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Canary02 IV

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  1. I think Phelan is a red herring. We lose the first game since he left and then suddenly to some he was a coaching messiah because he somehow masterminded two big back to back home wins. No mention of the coaching prowess that helped us to those pitiful losses at Reading and Preston etc.

    Revisionist history to suit an agenda.
  2. Couldn''t agree more. First goal was comical. Whittaker, rather predictably in an advanced position when having to move the ball quickly with technique, lost the ball and with BJ also advanced there was an absolute acre for Brentford to break into until they reached the centre halves. Even so, they had time to exchange a couple of slow passes before playing in the right winger to score, and where was his marker, Olsson?

    That was about the time that we stopped trying to pass out way through yesterday and started hitting the channels. Which vastly reduced Redmond''s effectiveness unfortunately as he was the one player who was in form and carried a threat for us.
  3. 1) I was so disappointed to hear so many people after the match trotting out the "He should never have been given the job" and "Only Hamilton manager" lines. We have no idea after three games what exactly Alex Neil is going to be like as a manager. His ceiling could be mid-table Championship or it could be Premiership top ten. What I do know is that when 4 of our 5 senior central midfielders were missing, picking Whittaker, who has played there for Rangers and Scotland, was not a ridiculous leap of faith by a hopelessly naive buffoon. It was an educated guess by a manager who is still learning about his players. Information such as which players adapt better when the chips are down is yet to be learned. Had the injury problems emerged in 6-7 games time he probably would have gone with Wes or Benno. But I don''t blame him for picking Whittaker as on paper it made some kind of sense. The guys had two games before yesterday, and is working exclusively with inherited under performers. Give him time.

    2) Neil is now the third manager in a row where we have all said "Well he''s got the players to do the job", yet time and time again we''ve seen disappointment and malaise. We have to hold our hands up at some point and admit that these "good players" are busted flushes. They flatter to deceive. When it comes to the crunch they don''t make that run, or follow that man as closely as they should. All the talent in the world won''t matter if you don''t have the ball in the first place. Neil must make some tough decisions, preferably now, but more likely at the end of the season. There are loads of lower league players who at one time or another were at Premier League clubs or touted as the next big thing and you see them a couple of years later and think "Why is he only on the bench for Crewe? He scored those two great goals in the cup and almost moved to Spurs...". The reason is almost always that the player, talented though he was, didn''t want it enough. Didn''t work hard enough, didn''t put himself on the line when it mattered. He was thinking about getting himself to the six yard box to tap in the glory goal and hoping someone else would make the unglamorous run into the channel to help set it up. We have a few too many of those types of players and it''s biting us in the arse. We need to establish the fighters and bring in players who can fight and play football alongside them. I don''t want to hear about potential or a list of the things that a player "can do" any more. What has he done lately? What is he incapable of doing or unwilling to do? Weed out the weak of spirit and the fightless and remove those who can only do one thing on a football pitch. A pure goal poacher who doesn''t work for his colleagues or a ball-winner that can''t pass are not going to take us to the next level. Give me honest men, good footballers and people who want to play for this great club and develop with it.
  4. I''m not for a second saying we don''t get behind him and give him our backing. Obviously we give him every benefit of the doubt and start the season in as positive frame of mind as possible.

    I just think it''s worth pointing out the reasoning behind a lot of people''s thinking, and it''s not just based on lack of managerial experience or the fact that he''s an internal appointment. There are a couple of worrying points from his short spell (Chelsea settling, reliance on certain players) albeit mitigated with commendable tactical cajones in the Liverpool game in particular.

    There''s no reason he can''t put those doubts to bed this summer and I dearly hope he will.

  5. Canary02 IV

    Fate Worse Than Death

    I don''t think the ability to pay Adams less salary than a Mackay or Lennon was an issue. Admittedly if he fails, paying off his contract won''t be the consideration it was with Hughton but as badly as they have handled the last few weeks I don''t believe the board are stupid enough to get in someone just because they''re cheap. If that was the case I''d offer my services for half of what Adams is on!
  6. I think the way the manager search has panned out has left the board and Neil Adams in the worst possible light but if things had gone differently it could have looked a more promising appointment.

