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Credit to VAR
at 14:23 18 Jun 2018

That was an excellent use of it.
Bit of a Catch 22 really
at 12:56 23 May 2018

You keep to a longer schedule to ensure the best and widest range of candidates but risk that one or more of those gets poached along the way. Or you find a candidate that you like and go for them straightaway.

But I think Evans had already achieved the first part (bar Hurst) so would have been acceptable to cut short the search at the end of last week.

Hopefully, instead of Ross being the big missed opportunity, Hurst and others are still genuinely at the top of list.

Klug talking about progression of young coaches a while back
at 16:23 22 May 2018

Made me think that if we're serious about that then Nash (or Hogg if Nash doesn't want to do it) should be in the frame for the new manager's backroom staff and not just continue their role for the U23s.

Nash has been coaching his way through the age groups for over 10 years now by my reckoning and would be entirely logical for him to take the step up here and now. If a new manager comes in with his own staff then that would seem to go against the idea.

I wonder if Nash or Hogg was at least part of the package that would have seen novice candidates like Lampard or Parker come in who couldn't really argue a better choice of their own assistant. That could be interesting.

McGoldrick leaving ...
at 13:01 8 May 2018

Understandable but still
Good game today and draw probably the right result
at 20:28 6 May 2018

Some great last-ditch defending and a few outstanding saves from Bart kept a dangerous Boro out.

However, we were worth our goals and the draw. There was only a 20-minute spell in the first half when we looked second-best. The rest of the time we at least matched them looking dangerous ourselves which was no mean feat as they're a ridiculously expensive and full-strength team in comparison.

It was our fitness and willingness to run kept us in the game when Boro looked as if they'd overpower us. But I think that's one area we could improve. A little bit more size and strength would have helped us keep the ball or knock them off it at times. Maybe we get some of that with Huws and Adeyemi but probably need more in the squad as a whole.

All in all, an enjoyable and encouraging game. Lots to look forward to and be positive about over the summer. Finishing top half after the injuries we've had and the youngsters we've had to rely on is pretty impressive.
It's a p!sser but the scoreline means nothing
at 17:14 14 Apr 2018

It's a largely meaningless game points-wise. So if we'd held onto 1-0 it would still be the same story.

So in essence it was a good performance against a side that's far more experienced and expensive. The real news is how good Nydam was, and probably the best game I've seen from Kenlock. Morris didn't really get a sniff but did the simple stuff and put in a great cross.

And Carayol is probably worth a punt. He'll frustrate by misplacing simple passes but his speed and directness create openings from nothing.
Good game, terrible result
at 16:58 14 Apr 2018

Lots of positives though.
Fecking awful atmosphere
at 20:40 13 Mar 2018

And we haven't even been that bad.

Those idiots who started shouting hoof from the 20th minute can go feck themselves. The players out there don't deserve this.

It may well be a time to freshen up things on the manager front but it's pretty inevitable when things get like this. As in so many situations nowadays the idiots have won.
Re: Trump and Russia
at 14:33 9 Mar 2018

This is an almighty long read but very good nevertheless.

And I know Skripal's attempted murder probably has absolutely nothing to do with this but I wonder if he's got some dirt pre-2006 that can help investigators start connecting some serious dots. That could explain why there's a move on him now when that would have been far easier when he was already behind bars. Back when he was released it was inconceivable Trump would be President or would have any significant influence internationally. Probably some other fecked up sh!t, of course.

There's more than one way to skin a cat ...
at 22:16 6 Mar 2018

That was a gloriously destructive performance. Never mind 4 attackers on the pitch, we decided from the start that we were going to outfight Sheffield Wednesday. And it worked.

They were toothless, the battle confirmed to the crowd their shortcomings and the result was we knew we were always in it.

Apart from the great freekick by Waghorn there wasn't any quality with the ball (Nuhiu looked the best player on the pitch). But who cares? It was three points well earned.

We set up for a draw and got a lucky win ...
at 22:38 24 Feb 2018

Of course we didn't you daft sods.

Great first half and solid if purposefully dull second half when we'd done enough to earn the win. A few random reflections:

1. Let's give it a month or two rather than a game and a half, but Carayol is looking like a permanent solution to our wide attacker gap we've been filling with loanees. I like Celina but Carayol appears to have a lot of Fraser's simplicity and directness. Keep this up (irrespective of goals) and I'd offer him a longer contract.

2. How sh!t were the Preston fans?!! Punching above their weight, a couple of points off the playoffs and the wailing and gnashing of teeth was surfacing even at 0-0. After we scored, the ultra drumbeat was like ambient muzak to an inevitable loss and the recriminations that will follow. What's wrong with some fans today?

