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Thirsty Lizard

Selection, Set-Up, Tactics & Substitutions All Spot on Tonight

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Well done to Alex Neil who got it all right tonight after getting it badly wrong on Saturday. In many ways I think it was our best performance of the season - against a team who had only lost 1 of their last 9. Villa didn''t even have a shot on target until the 93rd minute and the only disappointing thing was that we didn''t win by more.

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Just for a moment let’s make an objective assessment which is not mostly based on the results of the games.

The differences between the set up for Barnsley and Villa were:

Left back: Olsson preferred to Brady

Defensive midfield: Mulumbu instead of Howson

Attacking midfield: Howson and Brady moved forward to replace Murphy and Pritchard

So obviously the set up against Villa was much more defensive.

I cannot fully understand the logic here against two mid-table teams.

AN in my view made the wrong team selection in both matches.

Should have been more solid at Barnsley and more adventurous at home to Villa.

The first half against Villa was dull, defensive and uninspiring. Yes the players did their jobs, didn’t make mistakes and Villa were poor.

It got better in the second half.

I thought that the support from the Barclay before we scored was magnificent.

But it could so easily have finished 0-0 or 1-1.

No doubt the set up for Huddersfield will be equally defensive.

Might be the odd change (Mulumbu or Tettey?) (can Murphy play two in a week?).

Does anyone think that Alex Neil is looking more and more like Chris Hughton as the season progresses?

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Objective assessment? Absolute nonsense. "No doubt the set up for Huddersfield will be equally defensive"? Any genuinely objective assessment would see you conclude that a rebalancing in favour of defensive solidity is absolutely necessary irrespective of who we are playing. We still haven''t beaten any of the division''s top teams and have been mugged by several of the division''s poorest. Ask yourself why that is and try and come up with a truly "objective" answer. Short of doing that yourself, try reading Parma''s Masterclasses.

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Seeing as Chris Hughton''s Brighton are top of the League Curious Canary I think it would be a good thing at the moment for our team to look like their''s. Don''t you?

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Was hardly a defensive line up though with Dorrans in one of the DM spots, two attacking full backs and a young winger infront of one of them. We''re usually far too naive and gung ho under Neil, I''d argue last night was a well balanced line up, definitely not defensive although way more defensive than we have been.

I mean, look at the lack of trust so many other managers have had in Hoolahan to play in their midfield. often we''ve had Dorrans, Hoolahan, Pritchard and a Murphy as part of our midfield 5. Most managers would see that as suicidal.

Hopefully we use that line up and approach as a base and build some attacking flair on top of it with Wes/Pritchard/Jo.Murphy being introduced when the game suits it.

That was nowhere near a Hughton type performance and if that''s how you remember those games then I''d imagine you''re only remembering the highlights. We didn''t sit behind the ball all game in a static shape, nor did we focus all our play through one player and tell that one player to just run down avenues and pick up free kicks/ set pieces first and foremost. We just put out a much more responsible, physical 11, we certainly didn''t play defensively by most teams usual standards anyway.

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A win is a win is a win..... and Norwich created enough reasonable chances to make the score line a little more realistic, but.....

Let''s be brutally honest....Aston Villa were shockingly, woefully bad, leaving Ruddy offering them their best hope with his questionable kicking. Anything less than a win last night, against a team offering zero threat, would surely have ensured the removal of AN as manager.

I''m not sure how Mulumbu didn''t receive the MOM award. An immense performance that is several notches up on Tettey, and exactly what supporters have been waiting for since his arrival.

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I concur that Villa were poor, but that is a Villa side that was in good form under Bruce, so perhaps it was our performance that made Villa look so poor. Credit where credit is due. And lots of credit also to the fans in the second half. There could have been continued apathy but instead generated probably the best atmosphere at a home game this season...

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[quote user="The Walking Man "]I concur that Villa were poor, but that is a Villa side that was in good form under Bruce, so perhaps it was our performance that made Villa look so poor. Credit where credit is due. And lots of credit also to the fans in the second half. There could have been continued apathy but instead generated probably the best atmosphere at a home game this season... [/quote]This must have thrown the "Why didn''t we go for Steve Bruce" crew into quite some disarray....

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I don''t agree everything was spot on. The first half was pretty ordinary by any standards.

Second half was spot on.

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"There really doesn''t need to be a ''but''...."

To be brutally honest, most of the posts on this forum don''t need any input from you.

Obnoxious, irrelevant and ignorant are three words that always spring to mind.....

....and there really doesn''t need to be a ''but''......

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[quote user="unique"]"There really doesn''t need to be a ''but''...."

To be brutally honest, most of the posts on this forum don''t need any input from you.

Obnoxious, irrelevant and ignorant are three words that always spring to mind.....

....and there really doesn''t need to be a ''but''......[/quote]Oh dear[:D]

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[quote user="Thirsty Lizard"]Seeing as Chris Hughton''s Brighton are top of the League Curious Canary I think it would be a good thing at the moment for our team to look like their''s. Don''t you?[/quote]

The problem Hughton had when he was at Norwich was that he started to lose more matches than he won and tried to stem the tide by becoming unadventurous and harder to beat. He lost confidence that we could get results by setting up to attack teams so he played a cautious game hoping to nick a result. His situation at Brighton is quite different. Brighton are better than most other teams in the division. You have to admit that he certainly has got their defence organised.

Also they are getting a bit of luck at the moment, playing against 10 men can help.

So why are Brighton doing better than Norwich?

Who has the best squad?

Who has the better manager?

Is it just the rub of the green?

Now that everyone thinks that AN has at last got it right it seems that it is onwards and upwards with a midfield of Mulumbu, Dorrans, Howson and Brady.

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