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sonyc

Alex Neil and having to rely on "younger players"

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I have just read one of the main Pinkun stories and find myself both confused and angry reading his points about not having Howson and Mulumbu and Jarvis and asking Jacob to help more. Then he adds we also have other younger players like Josh and Pritchard! I don''t get it really. Why the hell are they not players you can as a manager, rely upon? And I realise that younger players often need the kind if hardening up that perhaps loans give them. But when is this process supposed to be over? Decades like the seasoning of wood?!!!! Surely, our younger players are very ready? We have Thompson on loan for years, Toffolo, Canos, both Murphys and Pritchard who have played for many years now. Since when is 22, 23 and 24 young these days? 17 and 18 / 19 is young (think of Rashford in recent years) and isn''t 26/27 supposedly the optimal age for players?

I can see that this view is valid where teams with small squads are bulked up by young players with little experience but we haven''t! In fact we still have loaned out Maddison, Toffolo, Rudd.

Perhaps what Neil says to me is that he is very cautious and doesn''t trust his younger players. I am concerned. Canos has been mentioned on here. But Neil''s words re. Pritchard just show you why he hasn''t seemingly played him much because he thinks such a decision is less than ideal. Perhaps the fact that Neil is in his mid thirties himself would give him this skewed view? Whatever the reasons I think this is a concern for the future. Jacob has played wonderfully, no-one would disagree with that, and like any players maybe a mini break is useful.....but the international breaks give that. Why not Pritchard ( for Wes if he has to), for the first team and even occasionally Canos (for Murphy), Thomspon (for Tettey) and heavens forbid Morris and the lad from York being given starts.

And if not, why have we shelled out the kind of money that we have for these players? And what is our strategy.? If it is medium term, then surely you have practical plans to realise it? If it is longer term then these players are never going to play and will be sold and other teams get the advantage. Or maybe our players are not good enough?

Anyway it''s annoyed me and this forum can be a place for debate so I thought I''d put it out there. At least we might ''experiment'' in the EFL. This team have been an example of a blend of youth and experience. Would seem ideal for me. I know Neil seems to definitely have his favoured 11 or 12. That is clear now and who can really criticise him for his decisions....one point off second place. And yet, the kind of message he gives on his younger players is very unhelpful in my opinion and certainly is not a ringing endorsement of them. I want to see him mixing up his teams much more for one, maybe by 2 or even 3.

I know I''m splitting hairs by the way. ( reckon I''ve a right to) .... It''s not a huge complaint but an annoyance before I get castigated by the likes of some here.

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I have to agree i can see no relationship between Howson being injured and not being able to give Jacob a rest when needed. What about Canos remember he was supposed to be Redmond''s replacement, Josh, Pritchard even Naismith?Responses like this unfortunately raise more questions than answers about his managerial ability if he feels the expensive signings he''s made aren''t good enough to step up to the plate.

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I agree that the article seems to make little sense.

I went to a Q&A with Neil last week where he was asked about playing both Murphy''s and he said that would mean he''d have to drop Brady, which he implied he''d not do.

I just think he''s an incredibly stubborn man.

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Don''t forget though it''s not just about the 11 you put out, but what options you also have on the bench. And we are missing senior players that we could do with.

I think people are reading this wrong.

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I don''t think they are Morty and I think if it is how Neil thinks about things then its deeply worrying. The Murphy''s are not even that young in football terms but for him to be trying to make out that Pritchard is some kind of "young kid" who is one of our only back ups to Murphy is ridiculous.

Pritchard is our record signing who got in the championship team of the year two seasons ago after playing the entire season for Brentford. Josh Murphy is quite capable of covering for his brother and Canos is a right winger he bought for several million pounds this summer. Naismith could play there at a push as well. His comments are ludicrous.

Leaving all of the above aside, Howson is not a wide right sided midfielder anyway, and the fact Neil still even considers him to be the alternative to Murphy out there is equally worrying.

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Sounds a bit thin to me.

Interesting that he makes reference to not feeling the loss of Redmond - a player he didn''t really know how to use to the best effect.

