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Grant Ward is one of my current favourites
at 17:51 20 Sep 2018

Does anyone else have a slightly unusual favourite from our current crop of players?

I know he's not everyone's favourite, but I really like him as a player. He glides across the pitch, has really good touch, nice turn of pace etc. He seemed to go into his shell a bit after scoring a hat-trick on his debut. He seemed to stop doing the obvious and as reluctant to shoot on sight.

He's one of our players who i really think could do something under the current manager, who could really come out of his shell.
Stop fiddling, stick with the plan
at 06:34 19 Sep 2018

Awful first half. A continuation of Hull on Saturday when we set up wrong and offered very little. The difference last night was that Brentford are very very good.

They had technically excellent players, who all knew their roles in the team and where their teammates would be. It’s what we aspire to be. Sometimes, as fans, we fail to recognise the quality of the team we’re playing. First half, that’s the best performance by any team at Portman Road for many years imho.

That said, we started with a strange mess of a line-up - no Edwards or Nolan to help us retain the ball, Donacien out of position, Harrison AND Jackson, so much departed from the Hurst plan. Bizarre. Again.

I came away unsure how we could begin to get a foothold. Whatever Hurst was likely to do at half time, we simply don’t have a team who are as familiar with the system and each other to work like that. And given the odd selection choices Hurst was making, I didn’t have much faith in his ability to make the right decisions.

But massive credit, we came out after the break and (at times) outplayed a team who will I’m sure get promotion this season. How? Put on your best players, in the right positions, in a system they understand. Simple, right?

Nolan had his best game for us last night, Donacien an improvement on Spence in his best position at left back, Ward possibly our man of the match and Jackson is our man most likely to at number 9, getting the goal he deserved. Edwards was quiet, but gave us some balance. Had we had a fully firing Gwion as counterpoint to Ward, we might have won last night.

After the Hull game I thought we should stick with the same team for last night, with Chalobah just in to replace Downes. Today, I’m feeling that the team we finished with today, but Chalobah in for Downes again, has to be our starting lineup on Saturday.

We have many decent players, with good technique, but we need to give them chance to play in the system they understand, to build partnerships and gel as a team.

Hurst needs to have the courage of his convictions and stick with his plan, his system and his best players. If he does, we have a chance. If he doesn’t, and throws it all up in the air again, this won’t end prettily.
More great work from BBC Suffolk
at 16:14 17 Sep 2018

Their 1978 anniversary show at the end of last season has been nominated for a radio industry "Oscar". Was a great show. I reckon they'll get another nomination for this morning's Kevin Beattie tribute too.

After the terrible news of The Beat
at 11:57 17 Sep 2018

could we maybe have an embargo on talk of managerial sackings, resignations etc?

I was as frustrated / concerned as anyone on the way back from Hull, but it doesn't seem appropriate to be debating the manager's future given the events of yesterday.

Maybe we can all bury our differences and throw our all behind the team tomorrow and Saturday, in memory of the greatest player many of us ever saw.
BBC Suffolk doing a great job this morning
at 09:10 17 Sep 2018

paying tribute to The Beat. So many legends paying tribute - Butcher, Mills, Burley, Hunter, Muhren coming up, clips from Robson, etc etc.

Fantastic work by Mark Murphy, Paul Sheehan and the team. Hats off to the lot of them.

Hunter is on right now - but check it out on listen again later, if you haven't already had chance.
Tribute on 5Live’s 606
at 23:32 16 Sep 2018

Gav/Phil can you set up a tribute page for Beat.
at 17:40 16 Sep 2018

I’m sure we’ve all got memories, stories, and feelings of what he meant to us all. I only started watching Town in his latter years, after he’d started struggling with injury, I’d love to read what other posters remember about him.
Damien Delaney now playing for Cork City.
at 08:00 15 Sep 2018

Scored a peach of an own goal last night.

James Collins a guest on 5Live football programme this evening
at 19:18 14 Sep 2018

On right now.

Wonder if he’ll talk abiut his contract situation...
Lots of our fans seem to have much too much time on their hand
at 11:45 14 Sep 2018

Lots of over-analysing on here at the moment.

Could I respectfully recommend one of these.

[Post edited 14 Sep 11:46]
Northern strike action
at 14:30 13 Sep 2018

Anyone else heard any info on this? I've just had an email from Trainline (who I bought my tickets through) suggesting there will be disruption en route to Hull and that I could potentially have a refund...

Has anyone else had this? Or does anyone know what impact the strike has had in recent weeks on a Satuday?
[Post edited 13 Sep 14:30]
Don't panic everyone. It's all going to be alright.
at 11:51 13 Sep 2018

I've been getting a bit fed up with the general negativity and seeming loss of hope on here.

So, I've had a quick look back over the past 10 years of Championship league tables, comparing the bottom 3 clubs on Sept 1 with the bottom 3 (relegated) clubs at the end of the season. There are plenty of crumbs of comfort...

