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ricardo

Ricardo's report v Watford

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I got a lift to the end of King St then had to brave the weather on the walk to the ground as the heavens opened and for much of the first half heavy rain showers came and went. Carrow Road looked resplendent under the floodlights and the City faithful were in good voice as we kicked off towards the River End. What was needed was a good start but it couldn't have gone more wrong than when Buendia  lost possession near midfield on the City left and Deulofeu skipped away unchallenged to slot past Krul with less than eighty seconds on the clock.

Oh dearie me, as they say in these parts. We are just so fragile at the back, just so easy to score against. It took a while for us to settle after that and there was little to be seen of the home attack for the opening fifteen minutes. Finally we got a bit of a spark from Hernandez and his tricky feet. Buendia sent him away and a neat cross looked set for Pukki until a defenders foot hooked the ball away for a corner. Then Stiepermann got in on the act with a nice pass to the little Cuban only for him to be unable to bustle past the last defender. A couple of corners were earned and then a free kick which eventually fell to Tetty but his shot was at much to narrow an angle to bother Foster.

Watford looked dangerous going forward and twice Krul was called into action to prevent any further damage. It was all rather disappointing to realise that even the weaker teams in this league look well matched with our boys. Eventually however the home side did get a head of steam and were very unlucky when Hernandez raced clear of the last defender and seemed certain to score until Foster just beat him to the ball on the edge of the box. Pukki tried to pick up the pieces, quickly getting to the loose ball but defenders crowded out his shot.

It was a decent response after the early setback and with City retaining the upper hand there was certainly hope at the break that we might still get something from the match.

Again it required a good start and yet again it wasn't to be as within a few minutes of the restart a simple ball into the box from Deulofeu found Gray first to get a boot on it in front of Lewis and the ball seemed to deceive Krul leaving him flatfooted as it spun into the corner. Oh Dearie me times two. Farke decide to change it quickly and on the hour Buendia  and Stiepermann made way gor Cantwell and Drmic. It livened things a bit and a nice ball from Cantwell gave Lewis a chance from range but Foster produced a flying stop at the expense of a corner.

From here on the visitors took every opportunity to time waste and milk the clock. Fouls and yellow cards mounted and with twenty five minutes left Kabasele saw a second yellow for pushing over Drmic, giving City a faint hope of still getting something from a match that was looking lost. We then had ten or twelve minutes of all out attack that saw the home side camped out in the opposing penalty area. Unfortunately, despite some nice touches very few clear openings were created and apart from another tip over from Foster a goal didn't look like coming.

Vrancic came on for Lewis with ten to go and although there was plenty of huff and puff the Watford defence coped comfortably with everything thrown at them. Indeed they had a couple of opportunities to make it three as City committed everybody forward. The most disappointing aspect for me was that we never really looked like getting back in the game even against ten men.

So here we are at the twelve game point with a lot less than a point per game average. I would like to stay positive and I really did think before a ball was kicked, that we might have enough to stay up this time but its hard to argue with the stats and barring something extraordinary we shall, in all probability, be playing Championship football next season.

Hernandez my MOM.

 

Edited by ricardo
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It is a shame, but leaking goals as we are, mixed with with scoring just 2 goals* in ten-and-a-half hours of play, does rather tell its own story (*and both of those were only consolations).

We are clearly trying as hard as we can, but it’s just not quite working.  Whether the answer is to be more ‘stodgy’ I don’t know - I’m not sure we have the players (fit) to play that way.

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3 minutes ago, Branston Pickle said:

It is a shame, but leaking goals as we are, mixed with with scoring just 2 goals* in ten-and-a-half hours of play, does rather tell its own story (*and both of those were only consolations).

We are clearly trying as hard as we can, but it’s just not quite working.  Whether the answer is to be more ‘stodgy’ I don’t know - I’m not sure we have the players (fit) to play that way.

Im not criticising tha effort BP. They just don't have enough of the required quality, especially defensively. The returnees will help but we have too many who cannot hit the required level with any consistency. We were far from strong at the back last season so it shouldn't come as a shock that it would be worse in a higher league.