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I think the problem lies with the manager the Murphys are now in their twenties - not young by todays standards, Prichard played nearly all season with Brentford a season ago, if we are so short on the right hand side move Pinto forward and put a full back behind him. Canos after choosing Norwich over other teams has been excluded.

Last season the manager tinkered all season with the team and I felt at the end of the season he didn''t know his strongest team unfortunately he has carried this through to this season.

Perhaps it isn''t the players.

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I wish I kept some sort of list as to who doesn''t have faith in Alex Neil and who does.

Because, depending on which way you lean, you could definitely see what you want to see, in this case.

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Do we want to get into what we would be covered by having "faith" in terms of what could be achieved under AN?

If so, what do you think about AN, Morty? Where do you believe he can take us to as a team?

And where do you see him headed as a manager?

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No idea, I don''t have a crystal ball.

As I said in another thread, perhaps there''s good reason the likes of Canos and Pritchard aren''t starting, rather than assume there''s something mysterious going on.

I think some people are getting a bit carried away with themselves, and somehow assuming we have a God given right to win every single game.

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I''ve just read the piece and have to say I think some of you are taking too much from it. To me A N is saying is that he would like to have one or two of the more experienced players fit to give the younger ones a rest when he could.

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[quote user="FenwayFrank"]I''ve just read the piece and have to say I think some of you are taking too much from it. To me A N is saying is that he would like to have one or two of the more experienced players fit to give the younger ones a rest when he could.[/quote]

Younger players a rest? The only young player starting is Jacob Murphy! There is a tonne of experience in the starting 11 from Saturday. Worryingly, it sounds like excuses from AN, something he hasn''t really resorted to before.

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Alex neil is far too honest for his own good. Anything he says will be analysed and often taken out of context to make a critical point. More experienced managers have learned to do entire press conferences without saying anything of any substance at all. They want to get on with their jobs and have the what could be called arrogant view that the reporters and their readers won''t understand what they tell them if they are honest. Give me Alex Neil as he is everytime. These experienced nonsense answering managers still get torn apart when, as my buddy Rickyyyyy will tell you, when they run out of road. 
From what I see in games I understand Neil to be referring to the players "engine rooms". Two of our most intense players are Jonny Howson and Gary Brady. These qualities will be evident if you watch the players when they don''t have the ball. And let''s be honest that is the majority of the game so will be of significant importance to the manager. Jacob Murphy has a bigger engine than either Pritchard or Canos. So in the absence of Howson the manager probably feels he needs that energy in his team.
This also would show why  he is even more reluctant to leave out Brady while Howson is injured. Makes sense doesn''t it?
I don''t believe he is saying the only alternative to Jacob is Howson. I believe he is saying now Howson''s out he needs Jacob''s engine more than if he was playing. Matt Jarvis is another who has that engine and if fit would almost certainly be in the team before Jacob while Howson''s out. It''s brilliant testament to the twins that they have already got this string to their bows.
I believe he''s talking about the balance of the team and the amount of energy he needs in it. I don''t believe he''s saying Pritchard and Canos are not good enough to play. That would be daft wouldn''t it? Especially after spending all that money? I can''t for the life of me understand why anybody would believe he was that daft? 

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[quote user="nutty nigel"]Alex neil is far too honest for his own good. Anything he says will be analysed and often taken out of context to make a critical point. More experienced managers have learned to do entire press conferences without saying anything of any substance at all. They want to get on with their jobs and have the what could be called arrogant view that the reporters and their readers won''t understand what they tell them if they are honest. Give me Alex Neil as he is everytime. These experienced nonsense answering managers still get torn apart when, as my buddy Rickyyyyy will tell you, when they run out of road. 
From what I see in games I understand Neil to be referring to the players "engine rooms". Two of our most intense players are Jonny Howson and Gary Brady. These qualities will be evident if you watch the players when they don''t have the ball. And let''s be honest that is the majority of the game so will be of significant importance to the manager. Jacob Murphy has a bigger engine than either Pritchard or Canos. So in the absence of Howson the manager probably feels he needs that energy in his team.
This also would show why  he is even more reluctant to leave out Brady while Howson is injured. Makes sense doesn''t it?
I don''t believe he is saying the only alternative to Jacob is Howson. I believe he is saying now Howson''s out he needs Jacob''s engine more than if he was playing. Matt Jarvis is another who has that engine and if fit would almost certainly be in the team before Jacob while Howson''s out. It''s brilliant testament to the twins that they have already got this string to their bows.
I believe he''s talking about the balance of the team and the amount of energy he needs in it. I don''t believe he''s saying Pritchard and Canos are not good enough to play. That would be daft wouldn''t it? Especially after spending all that money? I can''t for the life of me understand why anybody would believe he was that daft? 
[/quote]

