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That paid off quite well for Lambert last night
at 09:25 18 Sep 2019

Probably had one or two too many players struggling for minutes/match fitness on there by the end (Keane showed some very nice flashes but was never ready for an hour) but that 45 minutes is surely the way forward for us in a lot of these games. Utterly dominant and not just with the ball – Skuse, Downes and Huws all looked strong physically, won headers, ensured not much came back at us. We have such a surfeit of good midfielders that we do need to get as many of them on the pitch as possible and I can't believe that would not be Lambert's plan. Expect a lot more selections like last night's now Huws and Nolan are up to it.

Second half was a chore but there are no two ways about it – 18 points at this stage is an excellent start to the season. There will be bumps along the way, maybe even on Saturday which I suspect won't be an especially pretty game, but we've set ourselves up really well when it could have gone quite differently.
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Taking 3,000 to MK is just tremendous ...
at 09:34 17 Sep 2019

... on a Tuesday night in L1 in September. It's not exactly round the corner for most. Yet more evidence of what we can tap into if things really start taking off.

I'd caveat a little bit by saying that, should we stay down, I'd fully expect that contingent to be halved at the same time next year. It is *so* important we go up this season.
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What sets us apart from the other teams in this division ...
at 11:36 15 Sep 2019

... is our abundance of very good (for this level) midfield options. Therefore I think we need as many of them on the field as possible, more often than not. Said it elsewhere but I think people get far too hung up on playing two up front; we'll do it enough times, and I suspect it'll work handsomely against most of the weaker teams, but think the key to going straight up may lie in how the midfield shapes up against the top-half sides. Would like to see us try a central midfield three with Nolan in it, somewhere, before too long as he knows how to get on the end of things and can hopefully mitigate for any concerns about goal threat.
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This explains pretty much everything re Judge ...
at 14:20 30 Aug 2019

... and shows that, however much we blather on about things here, we can never really know.

https://www.itfc.co.uk/news/2019/august/judge-on-qpr-interest-and-summer-of-stre
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Promising early stats/graph ...
at 19:17 23 Aug 2019

Small-ish sample size obviously but augurs well:


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We got away with one there, but ...
at 23:06 20 Aug 2019

... probably deserved it in the end, given Wimbledon's total lack of interest in playing any football once they scored. In many ways this was one hell of a "welcome to League One" for us and it may prove very valuable that we squeaked through.

First thing to say really is that the support in there was something else tonight, I thought. The attendance itself was brilliant for one of the least glamorous L1 games, early in the season on a Tuesday night, but the atmosphere in the second half – when pretty much an all-time low for most of seemed on the cards – was absolutely superb and I feel really proud of that. It can only help the players. Keep it going and maybe we can all be onto something special.

Strange game, diabolical first half and Lambert clearly didn't get that right. Then again I can understand that he needed to change things up; we are still getting several of our best players up to speed and it's very far from ideal. Midfield was far too flat in that shape and with those personnel, wide men weren't in it at all, Norwood was completely isolated. Loads of sterile possession bar one Dozzell pass; no complaints that we were punished.

But with this squad we will *always* have good options to change things up and I suspect we will see plenty more games like this, where things don't really flow or go right but we hang in there and eventually get through it with our extra quality. That's what happened today. Thought it was an excellent cameo from Judge out there, really got us playing and showed what he will bring at this level. Looked really sharp and hopefully he's near 100% now. Georgiou might not necessarily be a starter but is clearly a direct, purposeful, positive out-and-out attacking option on that left side and we've lacked one of those for years. Puts a very good ball in and on this evidence will be very nice to have around.

Thought Kenlock got much better in the second half; a few really nice, positive bursts into the box after pretty much hiding on the job in the first (not that he was the only one). When he ran past two men and got a shot away in around the 70th minute it looked to me as if Wimbledon were tiring and from then on we were able to get a nice head of steam up.

Donacien – actually an OK one-on-one defender, but not someone we need near the team if we want to play at all progressively. Awful on the ball from him today. Can't wait to see hiw KVY fares.

Downes – looking a Rolls Royce of a player, to me. Excellent energy levels. If he hasn't moved for a very big fee in a year's time I'll be stunned but for now he can be huge for us.

Norwood/Jackson – just great to have both off the mark now. Largely a frustrating night for Norwood but when he's actually allowed to do what he's good at, facing goal, he looks so strong.

Overall – think it will be some time til we know what this team actually *is*, if we ever do. Might be a problem for another day. For now I'm heartened that we *do* have a squad good enough to find a way on tough nights like this. And heartened too by how everyone in there helped it happen.
[Post edited 20 Aug 23:12]
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Excellent thread for Leave voters
at 09:26 20 Aug 2019

Time to pick the side of history you'd like to be on.

