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Everything posted by Bruce

  1. 1. How many more signings do you think we need to compete for automatics? That's not going to happen but the bare minimum to compete for play-offs is a non-project striker, Left centre-back and centre-midfielder. 2. Should Dael Fry be starting every game? How do you fit him in? Difficult question. I actually think Lenihan is best at RCB, I'm not convinced by him as a CB. He played RCB at Blackburn when they played with a 3. Fry though is more of a last line of defence CB who needs to work on his ability when he has the ball at his feet. So, I don't know. 3. Starting lineup?
  2. £20m to invest in the squad sounds about right. Because of FFP, you do have to think in 3 year cycles so if you consider the likely amount we received in transfers from Tav and Spence and the savings in wages (fairly small) then you can imagine £20m split between transfer fees and 3 years worth of championship wages. That might be £50k/week over 3 years in wages (approx £7.5m) and £12.5m in transfer fees. When you look at the kinds of offers we seem to be making for Greaves and Strand Larsen, that roughly adds up as we are likely to be offering £20-£30k/week to them. The signings of Fors
  3. In the U21 game yesterday the numbers were 2-5-3 4-8-6-7-11 9-10 I presume that's the normal first 11 number positions for 3-5-2.
  4. I'm proposing "In the Mowatt hour, they cried more, more, more" for a new thread title. Good signing. The one slight concern being that his injury may have taken the edge off his game. He can play as either a 6 or an 8, in Wilderspeak, so I wonder if he will replace Howson more than McGree. A midfield of Crooks, Howson and Mowatt would be like watching a slow-motion replay. Speculating. Wilder and Knill aren't daft and we've all seen that we can't cope with Howson being pressed. Mowatt enables us to play with two 6's and a 10 (3-4-1-2) so that we can contest the centre of the pi
  5. On the old boro mailing list we used to have ARGs and PRGs: the anti- and pro-Robbo groups. By the time Venables stepped in there were very few PRGs left.
  6. We probably won't get promoted this season because realistically there are at least 5 teams with a lot better squads than us and another half dozen or so that we're roughly competitive with. I have no problem with us playing 3-5-2 and going for aggressive, possession-based football. However I think there are problems to solve with it: basically what do we do when the opponents press our midfield and how do we keep the back door shut when we attack. Last season, with Taylor, we naturally shuffled across and locked up the left and middle when attacking up the right. It was when we tried to
  7. a) How many will we win by? Minus two b) How many debut goals will Hoppe score on Sunday? Square root of -1 c) Will Steffan get caught off his line? Who's Line is it anyway? d) McMahon or Hoyte? No thanks.
  8. If the Mowatt transfer has legs I think he's more likely to replace Howson than McGree; the good thing being that he could play either role. As far as I can see the absolute minimum we need in this transfer window is another striker who is better than anyone we currently have plus Mowatt or his equivalent. A LCB would be ideal but McNair can do a decent job there until January. To be honest, I'm not sure this is a top-6 side on paper: Watford, Burnley, Norwich, WBA, Sheff Utd are all clearly stronger than us. We seem to be in the tier below with the likes of QPR, Millwall, Blackburn, Coventry,
  9. Tricky one this. Could really do with a win to get the season started. A loss and the natives will start getting restless. If Wilder goes with a 5-4-1 using McGree as a #10 (as in some pre-season games) then that is a strong hint that the club is giving up on a "marquee" striker and may be looking for a midfielder who can play that role. If he sticks with his usual formation then we desperately need some experience in the likes of Boyd Munce, Hackney, Conte or Gibson. If Fry doesn't play then it's panic stations because we literally only have one person who can play that role and he's sus
  10. If we had just spent £2-3m on Akpom and he made his debut against Marseille, we would be really excited by him and looking forwards to him getting up to full fitness and used to the system of play. He may not be the best striker we've ever signed but he does look well suited to Wilderball. He also seems to have a habit of fading out after a good start but if he can keep this level of performance up and, ideally, improve then he's going to be a decent option for us.
  11. I wouldn't go anywhere near that far. It's important to have an accurate assessment of the progress we've made under Wilder but we can't keep sacking a manager on a yearly basis. I think the club has to back him and even if it seems like we're going backwards, we have to keep the faith. Personally, I'm unconvinced by Wilder. His "plain-speaking Yorkshireman" shtick irritates me. But he does have a track record which demands respect and I think you have to back him this season even if it ends up being yet another "transition" season. He ought to be in the sweet spot of his development as
  12. I looked at our Championship results since the January window closed. Played 20, 26 points, won 7, drawn 5, lost 8. That's really poor. Would be on target for 60 points over the year which is comfortably bottom half of the table. For me, the honeymoon from this initial matches and the cup run is over. He really does need to start proving his mettle as a manager between now and the world cup break. .
