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At around this stage last season 15:38 - Feb 11 with 3919 viewsFromReuserWithLove

KM settled on a consistent starting XI that saw us go on that incredible run to the end of the season. I wonder if we'll see the same this year? If so, do we see any big shocks? Chaplin and Burns may be the stalwarts under the biggest threat and Cam may find himself back in the side before long.
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At around this stage last season on 15:45 - Feb 11 with 3181 viewspointofblue

I honestly can't remember, post Bristol Rovers, if there was an air of uncertainty surrounding the starting line up which there seems to be this year - perhaps more in the minds of fans than McKenna himself. But, after conceding seven goals out of seven shots on target, time for Walton to be given a chance? Edmundson or Burgess? Burns or Hutchinson? Chaplin or Al-Hamadi?

Though I can fully accept it if McKenna's feeling is the team which started yesterday is still our strongest available, considering fine margins seem to be the big issue at the moment, so persists with them.

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At around this stage last season on 16:07 - Feb 11 with 3129 viewswhymark4lazio0

There are factors that we don't know that McKenna does:-

a) Physical condition of his players. I believe this is carefully measured and monitored throughout the season
b) In addition to general condition whether any players are carrying knocks and niggles
c) Players's state of mind
d) How players are performing in training
e) Detailed strengths and weaknesses and tactics of our opponents

Given that McKenna has consistently shown he doesn't have favourites and is prepared to rest and drop players, I have every confidence that he'll make the right choices.

Of course, it's entertaining to speculate about team selections but (without the above information) it's shooting in the dark to some extent.

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At around this stage last season on 16:17 - Feb 11 with 3113 viewsitfcjoe

I think we probably are where we are with the team bar that left forward role - I think Chaplin and Burns are just so important for how we play and set up, and know their roles so well that it’s difficult to replace - for Burns (bar Jackson) there isn’t really a like for like replacement for how we set up.

I think the way our subs are working is a massive deal too so makes it easier to stick with what we’ve got

Edmundson has done really well, and adds a lot to side but I just love that left foot balance that Burgess gives us and would find a way to get him in.

Mass maybe a little under threat as not been as good recently, a chance Travis gets a go alongside Morsy?

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At around this stage last season on 18:27 - Feb 11 with 2937 viewsFromReuserWithLove

At around this stage last season on 16:17 - Feb 11 by itfcjoe

I think we probably are where we are with the team bar that left forward role - I think Chaplin and Burns are just so important for how we play and set up, and know their roles so well that it’s difficult to replace - for Burns (bar Jackson) there isn’t really a like for like replacement for how we set up.

I think the way our subs are working is a massive deal too so makes it easier to stick with what we’ve got

Edmundson has done really well, and adds a lot to side but I just love that left foot balance that Burgess gives us and would find a way to get him in.

Mass maybe a little under threat as not been as good recently, a chance Travis gets a go alongside Morsy?


Actually agree regarding Mass I honestly don't think Travis has looked anywhere near it in his appearances so far (appreciate it's early days etc).

People don't appreciate the athleticism Burns brings and his role in running the opposition tired in the opening 60/70 mins, prepping the introduction of Hutchinson against tired legs. He has been off it for a while though tbh.

Last season KM used the bench relentlessly in that regard and I think his signings are with the aim to repeating it a level up. Jez, Hutchinson, Ali et al is a frightening sight limbering up to come on for any side on the hour - we just need to stop giving sides easy, early advantages.
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At around this stage last season on 18:32 - Feb 11 with 2946 viewsPhilTWTD

At around this stage last season on 16:17 - Feb 11 by itfcjoe

I think we probably are where we are with the team bar that left forward role - I think Chaplin and Burns are just so important for how we play and set up, and know their roles so well that it’s difficult to replace - for Burns (bar Jackson) there isn’t really a like for like replacement for how we set up.

I think the way our subs are working is a massive deal too so makes it easier to stick with what we’ve got

Edmundson has done really well, and adds a lot to side but I just love that left foot balance that Burgess gives us and would find a way to get him in.

Mass maybe a little under threat as not been as good recently, a chance Travis gets a go alongside Morsy?


Am wondering if we might see an Edmundson-Burgess partnership before much longer. Perhaps individually our strongest centre-halves on this season's performances, albeit with a smaller dataset for GE.
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At around this stage last season on 19:41 - Feb 11 with 2809 viewsle2blue

At around this stage last season on 18:32 - Feb 11 by PhilTWTD

Am wondering if we might see an Edmundson-Burgess partnership before much longer. Perhaps individually our strongest centre-halves on this season's performances, albeit with a smaller dataset for GE.