    Had they left Hughton in charge to take us down for the last 5 games and then had a manager search only to conclude that Adams was the best candidate I think there would have been an air of cautious optimism as we waited to see what Adams had in his locker. The problem is that we''ve already had a preview.

    Most of the "Holier than Thou''s" who scream at anyone for daring to discuss decisions, deride criticism of the appointment based on the mantra "Give the guy a chance", or "You can''t blame him for being inexperienced, everyone has to start somewhere, Mike Walker etc".

    I think most of the fans I have spoken to who are critical of the decision are not against giving a young promising coach a go. It''s the fact that he has had a go and he was fairly unimpressive.

    Man Utd and Arsenal were Hughtonesque performances. There were uncontrollable influences to be fair (The Giggs effect and the Dead Rubber feeling) but uninspiring to say the least. Fulham we played marginally better for a half. Chelsea was a well-parked bus, but, as Mourinho so rightly pointed out, it made no sense to not risk going for it at the end. Yes we got a point but it made a more positive effect on Neil Adams'' cv than it did on our chances of staying up which I found concerning when looking at the motives of settling for a point. Liverpool was the one game that Adams did manage well. People moan about conceding two early goals, but that was down to great play from lethal opposition and some iffy decision making from defenders, but the fact that Adams made changes that allowed us to fight our way back in gave me hope that he may be flexible enough tactically to give us a chance. Overall though, in the cold light of day at the end of the season, was it enough? I don''t personally think so. As much as there is potential there, he has already set his stall by the players that he used to get him the job.

    When I look at next season, I see Snodgrass (probably installed as captain) as being the focal point once again. However hard he works he is a forward player that has played nearly every game, and has created precisely 2 assists all season despite being involved in the vast majority of attacking play. I''m not blaming Snoddy, but the team clearly tries to get him the ball as much as possible and that clearly doesn''t work. If he is still here next season, they will undoubtedly revert to type and we''ll struggle again.

    The other issue I foresee is that Johnson and Tettey were also favourites under Adams but we can''t create when we have two players in midfield that are unable to pass the ball. Tettey has an exceptional pass completion ratio because he only passes five yards to the side or back. Whilst I commend him for not losing the ball by trying to do something he can''t how many times have we seen him nick the ball in midfield (as he does so well) only to fail to slide through a straightforward throughball to a breaking striker or winger, simply because he doesn''t have that in his locker? Johnson can pass on occasion but his distribution has always been abominably inconsistent. We cannot, if we want to play attacking football, continue with the two of these in midfield together. One ball winner who can''t pass you can get away with but not two. My concern, based on the teams he as picked and comments he''s made, is that Adams is already pencilling "Tettey, Johnson, Snodgrass" in as three of his starters next season.

    Perhaps I, and the majority of fans, are wrong, and that Adams will be the man the board hopes he is. He has had to manage players he hasn''t necessarily wanted himself and mould a system to suit them for five games, rather than play the system he would want with players that fit that system. If he has a successful summer and can make that squad his own he''ll have a chance. I do worry that he seems enamoured with players who are part of the problem rather than part of the solution however. The team needs to reinvent the style of play, not pick people whose names look good on paper.
  7. Canary02 IV

    Hoddle as Director of Football

    An interesting subplot perhaps:

    Late 80''s there was a kids team in Norfolk who tried to register their team name as "Glenn Hoddle". They were told that they couldn''t use a person''s complete name, so the team name was changed to "GlennAnnZoe" after Hoddle, his wife and daughter. The manager of the team, and also a friend of Hoddle himself?

    Ian Culverhouse.
  8. Canary02 IV

    Neil Lennon - Yes or No?

    No. Sadly. I wish he was the answer but I really don''t think he''s up to PL standard.
  9. Canary02 IV

    Is Bassong any good?

    Our strikers need more than a chance to drop. All 4 consistently struggle to get a touch or even get a decent chance. Hooper''s not going to get one and go on a five game scoring streak any more than the others are. We don''t create enough chances, especially decent clear cut ones. The strikers aren''t missing loads of easy opportunities. They just aren''t getting them. Hughton doesn''t know how to implement an attacking gameplan.
  10. Canary02 IV

    Tactics Or Personnel

    I think you''re right. I think it''s also noticeable that in previous times we had players who were more self-motivating than the current group. Holt, Nelson, Ward, Whitbread, Drury, Tierney. Much more fiery, self assured and determined characters. There''s a lot of ours who look to others to provide a spark. Again, that''s down to PL''s method of acquiring leaders though.
  11. Canary02 IV

    Tactics Or Personnel

    I think it''s a combination of not seeing another available manager that would definitely improve things, and CH winning "must win" games. They''ve frozen at the tipping point each time.
  12. Canary02 IV

    Is Bassong any good?

