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The season so far...


ChezGiven
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Just about one third of the way through and doing ok to be at the top of a tough league, despite some poor performances. 

 

Yes there are massive problems in the squad, this is not a side which would survive in the premier league. However, a review of our results so far warrants some analysis. The opening day draw at WBA looks increasingly like a very good result and the subsequent 6 wins on the bounce were rightly lauded. Reading were dispatched of easily and rightly so, i think they will continue to struggle. Shef Wed, Palace and Leicester were dispensed of quite easily but the Cardiff performance and the defeat at a very competent Blackpool showed us that the league was going to be tough. Few could admit it though as apparently at this point, we were better than everything put in front of us. The strength in depth displayed in the Huddersfield game seemed to buoy us somewhat for a few weeks.

 

Plymouth and Ipswich brought two more wins but they are looking like relegation contenders and the defeat away to Peterborough could be looked at in a number of ways, it certainly hinted at the run of games in the league.

 

QPR looked smart on the ball, quick footed and were a great footballing side. I was delighted with Harewood's goal, i though we had made a great signing. Alas no. Bristol city should have been beaten but profligacy in front of goal cost us. Were our strikers without Shola just trying to find their feet? Or were they coming up short? It was all up in the air.

 

The defeats away to Scunthorpe and Forest seemed to suggest that the wheels were coming off and everyone who was questioning Hughton had a very good point. However, two wins on the bounce against two very good sides have put us on 30 points from 15 games. Not a bad tally, certainly could be higher but one which has us 2 points clear coming into a run of 3 games out of 4 at home. These next 4 games could be the most important of the season. If we can put some points between us and the rest, we could rid ourselves of a bit of doubt.

 

 

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The comment that is understated in your analysis is that we are not a premiership side. Pompey would do us 5-0 right now. This scares the hell out of me. We are better than the majority of this league, but they are much worse than I had expected.

 

We could become a good side and kill this league with just a couple of players, but I don't think we have the money or the ability to find these people.

 

1. Midfielder who can run into space. We have Ranger, Carroll and Shola who can all knock a ball down back and hold it up - well we need someone who can run with pace for 90 minutes and either put it out to another midfielder or shoot - we need a fit Kieron Dyer really.

 

2. A finisher - one who can run onto a ball and compliment one of the three players mentioned above. Nolan is trying but I think he is at his best now and what we could really use is someone like Chopra.

 

We could improve in a number of other areas as well. And even if we got these two players I mentioned we'd still be killed after promotion.

 

One last observation: At the start of the season we seemed fitter than the other teams... that gloss seems to have gone now. Even when we fell behind the other teams seemed to fade in the last 20 and we seemed to have more fitness and drive than our oppoenents - we aren't like that anymore. The Blades and certainly Scunny seemed even fitter than us and last longer. Have we lost fitness? Have they gotten better? I have no idea.

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I dont think it has much to do with fitness although last night, we did have 50% of our defence returning after several weeks out through injury.

 

I think, last night, in particular, it was more down to the tactics of Hughton to sit on a 1-0 lead mfor the last 15 minutes although why he should take a defender and a midfielder off to replace them with two attackers mystified me to say the least.

 

We almost played into SU s hands and if not for 3 quality saves from Harper, we would have certainly drawn or even lost this game. I cannot comment on Scunthorpe as I didnt see the game but last night was a m irror image of the Cardiff away game earlier this season and we were lucky to get 3 points against them.

 

I dont think we have the set up or capability to defend a small lead, despite having the best defensive record in the division because we dont seem to have the capability to score goals at will like other teams at the top.(Cardiff and WBA).

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this is a division where mediocrity reigns, as Sheffield United's finishing proved

 

That quote from the Daily Mail sums it up for me. We are top but it's as much down to how poor the other teams are as to our own strengths.

 

 

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I dont think it has much to do with fitness although last night, we did have 50% of our defence returning after several weeks out through injury.

 

I think, last night, in particular, it was more down to the tactics of Hughton to sit on a 1-0 lead mfor the last 15 minutes although why he should take a defender and a midfielder off to replace them with two attackers mystified me to say the least.

 

We almost played into SU s hands and if not for 3 quality saves from Harper, we would have certainly drawn or even lost this game. I cannot comment on Scunthorpe as I didnt see the game but last night was a m irror image of the Cardiff away game earlier this season and we were lucky to get 3 points against them.

