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Branston Pickle

Team for Rotherham game

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It seems from the press conference that we have no new injury concerns but DF has mentioned, for pretty-much the first time, maybe rotating the squad a little for tomorrow’s game.

There’s a big month or so ahead with 6 games in April and we want to have everyone ready and match-fit if possible.

I doubt there would be mega-changes, but I did wonder if it might be a game for Klose to possibly play in - hopefully countering their aerial threat that bit more - and perhaps Mo or Mario coming in, maybe Tettey for that added steel, if TT needs a rest.

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Or it could be a bluff. The opposition know now that he keeps a winning team, so could be to make them think a bit.

Fully expect it to be the same 11 again. 

However one advantage we have is that we have several senior players that are fresh which is good at the end of along season. But it’s only an advantage if you play them. 

Edited by Sussexyellow
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Interesting he mentioned rotation as he did. I've been pushing for Vrancic or Leitner to come back in and would love to see that although the weather forecast is dreadful (rain and strong winds) and so it may be that its not necessarily the right occasion to bring Leitner back into the side. 

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Did wonder if he was thinking of three at the back. They use the direct approach and a strong winds so could be a way to combat that. Not sure who would give way in that scenario though.

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I think there is a likelihood the team will be unchanged - and any changes will wait until after the two week international break, during which the coaches will have a chance to reassess how to approach the last few games. The present first team players have earned their positions and Vrancic etc can always be brought on at any stage if needed. After the two week break may be the time for changes.

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His comments about rotation were in answer to a question about the load on players. DF said he had no worries on that score, and pointed out that this match preceded the international break. So no reason to rotate based on load. His only other comment about rotation was that the chief reason for contemplating it was the quality of the squad. I didn't read anything in the interview that suggested he was actively considering changes for tomorrow.  

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I missed the context of DF’s comments as only saw the press conference feed - perhaps it will be unchanged after all; I wouldn’t mind seeing one or two changes though.

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1 hour ago, Hairy Canary said:

Did wonder if he was thinking of three at the back. They use the direct approach and a strong winds so could be a way to combat that. Not sure who would give way in that scenario though.

Not sure which weather forecast you've seen HC but here in South Yorkshire it is forecast to be relatively quiet in the afternoon with the winds abating.  Mind you the morning and the evening are going to be rough but the NYS is a modern ground and fully enclosed and the pitch always looks immaculate, thus no pitch problems  so think we can concentrate on beating the opposition rather than the conditions.

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Injuries apart, I wouldn't anticipate changes after the break either. Bringing back Klose and Leitner would change the dynamic of our play, which has seen us to our current strong position since losing both to injury before Christmas. I'll tempt fate and say we likely won't see Klose and Leitner start until the first game of next season -- against Arsenal at the Emirates ......... (unless of course we have promotion and silverware bagged with games to spare). 

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39 minutes ago, shefcanary said:

Not sure which weather forecast you've seen HC but here in South Yorkshire it is forecast to be relatively quiet in the afternoon with the winds abating.  Mind you the morning and the evening are going to be rough but the NYS is a modern ground and fully enclosed and the pitch always looks immaculate, thus no pitch problems  so think we can concentrate on beating the opposition rather than the conditions.

I hope you local forecast is right !  According to the BBC forecast for Rotherham tomorrow afternoon at 3pm it predicts rain and 45 mph winds.  As you say it is a fully enclosed ground and our style of play with the ball kept on the ground is less affected by wind etc, but for an inferior team who will be playing a long ball game (as expected for Rotherham) the conditions are definitely an advantage. 

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Despite the received wisdom of some opposition fans, we have stopped scoring late goals, let alone late winners. In the last 10 games, apart from the 90+3 consolation against Preston North End, our latest was Pukki's 80th minute against Ipswich.

And despite how it feels when it happens, in the same period we haven't conceded that many just before half-time. Just three, by Sheffield United, Millwall and Hull City.

