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  1. 32 points
    Mrs Ricardo said "don't forget your lights", as we biked off down to CR this evening to run the rule over some of the new boys. Lucas Rupp was the only survivor from Saturdays debacle so I surmised it might be a bit of a "getting to know you" game. As I was soon to discover, it was anything but, and from the off everything looked nicely in synch. There was little of note in the opening exchanges with Sargent bustling clear on the right to win a corner while at the other end a long ball from the left went right across the City six yard box without anyone getting a touch. However we didn't have long to wait for some real action as on 12 minutes McLean floated a long pass into space for Tzolis to run on to and the Greek lad was cool as a cucumber, taking the ball in his stride and guiding it past the keeper with the help of a slight deflection. I have found over the years that it really doesn't take long to see if a young player has got what it takes and although I don't want to go over the top with Tzolis, anyone who couldn't see what I saw tonight is really wasting their time watching football. We were treated to it again on 25 minutes when his speed of thought and action found time for Dowell to set up Kenny McLean to thrash a twenty yarder just inside Nyland's left post. Bournemouth had dominated possession but never really got within striking range as City picked them apart with some deft passes. Tzolis was panicking the visitors defence by looking to run off the defenders shoulder everytime City came forward and it was no surpise just after the half hour when his sharp cross found Rupp on the penalty spot to slam a in a third with the keeper helpless. I don't want it to sound like a one man show because there were excellent contributions from Dowell and Sargent, while at the back Mumba, Zimbo, Williams and Omobamidelle were solid and seldom under any pressure and Sorenson was calmness itself in the centre of the park. However the real buzz came when the ball reached Tzolis, he just seemed capable of making things happen. I posted on the Pinkun thread at half time about his speed, balance and control, its hard to put into words but to me he just looks every inch a footballer. Wow! whoever scouted him should get a big Xmas bonus. I wondered if the second half would live up to it but if anything City whipped the ball about even quicker and we were treated to some really good stuff. Dowell picked up a stray pass 30 yards out and his cute ball left Tzolis with a run on goal. Nyland managed to get a hand on it but Sargent was on hand to tuck in the deflection to get his own scoreboard up and running. Fifteen minutes later the big strker returned the favour by winning the ball on the edge of the Bournemouth area and sliding a low ball across for Tzolis to ram in his second of the night. With a quarter of an hour to go nobody would have blamed Tzolis for going for his hat trick when bursting through on the left but he unselfishly fed Sargent who bundled home the sixth goal of the night. He might well have got his third but the next time he burst away he was just off target. Hmm, human after all. Gianoullis, Idah and Gilmour all had little cameo's but I can really only talk about one man tonight. As my son remarked as we were leaving, "wherever did the find him for that price"? Oh where indeed. I got wet on the ride back but it was well worth a soaking to witness that.
  2. 23 points
    That'd be us. Gunn Williams - Gibson - Kabak - Gianoullis Lees Melou - Normann - Gilmour Rashica - Sargent - Tzolis Good grief - there's never been a transfer window even remotely like it before.
  3. 19 points
    Much like we aren't playing Man City every game we aren't playing a hacked up Bournemouth. This place is insane sometimes.
  4. 18 points
    Fair credit to the board. Those two signings have turned this into a very solid transfer window indeed- perhaps the best I can remember on paper. Bravo Webber two days have totally plugged the gaps. My bad for doubting! Don’t know much (anything) about Normann but hope he is the CDM we are crying out for. Kabak is a huge signing for us- marquee.
  5. 17 points
    He's spot on. The ignorant, moronic, lack or respect Rupp gets on here and social media is shameful. Actually watch the games. Watch him. Farke has laid out why he's picked on a plate now. Even the most ignorant fan can now see exactly why he's picked and what he does.
  6. 15 points
    This opening post is one of the top reasons it's best to stay away from this forum after a disappointing result. A narrow loss influenced again by a shoddy decision, four matches against four fancied teams (3 reckoned to be teams at least aiming for Europe or top 6, arguably all 4 of them) and we are looking at or contemplating changing the manager. Talk about a lack of patience. Imagine thinking like this 4 games into 38. Not even 19 games, not even 10!
  7. 14 points
    Impressive stuff here at CR. Tzolis looks to have the lot, speed, control, vision, cool head. Fantastic signing.
