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Posted (edited)

Why all this constant stuff about GH not being PL standard? What does that mean exactly?

He clearly is and has been in ther past, albeit limited.

Not only is he the sort of character that captains are made of he has consistently been there or thereabouts throughout the season when it comes to getting the MoM award. Last night was no exception.

He has been a magnificent stalwart throughout this season and those who decry him must surely now put their criticism down to it being a result of the players recent injury record. Some fans seem to expect far too much from a player.

Now relieved of the injuries he is a consistent rock. What a good signing for the club. Epitomises everthing we have become used to.

For next season in the PL we do, for sure, need one more big centre back signing who will go alongside Gibson and GH. Zimbo, another unfairly derided by some, never lets us down and will be back up as well. 

Grant Hanley, Player of the Season? Not quite, but don't write him off in the Premier League.

Edited by BroadstairsR
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He'll do a job as has proven before and with Gibson the partnership has been solid.

What we need is another 1 at that kind of level or not yet tried but standing out in whatever league they are in.

Zimmerman didn't let us down in the PL and until Haller took him out he had done for us however I'd still want another and ideally a unit with pace, that lad at Everton called Godfrey would be a good edition 😬

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Absolutely spot on, good post. There are too many posters who can’t get past impressions formed months, probably years ago. Hanley isn’t reliable, Cantwell doesn’t work hard enough, McLean is a liability, Rupp is rubbish and so on. The evidence *now* is that Grant has become a key part of our defensive solidity, just as the others mentioned have proved how valuable they are. Looking at all of them, there’s a common theme to their performances - it takes a few games for a player to get up to speed and show what they’re capable of (Gianoullis is another example).
 

I just hope we don’t have to go through any sort of similar injury crisis at the club next season as we had last time in the PL.

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Posted (edited)

And an interesting question is whether Famewo is a realistic third or fourth option? Looks like he’s playing again for Charlton - anyone know how he’s doing? Tough call between another loan or  a season sat on the bench, which won’t do anything for his development.

Edited by Nuff Said
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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Nuff Said said:

And an interesting question is whether Famewo is a realistic m third or fourth option? Looks like he’s playing again for Charlton - anyone know how he’s doing? Tough call between another loan or  a season sat on the bench, which won’t do anything for his development.

That would seem to suggest another problem upon promotion.

We have so many promising youngsters that I have lost track.

Going for the obvious there is Idah, Martin and Mumba.  You mentioned Fawemno and there are a few others.

Do these get blunted by expensive signings now that we seem destined for richer pastures?

We have all bulit up a degree of excitement about the likes of Sittu and Sinani, for example.

Do they remain nothing but exciting prospects if we gain PL status, or do we become a Chelsea, Man. City and make a considerable profit from them in the loan market whilst we use that money to acquire  oven-readies who demand high fees, high wages and may not take to us or give value for money?

Edited by BroadstairsR

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I think we also have to thank Ollie for Hanley's improvement. The protection he gives our two CBs is not exaggerated.

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Hanley has certainly played a massive part this season and hasnt been hampered by injuries like in previous seasons. The main improvement ive seen in him is his speed/agility and also has vastly improved his passing, which was never a part of his game. Before this season I would of classed him as a mid table champ defender, but this season has proved he is capable of making the step up.

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Two slightly contrasting thoughts from me:

1) The two seasons that Hanley has been fit, he's been POTS runner-up (to Maddison in 2017/18) and a contender this season and been a key part of our defense that has kept 14 clean sheets so far. He (as well as McLean, Rupp etc.) deserves more credit than he's given. 

2) Whilst I would be more than comfortable for Hanley to start for us in the PL, another ball playing CB alongside Gibson could be  great for our ability to play out from the back. As we saw vs Middlesbrough, teams will sit someone on BG in order to nullify his distribution. Two ball playing CBs would make us more difficult to play against.

As mentioned by @Nuff Said, giving Famewo a chance in the first team is a big call next year, considering our history of CB injury problems in the prem. Would a full season on loan in the Championship be more beneficial than 4th choice in the PL? 

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Hanley's improvement as a footballer is one of the reasons for our success this year. He was always the blocker tough guy, but he's now added a skill set we didn't see before. His spatial awareness and positioning has improved hugely. He is quick over 5 yards and longer and if he looks like losing out in the first 1 or 2 he uses his body now to gain himself that time and space he needs to either win the free kick or nick the ball. If you look at centre halves who play more languidly than Hanley (Ferdinand, Van ****, even the Beckanbauers of this world), that's what good coaching brings - read the situation, adjust your body shape to buy time, and improve that first touch so that the ball is where you want it. (No, I'm not comparing him to them in ability, just in being able to improve his reading of the game.)

Sorensen does this too; so does Skipp. Dare I say even Maclean is learning to do it, and the improvement in his confidence on the ball is remarkable. No one rushes anything anymore; lots of confidence, lots of time.

That's why I think players like Aarons, Giannoulis, Idah, Hugill and many others have every chance of stepping up, because they can still improve massively in how they play both individually and as a team. Some of our passing is still not crisp or accurate enough to enable that first touch to be so engineered by the receiver, but we are improving all the time. Brentford last night didn't get near us for most of the game because we looked after the ball and the space so well.

A part of me is disappointed that Lewis and Godfrey left - Lewis in particular, and especially since he seems to be having a tough time under a dinosaur manager who is not invested in him. Godfrey should thrive under Ancelotti, but we could have improved him so much more too.

Famewo is, I understand, a player with that more languid style - very highly rated by Lee Bowyer at Charlton, though a bit injury prone for a centre back unfortunately. I suspect a lot of our fringe players will be looking for Champs loans next season. Zimmermann is a solid enough back up for Hanley, but we really need another left footer as back up to Gibson.

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I actually think Hanley is the reason why we're top on 73 points!

No more and no less.

A rock. It was no accident Toney (who many rate as PL quality striker) was anonymous last night - and the pocket book jokes we see.

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