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  1. I''d rather have Nick Powell on loan from Man Utd who the Scum are also linked with in that article
  2. I''d be genuinely surprised if we saw the best of Butterfield this season so I hope people don''t lump too much expectation on his shoulders. He''s young, never played in the Premier League before, has just moved to a new club and is coming back from a fairly serious long-term injury.  These things suggest to me that he''s gotta be given time to reach his full potential.  It''s next season where you would want to see him really assert himself, much like Pilks and Elliot Bennett should be doing this season
  3. I don''t like this sort of thing any more than you do.  My own personal dislike is players who knock the ball away from the goal and then go down under minimal contact. BUT I guarantee that Holt, Hoolahan, Pilkington et al would have done exactly the same in that situation.  Unless the refs stop awarding the penalties then it''s only going to continue and if you can''t beat them you have to join them
  4. I genuinely believe that Hughton will get it right and make us into a better team than we were under Lambert. The squad is of higher quality than last season and I think Hughton''s style of play will achieve more long term success than Lamberts'' will. Teams would have become more accustomed to his gung ho style and learnt to negate it.  Hughton''s methods will have long term benefits but he does need results in the short term or he might not get the chance to prove this
  5. It defies belief that Ruddy is not in the England squad.  I''m not for a second saying that he should be first choice (or even on the bench) but surely someone in the national set-up should realise that they have a fine, young (by goalkeeping standards) keeper who is playing regularly at Premier League level and that he should be at least 3rd choice.  It''s highly unlikely that he''ll be required to play but they then have the chance to get him used to the international scene and also get him working with their own coaches.  I''m biased but I really don''t see 3 English goalies who are currently better than him.
  6. I still tend to believe that nobody, not even Lambert, is entirely sure what our best central midfield combination is and that this has led to the constant chopping and changing of the system. If you asked people on here to name their preferred starting midfield quartet, I''d bet you''d get a wide variety of differing combinations.  To my mind nobody has a guaranteed place or has been able to really stamp their authority on a position.  The likes of Fox, Surman, Johnson, Hoolahan and Howson have all had their moments but I would be surprised if any of them were genuine contenders for player of the season. I''m not for a second saying they are bad players but each of them has his own limitations that prevent them from being nailed on starters regardless of the opposition.   You can get away with changes out wide, plus I think Pilks and Bennett are an excellent pair of wide men, but in the centre you really need a consistent partnership.  You look at how well Newcastle have done this year - much of that success is down to having Cabaye and Tiote regularly pulling strings in midfield.  Perhaps Howson is half the answer, but I''m yet to be convinced that any of the others are much more than useful squad members.  If I were Lambert, I would be looking to spend a fair amount of the transfer budget on trying to solve this.   I also think that a lack of consistency with our centre backs has been one of the main contributing reasons to our poor defensive record this season.  Individually all of our defenders are decent at this level but injuries have denied Lambert the chance to form a first choice partnership.  If we can get the spine of our team sorted for next year - 2 regular centre backs, 2 regular centre midfielders and a regular partnership up front - then i think we will become a far harder team to beat regardless of how well we play on the day
  7. As has been stated on numerous occasions on other threads, the main problem is that we have lots of midfielders who have one specific ability that they do very well (e.g Fox= passing, Johnson = tackling, Hoolahan = linking play) but none that are able to combine 2 or more of these abilities.  I suppose this is why they are playing for us and not a top 6 team. As a result any formation we choose is going to be a compromise somewhere along the line. Drop Fox and you lose a certain calmness on the ball. Drop Johnson/Crofts and you lose bite. Drop Pilkington and you lose width and crossing ability. I agree with smooth when he says that nobody (Lambert included) really knows what the best combination is. That is why I hope that if we buy anyone in the transfer window I would want it to be a quality midfield option. We could really do with a box to box midfielder in the mould of Francis/Etuhu especially if they were able to contribute a few goals as well, although where you find a player like that for less than a couple of million I don''t know. As for Fulham, the good news is that they don''t posess a midfield anywhere near as good as the one we faced the other night meaning we have the chance to dominate in this area. I personally favour dropping either Holt or Morison and using Wes or Pilks as a "second striker" who can then drop back in to the midfield. This gives us the solidity in the middle we need because we can play Fox and Johnson as holding midfielders allowing the wide men and hopefully the full backs more license to get forward and support the attack. My team for Saturday would be                                              Ruddy                   Naughton     Martin     Whitbread    Drury                                     Fox            Johnson                Bennett              Hoolahan/Pilkington      Surman                                                 Holt
