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  1. Thanks, qualification really has been such a huge thing for all of us football fans in here. It was live award show, so he was actually let to fly to Finland to receive the award. But his walking looked all good, no limping He was actually just 3rd footballer ever to win that award. Ones before have been Jari Litmanen and Sami Hyypiä, so he is in good company.
  2. First runner up was Lukas Hradecky, keeper of Finnish national team and Bayer Leverkusen. Pukki had nearly double the votes compared to him. I think it was some sort of record votes that he got. Third was Iivo Niskanen, cross-country skier who had won the award twice in row. Others in top ten included guys like Valtteri Bottas (2nd in F1 this year), Lauri Markkanen (young Finnish NBA player who was selected in NBA young players all-star game ) and some icehockey players such as captain of Team Finland which won world championship in 2019.
  3. Teemu was just awarded as Finnish Athlete of Year 2019. A trophy which includes athletes from all the sports. He was actually participating the gala in person and had very visible Norwich City pin on his chest. More merch sales brewing here in Finland..
  4. hepphep

    Team for Bournemouth

    Yes, that is quite what I'd be thinking as well. They might lack some match fitness, but they only gain it by playing. Was more thinking about the fact that my impression is that Farke has usually taken some time before playing new guys to get them adjusted to style of playing. It might be different in this case, if he is desperately looking to change this in very short term as well.
  5. hepphep

    Team for Bournemouth

    Would think same pretty much. Was thinking of maybe dropping Vrancic first, but even though Vrancic had off game against ManU and didn't manage to have any impact there, he could have bit more time in next game so that might be good. Would play Hanley (if available) instead of Godfrey. I think Hanley has lately been more reliable on his man marking. If we play Godfrey, then we likely would need to drop Vrancic to provide more help for our central defensive pairing. Would be surprised for Duda to start as it has not usually been Farke's way, but would expect him to be subbed in later (and would like to see what he has to offer immediately).
  6. hepphep


    Rupp has played 7637 minutes of Bundesliga so far in his career (mostly in mid/bottom table teams it seems), so does not seem big star in there, which of course is clear with the sums we are investing to buying players. However, brings in lots of top league experience that we have been lacking a lot.
  7. hepphep