3. Loved the way Garner and Knudsen got stuck in. Yes, they're two of our most feisty players but they led the way today. Great to see players who are so caught up in the moment and want to win even the smallest battles.
[Post edited 24 Feb 22:39]
Decent half so far. Shows what pace and movement can do. nt
at 20:28 21 Feb 2018

Jesus wept ...
at 13:56 18 Feb 2018

Are you f'ing kidding me?

Bart (and the defence who switched off) were superb up until then.
Well, pick the bones out of that one.
at 17:08 27 Jan 2018

Pretty much a perfect example of how we're talking margins. But nevertheless the margins are apparent and make all the difference.

We played OK but Wolves were clearly at another level with how their team actually worked as a unit, on and off the ball. While I accept we've been screwed by injuries, we really need to start playing with a midfield.
Half-time report
at 16:03 20 Jan 2018

We haven't threatened the Bolton goal enough but we've been the better side. It's been a midfield slog for most of the half but we've been the side who's got the ball down and tried to play when we can. For a 15-minute spell in the middle we even looked like a good-quality footballing team playing at home.

CCV looks a hell of a signing. He calms us on the ball and we've played ourselves out from the back when he's been involved.

Bolton look vulnerable and only really threatened when Buckley gets on the ball). Need to keep the pressure on them in the second half and be a lot more effective when we do get into good positions.

Oh and Madine could easily have been sent off for that challenge - a studs-up lunge when he was a long way from the ball, both in time and space. I suspect his second yellow won't take much.
Oi jeera, you tart! Read your bloomin' messages!!
at 13:31 20 Jan 2018

You're probably just taking a break but it turns out I'll need to give them an answer this weekend.

PS If anyone knows jeera in real life can they drop him a line or a text and ask him to get in touch? You can also tell him I apologize for being a pushy b@stard when he's the one doing me a favour!
Glad for Celina
at 18:38 13 Jan 2018

Despite putting the effort in, he's been going through a pretty dodgy period recently both in attack and defence. But easy to forget he's still a young lad.

Hopefully scoring the winner gives him a bit of confidence to pose a more consistent threat.
Putting aside ME and Mick, whose example should we be following?
at 12:23 7 Jan 2018

If this board is a cross-section of the fans, there seems to be a range of opinions over whether the main problem is Mick, Evans or as a duo. But without getting into the specifics of that, what's the model a club like ours should follow?

With an understanding of what we want to do we can then say what we need from an owner or a manager in the future. Of course, I'm not saying we should just look at Huddersfield and say do what they did (why not Bournemouth as champions if we can choose at leisure?) but based on an approach that can be set out beforehand.

For me, I'd have much of what we now have in place:
– Strong academy for the division, hopefully producing some gems but supplying squad numbers at the very least
– Team with youth on its side that can develop together to give the manager time
– Sustainable wage structure to give the manager time

The differences from today would be:
– Scalable investment to build momentum and strengthen a promotion challenge over a couple of seasons
– A third role between the owner and first team coach. Call it a Director of Football or even have someone as a part-time advisor but I don't think a manager nowadays should have sole responsibility for trying to balance our short-, medium- and long-term footballing policy. Far too many criteria for one person to be judged on and a dangerous risk. With such a person, we could have avoided the sticky mess we got into by the end of Jewell's tenure where most of the squad development process needed to be re-started from scratch. Mick's avoided that it seems but I still think it's a good idea to give managers more of a focus on the next game and the campaign itself..By all means the manager can be involved and brought into final decisions but have someone else wrestling with these thoughts until it gets to that stage.
– Trend analysis of some description. Again this isn't about getting advice from different sources as we often hear that Evans does that but actually having someone who takes responsibility for this so others can get on with their main jobs. Potentially this could still be the DoF but in any case someone who takes responsibility for collecting and presenting the insights on and off the pitch where the club can find those extra percentages. There's no doubt the margins in the Championship are among the tightest in world football so being ahead of the curve seems to be even more important than it is for clubs who are fighting for Champions League places. After all, they can just go out and buy the perfect solution.

In the likely absence of us laying out our ambitions and plans in any great detail, showing internally and externally that we are committed to certain focus areas by making someone responsible for them seems like a sensible way forward for both the fans and the club.

Apologies for the ramble. But hopefully you get the sense of what I'm trying to say.
Well, Wolves deserved it over the 90
at 17:01 23 Dec 2017

But we made them work for it. And a draw wouldn't have been unfair.

Again, getting some flow in possession is where we can improve but so much is right in terms of our organisation even without a first-choice midfield. No reason why we can't challenge for the play-offs with a bit of momentum and confidence.
at 15:56 23 Dec 2017

Decent game between two of the hardest working sides in the Championship. Probably going to have to slow down and open up in the second half so there's still a way back in.

Wolves shaded it but not that the lead was particularly deserved. Also looked a foul on Kenlock that let them break on us. Let's just hope it's not like the Boro game where we put them in control just before half-time.

Ward and Connolly our best players but everyone's playing OK. Just need to get Waghorn, Garner and Celina into the game more.
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