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Everything posted by Bruce

  1. Team? Probably the same as usual, Covid and injuries permitting. Probably a question of whether Watmore, Connolly or Balogun starts alongside Sporar. Presumably McGree will be added to the bench instead of Coburn. what do |I think of the new signings? Early days yet. They're either "projects" (Boyd-Munce etc) or calculated risks (Balogun, Connolly). McGree is the only one with any championship experience. Score? I actually fancy us for this. I think Blackburn have overachieved and that gravity might be about to suck them back down to mid-table. New signings befor
  2. A hard agree from me. Here's his Championship stats. He had been going along at a goal or assist every 4-5 matches in a team that was nearly relegated despite playing everywhere from left back to second striker. This season his productivity has really dropped off but he appears to be being re-trained in more disciplined left centre midfield role. While Crooks has played alongside Jones since Wilder started, Tav has been having to mix and match with Taylor, Bola and Peltier. Again, while Crooks has either McNair or Dijksteel behind him, Tav doesn't have a natural left-footer behind him. S
  3. This feels remarkably like his agent at work. I don't think any of these are going to spend 10m on a championship player who can't even play for them this season. I don't think Arsenal even play with wing backs.
  4. This is a thing isn't it. Although promotion is still relatively unlikely it is now possible and that means we need to be planning for it; something I suspect that wasn't on the agenda 2 months ago. It's hard to see that many of our current first team could make the step up but if you dismantle a promotion winning team it tends to go badly wrong.
  5. quick and dirty approximation. For each of the "big 6" to draw one of the non-big-6 in a round of 32 then I think it works out something like (out of 64, 6 are "big 6" and 58 are not) (58/63)*(57/61)*(56/59)*(55/57)*(54/55) Which is to say that around 77.4% of the time, none of the "big 6" will play each other in the third round or roughly 1 year in 4 (about 25% of the time) at least one match will be between two of the big 6. That's roughly consistent with draws over the last 12 years from the looks of it.
  6. Depending on who has recovered from the Rona I want us to put out the strongest team we can. We don't have any midweek matches coming up so we ought to be building momentum and drilling our first choice players in the formation rather than testing out fringe players. Assuming that our current first 11 (aside from known injuries) is Lumley Dijksteel Fry McNair Jones Crooks Howson Tav Taylor Watmore/Hernandez Sporar Then the only change I would make is Connolly for Watmore/Hernandez and putting Brynn on the bench. If Balogun is signed he can go on the bench. If
  7. Chambers would be a perfect fit for the right centre-back under Wilder because he can play right or centre back. Of course that's one position in which we are well stocked. My memory is that he was doing ok for Arsenal without ever really convincing anyone then had two long spells out injured.
  8. If I read this right, it indicates that he is an attacking right-sided midfielder. He would be playing in the same position as Crooks and Payero.
  9. For what it's worth this seems to be the list of registered and available players. I've removed confirmed Covid and injuries. Brackets are for loanees who might be eligible to play or players I think may have played a senior game at some point or have been mentioned as having Covid but not confirmed. Lumley, Daniels, Dejan, Brynn Dijksteel, Taylor, Hall, Fry, Peltier, (Wood), McNair, Bamba, Bola, (Spence 😁), Willi Kokolo (Tav), Hernandez, Payero, Siliki, Malley, Crooks, Sivi, Jones, Folarin Uche, Sporar, Watmore, Coburn Not counting keepers I see 21 outfield players wh
  10. I hadn't heard of Connolly before this so the fairest thing is probably to suspend judgement. It's just that whenever I see a manager taking on players with behavioural issues because they think they can sort them out, it rarely goes well. It's one thing taking on someone like Bamba, Watmore or Taylor on a short-term contract to see if they can get over physical injuries or lack of a club but Connolly looks more like the Ravel Morrison type: plenty of ability but not the right mind-set to realise it. At the moment, Connolly looks to be following the same path as every talented young play
  11. According to Transfermarkt (the source of all my knowledge) McGrath is a both-footed attacking midfielder. St Mirren seem to play him either as a number 10 or on the left of a front 3. So he does sound like an ideal fit for Wilderboro, providing competition for Tav. Assuming we can send JLS back, it's hard to imagine him ever playing for us under Wilder at this point.
