I don't believe that we've become a bad side over night...

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Bladesman

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Everybody settle down, Wilder's just running up the odds for a top 10 finish then he'll play Burke and Sharp up top. Billy for golden boot.

Imagine the cash you would win on that bet.
 

carthesis

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I don't believe that we've become a bad side over night.

I do believe though, that the signs were there last season in that we were never freely scoring. At this level, if you carry less of a threat, you're there to be picked off.

More pressingly, I'm worried about how we aren't "at it" at the moment, Wilder's self-proclaimed essential ingredient, that swashbuckling character. If the WBs aren't as energetic or are pinned in, and if the outside centre halves sit back more, we simply don't get going and the defense and midfield look separated from the forwards, who in turn look more and more isolated and we invite pressure from the opposition and possession against us.

Where that leaves us, is as a fairly decent possession side, who could be slightly solid defensively, although whom realistically will be likely weaker than last year given the loss of Henderson and now the significant loss of O'Connell. If you're slightly less solid and resolute and still not scoring, it doesn't bode well.

The three league games we've had so far, I still... still believe are not a barometer of how well prepared we are or are not. Wolves was over before it begun, against a side whom I expect to finish top 5, such is their spending. Villa was a training exercise for 10 men and even then, for the majority, we weren't threatened and were incredibly solid. Then Leeds, we're having to adapt to being without Egan and O'Connell - that is hugely significant, and yet we were still in it. Solid, yet unspectacular. We deserved a point.

What those games do show, is the need for depth. We don't have what others do, even with 5 signings. Then, in terms of style we seem devoid of our spark, devoid of our energy, devoid of creativity and devoid of goals. There are glimpses of hope in Burke's early impressions, Berge's srong start, but more is needed. We need Norwood's composure and Fleck's dynamism. We need a creative midfieldee and a forward who will bring renewed energy to the front line, as it's too long to wait for Moose and too much of a gamble to do so. Our current forwards, for their industry do not compliment one another well enough.

We also need to think about replacing O'Connell and creating a new, settled back line. Not with spending but with either Ampadu in the side and Enda at LWB or Enda in the role and Lowe at LWB. With Egan and now O'Connell, we simply haven't had any early luck, or a chance to be a settled side and try to play OUR game.

I understand the need to not gamble a sense financial infrastructure or the future of the club, but as things stand we seemingly do not have enough. The prince needs to spend... at the very least £20-30, for Sharp to get the Peronis in.
The most telling thing for me was the "break" we had because of COVID. We are playing now how we played when we first came back.

I'm putting aside the medical-management fuck-up of not getting JOC in for his knee op on the 27th of March, as he would likely have been back by now; and also the failure to spend money in the areas which actually needed spending (losing Hendo was a blow, but i think Ramsdale is a decent replacement, albeit not QUITE as good).

The big thing that has struck me is that I think the lack of fans has had a massive impact on us. It feels to me as though we are a team that feeds far more heavily off our fans and the noise and the atmosphere than maybe anyone else in the league. If we had fans back in the Lane i'd expect results to take an uptick fairly rapidly.
 

1987

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The most telling thing for me was the "break" we had because of COVID. We are playing now how we played when we first came back.

I'm putting aside the medical-management fuck-up of not getting JOC in for his knee op on the 27th of March, as he would likely have been back by now; and also the failure to spend money in the areas which actually needed spending (losing Hendo was a blow, but i think Ramsdale is a decent replacement, albeit not QUITE as good).

The big thing that has struck me is that I think the lack of fans has had a massive impact on us. It feels to me as though we are a team that feeds far more heavily off our fans and the noise and the atmosphere than maybe anyone else in the league. If we had fans back in the Lane i'd expect results to take an uptick fairly rapidly.

I think yesterday we looked far more like we did pre lockdown, for the first time this season we really looked flowing at times. It was our best performance this season, last season we might have snuck it 1-0 or got a point, this season we didn't, but performance wise it wasn't really a million miles away from our good runs last season.
 

