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  1. If you want to go for the next young up and coming striker there are two options in League One. Wilks at Hull, though he is a winger/striker who has 16 goals and 1 assist in 31 league games and aged 22. Or there is Luke Jephcott at Plymouth who has 16 goals in 28 league games and has better accuracy and conversion rate and aged 21. I would say either could be worth a gamble, though we would have an issue in that Idah and Soto are both around those sorts of ages and arguably both need game time to get into the momentum of scoring goals regularly. Wilks would perhaps give an option on the wing should we lose any of the players we have. We also have Sinani who can play wide.
  2. Didier Deschamps comes to mind. One thing is very clear to hear from his commentary is that he does have a very good understanding of the game. Deschamps was often called the "water carrier" because he wasn't the most talented player in that French national team at the time. But he did the work few others were prepared to do and it worked. Sometimes you need players that bring other parts of the team together and not be stars in their own right. Often people see defensive midfielders like that. I think Gossy was a bit more. He was more mobile than Crook, for example. He complemented Crook. Gary Holt wasn't the most talented player in our team when he played, but his tough tackling and 'third lung' ensured that our attacking players could go forward and know we had a player to mop up behind them. In some senses, the same reason as Fleming and Mackay were such a good partnership. One was a great stopper that had good positional sense and aerial prowess, the other had much more pace and far better distribution. Mackay, on paper, in the cold light of day, does not get in the top 5 Norwich city centre backs. But as a pairing, they were the best we have had since relegation in the 1990's... bar perhaps what we are seeing developing on the pitch right now.
  3. Got to be Hucks. We had the meanest defence in the league the season before, in terms of goals conceded. We were crying out for a player or couple of players that could add the goals to that which would turn us from mid table to play-off challenging. Along came Huckerby and Crouch. We were transformed. Huckerby also pips most other loans I think purely for telling his agent to go do one as he wanted to stay and play for us, even if he could get more money elsewhere. Everything about it was something as if from a myth. A player telling his agent where to go? Turning down more money and higher level football? You couldn't imagine it now. I doubt Skipp will do that come the summer.
  4. This, I started off not liking the rotation of co-commentators after NEEEEEYYULLL Adnams. I do think we are utterly spoilt for choice now and having different ex players each week gives a wider range of insight that I enjoy. I have to say I really do feel that Gossy has a much better broader picture of the game IMHO. At times doing a better job than Goreham. But that is what he is there for. He was fairly unbiased at times too. When Norwich were under the cosh he isn't scared to say it and name what he is seeing to suggest it. Early on Brentford did have chances, as they did late on. Pukki could have put us out of sight by half time. As for our defence - I'm not sure what you were listening too but he said several times throughout the game that whilst they were being closed down and put under pressure, they remained calm and passed the ball around well. Couldn't hear anything wrong with what he said this evening. As for Right, lets get to work. He was a CM. So that rules out Gunn, Bowen, Culverhouse, Polston, Butterworth, Fox, Sutton, Robins, Ekoku. That's a bit like comparing a fork lift to a mini-cab. They do different jobs, if you ask which is better for moving pallets and tried to tell me it was the mini-cab I would walk away and mutter obscenities under my breath. It's also worth noting that whoever played alongside Crook was playing to enable him to play his best game. Crook wasn't exactly a box to box midfielder. So the other player had to have an engine. What Gossy had in buckets was determination, energy and a bloody massive work ethic. Very few of our squads back then had what you would call a huge star. Yes, we had the likes of Sutton who would go on to have a glittering career elsewhere, and Fox and Bowen who would have successful topflight careers away from us. But as a general rule, much like other successful teams in recent times, it was the togetherness/team spirit that took us places. Crook was a bit like Hoolahan in the sense that we bloody loved him but no one else ever seemed to think him good enough to want to swoop in for. Mind you, he was 30 in 1993 so that may also have played against him a bit. Gossy epitomised that squad. It was all about hard work. A number of those players had been rejected from other clubs and we cheap buys bought in from reserve teams. Crook, Bowen, Polston and Culverhouse were all plucked from the Spurs reserves for example.
  5. Nah, I looked into that a bit. They won't be anymore congested than we have been earlier in the season. It'll just mean they will have to play through it at a more critical time. But, like for us, it could actually help them keep rolling on the momentum. We did it with a threadbare squad with "cheerleaders" on the bench and 3rd choice players in outfield positions. We played with Stiepermann as the striker at one point didn't we?
