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Jim Smith

A vivid illustration of where we still need to improve

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I’m chuffed we’ve been promoted but I can’t say the two defeats since haven’t slightly taken the gloss off it. More so tonight because it wasn’t due to a red card but more due to the fact that once again Watford were just a bit too physical for us and this able to negate our extra skill and technical ability.

the way they play is the template for lower two thirds premier league sides and the way they and  Bournemouth have taken points off us this season should ring alarm bells for Webber and Farke. Webber flagged our lack of physicality/athleticism as a point to address after relegation and we still have sone work to do to address it. We need more pace in the squad and in particular a more physical option in central midfield. 

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I’d hate for us to play that way - all physicality -  there must be a better way and Brighton are thankfully proving that it can be done (if with a bit of a struggle).  Despite not being at the races tonight, their goal was definitely a foul on Max and possibly Kenny in the build up. 

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They're pragmatic, like this season I'm sure they'll continue to try and find the right balance.

At our best we beat either of those sides, but much less than that it's their victory all day. They've had a long term to get recruitment right this summer, lets hope they do.

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Farke has said in his post match interview that today’s game was a reminder of the work to be done in the summer to be competitive. Watford have in their forward 3 power, pace and technicality and with prem experience. 
 

all 3 of our forward players lack that physicality and pace to stretch them and others on the counter which is what we will have to get used to playing again next season 

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The biggest lesson I can see we need to learn, and quickly, is that we shouldn't let the players get really pissed three days before a big game!

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1 minute ago, Petriix said:

The biggest lesson I can see we need to learn, and quickly, is that we shouldn't let the players get really pissed three days before a big game!

Wasn't that big a game really. Derby and Huddersfield were far bigger.

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20 minutes ago, Branston Pickle said:

I’d hate for us to play that way - all physicality -  there must be a better way and Brighton are thankfully proving that it can be done (if with a bit of a struggle).  Despite not being at the races tonight, their goal was definitely a foul on Max and possibly Kenny in the build up. 

Not saying all physicality. We have a lot of technical/skilful players. But unless we find a midfield combo more able to compete physically at premier level we will finish bottom again.

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Just mostly reposting what I’ve said on the match thread as it applies here - 

A few people seem to be getting a bit carried away with this ‘4 losses against the prem teams from last season’ thing, as a reminder;

0-1 Bournemouth away - no Buendia and no Cantwell and one of the first games of the season - we were still getting over the lockdown hangover - can’t read anything into that 

0-1 Watford away - a tight game with limited chances which Watford edged, disappointing performance but not surprising given Watford’s home record 

1-3 Bournemouth at home - absolutely schooled them for 20 mins, scored one of the goals of the season, then got a man sent off very harshly and had to play 70 mins with 10 men - can’t read anything in to that 

0-1 Watford at home - 3 days after the Bournemouth game played with 10 men for the majority and followed by the promotion party. Whereas Watford still absolutely needed to win. Can’t read too much into that either 

So of the 4 games only the Watford away performance came without any mitigating factors. I think it’s pretty harsh to use it as a bar for measuring anything against to be honest.

Bournemouth and Watford are also far from the only physical sides in the league though. What about Middlesbrough, Stoke, Cardiff, Millwall, Swansea etc? We’ve shown this season we can really dig in and win dirty, how many wins by 1 goal is it now? How many less goals conceded than 2 years ago? 

I don’t think we can take much away from a dramatically improved version of Farke’s Norwich City because of these 4 bad results.

I would agree though that we definitely still need to beef the team up before we can expect to be consistently competitive in the prem, I just don’t think that can be pointed at conclusively these Watford / Bournemouth games.

The signings we have made and the change in style has clearly helped us cope with physicality this season, another few quality additions and I think we could be there or there abouts next season (for 17th..).