> never have all of the bottom 3 teams on Sept 1 been relegated at the end of the season.
> on 2 occasions, 2 of the bottom 3 went on to be relegated.
> on 5 occasions, 1 of the bottom 3 went on to be relegated.
> on 3 occasions, 0 of the bottom 3 went on to be relegated.
> of the 30 teams that have been bottom 3 on September 1, just 9 went on to be relegated.
> 9 clubs who were top half of the table on Sept 1 subsequently went on to be relegated that same season.

Of course, that's still a one-in-three chance of relegation. But there is a two-in-three chance that we'll be fine.
[Post edited 13 Sep 11:51]
Yesterday: The Plan
at 16:42 3 Sep 2018

We were flabbergasted when we saw so many changes waiting in the Fanzone before yesterday’s match. But mulling over it last night and this morning, on the long journey back from Suffolk, I've made peace with Hurst's selection yesterday. I'm comforting myself with the decision that there was a clear logic to what he was trying to do.

It was a very offensive line-up, with some very specific aims behind it.

Firstly, the formation. Watching from the SBRL (behind the goal), it is often difficult to see the precise structure of the team. But it seemed that you could read it as a 4-1-3-1-1, or 4-1-3-2 (the difference being whether Walters/Jackson were up front together, or lone striker, or more likely rotating in the lone striker role). 

Spence Chambers Pennington Knudsen
Edwards Nolan Graham

I’m going to ignore the Bart/Gerks switch. Personally, I think it could be justified, given the number of errors from Bart this season – especially by a manager who is basing his decisions on what he is seeing *NOW* not form over the past 2/3 seasons. But I can understand why it left a few people discombobulated...

But ahead of the keeper we had 4 solid, defence-first defenders. plus 1 deep midfield protector. This solid back 5 in place to allow the rest to push forward - Edwards & Graham wide, to use their pace and trickery against Pinto (who was dropped) & Lewis and push them backwards, prevent them from coming forward to attack and support Hernandez & Marshall (also dropped). We shouldn’t forget that Graham has always been viewed by Hurst as his second speedy winger, to balance Edwards. I wasn't surprised he started. Hurst had also said he was looking sharp in training, as I recall.

In the middle, Nolan’s role (slightly deeper than a 10) was to play in Jackson to use his pace against Klose and Hanley (neither of them fast), Walters to bully them.

The successes for me were: Edwards, who got loads of the ball and terrorised them at times; Walters, back with a bang and set to be a massive part of our next four months; Pennington, excellent in his first game, with barely a session training with Chambers; back 4 generally, looked generally solid.

I’d possibly put Jackson in here too – quiet in the first half, he was much more involved and effective second half. He seemed to be learning from Walters as the game wore on and they looked more and more comfortable working together. I can see this combination working over the coming months. 

The failures: Graham, seemed off the pace and was a gamble which didn’t pay off; Edun, I’d have preferred to see him on the pitch when Graham came off.

Personally, I'm concerned that there were too many changes, especially as we're trying to bed in a new line-up and develop understanding and partnerships between a group of new players. After five matches, I thought we knew what Hurst’s first XI was. But I’m not sure now.  And I really am not sure what team we will see at Hull.

But Hurst did have a plan. Maybe it was a plan specific for yesterday's match. Normal service may well be resumed after the International break. Maybe?
[Post edited 3 Sep 16:47]
Which of our 6 loanees should miss out vs Norwich?
at 09:46 1 Sep 2018

Which of the 6 loanees should miss out vs Norwich?

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[Post edited 1 Sep 9:47]
Pennington - did he train with us at all today?
at 21:12 31 Aug 2018

Or will there be training tomorrow? Anyone know? Phil?

Just that if he is going to be thrown in on Sunday, I’d prefer it if he had at least played a training session or two with Chambers, so they at least know each other’s names.

If not, I’d be surprised if he started Sunday. It would make more sense to put Knudsen in there with Chambers, Donacien and Kenlock on each flank.
This Batth link.
at 22:44 30 Aug 2018

I’ve got a sinking feeling about this one.
Rumours going around that he has been tapped up.
He’ll be glad to leave Wolves though - they’re a right shower.

Kidology ahead of Sunday?
at 22:37 29 Aug 2018

I do wonder if Hurst is playing some mind games ahead of Sunday. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Skuse mysteriously recovered in time.

Assuming the Nsiala appeal isn’t successful (as I expect) and assuming Walters signs (as also expected) I’d be going for the following:

Donacien Chambers Knudsen Kenlock
Skuse Chalobah
Graham Nolan Edwards
[Post edited 30 Aug 0:00]
Our biggest problem this season
at 13:42 15 Aug 2018

Our manager not joining until mid-June, full new team not recruited until just before our second league, hardly any of them participating in the essential pre-season for the new manager's much heralded high press game. We are essentially in pre-season right now, as our new team tries to knit together, the players get used to the system, each other, build up their fitness etc.

Personally, I'm confident that we'll be there by mid- to late-September and be playing okay. The problem is that by then we will be 8-10 games into the season. WHo knows how many points we will have.

But I don't see any way out of it. We are where we are. We can't jettison a manager who has brought in 9 players, halfway through implementation of a new system. That would be insane. All we can do is sit tight, accept it's a transition period and that squeaky bum time could continue for a few more weeks yet.

I may just go to bed for 6 weeks and wake up when the hand-wringing is over...
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