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I didn’t think you were, Ricardo - it’s something that’s bugged me all season, that we seemed to think playing the same way in defence with effectively the same players would work out better this season.

Edited by Branston Pickle

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We were ok tonight and quite threatening at stages, but our defence and the shield in front of it is a complete shambles. It was last season tbh but we just scored more. You can’t do that against vastly superior teams.

Going forward, we get into good positions and either make the wrong decision or mess up the pass. This is probably down to a lack of confidence, but unfortunately also because some of these players do not look Premier League quality.

Even the most steadfast of optimists have to admit we’re looking at a miracle to stay up.

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I think most were realistic and feared it would be difficult, while harbouring the hope that it might still be possible.

You have to live with hope and I expect all long term NCFC supporters had very similar hopes and fears.

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7 hours ago, ricardo said:

I think most were realistic and feared it would be difficult, while harbouring the hope that it might still be possible.

You have to live with hope and I expect all long term NCFC supporters had very similar hopes and fears.

Spot on, I lived in hope...but after witnessing the last few performances,  my conclusion is that relegation is the most probable outcome. We're not going to invest a lot in January and even if we were to, it would take an enormous turnaround.

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Each game is starting to resemble a cup game whereby a championship club plays a top flight team. For every upset, say Man City for example, you have results that reflect the gap in quality ie last night.

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8 hours ago, ricardo said:

I think most were realistic and feared it would be difficult, while harbouring the hope that it might still be possible.

You have to live with hope and I expect all long term NCFC supporters had very similar hopes and fears.

This sums it up nicely. We all hoped we could take our style of play to another level. Briefly we did and then we saw huge physical players blow us away - even Farke has commented on the physicality of the league and our lack of. 

after all of the effort and success of last year I’m finding this hard to take . I thought we would be better . Our passing is easily negated by early pressing - once again we can’t get the ball out from the back and cannot move through central areas . Instead we ponderously play through neutral wider areas - handing the ball to Onel and hoping he can work wonders - which includes crossing to a box that is overloaded by the opposition. 
This game signals where we really are . Bottom and beaten by a team without a win and without any form. The players looked deeply unhappy - small signs of bickering which is totally alien to what we saw last year .

add to that the summer signings - Amadou  being the exception - it seems we haven’t strengthened at all. 
 

Totally fed up . 

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3 minutes ago, Graham Paddons Beard said:

This sums it up nicely. We all hoped we could take our style of play to another level. Briefly we did and then we saw huge physical players blow us away - even Farke has commented on the physicality of the league and our lack of. 

after all of the effort and success of last year I’m finding this hard to take . I thought we would be better . Our passing is easily negated by early pressing - once again we can’t get the ball out from the back and cannot move through central areas . Instead we ponderously play through neutral wider areas - handing the ball to Onel and hoping he can work wonders - which includes crossing to a box that is overloaded by the opposition. 
This game signals where we really are . Bottom and beaten by a team without a win and without any form. The players looked deeply unhappy - small signs of bickering which is totally alien to what we saw last year .

add to that the summer signings - Amadou  being the exception - it seems we haven’t strengthened at all. 
 

Totally fed up . 

Chin up GPB, hard times come and go. 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Hoola Han Solo said:

We were ok tonight and quite threatening at stages, but our defence and the shield in front of it is a complete shambles. It was last season tbh but we just scored more. You can’t do that against vastly superior teams.

Going forward, we get into good positions and either make the wrong decision or mess up the pass. This is probably down to a lack of confidence, but unfortunately also because some of these players do not look Premier League quality.

Even the most steadfast of optimists have to admit we’re looking at a miracle to stay up.

Sums it up for me.

The odd thing is  I had the feeling that if we had played that Watford team last season we probably woud have beaten them. Its hard to get results with a team bereft of confidence.

We have to regroup now and have confidence in the style of play that has served us well, its the only chance we have got.

Thanks for the report Ricardo.

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I agree with all of the above. Its just frustrating having been slated on this board for being a moaner when, in close season, some of us complained at the lack of signings and investment and called for defensive players. 

Poor Daniel Farke, who I admire, was let down by the stingiest spend of any promoted side in recent history and many on here were applauding it as a genius move. It was actually suicidal as we can now see clearly. 