    Bassong, on his day, is a great centre back. However he does have a cock up in him at all times, which was his reputation at Spurs as well. And it''s very noticeable that when the chips are down, he''s one of the most likely to go to pieces and have a nightmare. That''s unacceptable for a captain.

    It does feel that he and Snodgrass in particular are "Hughton''s boys" and as such they both pick up extra flak when Hughton''s having another disaster.
  13. Canary02 IV

    Tactics Or Personnel

    Snoddy was CH''s signing too. Second one after Butterfield.

    Even after days like today I still have faith in our players. They are capable of playing really well at this level (see Spurs, Man City etc) but that level can''t be coaxed out of them regularly. A good manager makes the team greater than the sum of its parts. A poor manager gets poor results with good players.

    The fact that strikers like RvW, Hooper, Becchio and Elmander who have succeeded at every other club they played for have all struggled to find chances, let alone put them away should tell you all you need to know. Do you honestly think all of them would have struggled to get into games with a different manager in charge? At least one or two would have caught on by now. The tactics don''t allow them to do so. It''s making them appear lesser players than they are. That''s all down to Hughton''s inability to instill a creative attacking philosophy. I don''t think it''s a stubborn unwillingness any more. He and his coaches just don''t know how to do it.
  14. Canary02 IV

    Reverting to type

    Can''t argue. We looked good for 20 mins, but as soon as we concede the heads go down.

    Whilst most of the players appear to back the manager this is a far from happy group. Wes'' lack of celebration, whilst not as major a revolt as some try to make it, was not the mark of a happy man. Fox spent the week before last at Centre Parcs rather than training for the job he''s paid for and is by all accounts, desperate just to play football. Whitts and Garrido are equally unsettled apparently although reserves not being pleased at missing games is standard for most clubs.

    However the biggest indicator is how they perform as a group. The big performances only come in must win games. The default setting is caution mixed with fear, and a "Can''t Do" attitude to scoring goals and attacking teams.

    "It''s not Hughton''s fault when the players capitulate" was the cry from some today. Certainly until Villa equalised he looked like he had his tactics correct. However, Lambert, a far more proactive and reactive tactician tinkered with Villa''s formation, nullified the space Wes in particular, was using, and went on from there. Hughton had no Plan B. No countermeasures to take us back on the offensive. The tactic after half time appeared to be to not concede more than the 4 because that would have given the crowd even more to criticise.

    Ironically, the one area Hughton''s tactics excel in is playing at home against the elite sides. As such, with the run in we have, he may still provide our best hope of staying up.

    Games like today are overwhelming evidence however, of why we can''t allow him to stay after May.
  15. Canary02 IV

    It Has Become Apparent

    I don''t think the lack of transfer activity was down to a withholding of funds, but more that we couldn''t attract and/or identify players who would improve on what we have. That will partly be geographical reasons, partly due to perceived size of club and partly due to us not being an attractive footballing proposition at the moment.

    The board are it appears, standing by their man. His brief was to keep us out of the bottom three and stay up. Currently he is achieving this so he stays. I don''t think McNally is oblivious however, and said as much in his radio interview when he admitted that he doesn''t expect anything from our last 4 games of the season. He must therefore be conscious of our need to get points on the board sooner rather than later. After Cardiff we have Man City at home followed on the Tuesday by West Ham away and we then have a ten day break before the next game against Spurs. We then have a series of 6-7 key but winnable games against sides around us in the bottom pack before the last 4 games. I think if we''re still not motoring after West Ham, McNally may pull the trigger. I doubt there''ll be a dismissal regardless of result today or against Man City unless we get lashed for 7 or 8 at home, but if we don''t get at least two points from Cardiff or West Ham that may be the straw that breaks the camels back.
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