  8. 13 points
  9. 13 points
    What a load of tosh I am reading on here this evening Farke out? Farke not a good enough manager? Do you honestly think that because our squad can't beat a team that has had 1.3 billion pounds of investment since 2008? My god, some of you need some perspective - no considered takes - just anonymous profiles spewing hate, division I get being disappointed - never nice to lose 5-0. But if the previous two games had happened at various points throughout the season would we really bat an eyelid? We were never going to get anything today - arguably Man City away is the toughest game you have all season. Only 6 teams last season took points at the Ethiad, most of them the top 4 teams in the league. Please have some perspective - we are not going to win every game; hell we aren't going to win every game against the bottom 8 teams - we will lose some as well - and we may go down or we may not. But please don't judge us after the most difficult game of the season OTBC
  10. 12 points
    Why do we always get this sanctimonious ****e whenever a thread about the binners is posted? Some of us, including myself, enjoy the rivalry and especially when the gift keeps on giving the way it does. I'm fcuked if anybody is going to lecture me on just how and how not I should get my pleasures. The topic is well labelled. Don't click on it if you don't approve.
  11. 12 points
  12. 11 points
  13. 11 points
    Don't worry, it's not this that has made you unpopular...
  14. 11 points
    Our Summer has certainly been a journey. In 3 months we've gone from this to
  15. 11 points
    Outrageous that he never got a testimonial or goodbye game. Probably the player who's put his body on the line for us more than any other in the past few years and he's greatly underappreciated as a footballer. I'd love to see us organise a friendly against Paderborn or another link up club or something to say goodbye to Tettey, Stiepermann, Trybull etc.
  16. 11 points
    There were a couple of heavy rain showers this morning but thankfully they had passed by the time I pedelled off to Carrow Road. After the mid week goal extravaganza I think some were looking for wholesale changes but I was not expecting anything adventurous from Farke so the line up with Kenny back in midfield and Williams starting at left back was pretty much a given. It all looked very even in the opening stages with both teams enjoying spells of possession with little to show for it other than an exchange of corners that came to nothing. Then on eight minutes a silly mistake on the left with Williams losing the ball to Pereira who scampered away down the wing before pulling a low ball back across the area. With the whole City defence facing the wrong way it was no surprise that Vardy would be first to it and he swept the ball into the net before Krul could move. Every mistake we make seems to get punished in this league but to their credit City didn't buckle and began to knit some good play together. Lees Malou was putting himself about a bit and was the key to setting Aarons free on the City right and although forced inside, his pass set up McLean for a crack at goal from twenty yards. The City midfielder hit it firmly enough, but straight into Scmeichals clutches unfortunately. The home side now began to get on top and won a couple of corners that came to nothing then just about mid half Raschica cut out a clearance and from the position he was in I expected him to have a go at goal but unselfishly he picked out Lees Malou on the right of the area and his strong curling effort brought the best out of the visitors keeper with a sprawling save to his right. Leicester were reduced to one or two balls into space for Vardy but the home defence remained alert to snuff out the danger. Cantwell and Pukki were looking very lively but their work seemed as if it would go unrewarded until with three minutes to the break City were awarded a penalty. A cute ball had found Lees Malou just inside the box and he was tugged down by Soyuncu as he powered towards goal. The ref initially gave a corner but when he was called by VAR to have another look he pointed to the spot. All that was left after a considerable delay was for Teemu to do what Teemu does best by striking a powerful shot to Schmeichels left. All in all I thought it a satisfactory half with City fully deserving to be level but again there was the harsh lesson of how mistakes are punished at this level. From the whistle City came forward strongly as the second period began. A nice run and pass by Raschica left Cantwell with a chance form range but his rising shot was always going over. Another raid down the Left ended in similar fashion with this time, Lees Malou firing a yard over from an identical position. Leicester then came forward with purpose but couldn't win anything other than a corner or two. The home defence stayed strong although in one scramble Maddison pulled a close range effort into the side netting. Back at the other end Pukki just couldn't get enough on a header from Aarons cross and the Leicester keeper gathered easily. Sargent and Rupp came on for the tiring Pukki and Gilmour as we entered the last quarter and it seemed likely the the next goal would win it. City had given at least as good as they had got but again they didn't get the breaks as the ball fell kindly for the visitors from a couple of tackle and when the ball was swept out to Albrighton he had time for shot although it was Williams deflection that seemed to take it over Kruls despairing dive. Oh dear, Lady Luck continues to refuse to smile upon the Canaries and it was made worse when a couple of minutes later a seemingly valid equaliser from McLeans head was ruled out for offside. From my end it appeared that he had headed it cleanly past Schmiechel but VAR concluded that Cantwell was offside in front of the keeper. I couldn't say from where I sit but most comments seem to think it was very harsh, such is our luck at present. All that remained was a cavalry charge to the end with even Krul in the opposing area but an equaliser wouldn't come.Very disappointing but some good signs and surely this will turn at some stage, we were by no means outclassed by a side that will undoubtedly finish in the top half dozen. Hard to select a MOM because again they were all fairly decent but Raschica was certainly lively as was Lees Malou while Gilmour also got in lots of good work. There were also a couple of sublime moments from Todd and had he scored from that twenty yarder then MOM would have been his.
