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Boro V Sheffield Wednesday 1-4 (McNair)

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I'm not shouting for Woodgate's head (was anyone on here?) I just said I think he's getting away with very little criticism because he's inexperienced.

Ok fair enough it's a difficult job trying to play like Liverpool with Pulis players I get that, but although teams like Liverpool look great going forward they also don't neglect learning how to defend set pieces and keeping a shape at the back.

It's pretty obvious so far that we are poor defending crosses into the box, wasn't it obvious what Sheffield Wednesday's tactics were going to be? With that in mind shouldn't Ayala have started the game? 

We clearly haven't got the flair players going forward so let's at least try and get things right at the other end of the pitch. Playing one touch stuff in the warm ups must be nice to see but I want to see some signs of Woodgate building something on the pitch as well. I don't expect miracles, I just want to see some small improvements somewhere on the pitch because at the moment it feels like we are regressing from the way we played earlier in the season. 

 

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That is one hell of a good post, Wilson - Thumbs up! ?

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38 minutes ago, Duvel said:

I'm not shouting for Woodgate's head (was anyone on here?) I just said I think he's getting away with very little criticism because he's inexperienced.

Ok fair enough it's a difficult job trying to play like Liverpool with Pulis players I get that, but although teams like Liverpool look great going forward they also don't neglect learning how to defend set pieces and keeping a shape at the back.

It's pretty obvious so far that we are poor defending crosses into the box, wasn't it obvious what Sheffield Wednesday's tactics were going to be? With that in mind shouldn't Ayala have started the game? 

We clearly haven't got the flair players going forward so let's at least try and get things right at the other end of the pitch. Playing one touch stuff in the warm ups must be nice to see but I want to see some signs of Woodgate building something on the pitch as well. I don't expect miracles, I just want to see some small improvements somewhere on the pitch because at the moment it feels like we are regressing from the way we played earlier in the season. 

 

The post I quoted literally says Woodgate should be somewhere else. He's not getting 'very little criticism' as I've pointed out on previous occasions too, he's still getting a fair amount of criticism. I've even advocated that we should be able to criticise the performances and results of each game. I'm not saying don't criticise him, I'm asking people to stop putting him in the same bracket of expectation as Pulis had.

Liverpool haven't been a masterclass the entirety of Klopp's reign either. He's been given time and money to become the team they are. Saying they don't neglect how to defend or keep a shape at the back, well you might want to remember Liverpool before Van Dijk joined. They were not an example of how to defend individually or as a group. Liverpool have been defensively frail for years until he came in, it's why even though they've gone through some quality attacking players, they've never been challenging until the last year or so (barring their one slip away from winning).

I agree regarding Ayala, I would have played him and when he came on, he showed exactly why he should have been playing. Though I also raised a counter point that Shotton had played well in the previous 2 games and Fry is the best ball playing defender we have and at home, I think Woodgate may well have been thinking that given the balance of playing your own way vs. playing to counter the opposition, he's very much in the former camp. If he thinks Fry is important to that, I can see why he picked him. However even having said that, I would like to hear it from Woodgate's mouth himself.

And I'll repeat what I said to Syd, the stuff I've seen pre-match I've seen in games. I'm not just advocating for people to watch pre-match training to see evidence of what the manager wants to see, of course that's not good enough. But I saw it even in the Wednesday game, in that first 15-20 minutes of the second half when we created the clear cut scoring opportunities. It's not happening often enough during a game (I've said it at least 3 times now that we're playing for half time by 5 minutes in and they didn't disappoint on Saturday), it's not always coming off, one pass can break an entire routine up and it has done for us. But the evidence for me is there when players like McNair, Johnson, Fletcher and Britt have their heads screwed on tight.

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1 hour ago, wilsoncgp said:

The post I quoted literally says Woodgate should be somewhere else. He's not getting 'very little criticism' as I've pointed out on previous occasions too, he's still getting a fair amount of criticism. I've even advocated that we should be able to criticise the performances and results of each game. I'm not saying don't criticise him, I'm asking people to stop putting him in the same bracket of expectation as Pulis had.

Liverpool haven't been a masterclass the entirety of Klopp's reign either. He's been given time and money to become the team they are. Saying they don't neglect how to defend or keep a shape at the back, well you might want to remember Liverpool before Van Dijk joined. They were not an example of how to defend individually or as a group. Liverpool have been defensively frail for years until he came in, it's why even though they've gone through some quality attacking players, they've never been challenging until the last year or so (barring their one slip away from winning).

I agree regarding Ayala, I would have played him and when he came on, he showed exactly why he should have been playing. Though I also raised a counter point that Shotton had played well in the previous 2 games and Fry is the best ball playing defender we have and at home, I think Woodgate may well have been thinking that given the balance of playing your own way vs. playing to counter the opposition, he's very much in the former camp. If he thinks Fry is important to that, I can see why he picked him. However even having said that, I would like to hear it from Woodgate's mouth himself.

And I'll repeat what I said to Syd, the stuff I've seen pre-match I've seen in games. I'm not just advocating for people to watch pre-match training to see evidence of what the manager wants to see, of course that's not good enough. But I saw it even in the Wednesday game, in that first 15-20 minutes of the second half when we created the clear cut scoring opportunities. It's not happening often enough during a game (I've said it at least 3 times now that we're playing for half time by 5 minutes in and they didn't disappoint on Saturday), it's not always coming off, one pass can break an entire routine up and it has done for us. But the evidence for me is there when players like McNair, Johnson, Fletcher and Britt have their heads screwed on tight.

Maybe I didn't make my point very well with the Liverpool example. I think that most successful teams who play with a bit of flair can also do the ugly stuff at the back.

It's like it was under Monk, we can have every intention of playing in a certain style but if we can't do the basics like mark players on set pieces and head balls away then we're in trouble. When you're 2-0 down after 6 minutes all the plans go out the window. 

I'm sure you've seen us more than me this season, certainly more than me in the flesh. So I won't argue with you about the good things you can see. I hope you are right about the positives but I can't see many myself. 

Like I said I'm not calling for him to be sacked but this isn't junior football either, he needs to learn and learn fast. Playing in an attractive style is what we all want but if we fall much further in the league there'll be some very twitchy fans in the Riverside. 

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And I stick by what I said, I don't think Woodgate hasn't had much criticism in the grand scheme of things. I think the overriding narrative is that Gibson is to blame and Woodgate has got an impossible job. 

I think we've got to a point in the season where we are entitled to point out technical and tactical things which are going wrong on the pitch. I think there's more to discuss than just blaming the chairman. 

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