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Bonzo last won the day on August 16 2021

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  1. We have some of the best players in the division but sadly not yet the best team. The acceptance that we don't have the players for 433 is a start. We need a very special centre mid to play that system and it doesn't suit Pukki's game either- furthermore the wider mids also have to do a lot of defensive work so that the full backs are not isolated or outnumbered, something which we have not mastered in nearly a season of failed attempts to play this way. Crucially it is telling that Farke was dismissed after the game at Brentford when he reverted to 4231. No one can tell for sure but it seems likely that Webber has been back seat driving. Perhaps he has some data that posits 433 is optimal and wanted the managers to persist but there is a lot more to it than data. Partnerships and understanding take time to create. Pukki looks to have a good understanding with Ramsay, Cantwell and Nunez are both players who can join up play and Gibbs looks better in a holding two. We should persist with 4231 and stop what has been a long running and failed experiment with 433. There are signs that we can gel as a side but only with a formation which suits the players that we have.
  2. Before we sack Smith we need to sack Webber. Smith is Webber's appointment. He was appointed to keep us in the Premiership, he failed. It proved the point that the squad Webber had assembled wasn't up to the task of staying in the Premiership. Indeed it wasn't Farke who was the problem, it was in fact Webber and his squad. Smith's appointment was as a result of Webber throwing Farke under the bus to save himself. If we sack Smith, Webber will stay and continue to steer the ship. Instead we should keep Smith short term and fire Webber with a view to reviewing the Manager's suitability once a new sporting Director is appointed. In all probability we need both a new Sporting Director and a new Manager. There is no point hiring a new manager if the root cause of our problems is still in situ. Webber. No one is indispensable. A new sporting Director would have the remit to get us into the Premiership and keep us there. Events have been more than sufficient to expose what our limitations are and we need to inject new blood into these senior roles. The fact that Webber is climbing mountains and interviewing for other jobs shows us that he has run out of road. It would be best for both him and for the club if he moved on. This sort of attitude by the leadership of the footballing side sets a very bad example to all who work in that area. His treatment of Farke, his appointment of Smith, the failure to remain in the Premiership the example he has set of late. It is reflected in the attitudes and performances on the pitch.
  3. What was noticeable about the Watford game apart from a lack of speed and intensity was a lack of harmful intent. I don't mean spiteful tackling of he leg biter variety but actual intent to score a goal. At times the side look like more like the judging panel who are deciding whose jam should win the prize at the annual village fete than a football team........... "after you...no after you" etc. Their behaviour seems to be characterized an overriding anxiety to avoid doing something wrong or to give offence and a marked lack of decisiveness or aggression. By the time the jam committee has decided whether or not we should get the ball forward and actually try to score a goal the opposition has reset and the chance is missed. At the moment it seems like we are sorely lacking sufficient warrior mentality/ testosterone/ chest beating psychopathy. It is something lesser sides cannot live without. The urge to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and make something happen. We need to find our Mojo. We cannot progress until we do so.
