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****The Official Lapps Match Thread v Birmingham (LC) *****

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McLean offers nothing ever. Scottish there's the 1st clue. Does he score no.  Just a journeyman. Hasn't even got a fozzy flick in him. Likes a p*ss up on open top bus parade all I will remember about him. Knew he miss that pen.

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Impressed particularly be McCallum tonight, such a shame he got injured. Reminds me of when Mumba came in, gave a terrific performance then immediately got crocked. We just have no luck with injuries at all and we need to do better on the sports science side of things because it can't be a coincidence. 

Gibbs was good as well, Sara had moments but doesn't look up to speed yet, Hanley dealt with everything he had to with ease while barely breaking a sweat, Sorenson continue to impress but only when played at full back, Hernandez and Hugill worked really hard but the quality just isnt there. 

Wasn't impressed with Dowell or Sinani. Dowell is just too dozy and doesn't have the right attitude, he's just too lightweight and can't impose himself on games, Sinani I don't really get as a player what he brings, just looks a little short of quality for an attacking midfielder. 

Good game tonight despite it being very scrappy. 

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Christoph Stiepermann said:

Good game tonight despite it being very scrappy. 

Guess it's a game of opinions but disagree with a fair bit of that.

Sinani looked really quite good - was easily our most creative outlet and was very unlucky not to get a brace.

Sara not up to pace, was unlucky with one shot but largely anonymous (except for his shin pads..).

Lungi scored a screamer but was really ineffective at LB and kept cutting onto his right or clipping aimless balls down the line.

Gibbs was really quite impressive and seemed to have a good mix of technical skill and tenacity - good sign that he stepped up and scored his pen.

Agree on Hugill and Hernandez.

Saw some glimpses of quality from Nunez in his short cameo as well.

Edited by kirku

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Ok, my general feedback on the game.

For those questioning that they cannot see a game plan or what Smith wants us to do, tonight was a bit of a masterclass. A bit surprised that Mr Bailey was suggesting a 4-1-4-1, it was clearly a 4-3-3. It was at times, quite fluid. Gibbs tended to play the central "holding" position with Sara on one side of him and <checks notes> Dowell. Sinani and Hernandez played either side of Hugill.

Throughout most of the first half and a good portion of the 2nd we dominated the game. You could see as time wore on in the first that the confidence was growing. There was a moment when all of a sudden we found two or three more gears and were pinging balls around with Brum grasping at shadows.

Where it tended to fall down, IMHO was Hugill. I don't really know how he was trying to play. Every time the ball went into his feet he was trying to turn his CB. If you do that too often they just get wise to it. His lack of pace was also really clear to see, he just couldn't pull away from their CB's and was put through one on one a couple of times only to be overtaken. Ironically, I think Pukki could have had a couple, even Sargent.

Sinani was given man of the match and I don't think many will argue that. He ran the show. Gibbs was impressive for someone so young. Dowell and Sara definitely lack the fitness. Sara reminds me a little bit of Leroy Fer, only more physical and with bit of classy skill. It wasn't massively on show tonight but there were nice little moves between him, McCallum and Hernandez when they clicked, they just tore through Brum.

Hernandez was superb, was frequently taking on two players and beating them, the only thing I would have wanted more of from him was bravery. I felt he was playing safe at times.

Sorensen is an interesting one. I think he's a CM and not a DM. At both RB and LB he played with a bit of freedom, at times he could have driven on and should have. But he put on a good display of skill and passing. Looks more comfortable in a role that allows him to get up and down the pitch rather than one that is cemented in DM and keeping it relatively simple. Though Gibbs did manage to find that freedom at times.

2nd half after their 2nd, only one team in it looking for a winner. Sargent came on for Hugill who got no change out of their No.4 for 70mins. Sargent immediately beat him all ends up for pace then proceeded to shove him around and win leg races with him for 20mins. 

Of their goals, their first was a bit freak. Sinani went to hit a ball to Aarons (I think), Dowel was in the way and I assume thought Sinani was going to hit it along the deck so jumped, Sinani clipped it, so Dowell did the job of a one man wall, taking two of our CM's out of the game at a time when we were pushing forwards.

