Not like every Championship player says they do, but really wants to. Reminded of the recent Marcus Stewart interview on here; he said that team was a blend of professionals who all just happened to be at a stage in their careers that they felt they could challenge themselves in the Premier League. We've gotten used to talk of ambition, and it's had to become meaningful again, but this team looks serious.
People like Murphy, Berra, Skuse are getting on, knowing this is probably going to be their best shot. McGoldrick probably sees us as the club that resurrected his career (with help from Coventry) and put him back on the map, and saw him valued at £7-8million. Not bad for someone playing in League 1 a couple of years ago. Mings is just Mings, we're just lucky to have him. He's going places, whether we're coming or not, but I suspect we are. Add into that a few like Smith, Hyam and Bishop who have been here for yonks, it all adds up to something serious.
first one, controversial though it may be, seems to be Berra's fault. His man shoves him off, gets a yard, and Berra does not compete for the header.
Second one, Gerken comes and the ball goes over his head, which is definitely an error on his part and he should take the majority of the blame. Having said that, Antonio still gets a run on his marker, and it beats a lot of Town heads before it reaches him.
Gerken has improved a lot this season in other areas of his game, and his command of his area, especially for set pieces has always been a concern. The second goal shows he still has that to correct. But I don't really think you can find another example of that this season (where it lead to a goal). People have tried to argue the Sheffield Wednesday goal was his fault but I really don't see how.
Point being, are we being a bit too quick to jump on Gerken's back about his coming for crosses, given he has improved generally as a GK from last season, and there's really, I think, only one incident so far this season where it's lead to us conceding? Feels like it's being overplayed to me, like it's going to cost us our chance of success. What might do that though is our inability to last a full 90 minutes at a high level; we seem to be able to produce 60-70 minutes of high intensity, front foot attacking play, before tiring, or retreating, taking off ball-retaining players for so-called defensive options meaning more often than not, conceding huge amounts of possession, losing territory and dropping deep, and being bombarded with crosses and set plays. Which we seem to have forgotten how to defend, but realistically, the amount we force ourselves to face, it's always likely that we're going to concede from them. If we kept ball-retaining players on, we could play in the opponent's half more often late on in the game, and avoiding a lot of those problems. It happens whenever Skuse, Williams or McGoldrick come off.
- Skuse/Hyam partnership weak: improvement of both, emergence of Bishop. Bru better than thought. Collison and Ambrose waiting if necessary (which also answers lack of midfield options, I suppose). - Missing Cresswell: Mings. - Lack of balance: Change of formation/personnel. - McGoldrick fitness/performance issues: seems to be getting back to his best. - Lack of investment: clearly we were waiting for Williams or someone like him to be available, and we only just made it under the FFP target anyway.
"Nigel Adkins seems like a nice man, doesn’t he? The sort of chap who would definitely lend you his drill if he lived next door to you. And he wouldn’t even mind if you broke the bit. “Just replace it when you can,” he’d say, before inviting you round for drinks and nibbles with Angie next Friday. "
"Nigel Pearson wouldn’t lend you his drill. He keeps his drill selection in a locked cabinet in his garage, neatly arranged, cataloged and accounted for. You wouldn’t ask, either. He’d just glare at you and go back to buffing his Volvo."