It was obvious to anyone with a footballing brain that we rode our luck a little last season in terms of managing to outscore opponents. The goals against column told us that the defence wasn't up to much - certainly less than the sum of its progressing parts. Hanley should have been released and a prem quality defender signed- just to give us a chance. 

Today all those increased contracts do not strike me as clever. We have to sell some to buy some. And who the hell will want to come in January anyway? Its all so disappointing.

EVERY TIME we get to the Prem the board look the gift horse in the mouth and fail the fans. First time we went up it was clear we needed a striker- but Ashton arrived too late, in Jan, and we went down. Then we needed a defender and Klose arrived too late and we went down. This time its rinse and repeat once again. With the current lightweight squad being pushed around by bigger prem players it is very hard to see where the next result is coming from. Feeling grumpy this morning... 

 

 

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21 minutes ago, Graham Paddons Beard said:

This sums it up nicely. We all hoped we could take our style of play to another level. Briefly we did and then we saw huge physical players blow us away - even Farke has commented on the physicality of the league and our lack of. 

after all of the effort and success of last year I’m finding this hard to take . I thought we would be better . Our passing is easily negated by early pressing - once again we can’t get the ball out from the back and cannot move through central areas . Instead we ponderously play through neutral wider areas - handing the ball to Onel and hoping he can work wonders - which includes crossing to a box that is overloaded by the opposition. 
This game signals where we really are . Bottom and beaten by a team without a win and without any form. The players looked deeply unhappy - small signs of bickering which is totally alien to what we saw last year .

add to that the summer signings - Amadou  being the exception - it seems we haven’t strengthened at all. 
 

Totally fed up . 

Pretty much this.👍

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The really miserable thing about last night wasn’t that the tactics or team selection were necessarily wrong, or that the players weren’t  working hard enough, but that individually we just didn’t look good enough. Yes you can point to errors for the goals, but for most of the game we were second best all over the pitch. We had plenty of the ball but rarely threatened and for the most part Watford were fairly comfortable at the back.

I thought Watford were poor and before the game I said to my wife that their players didn’t look up for it but as soon as we kicked off it became obvious that man for man they were just that little bit stronger, that little bit quicker and that little bit better on the ball than us. It wasn’t that they were all big lumps and even their smaller players had a physicality about their game that ours lacked.

The reality is that we probably only have a couple of premier league quality players with a few more that are young and have potential, but we’re asking too much for them to step up all at once. Last season we did something special and somehow became greater than the sum of our parts, but with confidence gone it’s obvious we don’t have enough quality to be competitive in this league. Here’s hoping for another miracle.

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What was the mood in and around you Ricardo? At times, on the TV, it seemed the crowd were trying to lift the players and at times they responded going forward. Obviously the second goal was a dagger in the vitals.

It is our delivery that confounds me. So many times we get into great positions and a little carelessness jumps ends it and we are totally out of shape to defend. So many times we overload one side of the pitch and a poor pass sees the opposition get away. So many times last night, Hughes was able to pop up with the ball after a breakdown and hold up play until support arrived and all the momentum was lost.

Also, what did you think of the selections? If players are on the bench then they could come on in the first minute. Amadou, in his preferable position and Vrancic surely would have given the midfield more strength and ability. I'm afraid Leitner and Trybull don't look capable at this level.

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Thanks Ricardo.

I console myself with the the thought that it is the hard times that make the good times so sweet!

I'm also not as negative as some as to the potential to some of our players but recognise that they are going to have to learn fast - it is stupid individual errors in both defence and attack that is costing us so dearly.

Certainly far to early to give up!

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1 hour ago, keelansgrandad said:

What was the mood in and around you Ricardo? At times, on the TV, it seemed the crowd were trying to lift the players and at times they responded going forward. Obviously the second goal was a dagger in the vitals.

It is our delivery that confounds me. So many times we get into great positions and a little carelessness jumps ends it and we are totally out of shape to defend. So many times we overload one side of the pitch and a poor pass sees the opposition get away. So many times last night, Hughes was able to pop up with the ball after a breakdown and hold up play until support arrived and all the momentum was lost.