8lade

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Imagine the cash you would win on that bet.
Let's see...a few interesting ones here...
Calvert Lewin 9/1 (5th favourite)
Rhian Brewster 80/1
Bim Bam Bamford 100/1
McBurnie 125/1
Carroll 200/1
Wesley 500/1
No mention of Sharp.
Edit: missed McGoldrick and Mousset 200/1
 

Sheffsteel

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Basically if Lunny score the penalty against Villa and scores the open goal against Leeds.
We would more than likely be on 6 points and in the top half.
 

SellyOakBlade

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I don't believe that we've become a bad side over night.

Neither do I.

We do appear to have become somewhat unlucky. The concerning thing is that that spell of bad fortune has hit us over games we would have expected to take points from.

Our luck could quite easily turn over the next few matches - but because we are playing Arsenal/Liverpool/Man C/Chelsea - it might not make a difference.

I have no faith that "it will even itself out over a season" - the reffing decisions didn`t in 06/07, and the VAR decisions didn`t last year either. 38 games isn`t a big enough sample size for it to even itself out.
 

N20 Blade

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So you're saying that if we only had Jags as cover in defence, it wouldn't make any difference to us? Who cares if he's a loan player? By your reckoning then, Henderson our on loan keeper didn't make us stronger on the pitch either. That's just daft. I get what you're saying, it's frustrating to not see much progress in the starting 11 and specially up top. But I don't think you can say that bringing in some good cover in defence is a bad move, specially now JOC is out all season.
I'd be quite happy with Brewster on loan for a season.
 

guancheblade

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In fact you could argue, with JOC injury, we're weaker on the pitch.
Poor recruitment this summer is my opinion.

Exactly. Every other side has improved. We have gone backwards! Not just downgrades in positions, but we also have the problem of current first teamers regressing as well... Norwood, Fleck, McGoldrick, Sharp... we are looking more like a mid table Championship side right now.

The JOC injury was no surprise and we were aware of it since last June. Perhaps Ampadu was the contingency plan here. Covers many positions. He showed yesterday how comfortable he is travelling forwards with the ball. He's better suited to the JOC role than Robinson for many reasons. He certainly isn't ready for the Egan role just yet as he showed many times he was caught in two minds who to go with positionally. And we need Egan's aerial and organisational ability at the back more than ever.
 

Greg.

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In terms of the expected goal stats so far, we've not been a truly 'bad' side.

Obviously the points total matters, but our defence has looked solid enough conceding 1 'big chance' on average across the 3 games and 1.2x expected goals, both slightly below average. This includes games vs. Wolves (a good side), Villa (10 men for most of it) and Leeds (scored 7 goals in their first 2 games).

Meanwhile, we've been 'expected' to score more than 1 goal on average per game, a little bit below the league average.

Expected stats.png

These have mostly come through fewer higher quality chances (e.g. Lundstram's penalty vs. Villa and the good save vs. Leeds) rather than quantity. We are towards the bottom of the league in terms of shots on target and chances created, so hopefully we can get that finisher in, as I don't think it is Billy.

attacking stats.png
 

John Street West Terrace

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We definitely haven’t become a bad side over night .. but at this level we have to be more clinical at putting away our chances & can’t fall asleep like we have done defensively for 3 of our goals that we’ve conceded so far this season.
I agree 100% with Wilder in what he said in his post match interview that the first goal is so important as it changes the whole dynamics of a game , you don’t want to be chasing a game against teams that are experts in the fast counter attack , something we don’t have in our own armour at present with Moose out.
Last season we won a lot of points based on a rock solid defence of which we’ve lost a vital member of unit , personally I think we’d need to recruit to cover that void or bring Stevens into the LCB position, Robinson is a whole hearted player but not PL standard unfortunately, something which Bamford exposed on Sunday.
With finances being tight I’m not sure if that’s on the table ,from my own point of view we could also desperately need with the well reported striker with pace plus a creative midfielder that can unlock defences that sit deep against us .
I hope the board are able to support CW in his strengthening as I think we’ll need it if we are gonna progress , can’t fault performance level or effort at all against Leeds but fine margins win matches at this level
UTB ⚔️
 

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