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Run in towards absurdity 20:29 - Nov 17 with 4292 viewsMullet

With the international break giving us a much-needed rest, I thought I’d look at the upcoming fixtures for us and the rest of the top 4. It’s pretty clear that our season has exceeded all expectations so far. Joint top as it stands, goals aplenty at Portman Rd and a sense that we aren’t even the team hoped to be when the summer gave us a chance to catch out breath this summer.

With the parachute teams sitting comfortably at the top of the table, to see us elbowing our way into their midst has almost been the stuff of Football Manager. Instead, we’ve had the emergence of previously second choice keeper Hladky pulling off the kind of saves every week which has kept all but one side in the division, at arm’s length.

Leicester: 1st place (current form 7th)



Looking almost as invincible as a bemulleted Ian Marshall in the earliest months of the season. The relatively recent Premier League Champions have taken to the second tier with all the intent and advantage you’d expect of a side harnessing the vast resources found at the King Power.

It might be wholly inaccurate and uncharitable to call their manager and approach Pep-lite, but it’s clearly working. That said, they recently find themselves way off top spot form. What might give their fans hope is that their 2023 run-in sees them facing teams with equivalently stuttering form and fortunes. Ipswich probably standout as their toughest fixture at the minute, with it being one of their 5 away games. They’ll be relieved to see that their game with Plymouth is at home so their journey times are relatively short too.

If Leicester can’t revive their form in this tranche of games, then they never will. Any idea they might drop out of the top two would hinge on an almighty collapse it seems. I’d be amazed if they don’t give themselves a little bit of headroom at the top of the table as 2024 dawns.

Leeds: 3rd (current form 1st)



You’d be forgiven for thinking Leeds topped any kind of table in existence if you took all of your football insight solely from inference via social media. Their fans can rightly be proud at how good they have been heading into the break, but it still sees them with several points to catch us and Leicester from 3rd. To do so they’d have to be utterly dominant for several games before they host us right before Christmas.

Judging by the cost of tickets we’re likely pay up there, you’d expect Leeds to buy big in January regardless of where they finish the calendar year. The rapidly righting of the now buoyant Boro under Carrick, and the prospect of “new manager bounce” (and local derby of sorts) against Rotherham, look to be two of the more interesting early hurdles as they look to play catch up.

Given that most of the teams they are due to play are currently in better form than their league positions suggest. For the Whites to continue on their rise they’ll be hoping that more of their opponents than not, have finished with their upturns in fortune.

Southampton 4th (current form 3rd)



Southampton look more like the side the football world expected when they came down, rather than the disorganised embarrassment of riches we beat at St Mary’s earlier in the season. Excellent form has seen the legendary Russy Martin keep his job and his critics at bay.

Coming out of the respite with a trip to Huddersfield, as Town fans will know, it’s not a place to produce great football in bad conditions. Following that they have their first of five home games against Liam Manning’s new club Bristol. The former Town man will be looking to transform the form of a side no longer producing the quality of football expected in the West country.

Watford and Blackburn look to be sterner tests for the Saints given their recent form looks the most impressive out the opponents they’re due to face. Given they are just a point away from Leeds and 2 above PNE, Saints fans surely expect their side to at the very least create a pronounced gap within playoff places for Christmas.


Ipswich 2nd (current form 2nd)



It’s really hard to be objective about us right now. We seem certain to finish in the playoffs as things stand and that in itself is phenomenal going. We’ve been the unknown quantity all season and just as the rest of the league seem to be taking note, it’s fitting that our run in seems the same.

A real cross-section of the league and one home game more than the away ones makes it really hard to read the future. That isn’t something that seemingly phases our tactical savant. With the big test against his old friend Carrick, an in-form and confident Leeds as well as Leicester you could argue that the prospect of a first derby comes as light relief for McKenna.

I’d fully expect the gap between us and Leeds to close a little as the transfer window opens. However, the idea that they might leapfrog us would need to see us buried in festive misery. Whilst our fortunes and expectations might need time to catch each other up, it will be fascinating to see which places Ashton is shopping in.

Whatever happens it looks like an exciting slugfest at the top of the table is impossible to avoid. You can guarantee that at least one set of fans will be waking up next year shakier and feeling sick at the thought of another game so soon. Football. Bloody hell.
[Post edited 17 Nov 2023 20:40]

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Run in towards absurdity on 20:38 - Nov 17 with 4200 viewshomer_123

We playing the same matches at the same time as Soton Mullers?

Ade Akinbiyi couldn't hit a cows arse with a banjo...
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Run in towards absurdity on 20:39 - Nov 17 with 4186 viewsMullet

Run in towards absurdity on 20:38 - Nov 17 by homer_123

We playing the same matches at the same time as Soton Mullers?