  17. 11 points
    This thread is a total embarrassment. Cantwell wasn't brilliant today, but he wasn't terrible either. He put in a shift and did some really good things. The people who claim that he doesn't track back clearly aren't actually watching the game. Leicester broke on us from a corner late in the game when we had committed a lot of players forward and Cantwell sprinted back nearly the whole length of the pitch and put in a sliding challenge which slowed up the Leicester attack. There was another occasion early in the second half when Leicester tried to play out from the back and he sprinted to harry three Leicester players one after the other culminating in Schmeicel slicing it out for a throw in to us.
  18. 11 points
    For me, another like Stiepermann. Really gave his all for us and a decent operator at Championship level. Never has a saying been more accurate for some of the players that have departed over the last couple of seasons but "victims of their own success" seems to fit very well. I don't think we should forget that the likes of Leitner, Trybull, Stiepermann, Vrancic, and the like, were what this recent success has been built upon. That success put the club on a path that would see us go further than, ultimately, they could take us. For that I thank them all. In many ways they did the hard work and graft to get us to where we are. It's now up to the new signings and the players still at the club to prove they have what it takes to take us further, in respect of what others have done before them.
  19. 11 points
    i'm so bored of this... If you want to support a "club" that is an investment enterprise for the sovereign wealth of fubar middle eastern country - feel free to f**k off. We don't have 100m to invest in one player - f**king get used it.. We can't compete on/off the pitch with Liverpool and Man City - what a surprise. If you can't deal with reality then stick to computer games.
  20. 10 points
    We have played 2 of the top teams in the world and we lost. We played okay against Liverpool and we were terrible against Man City. However, we also have many new faces in the squad. Man City and Liverpool were both barely changed squads since last season. People need to calm down a bit and let us bed in our new players. We barely had a preseason and the loss of Skipp has left a big hole in the middle. Lees-Melou has shown a lot of promise and there's definitely a player in there. No need for all the pant wetting, calls of an oppressive left-wing regime and general negative vibes. Give the team some more time and see how they play against teams outside of the top 6. OTBC
  21. 10 points
    I remember Steven Whittaker playing in midfield...
  22. 9 points
    Ah yes, you're right, I must've imagined us signing 11 first team players this season and committing to ~£70mil in transfer fees, because nothing could document the latest transfer window better than our... ***checks notes***... net spend over the past five years. So bizarre, its like you couldn't actually use the most recent window as a stick to beat the club with so you just moved the goalposts back a bit.
  23. 9 points
    Last season we made a subtle but significant tactical switch to be better setup to defend at the expense of some of our attacking threat. Where we were previously playing a single CDM with a more advanced CM, we switched to a more conservative double pivot and asked the number 10 to drop a little deeper. It worked. We were hard to break down and we conceded far fewer goals as a result. Consensus at the time was that we were developing a system that was preparing us for the Premier League rather than returning to the more gung-ho style that had won us the Championship previously. We needed to become more balanced and it's fair to say that we achieved that. So, here we are back in the Premier League and we inexplicably rip up the system we've been so successful with and introduce a completely different midfield setup. We've scored exactly 0 goals from open play now in 4 matches. We don't look particularly defensively assured and we certainly don't look like winning games although we might have scraped a couple of draws with better luck. Our problem is glaringly obvious: we lack bodies in attack and Pukki is totally isolated. We are going to be hemmed in by superior teams for much of this season so our best chance of picking up wins is going to be through incisive transitions where we switch from defence to attack. Right now we're unable to retain the ball in the opposition half unless they are lined up in front of us. We are missing having a number 10 and the extra man in defensive midfield is getting bypassed in both attack and defence. We still aren't able to shut teams out, but now we're totally toothless going forwards. I can't understand why we've abandoned the system that was so successful and are persisting with this change that is clearly not working. Let's have Normann and one other CM and give ourselves a fighting chance of scoring a few goals!
