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Jim Smith

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  1. Fair play. My concern with the "self funding" model has always been that it decreased our chances of competing at the top of the division in the long term because it meant we had to do everything exceptionally well in order to compete with those with bigger and better financial resources. The last 18 months we have done everything exceptionally well. I still have my doubts about our competitiveness longer term had we stayed down this year but that is now a "what if" and the fresh injection of capital from the next stint in the premier league should see us good for several years, particularly if we can stay up for a while and do not go crazy with the spending. I have never had anything personal against Delia and MWJ, I did, however, think that their intransigent approach to considering new ownership/investment would cost us. Thankfully I was wrong, at least in the short term anyway.
  2. Jim Smith

    The Fulham excuse

    I think we've been up there enough times of late to know what it needs and that its not how much you spend but how well you spend and making sure you address any obvious weaknesses. Last time we went up we all knew the defence needed addressing but we failed to do it in the summer (because we missed out on ambitious targets and it appeared had no plan B) and ended up panic buying in January to try and cover the gaps and it cost us big time both in terms of who we were able to sign (although Klose not a bad signing) and the terms we had to agree to. I don't think many of our fans expect us to spend huge money this summer and indeed I think most of us think we can find players to strengthen our squad without paying over inflated fees if we continue to get the recruitment right. So far as Fulham are concerned I think they also just tried to change too much, too quickly and actually just made their team worse in the process. our initial promotion under Lambert (and the experiences of plenty of other teams) show that a winning mentality and momentum, supplemented by just a bit of extra quality, can carry you a long way in your first season up there after which you need to start to and continue to evolve. That's the approach I expect us to take - no stupid spending spree, keep faith with the majority of the players who got us up but that does not mean it will be acceptable if we don't act to bring in 3 or 4 quality recruits to bolster the squad.
  3. Jim Smith

    Bore off, Brady

    Weird article full stop. What she says doesn’t seem that outrageous but the author clearly doesn’t like her.
  4. As good as the form of Zimbo and Godfrey has been this season the number of goals conceded from poor marking from crosses (both set pieces and open play) remains an issue. Both occasionally get caught under the ball and I can see us playing with three at the back or even bringing in Klose for certain games next season where we are facing more of an aerial threat.
  5. Jim Smith

    What a Surprise - Not

    The thing in their favour is that they do have a good U23s side. If he can find a couple of strikers they will probably be there or thereabouts next season even with cuts. As with us, going down does them a favour in a way as it provides an excuse to clear out all the dead wood. the thing not in their favour in comparison with us is that we had Martin and Hoolahan and signed Holt meaning we had the firepower to win any game by outscoring the oppo. They don’t have that at the moment and create very little.
  6. Good news. I think he will he used more next season. Is also good insurance in case a big bid comes in for Godfrey.
  7. Jim Smith

    Tricky summer ahead

    I don't think its that tricky. I think most fans accept that we won't be spending huge amounts of money, in fact most of us want to see this team given a go at prem level. Personally I think that most of our issues/weaknesses can be remedied through coaching/training ground work rather than needing changes in personnel so that is Farke's biggest challenge. As for Webber, his biggest challenge may come if we get a big bid for one of the youngsters but other than that I think he will be looking to bring in 4/5 modest signings, probably of the sort we made last summer but a notch up. Players with something to prove and for whom its a step up so they will be hungry. Personally, I would sign Rhodes as the 3rd choice striker, bring in another to compete with Pukki, bring in another more athletic keeper to compete with Krul and then look for another quick wing option and a defensive midfielder who perhaps combines the attributes of Tettey and Trybull would probably be the main area where I might spend some money.
  8. Jim Smith

    What a Surprise - Not

    I bet that figure includes anyone who has not yet cancelled their direct debit so will go down rather than up. To be honest though just missing out on the 12K is the best result for the sc*m financially, not that their fans who are bleating about how Evans should give them a discount anyway realise that. They should look no further than our "rebate" to see how a few hundred grand can make all the difference at that level. No rebate = no Holt. The irony of their fans moaning about not getting a discount whereas our fans donated money to the club to fund the signing of Holty is not lost here. You get what you deserve.
  9. Jim Smith

    Nothing to Fear

    I agree we have nothing to fear. We have great technical players who should be capable of stepping up and I look forward to seeing us do so. the encouraging thing is that too me our defensive weaknesses are fairly obvious and also ought to be fixable on the training ground rather than requiring us to spend lots of money. The slight worry though is they are issues that have dogged us for two seasons really and whilst in the mid section of this season we tightened up a bit, Farke has not yet fixed them.
  10. Jim Smith

    Next Academy Graduate

    Have to admit i'd not heard of Kiaran Jones until the recent article? Any views on him from regular academy watchers? Idah obviously a big hope for the future but then Aarons is a good example of a player slightly under the radar (although i'm sure avid U23 watchers knew he was good) suddenly emerging and perhaps developing faster than anyone could have anticipated.
  11. Jim Smith

    Last game on TV?

    I really don't see why the race to sneak into 6th place should be regarded as more important or more Tv worthy than the matches to decide who takes the title. Will be disappointed if they go for that but then we have been on sky practically every week for the last two months so people may be sick of watching us!
  12. Jim Smith

    Radio 5 podcast

    But there are things you can do to tighten up the defence without necessarily sacrificing the attacking intent and if we are going to play with the full backs bombing forward (even though I think we will reign them in a bit) then its even more important that we cut out the soft goals from unmarked headers or failing to close down shots at the top of the box. You don't need to sacrifice attacking intent to do that as most of the time its down to our defensive tactics especially facing set pieces. There was a stat posted on another forum the other day which indicated that we have the worst record in the division for set pieces resulting in an attempt on our goal with 44% of opposition set pieces resulting in an attempt. I would wager that quite a few of those attempts have been from the second phase when the ball has been headed out as we routinely have nobody beyond the penalty spot. Having a couple of players nearer the top of the box when defending corners and free kicks would not effect our general attacking style. If we don't do something to address it then I fear premier league players will routinely take advantage, particularly if we keep faith with Krul who is not the most agile. On that front I would not be surprised if we start the season with him as he seems to be important in the dressing room and a great guy but also bring in another more agile, up and coming keeper who can be ready to step in if Krul struggles.
  13. Jim Smith

    Radio 5 podcast

    This is, in part, because I feel a lot of the goals we have leaked are as much down to some of the defensive tactics/shape than the players involved. Improving our marking/ditching the zonal marking and having a couple of players closer to the edge of the penalty area (rather than all in our won six yard box) to stop players being allowed unchallenged shots at goal from the edge of the box after headed clearances would I think make a big difference and are things that can be addressed on the training ground rather than needing us to spend lots of money on new players.
  14. I can't I'm afraid VW as I don't have an online subscription. I was reading it on the train this morning in hard copy. Someone else may be able to oblige?
  15. Webber likes to get that sort of stuff out there. AS cynic might suggest that its a useful bit of self publicity as it makes the job he's done look even better. He doesn't actually need to do it (or make the little digs at the fans he occasionally has a tendancy to do) because he has done a fantastic job and I think all the fans see that but he's never shy of saying what a shambles everything was before he came in and sorted it all out for us. I take it with a pinch of salt (I don't believe we had a "toxic" dressing room nor did he or Farke ever get "dogs abuse"0 although in reality what he was saying was we needed to sell Maddison to make ends meet (which I think we all knew) and fund the transfer strategy and if you read Ball's article in the Times today they got nervous when Maddison got injured at Hillsborough because they thought they might not be able to sell him in the summer.