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Boro vs PNE (a) 3-2 (Ayala (2), Howson)

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Of course they were percentage balls.  Come on Rich, you've been around for long enough to know the difference between long passes and long balls.  We were launching it forwards in the general direction of the big bloke up front or in the general direction of whoever was up front as we still tried it after Gestede went off.  That's percentage football.  You're banking on winning flicks or winning the second ball from knock downs etc.  You know fine well what it is and you really don't need me or anyone else to explain it to you.

 

We were passing to the forward.  Lack of ability made it in the general direction.  If your saying a 40yd pin point pass is genius and a 40yd pass that misses by 6ft is hoofball then fair enough it was hoofball

 

No, we were launching it to him and sometimes it got to him and sometimes it didn't.  A long pass is just that, a pass.  A long ball is different.  A 40 yard pin point pass to someones feet isn't genius but it's a good pass certainly.  What we were doing today was something different to that.  For the record though I'd say that accuracy is a bit part of passing ability yes and also I didn't mention 'hoofball'.

 

No you didn’t mention hoofball but that what I replied to first which is how this started. But what I watch at non league level is hoofball which is a million miles from what we do. But I gues it’s all semantics. We did go long a fair bit. When it works it’s a joy to watch when it doesn’t it’s bloody frustrating

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I doubt much will change before this match since there's only 1 day between games. Hopefully things will get better but that second half of the villa game was dire.

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What changes will we see? Hes going to explore all his options in the next few weeks (keeps making reference to a massive squad we have and going to give players a try that he doesn't know) so id expect that team to be ripped up apart from possibly Shotton, Downing, Gibson and Gestede.

Will it be same formation and hoofball? 4,4,2 id expect and yes it will be but hopefully this time at least get a shot on target at least.

Is our squad really not better than it’s current position? No because they dont play as a team and when we have the ball nobody moves or makes a run in front of the guy with the ball that is a major problem.

On a 1-10 scale how disappointed are you about the season so far? 8

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I doubt much will change before this match since there's only 1 day between games. Hopefully things will get better but that second half of the villa game was dire.

 

I agree you’re limited as to what you can achieve in a day. The one plus point is they’ve tried to play his way now so it’ll be easier to explain to them which bits were good and which need changing. And it’s one game closer to knowing his preferred team

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I could type out a long winded messaged about what I think Pulis will do but I have no idea. I hope he finds out who he wants / doesn't want so that after January we have a Pulis squad he is happy with.

 

I'd personally like to see Traore given a run. Britt rested and Braithwaite up top with Rudy. Leadbitter in with Clayton and Fabio back in for George.

 

Randolph

Shotton Gibson Ayala Friend

Traore Leadbitter Clayton Downing

Gestede

Braithwaite

 

Disappointment level so far? Probs a 8.5. Not quite relegation level of 10. But so much promise and false starts makes me sad.

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I think we could see an experimental team to a degree with Leadbitter making way for "the forgotten man" and no not Clayton (he maybe on the bench)

 

Same back four if no injuries.

 

Bamford on for Assombolonga (he is being really found out as being not a team man)

 

Tavernier on the subs bench maybe also Fry.

 

Pulis has said he wants to see other players playing before the t/w so he knows who he wants to retain.

 

Trouble is PNE away they could very well nick it otherwise a goalless draw would seem to be the probable outcome

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To be honest, I'd be happy to see Fry involved. I prefer Shotton at CB than RB, but can't see Pulis changing that. I'm losing patience with the likes of Ayala and Friend, and I'm not convinced that, despite his best efforts, Leadbitter truly offers us anything of significance in the middle of the pitch.

 

Does Assombalonga deserve to start? On form, probably not. But Bamford hasn't earned that Forward berth, neither has Fletcher, and Braithwaite is out of form at the moment too.

On Braith, his cutting inside unbalanced us hugely against Villa, but that's what happens when you play an Inside Left Forward at Left Midfield.

