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Ray

CB's and The Pairings

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Whilst I accept there are a host of reasons for our current demise, I think what follows re our CB’s and the pairings is quite telling;

TK – Played 15, Won 8, Drew 3, Lost 4 – Points gained/game 1.8, on target for 83 for the season,

RB - Played 12, Won 3, Drew 2, Lost 7 – Points gained/game 0.9, on target for 42 for the season,

RM – Played 8, Won 6, Drew 1, Lost 1 – Points gained/game 2.4, on target for 109 for the season,

SB – Played 5, Won 1, Drew 0, Lost 4 – Points gained/game 0.6, on target for 28 for the season.

The Pairings as follows;

TK & RB x 8 – Points gained/game 1.0, on target for 46 for the season

TK & RM x 7 – Points gained/game 2.7, on target for 125 for the season

RM & SB x 1 – Points gained/game 0, on target for 0 for the season (this was Newcastle away, where we went 3 at the back with RB before conceding losing goals)

SB & RB x 4 – Points gained/game 0.3, on target for 35 for the season

I assume, and please let me be correct in this assumption, that AN is aware of these stats. There is such a huge difference between the Klose, Martin partnership than any other, why, of why, are these two on the bench. This is a rhetorical question to myself.

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I really don''t see what Bennett brings. Completely disappears and somehow vanish whenever we come under the cosh.

Much rather have RM at CB but i''ve been in a minority for wanting that pretty much all season.

TK is obviously a good defender but has struggled to the point he deserved to lose his place.

Isn''t there some kind of rumour that one more TK appearance means we have to pay some fee to his former club, and with us likely to sell in January isn''t really worth paying? Or have I completely dreamt it? Which is more than possible, fyi.

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I wonder if you''re right, Hog.  Klose''s form has gone down but I''m not convinced our other CBs are better.  And I think we look better in the Championship with RM at centre back because he is better using the ball and covering Pinto.

 

Yes you could criticise both Bennett and Bassong for the first goal on Saturday but the real problem was on the left hand side where (surprise!) Brady behind Josh Murphy proved to be very weak defensively and let Barnsley get a host of good attacking opportunities.  Aside from the first goal I thought Bennett and Bassong both played well.  In the second half Barnsley had chances on the break and Bassong especially got in a lot of crucial tackles which kept us in the game.  The difference was that Brady/Olsson worked very well together and Mulumbu played a blinder in midfield.

 

Reality for me is that all four can play at a decent level as CBs in the championship.  This is not where our current problems lie.

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ICF,

I agree, our problems are many, but having noticed the marked difference I thought it worth mentioning. It may well be that pairing TK & RM will make little difference if our other issues aren''t sorted but it just may be enough to help us over the line a few more times and that would at least be a start, or at least help minimise the damage being done.

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Martin back at CB in place of RB should have taken place since Brentford, with olsson and pinto returning to the squad.

While it would be harsh to drop seb as I think his defending has been a level above RBs I just dont see the SB/RM combination working as well - so a full swap to TK & RB works for me - get them in.

As for the rumoured Klose payout he has made 25 appearances for us excluding EFL appearance - its usually as you hit a round number so I am not convinced that is the issue.

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I share some of the views expressed here. I don''t necessarily believe that CB is where all our problems start & finish. Klose, Martin, Bassong & Bennett is strong on paper for this level. I think AN has a rigid philosophy with fullbacks providing width, requiring two from midfield to provide protection for the CBs. He seems to like one winger & one creative forward, relying on them to create the chances for one up top. The discipline of two deeper-playing midfielders is essential for this approach and we (in theory) have the personnel available to implement this system successfully in the Championship.

It appears that this approach has been well scouted by other clubs (see Wes being snuffed out) and become predictable. To a certain extent, AN has been unlucky with availability/form in the central midfield area. Tettey is worryingly out of form, Mulumbu hasn''t done the business (yet?), Thompson received his chance and got injured and of course Howson underwent surgery. I''m not convinced about Dorrans; I don''t believe, in AN''s mind, he was considered as a guaranteed regular starter back in August.

Olsson & Pinto are both well equipped for AN''s approach going forward but it looks as if the likes of Jacob Murphy, Robbie Brady, Dorrans and arguably even Howson aren''t ''doing enough'' defensively. An on-form Tettey/Mulumbu/DM is vital and the likes of Brady, Dorrans & Howson should be experienced enough to know when to be cautious. I think this is the sad situation that will probably cost AN his job some time in the next few weeks. No obvious replacement comes to mind, and I would have had more confidence in McNally to identify & acquire a new boss than Moxey.

Only wins & points on the board can turn it around - roll on two home games in front of the cameras!

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We got out of this league with Whittaker Martin Bassong Olsson. Not only were they a good enough unit but they were also individually amongst the best players in their position in the division.

I''m not saying that should be the defence now. But if we''ve got better players than any of those above why can''t we make it work?

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You guys chatting on about the defense etc is pointless.

On a few occasions, when asked about defending Alex Neil retorts immediately with "we don''t score enough goals"

I personally can''t see Bassong as a good defender without some serious coaching, which he ain''t getting here and possibly wouldn''t thank you for.

Martin, past his best some time gone as a defender, as a Captain? Well, certainly not a leader or organiser on the pitch, by any stretch of the imagination.

