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Peterloo 200 years on
at 08:39 16 Aug 2019

An event that should be ingrained in the cultural history of this country, it's as important in understanding nineteenth century Britain as much if not more so than Waterloo (where the contribution of Blucher's Prussians is often forgotten).

A thoughtful piece here:

Thoughtful BBC piece on Didcot power station
at 07:41 16 Aug 2019

Ahead of the demolition of it's cooling towers this weekend.

Having spent a few years working closely with a couple of power stations of that era, and visited a few more, I have mixed feelings about their demise. Relics of a bygone era in many ways but places that contributed greatly to the country over their working lives and the view from many trains won't be the same without the outline of cooling towers in the distance.
[Post edited 16 Aug 7:54]
We got what was expected with that team
at 08:19 14 Aug 2019

It wasn't very good, we were exposed at times but there are a few clear positives from last night as well as plenty of question marks.

A fragile spine, several players coming back from injury, and two youngsters making their debut down the left side against a side who are used to winning was always likely to go one way. Yes, Luton made eleven changes too but considering they had players brought in - Izzy Brown, Bree - plus Lua Lua and a number of last season's regulars they were at a different level to our side in terms of cohesion and fitness.

We spent the entire first half being exposed at full back. Emamnuel was largely at fault for both goals - Edwards had the ball when he gave the penalty away FFS - but didn't have a good half, not helped by the lack of cover from Edwards in front of him. It was worse on the left, Clements struggled positionally all half and Dobra didn't cover well enough, the gaps were enormous. The goals were awful but it could have been more even if Luton failed to hit the target with most of their shots.

Clements has got some character though, even in the first half he made some good tackles and recovered well on occasions. He kept going and he'll learn from the experience. Indeed, both full backs looked far more comfortable in the second half perhaps helped by the midfielders having more discipline.

First the big positive of the evening, Dobra after looking a bit overawed for the first five minutes went on one run and the confidence visibly grew in him, he was a threat running at Luton and he deserved his goal. I don't think he left Clements as exposed in the second half either. I think he's forced his way into the first-team squad, especially with Garbutt out for a month.

The other positive was time on the pitch for Huws, Judge and Edwards. However the lack of fitness was a big reason we were so exposed in the first half, that and some pretty disjointed passing. There was good stuff from all three though, Edwards in the second half looked better, more involved and covered back but he's obviously missed pre-season. There were flashes from Huws and Judge was better than on Saturday even if not quite where he was last season.

We did create chances throughout but particularly in the second half, a little bit more composure and we might have been making the last few minutes uncomfortable for Luton (or it might have been 5-3 to them which wouldn't have been unfair either). Roberts isn't a striker though, he works hard but the limitations are clear.

There's a little bit too much angst about that side and the result, it just fits out glorious recent history in the League Cup all the way back to Notts County under Royle.
It feels a lot longer than two years ago that we last played Luton
at 10:36 13 Aug 2019

That was a good evening and one of the very few cup wins I've seen live since about 2003.

A few thoughts by Steve_M 9 Aug 2017 7:58
It's nice to win a cup tie, even nicer to win one with such strong showing by so many players who might actually give us some proper squad depth this year. Whilst, losing to Stevenage, Crawley et al had no great effect in the grand scheme of things it's much nicer to keep the positive impact from Saturday going.

We started fairly slowly on the ball, partly because the home side started positively but also our passing was a bit off. Neither wing-back looked great on the ball: Kenlock's touch was very poor in the first half and Iorfa didn't quite seem to know what to do with the ball. We failed to find McGoldrick or Cellina with the ball, hitting it too long.

We grew into the game though, the first time Cellina and McGoldrick linked up, the former just shot over, the second time we scored. Nydam having been content just to do simple things on the ball, started to trust himself to do more and he came much more into the game, some of the link up play with Downes and Skuse in the middle was good; moving the ball about and working space confidently.

Luton showed why they scored a lot of goals at the weekend, midfield runners playing off the strikers and shooting readily. They should have been level at the break, Gerken pushing a shot straight back into play but the shot was abysmal/hilarious.

The second half we also started slowly, sitting back a little too much but we did break quickly and with some good use of the ball. Kenlock I thought had a much better second half and McGoldrick looked a real threat whenever the ball got to him. Cellina faded a bit but I think he'll just take a little while to get properly up to the pace of this division - he'll be unplayable at times when he does.

Waghorn gave us a bit more impetus when he came on, quite direct in his play but he looked like a player who hadn't trained with his teammates yet. More to come from him no doubt.