  24. 9 points
    Wish you'd Farke Off
  25. 9 points
    Nice article on Norwich's window in the Telegraph - written by John Percy who is very reliable. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/2021/09/09/no-longer-going-war-without-gun-inside-story-norwichs-11-new/ Nuggets include Dortmund making a bid for Aarons the day before the window closed (loan with an option). Lee Dunn has taken over as Head of Recruitment. Tzolis had been tracked for years by the academy recruitment team, and Rashica had been watched since he was at Vitesse. Well worth a read.
  26. 9 points
    Whoever chucked the coke bottle at schmeichal yesterday needs their head checking I hope they find out who you are and ban you for the rest of the season the club will get a fine for this because some little chav hasn’t got the intelligence to know that’s it wrong to Chuck anything at a footballer I’d expect this kind of behaviour from them down the road but not our Barclay boys!
  27. 9 points
    With Timm Klose exiting, there are now very few of that team from the year that changed everything, the team that surprised everybody to take a group of unknown Germans, free transfers and players from the youth team and make them into a side that surprised everyone, never gave up even into the depths of injury times and gave me and many others one of the best years I've ever had as a Norwich fan. The classic line up was probably: Krul Lewis Aarons Zimmermann Godfrey/Klose Tettey Leitner/Trybull Stiepermann Hernandez Buendia Pukki subs: Vrancic, Rhodes and Cantwell I'm taking a moment to raise a glass to that team and all they achieved that has made this transfer window and hope possible. Hopefully Pukki, Aarons, Krul, Zimmermann and Cantwell will be around for a while yet and the others will go on to enjoy the rest of their careers safe in the knowledge they achieved something magnificent that year.
  28. 9 points
    I think I need a lie down.
  29. 9 points
    More like people writing them off too early
  30. 9 points
    That is truly inspiring. In fact I just made a poster saying “can I have one week of your wages? which I’m taking to the Leicester game
  31. 9 points
    Back from the game and trying to let the buzz get out of my head. Was a great atmosphere in the upper Barclay even if we had only just over 20k in the ground. Reminded me of some of the games in the late '90's as a 16/17 year old when we were getting 16-17k at most, yet still rocking the ground, even if we lost! Anyway, attempting some reasonable observations. Gunn - had one save all night, a header from a player that had to shove Mumba into the ground to win, straight at him. Other than that, a very quiet game for him. His passing and long balls were accurate, at times clipping nice balls out to Mumba and Williams who were often in acres of space. Put a few long ones onto Sargent's head too. Mumba - some of the skill... wow. Just turning players with ease. Solid enough game, has a real turn of pace. Almost seems like he is toying with opposition attackers at times, letting them get level with him, or even a bit past him and then boom, off he goes and leaves them for dead. He's very nearly there, without me being able to put a finger on exactly what it is that makes me feel he is a little off Aarons yet. I would go with others in saying that he put in a very good performance. Zimmerman - a rock. Of the two CB's on the night, by far the better, as you'd expect of a player with much experience. Calm, collected, lead well. Considering folks feel he is slow, he wasn't beaten for pace once that I can recall. And he did have a few foot races to win. He's strong and physical as ever. From what we could see, he got a yellow because the ref sympathised with Bournemouth for bouncing off him a lot. Pinged some lovely long range passes. Lots of praise but I don't expect him to dislodge Hanley or Gibson at this point in time. Omobamidele - clearly a very talented youngster. Very calm though I feel at times, a little too calm. He played some hospital balls to Williams and against better opposition would have been punished for them. Needs to know when to just punt it to relieve pressure and when intricate passing is only good for so long if you play yourself into danger. Solid otherwise, quick, nothing really troubled him. I don't see him pushing Hanley or Gibson aside either, but like Zimmemann, he is enough of a unit to be able to push back. Williams - quality. Considering he has only been with the squad for a couple of days he took to it like he had been around for months. AND considering both he and Tzolis (whoop whoop) had such a good understanding. Overlapping, underlapping... he was unlucky not to get on the score sheet himself. Very neat and tidy and he knows how to get tight to a player and ruffle some feathers. Very clever little player. Good passer, good mover and constantly looking to be open for the ball. He and Tzolis had the left hand side sewn up all night. A real dilemma for Farke here. I can see him starting Vs Leicester. He