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  1. Here's the graph from last night, all in all I wasn't hugely impressed by Leicester but I think it might have been a case of two decent sides nullifying one another. Giving the pen away right before half time felt pretty typical of us and that whole period leading up to it where we seemed to lose our heads slightly. 2nd goal came from a break where we didn't seem to be switched on at all, a poor goal to concede but one that happens when you're desperately trying to get one back. If anything I think we were probably a bit afraid of them and Wagner perhaps overthought his selection. The first half man to man press worked well enough but in the second when we pressed and didn't allow their keeper time we turned over the ball quite a lot, Kenny hitting the bar the main moment that stands out from that.
  2. Think the graph sums up how I thought the game went really, we were generally the better side first half and looked better as it went on. 2nd half I thought we lost momentum when we made the first 2 subs, Placheta and Hwang for Giannoulis and Idah. I'm not totally against Placheta as a LB option but the drop off in our build up play when he came in was pretty obvious, that led to us just playing long into Hwang, felt to me as if he never really got into the game. I guess one thing I would point out is that Stoke's last 2 shots were both decent chances (Gayle miskicking it and then the last header before the whistle) shouldn't have ever come to pass. Both Hernandez and Hwang had the chance to run it into the corner with less than a minute left and instead chose to shoot. Obviously we got away with it but it wasn't exactly smart game management imo.
  3. It's definitely true that there was a stark contrast in our first team recruitment this summer compared to previous years. The main reason for the divide this summer between the first team and youth recruitment is essentially tied to Webber leaving the club, I don't say that in a negative sense but that is why things have happened as they have. Wagner, like pretty much every manager, would rather have experienced players at hand as opposed to young unproven options. With Webber leaving soon he hasn't pushed back on older signings like he had done in previous years (especially ones that came via a recommendation of the first team manager). Last summer Dean Smith floated Hourihane as a midfield option only for that to be shut down pretty quickly and told that Sara was the main choice. Whether sanctioning these moves now is Webber doing Wagner a favour (for handing in his notice 2 months after appointing him) or maybe him looking to leave on a high still and looking more short term than before I'm not sure, it's possibly them factors and more. That brings us onto the youth recruitment side. Webber, in sanctioning these (more) short term moves for first teamers, realised that the shape of the squad doesn't look great 2-3 years down the line. Obviously he could have simply waved away these concerns as he would no longer be here but I think he has always been genuine when he says he wants to leave the club in a good place. As a result the recruitment team were essentially let loose this summer to bring in a number of options who will hopefully be making their way into the side within the next 2 seasons.
  4. Go for it! Yeah, it reminds me in some ways of Wagner's first few games in charge, where in total I think we scored 6 goals early on from a total of maybe 7 shots. It's good that you're taking your chances and especially when they're high quality like vs Huddersfield, but it may also be masking some deeper issues too. That being said I think the rest of our games suggest that we can create quality chances at a decent rate too.
  5. I think he should've gone on loan after he scored that hat trick vs Preston but if I remember rightly it was Doncaster who he was meant to go to so he'd have had about a month of games before their season was cancelled anyway due to covid. You could have even loaned him out at the start of that season, he played in the cup defeat to Crawley so he was around the first team by then. As soon as we dropped to the championship again he was a good option and as you say was certainly unlucky with injuries in that 20/21 season.
  6. Managed to put together the xG game graphs for all our league fixtures so far, if anyone has any ideas on what could be added let me know! The data is from fbref.com who I think get their data from opta now. Just want to add that although the graphs are a good visualisation they aren't perfect explainers either. Take the Rotherham game for example, yes we created much more xG than they did but the majority of it was after we were already down at least a goal. Hull on the opening day was similar, if you look it's clear that most of our chances that day came as we ramped up the pressure before Rowe's equaliser. Also the Huddersfield graph is maybe the best reason as to why xG is a better metric than simple shot totals, Huddersfield outshot us but the quality of their shots to ours was night and day.
  7. The squad is certainly much older than it was before, Wagner has got the men he wanted so it's up to him now to deliver results on the pitch. My big concern when it became clear Webber was leaving was that we'd resort to letting the manager control recruitment, for the most part that has happened although the youth recruitment team haven't been blocked from doing business either. Wagner may be a good coach but that doesn't mean he's a good scout. If and when a new SD comes in I hope they'll be given the control to make those transfer decisions.
  8. Yeah as I've said somewhere else in this thread, the youth recruitment team have been allowed to do a lot of business too, but the oversight hasn't been there this summer. All the youngsters will go into the u21 team.
  9. The simple and obvious answer is that the person whose job it is to oversee these things is leaving, so there's not much joined up thinking in our first team and youth recruitment. The manager wants players who will be good right now, not maybe good in 2/3 years. He knows if he doesn't perform he will lose his job so why waste time developing players for the future.
  10. I think people would be surprised (or maybe not!) about how little Webber has done this summer. The first team recruitment has very much been headed up by Wagner hence we've seen a lot of experienced players who he knows of so to speak. The youth recruitment have been allowed to do their own thing too and you can see the players they've brought in from around the world. The odd one out is Sainz but I suspect we may have been eyeing that up for a while if we knew about him being available on a free if his club were relegated.
  11. Having all your CB's be 30+ does not seem like a good balance to me. The lack of imagination in our recruitment this summer (bar Sainz) has been disappointing, a result of it being led more by the manager instead of Webber like it had been previously.
  12. My picks would be either Malang Sarr or Chris Richards, both left sided CB's too which would be a better balance than what we had with Omo still here.
  13. I think it's more likely that they've been in the system longer, England are pretty committed to bringing players up through the age groups. Putting him in the u20s lets him acclimatise to everything and if he keeps performing he'll be in the u21 side soon enough.
  14. That was nearly 5 years ago! There's no doubt back then he was a real handful but his last few seasons have been much more average.
  15. Yeah I think there's a middle ground here, both Barnes and Sargent have been dropping deep in buildup to form the box in midfield with our wingers high. This element of our system could easily be performed by a number of players, if anything it's the weakest part of their games. But they also offer plenty in terms of pressing, physicality and link up play. Look at Barnes with his back to goal for Rowe's goal vs Millwall. I think one of the reasons it's working so well right now is that the 2 strikers can conceivably pin their centre backs or drop deep, if it was Nunez/Gibbs in that role then they'd more than likely always have to drop deep. If we don't bring someone in I think we could maybe see Fassnacht/Rowe/Sainz there sooner than a truer midfield option.
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