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1 minute ago, Hank shoots Skyler said:

Just mostly reposting what I’ve said on the match thread as it applies here - 

A few people seem to be getting a bit carried away with this ‘4 losses against the prem teams from last season’ thing, as a reminder;

0-1 Bournemouth away - no Buendia and no Cantwell and one of the first games of the season - we were still getting over the lockdown hangover - can’t read anything into that 

0-1 Watford away - a tight game with limited chances which Watford edged, disappointing performance but not surprising given Watford’s home record 

1-3 Bournemouth at home - absolutely schooled them for 20 mins, scored one of the goals of the season, then got a man sent off very harshly and had to play 70 mins with 10 men - can’t read anything in to that 

0-1 Watford at home - 3 days after the Bournemouth game played with 10 men for the majority and followed by the promotion party. Whereas Watford still absolutely needed to win. Can’t read too much into that either 

So of the 4 games only the Watford away performance came without any mitigating factors. I think it’s pretty harsh to use it as a bar for measuring anything against to be honest.

Bournemouth and Watford are also far from the only physical sides in the league though. What about Middlesbrough, Stoke, Cardiff, Millwall, Swansea etc? We’ve shown this season we can really dig in and win dirty, how many wins by 1 goal is it now? How many less goals conceded than 2 years ago? 

I don’t think we can take much away from a dramatically improved version of Farke’s Norwich City because of these 4 bad results.

I would agree though that we definitely still need to beef the team up before we can expect to be consistently competitive in the prem, I just don’t think that can be pointed at conclusively these Watford / Bournemouth games.

The signings we have made and the change in style has clearly helped us cope with physicality this season, another few quality additions and I think we could be there or there abouts next season (for 17th..).

I disagree. Watford away was similar to tonight although we should have got a point. The red card obviously was pivotal against Bournemouth but after that we couldn’t cope with danjumas pace. These are areas we still need to address abd it’s no coincidence that we have lost to the teams with these attributes. 

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3 minutes ago, Jim Smith said:

I disagree. Watford away was similar to tonight although we should have got a point. The red card obviously was pivotal against Bournemouth but after that we couldn’t cope with danjumas pace. These are areas we still need to address abd it’s no coincidence that we have lost to the teams with these attributes. 

Well I did say Watford away was disappointing, so agreed on that one.

Sorry but I can’t accept anything said about that Bournemouth game, that was never a red card, it killed our momentum after we had dominated them and completely handed them the initiative. Yes Danjuma gave us a torrid time but it’s hardly surprising after 70 minutes playing with 10, and they still only won thanks to two worldy strikes, one of which was offside!

And Watford tonight, I’m not sure how you can excuse the fact we had 70 minutes with 10 men, and a promotion party, just 3 days ago. Our mentality and fitness levels must’ve been very different to what they would’ve been had we still not secured promotion (I.e. the position Watford are in right now). It’s a shame as I wanted us to get 100 points, but I’m not taking it as a serious cause for concern!

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6 minutes ago, Hank shoots Skyler said:

Well I did say Watford away was disappointing, so agreed on that one.

Sorry but I can’t accept anything said about that Bournemouth game, that was never a red card, it killed our momentum after we had dominated them and completely handed them the initiative. Yes Danjuma gave us a torrid time but it’s hardly surprising after 70 minutes playing with 10, and they still only won thanks to two worldy strikes, one of which was offside!

And Watford tonight, I’m not sure how you can excuse the fact we had 70 minutes with 10 men, and a promotion party, just 3 days ago. Our mentality and fitness levels must’ve been very different to what they would’ve been had we still not secured promotion (I.e. the position Watford are in right now). It’s a shame as I wanted us to get 100 points, but I’m not taking it as a serious cause for concern!

I’m not taking it as serious cause for concern either. We are going up and are in a good position.  But I do take it as indicative of how and where we still need to improve to give us a good chance of staying up. In that regard it’s probably a helpful reality check. 

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3 minutes ago, Jim Smith said:

I’m not taking it as serious cause for concern either. We are going up and are in a good position.  But I do take it as indicative of how and where we still need to improve to give us a good chance of staying up. In that regard it’s probably a helpful reality check. 

