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king canary

Are we a better team than 2 years ago?

Are we a better side now than two years ago?  

86 members have voted

  1. 1. Are we a better side than we were two years ago?

    • Yes
      66
    • No
      20


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I've gone back and forth on this point in my head this season and I'm leaning towards yes. We may not be as exciting or easy on the eye but we're much more balanced and our defensive play is lightyears ahead of where it was in that season. 

Even in attack, we may not be scoring as many but we haven't lacked creativity- just the finishing hasn't been there. Imagine how far ahead of the competition we'd be if we could finish.

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No, we are way off. Our personnel isnt as strong and our football isnt as fluent.

However, we are a little more resilient, which may hold us in good stead for next year, should we finish the job off.

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In terms of functionality and resilience, I'd strongly agree and have voted as such in the poll. Two years ago had its own brand of helter-skelter edge-of-seat mayhem in a way that the likes of Kevin Keegan and Ossie Ardiles would have relished, even if the likes of George Graham and Egil Olsen would have been having kittens.

Would the team of two years ago have stood up to such a mass number of injuries at the start of the campaign? We did have some missing here and there, but it focused on the odd main player. Initially we thought Hanley being injured was going to be the start of a downturn, but Zimmermann stepped up. Then when Leitner was out, Vrancic stepped up. This time around, we were fielding whole benches of untested youngsters but still we kept grinding out results whilst defensively being much more responsible and indeed without having a recognised left-back for large parts of it.

Is it as eye-catching as that team from two years ago? Not consistently, but flashes of it crop up.

Is it getting the job done? Sure looks like it. @keelansgrandad noted that we'd need to win the league as it's too early to say. I would agree here, and would also add another caveat - how do we react when Skipp is no longer with us?

But in terms of working as a team, it's a clear "yes" from me at this moment in time.

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4 minutes ago, TheGunnShow said:

But in terms of working as a team, it's a clear "yes" from me at this moment in time.

This  !!!

We are a better 'team'.

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We are very pragmatic this campaign, you don’t feel that much on edge once we’re in front. Two seasons ago was more entertaining but this is equally pleasing so far. 

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1 minute ago, DraytonBoy said:

Is the standard of the Championship lower than two years ago?

Slightly better, I'd say. More decent football being played. Getting a lot of low blocks, but the likes of Barnsley, Rotherham, Coventry, who are three of the traditionally weaker teams in this division, have come at us and given it a really good go. Even Wycombe gave us trouble a-plenty and they're this seasons Binners.

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We’re not giving the opposition a goal head start or sloppily letting teams back into games this season. It’s less exciting but clearly a targeted area for improvement that will hopefully make a big difference next season should we go up.

As has been said, the creativity is still there. Emi a constant threat and always anticipation when he receives the ball, Todd with flashes of brilliance and really exciting attacking full backs (Aaron’s we know can do it but Giannoulis looks like a very good prospect for the PL already).

Individually as good (with youngsters potential to be even better than 2 years ago) but better as a team and as a managed/coached squad.

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We are playing more like a Premier League team in my opinion; technically much better and tighter in defence.

 

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10 minutes ago, DraytonBoy said:

Is the standard of the Championship lower than two years ago?

I think the standard of last season's championship was the lowest I remember. This season is certainly stronger than that. Maybe on a par with 2 years ago?

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15 minutes ago, TheGunnShow said:

Slightly better, I'd say. More decent football being played. Getting a lot of low blocks, but the likes of Barnsley, Rotherham, Coventry, who are three of the traditionally weaker teams in this division, have come at us and given it a really good go. Even Wycombe gave us trouble a-plenty and they're this seasons Binners.

Personally I think this is a weaker division than two years ago. 

There is some quality in the top 6 but there is a lot of dross outside of it, mainly due to teams not being able to improve due to covid enforced financial restrictions.

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1 minute ago, king canary said:

Personally I think this is a weaker division than two years ago. 