  4. Barring a defensive error by Gibbs that he made worse by committing a foul which conceded a penalty the only difference between the sides was a lack of speed, intensity and intent in the first half. I'm still not convinced of 433 or the variants we try to play (it looked like 4321 at Watford) and whilst Dowell made some incisions with his passing he is no threat on the deck as he lacks the pace and or strength to be a really effective wide attacking player in a 3 particularly when he is required to take a wider position. Plus he is easily crowded out and pinned down. On the plus side the game gave us an insight into who we should be starting Hayden, Hernandez, Sara all add physicality and directness. Besides which no side is going to be daft enough to stand off Dowell more than once before they get a rollicking from their manager. If we must play a front three it should be Hernandez/ Sara, Pukki and Sargent. I didn't like the result but it did show us a lot. Firstly if we lack intensity and speed we will get punished. Secondly if we lack intent we will not score (we simply have to want to get at opponents and get out of the mindset that we somewhat akin to a Brazilian national team who can languidly pass it around at the back before suddenly springing into action with a piece of brilliantly incisive play- we aren't that good). Thirdly it showed us some of the strength in depth that we have. Honest teams who have less talent than we do often land blows on us from sheer intent. They want to give us a bloody nose and some do. We need some of that and need to get out of the mindset that we are better than others and come out swinging a bit more often than we do. You could kind of see what Smith was aiming for with his approach. Dowell to create the through balls that Pukki thrives on and Sargent a little more central to use his mobility and defensive savvy to win turnover ball high up and back up Pukki. If Dowell had a run and a dribble in him it could have worked but he doesn't. We were just too slow to do everything and the ball went backwards just a little too often. Either runners are not free or the build up is too slow. But if the runners have no speed like Dowell then it is inevitable that the ball must go back. Sargent's goal was the exception, it was a move that was both fast and full of intent. But it only came about after the stinging rebuke that going two goals down in a first half caused. I don't think we need a new manager but I do think that Smith needs to get an electric cattle prod just to make sure the players we do have on the pitch are properly awake and fully in the moment.If he has to go and have a "chat" with HR on a Monday morning then so be it. Just win the game.
  5. Sam Jeffrey's job is responsible for all revenue generating areas of the club i.e. ticket sales, sponsorship and the commercial operations related to the ground. The Sporting Director is responsible for budgeting and planning for all player related commercial activities such as negotiation of player contracts signing players and so on (spending the money or most of it). The Sporting Director is also a pretty big beast in the context of his or her responsibility in facing off to the owners and Directors of the business. It is a board level position. The daily activities will entail commercially related discussions with Board members. This person needs to be on a par with a commercially astute Board member in order to have any credibility in the role.
  6. Webber has been good for the club albeit he has on occasion bitten off more that he could chew. However he hasn't gone yet. The fact that Chelsea are talking to him is a compliment to both Webber and to the club. I don't see Adams as a contender at all. He has no commercial experience at the level required, furthermore we'd need someone from outside the club who has a record of moving the dial in the business they are now in within a similar role. The role of Sporting Director now is to transform the club into a permanent premiership side. What we don''t want is someone who is too afraid to make big calls neither do we want to appoint someone just because Delia and Michael feel comfortable with them. This is too big a role and way too important. If Webber does go we should take our time and appoint someone who really fits the bill. Personally I think Webber should finish what he started. But I guess if Chelsea come calling or if he has run out of ideas or no longer believes in the role or in his ability to achieve what is needed here based on the limits of the resources available to do so then he should go. Chelsea is a far bigger train set after all.
  7. The point of paying so much for Gunn is that we rate him as being good enough to challenge Krul. A club like ours does not spend millions to sign a player like Gunn based on sentimental reasoning. To be fair to Krul he has been one of the side's better performers this season and he certainly had a very good game at Blackpool. However, at Reading and again Vs Preston he's been beaten at his near post which is OK on occasion but it isn't OK two weeks in a row. It's time to give him a rest and play Gunn next game. Krul needs to earn his place on merit just like any other player. He knows that and so does Smith.
  8. It is difficult to criticise a player like Aarons without knowing what the instructions are from his manager. I personally would like to see him back himself and attack the space behind his opposing full back and run at defenders more often when we have possession in the opposition third. Byram is a different type of player who has to work his way forward rather than rely on speed. Max however has the talent to cause mayhem in the attacking third but seems to be playing within himself by playing for pass completion and ball retention and more often than not taking the safe option which in the defensive areas is certainly what is required. Taking on players means that he will lose possession more often than he does and this is why he needs his manager to back him in this. In the attacking third Max has all the raw ingredients to cause a lot more mayhem than he does. Unleashing this aspect of his game is down to his manager. Most spectators here would like to see him pin his ears back and bet on himself a bit more in the final third. If he loses the ball a couple of times but creates a goal scoring chance then that is a bet worth making IMHO.