  12. Looking at Transfermarkt, the season before he joined us Bamford played 23 times in League 1 for MK Dons scoring 14 and 3 assists then 21 times in the Championship for Derby scoring 8 with 3 assist. He was massively more experienced than Balogun who has, so far, played just twice in any sort of league. https://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/patrick-bamford/leistungsdatendetails/spieler/183334/plus/0?saison=2013&verein=&liga=&wettbewerb=&pos=&trainer_id= A nearer comparison would be Nketiah who has played 17 championship games (for Leeds). The Leeds fans were up in arms
  13. My memory is that we never won a game he played in under Woodgate. Probably more down to Woodgate's failings than Roberts' but what it reminded me of was when Juninho first started with us. At the time I thought that Robbo had unbalanced his "midget gems" set up and our initial good results started to go south. Looks like Roberts is one of those luxury players who can improve the best team in the division but weakens anyone else. It may also be that he had one golden spell at Celtic before being injured and never quite getting back to what he was. Sadly, I suspect that Warnock was right
  14. As someone who works in palliative care research in a university medical school but is not an infectious disease specialist or virologist what you say is well meaning but not quite right. Coronaviruses (i.e. the thing that causes Covid) are not something you can get herd immunity against. For example, many common colds are coronaviruses and no matter how many colds you catch, you can always catch more. Same with flu which is caused by a whole range of different flu viruses. As elimination seems impossible at this point (elimination of a virus is next to impossible apart from certain
  15. I agree that trying to do some sort of massive overhaul in January would be a huge mistake and represent us giving up on the playoffs. It's also not clear to me whether any of the loans we currently have can be sent back. If we have a conditional requirement to buy then odds are we don't have a termination clause. I think this means that we have a max of 2 loans left. If we can't send the loans back then that leaves us 1 space plus possibly moving on Hall and/or not re-signing Taylor. We haven't been able to sell Dejan so far and there's no reason to think that will change. Maybe we'll be
  16. I don't think he had played at centre back in a three until Warnock tried it. He was a midfielder at Charlton until pressed into service as a right back at the end of the season. I agree that right-sided centre back looks like his ideal position but he is in competition with McNair for that slot. McNair is currently filling on the left-side and doing a good job of it but he's not naturally left-footed so the defence feels imbalanced. We're fortunate to have Bamba and Peltier who are willing to act as experienced back-ups and Peltier can just about fill-in as a LCB in an emergency. If we do sig
  17. In a roundabout kind of way, this is reminding me of what happened when Pulis took over from Monk. Under Monk you really had no idea what the team was trying to do or be. Pulis instantly turned it into a simple, Pulis team and improved things purely by doing that. Wilder is doing the same. Each game we set up much the same and bar slight tweaks to deal with the opposition you know what we're going to try and do. Unlike Pulis, he is looking to play aggressive, attacking football but with a sound foundation. Like Pulis, he doesn't have quite the right players but the ones that he has are w
  18. We need 6 centre backs to play this formation Dijksteel. Injury prone. Inexperienced as a centre back. Can play RCB only Fry. Can play CB or back up RCB Bamba. Ideal back up CB McNair. Ideal RCB. Back up LCB Hall. Injury prone. Back up CB Wood. Potential but not clear if he will make it. Very inexperienced. Probably only RCB Lee Peltier. Back up RCB. Emergency back up LCB Given that we don't have a natural LCB and it is unclear whether Wood is good enough to get on the pitch then I can certainly see Hall being offered out to make room for a left footer.
  19. I think some of the descriptions are a bit off. Bottom left quadrant is weakest defensively and offensively so it is a little surprising to see Bola in there as relatively weak at both. Spence being quite strong defensively but not offensively does pretty much track his performances for us before he went on loan. I get the impression with Jones that he doesn't have a great defensive understanding of the role yet but he has loads of pace, is great in the tackle (ooo err matron) and great stamina.
  20. As far as I can tell Warnock's tactics were for the rest of the team to run around like junkyard dogs while Howson was supposed to plug all the gaps. The few occasions where he played right wing back and once or twice as a more progressive midfielder he was class. I doubt any player could play the role that Warnock asked Howson to without looking like a fool. I think he'll do a decent job in that position for Wilder for the rest of the season.
  21. I think we would only do a major overhaul if we've given up on the playoffs. I think I counted that we have turned over something like 18-20 players in the last two windows so, to an extent, it's no wonder that Warnock couldn't get them to gel. If we think we can make a challenge for the playoffs then it's really about filling in the depth. That may mean bringing Spence back, and perhaps a couple of loan players from the Prem. Possibly I can see Hall going and maybe Olusunya going out on loan to free up a couple of registered spaces. Probably try and sell or loan one of the keepers.
  22. To be fair, I do agree with this. It's a shame that now we finally appear to have good wingers that we have a manager who prefers a wingback system. One of the highlights of the early season was seeing Jones terrifying defenders. Fundamentally though, if Wilder feels that 3 at the back will bring more success then so be it. It may be that Jones turns out to be a good wingback. He has great energy and determination. It's another reason why we either had to stick with Warnock and let him build a team his way or part ways before the season started. What we have ended up doing hasn't d
  23. What are your expectations for this season with the new man in charge? I hope that we make the playoffs but expect us to fall just short. Providing I see signs of the team and players improving then I'm ok with that. What team do you expect Wilder to put out? Haven't a clue. Did you know that we almost signed Jed Wallace when we signed George Saville? New phone, who dis?
  24. It also recently occurred to me that in his time he has played under 4 vastly different managers (Monk, Pulis, Woodgate, Warnock) who all wanted him to do something completely different and never settled on his best position. If he lacks some consistency and struggles with decision-making you can hardly blame him. This is also only his third season where he's a regular starter. One season under Woodgate, one season under Warnock in empty stadiums. Frankly, if I were Tav I would be thinking it's probably time to move on unless Wilder comes up with the goods. I would be looking at Bam
  25. 4-2-3-1 with Sivi as a right back and Walker as a #10 is interesting. Don't know if Wilder has asked for this or if it is Lee's idea. I do wonder if Wilder might have considered switching to a back 4 during his time out.
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