There is some quality in the top 6 but there is a lot of dross outside of it, mainly due to teams not being able to improve due to covid enforced financial restrictions.

Not convinced to be honest, although I accept that can be a factor in teams not being able to strengthen.

Look at the bottom two back then - Ipswich and Bolton. Both of those were very weak teams. I'd say they were more dross than the bottom of the Champs this season.

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2 minutes ago, TheGunnShow said:

Not convinced to be honest, although I accept that can be a factor in teams not being able to strengthen.

Look at the bottom two back then - Ipswich and Bolton. Both of those were very weak teams. I'd say they were more dross than the bottom of the Champs this season.

For me it is less about the teams right at the bottom, more about the chaff in the middle. Two years ago teams like Forest, Derby, Wednesday were a menace on their day and could give anyone a game. I don't feel the same about Stoke, QPR or Preston for example. 

Also the teams in the top 6- Villa, Leeds, West Brom were all teams with players who wouldn't look out of place in the top flight. Not sure I'd say the same about Reading or Swansea for example.

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Just now, king canary said:

For me it is less about the teams right at the bottom, more about the chaff in the middle. Two years ago teams like Forest, Derby, Wednesday were a menace on their day and could give anyone a game. I don't feel the same about Stoke, QPR or Preston for example. 

Also the teams in the top 6- Villa, Leeds, West Brom were all teams with players who wouldn't look out of place in the top flight. Not sure I'd say the same about Reading or Swansea for example.

QPR just beat Brentford (as indeed did a struggling Coventry) recently. Reading have got Olise and Lucas Joao for starters who definitely look like they could step up. Swansea have got Ayew, Brentford have Toney, Bournemouth have Brooks. Watford still have Sarr too.

A fair few of the teams in the middle have given us a game. Blackburn did, Barnsley and Middlesborough certainly did. If anything, we've had a lot of tough battles this season, hence a common complaint on here (and indeed wish) that we actually give a team a proper tonking.

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I've gone for yes, purely due to us having more maturity to our play now, yesterday we may have won that type of game 4-2 a couple of seasons ago, but we'd have equally drawn it. 

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I think we are better this time around, but it's not total.

Last time goals seemed  easier to come by and almost on demand at times, but then we've been without little Argos for a long spell and he conjured up some memorable moments.

Defensively we are much sounder, and that's the crux.

Singleing out individuals would be tin-hat time, but perhaps Ben Gibson deserves a special mention, along with the £25m we banked ... no names no pack drill.

Horses for courses and the like.

We must be better now. It's part of the 'plan' which has worked so well so far.

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I think our personnel is better than two seasons ago, and our young players have improved considerably. 2 years ago Cantwell was very much a bit part and got slaughtered by some of our less intelligent fans for not being Buendia. He's now a key player.

Buendia has added more goals to his game too, and Aarons is too good for this league comfortably.

Obviously we have lost Godfrey and Lewis on the flipside. However our recruitment has been good in these positions. I dont think we have improved on these two but for the team I think Gibson has been ideal and we now look balanced on the left.

I think our central options of Vrancic, Dowell, McLean, Stiepermann, Rupp, Skipp, Sorensen and Tettey is a definite improvement on two years ago and Placheta has given us more than just one pacey option out wide.

I think Hugill offers a bit more than Rhodes as a backup striker too.

On reflection when you drill it down I think we've strengthened in most positions from 2 years ago.

Is this division stronger or weaker than 2 seasons ago? I find it hard to really tell, because teams set up against us very differently. Its almost a completely different challenge.

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There are obviously several ways to look at the same statistics, two years ago City averaged 2 goals a game but so far this season it's 1.35, does this mean City have struggled for goals or are teams that much harder to break down now? 

