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Assombalonga the main man

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1 minute ago, RiseAgainst said:

Respectfully disagree. There are some good and measured arguments being put forward in this thread by both sides. Personally I'd keep Britt if we can, but I do think his goalscoring record hides many limitations in his game which supposedly inferior strikers don't suffer from to the same extent.

The man said britt and leroy lita are the same ffs.

Not to mention he seems to refuse to accept any outside circumstances affecting britt OR the fact that his work rate, first touch and off the ball movement have all improved drastically this year.

I have thought myself before that britt wears boots made of flubber so everything just bounces off, but credit where credit is due, he has obviously worked on that this year.

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Folks are entitled to their own opinions and have to say thought the same many times BUT he along with others of late have shown glimpses of improvement and I would like to see him part and parcel of a enthusiastic Boro team, given the opportunity which I would hope he justifies in his team performance.

This part is essential, team performance because you could say he is too individual at times.

However part of me thinks we will not see him in a Boro shirt again and that there will be unanswered questions

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I absolutely fully agree that the championship is almost certainly his level, and I agree that we overpaid for him.

I also believe if you're going to be stuck in the championship for a few years, like we are, you won't do much better than him.

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12 hours ago, BoroMart said:

Lita got 12 goals and 5 assists in a worse Boro team. He had Nick Bailey, Gary O'Neill, Kevin Thompson creating for him, Barry Robson was the only creativity he had to work with. Britt had to deal with Pulis tactics, and Lita had to deal with the worst manager we have ever had, Strachan. That was far worse than what we have in this squad. They're certainly on a par, they're both a bit lazy, they both lack some foundational technical skills, they're both poor tactically, they both like to run in behind and neither scored goals outside 8 yards, I'd say Lita was a tad quicker and Britt is slightly better at scoring with headers. Both seem to overdo the gym, and gas on the field after 60 mins. Both had the call from DR Congo, Leroy turned it down and Britt said yes, but after a couple of months in the squad seems to have been dropped.

I think this is an interesting point being made. If Leeeeroy had cost £15 million and Britt had been the free transfer, would the opinions be reversed? Iff Britt had only cost say £5m, I bet most of us would be a lot more forgiving of him. As it is, that price tag is a millstone around his neck, dragging his overall contribution down in the eyes of most fans I'd say. 

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1 hour ago, boroie said:

I think this is an interesting point being made. If Leeeeroy had cost £15 million and Britt had been the free transfer, would the opinions be reversed? Iff Britt had only cost say £5m, I bet most of us would be a lot more forgiving of him. As it is, that price tag is a millstone around his neck, dragging his overall contribution down in the eyes of most fans I'd say. 

But why? We've surely seen enough to make a judgement on whether that fee was worth it already, it seems pretty unanimously agreed that we overpaid for him. But that overvaluation is not his fault, he doesn't need to live up to that price tag any more as we know he's not worth it, just let him do what he does best and support him.

That's not me saying forget the fee as a whole, that's just me saying people need to stop using it as a stick to beat the player with. The fee is entirely on the club. We could have spent that money better so instead of blaming Britt for his own valuation, blame the club for spending it on him.

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7 minutes ago, wilsoncgp said:

But why? We've surely seen enough to make a judgement on whether that fee was worth it already, it seems pretty unanimously agreed that we overpaid for him. But that overvaluation is not his fault, he doesn't need to live up to that price tag any more as we know he's not worth it, just let him do what he does best and support him.

That's not me saying forget the fee as a whole, that's just me saying people need to stop using it as a stick to beat the player with. The fee is entirely on the club. We could have spent that money better so instead of blaming Britt for his own valuation, blame the club for spending it on him.

I certainly don't use it as a stick to beat him with. Overall his contribution has been okay, but when you frame it with the fee then it be seen in a different light. Lita had a reasonable goalscoring return for us, but framed with the fact he was a free transfer and then we sold him for £2m, the signing and return suddenly looks a lot better. Britt is a polarising player, some people see the negatives and some see the positives. I don't think the comparison to Lita is all that off actually. One of the main differentials is the expectation associated with the signing - something completely out of the control of each player. However when one of them is bought for huge money as an attempt to 'smash the league' then they are always going to be under that weight of expectation. 

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21 hours ago, BoroMart said:

another game without Britt another fluid attacking performance.

 

with Britt 17 goals in 19 games; W4, D7, L8 = 19 PTS or 1 point a game

 without Britt 9 goals in 7 games; W4, D2, L1 - 14PTS or 2 points a game

 

We are far better without Britt, Gestede actually has a better championship goal per minute record and is far better at holding the ball up and creating for others. Britt a goal every 181mins, Gestede every 170mins, 

 

 

Randolph has kept 2 clean sheets this season.  Pears has kept 7.

