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The Race for Europe 20/21


GingerCollins29
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11 minutes ago, VillaChris said:

Realistically our season is over with that goal conceded.

Win would've papered over cracks of last few weeks but it would've got us above Liverpool and in touch still with likes of Spurs and Everton.

Now we need 3-4 match winning run to have serious chance and that ain't happenin with how we're playing.

We'll finish 9th or 10th now. Anything else pretty disappointing for me. Will always be the nagging feeling there was a little more in the season for us but we simply haven't been good enough since mid Feb.

Still got some way to be serious contender for top 6 and last few weeks brutally shown it.

It's been such a flat, disappointing run since covid really. I think it'll always be a 'what if covid hadn't happened' for me, which sucks.

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11th/12th feels more realistic than even top half for me now.

Cant see where a win is coming from 

Would have took it at start of season, but disappointing nonetheless 

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14 minutes ago, HanoiVillan said:

It's been such a flat, disappointing run since covid really. I think it'll always be a 'what if covid hadn't happened' for me, which sucks.

I actually think the break came at a good time. Ollie for one was completey gassed second half v Man. United and he probably wasn't the only one given it was a gruelling period and we played lots of decent teams in quick succession with little rotation so if we'd played Spurs and Everton when we were due to we could well have struggled in both and lost ground anyway so that probably balances out losing 5-10% from covid potentially.

I still think picking up another striker would've been a smart move. More so in games without Jack as the ball really struggles to stick getting up the pitch.

Last few weeks DS has been rotating a lot more than usual so don't think that can be levelled at him as much as earlier in the season, we've had what 5-6 different midfield combinations in same number of games?

One lesson he might learn in future is to rotate a bit more for first 2-3 months of the season. A good start is always welcome but loads of teams can pick up from midtable positions even after 15 games (Manchester clubs) and one thing as a club we need to learn is to try and have key players fresh from Feb onwards. We always seem to be the opposite so a key player or two on the bench or rotated a bit more start of next season wouldn't be worst idea in the world.

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To have any hope in European football this Summer needs massive investment.

We need probably to at least improve the first team by three quality acquisitions.

Possibly a forward of the Rodrigo De Paul type of quality to add some quality going forward.

A new CM who is an improvement on Mcginn, one who is stronger, quicker, doesn't repeatedly lose possession and is actually an athlete.

After that Edouard possibly to rotate with Watkins, Wesley.

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3 minutes ago, VillaChris said:

I actually think the break came at a good time. Ollie for one was completey gassed second half v Man. United and he probably wasn't the only one given it was a gruelling period and we played lots of decent teams in quick succession with little rotation so if we'd played Spurs and Everton when we were due to we could well have struggled in both and lost ground anyway so that probably balances out losing 5-10% from covid potentially.

I still think picking up another striker would've been a smart move. More so in games without Jack as the ball really struggles to stick getting up the pitch.

Last few weeks DS has been rotating a lot more than usual so don't think that can be levelled at him as much as earlier in the season, we've had what 5-6 different midfield combinations in same number of games?

One lesson he might learn in future is to rotate a bit more for first 2-3 months of the season. A good start is always welcome but loads of teams can pick up from midtable positions even after 15 games (Manchester clubs) and one thing as a club we need to learn is to try and have key players fresh from Feb onwards. We always seem to be the opposite so a key player or two on the bench or rotated a bit more start of next season wouldn't be worst idea in the world.

Completely agree with the bolded. I don't think I would describe covid as a break though, although I guess we'll never know exactly how much it affected how many players.

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5 minutes ago, Zhan_Zhuang said:

To have any hope in European football this Summer needs massive investment.

We need probably to at least improve the first team by three quality acquisitions.

Possibly a forward of the Rodrigo De Paul type of quality to add some quality going forward.

A new CM who is an improvement on Mcginn, one who is stronger, quicker, doesn't repeatedly lose possession and is actually an athlete.

After that Edouard possibly to rotate with Watkins, Wesley.

We absolutely need another striker. Sort of game like tonight where Ollie was really struggling to hold it up all game tailor made for one who could provide that.

IMO delusion to think we can seriously challenge for europe while our backup striker remains Kienan Davis and we obviously have to wait and see what sort of shape Wes is in when he returns and we need to be patient with him.

Read the other day apparently the Samatta deal becomes permanent on July 1st and we get 5.4m for him so that's a nice surprise and that fee can go towards wages of a decent striker for next season.

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Just now, VillaChris said:

We absolutely need another striker. Sort of game like tonight where Ollie was really struggling to hold it up all game tailor made for one who could provide that.

IMO delusion to think we can seriously challenge for europe while our backup striker remains Kienan Davis and we obviously have to wait and see what sort of shape Wes is in when he returns and we need to be patient with him.

Read the other day apparently the Samatta deal becomes permanent on July 1st and we get 5.4m for him so that's a nice surprise and that fee can go towards wages of a decent striker for next season.

Effectively as we don't play Davis we have gone into the season with ONE Striker, it's mental.

