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Everything posted by Bruce

  1. I think Wilder needs to shake things up a bit and also prod the team into attacking at pace. I also think he needs to start jettisoning those who aren't along for the journey. So, I would go 3-4-3 and move Jones up front. Daniels (but not allowed more than 2 in his wall) Dijksteel Fry/Bamba Bola/Peltier McNair Howson McGree Tav Jones Coburn Balogun It's a bit harsh on Watmore but he has done better as an impact sub. If Fry isn't back I think Bamba will have recovered. Bola has been really hot and cold but is a natural left-footer who could play LCB. Subs: Lumley,
  2. Heckingbottom's success at Sheffield Utd since he took over mid-season has been founded on reverting to Wilderball. He says that they focus on crossing earlier than under Wilder but that's about it. It has taken Corberan 2 years to get Huddersfield playing the way he wants. Nathan Jones at Luton and Mark Robins at Coventry have both had several years to get their teams right. Bielsa at Leeds took time to get the team the way he wanted. The only really successful manager of a non-money-ball team who hasn't been more than a season at a club is Steve Cooper with Forest. Fulham and Bournemouth are
  3. Boro breakdown podcast did a good analysis of this. Basically some shocking organisation. Watmore is pointing at Rhodes being free but can't deal with it because he's the only one up the pitch. Bamba spots what's going to happen so starts dropping back but the delivery is too good and he ends up caught in no-man's land: trying to mark Saar and cover the cross to Rhodes at the same time but failing at both. We do outnumber them by 1 in the middle but with a third person in the wall rather than picking up a runner from deep, we are outnumbered out wide. It's a really simple free kick which is we
  4. I think this is 40% online hysteria, 40% trolling and wind-up merchants, and 15% Wilder screwing up an answer. Johns in the Gazette says that something similar happened at Sheff Utd when Sunderland tried to lure him away. I also get the impression that Wilder has a bunch of red lines about things he will and won't say to the media and one of those may be comments about never denying nor confirming future employment. I think, given that football is a small world, that someone from Burnley may well have sounded out Wilder informally and he may well have informally said "maybe, under c
  5. Not sure it was completely sussed out but it has definitely lost its novelty impact. I am seeing more teams playing 3 at the back with 2 strikers or a front 3 so I think it's more a case of figuring out how to adjust it. Looking at the last 5 games we have conceded 4 goals. 2 from poor defensive marking from a free-kick, 1 rank bad keeper error and 1 on the counter chasing a game. Three of those 4 should never have happened. I think this is largely what happened in the Prem with Sheffield Utd. They kept narrowly losing games 1-0 when the higher quality of teams put them under more press
  6. This is nicely laid out. I did hear Wilder say that there was only supposed to be two people in the wall but Daniels insisted on 3. If that's the case, then possibly we're a man down on the marking leaving Rhodes free.
  7. Saw a really interesting graphic just now. Connolly, presumably under instruction, played very wide on the left. He actually took up the same position for us as Solanke did for Bournemouth and neither had much impact on the game. It looks like Bola, Tav and Connolly were incredibly congested while Watmore was very isolated up front. Bournemouth focused their play down their left, possibly trying to pin Jones back. Howson spent most of the game passing back to McNair. Our defence was also very high up the pitch which surprised me because I had got the impression we had dropped back a
  8. That's nuts. Unless there's something going on behind the scenes I can't imagine anyone better suited than him to either keep them up or take them straight back up. This is likely to be the start of Burnley doing a Sheffield Utd and sinking through the leagues for the next 10 years.
  9. Championship stats Hernandez for Brum: 17 games (1421 minutes), 3 goals, 2 assists. He hasn't scored or assisted in the last 8 games. Uche for Cardiff: 11 games (180 minutes), 3 goals, 0 assists. Hasn't started any games. Connolly for us: 14 games (1028 minutes), 2 goals, 0 assists Coburn: 14 games (331 minutes), 4 goals. Started 2 games Given that Coburn and Uche are largely playing the same role, it was definitely the right call to keep Coburn over him. They've both had similar game time with Coburn having slightly better results. Replacing Hernandez with Conno
  10. Oof, though at least we aren't WBA. The only thing I will say is that the system Wilder uses will create a lot of chances but they may often not be as good in reality as on paper. We'll often camp in the opponent's third and keep trying to overload but because we have so many players committed to attack we have to be pretty careful about not losing the ball at the wrong time. Interesting that Sheffield Utd are pretty low as well. Saw an interview with their manager who is explicitly using a tweaked form of Wilderball - they cross into the box earlier than is normal with Wilder. If o
  11. Connolly works hard for the team and plays a role; I just don't think he has any football intelligence. He reminds me of playing football at school and there would always be one or two kids who ran around a lot but really didn't achieve much. He has some pace, strength and an ability to turn a defender but then he has absolutely no clue what to do next. He's played 45 times in the Premier league and 13 in the Championship in 3 seasons scoring a total of 7 goals; 2 of those were on his first start. To his credit, he's taking on a thankless task of harrying defenders for about 70 minutes an
  12. 1. Which two strikers do we go for this time? Seems no reason to change a winning team. I remain of the opinion that Connolly is league one at best but he plays a role for us. Balogun has made a bit of a step up; if he keeps on improving at his current rate he'll be a strength for the team over the rest of the season. Particularly important to see him linking with Tav and Bola. 2. How do we stop Mitrovic? You stop the rest of the team. Fulham are good but the difference between Fulham and the rest of the Championship is less than that between Man City/Liverpool and the rest of
  13. 1. If Dael Fry and/or McNair are out, who would you put in to replace them? Bamba > Fry, Peltier > McNair 2. Which two forwards would you start and why? Viduka and Hasselbaink. Failing that, Balogun and Watmore. 3. Predict the final top 6 and bottom 3 Top six: Fulham, Bournemouth, Huddersfield, Forest, Boro, Sheffield United. Bottom three: Derby, Peterborough, Barnsley 4. Do you feel confident in Joe Lumley, especially with such high pressure games coming up? I reckon he'll do ok. 5. With easter coming up, what's your easter egg of choice this
  14. He's been really impressive for Huddersfield though I think he had a long spell out with a knee injury. He's a year younger than Nathan Wood but massively ahead of him in development. He would definitely fit the model of left-footed centre back that Wilder prefers but hard to see us getting him next year unless we're promoted and Huddersfield aren't because I'm pretty sure they will want another loan of him. As far as I can see, he has started every game he was available for. If Huddersfield get promoted and we don't, maybe they would look elsewhere.