With Randolph we have played 14 games, W2, D4, L6 = 12 points or 0.86 per game and 21 conceded or 1.5 per game.

With Pears we have played 12 games, W6, D3, L3 = 21 points or 1.75 per game and 11 conceded or 0.92 per game.

We are far better without Randolph.

Except of course that nobody in their right mind would believe that.  Do you think it's possible, that the reasons we appear to be better without Assombalonga are the same reasons we appear to be better without Randolph?   And that this is a statistical quirk rather than anything else?  If we were averaging a point per game throughout his entire spell here then you might be on to something, but we aren't, are we?

Our improvement in form began with him in the side not out of it but it has coincided with playing Barnsley, Charlton, Stoke and Huddersfield at home, which to me seems like the more important factor, especially when you consider that our only two wins previous to those came at home against Wigan and Reading (when they were struggling).  In other words, we happened to have more 'easier' games over this period and this has led to an improvement in results.  The two outliers to that would be the last two games, where we played better sides away from home and got results.  Of course, Randolph wasn't available in those games either but I'd say it was possible that changes to the team other than Assombalonga or Randolph have played a bigger part in those as well. 

Thinking more specifically about the goals we scored lately, I'm not sure which ones you believe wouldn't have been scored if Assombalonga was on the field?  I have to assume that this is part of your argument if you believe him to be solely responsible for our problems.  Since he's been out we've scored a couple from set pieces, a penalty, an own goal, a few belters from outside the area and a couple of decent chances inside the box for Fletcher and Spence.  I don't really see how him being on the field would have hindered any of them?

All that being said, if we can get him sold then we should as there is too much money tied up in him and that's not something we can afford.  The issue isn't so much about how good or bad he happens to be as he is better than you are making him out.  The issue is that for the cost and continued salary costs he simply doesn't represent value for money.  We massively overpaid for him and continue to do so and it's time that we moved on from him.

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, wilsoncgp said:

Sounds like what people used to say about Ruud van Nistelrooy when they were trying to prove he wasn't very good.

Good call, Ruud Van Nistlerooy wasn't a very good footballer by common consensus of his peers, he was a terrible influence on his team and teammates. Before RVN arrived at Man Utd, they had won 3 consecutive titles. He was at Man Utd for 5 seasons in which they only won the title once. Then he left and they won 3 times again. He made a world class side into a good one, then he left and a good one became world class again. That is what happens in the modern game when you try and accommodate a poor footballer just because he scores tap ins.  Of course, RVN was a far, far superior finisher to Britt, clinical, deadly, compared to Britt who is at least moderately profligate.

Edited by BoroMart
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7 hours ago, Brunners said:

The man said britt and leroy lita are the same ffs.

Not to mention he seems to refuse to accept any outside circumstances affecting britt OR the fact that his work rate, first touch and off the ball movement have all improved drastically this year.

I have thought myself before that britt wears boots made of flubber so everything just bounces off, but credit where credit is due, he has obviously worked on that this year.

You seem to rely on outside circumstances affecting Britt and projecting a top goalscorer on a player that has never scored more than 15. Until he does proves that he can get 20-25 in a season in the champo then its a hollow argument. 

His work rate, first touch might have improved but they are below what is expected or required. His movement in the 6 yard box has never been an issue, it's poor outside the box.

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4 hours ago, boroie said:

I think this is an interesting point being made. If Leeeeroy had cost £15 million and Britt had been the free transfer, would the opinions be reversed? Iff Britt had only cost say £5m, I bet most of us would be a lot more forgiving of him. As it is, that price tag is a millstone around his neck, dragging his overall contribution down in the eyes of most fans I'd say. 

agreed, with that. The value for money angle has to come into play, it's not just the transfer fee, it's the wages. A 15mill player comes with prem league wages, and an expectation to be first name on the team sheet.  Britt would be a good game changer from the bench, in my opinion, but can this club afford to pay 50k a week for a bench warmer, and would we do better to have 4 young promising players for 12.5k/week and nurture them? Would Britt accept a bit part, unlikely.

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Lita and Assombalonga aren't that different really. Lita used to frustrate me by trying to just power the ball in all the time when he could've just held his composure and placed it.. Asso is pretty similar in that regard at times.

I'd agree with those saying Britt is better though, cos Lita was truly a one-dimensional player.. Asso at least has his moments where he manages to hold the ball up or pull something out of the bag.

I hope Assom gets sold in Jan though. Gestede showed everything that we need up front in the last game IMO.. but unfortunately he'll be injured again soon so we need the BA funds to bring in a Gestede 2.0

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Changing Times said:

Randolph has kept 2 clean sheets this season.  Pears has kept 7.

