Jump to content

Canary02 IV

  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited


Posts posted by Canary02 IV

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. The OP''s correct, it isn''t any fun any more. I think it''s partly because of the way football has sold out to moneyed owners and tv creating a league that clearly has two tiers that are virtually impenetrable by either side. This lack of competitiveness creates dull, desperate, risk-averse football as the only aim is to maintain a mediocre position in the rich mans league. Where''s the fun and achievement in that?

    For us, we''d rather risk a few defeats and go down in a blaze of glory. For a manager like CH, he''d rather have narrow defeats and a sequence of mid-table finishes on his c.v. for when he inevitably moves on. Managers have a finite period at a club and success for him would be to appear a safe pair of hands with an experienced PL track record for when the likes of the Spurs job comes up. I''m not saying they''ll likely ever want him, but in his mind that''s probably the goal. From that point of view he doesn''t care whether we''re entertained, or if the players are developing, or even building the squad in the longer term. All he cares about is getting enough points on the board to stay up and have another Prem League campaign on his cv.

    When PL took over he often spoke about "the project" and his goals coincided nicely with the fans because it was all about building the squad and continued growth. Now we''ve got where we want to be, there''s very little else to do but plod on and maintain, which in itself isn''t new and fun or hugely challenging. If you''re only playing for mid table all you''re playing for is money, and what can you do with that money when you get it? Maintain a squad of players who will never finish much higher than they are already. And never play good football because the collective wisdom of those backing CH is that you can''t expect that in this league.

    The problem is, far too many times we watch cautious, bland, uninspiring "performances" and after a while you start to question whether you actually care how the game will end up. Because the manager doesn''t seem that fussed as long as he keeps his job. Or many of the players. They''re here for the "Premier League" experience and all the money, attention and potential big moves, but they''re not really trying to bring glory to a team that will almost certainly never win anything. They will try and impress as individuals, but winning as a team? Great if it happens but not something they feel personal responsibility for.

    The PL is a promised land which is not all it''s cracked up to be. And before a "Morty" figure tells me to stop going, I am considering it after having a season ticket for 30 years. Which is very sad.

  14. I think everyone wants him to succeed, but wanting counts for nothing. I want to win the lottery but that won''t make it happen.

    The dividing line seems to be between those who have some belief that he can turn the situation around and is capable of producing positive, winning football, and those who no longer believe he is capable.

    In all likelihood, despite everyone focussing on the next three games what we''ll get in the short term is a watered-down version of the future. City will probably get some points on the board out of sheer desperation if nothing else, but it''s if/when we return to Hughton''s comfort zone that we''ll really find out whether he''s capable of real change.

    The concern would be that if we did get, say, a win on Saturday and 4 points from the next 2, which granted CH a stay of execution, would he then slam the attacking brakes on again, and the poor results which followed would send us back into the drop zone but 6 or 7 games closer to the end of the season.

  15. I really don''t think today was a good barometer of our fortunes. We created loads of half chances and several really good ones and through a combination of good goalkeeping, last ditch blocks and some poor finishing we didn''t score. It was a genuine case of "one of those days" which just happened to coincide with a game where the majority of people were in no mood for excuses. If we''d have had this game in December last year when we were on the good run, everybody would have given CH the benefit of the doubt and probably praised him for the attacking fluidity and rued poor luck. Obviously though, his previous negativity has placed him in the position where not many people want to give him the benefit of any doubt and to be fair, he''s made his own bed.

  16. It''s been interesting over the past few weeks to see the swingometer of public opinion on Chris Hughton. It seems like the majority have now turned against him.

    I was, from about February, hugely frustrated by Hughton and his tactics. There were several performances last season where we played so deep and with so little ambition we may as well have agreed a defeat before kick off, phoned in the result to the FA and saved us all a journey out. The first few games of this season were no better and I was calling for a long overdue change at the helm.

    However, since the Stoke game I think there are genuine signs of us having turned a corner, if not in terms of results, then at least in style of play. The Tettey/Fer/Howson midfield is working and our possession stats are improving. Olsson''s attacking play on the left is allowing a rejuvenated Pilks to link up with the striker and giving us the kind of linking play which we simply didn''t have until Stoke.

    I''m not for one second saying I''m converted and Hughton is suddenly a better manager. We may find that tactically other teams will suss out the new formation and we''ll soon return to looking clueless again. I just find it strange that this is the point where opinion has turned. For me, the football we''re playing at the moment is the best we''ve played under Hughton. We might not have scraped the results we did when we had the unbeaten run last year, but performance-wise we''ve been far superior for my money.

    Maybe this is about what you look for as a supporter. For me, I can get behind a manager when the team is competing and giving a good account of itself, regardless of whether the results are going our way. For other people, results are all important and if we lose it''s terrible, if we win, it doesn''t matter how we do it. I can understand this to a certain extent. It''s just interesting how different people view the situation.

