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  1. What has Clayton done to be frozen out like he is currently? No players yet he can’t get in the starting 11. Saville straight back in after his suspension when he’s shown zero ability or aptitude this season. I was all for us going 5 at the back when Shotton was playing well and Ayala and Fry were also in the team. But now we don’t have the personnel he needs to change it again. Playing Howson as CB and our best MF player as CB is ridiculous.
  2. Wouldn’t surprise me if Keane isn’t there. All talk over summer (when it was obvious is was going to be Woodgate) was a DoF and young, exciting coaching team around Woody. Steve Round declined, Keane is helping out his mate as has been said, Coyne brought in at the last minute and Leo as the most senior member of the coaching staff. Couldn’t make it up. Utter shambles. Added in the transfer window and Gibson pulling the plug on loan players, is it any wonder we are fighting relegation? I think we’ll be well adrift by Xmas.
  3. We had all summer to implement a new approach and philosophy. A DoF, coaches throughout the age groups working together, a first team coach with a respected and exciting team around him. Signing young hungry players and changing the style. We failed. DoF (if rumours were true) turned us down. The coaches we were after turned us down. The young players identified either turned us down, Gibson pulled the plug or they came and can’t get a match. By all accounts Keane is absent Mon-Fri and Woody has had to resort to getting in people like Tony McMahon to “help out” because we clearly don’t have a strong enough coaching set up. Coyne arrived having never met Woodgate (no way on earth was he chosen by Woodgate or first choice ) and Leo comes as the first team coach. we couldn’t get it right when we had all summer. I don’t think we can get it right mid season - it will be a matter of patching things up as best they can. This season is a write off at best, if we avoid relegation. It’s a bloody mess and I don’t know where we go from here. Would expect to hear that James Morrison is helping out with some coaching next.
  4. If Woodgate is here to stay and the players genuinely don’t give a damn because they will be leaving at the end of the season anyway, he’s got to play his 3 new signings and try to build for the future. I think we are certain to go down if we leave things as they are.
  5. In a season of so much disappointment, one of the worst things for me is how quickly Woodgate has abandoned his principles and resorted to a poor attempt at Pulis football. 2 full backs bought (and very much needed!), the big signings of the summer and they’ve been chucked out. Have they really performed worse than everyone else? I thought we were building a new team and philosophy around young, hungry players from the lower divisions ? If you do that you’ve got to expect the odd wobble and poor performance. Browne has struggled but there’s been a few matches where we’ve needed to change it and add some pace and it’s been crying out for him. But again he would rather put his faith in one of the oldies than back his new signing. The pressing game was abandoned after 1.5 matches. Fry and Wing have regressed. Clayton out in the cold. I honestly can’t see how he will turn it round.
  6. Feel sorry for Woodgate, he accepted the role then was totally screwed over in the back room staff they failed to get in and then the awful transfer period over the summer. Add to that how woefully unprepared he is at management and we are in this situation where the only way we are heading is to D1. Saying nonsense like the league table lies and that we’re playing well but just unlucky shows how completely out of his depth (and out of ideas) he is. It’s a shame but was inevitable.
  7. Anyone with any inside info to give a glimmer of hope? I’ve still no idea the style we are trying to play, only that it isn’t attractive, high press, high scoring. The new philosophy was no more big money signings, lower league players to fit the style of play and make a profit. Our first three signings of this brand new dawn can’t get in the team. Plan A clearly not working - any ideas whether we even have a plan B?
  8. It’s desperate isn’t it? I’m not really sure what we’re trying to do, no clear patterns of play (apart from getting to the byline down the right side when an earlier cross would be better), no confidence and no leadership. Where is the next win coming from? Draws and inability to score only results in one thing (as we learnt when we were in the PL)
  9. Can’t see where our next 3 points are coming from. We can’t score and the defence is a shambles. No shape. No patterns of play. No leadership. We’re in deep trouble. Surely Gibson can’t afford for us to go down? If Woodgate stays, he needs help from an experienced coach. So depressing.
  10. Bola has a torrid time on Saturday so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Shotton play at left back but I think that would probably knock the last bit of confidence from Bola so would like to see him keep his place with cover from MF when needed Howson in for Wing. Thought Browne did well on Saturday but has been poor when he’s started. The complete lack of depth in the squad is such a worry.
  11. I feel sorry for Woodgate. I honestly don’t know whether he has what it takes, but I’m certain he has been screwed over by Gibson. Three L1 players signed, experienced players sold, a massively inexperienced coaching team cobbled together and Premier League loans lined up vetoed. What did Gibson expect? I’m guessing he will consider staying up a success this year. Really starting to think we should have stuck with Monk.
  12. Just back from the match and really enjoyed it today. Not always the best to watch but we did have some very slick attacking moves and could’ve had a couple in the first 4 mins. Thought McNair bossed the match again and really does set the tone for us - he’s quick, he presses, he gets forward but is also strong defensively. Another stand out match. I really like Bola and thought he had a couple of good attacking moves, just seems to lack a little confidence but he links up well and can (and does) beat his man. Djiksteel is strange in terms of his positioning. Likes to move inside and so leaves massive gaps at the back. But did make some good challenges and linked up well with McNair and Johnson in one of our best moves of the first half. Shotton didn’t put a foot wrong, Clayton and Fry also good. I’d say Wing still looks a little behind where he was last season, Fletcher had a quiet game and the bench is very weak, but otherwise I was impressed and really enjoyed it. I was chuffed that Woodgate got a full chant from all sides of the stadium and the atmosphere for the last 5-10 mins was excellent. UTB!
  13. Best match of the season. Showed some good attacking football. Need to sort out the nervousness at the back. But pleasing signs. Thought Dijksteel was good, Clayton excellent and Johnson/McNair are like 2 completely different (very good!) players.
  14. Have we gone to a back 3 with Djiksteel moving into the middle?
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