With Randolph we have played 14 games, W2, D4, L6 = 12 points or 0.86 per game and 21 conceded or 1.5 per game.

With Pears we have played 12 games, W6, D3, L3 = 21 points or 1.75 per game and 11 conceded or 0.92 per game.

We are far better without Randolph.

Except of course that nobody in their right mind would believe that.  Do you think it's possible, that the reasons we appear to be better without Assombalonga are the same reasons we appear to be better without Randolph?   And that this is a statistical quirk rather than anything else?  If we were averaging a point per game throughout his entire spell here then you might be on to something, but we aren't, are we?

Our improvement in form began with him in the side not out of it but it has coincided with playing Barnsley, Charlton, Stoke and Huddersfield at home, which to me seems like the more important factor, especially when you consider that our only two wins previous to those came at home against Wigan and Reading (when they were struggling).  In other words, we happened to have more 'easier' games over this period and this has led to an improvement in results.  The two outliers to that would be the last two games, where we played better sides away from home and got results.  Of course, Randolph wasn't available in those games either but I'd say it was possible that changes to the team other than Assombalonga or Randolph have played a bigger part in those as well. 

Thinking more specifically about the goals we scored lately, I'm not sure which ones you believe wouldn't have been scored if Assombalonga was on the field?  I have to assume that this is part of your argument if you believe him to be solely responsible for our problems.  Since he's been out we've scored a couple from set pieces, a penalty, an own goal, a few belters from outside the area and a couple of decent chances inside the box for Fletcher and Spence.  I don't really see how him being on the field would have hindered any of them?

All that being said, if we can get him sold then we should as there is too much money tied up in him and that's not something we can afford.  The issue isn't so much about how good or bad he happens to be as he is better than you are making him out.  The issue is that for the cost and continued salary costs he simply doesn't represent value for money.  We massively overpaid for him and continue to do so and it's time that we moved on from him.

OK, so when you take your coaching badges you learn about the 4 phases of play. All players have varying influences on them.

1) With the ball. When we have possession of the ball, does Britt pull his weight, does he have a positive influence on us? Well he taps the ball in, and that shouldn't be underestimated, he comes alive in the last 8 yards. But the consensus is that outside of that, he shows a poor touch, his movement isn't intelligent, he doesn't drop and get involved in build up, he doesn't dribble past anyone, he almost exclusively looks to run in behind. This means that our midfielders have one option, the eye of a needle through ball. It's no surprise that with Fletcher up top, who likes to drop and get involved, our CM have looked much better. Saville looks like a player again, Tav is making runs, because Fletcher is making intelligent movement to create space. This isn't an accident, when Britt next gets a run in the team, see how many overhit through balls there are and how many square passes from CM

2) Without the ball. Britt has never been good in this area. Fletcher is much better. Britt closes off the square pass, showing the line to opposing players, but then doesn't traverse the line with any aggression, to force mistakes. Britt probably wouldn't have put pressure on the defender to score an own goal at Preston, because he doesn't have the fitness or desire to work in that area

3) Positive transition. Britt needs to make those in behind runs from 35 yards, he can't do it from the halfway line as he isn't quick enough. So he relies on us winning the ball fairly high up. If we win it deeper, he isn't very good at hold up, pinging balls to spread the play, or playing through balls for midfield runners. So he is limited in this area.

4) Negative transition. He doesn't get involved in defending too much, so negative transitions are a 10 man game with Britt. Considering he does lose the ball a lot that creates stress on the team.

That's an honest opinion of him, can you take all those negatives with him in the team? 25-30 years ago, he would be a superstar, the game was less tactical, he probably would have played with a tall striker to win flick ons. But it isn't the early 90s or 80s, teams play far more possession football. The idea that he would thrive in a team like Sheff Wed with Nehui is ludicrous, Britt likes to play on the last man, and Nehui-types are generally immobile and also need to be on the last man to flick it on... teams would have to sacrifice a midfielder and would barely get any quality possession. This would create massive pressure on a defence. Britt will end up at a lower half champo team over the next couple of years because his limitations cannot be overcome unless he can get 20+ league goals they don't balance out.

Edited by BoroMart
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6 minutes ago, BoroMart said:

Good call, Ruud Van Nistlerooy wasn't a very good footballer by common consensus of his peers, he was a terrible influence on his team and teammates. Before RVN arrived at Man Utd, they had won 3 consecutive titles. He was at Man Utd for 5 seasons in which they only won the title once. Then he left and they won 3 times again. He made a world class side into a good one, then he left and a good one became world class again. That is what happens in the modern game when you try and accommodate a poor footballer just because he scores tap ins.  Of course, RVN was a far, far superior finishers to Britt, clinical, deadly, compared to Britt who is at least moderately profligate.