certainly has a shout for it that's for sure. McLean - At this point I think it's important to point out that you could name two or three men of the match. McLean is one. Absolutely on fire, stood out head and shoulders, popping up all over the pitch defensively and in forward positions, tackling, passing - always on the move. If he doesn't start Vs Leicester I'll eat Farke's coat. He looks stronger too, really bustled hard and kept the others gee'd up. Rupp - solid if unspectacular. He seemed to do more of the mopping up but was instrumental to our passing and moving and played some very good balls. I think I can see why people mistakenly don't rate him, he sort of has a quiet way of going about his role. I felt he had a solid game but if it's between him and McLean Vs Leicester, on this performance, there is no argument, it has to be McLean. It was good for him to get a goal, and a finely taken one too. He is a hard worker and gets a fair bit of clattering which wasn't always picked up on by the utterly useless ref tonight - more on that in a bit. Sorensen - again, like Rupp, quietly gets on with his job, but he did it very well. His reading of the game and positioning is superb. At one point rather than go diving in like Mumba and Dowell had down the right hand side, he held a line down the edge of the penalty area when many would have gone straight out to the ball and left the right hand channel of the penalty area vacant. The player took him on and failed. Had he had closed him down, the player only had to knock it past him and he had a free run, albeit on an angle, into the area. Made Pearson look like the mug he is. On this showing I certainly think Sorensen has what it takes but it might be a bit of an adjustment to step up against better opposition. He certainly has the passing range, composure and intelligence to do it. Not sure he will push for a start Vs Leicester. Tzolis - MotM. Two goals, two assists and a shot Nyland could only push into the feet of Sargent. I don't want to get too excited, but it is really hard not to. He has a bit of everything, he's happy to go down the line and cross, he's happy to take on his man, he's happy to cut inside, he's the right mixture of selfish and selfless and he has a lot of confidence... a second half shot from well within his own half had the legs but not the height. Would have been a spectacular third. He's calm, he knows when to use his skill and when not to. He tracks back - something we were told not to expect. He's strong, he's physical. At times he reminded me a little of a young Wayne Rooney... albeit a midfield version. The caveat to all of this is that he is still a little raw at times. At others, he is just sheer brilliance. The assist for Sargent at the end shows he puts the team first, it certainly was a pass too. And he fizzed a delightful ball into Rupp to score when many would have just played it hard and low into the edge of the six yard area. He and Williams were superb down the left, as mentioned earlier. Part of me really, really wants him to start against Leicester, but I will sort of understand why Farke might not - but surely, surely you can't leave out a player that has scored two and assisted two including one where he denied himself a hat-trick in preference of a sure goal for a team mate. Was being double marked by the end of the game. He certainly earned his WHOOOP WHOOOP tonight! Dowell - first half Dowell was exceptional, at times reminding me a bit of Maddison. Played some brilliant balls and got up and down the pitch well. I felt he faded a bit as the 2nd half wore on. Very neat and tidy, lots of nice movement and some lovely exchanges with Tzolis, McLean, Rupp and Sargent going forwards. I am a fan of his, just a big big dilemma for Farke with the attacking side of the line up now. Sargent - again, on any other day could rightfully be crowned MotM. Hard working, bustling, fast, got two feet. Won headers and flick ons. Shrugged off players with ease. New when to keep fighting and go down, on one occasion kept going despite being pulled, for another ten yards before going down to get a free kick on the edge of the area rather than 30 yards out. Very clever player, full of running and appears to know where to be in the box at the right time following up shots. Again, selfless, setting up team mates. There were a couple of times where I felt he could have found pockets of space when the Bournemouth defence was stretched with on of the CB's being pulled wide by the combined efforts of Dowell/Mumba and Tzolis/Williams were really pulling them out of shape. He'd stay on his CB rather than making a dart into the space vacated by the other CB forcing his marker to make a choice in sticking or going with. Shouldn't be done all of the time, I just felt a couple of breaks he could have done that and we would have broken them down again. Very good debut and two goals, the result of good movement and following up. At times was a bit Holt-esque, at others even a little Ashton-esque. Another dilemma for Farke, stick