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12 minutes ago, TheGunnShow said:

QPR just beat Brentford (as indeed did a struggling Coventry) recently. Reading have got Olise and Lucas Joao for starters who definitely look like they could step up. Swansea have got Ayew, Brentford have Toney, Bournemouth have Brooks. Watford still have Sarr too.

A fair few of the teams in the middle have given us a game. Blackburn did, Barnsley and Middlesborough certainly did. If anything, we've had a lot of tough battles this season, hence a common complaint on here (and indeed wish) that we actually give a team a proper tonking.

Not for me Clive but agree to disagree I guess.

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1 minute ago, DraytonBoy said:

There are obviously several ways to look at the same statistics, two years ago City averaged 2 goals a game but so far this season it's 1.35, does this mean City have struggled for goals or are teams that much harder to break down now? 

Looking at the stats I think it mainly suggests our finishing is worse this season.

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Yep on paper it’s not even close, this team is much stronger with much more competition all over the park.

I also think our approach has been more sensible this time round, we seem to get a grasp on games, take the lead with high pressing and domination, then drop down a gear and rely on our much stronger defensive shape / counter attacking and a slower possession tempo. I think this more measured approach is probably better for us in the long run.

It also shows why we haven’t had any freak results like the 3-4 Derby loss, 4-3 Millwall win and the 3-3 Forest draw. 

So in terms of entertainment, I’d say 18/19 was the more entertaining - but more points on the board with still a very pleasing style of football is surely a better mix.

I think this current side would be able to pick off our 18/19 team if against it. That’s probably the biggest indicator.

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Our defence has improved in personnel and our philosophy has become more disciplined-however I think that if the team from 2 seasons ago played the team from this season it would be a draw.

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1 hour ago, CDMullins said:

No, we are way off. Our personnel isnt as strong and our football isnt as fluent.

However, we are a little more resilient, which may hold us in good stead for next year, should we finish the job off.

Who have we lost since then? Godfrey and Lewis (?) and we’ve gained Gibson and. Gianoullis. Looks like a gain to me.

 

(it’s aren’t as strong)

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7 minutes ago, Nuff Said said:

Who have we lost since then? Godfrey and Lewis (?) and we’ve gained Gibson and. Gianoullis. Looks like a gain to me.

 

(it’s aren’t as strong)

Except that they're loans and not good enough for the PL which both Godfrey and Lewis clearly are.

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5 minutes ago, DraytonBoy said:

Except that they're loans and not good enough for the PL which both Godfrey and Lewis clearly are.

Leeds fans who can tell the future? Whatever next.

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15 minutes ago, Nuff Said said:

Who have we lost since then? Godfrey and Lewis (?) and we’ve gained Gibson and. Gianoullis. Looks like a gain to me.

 

(it’s aren’t as strong)

What?

I mean the Greek has the attributes to be as good as Jamal but right now Jamal is cearly infront of him.

And surely there's no question over Godfrey/Gibson?

Edited by CDMullins

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Wasn't the thing two years ago that we massively exceeded our expected goals with Pukki having the season of his career? I don't know the stats but would be interesting to see if we're creating fewer chances this time around or just converting fewer (or both). Individually it does feel like we're stronger with Cantwell, Aarons and Buendia all having progressed. The central midfield definitely has more steel and central defense seems more solid as a result. Godfrey is a strange one as he's obviously doing well with Everton but I wouldn't swap him for Gibson now.

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Godfrey's the better all-round player, but defensively we're much more solid with Hanley and Gibson together. That said, in the Premiership it was a moot point as we hardly ever had two fully fit centre-halves on the pitch anyway.

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The idea that we were poor at the back in 18/19 championship winning side isn’t  supported   by the stats

Away from home that season we conceded 23 goals - the lowest in the division. Sheff Utd (that everyone says were miles better than us defensively) let in 24 away from home . 

Away from home is where most clubs set up with an emphasis on defence - and we did ok. 
 

At home - different story- we conceded 34 double what Sheff Utd conceded. Of course we scored 51 goals which helped. 

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