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I expect Cook has watched a lot of our games on tape over the past week
at 08:03 5 Mar 2021

Would be interesting if he has identified a specific team weakness.

My amateur opinion would say that it’s a lack of tempo. Doesn’t mean we have to play at a million miles an hour all game — we can slow it down and pass it around just to slow the game and any pressure/momentum from the opposition. But when we attack we need to put the defence on the back foot a lot more and we haven’t done that by playing the ball around in front of them or tying ourselves up in triangles tight to the touchline.

Second place would be our habit/Lambert’s tactic of leaving the central attacker isolated with the other forwards staying wide and our central midfielders too deep. But hopefully with Norwood and Parrott both key players in recent weeks that won’t even be an issue.

Paul Cook is the key change
at 20:43 3 Mar 2021

Not sure Evans’s statement should put much of a dampener on a good week and a better-looking future.

I could speculate about what Evans says (and a few odd things) but it’s speculation about our takeover and whether it’s a good thing that has people agitated now.

Getting the right manager backed by Evans’s undoubted patience could be as good a solution as any.
Team (and Gill) did well there
at 20:04 2 Mar 2021

Went behind to a soft goal with Accrington looking sharper all round. Then down to 10 but we miss the penalty, keeper makes another great save and we’re looking hesitant and unsure.

But we picked up the tempo and kept patient. The pressure then started to tell and Accrington really fell back. The two goals came pretty much as a result of that overall pressure.

Sure, it’s easy enough against 10 men but we worked as a team to take advantage of it. More of the same second half.

Also a very nice touch from Cook. He’s clearly letting Gill take the lead so he’s contenting himself just by getting in the ear of the officials. That’s quite a voice he’s got on him!
Strange match tonight?
at 15:31 2 Mar 2021

It’ll be interesting to see how the team and Gill manage it tonight. Hopefully there’s already been words a few weeks ago involving them to shift how we play and set up ourselves. So in other words they want to keep going on the same track.

But it’s a bit of a limbo situation with a new manager watching. Really hope they don’t get distracted from the simpler approach and try too hard to impress as a win or at least a draw tonight is by far the most important things for our season. I’d take an awful, scrappy 1-0 win with our only shot at goal if the alternative is a stellar but unlucky draw or loss.

Whatever happens it’s going to be more exciting than I thought a Tuesday night in Accrington could ever be.
Welcome to the club, Paul Cook
at 12:21 2 Mar 2021

Nice one. On paper at least that looks a very good appointment.
Are Labour under Starmer the worst-ever major political party?
at 19:16 1 Mar 2021

Utterly shocking how useless and pointless they are as a political project. They’re even incompetent at pushing their “flagship” competence idea.

FWIW I don’t even blame Starmer. He could still be a decent, thoughtful and principled man. I blame the empty suits in the team around him who look to be stuck somewhere in the last century and are seemingly devoid of any ideas about how to tackle 2021 and beyond.
Doncaster exposed our problem this season
at 10:17 1 Mar 2021

I thought they were excellent at keeping the ball and working it forward — and they also created a fair few chances too. They were much better at that than we’ve been at any time this season.

And that’s the problem. They still lost to a side that concentrated on defending and working hard off the ball. To a side that moved the ball quickly and directly into the attacking areas. To a side that had less than half their possession but created just as many good chances.

It really isn’t rocket science. Unless you’ve got a player or two who are far too good for this league then really it’s about keeping it simple and being tough to play against rather than this delusion of building a side that can focus on what it wants to do and just blow others away. There are a few exceptions like Fulham and Bournemouth in recent years, but in my experience of the Championship and League One those sides that try to outfootball you get to the playoffs but it’s the sides that outfight you and overpower you that win automatic promotion. That approach is far more repeatable and consistent because players and the team don’t even have to be on top form.

But of course the real problem was that we just weren’t good enough at the fancy stuff anyway. And it was Lambert’s major failing over 2.5 years to not get the basics right first and make us a much more effective team, especially over the last year when we’ve just not been competing enough against the better sides.

No idea really what Paul Cook (if it’s him) will bring although his record points to him being effective at this level. One thing he did say on a podcast is that he likes to play passing football but get the ball forward QUICKLY. Immediately that suggests to me someone who gets the league we’re in. Here’s hoping!
So what’s the story with Paul Cook?
at 15:33 26 Feb 2021

Does anyone know anything (or did anyone find anything particularly insightful) about what he’s like as a manager?
Lambert now outperforming Starmer?
at 13:27 24 Feb 2021

Keir and his team could take a leaf out of his book. In other words stop trying to play imaginary chess to an imaginary crowd.

