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Reflections on a weird season and hope for a better one to come.


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46 minutes ago, sanddancer said:

The point being none settled in and we just got worse as the season rolled on and finally give up. A centre back is not what we needed but a new manager. How the hell SG can put faith and money in NW is simply financial suicide.  

As mentioned above I do feel the lack of depth and quality in the first half of the season had an impact with us unable to rotate and rest players in our squad meaning we struggled in the 2nd half of the season. The likes of Mcnair were playing 4 games in 8-9 days with the international breaks but we didn't have any option to rest him given injuries and lack of quality to cover him. I think we were only a point off Watford when we got to January. Unfortunately our 3 loanees came with a lack of match sharpness requiring time to settle and then we lost the likes of Tav Dijksteel and Fry at important parts of the season.

I agree with the second part I do worry with giving Warnock significant money considering he has probably got no more than 12 months left with us. It would be a huge gamble and if it goes wrong it sets us back another few years. However we need a fair few signings to even get on par regarding the standard of our squad for this season. 

 

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We let in way too many soft goals ..  Yes every team has injuries ... But take away Hall and/or Fry and our defence is made up of midfielders  and wingbacks ... and that's without counting Fisher

I was watching Brighton play the other day and I couldn’t help thinking about the day we beat them to gain promotion and the fortunes of both clubs since.    Brighton have steadily improved the

What a weird ride it has been!  I am still thankful, that NW saved us from relegation previous season and I, probably on my own, am not that dissatisfied with this season, if you look at the thin

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We finished exactly where I expected us to, in all honesty. Always found the talk of play offs baffling when we just about stayed up last year and didn't improve the squad in any meaningful way. 

You can get promoted with average players and a great manager (likes of Leeds, Sheff Utd, Burnley) or you can just have a bigger squad with much better players than everyone else (Bournemouth, Watford, WBA, Fulham etc). Then you get Wolves, Norwich, Newcastle that have both and walk the league. 

We had the money to make a bigger, better squad than everyone else and blew it... We've also had about 5 opportunities to get the manager right. Now we have neither and that won't be changing over the summer, so I think people need to be realistic.

Is Gibson working behind the scenes to bring in an ambitious, upcoming Bundesliga manager to take over Warnock's steady mid-table ship? Find it hard to believe personally. 

Foreign billionaire fancies an investment in the north east? Again, highly doubt it... and careful what you wish for anyway and all that.

We're a mid-table Championship side until a big catalyst comes in. 

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2 hours ago, Downsouth said:

Never thought we would be dead cert for promotion but was pretty satisfied with the way things were overall up to Xmas as we were in the chase for a thrilling end of season as play off spot was well within our grasp.

Then it all went wrong and the annoying thing is I can't quite put my finger on as to the reasons why.

Only one aspect about Boro became clear that when it really mattered it simply failed to be for us fans, let down always and we just withered away

Indeed.

We can point to lack of quality and strength in depth, (which definitely were factors), but how often did Boro concede ridiculously soft goals, either due to inept keeping or defending...basic schoolboy errors?

If we'd at least been decently organised at the back, (not watertight - just decent), we might well be looking forward to the play-offs.

 

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2 hours ago, sanddancer said:

The point being none settled in and we just got worse as the season rolled on and finally give up. A centre back is not what we needed but a new manager. How the hell SG can put faith and money in NW is simply financial suicide.  

In fairness to Gibson, he's not likely going to invest a lot of money while Warnock is in charge. I expect he'll be given a modest transfer budget...just a bit more than he had this season. Its not going to be another Garry Monk spending spree, thats for sure.

At the moment I think the club is in damage limitation mode until they can get fans back in the stadium and money coming through the turnstiles.

I think its a case of better the devil you know. We're not likely to improve much next season, but another mid-table finish will do while the club gets back on its feet financially and is in a position to attract a better standard of manager.

I mean, if you were a talented and ambitious manager, would you look at Boro as a good career move right now?

 

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Bournemouth, Southampton, Leicester City ,Sheffield United, Norwich, Watford, Burnley, Leeds, Aston Villa, Wolves, Crystal Palace, Brighton, Fulham, West Brom we used to be on a very even par with them all and I would suggest above par at certain times.

