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Il Pirata

Belated thoughts from yesterdays game...

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Firstly, the best 'restricted view' ticket I've ever purchased! Bar Chris Kamara cheesy grin in my peripheral vison, the view was unblemished!

In all a thoroughly hard fought and well deserved point. We needed to stop the run of defeats and we did that. We could have won, and were in the ascendency  for a good 20 minute spell in the second half. But chances were at a premium and in all honesty I'd have taken a draw if presented at any point during the game, even when on top. 

The positives; well for me, I thought we defended much better as a unit. Godfrey had Callum Wilson in his pocket up until his injury, at which point Tettey took over and impressively carried on where Godfrey left off. Amadou was very good too, and read the game very well. I also thought Trybull made a big difference when he came on and I'm delighted to see him back. With all the clamour for Leitner to play (myself included) I'm starting to think Trybull maybe the better all round player. But the biggest positive for me was the return of Hernandez. Boy have we missed him. As soon as he got on the pitch he was running at defenders and causing problems. Our game improved almost instantly, he just gives the opposition much more to think about which creates time and space for others. Chapeau Onel. A mention for Buendia too, he grew into the game and clearly enjoyed the extra bit of space afforded to him by Onel's arrival. 

As for the negatives, I'll keep it brief as to not overshadow an ultimately positive day. Todd Cantwell wasn't at the races. He gave the ball away too often, and didn't offer any threat going forward or protection defensively. For me, he's the one to make way for Hernandez. Leitner was disappointing too. It pains me to say, as really like him. But he looked lost in the more advanced role. Too slow to press, and just looked unsure of what he was being asked to do. He made very little impact on the game. I think his only position is CDM next to a Tettey or Amadou. I'm not sure he works next to Trybull as both tend to want to play similar balls and be the 'quarter back' player. 

Anyway just thought I'd add some further views on the game. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day out with a positive outcome to boot. Also a special mention for the Onel Hernandez song. I think its to the tune of Heartbeat? Yesterday was my first game this season and I can't recall hearing it before. Sounded fantastic though! 

OTBC.

 

Edited by Il Pirata
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The only problem is that Onel and Emi are the two least disciplined players in the team, and that whilst they can be brilliant individually on the ball, in terms of team cohesion they are headless chickens. That's not to take anything away from Onel who did exactly what he did at Anfield on the opening day - he got in round the back in a way that nobody else had managed to. But I believe there is more hope of them losing us the game than winning it for us I would dread being a full back playing behind either of them.

 As for Mo, he looked to me like a player playing in the position he wants to play in, but he totally disappeared in the second half. Philip Billing showed us how the midfield orchestrator role should be played. 

 

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1 hour ago, Pugin said:

The only problem is that Onel and Emi are the two least disciplined players in the team, and that whilst they can be brilliant individually on the ball, in terms of team cohesion they are headless chickens. That's not to take anything away from Onel who did exactly what he did at Anfield on the opening day - he got in round the back in a way that nobody else had managed to. But I believe there is more hope of them losing us the game than winning it for us I would dread being a full back playing behind either of them.

 As for Mo, he looked to me like a player playing in the position he wants to play in, but he totally disappeared in the second half. Philip Billing showed us how the midfield orchestrator role should be played. 

 

I wouldn't describe them as "headless chickens." But I understand your point to a degree. However, the shear presence of Hernandez and Buendia has defenders thinking well before they get on the ball. The directness of Hernadez actually aids our defensive performance. It's gives the opportunity to get the defence out, and if the ball is lost its usually well up the pitch, in the oppositions full back position, which is of little concern. Quite often it wins a throw in or corner kick. Compare that to Cantwell (two players vying for a starting spot), who often drops deeper, plays more centrally, and looks to play the quick ball rather than hold it up and run at defenders. If Cantwell's quick pass or flick doesn't come off, it more often than not puts the team back under pressure. Emi's similar, but given the choice he starts over Todd. He's the better player, and I just don't like seeing us play both. 