 

I dont think we have the set up or capability to defend a small lead, despite having the best defensive record in the division because we dont seem to have the capability to score goals at will like other teams at the top.(Cardiff and WBA).

 

But macca, isn't that where the tactically inept Keegan always went wrong? ???

 

What it all boils down to is NUFC lost crucial games that they were leading because of the managers inability to close these games up with good tactical defensive substitutions whilst MUFC took full advantage.

 

Strange that your incisive tactical advice seems inconsistent.

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Our strongest point is our defence, currently. Our weakest aspect is the attacking 3rd.

 

Our current strikeforce have cost us £0 in transfer fees.

 

 

This is what concerns me, if we do go up and want to stay up we are going to have to go out and spend a load on the attack, we'll need a 15 goal a season striker and you're looking at 8-10M that ain't gonna happen.  We'll also need an entire new midfield and a premiership standard one even just average will cost 10-20M if not more.

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I dont think it has much to do with fitness although last night, we did have 50% of our defence returning after several weeks out through injury.

 

I think, last night, in particular, it was more down to the tactics of Hughton to sit on a 1-0 lead mfor the last 15 minutes although why he should take a defender and a midfielder off to replace them with two attackers mystified me to say the least.

 

We almost played into SU s hands and if not for 3 quality saves from Harper, we would have certainly drawn or even lost this game. I cannot comment on Scunthorpe as I didnt see the game but last night was a m irror image of the Cardiff away game earlier this season and we were lucky to get 3 points against them.

 

I dont think we have the set up or capability to defend a small lead, despite having the best defensive record in the division because we dont seem to have the capability to score goals at will like other teams at the top.(Cardiff and WBA).

 

But macca, isn't that where the tactically inept Keegan always went wrong? ???

 

What it all boils down to is NUFC lost crucial games that they were leading because of the managers inability to close these games up with good tactical defensive substitutions whilst MUFC took full advantage.

 

Strange that your incisive tactical advice seems inconsistent.

 

Hughton's the only manager I know who would try to defend a lead by throwing on three strikers after playing with one for the first 80 mins. Still, at least Marlon won't blank him in training today.

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Our strongest point is our defence, currently. Our weakest aspect is the attacking 3rd.

 

Our current strikeforce have cost us £0 in transfer fees.

 

 

This is what concerns me, if we do go up and want to stay up we are going to have to go out and spend a load on the attack, we'll need a 15 goal a season striker and you're looking at 8-10M that ain't gonna happen.  We'll also need an entire new midfield and a premiership standard one even just average will cost 10-20M if not more.

 

Don't you think there are more pressing matters to be concerned with?

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so far, better results than expected, worse performances than expected. hopefully there is better to come from the squad we have (and personally i think there is), otherwise we'll get caught out. you can't go on turning in poor performances and getting away with it.

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Just about one third of the way through and doing ok to be at the top of a tough league, despite some poor performances. 

 

Yes there are massive problems in the squad, this is not a side which would survive in the premier league. However, a review of our results so far warrants some analysis. The opening day draw at WBA looks increasingly like a very good result and the subsequent 6 wins on the bounce were rightly lauded. Reading were dispatched of easily and rightly so, i think they will continue to struggle. Shef Wed, Palace and Leicester were dispensed of quite easily but the Cardiff performance and the defeat at a very competent Blackpool showed us that the league was going to be tough. Few could admit it though as apparently at this point, we were better than everything put in front of us. The strength in depth displayed in the Huddersfield game seemed to buoy us somewhat for a few weeks.

 

Plymouth and Ipswich brought two more wins but they are looking like relegation contenders and the defeat away to Peterborough could be looked at in a number of ways, it certainly hinted at the run of games in the league.

 

QPR looked smart on the ball, quick footed and were a great footballing side. I was delighted with Harewood's goal, i though we had made a great signing. Alas no. Bristol city should have been beaten but profligacy in front of goal cost us. Were our strikers without Shola just trying to find their feet? Or were they coming up short? It was all up in the air.

 

The defeats away to Scunthorpe and Forest seemed to suggest that the wheels were coming off and everyone who was questioning Hughton had a very good point. However, two wins on the bounce against two very good sides have put us on 30 points from 15 games. Not a bad tally, certainly could be higher but one which has us 2 points clear coming into a run of 3 games out of 4 at home. These next 4 games could be the most important of the season. If we can put some points between us and the rest, we could rid ourselves of a bit of doubt.

 

 

 

Good read.

