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Brentford v Boro 0-0

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1 hour ago, Brunners said:

He didn't play vs Blackburn at the time because Warnock didn't think it was the right kind of game for him.

Afterwards, upon reflection he realised he was wrong and that it was the perfect game for him. The fact he owned up to the mistake publicly was good and hopefully he can not do it many more times.

I don't think it's difficult to understand that NW clearly only thinks he's suitable to a certain type of game, that at the time he hasn't thought we've been in.

The muscles stuff is just about why he can't just play every minute of every game, we have to manage him (not sure if it's a temporary thing or a permanent muscle issue), but the two things aren't mutually exclusive. His muscles can be okay to play AND Warnock can think it's not right to bring him on.

I don't think it's that odd when you look at NW, against Brentford for example I'd be willing to bet he thought if he put Roberts on they'd get too much space to attack in the final however many minutes were left after he puts him on and the later he leaves it, the easier it is to say "it's too dangerous now".

Not being funny but what will be the right type of game for him?  The two games he's played so far were away at Bristol City, who I think were top or second, and at home against Coventry who were struggling.  We've had players missing and three games in a week and he doesn't get a single minute?  And again, this is in games where we are struggling to score a goal.   The Forest and Blackburn games we were on top and searching for a goal, the Brentford game we were second best in terms of possession.  They were all completely different types of games and he doesn't get a look in for any of them? 

I understand the muscles thing is that he can't play every minute of every game, but there's no danger of that anyway cos he's hardly playing at all!  The only players to have played fewer minutes than him so far are Wing, Wood, and the other seemingly persona non grata, Browne.  Even Fletcher and Hall have got more minutes than him and they've barely played because of injuries. We're not talking about a kid, we're talking about a lad we've got on loan from Man City who has been a big part of a title winning squad, albeit up in the Scotland.  And this player played a lot more for us at the end of last season in a variety of games didn't he? 

Any manager can say they didn't pick a player because they thought it was the wrong game for him or whatever.  We've had different versions of that from Karanka and Pulis with certain players.  I think it was *** then and I think it is now.  I'll also repeat this again - we are struggling to score goals and win games.  If that continues we won't finish in the top 6 this season as we just won't win enough games.

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7 hours ago, Brunners said:

He already has. Whether you believe him or not is another thing, but he's already said he believed the midfield of Brentford was too physical and it wasn't the right kind of game for Roberts.

He did indeed but then we have to ask what part of football is not physical. I think there is much more to what he publicly says and what’s happening behind the scenes..  

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maybe we are overthinking it all on the roberts no shows. maybe all it is, is NW doesnt like making tactical changes when he is happy with how its going. he only does like for like subs if someone is tired as far as i can see. who else was like that with subs? was it Robbo? cnat remember but i do remember getting annoyed by it lol

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8 hours ago, Redcar Rioja said:

Having witnessed improvements in several players at the Riverside during his short time here NW might just know exactly what he is doing with Roberts.

I think, or perhaps hope, that there is something to this. I think given the position we're in that he's perhaps earned the benefit of the doubt for now. But he also has to accept that we've not long since had a manager who kept making excuses not to play somebody who can give him something he says he needs.

Warnock is his own man, though and maybe we should give him a little more time on this front given that we are still hanging around the positions we should be in. If it all goes pear shaped and nothing changes on the Roberts front, I think quite a lot of Boro fans are going to be suitably prepared to tackle him on it though.

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I'm leaning towards NW having a clear plan with Roberts. He's kept Bola and Coulson out for a long time while he's been here and suddenly they are in the lineup several games in a row. He puts a lot of emphasis on how the players behave in training and perhaps Roberts really needs to step it up a notch and not think he's going to automatically be first choice because he is a high earner on loan from City and he gets the fans on their feet. I doubt Warnock is keeping him on the bench in spite. And if he doesn't think Roberts is strong enough yet it doesn't help playing him if it's just going to be start-stop scenario due to injuries. Better to just build him up for an extra month or two. If he still doesn't get games after this break and the busy period up to january then perhaps it's because Warnock doesn't rate him.

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1 hour ago, Borodane said:

I'm leaning towards NW having a clear plan with Roberts. He's kept Bola and Coulson out for a long time while he's been here and suddenly they are in the lineup several games in a row. He puts a lot of emphasis on how the players behave in training and perhaps Roberts really needs to step it up a notch and not think he's going to automatically be first choice because he is a high earner on loan from City and he gets the fans on their feet. I doubt Warnock is keeping him on the bench in spite. And if he doesn't think Roberts is strong enough yet it doesn't help playing him if it's just going to be start-stop scenario due to injuries. Better to just build him up for an extra month or two. If he still doesn't get games after this break and the busy period up to january then perhaps it's because Warnock doesn't rate him.

I like what your thinking and hope its the former and not the latter. 

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35 minutes ago, Changing Times said:

I doubt it has anything to do with spite either FWIW.

I figured. It was more for a lack of better word. Should perhaps have said unconvinced. 

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3 minutes ago, Borodane said:

I figured. It was more for a lack of better word. Should perhaps have said unconvinced. 

Hey you don’t see any of us lot correcting your Danish. Leave our England alone 😉

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Roberts is a skilled attacker, albeit one with poor decision-making and little end product, but he is poor at the defensive side of the game.  I genuinely think we would have lost if Warnock had brought him on against Brentford because they would have cut through us too easily.  Blackburn were different, and I think he could have made a positive difference in that game.