Nunez when he came on, was just superb. If he is going to keep playing as he is and get better... well, I don't want to overegg it just yet. Obviously we won, and that's all that counts. It's also the right outcome. Brum were all huff and puff. Lots of signs of promise and with non-stop support tonight I might add. No boo's, chants of on the ball city were struck up after both of their goals.

And no, I probably won't do this after every game. I just wanted to quell some of the silly repetitive nonsensical stuff we get on here add nauseum. Also, Tomkinson is fine, he's strong and used the ball well. I think that was his first competitive start wasn't it? Same with Gibbs? 

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2 minutes ago, kirku said:

Guess it's a game of opinions but disagree with a fair bit of that.

Sinani looked really quite good - was easily our most creative outlet and was very unlucky not to get a brace.

Sara not up to pace, was unlucky with one shot but largely anonymous (except for his shin pads..).

Lungi scored a screamer but was really ineffective at LB and kept cutting onto his right or clipping aimless balls down the line.

Gibbs was really quite impressive and seemed to have a good mix of technical skill and tenacity - good sign that he stepped up and scored his pen.

Agree on Hugill and Hernandez.

Saw some glimpses of quality from Nunez in his short cameo as well.

Agree with most of that. Lungi needs to work on defending but always seemed a good outlet for Gunn playing out from the back. Sara definitely not up to speed yet. Nunez could quite quickly become a fan favourite- loved how he tried to lob the keeper from miles out, and a ridiculous pen! Argos I thought showed some good signs despite lack of end product.

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12 minutes ago, Christoph Stiepermann said:

Impressed particularly be McCallum tonight, such a shame he got injured. Reminds me of when Mumba came in, gave a terrific performance then immediately got crocked. We just have no luck with injuries at all and we need to do better on the sports science side of things because it can't be a coincidence. 

Gibbs was good as well, Sara had moments but doesn't look up to speed yet, Hanley dealt with everything he had to with ease while barely breaking a sweat, Sorenson continue to impress but only when played at full back, Hernandez and Hugill worked really hard but the quality just isnt there. 

Wasn't impressed with Dowell or Sinani. Dowell is just too dozy and doesn't have the right attitude, he's just too lightweight and can't impose himself on games, Sinani I don't really get as a player what he brings, just looks a little short of quality for an attacking midfielder. 

Good game tonight despite it being very scrappy. 

Hernandez was probably our best attacking outlet tonight after Sinani, I actually felt that despite the strength, pace and tricks, his main problem wasn't trying to put more balls into the box, he seemed to play a lot back to the full back or inside. However, what he was doing was pulling their players all over the place, he really unnerved them and unsettled them. Sometimes you need players that constantly ask questions of the defenders they are playing against. Hernandez did that from start to finish. Often resulting in two players being on him.

Hugill on the other hand... I just... if you think Sargent is the worst striker at this club, you need to get a video of Hugill tonight and watch it. Just nothing. Very, very little movement. He casually strolled to get back onside. No urgency. Poor touch. Hold up play was... well more like a hold up at an off licence. Bar the assist, he was completely anonymous other than often being the reason for forward play breaking down. Flat footed and so little pace. Iwan was never the quickest, but he didn't try to turn his man every time and fail.

Sinani ran the show, if you were unimpressed with that, I just don't know what would impress you. He was popping up everywhere, tracking back, tackling, getting forward, dribbling, shooting, crossing. He made us tick tonight. Usually you go down the core of the team to pick out those players that held firm for us. Hanley, Gibbs, Sinani all had a good shout for MotM.

It was only really scrappy in the 2nd half when we wrestled back control of the game. The referee was very inconsistent. He failed to give a blatant free kick on Sargent then two minutes later awarded him one for apparently being tackled by the ball and falling over. 

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, Canaryonthecommon said:

Argos I thought showed some good signs despite lack of end product.

It was classic Hernandez - beat two players and then over hit a cross or smash it 10ft over the bar. It's been said before by many people many times, but if he had decent end product he wouldn't be here. Just no end product.

It was worse when Lungi moved over to LB because then both of our players on the left wanted to continually cut in on their right and it made us very predictable on that flank.