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so far, better results than expected, worse performances than expected. hopefully there is better to come from the squad we have (and personally i think there is), otherwise we'll get caught out. you can't go on turning in poor performances and getting away with it.

 

I think the results have raised people's expectations about performances. Gradually expectations have changed since August. Not sure why like.

 

At the start of the season, we werent seriously expecting imperious displays from Nolan, Smith, Jonas etc?

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so far, better results than expected, worse performances than expected. hopefully there is better to come from the squad we have (and personally i think there is), otherwise we'll get caught out. you can't go on turning in poor performances and getting away with it.

 

I think the results have raised people's expectations about performances. Gradually expectations have changed since August. Not sure why like.

 

At the start of the season, we werent seriously expecting imperious displays from Nolan, Smith, Jonas etc?

not imperious but better than what they've been turing out.
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I think Smith & Nolan have been better than expected, but the likes of Barton, Guthrie & Jonas have been a major disappointment. Think people were expecting a lot more from those, regardless of the fact they've had injuries and not been in their correct position all of the time.

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so far, better results than expected, worse performances than expected. hopefully there is better to come from the squad we have (and personally i think there is), otherwise we'll get caught out. you can't go on turning in poor performances and getting away with it.

 

I think the results have raised people's expectations about performances. Gradually expectations have changed since August. Not sure why like.

 

At the start of the season, we werent seriously expecting imperious displays from Nolan, Smith, Jonas etc?

not imperious but better than what they've been turing out.

The only anomaly of this season for me is Scunthorpe.

 

Blackpool are brilliant at home, Bristol City, QPR and Forest are all in-form teams and promotion contenders.

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so far, better results than expected, worse performances than expected. hopefully there is better to come from the squad we have (and personally i think there is), otherwise we'll get caught out. you can't go on turning in poor performances and getting away with it.

 

I think the results have raised people's expectations about performances. Gradually expectations have changed since August. Not sure why like.

 

At the start of the season, we werent seriously expecting imperious displays from Nolan, Smith, Jonas etc?

not imperious but better than what they've been turing out.

The only anomaly of this season for me is Scunthorpe.

 

Blackpool are brilliant at home, Bristol City, QPR and Forest are all in-form teams and promotion contenders.

the performances against sheff weds,leicester,bristol city (whom when we played them were coming off a run of 3 draws, 1 defeat, 1 win...hardly in form),were poor and we couldn't have complained has sheff weds and leicester had taken a point off us.
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so far, better results than expected, worse performances than expected. hopefully there is better to come from the squad we have (and personally i think there is), otherwise we'll get caught out. you can't go on turning in poor performances and getting away with it.

 

I think the results have raised people's expectations about performances. Gradually expectations have changed since August. Not sure why like.

 

At the start of the season, we werent seriously expecting imperious displays from Nolan, Smith, Jonas etc?

not imperious but better than what they've been turing out.

The only anomaly of this season for me is Scunthorpe.

 

Blackpool are brilliant at home, Bristol City, QPR and Forest are all in-form teams and promotion contenders.

the performances against sheff weds,leicester,bristol city (whom when we played them were coming off a run of 3 draws, 1 defeat, 1 win...hardly in form),were poor and we couldn't have complained has sheff weds and leicester had taken a point off us.

 

City are up to 5th and only 3 points off an automatic promotion place, therefore they are one of the form sides of the league at the moment. Did well to beat Leicester, they've had a great run too (since they are 4th), we never looked like losing to Sheff weds either.

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so far, better results than expected, worse performances than expected. hopefully there is better to come from the squad we have (and personally i think there is), otherwise we'll get caught out. you can't go on turning in poor performances and getting away with it.

 

I think the results have raised people's expectations about performances. Gradually expectations have changed since August. Not sure why like.

 

At the start of the season, we werent seriously expecting imperious displays from Nolan, Smith, Jonas etc?

not imperious but better than what they've been turing out.

The only anomaly of this season for me is Scunthorpe.

 

Blackpool are brilliant at home, Bristol City, QPR and Forest are all in-form teams and promotion contenders.

the performances against sheff weds,leicester,bristol city (whom when we played them were coming off a run of 3 draws, 1 defeat, 1 win...hardly in form),were poor and we couldn't have complained has sheff weds and leicester had taken a point off us.