It also coincided with Arsenal's unbeaten season and Mourinho joining Chelsea and spending like half a billion on players or whatever it was.  Who was the Premier League's top scorer the year that they won the title?  Man Utd's resurgence then just happened to coincide with Arsenal building the new stadium and not spending on their squad and Mourinho leaving Chelsea.  But you're probably right and it was all down to one player in one team 🙂

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6 minutes ago, Changing Times said:

It also coincided with Arsenal's unbeaten season and Mourinho joining Chelsea and spending like half a billion on players or whatever it was.  Who was the Premier League's top scorer the year that they won the title?  Man Utd's resurgence then just happened to coincide with Arsenal building the new stadium and not spending on their squad and Mourinho leaving Chelsea.  But you're probably right and it was all down to one player in one team 🙂

Yeah and why did Arsenal remain unbeaten? Because Man Utd weren't good enough to beat them with a goal hanger up front. Of course, that Arsenal team should have lost in September when they drew with Man Utd 0-0. RVN missed the target with a penalty....sounds like one of our players 😁

Of course it's never all down to one player, it's a team game, which means you pick the players that work best together, not the people that score the most goals individually. 

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6 minutes ago, BoroMart said:

OK, so when you take your coaching badges you learn about the 4 phases of play. All players have varying influences on them.

1) With the ball. When we have possession of the ball, does Britt pull his weight, does he have a positive influence on us? Well he taps the ball in, and that shouldn't be underestimated, he comes alive in the last 8 yards. But the consensus is that outside of that, he shows a poor touch, his movement isn't intelligent, he doesn't drop and get involved in build up, he doesn't dribble past anyone, he almost exclusively looks to run in behind. This means that our midfielders have one option, the eye of a needle through ball. It's no surprise that with Fletcher up top, who likes to drop and get involved, our CM have looked much better. Saville looks like a player again, Tav is making runs, because Fletcher is making intelligent movement to create space. This isn't an accident, when Britt next gets a run in the team, see how many overhit through balls there are and how many square passes from CM

2) Without the ball. Britt has never been good in this area. Fletcher is much better. Britt closes off the square pass, showing the line to opposing players, but then doesn't traverse the line with any aggression, to force mistakes. Britt probably wouldn't have put pressure on the defender to score an own goal at Preston, because he doesn't have the fitness or desire to work in that area

3) Positive transition. Britt needs to make those in behind runs from 35 yards, he can't do it from the halfway line as he isn't quick enough. So he relies on us winning the ball fairly high up. If we win it deeper, he isn't very good at hold up, pinging balls to spread the play, or playing through balls for midfield runners. So he is limited in this area.

4) Negative transition. He doesn't get involved in defending too much, so negative transitions are a 10 man game with Britt. Considering he does lose the ball a lot that creates stress on the team.

That's an honest opinion of him, can you take all those negatives with him in the team? 25-30 years ago, he would be a superstar, the game was less tactical, he probably would have played with a tall striker to win flick ons. But it isn't the early 90s or 80s, teams play far more possession football. The idea that he would thrive in a team like Sheff Wed with Nehui is ludicrous, Britt likes to play on the last man, and Nehui-types are generally immobile and also need to be on the last man to flick it on... teams would have to sacrifice a midfielder and would barely get any quality possession. This would create massive pressure on a defence. Britt will end up at a lower half champo team over the next couple of years because his limitations cannot be overcome unless he can get 20+ league goals they don't balance out.

You're trying to make everything fit with what you already believe. 

Saville looks like a player again?  He didn't against Stoke or Huddersfield or Forest or Swansea.  What you mean is that he's had a couple of good games, as have lots of players, and you're putting that down to the absence of Assombalonga.  Tavernier is playing in the position that suits him best rather than being stuck out on the wing.  Fletcher's movement isn't intelligent or at least no more than Assombalonga, you're simply picking and choosing what you see. 

Fletcher without the ball I'd agree is better than Assombalonga although not by much.  Assombalonga has quite clearly improved that side of his game over the last couple of months. 

Regarding the positive transition, wasn't Assombalonga involved in the build up to various goals before his injury?  The Charlton goal, Fletcher's goal against Hull, Fletchers goal against Barnsley where he is inside our own half playing the ball to Tavernier breaking forwards?  According to you that doesn't happen when he plays and yet it clearly did.  As for defending, again I wouldn't argue much with you other than to say he has improved that side of things as well.

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