Have to disagree with your statement on Mo. I thought he looked uncomfortable higher up. He seems to prefer the deeper role with the play in front of him. On Saturday with Mo, Emi, and Todd, we lacked pace and our high press was a yard too slow. I think this was shown by the amount of work Pukki had to do, who was quite often seen between the lines and tracking back. 

Steipermann and Hernandez with Buendia for me. 

 

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Good review Mr Pirate. I agree with all of that. Onel for Todd and Stieperman for Mo against MU.

Couldn't agree more. That isn't to have a dig at Todd and Mo but now we have players back and more choice then I think we can improve even more on Saturday's improvement.

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I just don't get this "drop Cantwell" thing, one off game is not enough to dislodge him, it is great that players are coming back to fitness but for now I would bring Onel off the bench when the defenders have tired a bit. Assuming Godfrey is fit my starting 11 for Man Utd would be Krul, Aarons, Godfrey, Amadou, Lewis, Tettey, McLean, Buendia, Stiperman, Cantwell, Pukki.......

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I just don't get this "drop Cantwell" thing, one off game is not enough to dislodge him

I don't think it is just one game is it. I am chuffed a local lad is playing for us in the EPL but after that glow has subsided I have to be pragmatic enough to try and improve the team and Onel for him gives us an extra dimension. Emi is not doing it consistently either but I genuinely believe he can turn a game more than Todd.

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Cantwell has confounded the critics this year to really push on and has earned international honours for his good work, credit where due.

The issue I'm seeing is he does not play well against any intense physical press, which is what teams know to do against us until we get better at dealing with it. Against City, for example, he looked excellent as that game was all about the football; since then he hasn't really impacted games (admittedly neither has most of the team).

I think in an ideal world I would be bringing Todd on when we're ahead in games, when the opposition isn't so entrenched. Hernandez to start for me so defences have more to think about than babysitting Pukki.

 

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2 hours ago, Il Pirata said:

I wouldn't describe them as "headless chickens." But I understand your point to a degree. However, the shear presence of Hernandez and Buendia has defenders thinking well before they get on the ball. The directness of Hernadez actually aids our defensive performance. It's gives the opportunity to get the defence out, and if the ball is lost its usually well up the pitch, in the oppositions full back position, which is of little concern. Quite often it wins a throw in or corner kick. Compare that to Cantwell (two players vying for a starting spot), who often drops deeper, plays more centrally, and looks to play the quick ball rather than hold it up and run at defenders. If Cantwell's quick pass or flick doesn't come off, it more often than not puts the team back under pressure. Emi's similar, but given the choice he starts over Todd. He's the better player, and I just don't like seeing us play both. 

Have to disagree with your statement on Mo. I thought he looked uncomfortable higher up. He seems to prefer the deeper role with the play in front of him. On Saturday with Mo, Emi, and Todd, we lacked pace and our high press was a yard too slow. I think this was shown by the amount of work Pukki had to do, who was quite often seen between the lines and tracking back. 

Steipermann and Hernandez with Buendia for me. 

 

Brilliant post. At the start Mo was frequently ahead of Teemu! He really didn't seem to know where he should be playing & his ability to lift his head & dictate play from further back was missing.

Completely agree about Onel. Also he will tackle back - very effectively, as he has the strength & skill to hang on to the ball once he's got it - but if Jamal goes forward he will support him rather than drop back as Todd often does, which means you need someone (Tettey!) to provide cover in this situation.

Also I have to say I think Onel is one of those players who has more effect over short periods, so it may be best to either use him to run teams ragged for the first half then maybe bring on someone like Todd, or give him 20 minutes or so at the end to destroy a tiring defence.

However you use him, it's undeniable he's a wonderful option to have in the squad.

 

Edited by ron obvious
fat fingers

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16 hours ago, Il Pirata said:

As for the negatives, I'll keep it brief as to not overshadow an ultimately positive day. Todd Cantwell wasn't at the races. He gave the ball away too often, and didn't offer any threat going forward or protection defensively. For me, he's the one to make way for Hernandez. Leitner was disappointing too. It pains me to say, as really like him. But he looked lost in the more advanced role. Too slow to press, and just looked unsure of what he was being asked to do. He made very little impact on the game. I think his only position is CDM next to a Tettey or Amadou. I'm not sure he works next to Trybull as both tend to want to play similar balls and be the 'quarter back' player. 