Well if it means we go at it harder next season and try to strengthen more areas -rather than coasting through this period and getting a nasty shock in the prem - you could be right!

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Just now, Hank shoots Skyler said:

Well if it means we go at it harder next season and try to strengthen more areas -rather than coasting through this period and getting a nasty shock in the prem - you could be right!

I’m not saying I completely disagree by the way (despite the fact I said I disagree). All of these games could have gone either way. But I don’t think it’s a coincidence that these sides who are able to muscle Pukki, Todd and Emi out of the game (to a degree) are able to consistently edge us out. 

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If Farke says there is work to be done in the summer then that's the viewpoint I'll listen to most. There is no point in making excuses as to why we lost to team X or team Y the fact is we did.

Better we see these shortcomings now than next May when we are bottom of the league.

A lot of work to be done and I'm sure Farke and Webber will be on it a bit quicker after tonight.

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Well at least these two defeats see you back among us starting threads and  posting with gusto Jimbo. I'd missed you buddy🙃🙂

 

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55 minutes ago, Jim Smith said:

I’m chuffed we’ve been promoted but I can’t say the two defeats since haven’t slightly taken the gloss off it. More so tonight because it wasn’t due to a red card but more due to the fact that once again Watford were just a bit too physical for us and this able to negate our extra skill and technical ability.

Really?? You don't think that only having a two day gap after having played almost a whole game with 10 men because of aforesaid red card must have been a factor in us being a little sluggish this evening??

I'll take our extra skill and technical ability all day long over Watford's (and Bournemouth's) 'physicality' - you're right that their approach is the template for the lower two thirds of the Premier League - one of the many reasons why the EPL is such a dreadfully dull and predictable league.

Fortunately Farke doesn't seem inclined to follow that template - makes a very refreshing change in football to have someone who will stick to their principles 😀

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Webber's got a huge window ahead of him. I'm expecting him (and Farke) to leave at the end of next year so whatever happens is arguably how we'll remember him by.

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1 hour ago, Icecream Snow said:

Webber's got a huge window ahead of him. I'm expecting him (and Farke) to leave at the end of next year so whatever happens is arguably how we'll remember him by.

Agreed. Watford are similar to the majority to the teams in the bottom half of the league (who we struggled against) and tonight must have reminded DF and SW about last season.

They'll be more determined than ever and I'm sure that they'll use these last two games as an opportunity, rather than anything else.

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IMO one factor in both defeats was Mr Skipp appearing to abandon his defensive duties in favor of a hung ho attacking midfielder mindset.....

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I think it's pretty obvious that the spine needs to be better and more athletic. I would hope we strengthen every single central position: ie centre back, central midfielder, number 10 and quality competition for Pukki.

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Posted (edited)

Watford played very well. They had more motivation. Had they had any luck, it might have been 0-3...20 minutes in. This is a warning.

Our defence is solid for Championship, but not good enough for the PL. Nowhere near good enough to have a go at not being relegated.

Not in our interest to have 60+% of our goal production in Pukki and Buendia run up and down to support defence and committing fouls. They were wiped out by mid second half. I get flashbacks from last season.

To make the defence better will cost us quite a bit of money. No way around it.

Edited by Upo

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9 hours ago, Jim Smith said:

I’m chuffed we’ve been promoted but I can’t say the two defeats since haven’t slightly taken the gloss off it. More so tonight because it wasn’t due to a red card but more due to the fact that once again Watford were just a bit too physical for us and this able to negate our extra skill and technical ability.

the way they play is the template for lower two thirds premier league sides and the way they and  Bournemouth have taken points off us this season should ring alarm bells for Webber and Farke. Webber flagged our lack of physicality/athleticism as a point to address after relegation and we still have sone work to do to address it. We need more pace in the squad and in particular a more physical option in central midfield. 

