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Everything posted by Bruce

  1. Clearly we only have so much to spend on transfers and new wages. We don't know what it is but it will be less than clubs with parachute payments. We could sign, for example, Ben Gibson and pay him something like £40K/week but I wouldn't mind betting that doing that seriously eats into the remaining money for wages. You could argue that the priority is strikers and cover in midfield so making do with Bola, McNair and Lenihan (Lenihan seems to be a little more two-footed than the average CB) to save on wages might be a better option. I personally suspect that we can't afford Gibson, Armst
  2. Loans in. 21-22 Onel Hernández, James Léa Siliki, Andraž Šporar, Aaron Connolly, Folarin Balogun. Successes? 0 20-21 Marcus Bettinelli, Patrick Roberts, Yannick Bolasie, Neeskens Kebano. Successes? Maybe Bolasie 19-20 Patrick Roberts, Lukas Nmecha, Ravel Morrison, Harold Moukoudi. Successes? Maybe Roberts. 18-19 Jordan Hugill, Muhamed Bešić, Sam McQueen, Danny Batth, George Saville, Rajiv van La Parra. Successes? Batth. (Technically Saville, I had forgotten we loaned him first. Bešić's second spell was indifferent.) 17-18 Connor Roberts, Lewis Baker, Jack Harrison, Muh
  3. There's a right time and a wrong time to sell one of your best players and this is definitely the wrong time. We may end up with no choice and, certainly, McGree can play the LCM role. McGree has a different set of skills to Tav: looks more creative but possibly lacks the defensive ability. Howson's role would become even more demanding. More than just that, losing Tav sends out a negative message. At the moment, we're something like half-way through a rebuild, if that. It gets much harder to complete if you have to take a step back. Last season we started the season with Joe L
  4. That is what we have failed to do for a long time now. For about three years under Mowbray and AK we did recruit well but that's it. It's not just bad choices, it is inconsistent choices and lack of any sort of joined up approach. I counted 25 players bought in since January 2021 (not counting this summer) and precisely two are left in the first team squad: Crooks and McGree. Hopefully, under Scott, we will at least have some sort of plan but I'm not seeing any sort of evidence that our ability to spot and recruit the right players has improved. To be fair, Steffen, Giles and
  5. Rav is too like Roy Keane. No way is he a manager or even a team player. His criticisms are correct but he was also part of the problem. Robbo's charisma and Gibson's chequebook attracted players but Robbo couldn't manage them.
  6. The person with the most to lose is Spence. If he doesn't get a move before Spurs go away it makes it much harder for him to get into the team. For us, the Spence money is a windfall we didn't expect when we appointed Wilder. Someone will pay us what we ask so we can hang tough. For Spurs, the deal is optional. What is happening is that Spence is getting squeezed. Spurs will be looking for him or us to reduce their demands and he's the one with something to lose. The wildcard is Conte. It's unlikely that he'll put in an ultimatum over Spence but he may pressure Levy; after all Spence's v
  7. That might explain missing players like Payero, Boyd Munce, Gibson etc.
  8. That's the thing. If he is our third or fourth best striker, then we're in a decent place.
  9. How good is Gyokeres? One of the best strikers in the league last season in a decent team. It was his breakout season. Whether he can build on that is the question. Does he fit into our pattern of play? Coventry largely played some version of 3-5-2 possession-based football with Gyokeres one of the front two. He played 45 games, 3,600 minutes with a goal or assist every other game. His endurance and performance is exactly what we're looking for. He doesn't seem to play in the manner of a Wilder forward. According to Whoscored, he's weak defensively and easy to knock off the ball and
  10. Good start, looked the real thing then nothing. The best of our strikers last season but that's not saying a lot. It kind of feels that either covid hit him hard or he was mismanaged and lost interest because he was a shadow of himself from the end of January.
  11. This is a bit of an urban myth. Wilder doesn't actually rotate his strikers. In the promotion season, Sharp and McGoldrick started pretty much every game they could. He does routinely sub off one of his strikers after about 60 minutes. He only 'rotated' our strikers because none of them earned a place. In general, Wilder is old-school and doesn't rotate. If you're in the team you get dropped if you're not performing. He doesn't generally rotate players in and out for fitness reasons. If he thinks you're the best option in that position and you can play, you play.
  12. It does make the point that part of whether a player is a success is the system he plays in. For Cardiff he played 21 times with 9 assists. They seem to have played a mix of 3-5-2 and 4-2-3-1 with him playing left wing-back or left wing. For Blackburn he played 10 times with 1 assist but didn't play in a settled position or formation. Blackburn were also having Mogga's traditional new year nightmare. Like Jones, he seems ideally suited to be an attacking wing-back/winger. He's probably a better crosser than Jones but we're not a team that focuses on crosses into the box so it'll come down
  13. An odd one this. Seemed like a Warnock signing and started well but Warnock was soon saying that he was never intended to be a first choice forward and he was bombed out of the team as soon as Sporar signed. Wilder clearly never fancied him. Went on loan to Cardiff but couldn't get into the team ahead of Hugill. At first he looked destined to be a cult hero but three managers in the same season didn't fancy him. He's a victim of a really confused recruitment process this summer. As a player he probably gave us a solid 6/10 when he got pitch time but as yet another piece of botched recruit
  14. That probably explains why so many of the senior u23s were let go. Looking at the squad list on Transfermarkt, only Brad James and Boyd-Munce are over 21. (Hemming and Brynn are out on loan).
