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whistleblower

Alex Neil - work in progress

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In my opinion Alex made a number of tactical mistakes today.

the starting 11 lacked balance. Right hand side had no natural width and the left should have been the olson/brady combo.

As the game progressed it was clear we were being overrun and tic-a-tac through midfield wasnt going to work. Wes was having one of his occasional games where he is ineffective and constantly loses the ball.

We should have gone 2 up top at half time instead of waiting to go 2-0 down. then we took off Dorrans instead of wes despite Wes having a bit of a nightmare and also Howson looking out of sorts (Howson actually played okay later in the game)

I dont think i have to add that whittaker had a poor game but i dont see who else there is to play right back - we have to sort that weakness out in January.

We created plenty of oohs and aahs but not a lot of clearcut chances. We should have sacrificed another central midefielder and gone with 2 wingers to create the width.

I think Alex Neill is a good manager but today in my opinion he potentially cost us the game

Finally - i like Cameron Jerome but its time to give mbokani and lafferty a go - if youre up front you have to score

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[quote user="Bor Bor Bor"]Epic hindsight.[/quote]In all fairness Bor, it was painfully obvious after 30 minutes.

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no hindsight at all.....read through the thread titled "Big selection dilemma for Saturday" and see how many predicted/chose Howson on the right wing in their team?

How many other clubs in the premier league would be leaving out a player such as Redmond who has scored/assisted 13 out of their last 16 goals?

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But Alex Neil''s top flight management is a work in progress too. He is allowed to make a mistake.

As I said elsewhere, he has shown he learns quickly and does not make the same mistake twice.

If we set up this way again I would be very surprised.

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Neil didn''t have the answers today to overcome how Leicester play. Although he''s been exceptional for us, today it has to be said that he is the fall guy in this defeat imo - it''s not like he didn''t know how Leicester play, and we played right in their hands. People can blame Howson and Whitts for their dreadful passing (and defending) but the whole style of our play today was what killed us, we could''ve been a few down before the end of the first half.

Why Dorrans, Howson and Hoolahan weren''t asked to come deep who knows, or why there was no movement in the midfield at all whatsoever, yet our fullbacks were pushed right up god only knows, but I''m sure we''ll get back to picking up points v Newcastle.

Well played to Leicester, they deserved that.

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I fear Neil was almost trying to out-think himself today, would we really have been worse off if we''d had played our best players in their best positions from the start and just kept the team selection simple?

would we have been more likely to lose if Redmond was on the wing instead of Howson?.......no,

would we have been more likely to have won?........yes

.its as simple as that in my view.

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We have a brave YOUNG manager, he is very much work in progress, he will get it wrong some times, some wrongs will no doubt be spectacular wrongs, he is finding his way in a league with players that are older than him.

What we must do is through the bay out with bath water, after 3 great results away from home, today was disappointing, too many were just not up to it today, I was glad to see Jarvis start, after siting out last week, he had a shocker imo, as did Howson, Whitts and Tettey, no matter what personnel selected if at least 4 are off the pace you are going to struggle, But Alex will learn, and be crowned the real messiah !

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I think Wes was asked not to do much defensive stuff. You can read that out of AN''s prematch interviews.

As a resukt, with Wes having a shocker, we were overrun in midfield. Jerome also invisible, as no balls fell for him, or stuck with him.

Jarvis was effectively shut out of play by Leicester tactics.

Poir management by AN today.

Playing Brady/Jarvis was in hindsight wrong, as Olsson/Brady would have been better, but thats hindsight.

Howson on the right is just non-understandable, as we could expect an open game vs Leicester, and then you need people who can run with the ball (Redmond).

Jerome ahead of Mbokani was imho a bad mistake. Jerome has been poor for weeks now, and must surely have lost his place after today.

Lastly, playing Whittaker when we plan to play a high line at home, vs a pacey team like Leicester is just crazy. Leicester are very simular to Palace in their style away, and AN should know that. Wisdom is not very polished either, but at least he has got pace.

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Agree with the opening post 100% and no hindsight here because i said this when i heard the line ups.AN set up more defensive today when there was no need all that happened was that they knew our main threat came down the left which was quickly nullified leaving us nothing down the right.To me AN tried to accomodate Jarvis at the expense of the Ollson /Brady partnership and dropping Redmond which was a massive mistake .

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People can moan all they like but at the end of the day whilst not our best performance our second half push nearly saw us come away with a point anyway!

Thought Leicester done a very good job on hoolahan, BTW.

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glad it made you smile unhinged, of course i meant to say " must NOT throw the baby out with the bath water" was the hangover from yesterday''s performance or i''m just stupid......

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Wasn''t this match pretty much exactly the same as the Palace match? Had Vardy scored at the end, when he should''ve, would''ve ended up the same score as well.