  8. While I don''t necessarily disagree with the OP I would urge anybody who is "disappointed" by todays result to think back to where we were a couple of years ago.  A point away at Everton (and a fully deserved one in my view) is a simply staggering result for this football club.  If you need any further proof of the job that Paul Lambert has done then I suggest you dig out some of the old season review videos (2006-07 is a personal favourite) and compare the performance shown by those teams to the committed and tenacious display we produced today
  9. He is a very handy player but I would say he is still some way short of being our best. He has the ability to pick a pass out but for me he doesn''t always impose himself on games in the way that he should. He should be someone who tries to dictate the tempo of games but I think he tends to drift out of matches and become too passive in his play. Yes he doesn''t give the ball away much but that''s because he is generally playing simple, safe balls. When he looks to be incisive with his passing he looks excellent (the first goal last night is a case in point) but to my mind he doesn''t do it enough. Hoolahan for me is the man who looks most likely to make the difference between us staying up or going down
  10. Quite simply the most frustrating footballer I''ve ever seen play for Norwich. Had all the physical attributes to be a top class player. All that was missing was a brain
  11. 1. Darren Eadie 2. Polston v. Villa (March 93) although Libbra v. Man City was a very close second 3. v. Wolves(Play-off semi 1st Leg 2002) 4. Lambert 5. Iwan Roberts 6. The Bird poo shirt of the early nineties
  12. I don''t see how stricter rules is going to make much of a difference to the "quality" of the England team.  I am a believer in if the player is good enough then he would (and should ) be picked regardless of nationality.  Why are Spanish and German teams not falling over themselves to sign young British players?- because they are not good enough and cost too much.  The only result of stricter rules would be to over inflate the price of young British players even more. You can already see evidence of this in the aftermath of the 8 home grown players rule. There is no way that players like Carroll and Henderson are worth the amount payed for them but their home grown status adds value. What would benefit the England team would be tighter rules regarding overall squad size and a reduction in the amount of players that football league clubs are allowed to loan. That would put an end to the bigger clubs simply snapping up the next wonderkid at the age of 16 or 17 and then loaning him out.  Jenkinson, the guy Arsenal have just signed, is a case in point.  Surely he would benefit from a couple of seasons in the Charlton first team rather than being loaned out here, there and everywhere
  13. I agree with this completely. Of course all efforts must be made to try and stay in the Premier League but realistically it is going to be a mighty struggle to do this.  Even if you were to spend 100million there would no guarantee of remaining safe and then you would be gambling with the club''s already precarious financial situation. That is why I hope (and fully believe) that we will not be signing some of the more fanciful names being thrown around on here and in the papers. Players like Owen, Klose, Bullard and Carew would not only demand huge wages but would also be more than likely to jump ship in the event of relegation.  This would have the effect of causing a massive amount of upheaval within  the squad and would seriously damage any attempts to be promoted back again. Like the OP says it is much better to try and find a group of younger, hungrier and more committed players, something I''m sure Lambert will try to do.  Players like Vaughan, Trotter and Snodgrass would be perfect additions to the team. They would bring an element of class but at the same time would still have something to prove.  Their wages demands are likely to be significantly lower and most importantly they would be less inclined to leave (at least straightaway) if we were relegated.  This would surely leave us in a much stronger position should we find ourselves back in the Championship - even if Lambert were to leave. There will be those that say having the goal of being a yo-yo club smacks of a lack of ambition but I would have that than find ourselves back in the position we were in pre-lambert or worse still in the position of a Hull or Portsmouth (i.e. financially crippled)
  14. All washed down with a nice ice cold glass of Lemon-Ade Akinbiyi
  15. I hope not judging by the guy they dug up to narrate it.  They must have had a competition to find the guy at Carrow Road with the most monotone voice
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