury in the faint hope he can maybe do better. Doesn't come off as predicted and Lansbury is the first one subbed off.

What's more concerning to me is that it hints to me that Smith has no idea why his midfield isn't working. It hasn't been working that well for awhile tbf, its just its flaws were severely exposed yesterday because of our entire strikeforce having what I hope to be an off day for them.

Sheffield are not a team that enjoy a lot of posession, so the fact that we let them have it all this game is concerning.

One thing I did feel good about was our defending in the first half. It was good defending. Even in the second half I feel that the problem was less our defending and more the amount of times our defenders had to defend. This isn't an isolated thing, its happened before. Our midfield does nothing in protecting our defence and they ineivitably crack under the pressure. But I think in the first half they showed that they could contribute somewhat to the defence and crucially they did so without us being on the front foot for once.

 

on the evidence so far.....I don't think Nakamba or Luiz offer enough....McGinn's form has disappeared, hope is temporary.....Lansbury is not good enough.

Not much left is there?

Their free transfer was the main man today John Fleck.

Edited by TRO

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There is just no way we are getting 9 points in the next three matches. I have felt pretty pessimistic this season but it is hard not too when we are not getting the results. 17 games with 4 wins so far. Top goal scorer has 4- Jack and Wesley. Mcginn seems gone and our defense does not seem as strong anymore. I do think we have good enough players to stay up but we should get something this January. The next three are crucial

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28 minutes ago, vandaq said:

17 games with 4 wins so far.

Mad that. Certainly doesn't feel like that to me.

We've got absolutely no bonus points we didn't have to work our nuts off for.

From the next three games...you have to say 4 points isn't enough. It's 5 absolutely minimum if you promise me we're getting a striker January 1st. 6 is probably the real minimum, we need wins.

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10 hours ago, Villan4Life said:

They spent £44.5mil

 

Ravel Morrison  - Free            
Lys Mousset  -  £10,000,000                
Phil Jagielka - Free                
Michael Verrips - Free                
Callum Robinson - £7,000,000                
Luke Freeman  - £4,000,000            
Oli McBurnie  - £20,000,000                    
Ben Osborne  - £3,500,000

 

Gotta hand it to Wilder.

What an absolutely incredible job he’s doing.

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6 hours ago, VillaChris said:

The only two we haven't played are the two below us in the league and they're below us for a reason.

When you see teams like Everton and West Ham start to move away from us it's worth noting they've both taken six points from Watford and Southampton this season. Southampton are only level with us as they beat Watford the other week. West Ham also beat Norwich so pretty much 50% of their points tally has come v bottom 3.

We're poor atm but I'd just like to see us in the next two to see if we're as poor as the 18th and 20th. My feeling is our level is still better than that and we certainly must prove it.

Play badly in next 3 and only get 2 draws or even worse and yes things will be looking very bleak for our survival prospects and for the manager.

I know what you’re saying.. but didn’t Norwich beat Man City and then just draw with the leicester side that recently tore us a new one?

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22 minutes ago, Thug said:

I know what you’re saying.. but didn’t Norwich beat Man City and then just draw with the leicester side that recently tore us a new one?

I thought we were better than Utd for large parts at Old Trafford and they then beat Spurs and City in the next 6 or 7 days.  It is a very tough and weird league.  I still fancy us to win our next two home games and I suspect we will move up a few places.  Desperately need another striker lined up in the first week of the January window to make me feel more comfortable.

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Here is a spotlight on just exactly how good we are atm.

Chelsea were on a losing streak, then they played us and gave us a right seeing to, then what happened ? they went back onto theior losing streak.So, in a losing streak the only team they managed to beat was.......us.

How`s  that for a statistic ?

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I do wonder what Smith thinks of it all if he didn’t make the signings. If I were a manager and told to play Wesley every week, I’d just give up. 

Keep going Dean. 

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I back Dean all the way,but we need to make a few tweaks our system and game plan it's not working. Who's in charge of fitness and conditioning we cannot run out games time and time again. 

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41 minutes ago, Delphinho123 said:

I do wonder what Smith thinks of it all if he didn’t make the signings. If I were a manager and told to play Wesley every week, I’d just give up. 

Keep going Dean. 

The Wesley thing is just absurd. It's like he's trying to get the sack.

Edited by villalad21

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We need to do what Sheff Utd have done and stick as close to last season's play as possible. That means Grealish has to move back in to a CM role.

And for those suggesting Benitez, doesn't he have have quite a shite history with Purslow?

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We can talk about moving grealish back to MC, but in reality most of our wins have come with grealish on the left, and he has a few goals and assists from that position.

People seem to forget that when he was playing MC this season we were all moaning that he wasn't getting forward, playing too deep, coming back to the 18 yard box to pick up the ball and having no effect around the goal.

Since he moved to the left he has on balance been one of the best players in the league.

The issue isn't grealish on the left, it's that some of the other players aren't doing the business in other positions.

I could probably write a huge piece on what I think the issues are but probably pointless, and more than that I can't decide if it's a player issue or a manager issue.....or both.

Edited by MaVilla
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If we had Tammy upfront we'd have more points .. that I am sure about. The midfield is a problem no doubt about it but striker position is absolute priority. We are ridiculously blunt upfront.

Goals win you games, we have a huge problem.

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For me it's McGinn letting us down at the moment. Nakamba does his job of winning the ball, Luiz is pretty good at offering an option and moving the play along, McGinn is there to do a bit of both but he's not doing either. He's not hassling players, he's hiding away from offering options, his passing is off, he's not taking up positions on the box. He is totally out of something right now, whether it's just form, fitness or desire he has to be benched.  

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Starting to feel more and more like that first season under Lambert.

Hopefully the Christmas period will not be quite as bad.

It's like we've lost belief in what we are doing. A supposedly ball playing team who are making very few passes and have very little of the ball.

We are in serious trouble, hopefully we have a striker and a winger lined up on January 1st because we are slipping.

 

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