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Dean Smith

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6 minutes ago, Rob182 said:

The flip-side of this, is that would you rather Drinkwater got the much-needed game time against a Man City game that we were always likely to lose, or bring him on for his first game in the much more important games that we have coming up?

I wouldn’t have disagreed with bringing him on at some point but think starting him against a team like Man city was crazy. 

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5 minutes ago, MikeMcKenna said:

I wouldn’t have disagreed with bringing him on at some point but think starting him against a team like Man city was crazy. 

But giving him 30-45 minutes probably isn't enough, and it could have left him looking rusty for Bournemouth, unless the plan was to, again, only bring him on for a cameo. At least this way, he's gotten 80 minutes of Prem football, against a team where he was run ragged all game, and is probably much closer to being fully fit for our important games.

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2 hours ago, Villarocker said:

we were signing players that were young, inexperienced and coming in from inferior foreign leagues

isn't that supposed to be Smiths forte   ?

I'm not really looking at any player and thinking , wow h'e's improving each week , if anything most of them are regressing  

Something is wrong at the club  , it could be  Susso and the whole transfer policy  , it could be Terry  for all we know ..or it could be Smith himself  ..one way or another we need it resolved , preferably before we are cut adrift in the bottom 3   .. My inclination is that Smith isn't the man for a team in a scrap  ,so the board have to decide on the Burnley approach and get relegated but stick with the program   ..or cut and run now

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I did not want to respond to this thread in the emotional post match state I found myself in yesterday and decided to sleep on my thoughts. I have now done this and with much sadness I have to admit that it’s time for Dean to go but only if we have a suitable long term replacement lined up.

I watched the game yesterday and not for the first time three things occurred to me. Firstly, his selection was totally inappropriate for the match in hand. The formation was fine but I don’t understand why he picked Elmo, Drinkwater, or Conor. Elmo is no better at defending than Guilbert who in turn offers pace and the ability to stretch the play down the right. He also had a decent game at Leicester in which he scored. Why drop him?

Drinkwater coming in just sends a terrible message to the team. He surely must be forced to earn his inclusion. He is also too similar to a Luiz. Nakamba has to play whatever because he brings a bit of balance and energy to a very static midfield. The decision should have been Luiz or Drinkwater.

Finally Conor! I’m sorry but in open play he offers nothing. He is particularly ineffectual when you are chasing the ball, which was always going to be the case yesterday.Trezeguet would have at least added an attacking threat, ability to stretch the play and a bit of hussle.

My second thing is why does he consistently change the team? We don’t play that many games. We are trying to gel as a team but he changes the players every week. It is crazy. Choose your best team and then back them. We did ok at Leicester on Wednesday. This was always going to be a similar game in terms of tactics so why the changes?

Finally I just cannot see a plan. What were we trying to do yesterday? We didn’t press. We defended too deep. We didn’t go over the top and stretch their defence. What did we try to do? We kept losing the ball in our defensive third of the pitch and kept on doing it. It was plain for all to see and yet Deano did nothing about it. That means that he either didn’t see it or the players are ignoring him. Neither of these things are acceptable. 
 

I think we are at the end with him now. Too many recurring issues that don’t get sorted. If we have a suitable alternative then we should act now. Even if we still go down it would give us a better chance of promotion next season. I would not back Dean to bring us back up because he does not learn from his mistakes. I think we thank him for promotion and making football fun again but let him move on to something else.

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2 hours ago, MikeMcKenna said:

Starting Drinkwater with so little game time

It was shocking management. I warned about starting him pre game.

Edited by villalad21

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1 hour ago, tonyh29 said:

Something is wrong at the club  , it could be  Susso and the whole transfer policy  , it could be Terry  for all we know ..or it could be Smith himself  ..one way or another we need it resolved , preferably before we are cut adrift in the bottom 3   .. 

You could be right and some/all of the things you have suggested could be wrong at the club. it could however simply be that club expected at start of season to be in the relegation mix is half way through the season and finds itself struggling and in the relegation mix.

We have a squad of players most of whom have never played in the Premier League before and many of whom have not played at this level before. That squad is now also missing 3 key players. I don't think we have to look beyond those simple reasons as to why we are struggling. We are simply one of the half dozen worse sides is this division and our position in the table and many of our performances have reflected that. I am also sure that will continue to be the case.
 
I don't see any deep rooted problems at the club. We are just as likely to produce the performance we did at Burnley as we did at home to Southampton 11 days before or just as likely to play like we did at Man Utd as we did at Sheffield Utd 2 weeks later. We are really inconsistent which I think comes with having an inexperienced squad and a group of players still getting used to playing with each other.
 
If we'd been a top half side the last few seasons and then suddenly dropped liked a stone I would question what has gone on behind the scenes. Where we find ourselves now though is exactly where I thought we'd be. I just hope, as I did at the start of the season, we can find ourselves no lower than 17th come the full time whistle on May 17th and if we do that would be a very successful season.
Edited by markavfc40
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8 hours ago, The Hawk said:

It was the same formation that got us results the past few weeks, except we were up against a totally dominant Man City that had us completely pegged back all game which made it look a shambles. 
 

