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Branston Pickle

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Everything posted by Branston Pickle

  1. It is certainly true that we are several midfielders light from the number we finished last season with - we''ve lost Bentley, Stuart, Holt, Jonson, Mulryne (and Helveg)....ok some will be more missed than others, but so far they''ve only really been replaced by Hughes and Jarrett; I guess we''re still trying to get Marney, but could probably do with one more (though reports of Charlton looking ok(?) in midfield may help to fill that gap).  
  2. That does sound like a load of rubbish - £1.1m is certainly less than their reported bids back in June, and I believe the player is contracted to us until 2008, so he has no leg to stand on; I can''t see that he would gain anything by doing such a stupid thing as Striking - it would surely mean that no one would touch him as a player and could potentially end his career. What is annoying is that Pompey are deliberately turning his head and then denying doing it - it is not as if they are even a big club, but they are behaving like one.  If Francis does go, good luck to him (and good luck to them, not sure they realise they''d be getting a lazy player) - but he stands a pretty decent chance of passing us on his way down come next May while we are going up.  
  3. Jeez - it is amazing how people can read so much different into the same article!  Have to admit that I read it that he was happy enough and looking forward to the season but that he didn''t have a scooby if he''d be here as Jonson, who wanted to stay, was sold when an offer came in.  Don''t think it amounted to more than that, really.  Thing is that when the media has added in its spin, in the form of various "he might mean this or that"-type paragraphs, you can get a completely different flavour to what was actually stated: for example in the pinkun article, it is the 7th paragraph before you even get to anything he said.
  4. [quote]Here we go then:Green - WardColin - ML-JDoherty - FlemShackell - CharltonDrury - BrennanMarney (Hopefully) - HendoFrancis - JarretSafri - HughesHuckerby - McVeighAshton - ThorneMcKenzie - JarvisSORTED...[/quote] ...and with a few Youth players as extra back up, I reckon that is pretty well done Worthy on that lot - still probably a smaller squad than most others in the division but imo there''s more quality in there than anyone else has got - I just hope we don''t get too many injuries. Does anyone know the situation wrt Loans in this division now - ie is it still 3 - like in 03/04 season - and do we have to have them in by the end of the transfer window?
  5. Strangely, I think we have the makings of a potentially better side than last season, but there still has to be a bit of concern over depth - too many players in that list are covering 2-3 slots, which is fine short term but it would only take 3-4 longer-term injuries (bound to happen at some stage), or possibly more, before we would be stretched a little too far.   A couple more in defence (I''m assuming we will get Hughes and Marney or Bentley), and I''ll be more than happy. .....one thing I did notice, though, is that you''ve not mentioned any of the Youth players who have been playing in the friendlies (Cave Brown, Halliday et al) - perhaps one or two will come on into the first team this season? 
  6. Lost on me, too.  Perhaps we don''t need to wait to buy, just that we haven''t done so yet - time will tell. One thing though, free transfers often certainly aren''t anywhere near free - signing on fees can count for a fair bit, but 3 of these surely can''t constitute a whole transfer pot''s-worth (particularly when we have netted c£250k from transfer fees and saved 8 players (Premiership level) wages)?
  7. Crikey - where to start?  IMO our squad was shown to be far too small last season and since then we have lost 8 for certain - all of whom turned out for us in the Prem - and we may lose more.  We''ve so far gained 3 - so at the very least we need 5 new players, probably more.  I''d say we need 2 defenders and 3 midfielders at the very least, but also think we could safely lose one keeper from the squad - we don''t really need 4 do we?! I''d probably go for the same suggestions as everyone else, though there are clearly many others who we could go for or who would do a decent job - the crucial thing is that they need to be able to fit in and play a full part from day one.  Good players that they are, we can''t really afford to have Jonson/Helveg-type signings who  take half a season to get up to speed, our squad simply isn''t going to be big enough for that!    
  8. I agree with Barclayendboy - to my mind it is far too early to tell what sort of squad we are going to have next season, though I would certainly expect to be among the sides going for promotion....exactly whereabouts (ie top two or just play-offs) could all be down to who we manage to bring in. Given the number of players we''ve released, and those we seem likely to lose (Eddy, Crow, McVeigh, Stuart, Sven, Mulryne, Bentley, possibly Francis), we already seem to need up to 8 replacements - a Hell of a lot, and more outfield players than I can ever remember us needing (last close season seemed busy but we only got 5 in before the season start, 6 including Doc).  By my reckoning it is who we bring in, and how quickly they fit into the squad, which will determine our chances next season.
