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Are the players afraid to win games?


Big Geordie
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So that's 6 points that we've dropped under the reign of JK, due to goals in the last few minutes of games. Yesterday was probably the best example of the lot. First half - played really well and deserved a 2-0 lead. Second half we just never came out, allowed Stoke to dominate and they got the draw they probably deserved.  For me the players look afraid when we go into the lead, and that fear has to come from somewhere. We had two good results on the road (draws at Chelsea and Boro) so confidence shouldn't have been rock bottom.

 

So is JK instilling fear into the players, with being more concerned about not losing a game (which happened under Allardyce) rather than trying to win it first and foremost. Or is it a lack of fight and responsibility on the part of the players?

 

A one off game, you can perhaps understand - but a worrying trend has been set of recent. And it's one that needs breaking, if we are to avoid the drop.

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It does appear as though we've lost the bottle to finish off a game. Probably through a mixture of poor use of substitutions (and tactics) and a lack of leadership.

 

The problem is the more it happens the more likely it is repeat itself. Players begin to realise they haven't finished off opposition in past games and so the nerves creep in. It's a nasty habit, one that's far too easy to slip into. Last season's Fulham are a prime example of this.

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Guest LucaAltieri

The lack of leadership is certainly a problem.

 

Butt appears to be the most captain-like in terms of personality... he's just wank. Really we shouldn't have him on the pitch if we can get away with it. Other than him, I don't see any real leader or spirit in the squad.

 

Maybe Barton?  :lol:

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Guest Stephen927

After the break with Taylor at right back, Beye on the right wing, and Jonas through the centre, the players were afraid to make mistakes and take a chance.

 

I've no doubt either that Kinnear is telling them to keep it tighter once we've taken the lead and you can't do that against the weaker opposition when we're down near the relegation spots. Yesterday should have been a case of 2-0 up at half time, lets move Coloccini into midfield in place of Guthrie, Taylor in central defence, and lets go have some fun and grab a few more goals. Instead it became a case of lets hold onto what we've got and when they haven't won for a couple of weeks it's only natural doubts would come into their minds towards the end.

 

Need a leader in the middle of the park tbh.

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No, the players are not afraid to win games, the manager screwed up and that is the reason we didn't win yesterday.  He totally changed the shape of a team who had been comfortably controlling the game for 45 minutes through moving 3 players to get around 1 player having to go off.  I can't see the point in looking for any other reason than that.  Taking off Martins was also another balls up and it's one that has been repeated too often without Kinnear learning from his mistake.

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We were lucky in the end to beat West Brom as that was another dreadful second half showing. Much like yesterday we went in at half time 2-0 up and seemingly forgot how to attack after the restart.

 

It does make you you wonder if JK is telling the players "keep it tight, weather the storm blah blah blah."

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No, the players are not afraid to win games, the manager screwed up and that is the reason we didn't win yesterday.  He totally changed the shape of a team who had been comfortably controlling the game for 45 minutes through moving 3 players to get around 1 player having to go off.  I can't see the point in looking for any other reason than that.  Taking off Martins was also another balls up and it's one that has been repeated too often without Kinnear learning from his mistake.

 

Agree with all of that. :thup:

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No, the players are not afraid to win games, the manager screwed up and that is the reason we didn't win yesterday.  He totally changed the shape of a team who had been comfortably controlling the game for 45 minutes through moving 3 players to get around 1 player having to go off.  I can't see the point in looking for any other reason than that.  Taking off Martins was also another balls up and it's one that has been repeated too often without Kinnear learning from his mistake.

 

Yep, spot on there Mick.  :thup:

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No, the players are not afraid to win games, the manager screwed up and that is the reason we didn't win yesterday.  He totally changed the shape of a team who had been comfortably controlling the game for 45 minutes through moving 3 players to get around 1 player having to go off.  I can't see the point in looking for any other reason than that.  Taking off Martins was also another balls up and it's one that has been repeated too often without Kinnear learning from his mistake.

 

Aye spot on in terms of yesterday but it is becoming a bit of a habit if you look at the City, Wigan and very nearly the West Brom games.