    Why we will be relegated

    Gotta agree that there is something to improve in our defensive play. If you look at Key Passes (leading to scoring chances) we are averaging to 8.5 which is 13th best in league at the moment. However, we have only had more key passes than opponent in five games so far (from which we have gained 7pts in total). This clearly indicates that our defensive work would need improvement. During same time we have won possession in 12 games. In three of those games where we have won key passes we have had higher possession than opponent. And in those three matches we have had remarkably higher possession than opponent 16.4 - 31.6%. What to think about that? While maintaining some possession, we usually are vulnerable to give opponents key passes mostly from counter attacks. That is clearly defensive problem. On the other hand, converting our possession (in which we are 9th in league) to more key passes could also play big part in adding scoring chances (we are 14th in league in number of shots). Our scoring average is 1 per game, which is 16th in league, so there is also place of improvement. In that sense, we are lacking two ways. We are vulnerable defensively, but also don't have the edge to give the key passes. Let's hope that Duda can bring some magic in there so that we can turn our possession to higher amount of key passes as well. With more key passes we might be able to kill the games earlier which would help us also to keep the defensive shape better on the second half.
  8. That's actually true as well. And actually if you just look at high level results that is clear. Our scoring trend has been going down along with our points trend. That is interesting conflict with the fact that based on other stats it looks like we are improving. So it seems that in many ways we are improving inside the game, but the end results are going down. Of course our conceded trend is going down as well, getting bit closer to our scoring which is also going down.
  9. When in other thread there was lots of discussion if we have improved during the season or not, I started to really ponder if it is just me who is in wrong impression and then I figured out that maybe statistics could tell something of how our performance has changed during the season. So, I dived into WhoScored.com statistics and started pull lots of stats from there to google sheet to get real idea. I include charts of those data here. The charts are in format our value - opponent value. So for example if Shots category is in -5 that means that opponent has shot five times more than us in that game. The trendlines here define the direction we have been moving during the season so far. It is interesting in the sense that amount of possession and passing success rate has been going down during the season. On the other hand, we have been improving on keypasses. That would be in line that in early season we tried to do more of safe passing, but were not really getting into situation to give that final pass. And I think it was quite like that actually. Passing with slow tempo on our own side or in midfield which often caused us to lose possession in dangerous zones. The sort of individual progress can be seen in dribbles, tackles, key passes and aerials won. In addition the dispossessed rating is going clearly down (which is good, it's only trend that going down is better) meaning that we are reaching a point where we are not handing ball that often to opponents. Also, in shots we are trending towards same numbers as opponents. We are also closing opponents in number of corners gained, in which we started bad way as well. Of course, it is not massive statistics, but I'd think it is good enough take on seeing which way our game is progressing. Feel free to debate!
  10. If you compare the early games this season (even though we got some points then), do you honestly think that we are not playing better and more competitive football now? Early in the season it was only Krul & Pukki to keep us in games. We were bullied out of the pitch from most of the time, losing most balls and not really being able to build up anything. If Pukki would not have had his toe injury and been in full shape during the last games, we would likely have pile of more points from those. Or if we would've had another striker of any caliber available to replace him for that period. If you for example think Buendia in his first 10 games in PL or Cantwell, and compare what kind of shifts they have done recently, it is really hard for me to see that anyone could honestly tell that we have not improved both in individual level and as a team. It is true that it is not enough yet, and there are many in squad who should take major individual step of improvement to be competitive in this level. But improvement is there. I admit that it is not enough to avoid the relegation (we should've won couple of those matches where we had really good first halves lately). But comparing those early games, and how we have now been able to play good spells of Farkeball again, the change is dramatic to positive way.
  11. I actually think that we have been getting better. There was good run of games before this one in which we had greatly improved from start of the season. Not looking like dads vs boys matches anymore, but having good flowing game. Unfortunately we didn't manage to kill those games and had bad spells in the end (maybe getting tired). This game was a bad one for sure, but these also happen sometimes. Hard to say why everything was bit hard today, should've maybe had stronger midfield pair for Tettey and we did miss Pukki leading the pressure to give us more chances to intercept the attacks higher on the pitch. But in any case, if we count out this game, clearly we have improved a lot during the season already.
  12. hepphep

    Match thread v Man Utd.

    I think Byram and Buendia have been good. And Tettey done ok as well. Cantwell improved near end of first half. I think we can also see that we are missing Pukki's experience up there as his positioning and moves when giving pressure is something that Idah couldn't yet provide on first half. Would likely consider substituting Vrancic and bringing Trybull in (or maybe giving Amadou chance next to Tettey). Need more defensive strength and balance to midfield. Need start to winning balls bit higher up in field as well.
  13. hepphep

    Paradox in defence

    I think that many of the young defenders have lots of potential, but it is very clear that they are not there yet. Therefore, if some of the bigger clubs would sign them, I'd see them likely to not be in starting eleven but learning behind. I think the biggest step for them in this level has been man marking against much stronger, faster and cunning opponents. If we would for example count the number of most often failed their man marking in critical situations (especially near own goal), it'd be most likely Godfrey on clear margin. Same has happened often for Lewis and Aarons. In situations when they are close to opponent, but who pushes them aside to get that extra room or takes small step away of them on right timing to get enough space to be found and score. They are all very good with ball and can read the game brilliantly when going forward. They are also very good in situations where they are defending 1 vs 1 against they guy with ball. But man marking, that is what all them (Godfrey most) is lacking. If you go through the collection of the goals that have been scored against us this season, that can be seen very clear. That is something that can be learned for sure, and that is why I think the big ones are after them. They have so much talent and currently only one major issue on this level, which can be improved over time. However, during this season, that has often been the deciding factor on giving out goals. Even though I rate Godfrey lots more higher overall than Hanley, I think that Hanley is currently more prepared for PL games as he is much stronger in his marking and does not get bullied in front of goal.
  14. hepphep

    Bad News

    Seems valid and creditable account! They've got all the latest info!
  15. hepphep

    Player of the (half) Season

    Pukki for me. If he'd have his good run of goals in latter part of first half instead of first half so that it would be freshly in memory, I think that it would have been hard to even think for anyone else. Cantwell is very close to 2nd. His work rate combined with the fact that he has started scoring as well has been impressive. I think Krul really shined in early matches when he had tons of saves to make, but on latter half of the season he has been quite average. Reliable for sure, but not really making game savers.