Stuffed by Brighton and looking decidedly shaky right now at Reading. Didn't think Pearson would tolerate all this relaxing stuff after gaining promotion. They are certainly not "at it" from what I've seen tonight. Pretty disappointing, they could have done us some serious favours! Having said that, just nearly scored!
They have only scored 24 goals in 33 games yet look likely to get a second season. Quite a remarkable stat that. Well done to Damien Delaney too as the Palace defence has only conceded 39 in total. Got to admit I thought he was a decent Championship player (with the right partner) at best but he has been solid and the Palace fans love him. If we did go up this season, that kind of solidity at the back would be a absolute necessity for us too.
Just got in from a ridiculously long day at work so first chance to post. Chambers was superb last night. He never put a foot wrong defensively against two talented widemen - first Hamill and later Scanell, dominated in the air and presented an attacking outlook on a number of occasions - almost scoring himself in the first half. Many on here harp on constantly about needing a "proper" right back and at times we have seemed to lack a little there this season. However, last night he deserved massive credit. Along with Williams (and Murphy) Chambo was my MoM. The fist pump at the end is becoming ceremonial. I love it! It clearly means a lot to him to be skipper and his rapport with the fans is immense.
Live in Huddersfield so a "home" game for me. Pretty much the complete away performance from Town. Dominated the first half, great goal from Anderson, well taken strike from Murph and countless other chances to boot. 4-0 would not of flattered Town at the interval. Good football, possession retained, threats from the flanks and solid, effective defending whilst keeping our shape.
Not quite as dominant in the second period but defensively solid. Huddersfield's first strike on goal in 80th minute forced Gerken into a stop with his feet. Saw out the game very comfortably.
Gerken - virtually untroubled Chambers - outstanding. Faultless defensively and an attacking threat throughout as well Cresswell - looked class. Taken off on the hour, hopefuly as a precaution Berra & Smith - dominant. Looking a good pair Anderson - great goal, much more positive and a good shift Hyam - terrier-like against the Terrriers. Doing the dirty work all the time Skuse - controlled the midfield all game Hunt - best I've seen him play. Warmly applauded when substituted Murphy - another goal and solid performance. Williams - gives the class we have missed. JInks, bobs and weaves. Crucially, he rarely loses possession. A season long loan - I'd love it. More chants of "sign him up" and "Jonathan Williams" to the tune of Karma Chameleon from the fans Mings - looked solid. One for the future for sure Wordsworth - retained possession when needed Richardson - did the job he was asked to do
Palace have a decent chance of survival but if things don't work out over the next few games he would be crucified by his own fans for having a talented, game changing and popular player delivering the goods elsewhere whilst his own team battle the drop. Maybe we could keep the boy with a 24 hour recall. Right now I'd settle for that even if it's not ideal.
Hard to believe when you see the way he attacked that ball last night. 5 for us in 35 games! Keep up that and he'd have 20 by the time he reaches 140 appearances for us!By my reckoning, the defenders have scored 14 goals between them this season. If the midfielders could chip in with even just the same amount, we'd probably be safely in the top six by now.
plus a few caretakers. We have had 7 (and a few caretakers) in the same period. Much prefer stability myself to the merry-go-round. Hope we can stick with Mick for 4-5 years at least. Get some continuity, a decent and productive youth policy again and make the club a genuine prospect not just for promotion but also for a decent chance at survival too.
the feckin Jewell era!!!!!!! FFS we were embarrassing, couldn't defend to save our lives, reliant on loans and OAP's looking for a last pay day and heading for oblivion by the end of his tenure. The odd decent performance aside and a couple of runs that got us out of trouble in his first year (good job PJ) and in top six in the Autumn of 2012, he was an unmitigated disaster. Mick has more than steadied the ship. Be realistic and judge Mick this time next year.
Only get to away games in general so didn't see the game myself. From the TV, Gerken didn't seem at fault for the goals, the second one was more a poor defensive line and a decent delivery - he couldn't come for that. However, if his performance was genuinely little more than 4/10, surely it is time to question his spot? He was at fault at Middlesboro and whilst (like all keepers) he has made some fine saves, his all round keeping (catching and kicking especially) don't inspire me. Loach is prone to mistakes, I'd agree, but by all accounts he was star man against Blackpool. Green - well I wouldn't sign him long term myself. He was dire at Boro too!
Mick said he was "always going to play if he was fit". I think both Hyam and Skuse are fixtures in Mick's team. Over the summer, he'll need to find the correct player to compliment their attributes especially if he intends to play 433 and maybe even two if he looks to play 442. Failing that, he needs much more from Anderson in particular. Green is, for me, a squad player at best, Tabb a disappointment and Hunt seems hit and miss at times. McGoldrick might be an interesting option playing behind SEB and Murphy too.
was, ironically, Leadbitter! He was able to keep the ball, recycle it and change the direction of play and keep Middlesboro moving. No killer pass but he was better than those in a blue shirt by a country mile. I know he is hate figure for many on here and he was booed by Town fans yesterday but, unfortunately, the truth is sometimes difficult to take.
"We knew they liked to pump it long". These were the words of Boro striker Danny Graham after his two goals had sent Town home with the "nowt" that this performance merited. His words were, unfortunately, spot on the money. Town's only tactic today was to lump it in the general direction of the strikers as the hard working Boro front players never allowed the Town backline to settle. The pumped balls were, as a result, even more hopeful than usual and often failed to find a Town shirt. Time and again, Town players gave the ball away cheaply. This was the worst performance I have witnessed all season.