 

City are up to 5th and only 3 points off an automatic promotion place, therefore they are one of the form sides of the league at the moment. Did well to beat Leicester, they've had a great run too (since they are 4th), we never looked like losing to Sheff weds either.

they are one of the form teams at the moment but weren't when we played them. it's the nature of this division that teams will go on those sort of runs then runs of defeats.

 

we never looked like losing to sheff weds but they had some very clear chances in the second half and could easily have got a point.

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so far, better results than expected, worse performances than expected. hopefully there is better to come from the squad we have (and personally i think there is), otherwise we'll get caught out. you can't go on turning in poor performances and getting away with it.

 

I think the results have raised people's expectations about performances. Gradually expectations have changed since August. Not sure why like.

 

At the start of the season, we werent seriously expecting imperious displays from Nolan, Smith, Jonas etc?

not imperious but better than what they've been turing out.

The only anomaly of this season for me is Scunthorpe.

 

Blackpool are brilliant at home, Bristol City, QPR and Forest are all in-form teams and promotion contenders.

the performances against sheff weds,leicester,bristol city (whom when we played them were coming off a run of 3 draws, 1 defeat, 1 win...hardly in form),were poor and we couldn't have complained has sheff weds and leicester had taken a point off us.

 

City are up to 5th and only 3 points off an automatic promotion place, therefore they are one of the form sides of the league at the moment. Did well to beat Leicester, they've had a great run too (since they are 4th), we never looked like losing to Sheff weds either.

they are one of the form teams at the moment but weren't when we played them. it's the nature of this division that teams will go on those sort of runs then runs of defeats.

 

we never looked like losing to sheff weds but they had some very clear chances in the second half and could easily have got a point.

 

They are if you judge form over 15 games.

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so far, better results than expected, worse performances than expected. hopefully there is better to come from the squad we have (and personally i think there is), otherwise we'll get caught out. you can't go on turning in poor performances and getting away with it.

 

I think the results have raised people's expectations about performances. Gradually expectations have changed since August. Not sure why like.

 

At the start of the season, we werent seriously expecting imperious displays from Nolan, Smith, Jonas etc?

not imperious but better than what they've been turing out.

The only anomaly of this season for me is Scunthorpe.

 

Blackpool are brilliant at home, Bristol City, QPR and Forest are all in-form teams and promotion contenders.

the performances against sheff weds,leicester,bristol city (whom when we played them were coming off a run of 3 draws, 1 defeat, 1 win...hardly in form),were poor and we couldn't have complained has sheff weds and leicester had taken a point off us.

 

City are up to 5th and only 3 points off an automatic promotion place, therefore they are one of the form sides of the league at the moment. Did well to beat Leicester, they've had a great run too (since they are 4th), we never looked like losing to Sheff weds either.

they are one of the form teams at the moment but weren't when we played them. it's the nature of this division that teams will go on those sort of runs then runs of defeats.

 

we never looked like losing to sheff weds but they had some very clear chances in the second half and could easily have got a point.

 

They are if you judge form over 15 games.

they've won 6 out of fifteen. hardly anything to get worked up over. and yes they are 3 points off a promotion spot....4 points off twelfth aswell.
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so far, better results than expected, worse performances than expected. hopefully there is better to come from the squad we have (and personally i think there is), otherwise we'll get caught out. you can't go on turning in poor performances and getting away with it.

 

I think the results have raised people's expectations about performances. Gradually expectations have changed since August. Not sure why like.

 

At the start of the season, we werent seriously expecting imperious displays from Nolan, Smith, Jonas etc?

not imperious but better than what they've been turing out.

The only anomaly of this season for me is Scunthorpe.

 

Blackpool are brilliant at home, Bristol City, QPR and Forest are all in-form teams and promotion contenders.

the performances against sheff weds,leicester,bristol city (whom when we played them were coming off a run of 3 draws, 1 defeat, 1 win...hardly in form),were poor and we couldn't have complained has sheff weds and leicester had taken a point off us.

 

City are up to 5th and only 3 points off an automatic promotion place, therefore they are one of the form sides of the league at the moment. Did well to beat Leicester, they've had a great run too (since they are 4th), we never looked like losing to Sheff weds either.

they are one of the form teams at the moment but weren't when we played them. it's the nature of this division that teams will go on those sort of runs then runs of defeats.

 

we never looked like losing to sheff weds but they had some very clear chances in the second half and could easily have got a point.

 

They are if you judge form over 15 games.

they've won 6 out of fifteen. hardly anything to get worked up over.

Lost less than us.

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