Only concern is whether Edmundson is able to invite the press and pass as well as the Wolf is able to, he so good on the ball that it would be a miss to not have him there. Saturday was only the 5th time this season that someone has got past him this season, where he is often asked to defend one v one and last man. I'd stick with him, but bring in Burgess for balance down our left.
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At around this stage last season on 19:53 - Feb 11 with 2793 viewscbower

At around this stage last season on 18:32 - Feb 11 by PhilTWTD

Am wondering if we might see an Edmundson-Burgess partnership before much longer. Perhaps individually our strongest centre-halves on this season's performances, albeit with a smaller dataset for GE.


I have been thinking along those lines myself. Edmundson is a good player who has had very few opportunities to playbon the right side since he arrived at Town. Maybe that chance is coming?

bluescouser

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At around this stage last season on 19:54 - Feb 11 with 2791 viewsAVJones

At around this stage last season on 18:32 - Feb 11 by PhilTWTD

Am wondering if we might see an Edmundson-Burgess partnership before much longer. Perhaps individually our strongest centre-halves on this season's performances, albeit with a smaller dataset for GE.


Woolfenden has been consistently good. Surprised you’d see him as anything other than the strongest on the right side. He’s a terrific footballer, makes mistakes of course, as they all do, and is often the last man.

I see the right back as the issue. Clarke is often out of position, gifting space. Since Williams dropped out of the picture, and no JD, we’ve not quite looked the same.
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At around this stage last season on 19:59 - Feb 11 with 2762 viewsAVJones

At around this stage last season on 19:53 - Feb 11 by cbower

I have been thinking along those lines myself. Edmundson is a good player who has had very few opportunities to playbon the right side since he arrived at Town. Maybe that chance is coming?


Good defenders but does Edmondson have the skill, class and confidence to play out from the back alongside Clarke? Looks risky to me.
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At around this stage last season on 21:36 - Feb 11 with 2674 viewsSwansea_Blue

We’ve got it now. Our first 11 is nailed on (Burgess coming back in when he’s ready the only uncertainty)

Hladky
Clarke Woolf George/Burgess Davis
Morsy Luongo
Wes Chappers Broady
Kieffer

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At around this stage last season on 21:43 - Feb 11 with 2650 viewsbaxterbasics

At around this stage last season on 19:54 - Feb 11 by AVJones

Woolfenden has been consistently good. Surprised you’d see him as anything other than the strongest on the right side. He’s a terrific footballer, makes mistakes of course, as they all do, and is often the last man.

I see the right back as the issue. Clarke is often out of position, gifting space. Since Williams dropped out of the picture, and no JD, we’ve not quite looked the same.


Inclined to agree with this. The squad was at its peak when Brandon Williams was firing on all cylinders. I hope somehow we are able to get that version of him back, whatever it takes.

zip
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At around this stage last season on 21:49 - Feb 11 with 2639 viewspointofblue

At around this stage last season on 18:32 - Feb 11 by PhilTWTD

Am wondering if we might see an Edmundson-Burgess partnership before much longer. Perhaps individually our strongest centre-halves on this season's performances, albeit with a smaller dataset for GE.


We'd be back to Cook's centre back pairing then. Will be interesting to see if McKenna does try that though think it would be harsh on Woolfenden.

Poll: Who would you play at right centre back on Saturday?

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At around this stage last season on 21:52 - Feb 11 with 2601 viewsPhilTWTD

At around this stage last season on 19:53 - Feb 11 by cbower

I have been thinking along those lines myself. Edmundson is a good player who has had very few opportunities to playbon the right side since he arrived at Town. Maybe that chance is coming?


Agree, I think it's been a little harsh on him to have so few opportunities at right centre-half since he's been at the club.
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At around this stage last season on 21:54 - Feb 11 with 2581 viewsPhilTWTD

At around this stage last season on 19:54 - Feb 11 by AVJones

Woolfenden has been consistently good. Surprised you’d see him as anything other than the strongest on the right side. He’s a terrific footballer, makes mistakes of course, as they all do, and is often the last man.

I see the right back as the issue. Clarke is often out of position, gifting space. Since Williams dropped out of the picture, and no JD, we’ve not quite looked the same.


I've been surprised that Tuanzebe hasn't established himself, to be honest. Given his pedigree, I had expected him to make himself one of the first names on the teamsheet by this stage. But the team has done so well, it's been difficult for anyone to break in regularly, other in circumstances such as those which have seen Edmundson come in for Burgess.
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At around this stage last season on 21:59 - Feb 11 with 2544 viewspointofblue

At around this stage last season on 21:52 - Feb 11 by PhilTWTD

Agree, I think it's been a little harsh on him to have so few opportunities at right centre-half since he's been at the club.


Do you think it could be a case of dropping Woolfenden for the rest of the season (or a stretch of games) or switching between him and Edmundson at RCB?

The one issue with Tuanzebe is he's another RCB. Bringing him in made Edmundson the cover at LCB.