Jim I’m gonna say that this hasn’t taken any gloss off us going up. None .

 
I’ll just type that again . We are going up. I can’t imagine anything that would take the gloss off that . 

I was at the ground on Saturday - you can see me and Mrs Beard on the City View video. It was fantastic just to stand outside CR knowing we are back in the big time . 
 

Drink it in my friend . We have achieved exactly what we wanted to do. 

Watford’s MOM costs £40m . 

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8 hours ago, Creative Midfielder said:

Really?? You don't think that only having a two day gap after having played almost a whole game with 10 men because of aforesaid red card must have been a factor in us being a little sluggish this evening??

I'll take our extra skill and technical ability all day long over Watford's (and Bournemouth's) 'physicality' - you're right that their approach is the template for the lower two thirds of the Premier League - one of the many reasons why the EPL is such a dreadfully dull and predictable league.

Fortunately Farke doesn't seem inclined to follow that template - makes a very refreshing change in football to have someone who will stick to their principles 😀

The bit in bold nails it. Second half was always going to be hard work, especially as our lads had been on the **** for a good bit celebrating going up.

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2 hours ago, Upo said:

Watford played very well. They had more motivation. Had they had any luck, it might have been 0-3...20 minutes in. This is a warning.

Our defence is solid for Championship, but not good enough for the PL. Nowhere near good enough to have a go at not being relegated.

Not in our interest to have 60+% of our goal production in Pukki and Buendia run up and down to support defence and committing fouls. They were wiped out by mid second half. I get flashbacks from last season.

To make the defence better will cost us quite a bit of money. No way around it.

That the starting back 4 in the Premier League is it?

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1 hour ago, Alex Moss said:

That the starting back 4 in the Premier League is it?

Not sure what you mean?

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Quite a lot of room for improvement to survive in the Prem.  Id say as follows:

Need a second choice Keeper

Need a second choice LB (possibly RB too)

A CB of at least the standard of Gibson & Hanley

We will need to play 2x holding midfielders - so 2x players of Skipps quality  - a tough ask. 

A winger as Hernadez and Platcheta are not up to it.  

Competition at 10 and a second chice striker. 

 

To go:  

Nyland, Quintilla, Zimm (not good enough anymore), Vrancic (contract), Stiepermann (?), Tettey (contract, although id keep him around). 

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12 hours ago, Jim Smith said:

I’m chuffed we’ve been promoted but I can’t say the two defeats since haven’t slightly taken the gloss off it. More so tonight because it wasn’t due to a red card but more due to the fact that once again Watford were just a bit too physical for us and this able to negate our extra skill and technical ability.

the way they play is the template for lower two thirds premier league sides and the way they and  Bournemouth have taken points off us this season should ring alarm bells for Webber and Farke. Webber flagged our lack of physicality/athleticism as a point to address after relegation and we still have sone work to do to address it. We need more pace in the squad and in particular a more physical option in central midfield. 

Sorry but I strongly disagree. Bournemouth did not get relegated playing a physical brand of football. Howe was much more progressive than that and they tried to play football on the deck, which is exactly why the BBC and others were going on about them non-stop.

As noted on the day elsewhere. The Bournemouth starting 11 cost over £100mil. I say over, I got to £100mil and then couldn't find the fee for Pearson. So 10 of their starting 11 cost £100mil to assemble. That's minimum three times the cost of our entire match day squad on Saturday including fees we haven't yet paid for Giannoulis.

Since Howe left and even more so after his successor, they have become more physical. Woodgate doesn't seem to be as progressive a manager and was audibly encouraging his players to be more physical and crunch our players.

In reality, over recent seasons, teams that have tried to survive in the premier league using that as a primary tactic have struggled. Stoke, Blackburn, Bolton, Cardiff etc. Equally, those that have persisted with that have also struggled to bounce back up. In fact, look at he top 6 of the Championship and even the bottom half of the Premier League as you suggest. How many can you truly say play a "physical" brand of football?

