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Smacking ban getting closer in Wales
at 13:16 25 Mar 2019

There's really no need for smacking is there?

I got smacked as a kid plus the plimsoll and cane on the rare occasion and didn't see a problem with that. It was the norm and all my friends went through the same.

But with my own kids I've never smacked them and rarely got angry, I just tell them not to do it and why. They're good kids - sure, they still see what they can get away with and don't listen sometimes but exactly the same as we did when we were young even with the threat of physical punishment.

This has been borne out by research into the actual effectiveness of corporal punishment. Not to mention the risks and potential side-effects it creates:

This is pretty good
at 12:54 24 Mar 2019

I thought Jonathan Pie was a bit 2017 and he'd been surpassed by the Brexit shenanigans. But this is a good skewering of the political class and a stark picture of where we stand now.

All he's missing is the similarly awful state of our media, with tabloids cheering on from the sidelines and broadsheets and TV being far too passive and indulgent of political BS.

Worst. Prime Minister. Ever.
at 14:14 20 Mar 2019

Her lack of intelligence, integrity or confidence has brought us to this point.
at 09:30 14 Mar 2019

I know this is compared to a no-deal but where's this money coming from?

If you want a moment that clarifies the utter stupidity of where we are and the political decisions and rhetoric that got us here, now we can apparently end austerity with money magically plucked from thin air.
Good effort but still a little disappointing
at 21:50 12 Mar 2019

Lots of energy, movement and commitment on and off the ball and that was enough to put a stuttering Bristol City team under pressure.

But, the big failing as always, a crucial lack of quality and composure to create real chances or work the keeper. We've got to hope that the failure to do simple things when we get in the opponent's half is a result of our lack of wins but we'll need to be a lot more effective even in League One.

There are decent and skilled players in there but somehow we're as clinical as an oven mitten.

Enjoying the small things #1
at 11:30 4 Mar 2019

Of course, Nsiala should have done an awful lot better for their winner, even taking into account it was a very unlucky ricochet that then set the Reading goalscorer free.

But trying to be positive I at least enjoyed his huge header over (and through) the Reading player in the first half. And I also LOVE those driven passes of his from the back. He started the season off with a few of them before his confidence seemed to go but he hit an absolute pearler up to Quaner or Bishop on Saturday. We haven't had many good examples of long balls over the past decade, so makes a change to see them hit low and accurately rather than aimlessly lofted.

Anyone else got any crumbs of comfort to share?
[Post edited 4 Mar 11:32]
Lambert talking about emergency strikers ... who do we reckon?
at 16:30 28 Feb 2019

Lambert says that a couple of the players in training have been tried out as emergency strikers. I suppose Nsiala is one but who else do we think? Spence?
Footballing lesson today
at 14:03 10 Feb 2019

And that lesson is that, even if you have the upper hand box to box, you need to get the upper hand in the three or four moments in each box. We lost all of the key moments today.

Great attitude and effort from us (some good football too) but the fat lady has finished warming up and is moving towards the stage.
Puerta del Carmen, Lanzarote and watching the derby
at 18:12 1 Feb 2019

Long shot but is there a particular bar to head to if you want to watch the derby next Sunday?

I'm sure I can find it somewhere but if there's a good bar/pub then I'd rather be there.
Strange game today
at 19:23 19 Jan 2019

After a poor spell in the middle of the first half it looked like we could get something from the game. But individual mistakes or lapses at did for us in the end.

I'm starting to think that the mistakes now come with the territory. We were on a par with Blackburn in all departments (Dack was on form and the standout player to be fair) but they just didn't make a quarter of our mistakes at some of which would be crucial.

It's all a bit of a mystery when the players can now do most things well 95% of the time and the technique levels/organisation have risen massively in recent weeks. But everyone just seems to be waiting for the inevitable error on the ball or in defence.

If there's a glimmer of hope then there are encouraging signs from Judge, Keane and Quaner. If they can click before they start making the same amount of forced and unforced errors as their teammates then maybe we can turn this death ship around.
Feck May and feck Brexit
at 23:17 15 Jan 2019

Time to admit defeat as a country, let alone as a so-called political leader.

In the words of Kenny Rogers:

So I handed him my bottle
And he drank down my last swallow
Then he bummed a cigarette
And asked me for a light
And the night got deathly quiet
And his face lost all expression
He said, "If you're gonna play the game, boy
You gotta learn to play it right

You've got to know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run
You never count your money
When you're sittin' at the table
There'll be time enough for countin'
When the dealin's done

Well the dealin's done and you Brexiteers have fecked up. Bluffing chuffnuts.
Got round to watching the Brexit movie last night
at 11:32 11 Jan 2019

And for a staunch Remainer like me, I was surprised that the individual whose views I most identified with was Cummings.

I think his reading of the UK political situation and the Establishment that had ignored too many disenfranchised and disadvantaged people for so long was spot on.

The mistake he made was in targeting the EU and a Leave campaign to prove his point so emphatically. I'm a Remainer largely because the EU is a necessary buffer and counterbalance to our political system.