or twist with Pukki? General plus points - our corners were dangerous. We were winning headers, the balls were consistently getting past the first player and causing discomfort for Bournemouth. In this regard, we certainly do not miss Buendia... sorry, we just don't. For the little amount of time some of these players have had together, it was really quite some performance. I know people will downplay this by suggesting it wasn't Bournemouth's strongest line up and that it's just the cup... but I don't believe for a minute that they turned up to get stuffed as badly as they did. Pearson - some people on here have suggested, in the recent past, that we should get him as our DM. On his showing tonight, get me a gym membership and I'll do it. Utter sh!te! Barely broke into a sprint, barely left the centre circle, rarely passed more than 5yards. Offered little to no protection. I just do not see what Bournemouth saw in him. Honestly, he may as well have just been a chap having a stroll in the park. Did absolutely nothing useful that I could see, certainly didn't really give his defence much of a screen. So yeah, 6-0... much to ponder. Farke has some real dilemma's on his hands. Can you leave Tzolis out of the next starting line up? Can you leave Sargent out after scoring two and assisting one? Will Farke drop the previously dependable Pukki? Who does he drop out of Rashica and Cantwell if he believes Tzolis has done too well to leave out? Williams has a good shout too, but has Giannoulis really been bad enough to drop? McLean in for Rupp for me, not sure there is that great a dilemma there, although Gilmour was a little wayward when he came on. If I had one quibble it'd be that at times we close down a bit too quickly... I know that sounds a bit daft, but a couple of times they almost broke past us because we went too them too quickly meaning that they could knock and run past or pass it quickly and leave us dead. One time Sorensen read it and stopped them, on another Gunn had to make a save, though straight at him. Tzolis put in a block-tackle to cut out a cross too. Against better opposition that could be exploited. I suppose I should throw in a minor quibble too in that at times we overplayed it at the back resulting in us playing ourselves into danger. I can't remember the last time Farke genuinely had this sort of decision to make with so many good candidates to pick from. Like I say, I don't wish to get carried away, and I won't, but boy was it a good game to be at. Edit - forgot the ref: Seemed to let the game flow, though there wasn't much for him to do... which might explain why he gave Zimmermann a yellow card for getting shoved about, still managing to win the ball and then waltz away with it. It almost seemed like sympathy for Bournemouth, I mean it must of bean, it was never a foul, let alone a yellow. The tackle on Mumba on the other hand, from behind, sliding tackle... straight yellow, not even given as a foul. As if to make matters worse he couldn't have moved any slower to get over to the clearly in pain Mumba, and then took a very long time to let the physio on, as if almost to say "it aint nuffink get up yer wimp" - there aren't physios in Sunday League but I have seen speedier responses for injured players than that even if it's just a manky old bucket with rain water and a sponge last used on a filth tractor. Not particularly impressed is an understatement. Also missed a rather nasty kick from behind on Rupp.
  32. 9 points
    Because they hammered Bournemouth's U21s? Let's not get ahead of ourselves.
  33. 8 points
    For anyone interested, we're asking people to bring their scarves on Saturday and to hold them aloft as the players enter the pitch and during the pre-match OTBC. Here's why: https://www.alongcomenorwich.com/articles/acn-barclay-end-norwich-plans-for-watford/
  34. 8 points
    I joined to spread optimism and cheer with my upbeat posts
  35. 8 points
    New walk out music or terrace chant.
  36. 8 points
    Farke is quite possibly one of the best managers Norwich has ever had and probably will have, not just in terms of his management but his humility as an absolutely incredible individual. What a great representation this club has through Farke, no wonder the players play so hard for him, what a guy!
  37. 8 points
    This is an interesting passage, I posted recently stating that - although the transfer business coming in more than justified the sale - I still felt the club were complicit with the sale of Buendia, and that perhaps a harder stance on the sale could've been taken without necessarily compromising the self-funding model / squad harmony or Buendia - as some on here immediately jumped to. Again I reiterate that the overriding feeling on the sale is good due to the business coming in which has exceeded my expectations. But reading this it sounds more like things could've definitely turned sour if instead the sale was drawn out or not agreed with Villa, so more points to the club for doing it the way they did it. I take it back!