  6. It's actually been a bit of a funny season for Buendia. He missed the start of the season with injury (I think) and then was dropped from matchday squads for exactly the same reason as Cantwell. The one key thing for me that has improved is his work rate. He is delivering much more consistently. Ever since around, I want to say, Nov/Dec time, something changed. It was like a message had finally gotten through to him and we saw less of the sitting on the ground slapping his hands down or having a bit of a strop and not tracking back because someone chose a pass not to him. He seemed to suddenly mature. I don't care much for stats, people become over reliant upon them without context. Like the whole "we only won 'x' number of games with Buendia not in the team". It ignores what else is going on. Like last season. We lost way more games than we lost. He was part of those games too and certainly didn't help us to win them. What he is giving us now is a much better level of commitment in games. He is reliably tracking back. His ball retention is much better - a huge criticism of him last season. I think this is highlighted by the sort of lull he has had recently and been a bit outshone by others like Cantwell, and yet whilst not being as dominant has still ticked along nicely and come up with assists. And he has scored 10 goals for the first time in a league season. We are starting to see the player we all saw he had the potential to be, long may it continue.
  7. Bellamy and Eadie were my late teenage heroes. As much as I liked Eadie, I'm not sure I can say with that conviction that he was as good as Huckerby. He was more of a pacier Cantwell but more of a natural winger, very much in the same vein as Ruel Fox down the right. I don't know if he lifted the team in the same way. He didn't quite have the same pace or the trickery of Huckerby. Equally, I'm not convinced that whilst playing for us, Maddison quite grew the consistency of influence on a game as Hoolahan did in his pomp with Holt and others about him. Hoolahan had that little spark about him. There was a level of unpredictability. He could make something out of absolutely nothing. I think Buendia, if we are looking for similar players, probably has the most in common with Hoolahan out of the lot. Bellamy and Huckerby were goal getters more than playmakers. They had skill and ability but it's different to Hoolahan and Buendia. The only thing that seems to have prevented Hoolahan getting that big move was the era that he was in his prime and goals. If he had scored more, he would have gone places. His assists were never in doubt and I think often out-assisted a number of players in top divisions in his time with us. "Easily" is disrespectful IMHO. And some players have been overegged a bit. I think it says a lot when you have had the likes of Maddison, Eadie and Huckerby all say how good Hoolahan is, some admitting he is better than they were and Maddison saying that he learned a lot from Hoolahan during his time with us, which really equated to one season.
  8. I mean, sure, but at this point we would be almost whacking a dead horse, even after the fact. The statement is just a little clearer. But arguably, Swansea could actually be our closest rival, they have the games in hand to be, just the table doesn't reflect it at this moment. As I said before, we could win and it not really change anything in terms of auto's and it hasn't. We maintained the gap to 3rd and pushed 2nd closer to the chasing pack in doing so. Of all the teams in the league we could be forgiven for losing to it would be the closest rivals, the most difficult team at this moment. We didn't so it's all good. The 10pt gap is maintained and now there is only 12 games left to be caught. The next 7 could really define the importance of the last five.
  9. Yeah, if we added premier league we could at least add Godfrey there and drop Mehmeti for Jacob Murphy, slide Toffolo to CB and add Lewis to LB.
  10. GTF OUT! Wes, the player Maddison aspired to be when he played for us... the most successful playmaker we have had in the premier league since the early '90's? Doesn't make your top 5? I think that pretty much rules you out of any future punditry jobs...
  11. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, sometimes as fans we attach more importance to a game than is actually there. For me there are games yet to come which could be bigger. For example, by the time we play Bournemouth we could be looking at sealing promotion whilst they are cementing or fighting for a play off position, a must win for both with 5 games left to play.
  12. Well, I came from an egg... but then so did all of my ancestors... I think Easter may have had something to do with it. Easter always happened right? It's a pagan festival full of pagan symbolism so I am saying mother earth birthed the first egg. So the egg came first. How is one meant to get chicken feed without crossing the road?
  13. I think being 10points clear of 3rd has already sent that message IMHO. No point beating someone in 1st/2nd if you then go and lose two games on the trot to bottom 6-7 sides. I do wonder whether this game is actually bigger for Brentford. Not just because of the title, honestly I don't think any team with any sense is at this point, but because they are only 3 points ahead of Watford and 4 ahead of Swansea who have two games on them. They need those points more than us.
  14. Yes and no. I don't really think it is that huge. It may look it on paper, but at this moment in time, it may only impact on the league title. And to be honest, whether we go up 1st or 2nd doesn't bother me. If someone asked me if I would take a bit of a slump and 2nd place right now I would. When we have a ten point cushion it is far more about 20pts from the last 13 than it is about 3pts from any one game. As such I agree with horsefly and Farke. It's all in our own hands, the 7 games between Brentford and Bournemouth will be what determines it really if you ask me.
  15. Realistically Swansea and Watford should be pretty much safe and dry. Only 7 points between 5th and 9th though. Bristol and Stoke could move to 9 points off 5th with wins. Barnsley have two games in hand over Reading and Cardiff and one over Bournemouth. They could be a dark horse in this race. If results go their way they could be on 57 points and two points off Swansea and 3 of Watford. It just takes a bit of a wobble from either of them. Not sure when the games start to level out either. It's why I think the next 8 games are vitally important for us. Bar QPR, every team in our last five fixtures could be pushing for a play off spot or automatics.
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