I don't think Tuanzebe has taken his chances when given him.

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At around this stage last season on 22:06 - Feb 11 with 2513 viewsPhilTWTD

At around this stage last season on 21:59 - Feb 11 by pointofblue

Do you think it could be a case of dropping Woolfenden for the rest of the season (or a stretch of games) or switching between him and Edmundson at RCB?

The one issue with Tuanzebe is he's another RCB. Bringing him in made Edmundson the cover at LCB.

I don't think Tuanzebe has taken his chances when given him.


Indeed, said similar elsewhere in the thread. It's a difficult situation changing centre-half partnerships, isn't it? Particularly at this stage of the season. I also wonder whether KMc is prepared to accept LW making the odd defensive ricket as he perhaps most suits the playing out from the back approach.
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At around this stage last season on 22:24 - Feb 11 with 2402 viewspointofblue

At around this stage last season on 22:06 - Feb 11 by PhilTWTD

Indeed, said similar elsewhere in the thread. It's a difficult situation changing centre-half partnerships, isn't it? Particularly at this stage of the season. I also wonder whether KMc is prepared to accept LW making the odd defensive ricket as he perhaps most suits the playing out from the back approach.


I think taking Hladky or Woolfenden out of the line up now (in the latter's case for longer than a game, which has happened before this season) will take some delicate man management from McKenna, as it could come across as he's blaming either of them for the issues of the last nine games.

Edmundson and Burgess have played together in League One under Cook so they at least have experience of each other's approach - even if it hasn't been for a while.

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At around this stage last season on 22:49 - Feb 11 with 2365 viewsHerbivore

At around this stage last season on 22:06 - Feb 11 by PhilTWTD

Indeed, said similar elsewhere in the thread. It's a difficult situation changing centre-half partnerships, isn't it? Particularly at this stage of the season. I also wonder whether KMc is prepared to accept LW making the odd defensive ricket as he perhaps most suits the playing out from the back approach.


Although there's a fair case that Edmundson that in the last 8 days Edmundson has directly contributed to as many goals conceded as Woolf has all season. Think every time Woolf makes an error it gets blown up a fair bit because there's a perception he's not a natural defender and is more of a footballer, but he's been directly culpable for very few goals this season.

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At around this stage last season on 23:05 - Feb 11 with 2318 viewspointofblue

At around this stage last season on 22:49 - Feb 11 by Herbivore

Although there's a fair case that Edmundson that in the last 8 days Edmundson has directly contributed to as many goals conceded as Woolf has all season. Think every time Woolf makes an error it gets blown up a fair bit because there's a perception he's not a natural defender and is more of a footballer, but he's been directly culpable for very few goals this season.


Think the argument may be that Edmundson is playing on the 'wrong side' at the moment.

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At around this stage last season on 23:10 - Feb 11 with 2301 viewsPhilTWTD

At around this stage last season on 22:49 - Feb 11 by Herbivore

Although there's a fair case that Edmundson that in the last 8 days Edmundson has directly contributed to as many goals conceded as Woolf has all season. Think every time Woolf makes an error it gets blown up a fair bit because there's a perception he's not a natural defender and is more of a footballer, but he's been directly culpable for very few goals this season.


Not sure that's true, although you may have a point regarding certain players getting blamed more readily. But I think it's worth pointing out we've been very good whoever's been playing.

This post has been edited by an administrator
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At around this stage last season on 07:25 - Feb 12 with 2067 viewsHerbivore

At around this stage last season on 23:05 - Feb 11 by pointofblue

Think the argument may be that Edmundson is playing on the 'wrong side' at the moment.


He's played a lot of his football on that side and pretty sure when he came in he said he was comfortable playing that side. Woolf is key to how we play, I don't think Burgess and Edmundson as a pairing enable us to get our passing game going in the same way and I don't think Edmundson has been any more solid defensively than Woolf to justify taking his place, personally.

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At around this stage last season on 07:27 - Feb 12 with 2063 viewsHerbivore

At around this stage last season on 23:10 - Feb 11 by PhilTWTD

Not sure that's true, although you may have a point regarding certain players getting blamed more readily. But I think it's worth pointing out we've been very good whoever's been playing.

This post has been edited by an administrator


Agree that we have been very good overall, and Fridge has stepped in admirably. I think there's an argument for going back to the balance of a left and right footer and Burgess has been excellent, I personally just don't really see an argument for dropping Woolf. He was at fault for the first goal at the weekend but he's largely been excellent this season and his ability on the ball is key to how we play. We've looked a lot poorer when he's not played, imo.

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At around this stage last season on 07:58 - Feb 12 with 1985 viewsBlueBoots

At around this stage last season on 18:32 - Feb 11 by PhilTWTD

Am wondering if we might see an Edmundson-Burgess partnership before much longer. Perhaps individually our strongest centre-halves on this season's performances, albeit with a smaller dataset for GE.