I'm not talking about defensive tactics a la Bruce at Newcastle - they will often try to play on the deck especially when they have Wilson and Saint-Maximin etc playing.

Prem:
10 - Leeds
11 - Aston Villa
12 - Wolves
13 - Palace
14 - Southampton
15 - Newcastle
16 - Brighton
17 - Burnley
18 - Fulham
19 - West Brom
20 - Shef Utd

So out of those ten teams, which teams rely on a physical approach to games? I think the only sides you can accuse of doing that are Burnley, West Brom and Shef Utd. You might make a case for Palace but I think that's a bit unfair as they certainly try to play football, again, I see them as being more defensively minded like Newcastle rather than relying on the sort of thuggish smash and grab route one physical football we see from the likes of Allardice and Dyche teams were they will try and get it forward to a target man ASAP and try to play from there. You certainly can't say Fulham, Brighton, Southampton or Wolves play that way at all, not even close and even Leeds... Bamford is hardly the epitome of a thuggish centre forward is he?

Physicality is part of every game, and we have won games this season that have been far more physical. A large percentage of the physical side of the game is mental. If you want it more, you can beat anyone.

I played with a chap who was tiny in a London league in my early-mid 20's. He was born premature and size and weight wise was rarely going to be an even match physically for 90% of the midfielders and defenders he would be up against. I reckon he would have been 5'6"/5'7". I have never seen someone so small physically spin defenders the way he did. He'd set his feet in a flash and roll his shoulders, several 6'+ chaps were left unbalanced and on the floor because of the speed he could set his centre of gravity and almost flick them aside. He wasn't scared of a tackle either.

Equally, back in Norfolk, I played with a teacher who would have been a similar height. He did more or less exactly the same thing, but in the air...

I don't think there is really a debate in it, people are just looking into this far, far, far too much. And it's not particularly healthy. Folks are just forgetting simple probability. We cannot go on forever unbeaten. We had put together a tremendous run of results, unbeaten in god knows how many. It felt to me that our celebrations were an expression of relief more than anything else. There has been no let up, many haven't had a break since the start of the season barring injuries they have had, and even then Pukki was rushed back before he was really ready due to Hugill being injured.

Folks just need to stop over analysing it all and realise that even in the Championship, we are going to be beaten every so often, expecting an unbeaten run of 14-18 games is just insane, at any level. The fact that we had gone unbeaten in 13 prior to Bournemouth was always going to go against us, not for us. We'd managed games well, got goals and then passed the ball around without stepping up into higher gears.

Lastly, if we should be worried about results against Bournemouth and Watford, and I don't think there is any real need to get unreasonably so and try to find more reasons for those results to mean anything, what does that say for Bournemouth and Watford who have lost to worse sides than us and more times? At one point Bournemouth had dropped out of the top six altogether.

Reading too much into it. Two games in four days, celebrating promotion, red card, sigh of relief. I expect a Farke style response Vs QPR. Not worried about the Premier League as there is a summer ahead yet. 

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38 minutes ago, NCFC198 said:

Quite a lot of room for improvement to survive in the Prem.  Id say as follows:

Need a second choice Keeper

Need a second choice LB (possibly RB too)

A CB of at least the standard of Gibson & Hanley

We will need to play 2x holding midfielders - so 2x players of Skipps quality  - a tough ask. 

A winger as Hernadez and Platcheta are not up to it.  

Competition at 10 and a second chice striker. 

 

To go:  

Nyland, Quintilla, Zimm (not good enough anymore), Vrancic (contract), Stiepermann (?), Tettey (contract, although id keep him around). 

RB: Aarons, Mumba, Byram... there is a possibility that Byram just isn't up to it anymore and if Aarons goes then yes. But at the moment why do we need a fourth in that position?