(NB - click for the entire thing)



This post has been edited by an administrator
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Assuming Vincent-Young signs ...
at 10:09 16 Aug 2019

... is it just one League One-hardened striker and then we're done? I think so; a winger would be nice but with Edwards coming back and Dobra looking as if he might be a good bench option the need isn't as urgent. Could always strike a deal with Grant Ward down the line if we're really stuck. Seems to me that KVY + striker = squad that really should go up.
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How is everyone feeling about this season then?
at 07:50 3 Aug 2019

Me: nervous as hell! Which I don't like, but it feels like the most important season of my lifetime and if we get it wrong we are quite probably in for a very bleak (even bleaker) few years.

So yesterday wasn't a great way to set it up although I don't think anyone can really argue with what Lambert said even if you can query the time and place. I think without one more decent-ish defender and striker we would do very well to finish in the top two. But I do think the group of players we have now, even taking into account the injured, should be comfortably good enough to finish in the play-offs.

In reality all bets are off. It's new territory for 99% of us. I think a strong start is vital and then the outstanding support we've seen over the past year or so can really come into its own. Lose the positivity and willingness for this team to do well, and we'll lose a lot of what we have going for us at this moment. So let's hope we can eke at least something out today and set a platform for this to be a transformative season for us. Because in a best case scenario, that's what it can be.
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Forget the loan thing for a moment and ...
at 12:27 29 Jul 2019

Bart/Elliott is an important move for improving the balance of our squad. We need Bart to go; we can't carry him and Holy. And we do need a sh6thouse option up top, much as that might upset the purists. We're not going to get a 20-goal one but I'd fancy Elliott to chip in with a few and hopefully create space for others. It's not a world-beating deal but for this season it's fine and solves a couple of specific problems.
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Lambert does not sound happy ...
at 14:37 25 Jul 2019

... about the transfer situation. We have been missing dynamic, purposeful management on that side for so long now and it is among the many things that have crippled us. Absolutely vital we get some things over the line pretty much immediately.
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£450k bid rejected for Judge and he wants to go ...
at 10:19 22 Jul 2019

... according to Nixon, who has been right on this story from the beginning so it would take a fool to reject out of hand. I suspect this ends with him leaving, to be honest. And gives us a hell of a problem for the season's early months with no Bishop and an unreliable Huws, as well as Lankester/Judge/Edwards all well off. I say it again: we just can't have nice things anymore.
[Post edited 22 Jul 10:21]
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What's the betting that Adeyemi ...
at 11:17 20 May 2019

... signs for Charlton or Sunderland, whichever doesn't go up, and enjoys a majestic ever-present season.
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Interesting piece on an ex-Town coach
at 12:52 15 May 2019

https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/west-ham-news-declan
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I'm sure every one of us can be united on one thing ...
at 15:00 5 May 2019

Thank FCUK that season is over.
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Given our quite remarkable lack of fit attackers and constant other niggles ...
at 19:29 27 Apr 2019

... I'm not sure that there is anything to comment on at the moment. Have a snooze til August, wake up and judge it all from zero then.
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Long-time Tranmere watching colleague on Norwood
at 10:58 16 Apr 2019

"One of my favourite players in 33 years watching Tranmere. Please don't take him! Can't score one-on-ones to save his life but hard worker, good feet, smart footballer, and hero to the fans."

Him + Keane would seem a decent enough haul for the striking department, I do worry about a lack of cutting edge for next season though, even in L1.
[Post edited 16 Apr 10:59]
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Kenlock
at 10:24 7 Apr 2019

Have never really rated him, to be quite honest, but seems to be in some decent form at the moment, a couple of assists lately and Lambert has been very positive. Has he made a step up, in regular watchers' eyes?
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Don't think Lambert was threatening to walk out there, was he?
at 22:32 30 Mar 2019

Seems like he was just responding to a fairly critical line of questioning with "Well if they sack me I can't do anything about it", which is pretty uncontroversial. He won't be sacked as there is a rebuilding job to do and it would be insane to rip it up again. Think the questions suggested more discord than there actually is and, perhaps unfortunately, got a line from it.
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That was good last night
at 10:06 13 Mar 2019

While we can't say things have "turned", and they certainly won't in time to keep us up, there are signs of a consistent level of performance now and more resilience about the team. If we could keep our strikers fit we'd probably have won one or two of the games we've drawn. Thought that was very good yesterday in most departments and if we'd been able to approach games like that a couple of months ago we'd be right in the scrap. But I think we're all getting a bit of a clearer idea about how Lambert wants to do things and, while the pain of going down is going to be immense, I'm fully onboard with his plan for bringing us back.
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