Completely agree on Nunez - was great to see someone with the confidence to do what he tried. Mazy runs, a shot from his own half and a Panenka. The team as a whole needs more personality and confidence.

Edited by kirku

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, chicken said:

Ok, my general feedback on the game.

For those questioning that they cannot see a game plan or what Smith wants us to do, tonight was a bit of a masterclass. A bit surprised that Mr Bailey was suggesting a 4-1-4-1, it was clearly a 4-3-3. It was at times, quite fluid. Gibbs tended to play the central "holding" position with Sara on one side of him and <checks notes> Dowell. Sinani and Hernandez played either side of Hugill.

Throughout most of the first half and a good portion of the 2nd we dominated the game. You could see as time wore on in the first that the confidence was growing. There was a moment when all of a sudden we found two or three more gears and were pinging balls around with Brum grasping at shadows.

Where it tended to fall down, IMHO was Hugill. I don't really know how he was trying to play. Every time the ball went into his feet he was trying to turn his CB. If you do that too often they just get wise to it. His lack of pace was also really clear to see, he just couldn't pull away from their CB's and was put through one on one a couple of times only to be overtaken. Ironically, I think Pukki could have had a couple, even Sargent.

Sinani was given man of the match and I don't think many will argue that. He ran the show. Gibbs was impressive for someone so young. Dowell and Sara definitely lack the fitness. Sara reminds me a little bit of Leroy Fer, only more physical and with bit of classy skill. It wasn't massively on show tonight but there were nice little moves between him, McCallum and Hernandez when they clicked, they just tore through Brum.

Hernandez was superb, was frequently taking on two players and beating them, the only thing I would have wanted more of from him was bravery. I felt he was playing safe at times.

Sorensen is an interesting one. I think he's a CM and not a DM. At both RB and LB he played with a bit of freedom, at times he could have driven on and should have. But he put on a good display of skill and passing. Looks more comfortable in a role that allows him to get up and down the pitch rather than one that is cemented in DM and keeping it relatively simple. Though Gibbs did manage to find that freedom at times.

2nd half after their 2nd, only one team in it looking for a winner. Sargent came on for Hugill who got no change out of their No.4 for 70mins. Sargent immediately beat him all ends up for pace then proceeded to shove him around and win leg races with him for 20mins. 

Of their goals, their first was a bit freak. Sinani went to hit a ball to Aarons (I think), Dowel was in the way and I assume thought Sinani was going to hit it along the deck so jumped, Sinani clipped it, so Dowell did the job of a one man wall, taking two of our CM's out of the game at a time when we were pushing forwards.

Nunez when he came on, was just superb. If he is going to keep playing as he is and get better... well, I don't want to overegg it just yet. Obviously we won, and that's all that counts. It's also the right outcome. Brum were all huff and puff. Lots of signs of promise and with non-stop support tonight I might add. No boo's, chants of on the ball city were struck up after both of their goals.

And no, I probably won't do this after every game. I just wanted to quell some of the silly repetitive nonsensical stuff we get on here add nauseum. Also, Tomkinson is fine, he's strong and used the ball well. I think that was his first competitive start wasn't it? Same with Gibbs? 

Masterclass? You’re having a laugh, it was a shambles. Constant runs down the flanks with no end product, and then resorting to lumping the ball into the channels in the hope something might come off. We scored from their lapse of concentrating after the Macallum injury, and a worldie that more other than not would end up in row z. 

Edited by astro

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1 minute ago, kirku said:

The team as a whole needs more personality and confidence.

I think it has a lot of personality actually, confidence - yes. You could see that, also fitness re Sara and Dowell.

Sorensen needs to be called Iceman, honestly, the coolest cat out there. Everything so calm. Even his goal, everyone just stood, it took him a moment to celebrate. He was good on both sides, and was hitting balls forward with the outside of his right boot that Giannoulis and McCallum would have been happy with on their left. I felt he looked like he was playing with more freedom tonight. Only criticism was in the first half he broke down the right and could have driven much further but then stopped and past it inside as if he was a bit worried what might happen if he went further.