Also, what did you think of the selections? If players are on the bench then they could come on in the first minute. Amadou, in his preferable position and Vrancic surely would have given the midfield more strength and ability. I'm afraid Leitner and Trybull don't look capable at this level.

I think the mood is one of resignation KG. Most people realise the difficult situation we are in. The failings of last season were largely covered up by our ability to outscore the opposition. Realistically that was unlikely to carry on against Premier League sides.

There was some booing at the end near me, but it was more down to disappointment than anything else. I don't think Farke is in any danger except from those with unrealistic expectations and in my view they are a small minority.

For me this season is a bonus and I intend to make the most of it come what may.

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1 hour ago, keelansgrandad said:

What was the mood in and around you Ricardo? At times, on the TV, it seemed the crowd were trying to lift the players and at times they responded going forward. Obviously the second goal was a dagger in the vitals.

It is our delivery that confounds me. So many times we get into great positions and a little carelessness jumps ends it and we are totally out of shape to defend. So many times we overload one side of the pitch and a poor pass sees the opposition get away. So many times last night, Hughes was able to pop up with the ball after a breakdown and hold up play until support arrived and all the momentum was lost.

Also, what did you think of the selections? If players are on the bench then they could come on in the first minute. Amadou, in his preferable position and Vrancic surely would have given the midfield more strength and ability. I'm afraid Leitner and Trybull don't look capable at this level.

The atmosphere was pretty good considering the kick in the guts we got in the first couple of minutes. It really lifted with the sending off and we had a good period of pressure which sadly resulted in nothing. A few boos around me at the end but very very much the minority.

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Quite a lot of boos and moans in the snakepit and one rather over-heated chap threw his scarf on the pitch. There were last year as well before the good run.

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On 09/11/2019 at 08:36, Dean Coneys boots said:

I agree with all of the above. Its just frustrating having been slated on this board for being a moaner when, in close season, some of us complained at the lack of signings and investment and called for defensive players. 

Poor Daniel Farke, who I admire, was let down by the stingiest spend of any promoted side in recent history and many on here were applauding it as a genius move. It was actually suicidal as we can now see clearly. 

It was obvious to anyone with a footballing brain that we rode our luck a little last season in terms of managing to outscore opponents. The goals against column told us that the defence wasn't up to much - certainly less than the sum of its progressing parts. Hanley should have been released and a prem quality defender signed- just to give us a chance. 

Today all those increased contracts do not strike me as clever. We have to sell some to buy some. And who the hell will want to come in January anyway? Its all so disappointing.

EVERY TIME we get to the Prem the board look the gift horse in the mouth and fail the fans. First time we went up it was clear we needed a striker- but Ashton arrived too late, in Jan, and we went down. Then we needed a defender and Klose arrived too late and we went down. This time its rinse and repeat once again. With the current lightweight squad being pushed around by bigger prem players it is very hard to see where the next result is coming from. Feeling grumpy this morning... 

 

 

Sums up the situation perfectly!

until the club has an ownership model that can invest , NCFC will never be able to compete in the EPL!

Given the current owners show no desire to give up the reigns or even consider the thought of outside investors taking a share of the club, and in fact intend to pass the reigns down to a family member, who to my knowledge has no personal wealth at all, looks like the status quo will continue!

All the fans can look forward too is the occasional flirtation with the EPL, only to be let down by a lack of backing to actually give it a go, and the cycle starts again!

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21 minutes ago, Cliff the Canary said:

Sums up the situation perfectly!

until the club has an ownership model that can invest , NCFC will never be able to compete in the EPL!

Given the current owners show no desire to give up the reigns or even consider the thought of outside investors taking a share of the club, and in fact intend to pass the reigns down to a family member, who to my knowledge has no personal wealth at all, looks like the status quo will continue!

All the fans can look forward too is the occasional flirtation with the EPL, only to be let down by a lack of backing to actually give it a go, and the cycle starts again!