Sorry Nutty remind me again who it is that is reading things into Neil''s quotes?

As far as I can see he''s saying that he''s only got Josh Murphy and Pritchard as options for the right hand side if he had chosen to rest Jacob Murphy and as both are "relatively young" is "doesn''t help." Leaving aside that they are the same age as Jacob (almost literally in Josh''s case), Pritchard was in the championship team of the season two seasons ago so its a weird statement. That''s before we even get onto the bizarre Canos situation.

I accept that Matt Jarvis would be an experienced option out there which is not currently available to us although query the view that he has much of an "engine" and to be honest I find him massively underwhelming as a player. However, our starting midfield on Saturday was Tettey, Brady, Dorrans, Hoolahan and Murphy. I doubt there is probably a side in the division who can put out a more experienced and high quality quartet that the first 4 of those so the notion that we are relying on young lads is nonsense. We are though possibly relying on Murphy more than we should be because Brady is underperforming hugely and Tettey has been hit and miss this season as well.

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I''m sure he has alluded to that and also alluded to the point that if there were other big engines available he''d use them.
I''m just saying my understanding of it and what I see in games. Not that I''m right. What do you see in games?

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[quote user="Jim Smith"][quote user="nutty nigel"]Alex neil is far too honest for his own good. Anything he says will be analysed and often taken out of context to make a critical point. More experienced managers have learned to do entire press conferences without saying anything of any substance at all. They want to get on with their jobs and have the what could be called arrogant view that the reporters and their readers won''t understand what they tell them if they are honest. Give me Alex Neil as he is everytime. These experienced nonsense answering managers still get torn apart when, as my buddy Rickyyyyy will tell you, when they run out of road. 
From what I see in games I understand Neil to be referring to the players "engine rooms". Two of our most intense players are Jonny Howson and Gary Brady. These qualities will be evident if you watch the players when they don''t have the ball. And let''s be honest that is the majority of the game so will be of significant importance to the manager. Jacob Murphy has a bigger engine than either Pritchard or Canos. So in the absence of Howson the manager probably feels he needs that energy in his team.
This also would show why  he is even more reluctant to leave out Brady while Howson is injured. Makes sense doesn''t it?
I don''t believe he is saying the only alternative to Jacob is Howson. I believe he is saying now Howson''s out he needs Jacob''s engine more than if he was playing. Matt Jarvis is another who has that engine and if fit would almost certainly be in the team before Jacob while Howson''s out. It''s brilliant testament to the twins that they have already got this string to their bows.
I believe he''s talking about the balance of the team and the amount of energy he needs in it. I don''t believe he''s saying Pritchard and Canos are not good enough to play. That would be daft wouldn''t it? Especially after spending all that money? I can''t for the life of me understand why anybody would believe he was that daft? 
[/quote]

Sorry Nutty remind me again who it is that is reading things into Neil''s quotes?

As far as I can see he''s saying that he''s only got Josh Murphy and Pritchard as options for the right hand side if he had chosen to rest Jacob Murphy and as both are "relatively young" is "doesn''t help." Leaving aside that they are the same age as Jacob (almost literally in Josh''s case), Pritchard was in the championship team of the season two seasons ago so its a weird statement. That''s before we even get onto the bizarre Canos situation.