  9. The idea that it is not the players fault is the same argument as "I was just following orders" used by those tried at Nuremberg. Q "You are accused of helping a regime which was gassing Jews in a genocide" A "Yes I was but I had an armband that stated my support for the Jewish people, I was just following orders" Really? So that's OK is it? The point is that these players do have a choice and they are choosing en mass to support the Qatari Sports Washing campaign rather than to be allies to the LGBT movement. The notion that players would be victims if they did not attend doesn't cut it for me. They would be required to make a sacrifice for sure but the fact that none are is telling. If enough of them stood up then Qatar would have no world cup. The players are all willing to look the other way. That is the tragedy. The next time one of them makes a statement in favour of equality or LGBT rights make sure you remember what they did. Looking good and doing good are two very different things. As different as words and deeds. Any player who gets on the plane to Qatar should never be allowed to forget their complicity in the Qatari sports washing campaign. An armband is no excuse.
  10. https://www.humandignitytrust.org/country-profile/qatar/ How do players find a moral justification for playing a world cup in a country like Qatar? It is illegal to be Gay in Qatar. Not going to play football there is the solution. Wearing the armband is the most bogus and pathetic version of virtue signalling that I have ever heard of bar none. "Deeds not words" was the motto of the suffragette movement and in this case that would mean boycotting the tournament. Those who go and wear the armband are more of an ally to the Qatari regimes sports-washing campaign than they are an ally to LGBT people and women. It is that simple. Choose your side.
  11. Bloody Vikings. Coming over here and kicking our butts. Again.
  12. I'm not sure we "got away" with anything. It was certainly a finely balanced game at times but Smith was right to give Bristol City due credit for their performance and also for the way they set up. The benefits of their system which is 3412 but is really a variant of 343 is that they had an extra man in midfield and they made it pay. The question is how we counter this and keep our shape playing from a 4231? I don't know, but we'll get this problem again and we need to find a better solution. Bristol used their tactical overload in midfield to great effect and were able to dominate possession centrally as soon as we started to manage the game and run the clock (seemingly from the second goal). On reflection this was a mistake. A two goal lead is usually the cue for a win or at least a draw. But managing the game so early in the contest against a side like Bristol? We need a different mentality. It seemed like we had gone into our shell. Bristol sensed this and were emboldened during the second part of the first half. The difference we need to see is a more ruthless approach to finishing off the opposition once we have gained the ascendancy especially against a bold side like Bristol who had come to play football with us. Bristol have goals in them, their morale is high and Smith was right to reinvigorate our approach at half time. Hernandez is more than a just a fan of one of our retail giants he's a reason why opposing defences stay home not that Cantwell was lacking any effort or application. Sara looked energetic. I thought McLean played well, so much of his work is in his positioning and off the ball. He's not a showy player as a result many fail to see his merits, my only criticism of him is his finishing but he is savvy and he's effective in closing the passing lanes plus he knows his job in a 4231. It wasn't a lucky win but it was a close run thing. Bristol if anything reminded me of a Lambert run Norwich, all players willing to put a shoulder to the wheel and a side who play with the mentality of if you score 3 we'll score 4. If you were a Bristol fan what's not to like about that? If anything Smith and his players will have learned a lot from this game. We didn't play at our best and won and yet we won because we played our 4231 and put the ball into the places where Pukki wants it. It wasn't our best performance and it was nerve wracking to watch and yet many of our lads played well with Pukki, Sargent and McLean the pick of the bunch. It's true that we could have lost or drawn a game like this and for sure we have no right to expect to win but we did win and we deserved to. Just.
  13. Martin is considered a target by some as he plays 3421 like Brighton. The same is true with Cooper who in fairness to Martin has more experience and has also won promotion from the Championship. Brighton obviously don't have a problem appointing someone out of the Championship or someone who is up and coming. At a guess they will place a high degree of importance on the playing style of the manager as they have now assembled a fairly decent squad which is set up to play 3421. In other words Martin may be a realistic contender here- perhaps with Cooper ahead of him. For Brighton getting a manager who plays their way will ensure that they can capitalise on what they have built so far. Changing their playing style and personnel to fit a new manager is a far more complex and risky prospect and seems an unlikely way for them to go.
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