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If you had the choice of finishing the season now....

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...would you take it? A place in the playoffs with Swansea in the semis, and either Bournemouth or Bristol City in the final? 

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I wouldn't. The playoffs are a lottery and we're good enough for top 2.

Some teams may fade away but we have the quality to go the distance, however I'm slightly worried about the January transfer window and Buendia is hugely impressing again. 

 

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Just now, TheGunnShow said:

"STOP THE COUNT!"

I was just going to say that, but you beat me to it 😒

Before the start of the season I would've taken it, but considering that we're in good form, only outside the top two on goals scored and our chances of making the top two are probably better than one-in-four, I'd say no.

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1 minute ago, Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man said:

I was just going to say that, but you beat me to it 😒

Before the start of the season I would've taken it, but considering that we're in good form, only outside the top two on goals scored and our chances of making the top two are probably better than one-in-four, I'd say no.

Dem darr postul votes, Neeyul. Too slow, Sleepy Joe.

Wait, where the butt**** redneck ****hole was I? Oh, yeah, let's keep playing. We're not in the top two yet.

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6 minutes ago, GJL Mid-Norfolk Canary said:

Absolutely not....Reading are a busted flush, top 6 should be a minimum in a league of this poor a quality this season....its 2 from 3 out of us watford and bournemouth

Agree with this, although from what I saw today I wouldn't rule out Swansea being there or thereabouts. Stoke have a strong squad too, and Michael O'Neill is doing a great job with them. If we don't finish in the top six, though, we want shooting.

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6 minutes ago, GJL Mid-Norfolk Canary said:

Absolutely not....Reading are a busted flush, top 6 should be a minimum in a league of this poor a quality this season....its 2 from 3 out of us watford and bournemouth

Say that neither us nor one of the other relegated sides got automatic promotion - who would you rather it be who was with us in the playoffs? 

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14 minutes ago, astro said:

Say that neither us nor one of the other relegated sides got automatic promotion - who would you rather it be who was with us in the playoffs? 

Watford are my tip for the league... they cant fail to be with firepower like Deeney ,Joao ,Murray, Sarr ,Gray....and still have decent players elsewhere with the likes of Chalobah,Capoue,Cleverley.

You'd want them well out of the way....

I dont think Bournemouth are that good and nothing to fear but they still have a good enough squad as it stands to be a threat. From our point if view we could do with them losing the likes of Brooks and King in January

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14 minutes ago, GJL Mid-Norfolk Canary said:

Watford are my tip for the league... they cant fail to be with firepower like Deeney ,Joao ,Murray, Sarr ,Gray....and still have decent players elsewhere with the likes of Chalobah,Capoue,Cleverley.

You'd want them well out of the way....

I dont think Bournemouth are that good and nothing to fear but they still have a good enough squad as it stands to be a threat. From our point if view we could do with them losing the likes of Brooks and King in January

Hmmm....plus I feel that Watford have generally been a bogey side for us over the years. Gut reaction - not looked at the stats.

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No. Reading are done. They won’t stay up there. We have every chance of top two and indeed of being champions in my opinion. 

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1 hour ago, GJL Mid-Norfolk Canary said:

Watford are my tip for the league... they cant fail to be with firepower like Deeney ,Joao ,Murray, Sarr ,Gray....and still have decent players elsewhere with the likes of Chalobah,Capoue,Cleverley.

You'd want them well out of the way....

I dont think Bournemouth are that good and nothing to fear but they still have a good enough squad as it stands to be a threat. From our point if view we could do with them losing the likes of Brooks and King in January

I do agree but Watford are unconvincing are the moment in my view.

it could well come down to which of the three of us have the balls/resolve to refuse offers for key players in January. For us Max or Buendia. For **** it’s King or Brooks. Watford it’s Sarr I would say. 

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Agree with the no's here for sure. We look like we could chug along in second gear and still get in the top 6. The top 2s will be a push and I think we need to  improve on where we are now - but the trend in performances looks promising with plenty of players to come back from injury and give us a boost. Top 2 should be our target.

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It'll depend on the January window and who we lose. Keep the remaining three crown jewels, hopefully Mumba, Sorensen, and Placheta kick on, and Dowell/Hernandez/Byram come back hitting the ground running, and we're in there.