  13. My understanding is, and having looked back at Transfermarkt, that Wilder used to play 4 at the back then, he lost his first four matches in charge of Sheffield Utd and changed to his current system. I think he found the right system for the players he had. Now he's trying to find the right players for the system. Personally, I think his current system has been found out. It's not that 3-5-2 is inherently bad but the way he sets up and the players he has means it can't cope with pressure. It's great at applying pressure when we're on top and generates lots of chances but unless he can com
  14. Wilder clearly doesn't rate Akpom. Fair enough, he's done nothing for 7 years but I thought he was the better out of him and Watmore last week. Don't know if Bola has kept his place on merit or McNair and Fry are still carrying a knock. Can't say I'm optimistic at this point.
  15. Clearly we still need a proven goal scorer at this level. Given that Wilder wants a minimum of 4 strikers so that two can come off the bench at around 60 minutes Hoppe seems like a reasonable punt as a part of that unit. In an ideal world we would have two proven strikers at this level, Forss and Hoppe to come off the bench and one of Akpom or Watmore for strength in depth. Assuming we don't get two proven strikers then one plus Muniz might work. Alternately, he might be looking for another LCM so that McGree can play the #10 role when required or for an attacking midfielder comfortable as a #
  16. Will he push a pineapple? Can he shake a tree?
  17. No new signings. Forss to come in for Watmore. McNair to replace Bola assuming he's fit. Unpopular (and probably wrong) opinion alert. Akpom is the kind of player that Wilder is really good at improving. He's been around forever without making it. He's got an eye for a pass, is a decent reader of the game and fell out with Warnock: all things that Wilder likes. He's not very clinical but his skills do complement Forss. Normally you get two good games out of Akpom then he fades away but maybe, while we look for reinforcements, Akpom could prove to be the missing piece in our striker jigsaw
  18. His best position is definitely wide in a front three where he can make a full-back's life a misery. I used to think he would do well as a second striker but he seems to get lost in that role. I guess if he has only one year left and it seems unlikely that we would offer him a new contract then I can see the logic in letting him go now. I wonder if Sunderland are in for him.
  19. I think, looking in and based on Wilder's comments that this maybe Scott's decision. McGree was clearly bought in to play LCM and, arguably, this is the peak value we will get for Tav as his contract runs down. I suspect that if we had wanted to keep Tav and offered him a suitable pay rise he would have stayed but if we're serious about selling players when they bring in the best value then we're swapping Tav for McGree and pocketing about £10m. Not in ITK, just piecing together the pieces. If the Garner rumours have any substance then this allows us to, potentially, upgrade Howson with
  20. So you're saying The ... will be with us on Saturday?
  21. I actually think Bola is top-class attacking full-back or wing-back. Defensively stronger than Giles but not in the same league offensively. That said, he loves to get forward and has a wicked shot on him. I think the problem is actually a lack of self-confidence and being injury prone; all the injuries he's had are possibly preying on his mind a bit when he goes in for a tackle. Last season was a horror show for him; the social media stuff and injuries meaning he missed a lot of the season and wasn't up to speed when he came back. If he gets his head right and manages to stay injury-free, I t
  22. My wife's company makes a hot chicken banana matoke soup. It's very tasty.
  23. Given that we are looking for 3 strikers and Wilder clearly believes that Coburn, Akpom and Ikpeazu aren't actually good enough to be one of his 5 that leaves us with Watmore. We have seen enough to know that the following are or were part of our list Gyokeres, Joao, Semenyo, Muniz, Armstrong, Forss, Henry, Gayle, McGoldrick, Archer, Simpson (Ipswich). Of those, Gyokeres, Joao and Semenyo appear to have had deterrent price tags slapped on them by clubs. Plus, last time we were looking at Semenyo there were issues around his character while Joao does have a worrying injury record. Gyo
  24. My read on Wilder is that he is NOT a manager who develops young players or projects. He has no obvious interest in it and shows no signs of doing it. He seems really good at getting players who are already good enough to play above themselves. If a young player is already capable of playing at the current level then Wilder simply plays him: Jones being the classic example. Players like Coburn or Balogun who could possibly develop quite quickly with the right coaching are his weak spot. He'll play them if he has to but will drop them the minute he can get someone better in their position
  25. Top 2: Norwich, WBA Top 3-6: Watford, Boro, Sheff Utd, Sunderland Play off winners: Watford Relegated. Blackpool, Birmingham, Reading Top Scorer: Gayle Surprise package: Sunderland Boro final spot: 5th
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