  17. Tettey is excellent at winning the ball, breaking up attacks and picking up the pieces. Where he needs to improve is passing. There was one occasion near the end of the match on Sunday when he was on the ball with Pilks and Olsson both breaking against Ivanovic and a ball down the flank with his left foot would have sent either of them clear. However the ball wasn''t played simply because he didn''t have it in his locker to do that. Had it been Fer, Howson, Snoddy, Redmond (or even Johnson tbf) it would have been. Even when making short passes Tettey struggles to judge the pace of the pass either under hitting and putting the recipient in trouble or putting too much pace on the pass and making the recipient take one or two touches to control and adjust. He also often passes to someone who is already closely marked.

    I''m not belittling Tettey''s efforts, because his presence has been hugely successful in the last couple of games and I''d certainly start him ahead of Johnson at this moment in time. I just think that he needs to develop his passing more or else he could fall into that category of being more of an athlete than a footballer.

  18. The formation over the past two matches has been successful on many levels. Tettey anchoring has allowed Fer and Howson the freedom to push on and support, and with Olsson in particular bombing on and adding width, Pilks has been able to come inside and link up with RvW so he looks much less isolated. Effectively we''re playing 4-1-2-2-1 or even 2-3-2-2-1 with the full backs pushing forward.

    As with any system it has it''s pro''s and con''s and if we keep playing it teams will suss it out and adapt their play to counter it. I think the next test for CH will be to adapt accordingly. It''s great that we''ve found this system, but the key to maintaining it''s effectiveness will be to not flog it to death, but to use it when it can be most effective. The more clubs we have in the golf bag, the better we can play the whole course.

  19. Hi, just thought I''d try and add a little balance to the current debate. If you want to label me I''ve been a Pant Wetter for a long time but some of the over reactions recently seem to have ignored the facts as I see them.

    Hughton Pro''s and misnomers

    1) He''s bought very well.

    2) He''s very professional, respected and a great ambassador for the club.

    3) The defence is much more solid than it was before he arrived.

    4) CH''s style is very effective against the top 6 teams at Carrow Road.

    5) Playing 4-2-3-1 is not negative in itself. It''s how the majority of Premiership teams play.

    6) He did inherit a team from PL that had started to lose a little momentum and did need defensive work to prevent them going backwards.

    Hughton Con''s and misnomers

    1) The results in 2013 have been nothing short of awful.

    2) CH seems unable to adapt or change in the face of adversity and doesn''t seem to learn from mistakes. It''s the same gameplan every game with the only tweak that we are especially defensive away from home.

    3) Despite having assembled what we as fans believe to be, and to a certain extent the wider footballing community concur, a great squad full of promising young international players, the performance which he gets out of them is less than the sum of their parts. Great managers take average players and make them a good team. He seems to take good players and make them a below average team.

    4) He seems unable to produce a cohesive attacking team performance, and hasn''t done so in his time here barring the last 2 games of last season. Swansea away is often cited but of the 4 goals scored 3 were set pieces against woeful marking.

    5) We seem unable to press home an advantage against teams that are a man down or playing poorly and don''t take points from games that we should given the circumstances on the day.

    6) Finishing "Higher than Lambert" or with more points is not a major achievement of itself. CH had a much larger budget than PL did in their respective Premier League campaigns and was able to attract better players to a settled Prem side so a modest improvement was probably to be expected.

    7) Whilst I agree that you can''t talk about sacking a manager after 5 games, CH has had 43 games (plus cup games). If he showed signs of change or improvement then it would be different but the only thing likely to change currently is the "Games Played" column. If the results have been bad from Jan to September and the manager changes nothing and can get nothing more from millions of pounds worth of better players, what makes anyone think October will be any different?

    I like CH as a man and he deserves dignity and respect but I''ve felt for a long time that he is unable to balance defence and attack, unable to react to game situations, and unable to learn from mistakes with creativity or positivity. Whilst I see no signs that he has the creativity to gel the side together and take us forward, it should be remembered that he has done some positive work and at the very least will leave us with a great squad that may need a little bit of tinkering but won''t need an entire overhaul as most ailing sides do. He has provided everything we need for a successful team, his ability to imprint a winning style or mentality is all that''s missing. Sadly he and his coaches don''t seem capable of clearing that final important hurdle.

  20. I like Howson. I think he''s a good all-round midfielder and the only thing he''s lacking is consistency. If he could eliminate errors he''d be a hell of a player.

    For me his best position is when he''s playing as part of a central midfield "hinge" where whoever he''s playing with sits while he has the licence to bomb on and join the attack. He''s not a number 10 though, despite his preference for the role.
  • Create New...