In relation to this season where the hell did it go so wrong with those teams above though yes I accept that we will be playing against 3 of them next season we all know we did not set the world alight with last seasons relegated clubs.

Ok yes I am living in the past somewhat but still believe we could still be at their level and competeing with them all

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44 minutes ago, Downsouth said:

Bournemouth, Southampton, Leicester City ,Sheffield United, Norwich, Watford, Burnley, Leeds, Aston Villa, Wolves, Crystal Palace, Brighton, Fulham, West Brom we used to be on a very even par with them all and I would suggest above par at certain times.

In relation to this season where the hell did it go so wrong with those teams above though yes I accept that we will be playing against 3 of them next season we all know we did not set the world alight with last seasons relegated clubs.

Ok yes I am living in the past somewhat but still believe we could still be at their level and competeing with them all

In a nutshell poor forward planning and financial management...for quite some time now. Not just this season.

I seem to recall someone commenting somewhere that Gibson still runs the club the same way he did 30 years ago, when you'd just get a manager in, give them a budget and see what happened. Bringing players in on whatever terms we could get them to sign for and worrying about the consequences later.

Contrast that with Norwich's methodical planning, deciding on a playing philosophy, scouting players that fit the style and their budget. Using sound financial planning to ensure that if things didn't work out, they wouldn't have to make drastic cuts. Also keeping faith with a manager even if they got relegated.

Seems quite a few clubs have cottoned on to this kind of management style, as it brings a certain amount of stability and predictability...which probably keeps shareholders happy too.

Boro are just being left behind by more modern-thinking clubs. ☹️

 

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1 hour ago, AnglianRed said:

Contrast that with Norwich's methodical planning, deciding on a playing philosophy, scouting players that fit the style and their budget. Using sound financial planning to ensure that if things didn't work out, they wouldn't have to make drastic cuts. Also keeping faith with a manager even if they got relegated.

Seems quite a few clubs have cottoned on to this kind of management style, as it brings a certain amount of stability and predictability...which probably keeps shareholders happy too.

That's exactly it... this approach is no longer even innovative. It's simply the bare minimum for any club that wants to be successful in the modern game.

We're already years behind these forward-thinking clubs but Gibson can't seem to see it. Sadly we have more in common with the likes of other left-behinds such as Derby, Sheff Wed, & Sunderland.

If you gave us £100m I'm not at all confident we would win the league next year and that says a lot. 

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I was watching Brighton play the other day and I couldn’t help thinking about the day we beat them to gain promotion and the fortunes of both clubs since. 
 

Brighton have steadily improved their playing staff without going crazy and they took the difficult decision to replace their solid but successful manager with a more progressive one. 
It’s taken a while for Potter to get the team playing the way he wants them to but they are playing decent football now. 
 

Two similar sides that were in almost identical positions and are now miles apart. 

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1 hour ago, BillyWoofs_shinpad said:

I was watching Brighton play the other day and I couldn’t help thinking about the day we beat them to gain promotion and the fortunes of both clubs since. 
 

Brighton have steadily improved their playing staff without going crazy and they took the difficult decision to replace their solid but successful manager with a more progressive one. 
It’s taken a while for Potter to get the team playing the way he wants them to but they are playing decent football now. 
 

Two similar sides that were in almost identical positions and are now miles apart. 

Not being pedantic buddy but did we not draw? Am sure there was heart in mouth time inthe last few mins when we nearly allowed Brighton to take the lead

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1 minute ago, Downsouth said:

Not being pedantic buddy but did we not draw? Am sure there was heart in mouth time inthe last few mins when we nearly allowed Brighton to take the lead

But in drawing we beat them to promotion. 😉

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A couple of things I am optimistic about are that we have a full preseason ahead of us which we didn’t have last year. 

I think the extended rest will do us good and time on the training field will be beneficial in terms of tactics and shape.

hopefully the schedule of games will be a bit lighter as well - I don’t think there was much coaching done between games at times last season due to the fixtures. 

 

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3 hours ago, Downsouth said:

Not being pedantic buddy but did we not draw? Am sure there was heart in mouth time inthe last few mins when we nearly allowed Brighton to take the lead

Yep you are right and not in the least bit pedantic DS.
 

 

My mind is a bit cloudy at the moment as you can imagine. 

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