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3 hours ago, It's Character Forming said:

I hope you local forecast is right !  According to the BBC forecast for Rotherham tomorrow afternoon at 3pm it predicts rain and 45 mph winds.  As you say it is a fully enclosed ground and our style of play with the ball kept on the ground is less affected by wind etc, but for an inferior team who will be playing a long ball game (as expected for Rotherham) the conditions are definitely an advantage. 

Yes both BBC and Met Office forecasting strong winds and heavy rain all afternoon 

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45 minutes ago, PurpleCanary said:

Despite the received wisdom of some opposition fans, we have stopped scoring late goals, let alone late winners. In the last 10 games, apart from the 90+3 consolation against Preston North End, our latest was Pukki's 80th minute against Ipswich.

And despite how it feels when it happens, in the same period we haven't conceded that many just before half-time. Just three, by Sheffield United, Millwall and Hull City.

Agree with you about the late winners - since drawing with Sheffield U we’ve been leading in every game well before the end, except Preston - where we scored a late goal even though it was just a consolation so I think there’s a connection between games when we need a late goal and when we score then?

But to concede 3 times in 10 games just before half time as league leaders is enough to be worrying to me.

Edited by It's Character Forming
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55 minutes ago, PurpleCanary said:

Despite the received wisdom of some opposition fans, we have stopped scoring late goals, let alone late winners. In the last 10 games, apart from the 90+3 consolation against Preston North End, our latest was Pukki's 80th minute against Ipswich.

And despite how it feels when it happens, in the same period we haven't conceded that many just before half-time. Just three, by Sheffield United, Millwall and Hull City.

3/10 games to concede on the stroke of halftime is not great though...  and if you were to look just 5 games further back you'd also see goals in 45'+' minutes in the Nottingham Forest, Derby matches. Not to mention the goals we've conceded immediately after scoring; Millwall, Derby, Bristol, Birmingham. All of which at home, there does definitely seem to be a trend for conceding at stupid stupid points in our home games...  in fact, if you were to isolate our last 10 home games..

  • Bolton - conceded 88th minute
  • Forest - 45+2 minutes
  • Derby - 45+2 and 90th minute (also worth mentioning that we conceded from literally their first attack after we played them off the park for 30+ mins, not to mention the goal we conceded immediately after the restart following the floodlight failure)
  • Portsmouth - 90th minute
  • Birmingham - conceded immediately after scoring
  • Sheff United - 45 minutes
  • Bristol - conceded immediately after scoring
  • Hull - 45 minutes

This represents 9/17 goals conceded or 11/17 if you were going to be a bit more critical of the Derby game.

It is hard to moan in what has been such an exceptional season, but it is so frustrating when we slip with basic errors in key stages of a game; where all we need to do is settle for a couple of minutes to see through the momentum. Time and time again we shoot ourselves in the foot and create a new mountain to climb when we have only just reached the top of one...

However, I'm sure no one is more frustrated at these incidents than Farke, and I hope we can cut them out soon or we will be in serious trouble next season in the prem (if we make it!).

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2 hours ago, Hank shoots Skyler said:

3/10 games to concede on the stroke of halftime is not great though...  and if you were to look just 5 games further back you'd also see goals in 45'+' minutes in the Nottingham Forest, Derby matches. Not to mention the goals we've conceded immediately after scoring; Millwall, Derby, Bristol, Birmingham. All of which at home, there does definitely seem to be a trend for conceding at stupid stupid points in our home games...  in fact, if you were to isolate our last 10 home games..

  • Bolton - conceded 88th minute
  • Forest - 45+2 minutes
  • Derby - 45+2 and 90th minute (also worth mentioning that we conceded from literally their first attack after we played them off the park for 30+ mins, not to mention the goal we conceded immediately after the restart following the floodlight failure)
  • Portsmouth - 90th minute
  • Birmingham - conceded immediately after scoring
  • Sheff United - 45 minutes
  • Bristol - conceded immediately after scoring
  • Hull - 45 minutes

This represents 9/17 goals conceded or 11/17 if you were going to be a bit more critical of the Derby game.

