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January transfer window 19/20 season Post Mortem

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2 minutes ago, wilsoncgp said:

I'd say experience is probably needed more in situations like we're in, the young lads who are in the team and are absolutely required on the bench right now don't get to come into games and play to their own strengths as an individual, they need to fit the team because we're desperate for points.

You are right, it is different to what we asked for in the summer but given the consensus on here seems to agree that we're in a relegation battle and indeed you yourself have said we've not even bottomed out as a club, it's vital we get players who are proven at this level as good players to ensure we avoid that situation.

I don't think anyone can disagree we need more quality than 'age' but as you've also shown by your own post, experience isn't only categorised by having simply older players, the likes of McNair, Saville and Britt aren't old players but they do have more experience at this level than the kind of players we want to bring through in the long-term, the 3 we've brought in this summer are entering this level for the first time and in a battle at the bottom, it's not overly surprising we're not seeing the best out of them. And bringing in an older head doesn't necessarily mean a long-term signing as I've also said, you could bring in a 32-year old for 5-6 months and that's not respectively affecting the long-term commitment of finances as much.

I'd honestly much rather we do that now and give Woodgate a chance to turn it around than switch to the alternative, which seems to be Warnock. That is a considerably greater change in direction than changing your short-term recruitment goals.

If we bring a good experienced player in then I don't think any of us will complain. I just think Woodgate and the club are a walking contradiction. 

 

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40 minutes ago, wilsoncgp said:

I think if you look at certain areas of the team, we could certainly do with some more experience. It's no good that 4 of those players listed are centre-mids, Gestede and Friend look like they'll never be consistently fit again.

We could do with a proven, experienced winger or two given we've been asking for that for over a year. Browne and Johnson are our only real wingers and they're not exactly boasting a great deal of experience at this level. We could do with an experienced defender or two, particularly when you've got seemingly never-ending injuries to Shotton and Friend and we never replaced Flint. 

I can't imagine it definitely means buying permanently, either. I think we'll be looking to do some loan deals to add to the squad, mostly because we won't want to keep anyone on Prem wages on a long-term deal.

The problem with saying we miss the experience of Friend/Flint/Shotton is that area is not the area we're reportedly targetting it's a 'creative' midfielder and a striker. My issue is everyone's fit in our squad there's not a chance this mystery Championship/PL squad striker gets Britt out the team and we've chased 'creative' midfielders with experience like Puncheon many times before I'm not sure the rumoured 2-3 signings would actually improve our XI that much if we get a Martin Cranie type again for defence it would be fine but with the amount of crosses we concede we could have Chiellini back there we'd still struggle.

I'd rather we went harder for youngish PL loans like Izzy Brown in the summer but the ship on most of them has sailed, I'm really not convinced a Leon Clarke type coming in does much for us we saw with VLP as well signing a 'creative' midfielder who's got no game time under his belt is a pretty expensive bad idea. I know it's been said alot but if we had a decent scouting network we could fill these gaps with European league experienced players on cheaper wages and nominal fees the 'proven' Championship cliche we've gone for since Monk has buried us with big fees, big wages and big disappointments why go to that well again I don't get it.

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5 minutes ago, Duvel said:

If we bring a good experienced player in then I don't think any of us will complain. I just think Woodgate and the club are a walking contradiction. 

 

I know you think that, I can't say I'm 100% happy with the situation either, I don't think anybody is. But I also think there's a pretty good reason staring at us in the face as to why we shouldn't go for more Dijksteels, Bolas and Brownes this window and I think out of all the things this club has done recently in terms of its recruitment, it makes sense to me to change the short-term goal for this window if we are to stick with the longer-term goal of what Woodgate and the club supposedly want to achieve. It might contradict the long-term vision for this window but you can either do that or change the long-term plan and sack the manager and hire someone whose entire career is the opposite of what our vision was set out to be. I think the latter is a much bigger contradiction than changing your strategy for one window.

As with all things though, we'll have to see how the window and the rest of the season goes before we know for sure how successful that is, or even how true to the word the plan is. I suspect, as with the last however many of windows we've gone through, this one will find a way to be disappointing again.

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9 minutes ago, wilsoncgp said:

I know you think that, I can't say I'm 100% happy with the situation either, I don't think anybody is. But I also think there's a pretty good reason staring at us in the face as to why we shouldn't go for more Dijksteels, Bolas and Brownes this window and I think out of all the things this club has done recently in terms of its recruitment, it makes sense to me to change the short-term goal for this window if we are to stick with the longer-term goal of what Woodgate and the club supposedly want to achieve. It might contradict the long-term vision for this window but you can either do that or change the long-term plan and sack the manager and hire someone whose entire career is the opposite of what our vision was set out to be. I think the latter is a much bigger contradiction than changing your strategy for one window.

As with all things though, we'll have to see how the window and the rest of the season goes before we know for sure how successful that is, or even how true to the word the plan is. I suspect, as with the last however many of windows we've gone through, this one will find a way to be disappointing again.

Or we could do what Jamie suggests and bring in a couple of young attacking players on loan from the Premier league to supplement a first team that isn't lacking experience but is lacking creativity. 

I don't think we've lacked experience this season. We've lacked organisation defensively, we've lacked creativity going forward and I think we've lacked an identity as a team. None of that is related to experience. 

It feels like the latest excuse for poor results is our lack of squad depth. This situation with having loads of kids on the bench has only come about in the last couple of weeks. Before then we had a few more experienced heads on the bench and we were still failing to get results. 

 

 

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It's probably because we can't afford young players that are actually getting gametime and we're left with older has-beens that can't get into the matchday squads in lower prem teams. It'll be more Cranies than Gastons.