Smith can’t win on here, if he plays 4-3-3 I don’t think the result changes and it’s still “what a shocking formation choice, why not play 3 5 2 that’s been working so well”. 
 

We were utterly outclassed against Man City and I don’t think there’s a lot that could have been done here at a managerial level that would change that.

They were on fire and would have beat anyone on the day, Liverpool included. 

If their is one asset of their play we can learn from their victory it is is their uttter relentless attitude to score again and again. 

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We're still too far apart on the pitch, I mean sure, our midfield is a joke but when you collect the ball and do not have a simple layoff to make you're immediately under pressure.

 

We seem to be regressing under Smith, whilst Brentford seem to have worryingly improved since he left.

 

I want Smith to be a success but I wonder if the concept of Smith is better than the practice.

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20 minutes ago, bannedfromHandV said:

We're still too far apart on the pitch, I mean sure, our midfield is a joke but when you collect the ball and do not have a simple layoff to make you're immediately under pressure.

 

We seem to be regressing under Smith, whilst Brentford seem to have worryingly improved since he left.

 

I want Smith to be a success but I wonder if the concept of Smith is better than the practice.

Before yesterday the 3-4-3 seemed to have helped with regards the players being closer to each other and linking better.  It also made us better defensively, especially at set pieces where we were giving goals away with ridiculous regularity. It's why I still have faith that we can get results in the next few weeks.  We all expected a relegation battle and by definition you're going to get really tough patches. It's happened to Watford, Southampton and now Bournemouth and I'm 99% sure Newcastle will go into free fall too. We need to hold our nerve and get Dean a couple new forwards quickly to help him out. 

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5 hours ago, Delphinho123 said:

Watford will get out of it because they have enough premier league quality players in their squad and a manager firing them up. I think it will be between us, Bournemouth, Brighton, Burnley and Newcastle for the remaining 2 relegation spots. 

I think most on here are now coming to the realisation that the summer, whilst exciting, was fairly disastrous in terms of the quality of player we signed. 

We aren’t good enough for this league and what we lack in quality, we don’t make up for in fight. That’s my main concern. I think Burnley and Brighton will want it more. 

Yes, it’s worth remembering that there are more than 3 crap teams in the league. I think Watford are still quite poor FWIW, and definitely not in the clear yet. However Pearson has got them fighting together as a unit, and playing more to their squad’s strengths.

People keep saying that Burnley will fight their way out of this, but I haven’t seen much fight from them in recent weeks. A few dirty leg breakers won’t keep them up, and their squad is looking very thin and short on ideas.

Watford are displaying the kind of more controlled aggression which we should emulate. It’s more about being first to the ball than about hurting people.

I thought City outmuscled us far too often yesterday. We shouldn’t be making John Stones look like an MMA fighter - someone should be flattening him. I believe our goal came from Nakamba wiping out Foden (cleanly) which caught their defence off guard. We didn’t do that often enough.

Returning to the topic of the thread, we really need to sign a couple of outfield players who can offer a more tenacity and aggression in the press, whatever position that is in (striker / winger / mid).

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The problem yesterday was we set up wrong. 

We had a flat back 5, with nothing (apart from Elmo crosses from deep) going forwards.  We had three in the middle, all of whom are not mobile enough in CH, DW & DL, and Jack and El Ghazi up front. 

After the first 15 minutes, where we played ok, the huge gaping hole between attack and defence are where you found KDB, Rodri and Silva - absolute top class players. 

After 15 minutes when they found their ranges, it was open season on our defence.  If we had the ball, we went wide to the full/wing backs, but there was no one forward of them to pass to because we played so narrowly. 

If there was an argument for 433 again, yesterday was it. 

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Just now, lapal_fan said:

The problem yesterday was we set up wrong. 

We had a flat back 5, with nothing (apart from Elmo crosses from deep) going forwards.  We had three in the middle, all of whom are not mobile enough in CH, DW & DL, and Jack and El Ghazi up front. 

After the first 15 minutes, where we played ok, the huge gaping hole between attack and defence are where you found KDB, Rodri and Silva - absolute top class players. 

After 15 minutes when they found their ranges, it was open season on our defence.  If we had the ball, we went wide to the full/wing backs, but there was no one forward of them to pass to because we played so narrowly. 

If there was an argument for 433 again, yesterday was it. 

That's the problem with playing "wing backs" when a. you don't have fullbacks good enough to play that role, and b. you're playing a team that will put you on the back foot all day.

Your supposed 3-5-2 turns into a 5-3-2 and you end up with a 3 vs 3 midfield which Man City would obviously dominate

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1 minute ago, lapal_fan said:

The problem yesterday was we set up wrong. 

We had a flat back 5, with nothing (apart from Elmo crosses from deep) going forwards.  We had three in the middle, all of whom are not mobile enough in CH, DW & DL, and Jack and El Ghazi up front. 