  38. 8 points
    It's best to lay out the structure of the investment first. Ipswich Town are now 87.5% owned by Gamechanger 20 Ltd (the remaining 12.5% owned by the legacy Ipswich Town Plc which is principally owned by Marcus Evans). Gamechanger is owned by the Org Az Secondary Opportunity Fund. This is an investment fund managed by investment adviser called ORG. The fund appears to be set up by ORG to invest assets on behalf of Arizona pension funds. There isn't much information on ORG, but they appear to be predominately focused on real estate investment (which makes the investment in Ipswich Town seem a little strange). ORG are listed as a consultant to the Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System pension scheme (PSPRS) , again as a real estate adviser. The fund is listed as a real estate fund. In that sense, the ultimate owner of Ipswich is now the pension scheme. But legally, and more accurately, it is the ORG fund that is the 'ultimate beneficial owner'. ORG will be looking to maximise the return on investment which will in turn be passed on to the pension scheme. According to some quick searches the pension scheme has assets under management (AUM) of $13bn (relatively medium in size in pension scheme terms). The ORG fund has AUM of c.$200-300m. In that sense, the investment in Ipswich Town is puny for the pension scheme, although relatively significant for the specific ORG fund (ORG has several other investment funds). So how can a pension scheme invest in a football club? First, PSPRS is a 'defined benefit' scheme (DB). In short, it means that individuals get a set pension on retirement based on a formula - a defined benefit. These are often referred to as 'final salary' schemes (though few schemes are based on final salaries anymore). These schemes are now rare in the UK (the public sector is one of the few remaining defined benefit pension offerers). This is in contrast to 'defined contribution' schemes (DC) in which the employee gets as a pension what they've put in plus investment return (or loss!) These are the predominant schemes in the UK. The rules on what you can invest in as a DC scheme are much stricter than for DB schemes. This is because, if investments plummet the inidivudal loses out in a DC scheme. Pension schemes must invest in the interest of the pension scheme members. Therefore a DC scheme is much less able to invest in private equity (if at all). Even for DB schemes, UK regulations are now much stricter - certainly more so than the US. PSPRS as a US DB scheme can more easily invest in private equity. In fact it does so. According to its website, 24% of its AUM is invested in private equity (i.e. investments into things like Ipswich Town). This is because it can have a long 'time horizon' to get a return on its investment (i.e. how long it can wait to make money) and private equity investments are riskier and therefore on balance are more likely to provide a higher return. Moving on to management. Pension schemes are hands-off the management of the companies in their investment portfolio. As such they will have no involvement in the running of Ipswich Town. Investment funds (like ORG) also typically do not get involved in the operations of the companies they invest in. They are in the business of identifying investment opportunities - not running companies. It may be the case they are a more 'hands-on' manager, but that appears unlikely. It seems that Brett Johnson, Michael O'Leary and Mark Ashton will running things. ORG instead will be monitoring their investment and checking it is on track. Moving to the investment / finance side, ORG can get a return through two ways: dividends/distributions; and sale (exit) of the investment. The first way can be through dividends or interest on loans. For Ipswich, the dividend route is unlikely - the club doesn't turn a profit so won't be able to pay dividends. Instead, the money would have to come from interest on loans. That interest would have to be paid out of operating income - i.e. money that would otherwise have gone on buying players, paying wages or investing in the ground. The second way is via an exit - that is selling the club for more money than you bought it for. Private equity investors will typically buy in at a 'multiple' (of revenue, or profits or assets), they then seek to increase revenue/profits/assets and exit at the same (or possibly higher multiple). That doesn't quite work for football clubs as the pricing of clubs doesn't tend to marry well to financial metrics. In short, for ORG to get a successful exit they will want to increase revenue (principally via promotion, increased commercial income - see Ed Sheeran); reduce costs (staff redundancies, 'trim the fat'); and improve the assets of the club (here Ipswich Town is light on assets, they don't own the Portman Road land for example). The economics for turning a profit on football clubs is generally awful. I saw Brentford mentioned above as an ideal investment outcome. For perspective, Brentford have racked up the best part of £100m in losses over the past decade. They made losses in each of those years (bar one where they sold the Griffin Park land and made a huge profit on player sales). As a reminder, the ORG investment fund has total assets of c.$200-300m - an investment of even half of Brentford's is not realistic unless PSPRS decides to give more money to ORG (again unlikely as the hundreds/thousands of investments PSPRS has compete against each other at any one time). Even Norwich, which balances the books generally makes losses in the Championship (albeit we usually have larger promotion bonuses). So what do I think the plan is? Immediate promotion this year is the short-term goal. Long-term, I imagine ORG were interested in getting back the Portman Road land and the other real estate assets (ORG is a real estate investment adviser after all) - ideally at a cheap price. I also imagine the goal isn't promotion to the premier league (although that'd be great if it happened, it takes a huge investment). Instead, I'd imagine something more along the lines of Mick McCarthy's reign - get in cheap players, flog players at the peak of their market value and run the club on a purse string. This would hopefully keep Ipswich in the Championship and generate enough income to get those interest payments. With the club owning the real estate again and established in the Championship, they can then work on finding an exit. A final word on Mark Ashton (as I think its important). My experience (when things go wrong) tells me to be vary wary of guys like him. I often refer to these (somewhat unprofessionally) as 'Todler CEOs'. That is they like shiny things, make reckless decisions and then get bored. They like doing M&A (or buying players, see how many players Ashton signed at Ipswich and at Bristol). They like their ego stroked (Ashton at Watford to disastrous effect, see the social media crap coming out at Ipswich). If I was a Town fan I'd be concerned with him at the helm. Apologies for the very long post.
