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|Tonight ... I just don't know ...|
at 22:55 21 Feb 2018
We played well tonight, especially given the tools we have available. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. The intentions were positive, a good deal of the football was pretty slick too, and we deserved at least a point. There was always the risk – likelihood if we're honest – that Cardiff would bring their physique to bear and eventually if happened for them. They are the side we would probably be if Mick had another £5-10m to spend – that's us, if we were automatic promotion chasers.
Maybe it's exacerbated by only getting to a game every two months or so, but the greater feeling I have on the train back from that is sadness; actually a sadness too great to bear thinking about given the club I remember. The crowd were broadly supportive but, let's face it, totally silent. Any of that Section 6 stuff from a year or two back seems to have died out. There wasn't a single chant in 90 minutes. The faces around me in Lower North were watching, quietly, out of near-obligation if they weren't deep in conversation. Nothing especially new over the past few years, you might say, but this felt different, like a cliff-edge – it felt on the verge of things getting much worse. Is that over-dramatic? I guess we might get an idea after the season ticket renewals come out. But if we're pretty much as we are when that happens a month or so from now, then I really fear for us. It just feels like an organisation that, the honourable exception of the academy aside, needs ripping up and starting again. It's so incredibly hard to know what happens next.
|Assume Mick will mix things up tonight|
at 12:52 21 Feb 2018
Cardiff are very high-energy and we'll need to match that; whatever else anyone thinks about the Norwich game the guys out there put in a huge effort and I'd assume three or four changes. I'd have thought Ward and Celina in as a minimum, although wouldn't completely surprise me to see Carayol. Probably Spence too. Anyone else?
|Devil's advocate – a reason for Mick to stay?|
at 23:06 27 Jan 2018
*Early disclaimer – this is not what I think will actually happen ...
... but what if Mick decided he wanted to give it a proper crack with the team he created last summer? It's clear that he wanted Adeyemi and Huws at its heart; it also seems fairly obvious Dozzell was slated for significant involvement. We've been deprived of all three for virtually the entirety. If you were Mick, would you want to give it one more pop using the players you'd wanted to build your team around?
|Now that *is* a good signing|
at 11:14 19 Jan 2018
Carter-Vickers is great and did very well for Sheff Utd, am a bit surprised we've got him. He will help us.
|Shots on target|
at 09:21 14 Jan 2018
It has come to my attention that, now the penny has largely dropped about passing stats, "shots on target" has become the latest metric various posters judge to be more important than the actual result. What utter, abject trash – unless you find a speculative long range pea-roller into the GK's arms from, say, Knudsen more titillating than a bash against the woodwork from Celina, in which case I'm nobody to judge how you get your kicks. So weird to see certain people pursing their lips, shaking their heads and arching their eyebrows over a decent win – astonishing levels of self-loathing.
|Sounds from Phil's story as if Bart will probably be off ...|
at 16:56 4 Jan 2018
... and I think it would be a good deal for everyone. Palace get a very good goalkeeper. We get £4m or so for a 30-year-old GK with a year left who has never played in the top flight. Bart sees his chances of going to the World Cup suddenly skyrocket. Town, going neither up nor down, not critically damaged for this season. Handshakes and good wishes all round.
Dare I say it, too, another example of Mick making the club money from nothing.
|Will the injury situation force our hand on Moore?|
at 13:12 31 Dec 2017
We desperately need a midfielder, preferably one with a bit of presence who can look after the ball, and who – whisper it – we can keep fit. They aren't cheap so we will have to wheel and deal. Perhaps, in the current situation, that make it more likely that we'd take say £500k for Moore – we are top-heavy with forwards, much as Garner doesn't really convince me in the role he's playing, and can't really afford such an imbalance. Could now be a smart move to take some money for Moore while he's hot and reinvest it where we really need.
|Today was what happens when ...|
at 18:23 26 Dec 2017
... you can't keep any midfielders fit. Just no way of asserting any kind of control. As a result it was just so scrappy and effectively turned into two sides counter-attacking each other badly - QPR marginally more threateningly most of the time. Looked and felt like one of last season's games, which at least we haven't been able to say often. But our injury situation is properly getting on top of us now and will probably see us drift away from the genuine contenders.
Couple of things though: why Celina did not come on earlier I have absolutely no idea. I understood the rotation today and, let's be honest, 92 managers will be doing similar things - but it was crying out for him after an hour. Can't really understand it; Sears worked hard as ever but his race seems run to me.