If Bournemouth and Watford keep their teams together though, top two will be a very big ask. For me, it's Watford's league to lose.

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54 minutes ago, TheGunnShow said:
If Bournemouth and Watford keep their teams together though, top two will be a very big ask. For me, it's Watford's league to lose.

With our strength in depth, quality and player development, we are only going to get better.    We seem to be dominating teams and creating chance after chance, but have still not really clicked yet.    Would suggest Watford and Bournemouth are more worried about us than we are them!     They are also more likely to sell there assets in January.   

In January we may get Famewo, Dowell, Hernandez and Sinani back to bolster the squad

if we can work out how to penetrate packed defences, it’s ours to lose!    

 

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4 minutes ago, ged in the onion bag said:

With our strength in depth, quality and player development, we are only going to get better.    We seem to be dominating teams and creating chance after chance, but have still not really clicked yet.    Would suggest Watford and Bournemouth are more worried about us than we are them!     They are also more likely to sell there assets in January.   

In January we may get Famewo, Dowell, Hernandez and Sinani back to bolster the squad

if we can work out how to penetrate packed defences, it’s ours to lose!    

 

Quote function went to pot there, but I'd point out that I did say "if B and W keep their teams together" so whilst I agree they're more likely to sell their assets in January, I did expressly point out that it was an "if".

I agree that we might get all four back (and Byram), but would say in the cases of Famewo and Sinani that they will essentially be two new signings that need to be integrated as they've not played for us yet (beyond a minute cameo or so for Famewo), and to be fair you could practically say the same for Dowell for the number of games he's played for us so far.

What'd I'd say is I'm not sure who the player to unhinge packed defences is in there. You'd think probably Dowell or Sinani. Dowell looks like he might have some decent hits from range in his locker as that goal against Luton in the League Cup was a very instinctive finish. Sinani obviously knows where the goal is, but can he do it in the Championship instead of in a league where his side were pro, but many aren't? I don't think it's Hernandez - he's someone to bring on against tiring legs though, but like Placheta, he's better served with space.

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10 minutes ago, TheGunnShow said:

Quote function went to pot there, but I'd point out that I did say "if B and W keep their teams together" so whilst I agree they're more likely to sell their assets in January, I did expressly point out that it was an "if".

I agree that we might get all four back (and Byram), but would say in the cases of Famewo and Sinani that they will essentially be two new signings that need to be integrated as they've not played for us yet (beyond a minute cameo or so for Famewo), and to be fair you could practically say the same for Dowell for the number of games he's played for us so far.

What'd I'd say is I'm not sure who the player to unhinge packed defences is in there. You'd think probably Dowell or Sinani. Dowell looks like he might have some decent hits from range in his locker as that goal against Luton in the League Cup was a very instinctive finish. Sinani obviously knows where the goal is, but can he do it in the Championship instead of in a league where his side were pro, but many aren't? I don't think it's Hernandez - he's someone to bring on against tiring legs though, but like Placheta, he's better served with space.

Fair points, but they will all be busting to impress.    Buendia and Cantwell,  Idah, Hernandez, Martin are already creative options and Vrancic from the bench given the chance.     Just about honing the quick passing around the box!   

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8 minutes ago, ged in the onion bag said:

Fair points, but they will all be busting to impress.    Buendia and Cantwell,  Idah, Hernandez, Martin are already creative options and Vrancic from the bench given the chance.     Just about honing the quick passing around the box!   

I agree fully with honing quick passing around the box, would just say it'll be trickier for the likes of Sinani or Dowell simply as they don't quite know how our lads all work yet.

The key partnership is Stiepermann and Pukki, IMO.

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Has there been a Season where all 3 relegated sides have gone straight back up?.... If it happens this year there would surely be a discussion to be had about parachute payments. 

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1 hour ago, TheGunnShow said:

I agree fully with honing quick passing around the box, would just say it'll be trickier for the likes of Sinani or Dowell simply as they don't quite know how our lads all work yet.

The key partnership is Stiepermann and Pukki, IMO.

You may be correct first para, but they could click....but Steips isn’t the answer.   We need the 10 position to be better and more consistent.  