We certainly grew with confidence but yes, there is a bit of that as an issue. Certainly not personality, I think it's actually more a case of a recipe and the ingredients coming together. At the moment you can see the personalities, but how are they going to blend. We did see moments of that. In the first half there was a period of play that was a lot like Farkeball only more in their half and less in ours. Quick, one-two touch passing, must have been 30+ passes. In the 2nd half, we were moving the ball from side to side much faster and finding space to attack.

If we can get that going more consistently... dare we dream?

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4 minutes ago, chicken said:

Hernandez was probably our best attacking outlet tonight after Sinani, I actually felt that despite the strength, pace and tricks, his main problem wasn't trying to put more balls into the box, he seemed to play a lot back to the full back or inside. However, what he was doing was pulling their players all over the place, he really unnerved them and unsettled them. Sometimes you need players that constantly ask questions of the defenders they are playing against. Hernandez did that from start to finish. Often resulting in two players being on him.

Hugill on the other hand... I just... if you think Sargent is the worst striker at this club, you need to get a video of Hugill tonight and watch it. Just nothing. Very, very little movement. He casually strolled to get back onside. No urgency. Poor touch. Hold up play was... well more like a hold up at an off licence. Bar the assist, he was completely anonymous other than often being the reason for forward play breaking down. Flat footed and so little pace. Iwan was never the quickest, but he didn't try to turn his man every time and fail.

Sinani ran the show, if you were unimpressed with that, I just don't know what would impress you. He was popping up everywhere, tracking back, tackling, getting forward, dribbling, shooting, crossing. He made us tick tonight. Usually you go down the core of the team to pick out those players that held firm for us. Hanley, Gibbs, Sinani all had a good shout for MotM.

It was only really scrappy in the 2nd half when we wrestled back control of the game. The referee was very inconsistent. He failed to give a blatant free kick on Sargent then two minutes later awarded him one for apparently being tackled by the ball and falling over. 

I was sitting quite far back high up in the upper Barclay, it's possible that i might have gotten Gibbs and Sinani mixed up from my vantage point a bit given the opinions that I've read on here since then, so I might be wrong on Sinani. Might need to book in for another eye test then lol 

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1 minute ago, chicken said:

Hernandez was probably our best attacking outlet tonight after Sinani

I don't disagree with this, but that's more by default than anything. We had three forwards, one was MOTM and the other (Hugill) pretty woeful (agree with all you've said above).

Sara and Dowell were largely anonymous. Gibbs looked to play some nice positive balls forward but was anchoring the three in the middle.

So even Onel on peak "no end product mode" would probably be our "2nd best attacking outlet".

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7 minutes ago, astro said:

Masterclass? You’re having a laugh, it was a shambles. Constant runs down the flanks with no end product, and then resorting to lumping the ball into the channels in the hope something might come off. We scored from their lapse of concentrating after the Macallum injury, and a worldie that more other than not would end up in row z. 

I've just read through it twice, where did I say that.

As for the rest, junk. Sorry, you can't have been at the game. Just utter rubbish. We absolutely dominated the game - as I point out, in most instances the attacks broke down because of Hugill, though also some through Dowell as well. 

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1 minute ago, Christoph Stiepermann said:

I was sitting quite far back high up in the upper Barclay, it's possible that i might have gotten Gibbs and Sinani mixed up from my vantage point a bit given the opinions that I've read on here since then, so I might be wrong on Sinani. Might need to book in for another eye test then lol 

At the danger of constantly disagreeing with you - I thought Gibbs was a real positive tonight. He was really quite impressive.

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2 minutes ago, Christoph Stiepermann said:

I was sitting quite far back high up in the upper Barclay, it's possible that i might have gotten Gibbs and Sinani mixed up from my vantage point a bit given the opinions that I've read on here since then, so I might be wrong on Sinani. Might need to book in for another eye test then lol 

I was towards the front of the upper Barclay. 🙂

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1 minute ago, kirku said:

At the danger of constantly disagreeing with you - I thought Gibbs was a real positive tonight. He was really quite impressive.

This. Sinani and Gibbs were particularly on point tonight IMHO. 