Delia and Michael said in an interview with the EDP earlier this year that they would be open to external investment if it was right for the club. And they further said that they personally are not going to meet any potential investors in the first instance - Webber, Ward and Kensell are in charge of it.

https://www.edp24.co.uk/sport/norwich-city/norwich-city-s-majority-shareholders-talk-investment-succession-and-feeling-part-of-the-webber-and-farke-revolution-1-5867343

I share the concerns about handing the shares to someone with zero wealth to invest (Tom). My concern is more that after D&M step down, Tom doesn't have the goodwill that they have and may find himself under a huge amount of pressure and aggro from the fans, and then sell his shares unwisely. Careful what you wish for, innit.

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The owners and the model are safe so long as they can periodically yoyo between the two top divisions. Personally I was all set for a long stretch in the Championship after the failure to jump back up before the money ran out. Indeed I often stated that I didnt expect to see the Premier League again in my lifetime. As things turned, out I was wrong but I think the theory still stands up. 

Relegation now looks more probable than not and that is going to put the validity of the self financed model to the test. What happens if the yoyo fails to climb back up the string within the requisite time frame?

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37 minutes ago, Feedthewolf said:

Delia and Michael said in an interview with the EDP earlier this year that they would be open to external investment if it was right for the club. And they further said that they personally are not going to meet any potential investors in the first instance - Webber, Ward and Kensell are in charge of it.

https://www.edp24.co.uk/sport/norwich-city/norwich-city-s-majority-shareholders-talk-investment-succession-and-feeling-part-of-the-webber-and-farke-revolution-1-5867343

I share the concerns about handing the shares to someone with zero wealth to invest (Tom). My concern is more that after D&M step down, Tom doesn't have the goodwill that they have and may find himself under a huge amount of pressure and aggro from the fans, and then sell his shares unwisely. Careful what you wish for, innit.

Agreed there is always an inherent danger in selling out to foreign ownership! It has worked well for some and been a disaster for others.

 I also understand she’s said in the media that they’re open to investment, it’s the “if it’s right for the club “ that bothers me! Who is deciding what is right for the club? I assume its the current majority shareholders that set the criteria? in which case I would imagine most interested parties wanting to invest wouldn’t clear the first hurdle as they don’t meet the criteria, which I imagine has to be born and bred Norfolk multi millionaire who had stood on the barclay cheering on from the 1950’s!

The self sustaining model may keep them competitive in the championship, as long as the academy keeps producing sellable assets, but in a football world where hard cash is the best way of achieving success, with even the championship awash with investment, NCFC may get left behind!

 I don’t like the amount of money in the game and the impact it has, but that’s the reality.

As I’ve said in previous posts, fans of NCFC either stick with the status quo and except that sustained presence in EPL is very unlikely, or take a risk and push for something different?

 

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2 hours ago, Cliff the Canary said:

Agreed there is always an inherent danger in selling out to foreign ownership! It has worked well for some and been a disaster for others.

 I also understand she’s said in the media that they’re open to investment, it’s the “if it’s right for the club “ that bothers me! Who is deciding what is right for the club? I assume its the current majority shareholders that set the criteria? in which case I would imagine most interested parties wanting to invest wouldn’t clear the first hurdle as they don’t meet the criteria, which I imagine has to be born and bred Norfolk multi millionaire who had stood on the barclay cheering on from the 1950’s!

The self sustaining model may keep them competitive in the championship, as long as the academy keeps producing sellable assets, but in a football world where hard cash is the best way of achieving success, with even the championship awash with investment, NCFC may get left behind!

 I don’t like the amount of money in the game and the impact it has, but that’s the reality.

As I’ve said in previous posts, fans of NCFC either stick with the status quo and except that sustained presence in EPL is very unlikely, or take a risk and push for something different?

 

Yes, it will be D&M deciding what's right for the club, as they are the majority shareholders. As for the criteria you 'imagine', that's just you imagining. Speculate all you like, but I believe they have the best interests of the club at heart and I trust their judgement.

We're in the Premier League, which is living proof that hard cash isn't the only way to achieve success. Yes, we've hit a wall and we look likely to go down, but we're sustainable now and will still be sustainable if we go down - with parachute payments, and most likely a sizeable transfer income from some of our best assets.

What we're doing is 'something different'. We've employed a foreign coach and a director of football for the first time in our history, and invested a ton of money in the Academy setup. If by 'trying something different' you mean abandoning that and finding a manager who will grind out wins by playing a physical and ugly style of football, then I'd argue that's a greater risk than the status quo.