I accept that Matt Jarvis would be an experienced option out there which is not currently available to us although query the view that he has much of an "engine" and to be honest I find him massively underwhelming as a player. However, our starting midfield on Saturday was Tettey, Brady, Dorrans, Hoolahan and Murphy. I doubt there is probably a side in the division who can put out a more experienced and high quality quartet that the first 4 of those so the notion that we are relying on young lads is nonsense. We are though possibly relying on Murphy more than we should be because Brady is underperforming hugely and Tettey has been hit and miss this season as well.[/quote]
As I just said to Clint I''m just giving my understanding of the comments. Yours is different. You obviously also believe the manager is stupid. You''d make a good reporter for archant....

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Lol @ "you should work for archant"

Thy know EXACTLY what buttons to press with some fans, love it!

Headline tomorrow:

"DID NEIL STEAL CHILDRENS CHIPS?"

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[quote user="nutty nigel"]I''m sure he has alluded to that and also alluded to the point that if there were other big engines available he''d use them.
I''m just saying my understanding of it and what I see in games. Not that I''m right. What do you see in games?
[/quote]

Well in terms of the midfield I see:

Murphy has looked jaded for a few weeks now so I agree that he needs a rest on the bench for a game or two.

Josh Murphy looked short of confidence earlier in the season but in his more recent EPL and Johnstones Paint (or whatever its called) outings has looked back on song and full of confidence. Given this, and his recent hat-trick at Barnet, I find it bizarre that Neil has continued to flog a tired Jacob and has not given Josh another opportunity whilst his confidence is up.

Wes has been electric at times but the last couple of games he has dipped. Personally (and this will surprise some since I usually advocate Wes on the pitch at all times) I was surprised he was not taken off with us 2 up against Rotherham rather than being left on for the full 90 which I think contributed to his quiet display at Fulham.

The Pritchard/Hoolahan combo gave us the most promising midfield play we have shown so far this season yet (other than the last few minutes on Saturday) has not been used at all. I would like to see those two played together regularly so the partnership can develop.

Dorrans has probably been our most consistent performer although he screwed up for one of the Fulham goals. No complaints from me about him in the side.

Tettey has not hit the heights I would usually expect of him this season although he''s still played an important role for us in some of our wins.

Brady has been the biggest disappointment but again he''s a player we have played at every opportunity, he even played in the EPL games at full back despite the fact he also starts virtually every game for Ireland. It would not surprise me if he is absolutely shattered as well and I thought that after Pritchard played so well last week it was an opportunity to give Brady a bit more of a rest.

Canos I thought looked potentially very useful but seems to have been made the fall-guy for the Birmingham game even though a mate of mine who went said he was our best player in that game. I do not understand why he has been snubbed entirely since then.

I can see the point you are making which is that if you have Wes/Pritchard type players in there then you ideally need some more athleticism alongside them in the midfield although perhaps not so much against teams like Preston at home who will generally look to contain us and keep Wes quiet. That''s why I want Pritchard playing in those types of games. I do not, however, accept that we are "relying on kids" as the manager seems to want to make out and to the extent that Murphy may be a little tired at present I think that the manager has plenty of options if he wants to rest him and in fact has contributed to that tiredness by playing him so much.

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[quote user="Jim Smith"][quote user="nutty nigel"]I''m sure he has alluded to that and also alluded to the point that if there were other big engines available he''d use them.
I''m just saying my understanding of it and what I see in games. Not that I''m right. What do you see in games?
[/quote]

Well in terms of the midfield I see:

Murphy has looked jaded for a few weeks now so I agree that he needs a rest on the bench for a game or two.

Josh Murphy looked short of confidence earlier in the season but in his more recent EPL and Johnstones Paint (or whatever its called) outings has looked back on song and full of confidence. Given this, and his recent hat-trick at Barnet, I find it bizarre that Neil has continued to flog a tired Jacob and has not given Josh another opportunity whilst his confidence is up.

Wes has been electric at times but the last couple of games he has dipped. Personally (and this will surprise some since I usually advocate Wes on the pitch at all times) I was surprised he was not taken off with us 2 up against Rotherham rather than being left on for the full 90 which I think contributed to his quiet display at Fulham.