I knew I'd past ethe wrong link in somewhere! Let me fix it

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Run in towards absurdity on 20:54 - Nov 17 with 4117 viewsNthsuffolkblue

Southampton clearly have the easiest run there ... mainly because they don't have to play us!

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Run in towards absurdity on 21:00 - Nov 17 with 4082 viewsSwansea_Blue

In other words, keep calm and

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Run in towards absurdity on 07:41 - Nov 18 with 3736 viewsMullet

Run in towards absurdity on 20:54 - Nov 17 by Nthsuffolkblue

Southampton clearly have the easiest run there ... mainly because they don't have to play us!


That does seem to be the standout factor doesn't it? I wonder how they view it?

There's an element of thinking we could really establish our automatic promotion credentials here, because we can take points off Leicester and Leeds. Both of them will expect to beat us I think, but draws probably suit us more than them.

What's really noticeable is you'd expect some of the teams in those tables to change form over 6-9 games markedly. Plus there will be someone in the top 10 who will go on a tear you'd assume.

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Run in towards absurdity on 08:52 - Nov 18 with 3573 viewsWestcountryblue

'If' we can maintain the current gap between ourselves and 3rd until January, i'm super confident. Reasons being...

1. Leicester will be signficantly impacted by the African Cup of Nations and the Asia Cup.

2. Leicester and Leeds will/currently do have players who have expressed a desire to move to other European clubs. There is absolutely no way they will be playing at full tilt come December in the hope that they might get a move in January. Gnonto being a case and point.

3. Leicester and Leeds will make sales and purchases in January. There will be disruption to their starting 11. We on the otherhand are highly unlikely to sell any assets and will only add further depth and quality.

4. A fit and match fit Tuanzebe is arguably the best CB in this division on paper. Alongside the return of Williams, these 2 on a regular basis will shore up our leaky defense.

5. Zero pressure from the PR terraces. When things go slightly wrong at Leeds/Leicester things will go toxic very quickly given the weight of expectations placed on both teams from their fans. Leed's fans can be particularly toxic if things aren't going their way.

6. We will add to a squad that has been playing together for 10-15 month. Each player knows their role inside out and exactly what McKenna expects in his system. Another 3-4 signings (striker, Davis competition, another versitle 10 and cover in wide areas) will give this side another gear.
[Post edited 18 Nov 2023 8:58]
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Run in towards absurdity on 09:05 - Nov 18 with 3525 viewsDubtractor

My result predictions for us is:

L
W
W
D
D
W
L
D
W
W

18 points

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Great post ber on 09:10 - Nov 18 with 3517 viewsDyland

Thanks for taking the time. Our run to the new year looks quite hellish, if we were languishing down the table. As it stands, we can look forward to some exciting football, win lose or draw.

COYFB

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Run in towards absurdity on 09:19 - Nov 18 with 3480 viewshoppy

Interesting read… I might be asking the obvious here, but what’s the colour coding?

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Run in towards absurdity on 09:20 - Nov 18 with 3472 viewsMullet

Run in towards absurdity on 09:19 - Nov 18 by hoppy

Interesting read… I might be asking the obvious here, but what’s the colour coding?


Basic traffic lights for form/league position.

Red teams stink lately, green teams are doing well, amber fairly middling.

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Run in towards absurdity on 09:22 - Nov 18 with 3448 viewshoppy

Run in towards absurdity on 09:20 - Nov 18 by Mullet

Basic traffic lights for form/league position.

Red teams stink lately, green teams are doing well, amber fairly middling.


Ok, cheers!

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Run in towards absurdity on 09:23 - Nov 18 with 3446 viewsMullet

Run in towards absurdity on 08:52 - Nov 18 by Westcountryblue

'If' we can maintain the current gap between ourselves and 3rd until January, i'm super confident. Reasons being...

1. Leicester will be signficantly impacted by the African Cup of Nations and the Asia Cup.

2. Leicester and Leeds will/currently do have players who have expressed a desire to move to other European clubs. There is absolutely no way they will be playing at full tilt come December in the hope that they might get a move in January. Gnonto being a case and point.

3. Leicester and Leeds will make sales and purchases in January. There will be disruption to their starting 11. We on the otherhand are highly unlikely to sell any assets and will only add further depth and quality.

4. A fit and match fit Tuanzebe is arguably the best CB in this division on paper. Alongside the return of Williams, these 2 on a regular basis will shore up our leaky defense.

5. Zero pressure from the PR terraces. When things go slightly wrong at Leeds/Leicester things will go toxic very quickly given the weight of expectations placed on both teams from their fans. Leed's fans can be particularly toxic if things aren't going their way.