Marco may have done well v Bristol first half and scored today but by all accounts he has been anonymous otherwise.... 

Would rather they get Josh Martin up to speed as think he has lots more potential.  

Edited by ged in the onion bag

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7 hours ago, ged in the onion bag said:

You may be correct first para, but they could click....but Steips isn’t the answer.   We need the 10 position to be better and more consistent.  

Marco may have done well v Bristol first half and scored today but by all accounts he has been anonymous otherwise.... 

Would rather they get Josh Martin up to speed as think he has lots more potential.  

In this division, I disagree quite a bit as Stiepermann is pretty proven there - not to forget that Pukki clearly works very well with him. The main thing is that both know each other's games inside out, so whilst I agree it's about honing the passing, who's it more likely to happen with?

1. A promising youngster who's just getting started in his career and is just getting bedded into the team or
2. The experienced player who's played with the other one for two years?

This is where a speedster or a tricky winger comes in particularly handy IMO as if they start hogging touchlines or breaking in behind full-backs, your number 10 should theoretically have more space to play around in. This is why I'm particularly keen on seeing Placheta kick on, although Mumba could do a similar thing up there less by dint of express pace and more by appearing bloody hard to read which direction he's going to kick off in.

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I still see us and Watford as top 2 as long as we can keep defensive injury's down. Neither us or Watford have been playing outstanding football so far  but we are both looking strong. Watford have played almost every game without a striker. Perica was banned after the first cup game, came back in scored and went off injured. Glenn Murray has come on as a sub but looks so over the hill. Gray and Deeney now coming back. I hope we come top but level on points and they have not had an out and out striker this season is ominous. 

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2 hours ago, TheGunnShow said:

In this division, I disagree quite a bit as Stiepermann is pretty proven there - not to forget that Pukki clearly works very well with him. The main thing is that both know each other's games inside out, so whilst I agree it's about honing the passing, who's it more likely to happen with?

1. A promising youngster who's just getting started in his career and is just getting bedded into the team or
2. The experienced player who's played with the other one for two years?

This is where a speedster or a tricky winger comes in particularly handy IMO as if they start hogging touchlines or breaking in behind full-backs, your number 10 should theoretically have more space to play around in. This is why I'm particularly keen on seeing Placheta kick on, although Mumba could do a similar thing up there less by dint of express pace and more by appearing bloody hard to read which direction he's going to kick off in.

We won’t agree on this and that’s fine.   Any examples of Steipermann linking up with Pukki against Millwall or Swansea to good effect?     Any last season?    He’s inconsistent but what doesn’t get noticed is his weaknesses on the ball and it’s a problem.      Excepting his generally poor control, he often drops deep to collect the ball and when he does, too often puts us in trouble.   Against Bristol he had a good half and produced a magnificent assist but...... and no one has identified these issues,

1) he lost concentration, didn’t challenge for an aerial ball that he should have, the ball came back our way and they scored directly from it, yes poor defending elsewhere too but that ball shouldn’t have come forward so easily.   
2) very poor control when in space, lost ball far too easily and Martin hits post when seconds earlier we had opportunities to counter.   
3) relatively easy pass for Platcheta to run in on goal, too casual, player intercepts and Sorensen gets booked.   

...all this in his best game for well over a year.    Then he follows that up with two relatively quiet performances barring the goal.

it’s not enough, he won’t be the reason we get promoted and of course he won’t be involved if we did go up whereas given opportunities Martin (and others) may be capable of that level.    

Edited by ged in the onion bag

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34 minutes ago, ged in the onion bag said:

We won’t agree on this and that’s fine.   Any examples of Steipermann linking up with Pukki against Millwall or Swansea to good effect?     Any last season?    He’s inconsistent but what doesn’t get noticed is his weaknesses on the ball and it’s a problem.      Excepting his generally poor control, he often drops deep to collect the ball and when he does, too often puts us in trouble.   Against Bristol he had a good half and produced a magnificent assist but...... and no one has identified these issues,

1) he lost concentration, didn’t challenge for an aerial ball that he should have, the ball came back our way and they scored directly from it, yes poor defending elsewhere too but that ball shouldn’t have come forward so easily.   
2) very poor control when in space, lost ball far too easily and Martin hits post when seconds earlier we had opportunities to counter.   
3) relatively easy pass for Platcheta to run in on goal, too casual, player intercepts and Sorensen gets booked.   