Tactics or not, we clearly struggle to cope with teams that are set-up to counter-attack us. I would guess that''s why Neil''s away record is far superior to his home one.

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[quote user="Clint"]Wasn''t this match pretty much exactly the same as the Palace match? Had Vardy scored at the end, when he should''ve, would''ve ended up the same score as well. [/quote]Yes - and it''s not just us that struggle against those two teams.  They are at the top end of the table for a reason. No shame in losing to them on that score, but we didn''t play as well as usual with too many misplaced passes.  That can be improved, so we can move on without too many recriminations and play better in the next match. 

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[quote user="Clint"]Wasn''t this match pretty much exactly the same as the Palace match? Had Vardy scored at the end, when he should''ve, would''ve ended up the same score as well.

Tactics or not, we clearly struggle to cope with teams that are set-up to counter-attack us. I would guess that''s why Neil''s away record is far superior to his home one.[/quote]

Yep, we struggle against teams with pace. And teams with work etics. Because we have little of both ourselves. We dont have the graft in the team. The skill, perhaps, but not the graft.

So, in games when our skilled players either are benched (Redmond), or having a mare (Wes, Howson), or the wrong forward selected who could muster a physical challenge (Mbokani benched for the off-form) Jerome, you got a disaster in the happening.

AN will not make the same mistake again, I think.

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When we''re up against a team which is good at pressing and shutting down, our passing and movement is shown to be limited. In other games where we have more time on the ball our passing looks a lot better.We need to be better at defending by keeping possession, and look to pick on mistakes by the other side. We were finding ourselves cornered far too often.

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Alex Neil had...and has got 2 big decisions to make.

He must decide which central midfielder is the better of Howson and Dorrans, and which left winger from Brady or Jarvis.

What must not happen again is ducking out of big decisions like this by shoehorning these players somewhere into the team to the detriment of the overall balance of the side.

Olsson is our best left back, this shouldn''t be messed around with, we surely didnt spend Ā£7m on Brady for him to play there??....he did a good job to fill in there whilst Olsson was injured but even then was often exposed when he had to track back, including yesterday.

The playing of Howson on the wing ,particularly at home was unbelievable, we have a strong enough squad now to not have to be playing people out of position?....which other clubs would be leaving out a winger who''s had a hand in 13 of their last 16 goals.

I''m afraid that selection smacked of wanting to keep senior players happy ,and leaving out a young player is the easiest option.

Howson or Dorrans........Jarvis or Brady........these are big decisions ,but they have to be made not ducked.

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Some odd stats from yesterdays game.City had 66% possession and an 80% pass success rateLeicester had 34% possession and a 60% pass success rateLooking at those stats we should have dominated the game and won easily, but that is not what happened. They sat back and their defensive 6 never really pushed forwards and they attacked with 3 or 4 players, not over committing. When we won back possession in our half they harried and pressed not allowing the quick release forward, that slowed our progress, they regrouped and we had to try and play through a set defense, basically they denied us time and space everywhere. They also engaged the man with the ball at every opportunity making 31 tackles which is a huge number for any game. We played exactly as Leicester would have wanted us to, pushing midfield and both full backs forward leaving space for their quick forwards in our half and compressing the space in theirs.To put it in betting terms we needed a 15 pass accumulator with each pass at 4/5 odds to come in to create a chance in a crowded box and they needed 2 or 3 pass doubles and trebles with each pass at 3/5 to come in to create a chance in a less crowded box.We looked vulnerable against counter attacking sides last season but the quality and speed of the counter attacking players we face this season are at a different level and we appear to not have found the answer or even come any closer to finding the answer to this problem.

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We have become used to Alex Neil making the right decisions, and in the short time he has been with us he has proven himself to be an incredibly thorough, astute tactician and an excellent motivator. All managers are going to get it wrong sometimes - look at Dick Advocaat and everything he has accomplished in his career, and how comprehensively Neil outmanoeuvred him a few weeks ago.The often-overlooked truth it''s not just the best players that ply their trade in the top flight; it''s the best managers too. Considering he is the youngest-ever Premier League manager, his ''hit rate'' of matching teams tactically has been excellent - eight games gone, and only two where we have been second-best. As Bor said, he doesn''t tend to make the same tactical mistakes twice - it''s pretty clear to me that yesterday he got the selection and the tactics wrong, but that''s going to happen to every manager in this league several times this season. It''s making sure you don''t get on a run (like Sherwood, Advocaat and McClaren have already this season) where the momentum is gone and your tactics and motivational skills aren''t enough to get it back. A very challenging period coming up for Sir Alex, but I bet he''s relishing that challenge.