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Just now, kirku said:

At the danger of constantly disagreeing with you - I thought Gibbs was a real positive tonight. He was really quite impressive.

Yeah I thought Gibbs was great, I meant in occasional moments I might have mixed up what Sinani and Gibbs did which meant I probably thought some of Sinani's better moments were coming from Gibbs. Probably an unconscious bias towards wanting to see a yt player do well

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Just now, chicken said:

I've just read through it twice, where did I say that.

As for the rest, junk. Sorry, you can't have been at the game. Just utter rubbish. We absolutely dominated the game - as I point out, in most instances the attacks broke down because of Hugill, though also some through Dowell as well. 

I agree that we dominated the game. Birmingham never truly threatened. Gunn saved more in the shootout than the game.

They scored a freak goal (although I thought we stood off him too much - like the Cardiff game) and a goal from a corner.

It is concerning if this emerging trend of soft goals continues, though.

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3 minutes ago, chicken said:

I've just read through it twice, where did I say that.

As for the rest, junk. Sorry, you can't have been at the game. Just utter rubbish. We absolutely dominated the game - as I point out, in most instances the attacks broke down because of Hugill, though also some through Dowell as well. 

Yes I was at the game, yes it was a shambles, and you used the word masterclass as the 31st word in your post.

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5 minutes ago, kirku said:

So even Onel on peak "no end product mode" would probably be our "2nd best attacking outlet".

I think the thing is with Hernandez, if you play him on the left he will want to cut inside/drift inside or play the ball. You put him on the right and you need tell the wide player on the other side to hold their runs slightly as they may well get some balls from Hernandez... 😄

What he does though, which none of our other wide attackers seem to be able to do, is make teams nervous about his pace and trickery. He can be as frustrating as inspiring and that's why he may well get dropped for other options like Cantwell. I was only really commenting on tonight though, and I felt he was often getting the focus of two of their players, especially 2nd half.

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1 minute ago, astro said:

Yes I was at the game, yes it was a shambles, and you used the word masterclass as the 31st word in your post.

It's surely hard to objectively dominate a game and it still be "a shambles"?

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Someone tell Lungi on attacking corners to stand thirty yards out and if a ball gets anywhere near him, aim top-right. How much bend did he get on that?

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1 minute ago, astro said:

Yes I was at the game, yes it was a shambles, and you used the word masterclass as the 31st word in your post.

You're a bit of a plum aren't you?

Quote

For those questioning that they cannot see a game plan or what Smith wants us to do, tonight was a bit of a masterclass.

If you think tonight was a shambles you need to give up watching footy. Honestly, the main thing missing was Pukki up front, or Sargent for longer, or a fit and firing Idah... hell, in all honesty, I was that annoyed with Hugill I would have hoiked him off at half time. Offered absolutely diddly squat. There really was some very nice football on show at times, and moving it from left to right with urgency.

Like I say, if you didn't see that... just don't bother looking, or perhaps that's the case? 

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1 minute ago, kirku said:

It's surely hard to objectively dominate a game and it still be "a shambles"?

Not really - we are an ex premiership club, they are a lower champs side - our second eleven absolutely should dominate the game as a given. But we allowed a side we were dominating to score two goals - hence a shambles. 

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1 minute ago, chicken said:

You're a bit of a plum aren't you?

If you think tonight was a shambles you need to give up watching footy. Honestly, the main thing missing was Pukki up front, or Sargent for longer, or a fit and firing Idah... hell, in all honesty, I was that annoyed with Hugill I would have hoiked him off at half time. Offered absolutely diddly squat. There really was some very nice football on show at times, and moving it from left to right with urgency.

Like I say, if you didn't see that... just don't bother looking, or perhaps that's the case? 

Oh dear. 👍

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2 minutes ago, astro said:

Not really - we are an ex premiership club, they are a lower champs side - our second eleven absolutely should dominate the game as a given. But we allowed a side we were dominating to score two goals - hence a shambles. 

God, it must be absolutely miserable to be you. I would say you are a cup half empty sort of person but you appear to have drilled a hole in it so it can never be more than half empty, and broke the rim, just to give it something else to enjoy moaning about.

