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Assombalonga the main man

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5 hours ago, tmcc said:

i personally have always thought britt ruins the flow of the side, he's a poor passer of the ball, often over runs it and is very greedy, this is obviously during the rare occasions when hes not offside.  hes good goal scorer on his day, but he when he dosent get a goal its hard to tell hes even playing and in this day and age, thats not enough from a 15 mil striker. 

i was never happy with the signing really and there no pulis anymore to blame, hopefully we can get an offer of 8 mil or more and take it and reinvest. 

as i said at the start of the season, there was about 15 players who scored more than him last season and none of them cost as much with the majority cost under 5 mil and a number off them free. hopefully we can pull a deal or two and get a bargain. 

exactly. People are complaining that we aren't playing to his strengths or he needs a target man to feed off...but really what they are saying is you have to weaken your team in other areas to make him do the job he is supposed to be doing.

 

He seems to me like one of those players that scored hundreds of goals at youth level, because he was fast and strong. He was coached to play off the last defender and just run through and hit it hard. But he never developed any other strings to his bow, never learned to play the game any other way, was never asked to play other positions. Michael Owen admitted he had that same issue and once his pace was going he had to learn some basic skills that he wasn't taught as a kid. Britt was robbed of his pace 5 years ago when his knee ligaments shattered. He failed to adopt his game, which he needed to anyway

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He hasn't been the solo CF throughout the season though.  Fletcher has played up front with him and Fletcher has missed his own easy chances - we even joked about it during or after the Huddersfield away game if I remember correctly.  I also wouldn't play him as a solo CF anyway, he should be played as one of two, which is something I've said repeatedly and that's for some of the reasons you have mentioned.

I know how bad we are as an attacking side but again that isn't solely down to him although as I've also said before, he has clearly missed chances he should have taken.  The problem is that so have other players and our attacking options aren't exactly great.  Tavernier, who has become one of our key players, wasn't even in the side for the first 10 games or so.  Spence and Coulson, who have added some real pace to us haven't played that much either - Coulson missed a big chunk of games and Spence has only played 5 or 6 in total.  At different times this season we've been relying on Johnson, Browne and Fletcher (when played out wide) as the supporting cast - nowhere near good enough.

Our upturn in results essentially began when Tavernier started playing regularly, Coulson came back from injury (although Johnson moving to wingback also helped before this) and Assombalonga and Fletcher started playing as a two.  Our results improved again when Tavernier was played in what I'd consider to be his best position through the middle rather than stuck out wide and Spence made his way into the side.  Assombalonga was part of that though so clearly he alone cannot be responsible.  It's pretty clear to me that adding some pace on either flank, some guile and energy in the middle of the park and then being prepared to play with two up front is what has made the difference recently.  Even that isn't enough though if the team play with the mindset of being scared to lose ala Stoke at home.

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2 minutes ago, Changing Times said:

He hasn't been the solo CF throughout the season though.  Fletcher has played up front with him and Fletcher has missed his own easy chances - we even joked about it during or after the Huddersfield away game if I remember correctly.  I also wouldn't play him as a solo CF anyway, he should be played as one of two, which is something I've said repeatedly and that's for some of the reasons you have mentioned.

I know how bad we are as an attacking side but again that isn't solely down to him although as I've also said before, he has clearly missed chances he should have taken.  The problem is that so have other players and our attacking options aren't exactly great.  Tavernier, who has become one of our key players, wasn't even in the side for the first 10 games or so.  Spence and Coulson, who have added some real pace to us haven't played that much either - Coulson missed a big chunk of games and Spence has only played 5 or 6 in total.  At different times this season we've been relying on Johnson, Browne and Fletcher (when played out wide) as the supporting cast - nowhere near good enough.