After the first 15 minutes, where we played ok, the huge gaping hole between attack and defence are where you found KDB, Rodri and Silva - absolute top class players. 

After 15 minutes when they found their ranges, it was open season on our defence.  If we had the ball, we went wide to the full/wing backs, but there was no one forward of them to pass to because we played so narrowly. 

If there was an argument for 433 again, yesterday was it. 

Formation mattered diddly squat. It would've been damage control at best. The result simply reflected the obvious difference in quality. We are in the wrong league, with this squad.

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48 minutes ago, bannedfromHandV said:

We're still too far apart on the pitch, I mean sure, our midfield is a joke but when you collect the ball and do not have a simple layoff to make you're immediately under pressure.

We seem to be regressing under Smith, whilst Brentford seem to have worryingly improved since he left.

I want Smith to be a success but I wonder if the concept of Smith is better than the practice.

Our midfield is partly the problem - mainly in terms of getting up the pitch IMO.  However, we do seem to make a lot of individual mistakes as well, seemingly all over the pitch.  This kind of thing will get ironed out (i.e: Luiz, Mings etc. - seem to have a mistake most games), but the positional play needs to be addressed.

We don't play with a "proper" DM and, having thought about it, signing Drinkwater could be a great move.  I don't think he's a wonderful player, but he's experienced and can sit in between the defence and more attacking midfield, dictating play.  Not hard tackling, but should be positionally astute enough to allow Luiz (or whoever) and Grealish to get forward more.  When two midfielders (at least!) did that in the first half against Burnley, we looked so much better.  That's what we need to work on.

I actually think we should stick with 3 centre backs and 2 wing backs but play our "wide forwards" more narrow.  Would look to sign a left wing back too.  Play those 3, Guilbert and Targett/Taylor/New Player, then Drinkwater middle with Luiz just ahead.  Grealish left-of-attack and El Ghazi right-of-attack with a striker ahead of them.  Grealish and El Ghazi would need to get the ball and run with it/create.  We should utilise overlapping wing backs with the left centre back and right centre back to cover the full-back position if we got countered, depending on which side.  Obviously Grealish would be fine with this - El Ghazi is a potentially problem.  Maybe play Grealish right and McGinn(!) left when fit?  I don't know.  I'm waffling here really :D

From an encouraging start in the Premier League, we've dropped off a bit but I'm not convinced we're a million miles away.  The Southampton and Watford games were awful, but the formation change, for me, has seen an improvement.  We concede too many goals and need to sort that out.

On Brentford, I'm not sure they're that much better now.  The main thing that has improved is their defence - and that's probably down to signing Pontus Jansson, which is a masterstroke at that level.  Otherwise, the same philosophy and making very astute signings is working for them.  It's a continuation rather than a better manager IMO.

 

10 minutes ago, KentVillan said:

Yes, it’s worth remembering that there are more than 3 crap teams in the league. I think Watford are still quite poor FWIW, and definitely not in the clear yet. However Pearson has got them fighting together as a unit, and playing more to their squad’s strengths.

People keep saying that Burnley will fight their way out of this, but I haven’t seen much fight from them in recent weeks. A few dirty leg breakers won’t keep them up, and their squad is looking very thin and short on ideas.

Watford were massively underachieving and have very, very good Premier League players in their side.  Doucoure is brilliant and I wouldn't be surprised to see him move to a bigger club.  Now that Sarr has settled, he and Deulofeu bring genuine pace and trickery to their front line.  Everyone else is really solid Premier League quality.  Deeney, Pereyra, Hughes, Kabasele etc - just a solid team.  Should really be mid table.

We've got to hope that Newcastle and Burnley get dragged into it - they look the most likely.  Bournemouth are a weird one as they're struggling, but do have the firepower to get out of it on paper.  It's going to be between those 3, Norwich and us I think.

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Having both Hourihane and a rusty as can be Drinkwater in midfield in a game against City where we knew we would be chasing shadows for 90 minutes was a odd and as predictable poor choice.

I get that Drinky needs time on the pitch but it was almost cruel. 

City has too much class for us either way but this certainly wasn't helping us.

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2 minutes ago, vreitti said:

Formation mattered diddly squat. It would've been damage control at best. The result simply reflected the obvious difference in quality. We are in the wrong league, with this squad.

Formation never matters diddly squat.

Yeah we'd have probably lost regardless yesterday. But we'd at least give ourselves a chance if we set up properly.

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3 minutes ago, vreitti said:

Formation mattered diddly squat. It would've been damage control at best. The result simply reflected the obvious difference in quality. We are in the wrong league, with this squad.

I mean, I'd agree with you that we would have probably lost no matter what formation we played, but the 352/532 formation yesterday just meant we had no midfield, no out ball from our wing backs and Man City could overload us in midfield against 3, not-very-quick midfield players.  

It certainly didn't help us, and that is on Dean Smith. 

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It also horribly isolated our best player, the only player we have who can live with a team like Man City

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