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For me it should always be about getting the job done then blood in youngsters. In some respects that's a daft statement knowing how well our youngsters have done.

My point is we were playing at our best earlier this season with Leitner, and Vrancic. Todd is definitely developing, and by no means awful, but I can't understand why we haven't reverted to the influence and creativity, and experience, these two give us in these crucial games getting over the finishing line.

We've looked flat with McLean & Cantwell, and we need that experience, and fresh pair of legs to hopefully give us that lift. Just hope Farke sees this rather than his belief that he sticks with youngsters, sometimes in the hope they eventually come good.

get the job done against SW (& had we done it against Wigan or Reading) and you can play around with the team for remaining games with pressure off

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I think people look back to earlier in the season through a gold mist. If it hadn't been for a late penalty we wouldn't have beaten Wigan in the home game.

Even though we just drew a couple of games this has been our best period of the season.

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At this point in time, I don't think Cantwell is good enough to play in the Premier League. He may develop further, and if we go up he needs to be loaned out to the Championship for a season. If he doesn't improve to PL level, at least we can sell him for a decent fee.

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2 hours ago, Rock The Boat said:

At this point in time, I don't think Cantwell is good enough to play in the Premier League. He may develop further, and if we go up he needs to be loaned out to the Championship for a season. If he doesn't improve to PL level, at least we can sell him for a decent fee.

He is being schooled in the Farke style, in a club that is likely to have everything he needs to develop, whatever division we are in. He has already proved he can cut it in the championship level with several motm performances earlier in the season and surely there is no reason to suppose he wouldn't be an integral part of any plans at PL level?

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, nutty nigel said:

I think people look back to earlier in the season through a gold mist. If it hadn't been for a late penalty we wouldn't have beaten Wigan in the home game.

Even though we just drew a couple of games this has been our best period of the season.

That is very debatable.

That early run was massively impressive. Players still adjusting to each other and a new system, grinding out results after a poor start (results wise) to the season. The control of games was stronger back then imo and I think the presence of Leitner was a major reason for it. We haven’t been at our best in a lot of games lately but we’ve done enough. That’s praise indeed as we find a way to get results but I’ve felt like an element of control has been missing. It’s just a feeling I get from watching games (before someone inevitably throws a load of stats at me).

Both periods of the season have been fantastic for different reasons but I certainly wouldn’t place one as better than the other

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Both periods of the season have been fantastic for different reasons but I certainly wouldn’t place one as better than the other

Just about the sum of the parts in reality. 86 points have been attained in many different ways. I guess we will all have one defining moment of the season though, that has led us to this good place.

For me it was back in September, when after an awful start, we beat Middlesborough who were there or thereabouts and although the scoreline was close, we beat them comfortably and showed me what was coming.

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Just now, keelansgrandad said:

Both periods of the season have been fantastic for different reasons but I certainly wouldn’t place one as better than the other

Just about the sum of the parts in reality. 86 points have been attained in many different ways. I guess we will all have one defining moment of the season though, that has led us to this good place.

For me it was back in September, when after an awful start, we beat Middlesborough who were there or thereabouts and although the scoreline was close, we beat them comfortably and showed me what was coming.

I think for me it was thumping Wednesday at the start of November. We'd scraped results from a lot of close games in September/October, but that 4-0 win at Wednesday really gave us the belief that, when this system/formation/group of players really clicks, we can thoroughly dominate teams in this division. That's when I first started to think "hang on a minute, we could seriously be on to something this season".

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22 minutes ago, Fiery Zac said:

That is very debatable.

That early run was massively impressive. Players still adjusting to each other and a new system, grinding out results after a poor start (results wise) to the season. The control of games was stronger back then imo and I think the presence of Leitner was a major reason for it. We haven’t been at our best in a lot of games lately but we’ve done enough. That’s praise indeed as we find a way to get results but I’ve felt like an element of control has been missing. It’s just a feeling I get from watching games (before someone inevitably throws a load of stats at me).

Both periods of the season have been fantastic for different reasons but I certainly wouldn’t place one as better than the other

Neither would I. It's been a great season. And I've enjoyed it all. But there can be no doubt we had far greater control of the home games against QPR and Reading during this spell than we did the home games against Bolton and Millwall earlier.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, nutty nigel said:

I think people look back to earlier in the season through a gold mist. If it hadn't been for a late penalty we wouldn't have beaten Wigan in the home game.

Even though we just drew a couple of games this has been our best period of the season.

Leaving aside the first 5 games, where the team was far from settled, I've done a quick count of our cumulative xG when each of Leitner, Vrancic and McLean have played:

Leitner: 14 games, cumulative xG 19.6, an average xG of 1.4 per game

Vrancic:  12 games, cumulative xG 19.3, an average xG of 1.6 per game

McLean: 11 games, cumulative xG 24.2, an average xG of 2.2 per game

Since I did this quickly I can't vouch for those figures being absolutely 100% accurate, but the general picture is absolutely clear.

What does need to be added though, is that Godfrey's coming in for Klose has contributed significantly to the improvement witnessed over that time.

Edited by westcoastcanary
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1 hour ago, nutty nigel said:

Neither would I. It's been a great season. And I've enjoyed it all. But there can be no doubt we had far greater control of the home games against QPR and Reading during this spell than we did the home games against Bolton and Millwall earlier.