Our upturn in results essentially began when Tavernier started playing regularly, Coulson came back from injury (although Johnson moving to wingback also helped before this) and Assombalonga and Fletcher started playing as a two.  Our results improved again when Tavernier was played in what I'd consider to be his best position through the middle rather than stuck out wide and Spence made his way into the side.  Assombalonga was part of that though so clearly he alone cannot be responsible.  It's pretty clear to me that adding some pace on either flank, some guile and energy in the middle of the park and then being prepared to play with two up front is what has made the difference recently.  Even that isn't enough though if the team play with the mindset of being scared to lose ala Stoke at home.

He has played as a lone striker more often than not, Fletch has played wide and 10 as well as up top with and without him. Yes Fletch has missed chances too, but it isn't like playing with 10 men when he doesn't score. 

Johnson has been steady to excellent, Browne has started what 5 games and got the hook early/sent off in all of them?

We will see soon how this team does with Britt, personally I see more options for our midfield with Fletcher ahead, and he isn't even that good.

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15 minutes ago, BoroMart said:

So you think it's the manager that has been at fault, not the players other than Wing and McNair for shooting from outside the box?  Are they shooting from their because there is no intelligent movement in front of them?!

Britt has had 10 shots in the 6 yard box and scored 2....that's from a supposed top class poacher and oviously doesn't even include the pennas where he hasn't hit the target. You can't keep passing the buck and blaming other people. He is certainly culpable for our position and form, if not the main issue, one of them. You are easily pleased if that is the kind of CF that floats your boat.

Yes, I think it's the manager who has been at fault.  The style of play we've had, up until the last couple of games, has been safety first and lacking any kind of imagination or creativity.  He also refused to play certain players (like Tavernier) who I felt should have been in the side from the start of the season.  He seemed to be fixated on the one up front way of playing that he introduced in the first two games despite the fact that we completely altered our approach after Brentford and it was clearly not working as a result.  We then seemed to go back in time to last season in an effort to 'grind' our way to points, I'm pretty sure Woodgate actually used that word.  You're a coach, you tell me if that is good management/coaching because to me it's lousy.  It's pretty clear that as he's moved away from some of those things then we have improved and I don't believe it's coincidence.  I also think it's the Chairman's fault for leaving him with a squad lacking attacking options but that's a whole different discussion I suppose.

No, I don't blame those two players.  I mentioned them because they'd had a lot of shots from distance and I noticed that we had a lot of shots from distance a few weeks back when I commented on this thread.  It was something I thought was noteworthy as it was clear that we as a team were doing some things differently to most of the Championship and as it directly influences goalscoring it seemed pertinent.  At the time McNair had scored twice and Wing only once despite having a similar number of efforts on goal as Assombalonga.  They are still at almost the same number of total shots this season as Assombalonga -  McNair 38, Wing 42, Assombalonga 43 and Fletcher 45.  I wouldn't expect either of them to score as many goals as Assombalonga and that wasn't my point.  My point was that if a larger proportion of our shots were from distance, and if these players were the ones taking them, then Assombalonga cannot be responsible for it.  However you're now trying to hold him responsible for them taking shots lol - I have to assume that this lack of intelligent movement includes Fletcher who has been playing through the middle for a while now and who you have been talking up? 

I think Assombalonga should have scored say 10 goals this season at least.  He's missed chances he should have taken.  I accept that all strikers miss chances they should take but he has missed too many for me.  He absolutely isn't the type of CF that floats my boat, as I've said over and over.  I wouldn't have signed him in the first place, I said that at the time, I thought Bamford was the superior player and would have kept him and I'm quite happy to sell Assombalonga this month if we can get it done.  The difference between you and me is that I only hold him responsible for things he that he should be responsible for and you seem to want to hold him responsible for everything.  Even when you say that's not the case you then find a way to blame him for something else, which suggests otherwise.

 

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19 minutes ago, BoroMart said:

He has played as a lone striker more often than not, Fletch has played wide and 10 as well as up top with and without him. Yes Fletch has missed chances too, but it isn't like playing with 10 men when he doesn't score. 

Johnson has been steady to excellent, Browne has started what 5 games and got the hook early/sent off in all of them?

We will see soon how this team does with Britt, personally I see more options for our midfield with Fletcher ahead, and he isn't even that good.

