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The Dog

Has anything changed?

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Not a bad point today all things being equal but slightly concerned it''s a new season, different league but all looked very familiar to me.

We still lack coherences in the final 3rd, too many players coming short and nobody getting beyond Jerome and getting in behind and turning the opposition centre backs. Cam is not good at holding the ball up but he''s not helped by nobody running beyond him.

Still not sure Alex Neil knows how to get the best out of the players at his disposal. Formation looks lopsided and narrow with nearly everything going through the middle, slowing down and then drifting left before breaking down. I felt for Murphy today as honestly don''t think he knew what his role was meant to be when he came on. In addition still too many players out of position/not being used in their most effective positions eg wes, Howson etc

We lack pace/directness in the final third as well. Need to address this if we are going to be able to stretch well organised teams.

Biggest concern to me aside from the need for not 1 but 2 strikers is whether Alex Neil is actually learning. He still has it all to prove for me in terms of whether he can influence a game with tactical changes during the course of a game. Today looked oh so familiar in that if we don''t score early we run out of ideas very quickly and he does not seem to be able to turn the tide. In addition he will not budge from 1 up top.

Anyway enough of the negative we never really looked that troubled defensively and we have another game on Tuesday. Win that and 7 points from 9 is a good start.

Come on you yellows

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No, you''re spot on. The reason last week was so easy was is Jacob scored a worldly early on. Once we''re winning, the rest falls into place, we''ll play teams off the park.

Problem is if we don''t, we still have no plan B or even just a second striker. It''s embarrassing. It''s been the same for years but never addressed.

If we can go one nil up every week early, we''ll walk this league. If not, we''re going to struggle with the squad we have.

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Yep totaly agree Clint. The stats dont lie, last season I dont think we lost a single game when we took the lead and thats at Prem level, so you can imagine the damage we will do in the Champs, but as the OP said it is very worrying how we run out of ideas so quickly. It seemed to me after the first 15 minutes we just dropped off the intensity of our play, passes started going astray etc and you can visibly see the team getting ragged and a bit rattled along with it. I really hoped that AN had learned the harsh lessons from last season. Its only one game so too early to pass judgement but something DOES need to change or we''l be going nowhere but mid table this season.

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No definitely not. Of course it is easy to criticise, early season and just a couple of games. Yes, some players need to get in to their stride. BUT the old weaknesses in teamwork, tactics and lack of quality in going forward were plain to see. Shef Wed were well organised etc but were no threat and apart from an out of the blue cockup, Bennett & Klose were in comfortable command. So why was Howson employed in what appeared to be a covering role for Tettey and was more or less non-existent. He is an attacking midfielder with a good shot. We still have no pace or width and the opposing coach had obviously done his homework in that if you keep tight on Naismith and Hoolahan they will go nowhere with their close passing game thro the middle. Jerome had a poor game because he virtually rec''d no support. Again it seems years since we scored from a corner, so why does Brady take them !! If you earn a corner in the first minute or so you put it in to the mix straightaway before the defence has settled. As usual this did not happen, and the deliveries from set pieces were all poor.

In my opinion not one player has improved since Neill''s arrival, all he has done was to motivate Neil Adams'' team over the line a couple of seasons ago. To sum up our coaching team, two years ago Josh Murphy looked a great prospect, but yesterday !!!!! The usual excuse is that Neill is still learning, cannot we afford a proper manager ???

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