  15. Possibly over-optimistic Didn't expect Blackburn to get into the top 6 or Forest to do so poorly. I think I must have been smoking something.
  16. I said "failing" not the best in the division. I would say we have play-off standard midfield and defence, a mid-table keeper and a bottom 6 strike force.
  17. As we're set up it's also not a classic defensive midfielder position. Howson is the deepest of the three but he's not meant to be a destroyer, he's meant to dictate the game. It requires a massive amount of game intelligence plus extreme fitness. For example, if you put a pure defensive midfielder like Morsy or Clayton there, they would come up short. McNair might be able to do it but I think his endurance might not be up to scratch. What you're looking for is a Brian Robson/Steven Gerrard type midfielder. In more recent times, Barry Robson and Ledbitter would also have been ideal. It's defin
  18. I think that's unfair on Peltier. He's had one stinker of a match but mostly he has come in and plugged a gap in a no-nonsense way. I don't think it's a priority to keep him but he can at least cover most positions at the back in an emergency. I can see us keeping Peltier and Bamba if we're in the championship next season. Taylor has also generally been fine. He got found out against Chelsea but they clearly worked out a game plan to double-up on him and we weren't quick enough to respond. I do suspect that ultimately Tav's best position will be LWB so I don't see us keeping Taylor. Still
  19. Wood's problem is that his route to the first team is blocked. He only really plays RCB and there's no way he's getting a game there ahead of Dijksteel, McNair or even Peltier. Coulson, like Connolly, has gone backwards since he broke through. He's now not getting a game for POSH. Shame because I really liked Coulson as a player. Seems to me that if we buy a better LCB than McNair that Paddy will move into midfield and cover LCB. If we buy a better central midfielder than Howson then Paddy stays LCB. I don't see us buying both. As far as I can tell, our first team priorities are a s
  20. I agree but with a caveat. Dijksteel, Jones, Bola and Spence all took at least 12 months from signing to come good. Crooks was the exception but he was, I think, Rotherham's player of the season after a year in the Championship so he was as close to a sure bet as you can get in the Championship. I agree that we have a bad habit of making failed statement signings. If Payero stays and gets over his run of bad luck he could come good next year but in many ways, blowing pretty much our entire transfer budget on him was a vanity move. Lea Siliki was a waste of money, Sporar looks like the lat
  21. Assuming that we are in the Championship, that the only player we sell is Spence and that all the loan players go home, I'm not convinced that we have a lot of money to play with. I'm not convinced that Lumley will be replaced unless we get a really good loan deal because I think it might be hard to afford an upgrade. I suspect that a left-footed CB is #1 or #2 on the priority list. If the incomer is better in that position than McNair then maybe McNair replaces Howson. Obviously strikers remain a problem. Wilder does play his cards close to his chest. Generally though, if he's
  22. It was a solid, workmanlike performance with no weak links and the occasional moment of real quality from us in the second half. Make no bones about, Brum were poor. Even their good spell in the first half was more down to our failings than anything special from them. On the glass half-full front, Connolly and Balogun both had their best game for us and proved a real handful for Brum. Balogun in particular looked to be getting the measure of the Championship. On the glass half-empty front, Brum played like a disinterested league 1 team and I worry that means C&B have shown only that t
  23. Unless things change, every season the gap between the Premier league and Championship grows. Each season we spend in the Championship puts us further behind being able to survive in the Premier league. If we did go up this season it is hard to see us staying up but if we wait another year I don't see it getting any easier.
  24. Depending on injuries Lumley Dijksteel - Fry - McNair Jones - Crooks - Howson - Tav - Taylor Watmore - Balogun Strongly tempted though to start 3-4-3 Lumley Dijksteel - Fry - McNair Jones - Crooks - Howson - Tav Watmore - Sporar - Balogun Will Sporar regain his confidence and finish the season on 15 goals? I think he'll improve a bit and get into double figures Who else did we nearly sign when we signed Saville from Millwall? This answer deliberately left blank How many will we win by? I think we may win b
  25. probably not and, realistically, there's no time on the training ground to work on it. Presumably the team has been drilled in the 3-4-3 as their back up so maybe he could start with it. We are starting to suffer from lack of depth. The injuries to McGree and Payero haven't helped because there's simply no one good enough to step in for Howson, Tav and Crooks; they must be really feeling the pace. The one area I think Wilder has screwed the pooch in is with the forwards. Sporar has gone backwards at a rate of knots; Connolly isn't good enough; Balogun isn't ready and maybe never wil
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