For me, Burgess is straight back in the team as soon as he is available. I don't think he gets enough credit for just how dominant he is in the air as he makes it look so effortless, and his use of the ball in possession (particularly from having the balance of a natural left footer on that side) is pretty sound.

Who partners him is a difficult one, but I suppose that could be based on the opposition (e.g. Low block - Woolf > Fridge for passing, Pace - Fridge > Woolf etc.)

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At around this stage last season on 08:49 - Feb 12 with 1948 viewsitfcjoe

At around this stage last season on 07:27 - Feb 12 by Herbivore

Agree that we have been very good overall, and Fridge has stepped in admirably. I think there's an argument for going back to the balance of a left and right footer and Burgess has been excellent, I personally just don't really see an argument for dropping Woolf. He was at fault for the first goal at the weekend but he's largely been excellent this season and his ability on the ball is key to how we play. We've looked a lot poorer when he's not played, imo.


Woolf plays such a unique role for us, and plays it so well - he basically defends the whole width of the pitch at times and doesn't have the luxury that the RB and LCB have of being able to use the touchline or have any extra support.

I don't think Edmundson has the positional discipline to play that - Woolfie made a mistake at the weekend, but he's prob trying to win the ball back to keep possession and get us going opposed to taking the easy option and knocking it out as KMc always wants us to keep it in play and keep the waves of attack going. In hindsight that was an error then - but 9 times out of 10 he just turns round with the ball there and leaves Fellows in his wake.

I know people don't, but I'd urge them to watch back some games, and watch just how much responsibility he has defending for them, he's done an incredible job in an incredibly different role - but when a striker is running at him one on one like that there has been a team failure up the pitch for it to happen.

For the goal (and some of this has been pointed out to me in our excellent Blue Monday Telegram group so can't claim the credit for spotting it all), they get out too easily from the full back position....when Asante drops in to win the header a CB (Fridge) needs to go with him, as it is Morsy does and then the ball lands in the exact spot SM has vacated, whilst Luongo tries to cover that space Wallace runs off the back of him to get the ball and then pulls Woolfie slightly over, Clarke misses this initially but when he spots Woolfie has gone left he has to then try and get back to recover but it's too late. Lots of minor mistakes, but it compounds by putting Woolfenden in a tough position which we wouldn't want to happen and then he makes the mistake of not clearing out man and ball and then the ball is in the back of the net.

It's always easiest to point at the last mistake, but goals like that are team failures and compound the mistakes.
[Post edited 12 Feb 8:52]

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At around this stage last season on 09:18 - Feb 12 with 1890 viewsDJR

At around this stage last season on 08:49 - Feb 12 by itfcjoe

Woolf plays such a unique role for us, and plays it so well - he basically defends the whole width of the pitch at times and doesn't have the luxury that the RB and LCB have of being able to use the touchline or have any extra support.

I don't think Edmundson has the positional discipline to play that - Woolfie made a mistake at the weekend, but he's prob trying to win the ball back to keep possession and get us going opposed to taking the easy option and knocking it out as KMc always wants us to keep it in play and keep the waves of attack going. In hindsight that was an error then - but 9 times out of 10 he just turns round with the ball there and leaves Fellows in his wake.

I know people don't, but I'd urge them to watch back some games, and watch just how much responsibility he has defending for them, he's done an incredible job in an incredibly different role - but when a striker is running at him one on one like that there has been a team failure up the pitch for it to happen.

For the goal (and some of this has been pointed out to me in our excellent Blue Monday Telegram group so can't claim the credit for spotting it all), they get out too easily from the full back position....when Asante drops in to win the header a CB (Fridge) needs to go with him, as it is Morsy does and then the ball lands in the exact spot SM has vacated, whilst Luongo tries to cover that space Wallace runs off the back of him to get the ball and then pulls Woolfie slightly over, Clarke misses this initially but when he spots Woolfie has gone left he has to then try and get back to recover but it's too late. Lots of minor mistakes, but it compounds by putting Woolfenden in a tough position which we wouldn't want to happen and then he makes the mistake of not clearing out man and ball and then the ball is in the back of the net.

It's always easiest to point at the last mistake, but goals like that are team failures and compound the mistakes.
[Post edited 12 Feb 8:52]


Absolutely, and interesting to note that our only tanking this season came at Leeds, where Tuanzebe played in place of Woolfy and appeared to lack the positional sense that Woolfy has in spades.

I might add that I don't count West Brom away as a tanking because even though they stopped us playing, we weren't that bad defensively.

And let's not forget how well Woolfy played in the two Leicester games.
[Post edited 12 Feb 9:24]
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