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  1. Yesterday was the first time in ages we drew a game that finished level on xG. All of the other draws were us missing chances. Yesterday we didn't create so many. I'll personally start worrying about whether we are good enough for Top 4 when our xG falls off. An eyeball test of us missing chances would do too of course. It is possible to miss out due to us having good xG (i.e., creating chances) but not scoring (i.e., taking the chances), but that would mean that our strikers and AMs were not good enough. This is something many of us would have suspected anyway at the start of the season. Play Gordon and Isak and I think we'll be okay.
  2. Stottie

    Alexander Isak

    It's very tempting to think he'd have made a difference yesterday. It's vexing/frustrating that he had to miss the game, but perhaps not something to dwell on. Other teams have much worse luck with injuries than us.
  3. Stottie


    I thought he did okay but that there was little understanding between him and Maxi, which lead to moves breaking down in turnovers.
  4. Maybe as folk say, his time is coming to an end with us. If it is, I'd first like to see him play for thirty minutes on the same side as Trippier and Bruno. Just to see what happens and to mix things up on what teams will know about us. On the left, Maxi gets doubled up on with little attacking help from behind. We've had good moves down the left this year, but they are invariably counter attacks with Willock or Joelinton carrying the ball from deep in one-on-one type situations. I can't recall many times we've overloaded on the left and passed a way through. Had Bruno been playing, perhaps first sub yesterday should have been Miggy. Switch ASM right and play Gordon left. Since Rice was dominating the middle, the logic instead became take the guy who can't press off.
  5. Disappointing. A bit of a hangover from midweek, which in turn was a hangover from 14 years or whatever from Ashley. I say that because the team should not have been nervous and Bruno should never have been sent off when we were two goals up at home. I think it happened due nerves emanating from a history of habitual failure, the lingering smell of Ashley. That free kick also sidelined Isak, a big potential difference maker today. Maybe its little stuff at the margins, maybe its the butterfly batting its wings in chaos theory, but these are little things striking me as linked in one way or another. As takeaways from this game, ASM is not something we can just switch on and off, he needs to play and be integrated in the team, which he wasn't today. While he scored, Wilson had a couple of great chances he didn't take, so not quite the great return to form. Gordon looked like the Everton player of last season, and his cameo was the clear highlight. Some laser pointer passing from Rice, who excels against us. It gets an asterisk due to Bruno missing, but a great performance from him.
  6. Their goal was a bit jammy, but after that we're lucky to be level after letting the CH go at that free kick. Our attacking play has lacked the Willock/Beg Joe understanding on the left, with slack balls into and more forgivably from ASM. ASM has the beating of his man, but it's all looking uncoordinated and rusty on that side. Trippier and Miggy quiet down the right, so we need a bit of inspiration from somewhere. Maybe Gordon can do it. Great ball from Longstaff, btw. fwiw, the Mitoma pullback for Japan looked out from some camera angles, so I don't think you can say that is definitely out based on an inclined camera angle. The Japan one was only in when viewed from directly above.
  7. Stottie

    Anthony Gordon

    My my hey hey Anthony is here to stay They chased his car, and he won't go back So he's out of the blue and into the black ... 'n' white, Black'n'white! Black'n'white! Black'n'white!
  8. Bruno won't get to play against his mate Paqueta. It might have been interesting.
  9. Fantastic result and great to be in a final! We beat three Prem teams, one who knocked out the favourites, so it's a great achievement. What a year! Great first half, with two fantastic goals, but also the most viciously punished loose pass of the season. The second half was quite nervy, in spite of us being two up at home with our great defensive record. It felt like the old feelings of disbelief creeping back in. If we do become more established, such nerves and collective bad memories will surely dissipate and we'll be in a better mental space that does not get red cards with 15 minutes to go. Along with Isak concussion, Bruno's suspension probably means we'll see more of Gordon and/or Maxi than would have happened, so I hope they can take the opportunity presented to them. It would normally be "Can't wait for the final!" but we're also competing at the top of the league, so in this case, there are three games to look forward to before it. HWL!
  10. If we signed Gallagher for less than Everton's reported bid, this becomes a 15 out of 10 window.
  11. Since European football looks nailed on for next season, it would be good to start bedding in a CM now. If FFP is what it is though, maybe it can't be helped for the standard of player they want to bring in. Before the season started, there was still suspicion that Joelinton was not disciplined enough, with the ball or fouls, to play in a double pivot, but I think he's proved that wrong. If he can, that would give us three CMs who can play in a two with various options at #10, or the four who can play in our current three. Gordon left, Miggy right would let us play both strikers and still be defensively strong.
  12. You didn't have to be Mystic Meg to see this one coming. Especially with all the Bernardo Silva to PSG links.
  13. I expect us to have a nibble at getting someone's CM, but that it may well fail due to overcharging based on Jan window, us being Saudi backed NUFC, and us being Top 4 rival NUFC (for Chelsea in particular). Our lot keep stressing that we won't overpay. I see Gordon as a two-footed version of Miggy, and he eases the route to 4-2-3-1. If two of the front four can press that hard, then you don't need 3 in midfield. Not against every opposition anyway.
  14. Stottie

    Anthony Gordon

    I would imagine the physical and tactical demands of becoming a professional footballer these days are so great than all of the genuine arseholes are filtered out long before anyone reaches the first team. This was still possible a generation or so ago, when players would have five pints on the night before. Back then, there was still enough scope to make it with talent and not so much application. Even the poster child for modern arsehole footballers, the now-aged Christiano Ronaldo, keeps himself in incredible physical condition. On the flipside, players are paid so highly these days that it is reasonable to expect far more of them. Football is one of the few places left for working class people to shine. Former opportunities in pop music and acting/entertainment are increasingly drying up, so we should not be too harsh on the few working class people left on our tvs. Not to the extent that it can affect them mentally anyway.
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