The Pritchard/Hoolahan combo gave us the most promising midfield play we have shown so far this season yet (other than the last few minutes on Saturday) has not been used at all. I would like to see those two played together regularly so the partnership can develop.

Dorrans has probably been our most consistent performer although he screwed up for one of the Fulham goals. No complaints from me about him in the side.

Tettey has not hit the heights I would usually expect of him this season although he''s still played an important role for us in some of our wins.

Brady has been the biggest disappointment but again he''s a player we have played at every opportunity, he even played in the EPL games at full back despite the fact he also starts virtually every game for Ireland. It would not surprise me if he is absolutely shattered as well and I thought that after Pritchard played so well last week it was an opportunity to give Brady a bit more of a rest.

Canos I thought looked potentially very useful but seems to have been made the fall-guy for the Birmingham game even though a mate of mine who went said he was our best player in that game. I do not understand why he has been snubbed entirely since then.

I can see the point you are making which is that if you have Wes/Pritchard type players in there then you ideally need some more athleticism alongside them in the midfield although perhaps not so much against teams like Preston at home who will generally look to contain us and keep Wes quiet. That''s why I want Pritchard playing in those types of games. I do not, however, accept that we are "relying on kids" as the manager seems to want to make out and to the extent that Murphy may be a little tired at present I think that the manager has plenty of options if he wants to rest him and in fact has contributed to that tiredness by playing him so much.[/quote]
Thanks Jimbo. 
I think Tetty is even more crucial now Howson''s out. I believe we really do need those engines in the side especially starting the game. My old mate Worthy used to say the team "has to earn the right to play their football" and that''s something that''s stuck with me and what i believe to be a truism of the game. He was lucky to have Gary Holt who was vital to him and helped make it possible to start a game with Hucks who was also vital to him. Worthy got the balance right which was probably the biggest reason for that team''s success. Adam Drury also had a huge engine. Similar to Pinto.
Players who are worth their weight in gold when they don''t have the ball are often the ones most devalued by us when naturally we notice the short time during games when they have the ball. Tettey gets slated because he misplaces passes but the odd misplaced pass should be measured against the little deflections and hassle he causes when he breaks up the oppositions play.
Where is this interview so that we can make our minds up ourselves?

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Jacob and Tettey looked jaded on Saturday. Jerome was full of running as usual, but Preston denied Wes any room to play at all, so we didn''t get the free-flowing football we saw against Rotherham. Personally I didn''t think Brady looked too bad in the first half, but we needed someone like Naismith or Pritchard to liven things up.

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[quote user="nutty nigel"][quote user="Jim Smith"][quote user="nutty nigel"]I''m sure he has alluded to that and also alluded to the point that if there were other big engines available he''d use them.
I''m just saying my understanding of it and what I see in games. Not that I''m right. What do you see in games?
[/quote]

Well in terms of the midfield I see:

Murphy has looked jaded for a few weeks now so I agree that he needs a rest on the bench for a game or two.

Josh Murphy looked short of confidence earlier in the season but in his more recent EPL and Johnstones Paint (or whatever its called) outings has looked back on song and full of confidence. Given this, and his recent hat-trick at Barnet, I find it bizarre that Neil has continued to flog a tired Jacob and has not given Josh another opportunity whilst his confidence is up.

Wes has been electric at times but the last couple of games he has dipped. Personally (and this will surprise some since I usually advocate Wes on the pitch at all times) I was surprised he was not taken off with us 2 up against Rotherham rather than being left on for the full 90 which I think contributed to his quiet display at Fulham.

The Pritchard/Hoolahan combo gave us the most promising midfield play we have shown so far this season yet (other than the last few minutes on Saturday) has not been used at all. I would like to see those two played together regularly so the partnership can develop.

Dorrans has probably been our most consistent performer although he screwed up for one of the Fulham goals. No complaints from me about him in the side.

Tettey has not hit the heights I would usually expect of him this season although he''s still played an important role for us in some of our wins.