 

For me; different to what I said yesterday, but I've changed my thinking and gone for a more 4-4-1-1 with extra fluidity between the Midfield and striker (again, mixed between Pulis all expectations and my own opinions):

 

GK - Randolph

 

RB - Shotton

CB - Ayala

CB - Gibson

LB - Friend

 

RM - Christie/Traore

CM - Guedioura/Clayton

CM - Howson

LM - Downing

 

SS - Braithwaite

CF - Gestede

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To be honest, I'd be happy to see Fry involved. I prefer Shotton at CB than RB, but can't see Pulis changing that. I'm losing patience with the likes of Ayala and Friend, and I'm not convinced that, despite his best efforts, Leadbitter truly offers us anything of significance in the middle of the pitch.

 

Does Assombalonga deserve to start? On form, probably not. But Bamford hasn't earned that Forward berth, neither has Fletcher, and Braithwaite is out of form at the moment too.

On Braith, his cutting inside unbalanced us hugely against Villa, but that's what happens when you play an Inside Left Forward at Left Midfield.

 

For me; different to what I said yesterday, but I've changed my thinking and gone for a more 4-4-1-1 with extra fluidity between the Midfield and striker (again, mixed between Pulis all expectations and my own opinions):

 

GK - Randolph

 

RB - Shotton

CB - Ayala

CB - Gibson

LB - Friend

 

RM - Christie/Traore

CM - Guedioura/Clayton

CM - Howson

LM - Downing

 

SS - Braithwaite

CF - Gestede

 

I'd be happy with that team, Assombalonga needs a massive rocket up his backside. Apart from being a flat track bully he also isn't working anywhere near hard enough.

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My team (In a Pulis style) vs Preston -

GK - Dimi (Randolph doesn't distribute quick enough and makes me also probably Pulis when the ball is at his feet at the back, although is a great shot stopper)

RB - Shotton (id play Christie because of going forward hes better but im sure Pulis will stick with shotton he the safer option)

CB - Fry (Ayala and shotton make me nervous at cb so only other alternative)

CB - Gibson

LB - Friend

LM - Downing

CdM -Clayton

CaM - Howson

RM - Troare

St - Bamford

st - Gestede

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Is long ball football really any worse than endless slow sideways passing...? Not saying it's ideal, but Boro haven't exactly being playing exciting free flowing football for a long time now. If being direct starts to produce goals then I don't really care.

 

Dissapointment scale... probably an 8. Interested to see what Pulis can do, he's definitely got his work cut out. We are one one a few sides who have a chance of sneaking the play-offs. January transfer window will be interesting too, a good left winger could make a difference for us.

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People complained constantly that we went sideways and backwards too much. Then one game going forwards quicker And people are complaining we go forward too quickly.

Then people complain we need rid of monk. Then one game later complain we have pullis.

If we got rid of monk things would change or why get rid. Problem is people just wanted rid very few gave any thought to how green the grass would be post monk

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People complained constantly that we went sideways and backwards too much. Then one game going forwards quicker And people are complaining we go forward too quickly.

Then people complain we need rid of monk. Then one game later complain we have pullis.  

If we got rid of monk things would change  or why get rid.  Problem is people just wanted rid  very few gave any thought to how green the grass would be post monk

 

How very true Rich, I think that we need to accept that we are at the very start of building a new team and style and that is going to take time. Reaching the playoffs is going to be a lottery, as we are no better, (and it could be argued worse), than the teams in contention, Leeds etc.

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I'm pretty sure people gave a decent amount of thought to it. I'm going to put forward a suggestion for you to mull over. Is it possible that there's actually a happy medium between aimless passing going nowhere and direct passing going nowhere? That it's not a choice between the two, there are other alternatives and maybe that's what people are or were hoping for?

 

I don't think we actually were all that much quicker yesterday as it goes. We seemed to *** around with the ball before hitting it long, often losing it, before having to try and win it back again. I wonder if that's why we had only 45% of the ball at home?

 

Shorts passes, long passes, direct football, possession football, ultimately what you're looking for if possible is effective football and ideally with that exciting football. We definitely didn't see th either of those two yesterday now did we?

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