  39. 8 points
    "Great news I've heard Newcastle United are signing Neymar! That's Neymar defenders, Neymar midfielders and Neymar strikers. (Stolen from a very good friend of mine)" John from Blyth, 20:15
  40. 8 points
    The point is that we've sold Buendia and used that money to practically buy a whole new team. Gibson and Giannoulis were already accounted for in last season's budgets, so we've effectively replaced Buendia (plus the players we let go or phased out such as Trybull, Leitner, Stiepermann, Tettey, Klose, Drmic, Hernandez and Vrancic) with Gunn, Williams, Kabak, Gilmour, Lees-Melou, Normann, Rashica, Tzolis and Sargent. No one of those players can replace Emi directly, so we've bought a bunch of different weapons that should give us a great deal more versatility. Have we improved the team, though? I'm not even going to bother with the subs; I believe it is abundantly clear that the subs in our 20-player matchday squad will be hugely and demonstrably better than two years ago. I've ignored the autumn period with the ridiculous injury crisis, so no trying to claim Tettey and Amadou as a centre-back partnership. I've gone for what I believe to be our strongest possible XI from two years ago. Two years ago: Krul, Aarons, Hanley, Godfrey, Lewis; Tettey, Vrancic, McLean, Buendia, Cantwell; Pukki. Nine of those players are nailed-on starters when fit, based on total number of appearances made; only Hanley and Vrancic started fewer than 25 of our 38 matches. This year: Krul, Aarons, Hanley, Kabak, Williams; Gilmour, McLean, Normann; Rashica, Pukki, Cantwell. Immediately there are so many problems with choosing an XI here. A lot of these players are yet to settle, but what's abundantly clear is that the XI is improved by virtue of being able to choose it from a pool of outstanding players. On paper, the two XIs above look roughly even to me (indeed, six of the starters from this team were starters two years ago). However, the team from two years ago largely picked itself (with the exception of choosing between Hanley and Zimbo at CB, and Vrancic in CM ahead of whoever else). Looking at this squad, there are so many variables and weapons. Three at the back? Four at the back? Double pivot, or three central midfielders? A 4-5-1 with wingers, or narrow 4-2-3-1 with inverted 'wingers' playing narrow, or 4-3-2-1 without a conventional '10'? While any chosen XI from our squad may not on paper appear demonstrably better than our strongest XI from two years ago, how often does your supposed strongest XI play together? Factor in injuries, suspensions, loss of form and the necessity of changing tactics/systems to try and thwart much stronger and smarter opposition, and it's clear to me that over 38 games, our starting XI will be massively stronger than it was two years ago, precisely because of the way the squad has been strengthened. There is absolutely no reason that we shouldn't stay up with this squad. Sure I'd take 17th now, even if Farke wouldn't, but he has his well-documented 'gun', and then some.
  41. 8 points
    In the basis we seem to be able to carry over 10 defeats it's not odd at all
  42. 8 points
    Pink ‘un Forum Rating: Todd Cantwell 1 Wears an Alice band, posts on Instagram, and didn’t go mental ballistic when we scored a goal against a team that were already beat! sarcasm intended
  43. 8 points
    Oh no, Pukki failed to score against two of the worlds strongest teams while Sarganet scored against Bournmouths under 23's.. Pukkis career is finished
  44. 8 points
    I for one think signing players that people have heard of goes against Sporting integrity
  45. 8 points
    @cambridgeshire canary, you need to keep an eye on this one. I think he's making a play for your 'starting pointless threads' crown...
  46. 8 points
    If you have a problem, If no one else can help And if you can find them Maybe you can hire the B-team!
  47. 8 points
    Did his left foot look okay?
  48. 8 points
  49. 8 points
    Looking at the current odds, and presuming my maths is correct, then by my estimation............ You'll lose a fiver.....
  50. 8 points
    They were dumped for Brentford in January. Easy transition, even managed to keep the same shirts. #seamless
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