Brady has been the biggest disappointment but again he''s a player we have played at every opportunity, he even played in the EPL games at full back despite the fact he also starts virtually every game for Ireland. It would not surprise me if he is absolutely shattered as well and I thought that after Pritchard played so well last week it was an opportunity to give Brady a bit more of a rest.

Canos I thought looked potentially very useful but seems to have been made the fall-guy for the Birmingham game even though a mate of mine who went said he was our best player in that game. I do not understand why he has been snubbed entirely since then.

I can see the point you are making which is that if you have Wes/Pritchard type players in there then you ideally need some more athleticism alongside them in the midfield although perhaps not so much against teams like Preston at home who will generally look to contain us and keep Wes quiet. That''s why I want Pritchard playing in those types of games. I do not, however, accept that we are "relying on kids" as the manager seems to want to make out and to the extent that Murphy may be a little tired at present I think that the manager has plenty of options if he wants to rest him and in fact has contributed to that tiredness by playing him so much.[/quote]
Thanks Jimbo. 
I think Tetty is even more crucial now Howson''s out. I believe we really do need those engines in the side especially starting the game. My old mate Worthy used to say the team "has to earn the right to play their football" and that''s something that''s stuck with me and what i believe to be a truism of the game. He was lucky to have Gary Holt who was vital to him and helped make it possible to start a game with Hucks who was also vital to him. Worthy got the balance right which was probably the biggest reason for that team''s success. Adam Drury also had a huge engine. Similar to Pinto.
Players who are worth their weight in gold when they don''t have the ball are often the ones most devalued by us when naturally we notice the short time during games when they have the ball. Tettey gets slated because he misplaces passes but the odd misplaced pass should be measured against the little deflections and hassle he causes when he breaks up the oppositions play.
Where is this interview so that we can make our minds up ourselves?
[/quote]

Don''t know where the audio is Nutty. The quotes are on the Jacob Murphy story on the homepage and the key ones are:

“When you are overly-reliant on some players you are depending on them to play well and that is impossible to do every match,” he said. “We need other people to step up and take that mantle from time to time. We had a couple of key players who have been doing the business regularly for us this season and they were not at their peak. If you have 11 players on the pitch and five or six are not playing as well as they can it is always going to be a tough. It is a huge blow. He is an experienced player who can play in a variety of possessions and when he is not there, and with Youssouf Mulumbu out with his foot injury, then we are relying on a lot of the younger lads. I think if Jonny had been available the last couple of games he would have featured. There is no doubt about that.”

Jacob Murphy was again pressed into service against Preston but the youngster was replaced early in the second-half.

“Jacob has done wonderfully well, but he is a young man and we are demanding a lot of him and naturally a young player will experience a lull before they come again,” said Neil. “He’ll be fine. It is credit to how he started that we are not talking about the loss of Nathan (Redmond) but the impact of Jacob. I have been delighted with him but I would like to have given him and us an opportunity to drop out a little bit and depend on someone else.

“Jacob had to play again because that right-hand side is a bit light when Jonny is not there. Matt Jarvis is not fit yet as well and then we have Josh Murphy and Alex (Pritchard), who is still relatively young, so it doesn’t help.”

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[quote user="Jim Smith"][quote user="nutty nigel"][quote user="Jim Smith"][quote user="nutty nigel"]I''m sure he has alluded to that and also alluded to the point that if there were other big engines available he''d use them.
I''m just saying my understanding of it and what I see in games. Not that I''m right. What do you see in games?
[/quote]

Well in terms of the midfield I see:

Murphy has looked jaded for a few weeks now so I agree that he needs a rest on the bench for a game or two.

Josh Murphy looked short of confidence earlier in the season but in his more recent EPL and Johnstones Paint (or whatever its called) outings has looked back on song and full of confidence. Given this, and his recent hat-trick at Barnet, I find it bizarre that Neil has continued to flog a tired Jacob and has not given Josh another opportunity whilst his confidence is up.