Just stick to the basics of showing, and fighting for, an alternative way forward for the UK. Really isn’t more complicated than that.
Totally symbolic of Lambert’s time here ...
at 18:28 23 Feb 2021

That an unchanged side feels a completely random move. 😂
I’ve softened a bit towards Nigel Pearson
at 17:38 17 Feb 2021

Always came across as a bit arsey in the media but this looks more and more just who he is to the media who he struggles with.

But he came across very well talking on the Don’t Tell Me the Score podcast. He’s basically a more complicated and thoughtful Mick McCarthy but equally focused on and adept at man management and getting the players to perform as individuals and as a unit. Based on the quotes by Mahrez and Schmeichel who were giving him credit for building the foundation of Leicester’s Premiership-winning side, he’s certainly a manager players like and respect.

Prickly media appearances aside, I think we could do much worse than him. Although, if we’re being honest, I’m not even sure he’d be interested in us.
Not sure why Mick Mills and Brenner are so down on us tonight.
at 19:47 16 Feb 2021

Looks like the same shapeless group of strangers it’s always been.

Feel sorry for the players — they’re working hard, making runs for each other but they’re still trying to work out what everyone’s meant to be doing.

Lambert out.
Rugby is on
at 14:17 13 Feb 2021

England v Italy with both sides looking to bounce back after last week’s disappointment. England, tournament favourites, should win comfortably but that won’t help them if they don’t get focused. And against a very young, exciting Italian team that are capable of shocking anyone and certainly should be aiming to come out of the blocks quickly and pressure England.

Then the big one this afternoon: Scotland v Wales. Scotland favourites and playing better stuff but Wales more experienced and grittier at this level despite being in a relative slump. And a game that really sets up which of them is going to be challenging at the top this year.

It’s going to be a great day — even if I’d liked to have watched us sandwiched in between.
If you’re struggling to understand the UK in 2021
at 22:18 11 Feb 2021

This is a good place to start.

Full disclosure: I’ve got a crush on Peter Oborne. While we’d probably disagree on many things politically (him being a traditional Tory and me being functionally socialist), I’m a teenage fan screaming tears for his unflinching belief in transparency and honesty in public life, as well as his principled understanding of the real role of journalists in holding power to account.

Watch this interview and then read what he’s written over the past few years (standards in public life, the Middle East, islamophobia, Labour antisemitism and even cricket, the worst sport ever or so I thought).

He’s not wrong. We’re seeing a slow but nevertheless exceptionally damaging erosion of standards from elected politicians and the journalists who certainly shouldn’t be active accomplices. This stuff doesn’t end well — and really we’ve been seeing that over the past few years. Even Oborne as an old but principled Tory knows it.

[Post edited 11 Feb 22:23]
We didn’t get what we deserved tonight
at 21:06 9 Feb 2021

Posh were three or four goals better.

What’s been characteristic of Lambert’s time here has been a general shapelessness. We had little to no width but even through the middle there were huge gaps between defence, midfield and attack.

I feel sorry for the players because they always look as if they’re trying to work out what they’re meant to do and what their teammates are doing.

Ridiculous that we’ve kept throwing players at the problem rather than sorting out our coaches or at least how we set up.
I enjoyed watching us today
at 18:56 6 Feb 2021

We looked much more lively and threatening in the attacking third.

Due in no small part to Parrott playing a very decent game as a focal point and bringing others in. But mainly because we were making so much better and varied runs off the ball.

No-one really stood out but for once the team was more than the sum of its parts — and I don’t think Blackpool played badly as a team either. I know it’s False Dawn #382 but would be great if we could for once build from this on Tuesday.

To top it all Scotland made England look like Scotland at Twickenham ... it’s been a special day!
Should men compete with women
at 12:17 6 Feb 2021

In deciding about women’s sports?

Too soon?
Clive Lewis is right
at 13:41 31 Jan 2021

Labour under Starmer just aren’t inspiring enough on their own merits. But a progressive, electoral reform alliance would be a positive message AND most importantly give them the numbers they show no signs of getting otherwise.

Of course, if Starmer and the Labour Right would rather defend the establishment, police the opposition debate and control the party, then I hope there’s a leadership challenge sooner rather than later.
Drinan has deserved a goal. Kenlock played well. 1 point.
at 17:06 30 Jan 2021

Those are the positives.

Apart from that, it looked like a lower-half League One scrap. And we look so ordinary in the final third. Also telling that we couldn’t get Thomas on the ball at all.

Now that the playoffs are slipping away, it must be time to act. There’s nothing here to suggest a transition or us building towards something.
Yet another stuttering performance
at 17:45 23 Jan 2021

Can’t fault the effort of the players but we still seem so incoherent and laboured in possession. And now looking increasingly desperate and nervous without the ball.

Hard to see how these players and this management team turn round something that’s been leading towards this for 2 years.

Of course, it’s hugely unlikely to happen but we need a performance and a result on Tuesday or the season will slip away.
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