So, to paraphrase - we played well be because we didn't "win" at 90mins everything is just a shambles? Get real. Dominate a team as a "given" - which club have you been supporting previously? West Ham? I never knew Norwich fans had become so unbelievably entitled. We're not premier league anymore because, and lets be totally honest here, very few of our players showed last season why they should be premier league players. Ergo, they are championship players until they can prove otherwise, by, you know, getting promotion.

I mean what reality are you even living in? 
 

Just now, astro said:

Oh dear. 👍

Yeah, tell me about it. Someone tried to claim I said it was a masterclass when I said it was a bit of one, you know, like not 100%. And that was just of the tactics. To get the ball down, move the ball from side to side to create space to play people in. Doesn't help when your striker is about as fast as the horse in Steptoe and son does it?

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Just now, chicken said:

God, it must be absolutely miserable to be you. I would say you are a cup half empty sort of person but you appear to have drilled a hole in it so it can never be more than half empty, and broke the rim, just to give it something else to enjoy moaning about.

So, to paraphrase - we played well be because we didn't "win" at 90mins everything is just a shambles? Get real. Dominate a team as a "given" - which club have you been supporting previously? West Ham? I never knew Norwich fans had become so unbelievably entitled. We're not premier league anymore because, and lets be totally honest here, very few of our players showed last season why they should be premier league players. Ergo, they are championship players until they can prove otherwise, by, you know, getting promotion.

I mean what reality are you even living in? 
 

Yeah, tell me about it. Someone tried to claim I said it was a masterclass when I said it was a bit of one, you know, like not 100%. And that was just of the tactics. To get the ball down, move the ball from side to side to create space to play people in. Doesn't help when your striker is about as fast as the horse in Steptoe and son does it?

Oh dear Mk II 👍

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Just now, astro said:

Oh dear Mk II 👍

Oh dear Mk III... 🤪🤪

Trollollollolloll. 

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6 minutes ago, astro said:

Not really - we are an ex premiership club, they are a lower champs side - our second eleven absolutely should dominate the game as a given. But we allowed a side we were dominating to score two goals - hence a shambles. 

To be fair we were never a PL side, we might have been playing in that league but we were playing in that league with a side significantly weaker than the one we won the Championship with given our plethora of rubbish signings. The goals came from a mistake from Dowell getting in the way of a cross field pass and then getting beaten to the first ball from a set piece which happens. Dowell probably won't be a starter this year and we don't have a big, aerially dominant team so we will lose out on set pieces at times. This was also a makeshift team with a lot of back up and youth team players in it, we dominated the game from start to finish, it was hardly a shambles. 

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1 minute ago, Christoph Stiepermann said:

To be fair we were never a PL side, we might have been playing in that league but we were playing in that league with a side significantly weaker than the one we won the Championship with given our plethora of rubbish signings. The goals came from a mistake from Dowell getting in the way of a cross field pass and then getting beaten to the first ball from a set piece which happens. Dowell probably won't be a starter this year and we don't have a big, aerially dominant team so we will lose out on set pieces at times. This was also a makeshift team with a lot of back up and youth team players in it, we dominated the game from start to finish, it was hardly a shambles. 

Spot on. You go through that team...

Gunn, 2nd choice, probably a little iffy on his positioning for the first goal. He seemed to be a step or two, too far to his right.
Sorensen at RB, is probably our 3rd choice there.
Tomkinson - 4th choice CB who's in his first year in the senior squad proper.
McCallum - 2nd choice LB.
Sara - clearly not fit, looked leggy fairly quickly into the 2nd half and was rightly subbed for it. Good run out which will only help to get him up to speed and some fitness into that tank.
Dowell - see Sara, but also probably behind Nunez, Cantwell and at the moment at least, Sinani in that role.
Hernandez and Sinani will have started the night behind Cantwell, Rashica, Sargent though I think Sinani has gone about the right way of staking a claim tonight.
Gibbs was being talked about being sent on loan and is 19. Would normally be behind McLean, Sorensen, Hayden, Sara, Nunez and most likely Ramsay. 
Hugill, on that showing, is behind Pukki, Sargent and Idah (when fit).

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