Wes has been electric at times but the last couple of games he has dipped. Personally (and this will surprise some since I usually advocate Wes on the pitch at all times) I was surprised he was not taken off with us 2 up against Rotherham rather than being left on for the full 90 which I think contributed to his quiet display at Fulham.

The Pritchard/Hoolahan combo gave us the most promising midfield play we have shown so far this season yet (other than the last few minutes on Saturday) has not been used at all. I would like to see those two played together regularly so the partnership can develop.

Dorrans has probably been our most consistent performer although he screwed up for one of the Fulham goals. No complaints from me about him in the side.

Tettey has not hit the heights I would usually expect of him this season although he''s still played an important role for us in some of our wins.

Brady has been the biggest disappointment but again he''s a player we have played at every opportunity, he even played in the EPL games at full back despite the fact he also starts virtually every game for Ireland. It would not surprise me if he is absolutely shattered as well and I thought that after Pritchard played so well last week it was an opportunity to give Brady a bit more of a rest.

Canos I thought looked potentially very useful but seems to have been made the fall-guy for the Birmingham game even though a mate of mine who went said he was our best player in that game. I do not understand why he has been snubbed entirely since then.

I can see the point you are making which is that if you have Wes/Pritchard type players in there then you ideally need some more athleticism alongside them in the midfield although perhaps not so much against teams like Preston at home who will generally look to contain us and keep Wes quiet. That''s why I want Pritchard playing in those types of games. I do not, however, accept that we are "relying on kids" as the manager seems to want to make out and to the extent that Murphy may be a little tired at present I think that the manager has plenty of options if he wants to rest him and in fact has contributed to that tiredness by playing him so much.[/quote]
Thanks Jimbo. 
I think Tetty is even more crucial now Howson''s out. I believe we really do need those engines in the side especially starting the game. My old mate Worthy used to say the team "has to earn the right to play their football" and that''s something that''s stuck with me and what i believe to be a truism of the game. He was lucky to have Gary Holt who was vital to him and helped make it possible to start a game with Hucks who was also vital to him. Worthy got the balance right which was probably the biggest reason for that team''s success. Adam Drury also had a huge engine. Similar to Pinto.
Players who are worth their weight in gold when they don''t have the ball are often the ones most devalued by us when naturally we notice the short time during games when they have the ball. Tettey gets slated because he misplaces passes but the odd misplaced pass should be measured against the little deflections and hassle he causes when he breaks up the oppositions play.
Where is this interview so that we can make our minds up ourselves?
[/quote]

Don''t know where the audio is Nutty. The quotes are on the Jacob Murphy story on the homepage and the key ones are:

“When you are overly-reliant on some players you are depending on them to play well and that is impossible to do every match,” he said. “We need other people to step up and take that mantle from time to time. We had a couple of key players who have been doing the business regularly for us this season and they were not at their peak. If you have 11 players on the pitch and five or six are not playing as well as they can it is always going to be a tough. It is a huge blow. He is an experienced player who can play in a variety of possessions and when he is not there, and with Youssouf Mulumbu out with his foot injury, then we are relying on a lot of the younger lads. I think if Jonny had been available the last couple of games he would have featured. There is no doubt about that.”

Jacob Murphy was again pressed into service against Preston but the youngster was replaced early in the second-half.

“Jacob has done wonderfully well, but he is a young man and we are demanding a lot of him and naturally a young player will experience a lull before they come again,” said Neil. “He’ll be fine. It is credit to how he started that we are not talking about the loss of Nathan (Redmond) but the impact of Jacob. I have been delighted with him but I would like to have given him and us an opportunity to drop out a little bit and depend on someone else.

Jacob had to play again because that right-hand side is a bit light when Jonny is not there. Matt Jarvis is not fit yet as well and then we have Josh Murphy and Alex (Pritchard), who is still relatively young, so it doesn’t help.”[/quote]
How do people jump from Neils comments about the right side to suggesting that Howson is the only alternative to Jacob. That''s not what he''s saying. He''s not advocating playing Howson there. Even dim old nutty can see that.
Do you think Jacob is more ''athletic'' than Josh or Pritchard Jim? Do you think Jarvis and Howson are more thletic than Jacob? I know what I see. If we play with fullbacks being sometimes the furthest forward players we have to have enough players to get up and down quickly. Otherwise we are very vulnerable on the break. I''m interested in what you see buddy?
It''s not beyond the realms of possibility that somebody else could have started had he known Pinto wasn''t starting. Martin and Pinto aren''t like for like.