It is hard to moan in what has been such an exceptional season, but it is so frustrating when we slip with basic errors in key stages of a game; where all we need to do is settle for a couple of minutes to see through the momentum. Time and time again we shoot ourselves in the foot and create a new mountain to climb when we have only just reached the top of one...

However, I'm sure no one is more frustrated at these incidents than Farke, and I hope we can cut them out soon or we will be in serious trouble next season in the prem (if we make it!).

... yeah, you're right, we're rubbish aren't we?

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Sigh.. No we're superb. Maybe I didn't caveat heavily enough just how well I think we're doing in simply saying 'exceptional season', this has been the best footballing Norwich side I've seen. But that does not mean there are not football issues that can be discussed and debated on this football forum designed for discussion and debate...

What I was trying to highlight in those stats is that we would be capable of even better if we could just stay focused for the full 90 minutes (plus injury time!!), I don't feel like this is an unreasonable thought to have.

I DO NOT think we should be invincible or not concede goals or make mistakes, but we should be capable of making results easier for ourselves when we get into a good position in games, and I think the timings I listed show that we sometimes do let things slip and offer the opposition a free leg up back in to the game. It must be said that often this happens during games when we have played brilliantly overall. But this compounds the issue in a sense as all we need to do is maintain the high level of performance throughout the entirety of our matches; we would undoubtedly be sitting through much more relaxing afternoons at Carrow Road and have a better goal difference to boot too. I think the fact that these games have occurred almost exclusively at home does show there is something in this.

As I said, I don't think anyone would find it more frustrating than Farke himself, we always seem to have to do things the hard way! Which is fun for us fans (at the final whistle), but from a professional point of view, I'm sure Farke would've rather we just saw the game out and maybe got another goal or two against Millwall when Leitner scored to make it 2-1...

 

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7 hours ago, It's Character Forming said:

I hope you local forecast is right !  According to the BBC forecast for Rotherham tomorrow afternoon at 3pm it predicts rain and 45 mph winds.  As you say it is a fully enclosed ground and our style of play with the ball kept on the ground is less affected by wind etc, but for an inferior team who will be playing a long ball game (as expected for Rotherham) the conditions are definitely an advantage. 

Yes wind can and will have an impact, but depending on which way it blows, it can either zip the ball too far down the field, or hold the ball up in the air.

In my opinion the wind does not compliment a long ball game unless those launching the ball are able to take a little off, else risk it sailing out of the end of the field. Into the wind shouldn’t be a problem with plenty of hang time.

keeping it on the ground will win the day.

Ofcourse the goalies will have to be on their toes to make sure they’re not scored on by the opposing goalie!

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I hope so but we need to be clear Rotherham will be no pushover.

 

they've now won 2 from their last 3, the other being the defeat at Sheffield U when then had a man sent off after 28 minutes. They are strong in the air which is our main defensive weakness.  High wind adds to the uncertainty with long balls which makes it more possible for them to have the ball fall where they want a couple of times which could let them score a goal or two.

 

i can’t wait for today’s game but it’s so important not to underestimate them!

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6 hours ago, splendidrush said:

... yeah, you're right, we're rubbish aren't we?

Regarding the above games was Leitner missing from all of them ? Just seems to be a calming influence in midfield when playing.

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2 hours ago, Otis62 said:

Regarding the above games was Leitner missing from all of them ? Just seems to be a calming influence in midfield when playing.

Maybe DF doesn't want a calming influence in midfield from the start. If you compare matches in which Klose and Leitner have played with matches in which they've been replaced by Vrancic/McLean and Godfrey, our goals scored average shows a significant increase with the latter combination, at the cost of a significant deterioration in goals conceded. Since DF has persisted with the latter combination despite both Klose and Leitner being available, my conclusion is that he thinks what Vrancic/McLean and Godfrey deliver is more likely to get us over the line. 

And by implication, sticking with McLean is not DF just obstinately following the simple rule of not changing a winning team, but more a question of DF liking the job that McLean is doing. It's a familiar story -- "attack purrs while defence creaks". 