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I've always thought Taylor would be future captain material. However it's still too early for him - he has to earn that right. If he were to get it now, it would more than likely go to his head.

 

Don't think we've had a real organiser/vocal captain since Barry Venison. Shearer led by example, but wasn't really a banger together of heads on the pitch.

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Guest WashyGeordie

No, the players are not afraid to win games, the manager screwed up and that is the reason we didn't win yesterday.  He totally changed the shape of a team who had been comfortably controlling the game for 45 minutes through moving 3 players to get around 1 player having to go off.  I can't see the point in looking for any other reason than that.  Taking off Martins was also another balls up and it's one that has been repeated too often without Kinnear learning from his mistake.

 

I agree to an extent but it's abit one-sided.

 

It was obvious Stoke would of came out fighting after a drab first half for them just to prove a point, and they brought on Fuller in the second half, which completely changed Stoke's attack, as he is a threat (e.g when he completely glided past Enrique & Colo then assisted, for their first goal). But we just gifted Stoke posession/chances, we gave them space, and we just sat back, which in the end, proved costly and we dropped 2 points. (And we were lucky against WBA/Villa to get the 3pts) Also Guthrie had to come off for Taylor who's a defender so we were more defensive second half and had no one in centre midfield really, but we still should of won with the team we had on the pitch before Martins came off...

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No, the players are not afraid to win games, the manager screwed up and that is the reason we didn't win yesterday.  He totally changed the shape of a team who had been comfortably controlling the game for 45 minutes through moving 3 players to get around 1 player having to go off.  I can't see the point in looking for any other reason than that.  Taking off Martins was also another balls up and it's one that has been repeated too often without Kinnear learning from his mistake.

 

Aye spot on in terms of yesterday but it is becoming a bit of a habit if you look at the City, Wigan and very nearly the West Brom games.

 

And Coventry, again conceding late on.

 

I don't buy the argument that this is all tactical.  It certainly doesn't help if your manager is incompetent, but the habit of conceding late goals is mental as much as anything.  As much as I disagree with defending a lead and playing too conservatively, our players should be able to defend a 2-0 lead for 45 minutes at home against Stoke without Martins, without Guthrie, and with players out of position.  They shouldn't be forced into that position, but I don't think it is asking too much. 

 

Kinnear's own erratic behavior suggests that he may contribute to the problem of mental weakness, so it may be a case of failing to lead by example.  But I'm guessing it takes a little more damage than Kinnear or any manager is capable of inflicting in order to fold like our players did in the second half.  And we know this problem existed before Kinnear even arrived.  We have seen this set of players flap about and panic under Keegan too. 

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I agree to an extent but it's abit one-sided.

 

It was obvious Stoke would of came out fighting after a drab first half for them just to prove a point, and they brought on Fuller in the second half, which completely changed Stoke's attack, as he is a threat (e.g when he completely glided past Enrique & Colo then assisted, for their first goal). But we just gifted Stoke posession/chances, we gave them space, and we just sat back, which in the end, proved costly and we dropped 2 points. (And we were lucky against WBA/Villa to get the 3pts) Also Guthrie had to come off for Taylor who's a defender so we were more defensive second half and had no one in centre midfield really, but we still should of won with the team we had on the pitch before Martins came off...

 

In the first half Geremi and Guthrie ran the centre of midfield and they were well backed up behind then by Bassong and Coloccini who both played the ball around well.  In the second half we had to make 1 change when Guthrie was injured, instead of bringing on Cacapa to take the place of Guthrie we had a game of musical chairs with Taylor going to the right side of defence, Beye moving to the wing and Gutierrez going into the middle.

 

Instead of 1 player having to come to terms with how we were playing we had 3 players who were in different positions to the first half and it also effected others around them who hadn't a clue what was going on.  A solid pairing in the middle of our defence turned to shit because the players around them had totally changed.  That is down to what Kinnear did at half time and he later compounded that by taking off our only player which worried them over the half way line, they no longer had anything to worry about Martins so they pushed further up the field so could get at our defence quicker.

 

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If we start winning, we might have to keep Kinnear. That'd make me afraid of winning...

 

I'd rather start winning regardless of who picks the team, even if it means keeping Kinnear longer than we would by dropping points.

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