The Riverside holds just short of 35,000. Today, south of 14,000 witnessed the game. Without the drummer and the 1000 or so Boro fans singing in the stand where Town fans have been for the last few seasons, this really would have been "football in a library".
Mick's 433 looked attacking on paper but in reality, the midfield was outfought and outplayed simply couldn't hang on to the ball. Green doesn't have the engine for that formation as he afforded Chambers no protection at all. Time and again the skipper was left alone to be confronted by a rampaging Carayol and Friend with Green 10-15 yards behind the play. So much was this the case that Nouble found himself on several occasions tracking back in the right back position to help his captain out. Credit to Frank but let's be honest, he was playing up front and should not really be required to this kind of work on a frequent basis.
Boro started on the front foot but it was Taylor who created the first bit of excitement, wriggling free and firing in a low cross which perhaps should have been turned goalwards that came to nought. Boro pressed and most of their best work came down the left from the aforementioned Carayol and Friend. They used the width of the pitch well but did not make the most of the openings that this brought them. Efforts off target and a great saving tackle from Berra saw the game remain goalless. Gerken did well to push a further effort around the post. For Town, Murphy appeared to make no contact with a headed opportunity but it was Taylor who really ought to have opened the scoring midway through the half. Murphy's scuffed shot ricocheted kindly into Taylor's path. Clean in on goal, he elected to shoot first time with the outside of his right foot from 16 yards. The ball flew over the bar. He really should have hit the target and scored and he knew it too.
Shortly after, Carayol again cut inside Chambers and fired a shot from 25 yards at the Town goal. Gerken spilled the shot straight out, Graham pounced from 5 yards and Boro had ended their seven game goalless streak. Gerken has his defenders and detractors on here but for me, this was an error. A top keeper would have held it or at worst parried it to the angle and away from goal. To push it straight out is an error in my book.
Thereafter, Boro were better. Most of their play coming down the left saw a succession of corner as the game entered first half stoppage time. Ah, the irony of it all - a Leadbitter corner saw Graham get between Green and Berra and glance his second of the game into the Town goal for a 2-0 scoreline.
To Mick's credit, he recognised that 433 wasn't working and moved to 442 after the break. He has rightly pointed out that it could have been any of the front three but it was Nouble who was sacrificed. Green was pushed to right midfield but he is a square peg in a round hole in that position for me. Tabb move wide left and Hyam with Skuse in the middle. Nothing changed. Without being especially threatening, the home side were better. Town's first strike on goal came from Murphy on 66 minutes. It drew ironic cheers from the Town fans. It was so weak, my old man could have bent down and picked it up. Worryingly, Berra went down after a heavy challenge with Friend. After hobbling for a while, he seemed OK. Taylor was replaced by Ebanks-Blake for the final 20. He had worked hard and showed flashes but never really got free. He is not suited to high ball pumped in his direction after all! My guess is it will be back to the bench for him on Tuesday although I would like to see him given a run of four or five starts - that would be a fair crack of the whip for me. Creswell dragged a long range free kick wide, Green spooned a effort similarly off target and Williams came on for the ineffective Tabb. In the last five minutes, Town seemed to try to up the tempo. Cries from the travelling faithful of "Shoot, shoot" showed our desperation but saw several players fail to take responsibility and oblige when the opportunity seemed to be there. Smith headed awkwardly wide from a corner and just before the whistle, Berra force a sort of save with a header, clattering into the stanchion behind the goal as a consequence.
As I said earlier, this was a s bad as I have seen us this season. Mick's honesty in that we were "second best and deserved 'nowt" will be of scant consolation to the 500 or so Town fans who made the trip. Three points at Yeovil are now essential.
Comments on the players: Gerken - there will be those who don't agree but that was a poor error. Neither he nor Loach are good enough if we are to be genuine challengers. Chambers - exposed over and over. Eventually booked. I love Chambo but this was poor as I have seen him. His distribution was simply terrible. Smith - Distinctly average today. Never comfortable and never allowed to settle Berra - He was OK but I think he let Graham get infront of him for the second Creswell - not on the top of his game. OK defensively but it's not happened going forward since Tunners left. Green - either play him in the centre in a 442 or just don't bother - he doesn't have the engine for 433. Skuse - pretty anonymous to be honest Tabb - no denying the industry but to what end? Taylor - flashes of skill and working the space for himself but then failed to capitalise. Really should of scored. Murphy - oh dear Daryl. Nothing worked for him. He was dominated aerially, gave the ball away countless times and looked very lumbering and lethargic Nouble - not great but he worked hard, especially trying to help Chambo out. One such occasion was classic Frank. Worked his nuts off, tracked back, won the ball, moved clear with a lovely little shimmy and then looked for a pass to a teammate. He put the ball straight into touch whilst under no pressure. Hyam - booked six minutes after coming on. Tightened things up but that's all. Ebanks-Blake - never had a sniff of goal. Tried to link up play but the gap between the front line and the midfield makes this a thankless task. At 2-0 down at half time, Mick should have brought him on earlier. Williams - energy but in this game he had little chance of impact
Truly terrible today - let's hope a kick up the backside brings three points on Tuesday!