We had chances to have wrapped the game up long before we did, Luton's shooting became increasing desperate but a cushion was still nice. Knudsen - who looks comfortable in a back three - showed good composure to put his foot on the ball in midfield before playing it to Iorfa who played the best ball of his night to McGoldrick. 2-0 job done and a very happy away end.

The biggest positives were McGoldrick's form, another good game from Downes and an impressive debut from Nydam. In addition Kenlock improved as the game went on and Wolfenden was generally good. It's only two games into the season but we might have a bit of depth to the squad this season.

Such a pity that that season tailed off so badly from mid-December onwards.
Who was after Luton tickets? Available on the gate tomorrow
at 11:05 12 Aug 2019

Monday morning thoughts
at 08:05 12 Aug 2019

Well I'm far more positive after two league games of this season than I was after the first two of last season but two big failings remain and until we work out how to improve on them we will not quite be successful:

1). The ability to concede (or nearly concede) from positions where the opposition has only a 10-20% chance of scoring. We did it Saturday, we did it at Burton too but Holy got lucky. It's a bad habit.

2). Not creating clear cut chances from good amounts of possession. I know there are some stats floating around that show this in a more positive light but we still don't look like a side expecting to score when it attacks. We definitely didn't believe we would go and get a winner after Sunderland equalised.

Both will improve with wins and confidence and are, in many ways, inevitable hangovers from last season so to expect them to have vanished within a couple of matches is unrealistic. I don't think either is about individuals particularly, just a team that isn't used to winning matches and so makes harder work of everything than it should.

One big improvement is that we don't look like we're playing with a man down as we did for virtually all of last season, that partly reflects the opposition not being as good but also a few players improving the over all dynamic of the team - Rowe, Garbutt and Norwood in particular.

So, plenty of positives but still much to improve on. We still need another striker and a full back at the very least and to get some players fit - Huws looked two divisions above everyone else on the pitch in his brief cameo at Burton - and then go from there.
200% on Bury
at 06:54 10 Aug 2019

An utter mess and seemingly unresolvable.

[Post edited 10 Aug 6:54]
That slice for the first goal gets better every time I see it.
at 20:56 9 Aug 2019

It might be in my top five Nodge own goals.

Not that I know what is outside the top two.....
Some pictures of scenic UK rail journeys
at 15:42 9 Aug 2019

It doesn't yet include the Ipswich - Peterborough train on 17 August.

This is good: David Hepworth on 1969
at 17:26 8 Aug 2019

It's as much about pop culture and memory than anything else.

Pennington going for a second successive relegation?
at 16:59 8 Aug 2019

He's gone to Hull.

A piece on the welcome relaunch of the ITFC Community Trust
at 08:15 8 Aug 2019

And why it was a foolish decision to abandon it a few years back:

This is awful. Dario Grady covering up for a serial sex offender at Chelsea
at 13:56 6 Aug 2019

He is still suspended as Director of Football at Crewe in relation to the Barry Bennell case.

He's clearly not the only one in football who was quite happy to cover things up either.
Top customer services work from Easyjet here
at 11:05 6 Aug 2019

Obviously this will now go viral, and deservedly so.
Swiss Ramble is currently doing a thread on Premier League transfer spending
at 08:38 6 Aug 2019

It will probably be as interesting as it is depressing.

Cricket: A couple of good pieces on England
at 07:43 6 Aug 2019

From Barney Ronay and George Dobell:

For all the excellent work Bayliss has done for the one day teams there has been no improvement in the Test side over the last four four years, indeed the side is probably weaker given Cook's slow decline and then retirement. It's not just down to him, England haven't replaced Strauss as an opener and he retired in 2012.

Not that the ECB particularly care, still obsessed with promoting the absurd Hundred than building on the parts of the game that work - look at the T20 crowds, market a one day competition on the same format we've just become World Champions in.
The Sutton Hoo Exhibition is being revamped
at 09:22 5 Aug 2019

Insert your own joke about Suffolk institutions with a glorious history of which little evidence remains....
Cricket: not much happening so far today
at 12:06 4 Aug 2019

No Anderson and Ali seemingly having lost all confidence. Smith's one false shot bisected two fielders.

We need a bit of luck quite soon or we'll be batted or this.
Cricket: Barney Ronay on Steve Smith is worth your time
at 21:41 1 Aug 2019

"Does brilliance with the bat redeem a shabby, ludicrously over-censured piece of poor sportsmanship?"

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