CB - yes, but rediculously you say Zimmerman isn't good enough anymore. If he goes we need 2xCB as although Omobamidele is showing promise, can we really say that he is ready to play regular first team premier league football. Again, you could argue he could be our 4th choice, but I would point to the last time we said that and how an injury and suspension could result in the 4th choice being a regular starter and where that ended.

Holding midfield / defensive midfield (two different roles really, eg; David Fox and Bradley Johnson/Tettey): We need a strong, solid CDM that can pass it a bit when needed. Skipp does this well. But we also have Rupp, McLean and Sorenson who can play there so something different to what they offer and preferably better. Ideally tall and powerful. A younger Bradley Johnson for example.

If we keep hold of Buendia and Cantwell and add to them Dowell and Martin, I think we are ok for the number 10 position, at least it isn't a high priority. I would say another striker, preferably with pace would be more important. Someone that is around 6' and can offer a bit of both in terms of Pukki's movement and Hugill's height and ability to 'mix it'. The next up and coming Callum Wilson? The Greek chap we were rumoured to be in for possibly fits that mold.

Keeper - yes, but finding a good back up keeper may be tough. Might be if we can get someone in who is around the 23-25 age range and who can be set up to be Krul's long term successor. Cheeky bid for Angus Gunn? 

 

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12 hours ago, Hank shoots Skyler said:

Just mostly reposting what I’ve said on the match thread as it applies here - 

A few people seem to be getting a bit carried away with this ‘4 losses against the prem teams from last season’ thing, as a reminder;

0-1 Bournemouth away - no Buendia and no Cantwell and one of the first games of the season - we were still getting over the lockdown hangover - can’t read anything into that 

0-1 Watford away - a tight game with limited chances which Watford edged, disappointing performance but not surprising given Watford’s home record 

1-3 Bournemouth at home - absolutely schooled them for 20 mins, scored one of the goals of the season, then got a man sent off very harshly and had to play 70 mins with 10 men - can’t read anything in to that 

0-1 Watford at home - 3 days after the Bournemouth game played with 10 men for the majority and followed by the promotion party. Whereas Watford still absolutely needed to win. Can’t read too much into that either 

So of the 4 games only the Watford away performance came without any mitigating factors. I think it’s pretty harsh to use it as a bar for measuring anything against to be honest.

Bournemouth and Watford are also far from the only physical sides in the league though. What about Middlesbrough, Stoke, Cardiff, Millwall, Swansea etc? We’ve shown this season we can really dig in and win dirty, how many wins by 1 goal is it now? How many less goals conceded than 2 years ago? 

I don’t think we can take much away from a dramatically improved version of Farke’s Norwich City because of these 4 bad results.

I would agree though that we definitely still need to beef the team up before we can expect to be consistently competitive in the prem, I just don’t think that can be pointed at conclusively these Watford / Bournemouth games.

The signings we have made and the change in style has clearly helped us cope with physicality this season, another few quality additions and I think we could be there or there abouts next season (for 17th..).

This post is far too sensible for the Pink'un!

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Yes it’s been a great season capped by Promotion and hopefully the title but whilst there have been some mitigating circumstances for the last two games there is certainly work to be done before next season.

The most important factor will be the squad we start next season with.

Yes there will be players the club will let go and hopefully replace with upgrades but the thing that worries me is the players who we don’t want to lose that will go.

Skipp (who has been immense this season) is not our player, so will Spurs let him come back on loan or sell him to us and if the latter can we afford him?

Of those who we have done well to keep to date (Max, Todd, Emi) who will stay and who will go and if they go will we be able to replace them and not weaken the team (yet alone improve it).

Of those who have been coming on from the bench recently (i.e. not considered one of the best 11) how many of them will step up next season.

Yes there are a lot of ifs and buts (like there are for most clubs between seasons) but I really hope we get it right this time as at the end of next season we will lose Webber and quite possibly Farke.

It’s going to be an interesting summer and I really hope that the last couple of games and the remaining three don’t leave us with a case of deja vu.

 

 

 

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