Anyway just thought I'd add some further views on the game. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day out with a positive outcome to boot. Also a special mention for the Onel Hernandez song. I think its to the tune of Heartbeat? Yesterday was my first game this season and I can't recall hearing it before. Sounded fantastic though! 

OTBC.

 

Yes, agree with this. I've been saying it for a while (if you can be bothered to search for my posts) but as much as I like Todd he does rather unbalance the team somewhat. Much better having a player like Onel, who wants to stay out wide and is a 'proper' winger than Cantwell who seems to drift inside more naturally. Perhaps he could play in the 10 instead?

Onel also brings a certain skill set that none of our other players really have.

The Hernandez song is the same as the one we used to sing for Elliott Bennett, although we've changed the words, obvs. 😊

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The thing with Onel is he causes panic for the opposition when he comes on. Fast, strong, skilful - a great engine. And because he breaks with such pace it means Emi and Teemu etc then break forward faster, they simply have to, and this makes our attacks do much harder to read and break up. A perfect pass across the pitch from Onel on Saturday found Emi running centrally in space towards goal, unfortunately Emi slipped but on another day that ball could well have been in the back of the net. Onel I’m sure won’t start on Sunday, especially given he’s still just returned from injury, but I’d definitely like to give him more than 15 - 20mins, personally I think we’d benefit from bringing him on around the 60 min mark so he has plenty of time to make an almost certain difference against tiring players. He really is so important to our attack that boy. He completely changes the complexion of our game, and noticeably creates more space for our other forward players as the opposition look to bank up on him. So pleased to have him back!

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8 hours ago, Pugin said:

The only problem is that Onel and Emi are the two least disciplined players in the team, and that whilst they can be brilliant individually on the ball, in terms of team cohesion they are headless chickens.

 

Nonsense!

Onel is excellent at tracking back and providing cover for Lewis. Mainly because he's so quick and strong. Watch any game in the Championship from last season and you'll see him doing that more often than not. Emi the same. I would say that Onel is better at doing that side of the game than both Cantwell and Roberts.

Ok, probably a bit tougher in the Prem. But they are definitely not 'headless chickens' when it comes to team cohesion.

 

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Well, there's no point in me arguing about it. We all see things differently. Football  intelligence is one of the harder things to analyse.

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With Argos, Tommy and Tettey back and others to return hopefully soon, we will have the situation where we have genuine competition for places. In my view this can only be a good thing.

People have their own opinions on Cantwell, Buendia and others, but at the end of the day it will be down Farke's opinion not ours. With players back from injury DF can pick the team rather than have the team pick itself. 

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3 hours ago, BobLoz3 said:

Nonsense!

Onel is excellent at tracking back and providing cover for Lewis. Mainly because he's so quick and strong. Watch any game in the Championship from last season and you'll see him doing that more often than not. Emi the same. I would say that Onel is better at doing that side of the game than both Cantwell and Roberts.

Ok, probably a bit tougher in the Prem. But they are definitely not 'headless chickens' when it comes to team cohesion.

 

One of the first things I noticed about Onel was his tracking back, which really made him a step up from the Murphy twins.

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I think I’d have Onel start against Utd too if possible, but I just can’t see that happening what with him having only returned from injury a couple of days ago or so. And I’m sure DF will be very mindful of not pushing his body too quickly, too soon. But it’s fantastic that options are starting to come back, it’s only really central defence where we’re short now - can’t wait for the return of Zimbo, and the return of the real Norwich City 👍🏼

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When fully fit, Vrancic would be the best fit for the Steipermann position if Farke is looking to go down a different road, an eye for goal and a link to Pukki

          Tettey/Trybull   Leitner

Buendia         Vrancic       Hernandez

                         Pukki

...is our best bet moving forward...

...we then have the option to bring on Steipermann from the bench if more of a 'presence' is required later in a game where we're currently turning to Srbeny

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Can’t see Onel being match fit enough to start on Sunday after so many weeks out. Think he’ll be on the bench again but he’ll come on for longer.

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