Edited by westcoastcanary
Added second paragraph

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15 hours ago, westcoastcanary said:

Bringing back Klose and Leitner would change the dynamic of our play, which has seen us to our current strong position since losing both to injury before Christmas

That dynamic was the one that got us to the top of the league. Our position has been maintained fantastically well as we have a great depth in the squad but let’s not forget how we got here

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There's gonna be changes.  Vrancic back in which will see Pukki finding the net again.  When Vrancic plays, Pukki scores.  Expect to see at least a brace from Pukki this afternoon 👍

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3 minutes ago, Fiery Zac said:

That dynamic was the one that got us to the top of the league. Our position has been maintained fantastically well as we have a great depth in the squad but let’s not forget how we got here

Nobody's forgetting it Zac, but DF hasn't rushed to restore Klose and Leitner to the team. My point is that our position has been maintained by persisting with a slightly different dynamic and my conclusion is that DF thinks that's what is required. 

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One of the best ways to improve is to learn from your mistakes. If we’d conceded a couple of goals at corners, a couple from free kicks, a few in open play and they’d been spread over 90 minutes, what we we work on? As it is, there is an obvious area for Farke to coach the squad on. As long as it isn’t counterproductive, resulting in increased anxiety after 40 minutes or so of each half, that should only be positive.

 

I definitely have a glass half full view on NCFC at the moment. Just call me LDC. 😁

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15 minutes ago, westcoastcanary said:

Nobody's forgetting it Zac, but DF hasn't rushed to restore Klose and Leitner to the team. My point is that our position has been maintained by persisting with a slightly different dynamic and my conclusion is that DF thinks that's what is required. 

Why would he change when we continue winning? Are you saying he’s found his strongest 11 (and dynamic) now and it’s nothing to do with keeping faith with players in a winning team?

I think his man management is a key reason for our continued success and when players get their chance and we win he rewards them by starting again. I don’t think for one minute he prefers this dynamic to that of earlier in the season. With and without Leitner are fairly even stats. We score more but concede less and we’ve won about the same with or without him. However he played during our early games when finding a formation and integrating Stiepermann and Buendia and was key to getting us through so many games and periods early on.  As you say Vrancic and now McLean are maintaining that success. For me, therefore it comes down to what I saw and see at games, and what I saw was Leitner always looking for the ball and setting the tempo for the team. He offered more protection than both Vrancic and McLean and eased the pressure on Krul by always being available (and very good with the ball) from goal kicks.

The way we play has evolved and the changes in personnel have been fluid and they’ve integrated into the way Farke wants to play, not the way we play (or dynamic) altering because of the change in players. McLean, Imo, doesn’t fit perfectly into this way of playing but is being rewarded for some good displays and winning games by keeping his place.

Imo our biggest problem would be an injury to Stiepermann as we don’t have anyone that could do the job he does. I think McLean would be more suited to the AM role but not offer the strength and skill Stiepermann shows when able to turn and run at the defence.

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16 minutes ago, Fiery Zac said:

McLean, Imo, doesn’t fit perfectly into this way of playing but is being rewarded for some good displays and winning games by keeping his place

That's where we disagree. Vrancic is no more Leitner than McLean is; Vrancic replacing McLean wouldn't significantly alter how we have been playing since Christmas in the way that restoring Leitner would. 

I agree about Stiepermann. It'll be interesting to see what DF does if and when he isn't available.

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Weather update - just about to leave for the match from Sheffield - the wind is abating and there is clear blue sky and sunshine!  Oh and a rainbow and its still raining as well.  Four seasons in day weather.  Okay I was maybe a little optimistic with the weather forecast but I think even the met office is struggling at then moment to make sense of things.  However my message remains the same - we need to focus on our own performance rather than worrying about their tactics. Come on you yellows!

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5 minutes ago, westcoastcanary said:

Vrancic is no more Leitner than McLean

Whilst being more attacking than Leitner, he’s still closer to it than McLean and much more suited to the deep playmaking role than McLean too. I know some disagree but I never thought Vrancic looked comfortable as an AM. He’s not someone to run and terrify defences and his key attributes are his eye for a pass. For that he needs the play in front of him and time to get his head up.

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