I see more options with two up front and/or with better attacking players and a different mindset.  That's also what we've seen recently as well but for some reason this doesn't factor into any of your analysis, which is solely about one player.

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32 minutes ago, Changing Times said:

Yes, I think it's the manager who has been at fault.  The style of play we've had, up until the last couple of games, has been safety first and lacking any kind of imagination or creativity.  He also refused to play certain players (like Tavernier) who I felt should have been in the side from the start of the season.  He seemed to be fixated on the one up front way of playing that he introduced in the first two games despite the fact that we completely altered our approach after Brentford and it was clearly not working as a result.  We then seemed to go back in time to last season in an effort to 'grind' our way to points, I'm pretty sure Woodgate actually used that word.  You're a coach, you tell me if that is good management/coaching because to me it's lousy.  It's pretty clear that as he's moved away from some of those things then we have improved and I don't believe it's coincidence.  I also think it's the Chairman's fault for leaving him with a squad lacking attacking options but that's a whole different discussion I suppose.

No, I don't blame those two players.  I mentioned them because they'd had a lot of shots from distance and I noticed that we had a lot of shots from distance a few weeks back when I commented on this thread.  It was something I thought was noteworthy as it was clear that we as a team were doing some things differently to most of the Championship and as it directly influences goalscoring it seemed pertinent.  At the time McNair had scored twice and Wing only once despite having a similar number of efforts on goal as Assombalonga.  They are still at almost the same number of total shots this season as Assombalonga -  McNair 38, Wing 42, Assombalonga 43 and Fletcher 45.  I wouldn't expect either of them to score as many goals as Assombalonga and that wasn't my point.  My point was that if a larger proportion of our shots were from distance, and if these players were the ones taking them, then Assombalonga cannot be responsible for it.  However you're now trying to hold him responsible for them taking shots lol - I have to assume that this lack of intelligent movement includes Fletcher who has been playing through the middle for a while now and who you have been talking up? 

I think Assombalonga should have scored say 10 goals this season at least.  He's missed chances he should have taken.  I accept that all strikers miss chances they should take but he has missed too many for me.  He absolutely isn't the type of CF that floats my boat, as I've said over and over.  I wouldn't have signed him in the first place, I said that at the time, I thought Bamford was the superior player and would have kept him and I'm quite happy to sell Assombalonga this month if we can get it done.  The difference between you and me is that I only hold him responsible for things he that he should be responsible for and you seem to want to hold him responsible for everything.  Even when you say that's not the case you then find a way to blame him for something else, which suggests otherwise.

 

Of course he CAN be responsible for them taking long shots, if there is no movement in front of them, it encourages them to shoot rather than try and play a hollywood-ball through to a striker not making intelligent movement. As I stated, he is ALWAYS looking to run in behind, that's a problem when you have the ball centrally. You end up with a straight ball and a straight run....that's a low-yield combination. 

I don't hold him responsible for everything, but I think he has a negative impact on all 4 phases of the game. We are worse defensively with him, we are forced to play eye of a needle through balls to him, he doesn't get involved in build up play, he realistically needs to have another forward alongside and that weakens midfield.  I'm sure I could do a similar coaching critique for other poor players in our team and other teams.

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In fairness I have to say I've very much enjoyed the debate on this one over the past couple of days, BoroMart and CT especially making great points and opinionated (but substantiated) arguments. 

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Posted (edited)

Got to see how the two new lads change things.

Roberts I would think will go straight in out wide, the other lad Nmecha played a lot out wide for Preston and even if we choose to play him there it will still impact Britt, it will probably release Fletcher to play more as a CF. Fletcher has played 12 games as CF this season and scored 4 (scored 2 from out wide).  Britt has played 19 and scored 6, so goalscoring wise they've been similar.