  15. Every club misses out on many targets every year. If Wilder starts making passive-aggressive comments about the ones he doesn't have then he'll be showing himself no better than the likes of Warnock and Pulis who spent their entire tenure blaming everyone but themselves.
  16. Updating this. GK. none Defenders: Dijksteel, Fry, McNair, Wingbacks: Jones, (Fisher, Coulson, Bola) Midfield: (Howson), Crooks, McGree, Tav, (Payero) Forwards: Watmore, (Coburn) U23s to step up. Gibson, Bilongo, Boyd-Munce Fisher, Bola, Coulson and Payero all look to be on the shoogly peg. Howson in brackets because I presume Wilder wants him but it might be difficult to agree a new contract. I think Wilder would rather have Coburn go out on loan but may wait to see if he needs him on the bench.
  17. It all seems pretty simple really. Conte wants Spence but Levy fancies himself a master haggler. Levy will drag this out for as long as he can so that either Spence or us (or, ideally from his point of view, both) reduce what they're looking for. We want to sell but we're not in a tearing hurry because we know we'll sell him to someone at some point; Gibson can bridge incoming transfers with security. Conte will get annoyed if this drags on because Spence will miss some pre-season. Spence will also start to get concerned if it looks like he's risking missing out on what is likely to be his pre
  18. Really bright start but Covid and international absences meant he missed a crucial 6 weeks and then took a some time to rebuild his sharpness. Has shown an eye for goal and really good passing range. I think he potentially is a better option than Tav on the left of midfield going forward but Tav is better defensively there. Two goals in 7 starts is an excellent return. Undoubtedly our best January recruitment but that is a low bar. Rated him 7 but as a signing he should probably only be a 4-5 so far because absences meant he didn't have the impact we needed from him. Medium term, I
  19. I suspect that when historians look back on this era they'll discover that Taylor offered more than we realised at the time. During our best run, he marshalled the left side well. Obviously more defensive than Jones but he still frequently showed up in the opponents' 6 yard box. With McNair not having a left foot, Taylor lacked options for attacking play and generally focused on triangles with Tav and whichever one of the striker mystery box selection turned up on his side of the pitch. I think this was a solid 5 or 6 of a signing. He always did a job under difficult circumstances. A bit
  20. As far as I can tell, the issue seems to be that Wilder wants his defence to play a high line which means that main criteria is a keeper who can work as an auxiliary defender. That means being able to read the game well, good positioning and good sprinting speed. Lumley was quick but that was it. Daniels wasn't good at any of those, forcing the defence to play deeper. He seems less worried about distribution because we don't generally play on the counter.
  21. We've made worse signings in the last 5 years. I gave him 2 but 3 is probably fairer. He's on a long slide down to nowhere. He tried for a while. He was a really bad misjudgement. Up there with JLS in that respect.
  22. Agreed. If anything, the central midfielder is more of a box to box type. Wilder doesn't play with a defensive midfield destroyer type. All three midfielders are meant to disrupt the opponents up high or, if not possible, to sit in a shape and block off the passes. We don't routinely play with a high-press. We occasionally press if the opponent is struggling a bit and he does like to win the ball high up when we can but mostly we sit in a shape that's quite high up the pitch and challenge the other side to pick a way through or play it over the top. As far as I can see, the main inte
  23. Did nothing wrong Did nothing right Played some darts.
  24. To be honest, I'm not sure. Looking at who he picked and who made it onto the bench he gave every impression of not wanting to put any of the U23s on the bench. Coburn got bench time but it's clear that Wilder didn't rate any of the strikers at the club, including his two loanees. Looking at Transfermarkt, there's only 8 of our U23s with a contract beyond the end of June 2022. Gibson and Dodds have signed new contracts so that means I can identify just 10 of the current U23 squad that will still be there on 1st July. Overall, I get the impression that he thinks that most of the 1st
  25. I got that impression towards the end of the season. Players I imagine he wants to keep for the first team squad. (Maybes in brackets) GK. (Brynn) Defenders: Dijksteel, Fry, McNair Midfield: Jones, Howson, Crooks, McGree, Tav, Forwards: Watmore, (Coburn) U23s to step up. Gibson, (Bilongo, Boyd-Munce). Possible Fisher to return. If that's right, we hardly even have a 1st 11. That's a massive amount of turnover and implies he's hoping to ditch: Lumley, Daniels, Hall, Coulson, Bola, Payero, Olusnaya, Ameobi, Uche, Akpom and pretty much all of the U23s loa
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