Also - am I the only person who's not really having Joe Garner at the moment? Started well here but just doesn't offer enough for me unless he's really monstering his centre-backs, which doesn't seem to happen a lot these days. Goal threat is next to zero.
|What do we want/expect from the next three games?|
at 12:27 17 Dec 2017
I'd probably take a good performance at Wolves - whatever that brings - and then at least four points from QPR and Derby, although am wary of putting too much pressure on the home games because there will be further slip-ups even if we are currently in a good place there. Get something at Molineux and it might be the kind of result to give a season proper lift-off - and set up FPR nicely for Boxing Day ...
|Critical point in the season now|
at 08:35 26 Nov 2017
Really looks as if we need to find, as the barest minimum, seven points from the next five games – means winning the home ones against Reading and Forest while finding a draw from Derby, Boro and Wolves – to avoid falling much further away and making the play-offs a particularly long shot. This always looked the toughest period fixtures-wise and I'd still back us to be better than most of those below us, but if we don't raise it over the next month then realistically we are in for a water-treading second half of the season that – even though we are undoubtedly a better team than last year – risks being pretty painful and alienating people further. While it was just one game and one goal, I wonder how important that equaliser by Nuhiu will prove to be momentum-wise.
Not offering answers or explanations, that's just how it is and I think we all see that Town have progressed from last year. But if it gets to Christmas and we're nine or ten points off then, to be honest, I see little point in delaying the preparations for a fresh start next season.
|This is an interesting thread|
at 09:42 1 Nov 2017
(Edit – seems to only have displayed the first tweet, so click on it)
[Post edited 1 Nov 2017 9:44]
|Couple of 18-year-olds in midfield, team trying to play decent stuff ...|
at 09:38 16 Oct 2017
Just what people were asking for, wasn't it? Just watched most of Saturday's game back and the footballing intentions were clearly decent even if the execution often wasn't. Doesn't work every week. It was your typical tight Championship away game against a decent side, lost with one piece of defensive sloppinesss. Annoying but the shrieking on here is insane. Channel the energy into Sunday – we can definitely beat them.
(Edit – in case my header is unclear, I'm well aware one of the 18 y/os came off the bench!)
[Post edited 16 Oct 2017 9:40]
|Wonder how we'll line up today|
at 10:49 14 Oct 2017
Celina the obvious fall guy after last time (although by the by I was at Iceland-Kosovo on Monday and he was Kosovo's best player, very diligent performance in all respects) and you wouldn't blame Mick for wanting to tighten us up away from home. Does it work to play both Nydam and Downes in a big league game though?
|Lack of sharpness, lack of luck|
at 17:24 30 Sep 2017
Both applied there but we can't complain about the result. We were outbattled there by a lively enough side that didn't really have much guile but was sparky and penetrative. I suspect the stats for challenges won will look absolutely terrible on our part.
A few key things. The late withdrawal of Adeyemi was undoubtedly very significant. He would have helped us get a grip on that midfield through size and athleticism alone and may have helped get us up the pitch too. Nydam looks as if he is going to be an outstanding player so I don't mean it as a criticism of him to say we would have been much better with Adeyemi there today.
Perhaps Mick did go too attacking although I don't think any of us wanted to see a different lineup. The first goal was instructive, wasn't it - Celina (poor today, but there we go) failing to complete a dribble and then no pressure applied to Bristol on the counter. With a more compact system we probably have enough covering players to sort that out.
After that it was always going to be difficult, especially when you've got all your best attackers on at the start and there's little obvious improvement on the bench. Perhaps Ward might have been useful sooner for his energy. Thought we would really come back at them in the second half but they managed it well and I must say the ref was poor - seemed to have decided in advance that Flint was a good honest pro and Garner a conniving s*d, when in fact they are as bad as each other. There was next to no football played in the last 35 minutes: partly our fault, partly credit to Bristol, but games need to be refereed less pedantically.
We are still well placed but this felt like such a good opportunity. We saw the pitfalls of the system today - and incidentally we did play some good stuff when on the front foot - and the task now will be to find the right balance. And also to keep players fit - it is knackering us.
|Very interesting to see how we are placed a week from now|
at 11:24 24 Sep 2017
Two home games, neither straightforward at all; if you asked me now I'd be OK with four points, because this is the Championship, but needless to say we should be aiming for six. A couple of good results and continued presence in the top six might go some way towards convincing people, both around Ipswich and beyond, that we haven't necessarily been a flash in the pan; the opposite and it might become a tricky autumn. I see it as a fantastic opportunity though: play as we did yesterday and there's every chance we could be in a really fine position this time next week.
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