6. We will add to a squad that has been playing together for 10-15 month. Each player knows their role inside out and exactly what McKenna expects in his system. Another 3-4 signings (striker, Davis competition, another versitle 10 and cover in wide areas) will give this side another gear.
[Post edited 18 Nov 2023 8:58]


That's definitely a set of best cases/stars aligning!

You could argue we massively "disrupted" our Div 3 squad in January it sent us up. I also, think player trading for parachute teams is a very different beast to us. Any side can fall apart and not get the balance right but it's less precarious for them unless they do something monumentally stupid.

I'd not be surprised if someone is sold for big money this January, but likewise I'm excited to see what we spend and where.

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Run in towards absurdity on 09:28 - Nov 18 with 3402 viewsMullet

Run in towards absurdity on 09:05 - Nov 18 by Dubtractor

My result predictions for us is:

L
W
W
D
D
W
L
D
W
W

18 points


I was going to do a ppg column but it's probably not much more illuminating. But I reckon that 2ppg in any phase of the season is a decent return. If that was then to be our poorest return we'd be doing really well!

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Run in towards absurdity on 09:38 - Nov 18 with 3333 viewsNthsuffolkblue

Run in towards absurdity on 07:41 - Nov 18 by Mullet

That does seem to be the standout factor doesn't it? I wonder how they view it?

There's an element of thinking we could really establish our automatic promotion credentials here, because we can take points off Leicester and Leeds. Both of them will expect to beat us I think, but draws probably suit us more than them.

What's really noticeable is you'd expect some of the teams in those tables to change form over 6-9 games markedly. Plus there will be someone in the top 10 who will go on a tear you'd assume.


Ultimately it is about us winning our games. And that is about us taking one game at a time. We need to worry about beating Rotherham as much as Norwich as much as Leeds, Leicester and Southampton. And if they can be complacent and slip up against the Sheffield Wednesdays of this division, all the better, as long as we don't too.

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Run in towards absurdity on 09:38 - Nov 18 with 3333 viewsDubtractor

Run in towards absurdity on 09:28 - Nov 18 by Mullet

I was going to do a ppg column but it's probably not much more illuminating. But I reckon that 2ppg in any phase of the season is a decent return. If that was then to be our poorest return we'd be doing really well!


I don't usually go for predictions tbh, as its pretty much meaningless more than a couple of games ahead, but thought I'd join in with the thread on this occasion.

I am fairly sure we'll lose a couple of the next ten though - more through volume of games rather than level of opponent - but I'm also sure that the others will lose some too.

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Run in towards absurdity on 09:56 - Nov 18 with 3229 viewsHerbivore

Cheers for this, Mullers, good post. One thing I've been thinking lately is the knock on impact for the January window if we do maintain a gap to Saints and Leeds, not so much for us but for them. If they are still adrift, can they afford to gamble knowing they might be playing for the lottery of the play offs? Can they turn down bids for some of their better players on the same basis? I think it creates a real pressure for them if we've managed to come through a tricky December still with a healthy gap to them. We will have less pressure to sell and should have a few more players eager to join the project than we had in the summer.

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Run in towards absurdity on 15:03 - Nov 18 with 2730 viewsMullet

Run in towards absurdity on 09:38 - Nov 18 by Nthsuffolkblue

Ultimately it is about us winning our games. And that is about us taking one game at a time. We need to worry about beating Rotherham as much as Norwich as much as Leeds, Leicester and Southampton. And if they can be complacent and slip up against the Sheffield Wednesdays of this division, all the better, as long as we don't too.


I think we as a fanbase and especially as a club will be more tuned in to that. Likewise, if we do lose to a "lesser" team it's unlikely to take the wheels off. I'd not be surprised to see Leeds half the deficit over these next few games and I'd still not worry about it.

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Run in towards absurdity on 15:05 - Nov 18 with 2711 viewsMullet

Run in towards absurdity on 09:38 - Nov 18 by Dubtractor

I don't usually go for predictions tbh, as its pretty much meaningless more than a couple of games ahead, but thought I'd join in with the thread on this occasion.

I am fairly sure we'll lose a couple of the next ten though - more through volume of games rather than level of opponent - but I'm also sure that the others will lose some too.


I guess it depends if those couple are Leeds and Leicester and what means for their momentum. Losing to those two but winning the rest will still be incredible and put pressure on them both for different reasons.

I think it'll be like 14/15 in that January and how we cope with those on international duty being away that is the real test. This run just lays the foundation for whether we are trying retake ground or maintain a diminishing lead over the playoffs.

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Run in towards absurdity on 15:09 - Nov 18 with 2694 viewsbournemouthblue

Run in towards absurdity on 09:05 - Nov 18 by Dubtractor

My result predictions for us is:

L
W
W
D
D
W
L
D
W
W

18 points


We have a great record away from home, however I don't actually think our performances have always been that good, we have just got the job done?