Ryan, seemed to have potential when initially paired with TK, needs coaching, which he ain''t getting here.

TK, I can''t imagine he has suddenly forgot how to defend, needs managing.

I wouldn''t trust AN with another transfer window.

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I doubt you have choice in that. We''re not going to appoint a new manager in January and then start from scratch. We''d only get the players nobody else had already tied up...

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I think the main reason we''re not doing so well compared to two years ago is that we now play one main striker. In 2014-15 we rotated Grabban (23 starts + 14 sub), Jerome (36 starts + 9 sub) and Hooper (18 starts + 16 sub) as two up front. The more half-decent strikers you have on the pitch the more you score.

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I would add a couple of opinions on this, your DM not only needs to be able to protect the defence he also needs to be able to distribute the ball well, not much point in winning the ball only to give it straight back to the opposition, putting the defence under pressure. The main problem for Tim Klose seems to be his inability to deal with the physicality of the Championship forwards......

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So, since our manager saw the light, tucked his toys back in the pram, or whatever metaphor you care to use, and reverted to our best performing CB pairing, we have;

Won 4

Drawn 1

Lost 1 (down to 10 men)

Kept 4 clean sheets

Conceded only 3 and 2 of them in one game.

Makes you wonder doesn''t it? Well it does me

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[quote user="Ray"]So, since our manager saw the light, tucked his toys back in the pram, or whatever metaphor you care to use, and reverted to our best performing CB pairing, we have;

Won 4

Drawn 1

Lost 1 (down to 10 men)

Kept 4 clean sheets

Conceded only 3 and 2 of them in one game.

Makes you wonder doesn''t it? Well it does me[/quote]Your post would have had, perhaps, more credence had you not included the words bolded.Could it be that players are maybe focusing more and listening to his instructions, working hard, showing some heart, and have maybe got over their issues after relegation?Could it be those things Ray?Could you credit Alex Neil with anything at all?

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Morty,

Yep, I credit him with seeing the light and/or tucking his toys back in his pram and listening to one or two around him, btw, the return of TK and RM pretty much coincided with Wes being put back in the team.

As a result could it be that the players saw a new approach from our manager and started to take him a bit more seriously?

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I''ve always thought the Klose-Martin pairing was our best bet. But any defensive partnership takes time to develop, so it can be easily disrupted (luck, poor form etc.) at the outset.

Fingers crossed, but I reckon they''re fairly well sorted now.

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Oh Morty (Smiley thing),

I think you know my style well enough to know that if I allude to certain things there is normally a decent amount of substance.

I believe AN realised one or two things weren''t going as they should have been and in particular changed his approach to man management. Therefore, I do give him credit for that, just a bl**dy shame he didn''t do it earlier. There''s no saying that had TK, RM and Wes had not effectively been excluded, that we would have won the games we lost but the stats probably lead most to believe we would have picked quite a few more points, but then again there are lies, damn lies, etc.

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[quote user="Ray"]I credit him with seeing the light and/or tucking his toys back in his pram and listening to one or two around him, btw, the return of TK and RM pretty much coincided with Wes being put back in the team.

As a result could it be that the players saw a new approach from our manager and started to take him a bit more seriously?[/quote]

The reasons behind team changes and defensive changes in particular, have been as a result of injuries, poor performances and lack of confidence and even some bad luck.  The manager has had to swap things around to try and find a winning formula/mentality.   He has probably always known what team he would like to play - pretty much the team that started the season at Blackburn (apart from Martin who was injured, but was brought in as soon as he was fit)  - and lo and behold, that is what we have had recently.   So why is it a new approach?   Dijks looks a good replacement for Olsson, so with Wildschut as a real contender and Oliveira shown he is up for it - we have what everyone wanted at the start of the season - a manager who has got his squad playing, a manager who can buy good players, a manager that knows his best team, a manager that doesn''t buckle under pressure, a manager that has shown he can get his players to give their all. New approach? I don''t think so. More like a good manager who is showing strength and purpose. Still learning, of course, but the underlying strength and aptidtude is there. Credit to him for seeing it through the difficult spell and showing his worth to everyone.

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Morty,

I think I''m not making myself clear, so for the avoidance of doubt, I do give him some credit for the changes he has made and I am happy to do so, my point being that had he made them earlier we ''could'' be in a far better position.

LDC, I''m afraid you are wrong, I wish you weren''t but you are.

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I know the world''s gone utterly bonkers over the last couple of years, but this thread takes it to new and unexpected heights.

Morty and Lakey are basically agreeing with each other. ;)

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[quote user="Ray"]Morty,

I think I''m not making myself clear, so for the avoidance of doubt, I do give him some credit for the changes he has made and I am happy to do so, my point being that had he made them earlier we ''could'' be in a far better position.

LDC, I''m afraid you are wrong, I wish you weren''t but you are.[/quote]Good luck inventing your time machine to prove your point Ray[Y]

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Thirsty,

If Morty and Lakey are basically agreeing with each other, then I fell my work here is done (raises glass).

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[quote user="Ray"]Thirsty,

If Morty and Lakey are basically agreeing with each other, then I fell my work here is done (raises glass).[/quote]Like Lakey, Ray, I have had you sussed all along.*also raises glass*

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