...all this in his best game for well over a year.    Then he follows that up with two relatively quiet performances barring the goal.

it’s not enough, he won’t be the reason we get promoted and of course he won’t be involved if we did go up whereas given opportunities Martin (and others) may be capable of that level.    

Last season was a bit of a sore one for the whole team. I would say the number 10s all suffered simply as they had to do more defending (partially due to our defensive injury crisis) and could not be as much a help to attackers simply as they were pushed back so far. So, when you ask for examples from last season, the whole team was rendered imbalanced and not set up ideally to get the best out of them after we lost so many defenders.

I appreciate that might look like avoiding the question, but football is ultimately a team sport, and if your defence is compromised, everything else tends to fall apart and for me our problems in defence directly fed on to our problems at number 10.

As for this season, Stieps has also had his share of injury issues so is probably still working his way back to form in the same way as a Hanley or Gibson. Where I do agree is that he's very ineffective in the air for a big guy, not quite as robust as he should be, and that his touch can also be inconsistent. However, I'd also say his strengths are when he picks the ball up deep and goes at people, he's capable of picking passes, and unlike some isn't actually averse to hitting one from outside the box on occasion.

I still maintain he's more effective when there's a speedster on a flank though, simply as their presence gives him more space. I'd say a Cantwell there tends to crowd him a bit.

Edited by TheGunnShow

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Can’t believe there are people writing Steipermann off at this level....let him have a proper run of games, as has been said he’s proven.

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Sinani on season long, Famewo available in January.  Mumba did something our wingers have failed to do put in a telling cross leading to a goal.  Was hoping Placheta might do this but is disappointing by missing chances of late.  However easing himself into the team will get better.  With Sorenson our new LB and Famewo as CB back up not sure we need to go into the transfer market in Jan.  Mumba to be fitted in the team.

Provided still in with a shout come Jan expect interest for Buendia to be rejected.  Still Emi only impresses in occasional glimpses think City supporters believe he is better than currently proving.  Glad Martin got on yesterday maybe yet another kid to prove to be a gem.

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2 hours ago, TheGunnShow said:

Last season was a bit of a sore one for the whole team. I would say the number 10s all suffered simply as they had to do more defending (partially due to our defensive injury crisis) and could not be as much a help to attackers simply as they were pushed back so far. So, when you ask for examples from last season, the whole team was rendered imbalanced and not set up ideally to get the best out of them after we lost so many defenders.

I appreciate that might look like avoiding the question, but football is ultimately a team sport, and if your defence is compromised, everything else tends to fall apart and for me our problems in defence directly fed on to our problems at number 10.

As for this season, Stieps has also had his share of injury issues so is probably still working his way back to form in the same way as a Hanley or Gibson. Where I do agree is that he's very ineffective in the air for a big guy, not quite as robust as he should be, and that his touch can also be inconsistent. However, I'd also say his strengths are when he picks the ball up deep and goes at people, he's capable of picking passes, and unlike some isn't actually averse to hitting one from outside the box on occasion.

I still maintain he's more effective when there's a speedster on a flank though, simply as their presence gives him more space. I'd say a Cantwell there tends to crowd him a bit.

I know this is off topic of the thread, but in response, Buendia and Cantwell managed to thrive despite all their defensive duties until it became apparent that the task was just too much... that occurred the day before matches resumed when the team knew they only had 3 defenders left.   No excuses, Steipermann was completely out of his depth, there are few to no examples of a link up with Pukki. 

The points I raise about Steipermanns performance against Bristol are perfectly valid, they were some of his poor contributions that get ignored and unfortunately, it occurs all too often, especially when the full-backs have already committed forward.  Buendia is our best No. 10, is relatively consistent, is on Pukki's wavelength and has the potential to be one of the best in the EPL.   Martin and Cantwell could be effective No. 10's and we have Dowell and Sinani to come back.  Regards his strengths you quote, his poor control means that he is simply unable to show these pieces of inspiration anywhere near enough and far too often we carry him.   

 

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