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On 11/10/2020 at 4:47 PM, Uwe said:

Hey you don’t see any of us lot correcting your Danish. Leave our England alone 😉

I corrected myself🤯

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On 11/9/2020 at 3:03 PM, Redcar Rioja said:

Warnock has built a solid spine in the Team from an experienced and very vocal Goalkeeper to a defensive back line in front of him that is the tightest in the EFL. Bringing in the tenacity of Morsy with the experience of Howson and the savvy Saville who can maybe nick the odd goal (which is what he was actually bought for in the first place) provides a very strong and dominant midfield that don't get bossed about or brushed aside in games. 

In the matches that we have played so far our Midfield has for most of the time been on top which in turn takes massive pressure off the defence. The defence has looked watertight, McNair looking a class above at this level, Fry back to his best, Dijksteel almost frighteningly good whilst I don't recognise Bola at all such has been his performances compared to last season. Those eight positions/players are the framework and foundations upon which Warnock has built his team.  It's effectiveness in making us extremely difficult to beat has become very clear and obvious but most importantly and especially to opposition Managers who are actually uncomfortable in dealing with us. Having achieved that, which is in stark contrast to the shipwreck NW inherited, he is not going to jeopardise that in any way shape or form. He has even slowly morphed the shape from a back three to his preferred back four almost seamlessly.

After those eight bedrocks that leaves just three other positions with which to affect games but without damaging his foundation. He isn't the first Manager who believes that if you keep a clean sheet opportunities will come. Two of those three positions critically interact and dovetail with his RB and LB. Clearly they are encouraged to get forward but to make sure there are no gaps left behind. Spence is now dong that with a growing understanding with Dijksteel, in time that synergy will become almost telepathic. Johnson/Coulson have clearly been instructed to have the same mindset and to keep to the plan. Bola's emergence is more recent but in time there will be a partnership and understanding developed on the left.

The drawback which is blindingly obvious to us is that the Striker, be it Chuba or Britt is largely isolated and expected to graft and scrap. The "plan" is that Spence/Tav/Coulson/Johnson are expected to generate attacking threats with the support of an advancing midfielder as back up (Saville presumably) but without compromising defence, becoming stretched and exposed. It's maybe not exciting to watch but it is intriguing to see the organisation and the confidence building along with the vastly important belief. Why do I think belief is important? Well look at Reading a decent side but nothing overly special who were by far the form team in the Championship, unbeatable, that is up and until someone popped their bubble. Suddenly that confidence was shot and belief now gone. Likewise Derby, they are by no means the worst side in the Championship on paper but they are now totally bereft of any shred of confidence and belief. 

Had we shipped a late goal against Blackburn we would have been sickened. Warnock would have had to pick his players up for the trip to Brentford. Having been shorn of both Morsy and Saville on Saturday his midfield was not his preferred trio meaning that there was a perception of a possible, flaw, a weakness that wouldn't normally be present. It didn't materialise much to the credit of Tav and Wing. Granted Wing looked rusty at times but Brentford lost the midfield battle, they struggled to get their normal game together. I would have loved to see Roberts come on, dribble past three defenders and upended for a 89th minute penalty to Boro. Conversely I would have also been equally livid if he done it just over the half way line, lost possession and Brentford scored as a direct consequence. 

Of course I would much prefer to see more guile and attacking intent from NW. He did want Bolasie so that indicates to me that he probably wants the same but only by being assured of the quality going forward not being at the expense of a clean sheet. NW has a plan, his players understand, respect it, trust it and stick to it. That plan has taken a relegation haunted squad to one that now thinks itself capable of getting into the play offs, even the automatic places. Our new found resilience is still in its infancy, we are not quite infallible just yet, Warnock knows that. As that belief builds we will see more risks from confident players going forward but never at the expense of keeping a clean sheet.

Roberts is a Player that can unlock defences but like Warnock I'm not convinced that it will always be the right defence. When he has played for us there have been plenty of comments about him learning to pass the  ball or not taking on one Player too many, thats a luxury which could bite us on the backside. One worth taking if we win but a gamble that we could struggle to get back on track if we don't, as Reading are now finding. If we are behind and chasing a game Roberts can maybe be that talismanic locksmith for us but we forgetting what its like to go behind.

We are four points off top spot with a quarter of the season almost gone. Admittedly with more risks we may even have been top but we could also have been on a three or four game losing streak. Building something takes time and patience, if we weren't making progress then by all means we would have cause to complain but Boro are progressing. When the season started not many would have predicted that Boro would be four points off top spot at the November International break. 

I remember previously in the Championship Grant having a go at the fans for being impatient witnessing sideways and backwards passing during Karanka's reign, booing even. He tried to get across that it was in their game plan, retain possession and tease the opposition out but don't over commit. They knew what they were doing and that it was deliberate. In the end it achieved the desired objective although it was difficult to watch. I get that some fans want exciting football but to me football is a game of strategy not just excitement, winning to me is far more important than playing well and everyone loving us. We done that before briefly with Ravanelli and Juninho etc. but it cost an unsustainable fortune, the media loved us but couldn't give a stuff when we went down. Now more than ever it is all about survival and not just on the pitch but off it.

Meantime I am enjoying watching a master at work and seeing the confidence and belief building week on week, especially with players many of whom had been written off and indeed many on here are still seemingly desperately determined to write off. It may not be a popular Jurgen or Pep style fast paced comedy with lots of excitement and laugh out loud moments, instead it is more akin to a Nordic noir thriller, simple, realistic, intriguing yet compelling right to the very end. 

 

Very good post, Anthony 👍

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42 minutes ago, Snowblind said:

The last time England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 beat the Republic of Ireland 🇮🇪 

Animated GIF

Fixed it for you 😃

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