I've since heard him say that the reason he regrets Brexit failing was that the referendum should have ushered in a new breed of politicians who would make a difference. But for someone otherwise so sharp, that was a ridiculously naive misreading of the likely outcome. The "Establishment" was always going to pivot and pitch itself towards the populist interpretation of the referendum result, epitomised by May shamelessly going from strong Remainer to dog-whistling, hard Brexiteer in a matter of weeks ... and getting away with it!

On a side note, the use of social media and algorithms to target voters surely needs to be looked at for the long-term health of democracy. The volume of targeted ads and the technical sophistication seems to be about creating a perception of reality and engineering a response that voters themselves don't really understand. I know it's the same rhetoric we see in the mainstream but this stuff is so far under the radar and potentially more akin to brainwashing.
Let's just hope Huws can get back into the frame
at 16:39 9 Jan 2019

If him and Bishop can rise from the ashes and be available for the second half of the season, then we could be a very different side.

Bishop made such a difference on Saturday. Only shame was that Downes wasn't on the pitch at the same time. But a midfield 3 with Skuse, Chalobah, Downes, Dozzell, Bishop, Huws and possibly even Nydam to pick from looks much better balanced in attack and defence.

Couple that with a reshuffle upfront and a tweak in defence (still think that the CB pairing needs to be improved) and we might end up playing further up the pitch and with more confidence. I think that's all that's really needed to turn most of our defeats into draws and most of our draws into wins. Performances overall haven't been that bad - it's all about margins and putting more sustained pressure on the opposition which takes pressure off us and makes it that bit more manageable for us.
The positives
at 18:15 5 Jan 2019

There aren't many...but seems like any negatives, real or imaginary, are going to be done to death.

1. We played much better after an awful first half where we should have gone in a goal or two down. But good stuff from Bart and Nsiala to keep us in it.
2. Downes again was a leading light in midfield before he went off - no doubt to spare him an inevitable yellow card but we have a very good Championship midfielder here.
3. Bishop got us going in attack and had some excellent moments. Only a shame him and Downes weren't on the pitch at the same time.
4. Elder looks solid enough and even capable of putting in some decent crosses and throughballs when he gets up to speed.
5. Keane didn't have a lot of touches but showed some real skill and the much-needed ability to keep the ball.
6. In the second half we created enough chances to win and kept out enough chances to keep a clean sheet. Obviously, we still can't defend a set piece or put away chances so that makes it academic. Overall, it was one of the few times this season that we've had a stronger second half.

Ummm that's about it. Everything else was average or pretty poor.
Crikey! Our Cup record is poor
at 18:12 4 Jan 2019

And not just since we've been back in the Championship either. For a side that's won the League, been in the top 2 tiers for the past 60 years and actually won the FA Cup and a European trophy, our record the rest of the time has been pretty poor. In fact, take out the purple patch of 75 to 81 and we've been pretty woeful.

For anyone who says that we haven't performed over the last 16 years in the Championship or too many of our managers haven't prioritised the cup competitions, it looks very similar to the 16 years before that.

Maybe now that we're staring down the barrel of the third tier that trend is due to change. We've got enough players coming back, coming in and floating around the squad that a cup run might actually do us some good in getting our league season going.

Such a bad half
at 17:03 1 Jan 2019

Don't know whether it was a lack of nous or confidence or what, but we just let Millwall take control and seemed to gift them possession and chances.
Huws back playing would be massive
at 17:24 31 Dec 2018

We've really not got anyone who's as comfortable on the ball in the opposition half and dangerous with it too. His is the sort of position we need to loan in some quality and experience, which we might do anyway, but he's probably better than we could expect to pick up in the transfer window.

Clearly, no point in putting too much expectation on him returning and/or staying fit but we, the squad and Lambert need these glimmers of hope in the meantime.

While yesterday was depressing ...
at 14:27 27 Dec 2018

If we look at the positives, I think 3 signings could transform this team. Probably down the spine of the team.

Lambert is right that the play between the boxes was fine but we really struggle to do the right things from there, particularly when we're just starting to put the opposition under pressure.

But put a more experienced target man up there who likes playing with his back to goal and can hold the ball up. And give us a player who can give us a cutting edge in an attacking midfield position (and also keep the ball when needed), and suddenly there's a supply line and outlet for the team's workrate and decent play in the middle third. I'm sure Lambert is looking for his next Hoolihan and Holt.

Re: the defence, it's a collective issue rather than pointing out one individual, so think a wise old head in there who can settle us down and not get physically dominated would be great. And also someone who can play the ball out if we're going to persist in that. A Matt Elliott in other words.

Lord knows where we can get loanees of that level but if they bring some of these qualities, then maybe it helps the other players contribute more.

In a parallel universe ...
at 14:20 23 Dec 2018

Jewell doesn't release Hourihane and we don't spend much of the next 7 years missing a player just like him.
[Post edited 23 Dec 2018 14:20]
Radio Suffolk phone in: "I wouldn't single Pennington out for criticism"
at 17:18 22 Dec 2018

Just after he said Spence was "the worst player he's ever seen in a Town shirt".

I'll give Pennington some leeway for his frequent errors but odd that Spence or Knudsen are seen as the weak links given the mistakes all our defenders make.

That's where we are so I'm not going to point fingers at the players but seems odd how people watch games.
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