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I don''t think it''s anything to get upset about, just moaning about his injured players which limit his options, that''s fair enough.

Maybe he could have phrased it better.

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Managers will say all sorts of questionable stuff in the wake of a bad performance. It doesn''t always do to read much into such remarks, which often don''t stand up to rigorous scrutiny. If there is are some genuinely worrying post-match comments they come from Paddy Davitt:Preston exposed all the flaws within Alex Neil’s squad and the

realisation the Scot has some major remedial work ahead was

uncomfortable to watch at Carrow Road.Each fresh stumble sharpens the focus on the manager’s judgment. That

comes with the territory as pre-season promotion favourites, where

public messages revolve around a swift Premier League return. By common consent, Jacob Murphy appears to have lost that mental edge,

that sharpness in thought and deed. Neil acknowledged as much since the

collapse on Tyneside but persists in playing the prodigiously-gifted

youngster.
The mitigation surrounding a mounting injury list in that

area of the field is sound. But so is the need to limit Murphy’s exposure, given the reduced productivity in recent weeks.Robbie Brady is another conundrum on the opposite flank. The Republic of

Ireland international, bar that stunning winner at Wolves, looks

frankly disinterested.
Neil was again searingly honest after his

Molineux match-clincher in demanding more from the Dubliner but Brady’s

sad, slow second-half exit against Preston marked another fitful

afternoon. Neil and his players must accept compromise is required [between ambition and prudence] when the occasion dictates and develop a coping mechanism to prevail.If Davitt was describing problems that only appeared against Preston that would be OK, but the bits highlighted in red indicate he is not. Davitt (who really ought to know the difference between "disinterested", which is good, and not what he means, and "uninterested", which is what he does mean, and is bad) is itemising problems that apparently (I say apparently because I haven''t seen the previous matches)  have been clear for some time now, inclduing to Neil as well as to Davitt, and to posters here.

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Alex is a keen young manager, but logic suggests the ex Hamilton Academicals player manager has a long way to go before becoming a force in the Premiership/Championship. Yes he got us promoted, but was this not the classic "new manager syndrome- players pull their socks up for a few games". He took over Neil Adams team and one of the most important parts of that team was the manner in how Adams transformed Bradley Johnson in to a goal scoring midfielder. We are now more or less back to where we were when Adams was sacked. We have a very strong experienced squad, but they are drifting again, and some of the senior players seem to be just turning up to do a steady job. We lack drive, leadership and quick thinking and desperately need somebody "to set us alight". Alex no longer looks the great motivator on the bench. For most of Saturdays match he just stood watching with folded arms and what was rather worrying that he regularly indicated to Brady to come out wide. Brady acknowledged him, but took no notice !!! Despite my criticism Alex still has more than enough quality at his disposal to take us up. Most of the opponents so far have been very average. The manner is which we played against Preston was just not acceptable. Being second in the table you would have thought we would come out and set about the opposition. But we had no pace or enthusiasm and it is high time that the midfielders in particular moved up to support Jerome rather than just make a pass and then watch the outcome.

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This was a good thread last week. How does it stand up now in the context of this week?
I thought Alex Neil was spot on with his comments about his team selection for Preston. Yet I was amazed that with the team he picked yesterday even though it was basically the one being called for by fans and the Rob Butler / Paddcy Davitts of the media circus. In the light that Alex Neil had prior knowledge that Pinto was out caving in to fan/media pressure (how it appeared to me) left us woefully short on energy in a game away from home against one of the strongest teams in the league.

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A bad error sending James Madison away to Aberdeen his play making abilities opening up defences and his placement of free kicks and corners is superior to that of any of our players with the exception of Wes. Lets have him back and see him given the opportunity he deserves

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