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  1. I didn't watch the Norwich game last night, but I did see the Sheff Utd v West Brom game. Very competitive, very physical. Reminded me of where we're going if we do go up. My worry is that if we do go up we want some players to be really stepping up so we can compete properly next year. Players like Cantwell, Buendia, Pukki firing on all cylinders, some big players emerging. At the moment I feel like we're grinding out games but there's got to be more to come or we'll struggle again next year.
  2. I basically agree that we lost the central midfield battle yesterday. Tettey would have improved us imo We've spent big on a striker this window, but may not play him if Pukki and Idah play well. Perhaps it would have been worth bringing in a quality centre midfielder - a Yousseff Safri type. Especially because in Farke's system it looks so crucial that we are able to pass through the initial press from the opposition often around our penalty area. Otherwise we end up going long as so often happened yesterday.
  3. I honestly think with the quality of their squad they should get promoted automatically, and easily. Go through their squad player by player, it’s ridiculous at the moment and their wage bill will reflect that. Of course they might sell a few but they still will have a fantastic squad for the Championship. For me it’s comparable to when Newcastle got relegated a few seasons ago. And then they have a Russian billionaire who could write off any debt at a moments notice.
  4. I mean, we tried to do more than 'nothing.' We signed Roberts, Drmic, Farhmann Amadou and Byram. If they had all made and improved our first XI, then fair enough. But all they turned out to be was squad fillers. I doubt that Webber anticipated they would just be squad fillers. I think he hoped they would improve our actual first choice XI. He turned out to be badly wrong. So you could say it was a failure of recruitment and scouting, rather than lack of ambition. The scouts and Webber were probably caught a bit off guard, getting promoted from nowhere. On paper you can see how lots of these signings might have looked like they would improve our first team.
  5. For me it’s not so much an inability to change our style of play as an inability to be really effective in a style of play that served us well last year. Through last year and this year we’ve consistently conceded goals. What’s changed this year is we haven’t scored enough. We haven’t scored any scrappy goals, goals from set pieces, have hardly ever battled to a 0-0 draw, and even in open play, implementing our style of football, we have lacked a cutting edge. An inability to have a consistently performing front 4, especially in the number 10 role, has been key. Think back to last year’s attacking 4 and in my mind only Hernandez and Pukki have performed near their potential, and that’s pushing it. Stiepermann and even Buendia have not been as effective, despite impressive sounding stats on Buendia’s part. Meanwhile Cantwell has stepped up but hasn’t been very effective either. His goals/assists are not that high. I also think our fullbacks haven’t been particularly effective going forward, despite their high valuation. Defensively there’s no doubt they’ve struggled, but going forward too their end product is often lacking. Both of their passing and crossing is often weak. Compare with the simple effectiveness of Sheffield United’s fullbacks swinging in cross after cross - having a game plan to be effective which doesn’t require too much of limited ability. We have a style of play which demands effectiveness through the middle of the pitch, incisive through balls, slipped passes from inside channels, e.g. Buendia’s pass to Pukki in the Liverpool game, and this year we haven’t had the quality to be productive through that area often enough. Stiepermann had a surprisingly good year in the number 10 role last year, but this year has gone missing. To be effective in that area in the way we play you have to have real quality. You are going up against top quality midfield players who are often used to Champions League players. As our only mode of attack, we have been snuffed out. Teams in the prem have been used to Wenger’s arsenal trying to pass through them for years; they just get ready for our mistake, often a misplaced through ball in the middle of the pitch, and pick us off. It’s a laudable and noble strategy that has won us plenty of plaudits, but we’ve ended up being the fall guys. In addition, not picking Vrancic, an incisive and smart passer through the middle to front third of the pitch, has left me baffled. I suspect Webber’s next move will be to try to find more quality unknown players to try to achieve what we didn’t this year. If we manage to achieve promotion again in the next couple of years and want to stay up, we will have to either have serious quality in our attacks through the middle of the pitch, or we’ll have to be prepared to mix up our style a bit - more klopp’s Liverpool and less guardiola’s Man City, press a bit more from the front and not get bogged down passing out from our own half.
  6. Think of the wages wellbeck, sarr, chalobah, cleverly etc will be on. Nothing to be ashamed of.
  7. Gutting. We showed some good spirit. Not a bad performance at all, but we are poor in both boxes.
  8. In lambert’s first season in the PL we let in 66 goals. This season 61. Not too dissimilar.
  9. I’m afraid a year of rebuilding, just finishing in the top 10, is a more realistic and acceptable situation. Even though last year we won the league, we could easily have been just a top 10 club and no one would have batted an eye lid.
  10. How on earth do you know that? Judging the ncfc fanbase on the basis of the 'fans' on the pinkun messageboard is like judging a political election result based on Twitter.
  11. Well done you can identify negative results. Meanwhile sane people can try to identify why these results have happened and the wider context. You are peddling an agenda.
  12. Well no but we beat Man City, drew with Tottenham and should have won. I find it hard to imagine those results happening without our home crowd.
  13. Yes but I genuinely think you can't compare this season too much. It's been unusual for so many reasons. a) Coronavirus has meant we've played without a home crowd, which has historically been massively important for us as a club, although previously hard to quantify. (Can you imagine Southampton back in the day playing without the advantage of being at The Dell?) b) Massive/very specific injury list in our most vulnerable position - CB. c) VAR has, on average, favoured the bigger clubs. No doubt. Why focus on the negatives when before the lock down people were saying we were one of the best teams to play at the bottom. Cheer up.
  14. Yes it's been a strange season in which a lot of players can be said to have had a good season individually (Cantwell, Godfrey, Aarons, McLean, Lewis, Krul, Pukki), but we haven't done well as a team. Good for selling on our players, not so good for our final league position. It's interesting to compare it to Sheffield United's season. They've obviously done fantastically well as a team, but how much money would their players fetch? I reckon ours will fetch a lot more. It reminds me a bit of our prem season under Lambert. We were much better as a team than we are now, but Jamal Lewis for example would sell on for a lot more than Marc Tierney.
  15. Lol the board are gutted there’s no crowd. It would have made a huge difference.
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