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[quote user="Molly Windley"]Some odd stats from yesterdays game.City had 66% possession and an 80% pass success rateLeicester had 34% possession and a 60% pass success rateLooking at those stats we should have dominated the game and won easily, but that is not what happened. They sat back and their defensive 6 never really pushed forwards and they attacked with 3 or 4 players, not over committing. When we won back possession in our half they harried and pressed not allowing the quick release forward, that slowed our progress, they regrouped and we had to try and play through a set defense, basically they denied us time and space everywhere. They also engaged the man with the ball at every opportunity making 31 tackles which is a huge number for any game. We played exactly as Leicester would have wanted us to, pushing midfield and both full backs forward leaving space for their quick forwards in our half and compressing the space in theirs.To put it in betting terms we needed a 15 pass accumulator with each pass at 4/5 odds to come in to create a chance in a crowded box and they needed 2 or 3 pass doubles and trebles with each pass at 3/5 to come in to create a chance in a less crowded box.We looked vulnerable against counter attacking sides last season but the quality and speed of the counter attacking players we face this season are at a different level and we appear to not have found the answer or even come any closer to finding the answer to this problem.[/quote]

It will be interesting to see what happens when Palace play Leicester. Guaranteed 0-0 ? 

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[quote user="grefstad"][quote user="Clint"]Wasn''t this match pretty much exactly the same as the Palace match? Had Vardy scored at the end, when he should''ve, would''ve ended up the same score as well.

Tactics or not, we clearly struggle to cope with teams that are set-up to counter-attack us. I would guess that''s why Neil''s away record is far superior to his home one.[/quote]

Yep, we struggle against teams with pace. And teams with work etics. Because we have little of both ourselves. We dont have the graft in the team. The skill, perhaps, but not the graft.

So, in games when our skilled players either are benched (Redmond), or having a mare (Wes, Howson), or the wrong forward selected who could muster a physical challenge (Mbokani benched for the off-form) Jerome, you got a disaster in the happening.

AN will not make the same mistake again, I think.[/quote]
You need to quit this graft bollocks because its so incorrect I don''t have the words for the associated stupidity on display. We tactically press at the right time, etc etc. It''s why we''ve done so well so far this season.

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Hogesar, you really are deluded, and always have been. You have little or no knowledge of the game, and all you ever say is "how well we have done".

No, Mr. Deluded, we have not done very well at all. We have done OK, but not more than that. 9 points from a possible 24 in a very favourable sequence of fixtures is not very good at all.

We should have had 15 by now, but we have not. Saying that we have done very well, results wise, against the opposition we have faced in the first 8 games is a hopeless claim. We have been OK, nothing more.

Molly is correct in his writeup. We played it exactly into LeicesterĀ“s hands, just as they wanted it.

They surrendered possession on purposes, stocked their midfield, had little distance between their defence and midfield to make Wes totally ineffective, and lured our slow defence high up the field.

AN must surely have been aware of this before the game started, yet he did not counter it, or change it during the game.

One of the solutions to fight such a defensive setup is to have a stronger forward where the ball sticks a bit. Nothing have stuck at Jerome in the last few games, so not starting Mbokani was imho a pretty obvious error. He is more physical than Jerome, and more energetic these days. Jerome seems a bit in need of a rest now.

Lets face it, AN had a mare on Saturday. Not only Wes, Howson, Jerome, Jarvis and Whittaker. AN did his part in this misery by picking the wrong team and the wrong setup. Imho he signalled cautiousness to the players when we were playing Leicester at home.

The only right thing to do against opposition like that is to attack with the players in their natural positions, and to play players in form.

AN did neither.

He will learn, but people like the deluded Hogesar should wake up soon.

We can well be near the drop zone by Nov 1 if we do not improve quickly.

Sadly, the points gaines away at Liverpool and West Ham may have lulled us into a false security. We were lucky against Liverpool, and deserved 3 against West Ham. But I would happily have lost both those games if we had beaten Leicester at home, and we would even be one point better off for it.

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I''ll ignore most of the above as it''s rubbish.

We are a newly promoted team. We''re outside of the relegation zone. That''s good.

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I would not exactly agree that we set up a defensive line up. I noticed when we were defending the N & P end, Bassong and Martin were quite wide (bad mistake for central defenders) with Tettey playing a deeper midfield role (almost a centre back). The two recognised full backs were pushed very forward. This resulted in a very congested midfield which Leicester closed down very efficiently. But with their quick breaks we were in trouble. Neil tinkered too much to try to nullify Vardy. It did not work.

However it remained an entertaining game and I would not make any great criticism as with our fight and pressure in the last 30 minutes, with any luck we would have gained a point. We should also bear in mind that Leicester are currently on a roll.

To date I consider we have coped very well and certainly do not look out of place in the Premiership. We will be OK particularly if Ryan Bennett and Mobo can step up to regular first team games. I am not yet ready to write off Jerome. To be fair he received very little service in the first half.

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