Not sure of the point there. Yes what you say is undoubtedly true. There are however numerous examples we had more control in the previous spell. All in all it’s a general feeling I have from seeing the games. As I say, both periods have been hugely impressive for different reasons and we’ve been treated to some fantastic football all season

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38 minutes ago, westcoastcanary said:

Leaving aside the first 5 games, where the team was far from settled, I've done a quick count of our cumulative xG when each of Leitner, Vrancic and McLean have played:

Leitner: 14 games, cumulative xG 19.6, an average xG of 1.4 per game

Vrancic:  12 games, cumulative xG 19.3, an average xG of 1.6 per game

McLean: 11 games, cumulative xG 24.2, an average xG of 2.2 per game

Since I did this quickly I can't vouch for those figures being absolutely 100% accurate, but the general picture is absolutely clear.

What does need to be added though, is that Godfrey's coming in for Klose has contributed significantly to the improvement witnessed over that time.

Expected goals don’t prove/disprove level of control in games, it’s a very succinct statistic. My point was about control.

xG and xA are a very useful way of looking at a general way a team has/will play but it also has many flaws. Maddison is a great example of a player who hasn’t looked good with these statistics in the past but consistently looked dangerous on the pitch.

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To expand on overall feel of games:

 

With Leitner playing:

Played 18

Won 12

GF 31

GA 19

 

With Vrancic and then McLean once we’d played 18:

Played 18

Won 12

GF 44

GA 24

 

So expected goals show we have been expected (and have) scored more, however that doesn’t mean we won more games. Leitners case is further improved when you factor in in his 18 games were the opening 5 fixtures where we were trying to get a system and a lot of new players (in a new league for them), playing how we are now.

We are a more attacking team lately though it can be argued whether that is because McLean is in the team instead of Leitner/Vrancic or because the team has evolved and improved (as it should) over the season. But being attacking doesn’t always mean better and my constant argument has been about control of games which I feel was better earlier in the season. Had Leitner stayed in the side who knows how things would have developed, less goals but still winning, more goals as team continues to mature and still winning, less goals and less wins....we’ll never know. I can’t argue with what’s happened as we’re top of the league and playing some beautiful football. It’s a real testament to Farke that it really is a squad that has got us to where we are and we’re not reliant on certain players....hmmm we’ll find out on Friday if we continue to need Emi in to win!

 

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57 minutes ago, Fiery Zac said:

Not sure of the point there. Yes what you say is undoubtedly true. There are however numerous examples we had more control in the previous spell. All in all it’s a general feeling I have from seeing the games. As I say, both periods have been hugely impressive for different reasons and we’ve been treated to some fantastic football all season

That's what I think. I don't think Leitner would have been dropped if he wasn't injured. Probably Tettey too. And Klose. But it is what it is.

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24 minutes ago, Fiery Zac said:

We are a more attacking team lately though it can be argued whether that is because McLean is in the team instead of Leitner/Vrancic or because the team has evolved and improved (as it should) over the season. But being attacking doesn’t always mean better and my constant argument has been about control of games which I feel was better earlier in the season.

Couldn't agree more regarding control, which is why, during the international break, I tried to get a discussion going about what actually constitutes control and how you measure it. If I remember correctly, the only contributor was king canary whose measure of our control was how nervous he felt when the opposition had the ball! I've been saying for ages that I think we need to shift the balance back somewhat towards more solidity in defence. 

But what we think is neither here nor there; it's what DF thinks. DF has continually stressed his commitment to entertaining attacking football. I think the key to why McLean has been keeping Leitner and Vrancic out of the team lies in those xG figures i posted. The second half of the season has seen the balance shifting to better chance creation at a relatively small cost in terms of defensive performance. Unless DF thinks we need to shift back towards more of an early part of the season balance, I wouldn't envisage much in the way of change for Friday. If he wants some but not too marked a shift then we might see Vrancic in for McLean, but I suspect it will be same again with change in the form of substitutions if needed.

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1 hour ago, Fiery Zac said:

Not sure of the point there. Yes what you say is undoubtedly true. There are however numerous examples we had more control in the previous spell. All in all it’s a general feeling I have from seeing the games. As I say, both periods have been hugely impressive for different reasons and we’ve been treated to some fantastic football all season

Just to add my point about comparing those games was not to say the current period is more controlled. Just that I wanted to show the earlier period wasnt  anymore controlled. Not sure what stats will show but I suspect there's little difference.

 

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52 minutes ago, canarydan23 said:

There are lies, damned lies and then there are statistics. 

😂

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, keelansgrandad said:

Both periods of the season have been fantastic for different reasons but I certainly wouldn’t place one as better than the other

Just about the sum of the parts in reality. 86 points have been attained in many different ways. I guess we will all have one defining moment of the season though, that has led us to this good place.

For me it was back in September, when after an awful start, we beat Middlesborough who were there or thereabouts and although the scoreline was close, we beat them comfortably and showed me what was coming.

 

Edited by Graham Paddons Beard

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21 hours ago, lake district canary said:

He is being schooled in the Farke style, in a club that is likely to have everything he needs to develop, whatever division we are in. He has already proved he can cut it in the championship level with several motm performances earlier in the season and surely there is no reason to suppose he wouldn't be an integral part of any plans at PL level?

 

 

 

The loan out to Fortuna improved Todd's all-round game immensely. He needs to go out on loan again to get regular football (but in the right environment) to push himself to the next level. I hope he makes it as there's nothing better than seeing a local lad in the side.

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