Some will hate it but I'm going to say it: Benteke on a five to six month contract in January would have given us a PL quality striker to take some pressure off Watkins. He was allegedly angling for a move and I'm sure he'd have bagged a couple of important goals for us.

We needed that experience to help us home so to speak. You could see the lift Newcastle got when Carroll came on for them, I'm adamant Benteke could have been that player for us. Ten to fifteen minutes appearances for Benteke here and there would also have kept Watkins fresher.

 

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21 minutes ago, Zhan_Zhuang said:

Effectively as we don't play Davis we have gone into the season with ONE Striker, it's mental.

Some will hate it but I'm going to say it: Benteke on a five to six month contract in January would have given us a PL quality striker to take some pressure off Watkins. He was allegedly angling for a move and I'm sure he'd have bagged a couple of important goals for us.

We needed that experience to help us home so to speak. You could see the lift Newcastle got when Carroll came on for them, I'm adamant Benteke could have been that player for us. Ten to fifteen minutes appearances for Benteke here and there would also have kept Watkins fresher.

 

I have to say i agree, the number of crosses we put in he'd have a field day (Unless they are the type we have largely conjured up over the last 8 games or so). 

Either him or Tammy for me. 

 

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I think it was against Sheff Utd where we kept putting in cross after cross and their defenders just loved it.

It was a woeful tactic, absolutely clueless. But yeah Benteke might have worked in that scenario better.

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I think we can safely say Europe is a pipe dream now after dropping those 2 points. We have some really tough fixtures and now Traore looks like he'll be out for a while as that looked like a cracked rib to me.

It just seems like it's not quite happening regards Europe, what with Grealish & Cash out, now Traore.

Personally i am fine with it however as i feel Europa League seriously jeopordises the season due to the number of games. Fine when you have been up a few years and can financially compete properly without being hamstrung by FFP etc but for me it's too much of a hindrance until maybe the end of next season.

I would now rather see us pick up another 3 or 4 points to be absoltutely way clear of any last minute relegation battles, then blood the youngsters. The likes of Louie Barry, Chukwuemeka, Philogene-Bidace  etc.

 

 

 

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Thread should be renamed to fit the target of finishing in the top half. We've haven't shown European qualifying form since the beginning of the season, it's thanks to that form that we're in the top half now, but since then our form has been that of a midtable side, and over more recent games a lower midtable side, or to be more precise according to the form tables we're, 13th over the last six games, 15th over the last eight, 13th over the last ten, and 10th over the last twelve games.

We'll need to improve to finish top half, if we manage that it will be a good achievement and something to build on. Grealish will make a massive difference, he's that good that I feel we can get a good result against anyone with him in the side, need him back asap.

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Close the thread.

Remarkably, we still go ahead of Liverpool if we win our game in hand, but is unlikely to happen on current form.

if anything it has shown what’s needed to kick on. I just hope our eventual drop in form and results doesn’t harm our ability to recruit the calibre of player needed to improve us.

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We were only going to get into Europe with some serious luck over injuries. You could argue that our first team is good enough for sixth or seventh but does anyone really believe our squad is good enough? The drop in quality when the first team is out is huge in certain positions.

 

 

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48 minutes ago, maxjackle said:

We were only going to get into Europe with some serious luck over injuries. You could argue that our first team is good enough for sixth or seventh but does anyone really believe our squad is good enough? The drop in quality when the first team is out is huge in certain positions.

 

 

Yep. 

None of the other teams challenging for the top 6/7 would have to play games with the likes of Elmo. Or have games with attacking options being el ghazi and trez. Or Davis and Neil Taylor on the bench? 

We need some patience to allow the plan to come together. We will build the squad. 

The most important thing is to stay in the league so we can do just that. 

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If Everton lose to Barnsley today, then we'd maintain a slight glimmer of hope of finishing above them, still have to play and have a game in hand. A lot will depend on the difference that Grealish makes to the team on his return, on paper we're probably favorites in just two of our remaining games, but with Grealish on form and the positive affect that that would have on the rest of the players we're capable of beating anyone, need another win to get us going again, and for a few of the other results to go our way.

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3 minutes ago, useless said:

If Everton lose to Barnsley today, then we'd maintain a slight glimmer of hope of finishing above them, still have to play and have a game in hand. A lot will depend on the difference that Grealish makes to the team on his return, on paper we're probably favorites in just two of our remaining games, but with Grealish on form and the positive affect that that would have on the rest of the players we're capable of beating anyone, need another win to get us going again, and for a few of the other results to go our way.

Not a chance in us finishing above Everton.

Better squad. Better manager.

We have entered the beach. Desperately need another strong transfer window in the summer.

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It's unlikely but we have to keep trying, one bad result for them and one good result for us and we're suddenly just three points behind with a game in hand and with still having to play them. Of course if they beat Barnsley today then it will be looking even more unlikely.

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Dosen't say much for how we've managed the season if we finish below Crystal Palace ffs, they're only 4 points off us now. Their run in is as least as tough as ours at least.

I get what was said in September but finishing bottom half would be incredibly disappointing now, feels like too many would just accept it too easily. It's not exactly going to convince Jack his future lies here for next 3-4 years is it?

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