  9. I have to say that I can understand where Bernard is coming from: I''d firstly say Worthy''s transfer record has turned out to be pretty reasonable - all managers sign players who for one reason or another fail (eg they are rubbish, or just don''t fit in), but who might make it elsewhere (Sheron), and as long as the successes outnumber the failures that is ok - and I''d say we are in a position where the pluses are ahead. That said, it has to be said that this is largely down to fortune - it should be remembered that the successful transfers have mostly been lower down on the target lists!   For some reason we have traditionally missed out on his main targets each time (Connolly, Hulse, Taylor, Scimeca last close season, and there are many more!), only to realise later just how greatful we are for missing out!  With regard to the defence, I confess I also agree.  I said so at the time, and nothing has changed my mind to the fact that the way to have tried to stay up should have been to spend our money in January on defender(s) rather than a striker.  Deano has undoubtedly been a huge success, scoring 7 goals in 16 games - a very good ratio in the Premiership by any measure - BUT in these 16 games it needs to be remembered that we let in 38 goals, and it was the defending (as a team) that ultimately cost us our place in the Premiership, not goal scoring.
  10. Sorry Peter the Pessimist - you were completely wrong on your first prediction: WBA did not beat Blackburn, indeed they were quite lucky to draw given that Rovers hit the woodwork and had a hatful of chances.  You are also rather misguided on your other predictions - in particular the idea that an under fire Fergie/Man U would throw their last home league game of the season is surely laughable; more than that, they are still trying for 2nd place - so will try if for no other reason than Champions League qualification and a large amount of prize money! It is true that there have only been 3 away wins in the whole of the bottom 4, and this may well continue - if so, it is quite feasible that we would stay up on 35pts with 2 away draws and a home win from our last 3 games.
  11. An easy enough way to get them is via Fulhamfc.com, ie Fulham''s own website; click on tickets and it will actually sell tickets for the "neutral" area which is 3 blocks of the Putney end, beside away fans.  Seems bizarre that they have a supposed neutral area, but that''s the way it is!
  12. I''m with you there Morph - Stringer for the Academy and Williams first team coach. I think Williams along with Crook were the best passers/playmakers I''ve seen at Norwich, so Williams would be good - but then he''s certainly not at all wasted where he currently is (should think he can being some decent players through).  Actually, what is Mel Machin up to nowadays? I always thought he was pretty good. Certainly we could maybe do with something changing just to freshen it up a bit, though I guess Worthy will have his own ideas of what needs changing when the season is over.
  13. ....it does look pretty good, but just to be controversial for a second, I can''t help thinking that we are looking at pictures of what might have cost us our place in the Premiership had we decided to allot our funds differently.  The £1m+ could have bought a half decent defender. Sorry, but it had to be said...ok maybe not, but I can''t help thinking it!!
  14. I know what you mean about the ground changing a lot, though you don''t need to be old to remember most of it....all the stands other than the River End have been rebuilt since I first started going in the mid 80s as a 12/13 year-old......I''d rather not be classed as being too old whilst still only in my early 30s!!!
  15. Of course no one thought we would be challenging for honours, but surely we all thought we would be scrapping our way for every point to try to stay in the division?  Of course relegation was always a possibility/probability for us, but I for one am most disappointed that at the moment we seem to be going without putting up much of a fight; this is the really disappointing thing given how much we all wanted to be here.
  16. I''ve been away, and when I saw in the paper that we didn''t seem to have made any changes for the weekend game I was flabbergasted; ok, there''s probably no way we''d have won the game at Highbury by putting any 11 of our squad out on the pitch, but I was under the impression that at least Saf and Helveg were going to have started.  We know we are almost certainly down, but we have a glimmer of a chance in that our last 6 are "winnable", however unlikely it is that this will happen; surely it would be a good idea to give the 11 that you will rely on for the run-in a go, before the event.....and surely we will make some changes for those games?!
  17. I think it is rather likely that we''re down - there''s clearly enough points to play for but no signs that we''ll get more than maybe 6-8 of them; the one glimmer is that we play against Palace and Southampton (though for us to win both is unlikely). As mentioned before, the game where the writing was on the wall was probably Blackburn (where Nigel''s comments managed to motivate them more than us!) but the real killer was the manner of the Man City defeat. Still, we do know that if we can keep hold of the majority of our players we should be in good shape for a swift return - hopefully much wiser about the importance of not letting in so many goals in the top flight!!
  18. I''d have thought that it was pretty likely that some people wouldn''t renew their tickets, but that the vast majority will as they had them last season.  I know several people who are hoping for this to happen, as they are on the waiting list. However, your arguments are both rather spurious: a) Bolton is a hell of a long way to go to watch a game when it is live on tv and there are also big rugby matches on; I believe we took about 1700, which is pretty damn good, and about level with Newcastle earlier in the season.  I am rather impressed that this many went to either game. b) The argument about Palace is silly, for the simple reason that last season Palace moved heaven and earth to accommodate as many Norwich fans as wanted to go: there would be absolutely no chance of them doing that this time, even if we wanted to.  And who says we have failed to sell our quota - the match isn''t for another month!!! 
  19. Why should we be so pleased about this? - we now have Ashton in place doing twice the job Sven''s ever done; I''d prefer Jarvis to be given a shot ahead of him. I can''t understand people saying he''s off in the summer though - his ''level'' is probably the Chumpionship, and he''s said he doesn''t want to leave!
