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  1. Disco, my Spidey senses are telling me you might be slightly miffed about tonight's performance. Or perhaps my radar is off?
  2. He's a young lad so he gets a bit of a pass, but he was involved in a few wasted final balls & crosses in the first half. Particularly the overhit cross which would have got us back on to level terms. He tried hard & didn't shy away but lacked that clinical edge exemplified by the Tsimikas cross for the killer Origi goal. His shot did lead to the penalty of course. I called it to my son when I saw him standing over the ball - "bad idea" I think I said. I remember thinking a few times during the match that "he'd look better in a better team" about a few of our players but I don't think Tzolis is the player at the moment we should be looking to to make the difference in a side looking increasingly bereft of confidence.
  3. Cheers Ricardo, pretty much how I saw it too. You can almost taste your frustration in your words! We need to get out of this funk, and quickly. The hole is getting deeper.
  4. I disagree completely on tonight's evidence. I thought we looked even less in control around the middle of the pitch at home against a young & experimental Liverpool midfield. Not forgetting we had Lees-Melou & Rupp in there, two of our elder statesmen with 'top-flight experience' alongside the wonderkid Gilmour. The back 3/5 might look marginally better with Aarons back in for Mumba but it's a flat no from me as our go-to formation. We've seen this kind of situation more than most I'm afraid - leaky at the back, toothless up front and a litany of what-ifs & hard luck stories. We're only 5 games in but confidence & belief is clearly lacking. The grumbles are only going to get louder if we can't snaffle at least a point somewhere in the very near future. We need to clog the midfield for Everton, hopefully stay in the game by not conceding and then you never know what might happen if/when the game opens up in the last 15 minutes. Something like: Krul Aarons Hanley Kabak Giannoulis Rupp Lees-Melou Normann McLean Sargent Pukki If we have a sniff with 10/20 minutes left, a bit of width or guile from Rashica/Tzolis/Cantwell(?)/Gilmour might stretch them as they will be expected to get a reasonably comfortable win and will push/press up high.
  5. I haven't thrown the towel in just yet, but we do seem to be struggling to claw our way out of another of these all too familiar ruts. A few decent chances were coughed up tonight but the lads look a bit shot for confidence. The overhit Tzolis cross in the first half, the tame Idah shot straight at the keeper, the missed penalty obviously, the Lees-Melou fluffed effort at the start of the second half, when Pukki should have squared it & when Idah most definitely should have squared it. As each game passes, it looks harder & harder to see where league points are going to come from. Gilmour has a bit of quality about him in picking a forward pass but I can't see where he currently fits in. The 4-3-3 has lacked balance so far & I don't think we have the midfield quality to get away with 3 at the back. Do we have the personnel in deep-midfield to revert back to DF's favoured 4-2-3-1? I'm gradually coming to the conclusion that no matter what combination/formation is implemented, we simply don't have the quality in midfield to be consistently competitive. And as we continue to concede soft goals, the general confidence levels throughout the squad are ebbing away before our eyes (again). We desperately need to keep a clean sheet.
  6. Interesting selection Godly, but probably a bit too brave. If we leave the two central midfielders out on the sideline, I'd worry we might run the risk of leaving the back 3 even more exposed than usual.
  7. If we could get some semblance of consistent control around midfield for longer than 10/15 minute spells & better protection for the full backs from the wide attackers when under the cosh, we probably wouldn't be having this discussion. For me, a fit and match-sharp Hanley is good enough for this level (e.g. the period immediately before the Covid lockdown & subsequent capitulation when he was injured.) At this juncture, I think he should be starting but that may well change as the season develops. Gibson disappearing is a bit of a worry - hopefully he feels he has something to prove. Omobamidele is a great prospect but it's asking a lot for him to be expected to take a leadership role in a central position at this stage, particularly as the pressure is starting to build. Kabak will hopefully deliver and may well nail a spot over the next few weeks, but he hasn't played much recently and is also still learning his craft. Poor Zimmermann just can't catch a break. Since Haller pole-axed him, he hasn't really had any opportunity to get a run of games going and I fear we're never going to see more than a few token appearances from him in the future, if that. Sad. I liked having one left-footed centre back. I don't see Farke altering to a "3 at the back" formation on a regular basis - perhaps the occasional game or a tactical switch during a game. Sorensen is another option here for spells during games. Similar to Chicken's musings above, I don't think it solves our conundrum of being competitive through the middle third. It could well end up leaving Pukki even more isolated and perhaps leave the back 3 exposed anyway as the full backs are expected to provide the width (see Watford's second goal on Saturday - Sarr still scored with 4 yellow jerseys in the box. Hanley was just as culpable as the rest but it was a poor team goal to concede from the moment Sissoko controlled the ball)
  8. "Big trouble. Serious. HUGE" Last line reminds me of the lovely Julia Roberts going back to the posh clothes shop in Pretty Woman.
  9. Poor thread. Looking forward to seeing Cantwell out on the pitch in the near future. He has plenty to offer at this level.
  10. Gunn Mumba Omobamidele Kabak Williams Sorensen Normann Lees-Melou Cantwell Tzolis Idah 6 of the same 11 from the Bournemouth game. Ideally get some minutes into the legs of Sargent, Dowell, Giannoulis or the much-maligned Rupp too. Probably too many changes for a side that really needs some positivity right now, particularly against one of the top clubs in the country. But I'd like to see all of the above get some valuable pitch-time and push for starting slots.
  11. Is it going to be: Or perhaps: Time will tell.
  12. A disjointed midfield is more of an issue for me. I think the personnel in defence are good enough to be competitive at this level. We haven't (yet?) got the system or balance right in the engine room. I still hope we achieve this, but I am getting increasingly concerned that we may be in too big of a hole by the time we do. We are only 5 games in but yesterday was a bitter pill to swallow. Two tough away games coming up, and we really need to stop the rot & get a few points on the board. A filthy 0-0 would help to steady the ship.
  13. You should try and make some room for Gary Holt in that selection. The back 4 might need some protection. I'd be slightly worried about a lack of pace in the back 4 & getting caught on the counter.
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