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19 games this season x 90 mins = 1710 mins

Pears - 5 games 450 mins   Coulson - 4 games 2 sub 363 mins = 813 mins out of 3420 mins or 24% of total possible game time

They are the only two young, inexperienced players who have really been involved this season.  Walker has had about 35 mins total so I haven't included him.

Browne - 5 games 7 sub 410 mins   Bola - 6 games 1 sub 519 mins   Dijksteel - 9 games 3 sub 801 mins  = 1730 mins out of 5130 mins or 34% of total possible game time.

They are the new signings in the summer.  None of them would be called experienced players in fairness but then we knew that before we signed them.  All three of them have had other players preferred to them, including players being played out of position.  Only Dijksteel has really made a mark in the first team and even he has had Howson preferred to him in his place.

Fry - 14 games 1260 mins   Wing 15 games 3 sub 1370 mins   Tavernier 10 games 3 sub 908 mins = 3538 mins out of 5130 mins or 69% of total possible game time.

They are the younger or less experienced players already involved in the first team before this season.  Tavernier initially wasn't in the team but has gradually worked himself into it.  Fry and Wing have been involved for the majority of games.  Obviously there's far more football being played by these players, which is as you would expect from players already involved in the first team.  Fry and Tavernier would also be our two brightest prospects so again you'd expect them to feature in the side.

The average age of everyone who has played even a minute of league football for us this season is 25.3.  The average age of the squad minus those who have only played a handful of mins is about 25.9.   The average age of the 11 players who have played the most minutes is 26.5.  That last figure obviously includes Fry, Wing and Tavernier as well.

Everyone will have their own views on what the information means, assuming they've actually read through it and managed to make it this far without falling asleep.  My own take is that it's difficult to say that we have lacked experience this season.  We've lacked some quality but not experience.  This squad isn't inexperienced overall.  You can certainly say that we've missed a few players because of injuries - Friend being the most notable one.  I don't think you can include Gestede though, he clearly has been missing but he only played 109 mins last season.  It's also tricky to say how much he'd have played this season had he been available all the time.  Shotton has played 13 games and 1170 mins and Randolph 14 games and 1260 mins.  They've both missed some game time but not that much really.

This coming summer, we are about to lose some of that experience.  I think that needs to pointed out because if it's claimed that we have an inexperienced squad now then God knows what it will look like next season.  Ayala, Howson, Gestede, Friend, Shotton and Johnson are all out of contract.  Randolph will almost certainly be sold along with the likes of Clayton you'd expect.  Unless we end up signing some 30 year olds then the average age of our squad will decrease by a reasonable amount.  If we make some decent signings then the quality of the squad doesn't have to decrease, indeed it may even increase.

I think the club, via the media, are sending out mixed messages because basically this season has been bad so far and they are scrambling around for excuses for it, preferably ones which don't include Steve Gibson, Neil Bausor, Jonathan Woodgate and our summer recruitment.

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It’s all a load of ***, our team is an experienced championship team, the majority of the players are the same players who finished 7th last season.

Randolph is a top class keeper, Britt averages 15 a season, Ayala one of the most respected CB in the league, Howson is about as experienced as you can get. 

Also if they are going to use lack of experience as an excuse are they not going to counter that by pointing out Coulson has been one of the best performers this season?

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Just by way of comparison: Using average age of the squad minus those who have only played a handful of mins and average age of the 11 players who have played the most minutes (some of them might be slightly incorrect as I was rushed but it should only be very slightly).

Boro - 25.9 and 26.5

WBA - 25.8 and 25.18

Leeds - 26.4 and 27.2

Fulham - 26 and 26.8

Forest - 26 and 27.8

Bristol City - 25.4 and 25.7

Preston - 26.2 and 26.5

We don't appear to have a particularly young squad compared to those clubs.

 

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That's because we don't have a young or inexperienced squad. Our injury list alone contains a player signed by Mowbray and four players aged over 30. Just because Woodgate's shortlisted League One starlets have flopped thus far doesn't mean we're playing with a ragtag of rookies and A Trialists. We're not Bolton, for Christ's sake.

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23 hours ago, Duvel said:

Just off the top of my head, you could pretty much put this team on the pitch at the moment.

Randolph
Djiksteel
Ayala
Fry
Coulson


Clayton


McNair
Saville
Wing


Britt
Fletcher.

That's with Friend, Shotton and Gestede to come back from injury. That to me is a nice blend of youth and experience which is what Woodgate supposedly wanted. 

I knew all those players aren't firing on all cylinders at the moment and that team also lacks flair, but that isn't a team that should be fighting relegation either. 

Well Dijksteel is a liability, (not that we have many options there) but other than that, that is a decent team "on paper".

Makes you wonder what is so wrong that they are putting in the kind of performances we've seen.

 

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Ultimately, the issues we're facing come down to weak or inept coaching and tactics, plus an unwelcome hangover from Pulis's reign of error in terms of players having overly-defensive mindsets and low confidence.

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Personally it doesn't matter what players we bring in because it's apparent Woodgate can't coach group of players and get every member of the squad understanding their role he's just throwing them on the pitch and hoping for the best is no gameplan at all.  There is plenty of experience at the club of players who've been promoted I must say were lacking in prime 26 year olds as either have players that are learning like Dijkstee and Bola or players passed their best in Clayton and Friend

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1 hour ago, AnglianRed said:

Well Dijksteel is a liability, (not that we have many options there) but other than that, that is a decent team "on paper".

Makes you wonder what is so wrong that they are putting in the kind of performances we've seen.

 

Stick Howson at right back then, he's done alright there and it's even more experience. 

That team isn't gonna win the league but it shouldn't be fighting relegation either. 

Edited by Duvel
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