The kicker is that Fletcher has better hold up play, gets involved in build up better and has 2 assists from CF. Is Fletcher going to be 1st choice CF now? He certainly has taken his chance in that role, and if Britt stays through January, where does that leave him in the pecking order with Gestede fit and buzzing and Nmecha being an ambitious and powerful forward who clearly hasn't come here to let his career drift by

Edited by BoroMart

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On 1/2/2020 at 6:30 PM, BoroMart said:

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. 

I can add to that ... 

In the very early 90's - Michael Laudrup was the best individual player Denmark had ever seen! But he didn't fit into the teams philosophy. Laudrup wanted it HIS way and R. Møller Nielsen, the coach, didn't agree, so Laudrup stopped playing for Denmark as a protest. 

The rest is history - 1992 should tell it all. Denmark were champions because of a well balanced team .. 

It sounds ludicrous but we were a better competing team without one of the worlds most gifted individual technicians...

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that makes perfect sense...unless you have a Maradona/Pele/Messi, you can't build a team around one player...if we function more as a unit without Britt, then that is the way to go, if he stays, I would prefer him to be rotated with Rudy as one or other runs out of energy, but on current form keep Fletch as main striker

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Assombalonga has never been good enough; what exactly are the mans strengths? He’s not fast, can’t beat a man (yet try’s to on almost every occasion he has the ball, losing possession nine times out of ten) and he can’t hold it up either.

Really happy Fletcher has found some consistent form and, as I said the other day, if we get a decent bid in for Assombalonga I’d take it all day long. 

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On 1/2/2020 at 5:43 PM, RiseAgainst said:

It always gets forgotten that we beat the "invincible" Arsenal team twice that season in the league cup.

We did indeed but they fielded weakened teams in both legs...great achievement nonetheless.

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3 hours ago, BoroBoy1989 said:

Assombalonga has never been good enough; what exactly are the mans strengths? He’s not fast, can’t beat a man (yet try’s to on almost every occasion he has the ball, losing possession nine times out of ten) and he can’t hold it up either.

Really happy Fletcher has found some consistent form and, as I said the other day, if we get a decent bid in for Assombalonga I’d take it all day long. 

Well, for one thing, Britt has scored 65 Championship goals in his career. By contrast, Fletcher has scored 13 Ch'ship goals and Gestede has scored 47 (but is four years older).

Britt is by far the most prolific goalscorer in our squad, though I do agree his game has many flaws which less prolific strikers don't suffer from to the same extent.

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1 minute ago, RiseAgainst said:

Well, for one thing, Britt has scored 65 Championship goals in his career. By contrast, Fletcher has scored 13 Ch'ship goals and Gestede has scored 47 (but is four years older).

Britt is by far the most prolific goalscorer in our squad, though I do agree his game has many flaws which less prolific strikers don't suffer from to the same extent.

I’m not talking about his goals record, I’m talking about his general play since he’s been at this club. More often than not he’ll lose possession, he doesn’t pass when he should and he’s incredibly frustrating to watch as a boro fan in my opinion. 
 

‘We don’t play to his strengths, play to his strengths and he’d be prolific for us.’ That was the argument used time and time again by many when Pulis was here. So I would again ask, what are his strengths? For every goal he scores he misses 4, he can’t dribble, he can’t hold it up. 

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21 minutes ago, BoroBoy1989 said:

I’m not talking about his goals record, I’m talking about his general play since he’s been at this club. More often than not he’ll lose possession, he doesn’t pass when he should and he’s incredibly frustrating to watch as a boro fan in my opinion. 
 

‘We don’t play to his strengths, play to his strengths and he’d be prolific for us.’ That was the argument used time and time again by many when Pulis was here. So I would again ask, what are his strengths? For every goal he scores he misses 4, he can’t dribble, he can’t hold it up. 

I'm playing devil's advocate here because I also think Britt is frequently lazy, quite selfish and far from a team player. However, a striker's main function is to score, and Britt's track record of doing that is beyond reproach, season after season. It's impossible to overlook his pedigree as a scorer of goals.

(I'd still accept the first half-decent offer we receive for him, though, and I do acknowledge the team as a whole is stronger in his absence).

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