Obviously that's part of the job as an away team but at some stage we will come across better sides who will ram home their advantage when we are under par, that might be West Brom for example, it might not but at some stage we are going to get a reality check and will need to bounce back better

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Run in towards absurdity on 15:15 - Nov 18 with 2656 viewsHerbivore

Run in towards absurdity on 15:09 - Nov 18 by bournemouthblue

We have a great record away from home, however I don't actually think our performances have always been that good, we have just got the job done?

Obviously that's part of the job as an away team but at some stage we will come across better sides who will ram home their advantage when we are under par, that might be West Brom for example, it might not but at some stage we are going to get a reality check and will need to bounce back better


We bounced back from our last defeat by going unbeaten for 12 games. In terms of away performances, we aren't going to go away from home and control games and be dominant very often, not at this level. There are lots of good sides at this level and playing them on their own turf is tough. It'll be interesting to see how we respond to these tests, but worth noting we've played three of the current top half away from home and we've beaten all of them, including two of the current top 6. At this point I don't think there's much for us to be worrying about.

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Run in towards absurdity on 15:29 - Nov 18 with 2615 viewsMullet

Run in towards absurdity on 09:56 - Nov 18 by Herbivore

Cheers for this, Mullers, good post. One thing I've been thinking lately is the knock on impact for the January window if we do maintain a gap to Saints and Leeds, not so much for us but for them. If they are still adrift, can they afford to gamble knowing they might be playing for the lottery of the play offs? Can they turn down bids for some of their better players on the same basis? I think it creates a real pressure for them if we've managed to come through a tricky December still with a healthy gap to them. We will have less pressure to sell and should have a few more players eager to join the project than we had in the summer.


I'd agree with that. We are a much easier sell when it comes to the short and medium term future if we are trying to get deals over the line at that stage.

You'd also think we aren't going to suddenly cut everything back if this season is a write off either, so potential recruits might look at players who came up from the third tier and fancy replacing them too.

One real question mark is if we can do a deal on the loans or not and make any of them permanent now.

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Run in towards absurdity on 16:14 - Nov 18 with 2478 viewsMuncher

Just to add to this. At the moment the trendline both in terms of league position of our opponents and in terms of form over the last 6 games is downwards. If we can keep the same gap to our nearest rivals, or even increase it by the new year we will be in a really strong position.




[Post edited 18 Nov 2023 16:15]
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Run in towards absurdity on 17:16 - Nov 18 with 2349 viewsunstableblue

Great post Mullet

If there still daylight between us and Leeds at end of those games we’ll have done very very well

Does sound like we’ll strengthen in January. So to get there still in the top two would put us in a strong position.

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Run in towards absurdity on 18:20 - Nov 18 with 2252 viewsNthsuffolkblue

Run in towards absurdity on 16:14 - Nov 18 by Muncher

Just to add to this. At the moment the trendline both in terms of league position of our opponents and in terms of form over the last 6 games is downwards. If we can keep the same gap to our nearest rivals, or even increase it by the new year we will be in a really strong position.




[Post edited 18 Nov 2023 16:15]


Those are trendlines from West Brom onwards rather than from the matches we have played aren't they? In general, over the rest of the season, there is a general trend that it will get marginally easier after West Brom on average. So, in other words, we have a tricky spell coming up which is what Mullet's OP was showing too. There is also a lot of variability in there and spells where we are playing 3 matches at a peak but only 1 in the trough. Much will happen to change those teams forms and league positions over the rest of the season too.

The next few teams are doing better partly because they haven't lost to us like many of the teams later in the season have done too!

In short, we need to just worry about ourselves.

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Run in towards absurdity on 08:57 - Nov 19 with 1813 viewsMullet

Run in towards absurdity on 18:20 - Nov 18 by Nthsuffolkblue

Those are trendlines from West Brom onwards rather than from the matches we have played aren't they? In general, over the rest of the season, there is a general trend that it will get marginally easier after West Brom on average. So, in other words, we have a tricky spell coming up which is what Mullet's OP was showing too. There is also a lot of variability in there and spells where we are playing 3 matches at a peak but only 1 in the trough. Much will happen to change those teams forms and league positions over the rest of the season too.

The next few teams are doing better partly because they haven't lost to us like many of the teams later in the season have done too!

In short, we need to just worry about ourselves.


I think it shows we are trying to pick the lottery numbers here aren't we?

Would fans/McKenna want us to go back for Flynn Downes for example as long term replacement for Morsy? He has that long term connection with Woolfy but then LW might be one of the players we cash in on in the next season or so too.

There seems to be this new theory from other fans that we are spending big and that's why we are doing so well, but that just doesn't cut the mustard either. If anything we are more like City/Leeds/Forest when they went down and underachieved for far too long. When they came back up they were closer to their old second tier selves than most promoted teams.

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