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IMO, it's a sliding scale of gambling success against the threat of becoming the next Bury FC.

That might sound quite alarmist but it wasn't that long ago that Portsmouth, Coventry, Bolton & Wigan were regulars in the Premier League. One or two false moves and they're fighting or have fought for their very survival.

D&M probably are deciding what is right for the club but if Webber hadn't or doesn't buy into it, I guessed he'd be off. I'm inclined to trust Webber with Norwich more than any other previous directors that we've had.

Edited by K Lo
Fixed typo.
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1 hour ago, Feedthewolf said:

Yes, it will be D&M deciding what's right for the club, as they are the majority shareholders. As for the criteria you 'imagine', that's just you imagining. Speculate all you like, but I believe they have the best interests of the club at heart and I trust their judgement.

We're in the Premier League, which is living proof that hard cash isn't the only way to achieve success. Yes, we've hit a wall and we look likely to go down, but we're sustainable now and will still be sustainable if we go down - with parachute payments, and most likely a sizeable transfer income from some of our best assets.

What we're doing is 'something different'. We've employed a foreign coach and a director of football for the first time in our history, and invested a ton of money in the Academy setup. If by 'trying something different' you mean abandoning that and finding a manager who will grind out wins by playing a physical and ugly style of football, then I'd argue that's a greater risk than the status quo.

Yes absolutely I’m only speculating on the criteria for investment that D&M set! Until I or any other fan has a seat on the board that’s all we can do! 

I do believe their hearts are in the right place and they are passionate fans, but I question if they are really open to investment. I SPECULATE that they’re open to the kind of investment that doesn’t dilute their grip on the club, otherwise why the succession planning with Nephew Tom?

 I should have been more specific, hard cash is the only way to be successful in the EPL.

I have total admiration for what Webber and Farke have achieved on the pathetic resources they have been given! I’m not advocating a change in playing philosophy! Just imagine what they could of done with a budget of say £20 million, which I’m sure wouldn’t have sent the club into administration! When I say try something different, I mean new owners.

 Believe it or not, I hope they can turn it around and a second miracle occurs and you can tell me “I told you so”!

Just feeling very glum with the current situation so excuse my negativity 

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32 minutes ago, Cliff the Canary said:

Yes absolutely I’m only speculating on the criteria for investment that D&M set! Until I or any other fan has a seat on the board that’s all we can do! 

I do believe their hearts are in the right place and they are passionate fans, but I question if they are really open to investment. I SPECULATE that they’re open to the kind of investment that doesn’t dilute their grip on the club, otherwise why the succession planning with Nephew Tom?

 I should have been more specific, hard cash is the only way to be successful in the EPL.

I have total admiration for what Webber and Farke have achieved on the pathetic resources they have been given! I’m not advocating a change in playing philosophy! Just imagine what they could of done with a budget of say £20 million, which I’m sure wouldn’t have sent the club into administration! When I say try something different, I mean new owners.

 Believe it or not, I hope they can turn it around and a second miracle occurs and you can tell me “I told you so”!

Just feeling very glum with the current situation so excuse my negativity 

Quote from Fridays to interview! Does that sound like someone who wants to relinquish power?

NEVILLE: Last question, you're the owners of a football club, do you want that to continue forever? Or is there a day when you think you'll hand it over and pass it on to someone else?

DELIA: No, (laughing) I want to continue forever!

NEVILLE: Keep going?

DELIA: Keep going, yes.

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40 minutes ago, Cliff the Canary said:

 

Just feeling very glum with the current situation so excuse my negativity 

Ups and downs are all part of being a City supporter. They always have been and always will be. You can't have one without the other. It's what we are.

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Thanks for the report Ricardo. I know I'm late in posting. The truth is that the depressing state of affairs has kept me away, processing it all by engaging in other things...life. I agree with your summary and lots of the posts in response. When (perhaps I should ask 'is it possible') will we start playing like last year? There were glimpses in the Watford match but worrying signs of a lack of quality in the final third with misplaced or even more pronounced, mis-timed passes.

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