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I’ve probably watched this video 40 times over the years
at 22:38 26 Nov 2020

And every time I love Neville Southall and his final remark a little bit more.

Feel sorry for the players
at 21:02 24 Nov 2020

No problem with the effort and ambition but we look an uncoached side that doesn’t really know what it’s meant to be doing.
Really looking forward to tonight nevertheless
at 12:45 24 Nov 2020

Clearly it’s the triumph of hope over expectation given we’re not in great form, we’ve got some important absentees and we’re pretty poor against the better sides.

But we’re fighting at the top of the table. I just hope that we make sure we have pace and energy going forward and have a bit of a go, even if it means hitting the frontline early. Having Jackson run onto something or Norwood hassle the defence and force a mistake might be as good a tactic as any.
Two words for the second half
at 17:29 21 Nov 2020

Disorganised and lucky.

Grateful for the 3 points, and I can’t fault the effort out there, but we still look pretty clueless about what we’re meant to be doing. In that scenario, someone like Norwood or Bishop stand out because they naturally always want to take on the opposition. But the other players just look a bit lost.

Here’s hoping that tougher games against Hull and Charlton might at least force us to be a bit more organised and disciplined. And not that a superior team just takes us apart.
One word for that half
at 15:53 21 Nov 2020

5 subs ...
at 20:19 19 Nov 2020

Doesn’t that make Dobra a shoo-in on the bench if fit?
Roadkill (spoilers?)
at 22:18 10 Nov 2020

After seeing the 4th episode is the last, I don’t get it.

While capturing the smugness and self-absorption of politicians it seems to have done the same for political commentary.
The goal against has ruined the approach. But now what?
at 20:06 10 Nov 2020

Crawley haven’t been great and haven’t needed to be to be perfectly honest.

Meanwhile we’ve looked tidy and patient, despite the fact we’re losing and need to threaten a lot more.

Hopefully we can make some adjustments in the second half. But slightly disturbing that we look clueless in the attacking third and certainly seem to have difficulty in pressuring the Crawley defence.

That seems to be a club problem.
Extra thoughts on Saturday: McGavin, Donacien and Norwood
at 15:34 9 Nov 2020

On Saturday, I was only really thinking about the poor first half performance and the second half revival that eventually petered out before we could go on and win it.

But really, really enjoyed McGavin’s performance throughout. He’s not going to replace Dozzell (and Skuse may also come back into contention) but we should have no fear at playing McGavin in the league - and even on the bench if we need to get a grip on midfield. Hugely encouraging performance and hope that we can see more of him developing with games in and around the first team.

Donacien was quietly excellent too. Handled his defensive duties well but looked particularly controlled and sharp with his use of the ball. Another player we shouldn’t be worried about using but also makes it bizarre we’ve had him out of favor for so long - and also that we have so many players for almost every position before we even start getting to the youngsters you’d expect as backup.

And I’ve been fairly critical of Norwood but his movement helped us. If players aren’t going to get up in support and play off Hawkins then better to have a player like Norwood who can roam around causing damage. The goal was also surprisingly clinical. Hopefully he can stay involved and start making his case for starts.

Despite having good individual performances scattered around the pitch, there’s still the case that the team needs to fire more consistently and the interplay needs to improve. But Lambert can’t make the excuse of a lack of individual quality on that front - they just need to be forged into a stronger, tighter unit.
[Post edited 9 Nov 15:36]
We’ve got an undeserved lifeline here
at 16:05 7 Nov 2020

But for 40 minutes of that half we looked directionless and utterly naive.

Exhibit A: why are we playing Hawkins if no-one is up in support? He’s a fixed point to build around not some one-man attack.

Hopefully we can hang in and work our way into this game but if not we need the sharpness and threat from Edwards and Jackson if we’re going to pressure Pompey. And probably Lankester to play som quick, incisive passes.

On the positive side, McGavin always looks a player despite the fact we rarely see him in a functioning team.

A team really is more than the sum of its individuals
at 13:56 4 Nov 2020

Not saying we’ve turned a corner yet but the current team and start is certainly looking a bit “cornery”.

Last season’s good start was down to individuals scoring at the right time as we rarely played that well. We look a lot better than last year - but amazingly that’s even missing the 5 players who were our best performers this time last year. We’ve done without Downes, Jackson, KVY, Garbutt and Woolfenden for most if not all of the games and still done pretty well.

It seems to have taken way too long for the penny to drop with Lambert that we need a formation and style that benefits the players and the stability/consistency and resulting confidence to settle into their roles. That’s what team building is and it’ll pay even more dividends when our better players get back into this set-up.

Last night was a kick in the teeth but I’m feeling much better about the medium to long term with this approach than I have done for at least a couple of seasons.

I love watching US election coverage
at 00:09 4 Nov 2020

“Is it significant? We don’t know yet.”

Two ref decisions completely out of the blue
at 21:46 3 Nov 2020

Two of the most innocuous, random but nevertheless decisive referee interventions I’ve ever seen. And just before that I was thinking how well he’d managed the game.

I hope the team uses this to their benefit. They hadn’t done enough to win but they were still the better team by a fair distance. So make and take the chances when you can.

We’re a team that’s got away with stuff too often. So maybe this is a good experience for them to start toughening up and getting more ruthless.
The whirlwind approach is working!
at 20:26 3 Nov 2020

Didn’t look like a team for the first 25. But then again neither did Sunderland, so I think there’s been a fair bit of cancelling out.

But we definitely looked the better side in the last 20. The unpredictability of our play was typified by Edwards’ sudden shift of the hips and drive down the left for the goal.

Good half and hopefully we can keep the pressure on them. Sunderland haven’t really been in the game since their goal.

Would have preferred Hawkins to start
at 19:12 3 Nov 2020

And nothing against Jackson, I’d like him to be on the pitch too but as one of the wide forwards.

But what I like about Hawkins is that he gives a semblance of structure in attack. Now we’ve got Jackson probably being relatively ineffective through the middle and then running out wide, and we’ve got Judge and Lankester who tend to wander and drop inside. It seems to be exposing our midfield and attack rather than strengthening and balancing them.

Perhaps most importantly, Hawkins is coming off the back of a decent game and a goal. Not sure I get the idea with this at all.

Now watch us dominate the game ...
Glad for Hawkins yesterday
at 13:40 1 Nov 2020

He’s had little to no players in support up around him this season (although when they have done, it’s led to chances). But he does well enough with the scraps he gets and maybe the goal will see us put more crosses into him too.

Jackson was sharp when he came on but still does his best work in the channels rather than down the middle. Occurs to me that getting both Hawkins and Jackson on the pitch at the same time might be the answer.

Special mention to Bishop too. Thought he really stepped up yesterday when our midfield was having a battle and it was his running with the ball that really opened up Crewe and pressurised them when our passing wasn’t.
Result was most important
at 21:19 27 Oct 2020

We did a lot of good stuff but worrying that Gillingham had the same level of chances on a fraction of the possession.

We really need to get more clinical in attack. I actually think Hawkins does well with the balls he gets but would be nice to see him get better service and have players in support for once. However, if he’s playing a lone role and meant to be freeing up space in other areas then we need to be more incisive.

It just looks a little random when we get into the attacking third.
Thought(s) for the day
at 10:10 25 Oct 2020

Pretty safe prediction here:
"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist." — Helder Camara
at 21:01 21 Oct 2020

This interview is a thing of beauty
at 16:58 18 Oct 2020

A NZ opportunist politician getting ripped a new one.

For some reason, here in the UK, our media fawn over the narcissists and chancers like Farage, Change UK and the Tory cabinet/ERG loons. We get the politics we deserve as a result.
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