  20. Has to be IN - at least until, say, 15-20 games of next season if it''s all going pear-shaped.  Hand on heart we all knew there was a strong possibility we''d go down, so to sack him just because it now looks likely to happen is plain daft.  He is the manager who built up the poor side that Hamilton left behind to one which got promoted in just a few seasons, so at the very least deserves much credit for that.  Of course, some mistakes have been made, so it is down to all parties to learn from them and come back better.  It is possible that he has taken things as far as he can: we will be able to see this in the remainder of this/start of next season, but to get rid of him now, or before 15-20 games of next season, would be madness.
  21. Of course we are in the worst position of any side inthe division at the moment, the league doesn''t llie(!), but over 9 games things can change hugely.  Whilst we do need a very dramtatic change in fortune, there is still all to play for!!  
  22. Sorry Chicken - I''m not sure who you are arguing with in the main, but you are factually wrong about Ashton: signing him pre-season would have been a step up of one division not two...if you recall, we played his side Crewe on our last game of the promotion season - a season in which he scored 19 goals in 44 appearances.  To have bought him pre-season may have been a gamble, but probably worth it. You say we had a good run up to Christmas: really? December''s results were: beaten at home to a very poor Fulham, we beat Bolton, then lost to Chelsea, Spurs, Middlesbrough.  3pts out of 15 and 11 goals conceded.  Is that a good run?!  The fact is that, since about the 10th game of the season, our defence has been poor - no clean sheet since October 16.  To say we didn''t need a defender in the transfer window is madness, by the end of Jan we had not kept a clean sheet in 17 games.  It is now 22 games. Maybe we had a straight choice of a good striker or a good defender, I don''t know - but at the time of the transfer window, I can''t help but think that a £3m defender would have made survival much more likely.  Since then we have let in 12 in 5 games - there''s no striker in the world that could score enough to cope with that. I still stand by my original comments - as with you, I think our signings have been good ones, and we have been unlucky in that some have not been able to have as big an impact as we''d like, through injury; but that doesn''t mean we couldn''t have done things differently.
  23. I think our signings have generally been good ones, it is just that they have not necessarily been the right ones at the right times! Ashton: clearly likely to be the biggest success, a great signing - but we should have gambled on him pre-season.  We signed him at a time when it would have been better to get someone in defence: we were, and are still, shipping 2-3 goals per game and no striker on the planet could score enough to give regular wins in those circumstances. Helveg and Jonson: both good signings, but we should have learned from Sam Allardyce''s attitude that foreigners won''t be up to speed until Christmas.  This was certainly the case with our two "biggest name" pre-season signings; both started to look the part around then, but Helveg then got injured and Jonson looks good but keeps getting battered around the head! Bentley was looking good on occasion, but sadly got injured at a bad time: having him back for the run-in will add to our (slim) chances of survival, but I am disappointed with his goals tally! Doc seems to be carrying the can for the awful goals per game ratio; though this is unfair on him, he has been no worse than anyone else - but this is the point: we needed someone better than what we had already, not the same/worse!  Defence is where I have been disappointed the most with the management - if WBA and Palace can keep clean sheets and nick games 1-0 then I am damn certain we should be able to - but we don''t have a chance of doing so if we are going to let 2-3 in each match!  We should have kept Malky as a squad player at the very least: we seem to have no more defenders in the squad than last year, which is daft. Charlton has been better than his £250k would have suggested, and it comes to something when a 33(?) year old journeyman bought for a bargain can look like one of your best defenders (Shackell apart)!!!! The other signings I saw mostly as squad players - Safri has done ok when called on, Stuart has looked ok but I''m not really sure why we signed him when we needed a defender!
  24. I''ve been having a think about whether or not we''ll be able to keep the core of our squad if/when we go down. To me, it seems certain that relegation would see Francis leaving (if any of the Premier managers know anything, that is!), and also Green  - though I''m not sure that the bigger sides will come in for Green, which may unfortunately affect his transfer fee; he seems to have been at fault rather too often recently: twice at Blackburn, clearances cost goals v WBA and Man City and he appeared at fault for Chelsea''s 3rd. Of course, he''s not been helped by the poor defence, but these mistakes may knock on the head the potential moves to sides of Arsenal/Man U standard, and the thing is that most Premiership sides have good keepers ealready (eg Fulham, Saints etc). I''m unconvinced that Jonson, Svensson or Helveg will leave, at least for premiership sides - none have proven themselves enough. Sven has only 3 goals in 16 this season and had been doing not a lot at Charlton Reserves before we bagged him whilst in Div 1, Jonson has looked good at times but not scored at all, and Helveg hasn''t really got going but may not want to drop down in standard (maybe a Euro-move on the cards for him?). In all, I think two of them sill stay, and if it is Sven/Jonson I''d be happy. Otherwise, we are down to the Mulryne''s and McVeigh''s of the squad - I''d be more than happy if they stayed but Green/Francis apart, the players who leave will mainly be ones we decide we don''t particularly ''want'' to keep - this has to be a good thing; if we can keep the core of the side, and strengthen the defence, I reckon we''d have a pretty decent chance!!!!  
  25. The ''terrace humour'' was nicely evident in the reply, though:- "we''ve got a super cook, you''ve got a russian c*ook"    
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