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A review of the season so far: Have we lost perspective?


The Prophet
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31st January 2010: We're four points clear at the top of the table with a game in hand. Go back to August and would any of us in our wildest dreams expect us to be this position? We complain and whinge that we aren't playing very well but thus far hasn't this season exceeded all expectation?

 

There's still a long way to go of course but although this season hasn't been entirely satisfactory it's damn sight better than I or most fans for that matter would of expected. Personally I was expecting play-offs absolute tops, of course that is still a possibility, but the mere fact we're competing at the top of the table is both surprising and satisfactory. On paper this is to be expected, but when you take into account the way some of the lads played last term; the man we currently have managing them; and of course the numpties running the place it is a massive achievement to be where we are right now.

 

As I have said this season hasn't been entirely satisfactory, you can't help but feel had Hughton been brave enough to go 4-4-2 on the road we'd be even better off but an away record of won six, drawn six, and lost three is hardly poor. Then you go back to the beginning of the season. Would any of us expected any different from Hughton? We knew he was a pretty awful manager from his stint at the helm last season, allegedly allowing players to run the dressing room, playing players out of position and the implementation of the dreaded 4-5-1 formation. Yet despite this we're still at the top competing.

 

We've kept a majority of the midfield that was a significant in our relegation, they still can't play football and frequently get passed off the park even at this level but we've still ground out results. We still haven't addressed this problem in the transfer market, yet we've still done some good business. How many of us would of expected a couple of loan signings let alone three permanent moves? But people are still whinging about us missing out on players we never really had a realistic chance of signing.

 

I could go on but the fact is despite our joke of an owner, our inept manager and our crap midfield we're still top of the league. Taking these factors into account you could argue if anything we're punching above our weight. Of course this could all change in the weeks to come but what we've done thus far is pretty impressive. This season was never going to be pretty, next season could be a massacre without significant investment, but given some of the negativity around you'd miss the fact we're actually doing a hell of a lot better than most of us would have expected back in August.

 

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Totally, the thing I'm finding hardest is accepting that the Championship isn't anywhere near as hard as we were led to believe, and a team that includes Nolan, Butt, Smith, Ameobi and Carroll is good enough to do well.

 

I guess we can't avoid the big question - what happens when we go up - but we can't deny this season has been much better than expected.

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The worrying thing is, even dropping a division, we've rarely looked good. Grinding out results is all well and good but it doesn't make entertaining viewing. Also, we absolutely have to get promoted this season or we can say goodbye to S.Taylor, Enrique and any other good players (on the bright side we'd also lose some bad ones).

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The worrying thing is, even dropping a division, we've rarely looked good. Grinding out results is all well and good but it doesn't make entertaining viewing. Also, we absolutely have to get promoted this season or we can say goodbye to S.Taylor, Enrique and any other good players (on the bright side we'd also lose some bad ones).

at least we've learned how to grind out a win, birmingham got up that way and look at them now

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I think for me the big worry is just quite how much investment we require to be a half decent side. I mean we'd get absolutely battered next year with the likes of Nolan, Butt, Raylor and Smith.

 

So, it depends on how short term your view of perspective is...........................

 

- Yes we should get promoted but that's more about the dross in this league than us.

- We'll be the first team promoted to the top flight without having played well for 90 minutes.

- BUT, who wants to be a yoyo club? Or a guaranteed season of misery next year? I can't see how we'll be anything other than relegation fodder given the amount of players we're carrying who are sub-standard, unfit and immovable. That's before we even get onto the monkeys who manage us, direct us and own us.

 

If we're purely looking at perspective in the now then yes, we should be thankful we are where we are but if you're talking about anything more than short term perspective, then we're right to have serious concerns about the wellbeing of our club.

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Completely agree, i believe we have lost some perspective and was going to make a similar post. Although TBF it's par for he course around here.

 

Most of the fans that frequent this forum are passionatley in love with NUFC and it's only through this which you get the instant reactions from them after a poor performance. Most people realise it's been a fairly remarkable season but are just a bit frustrated by the style of football.

 

Should we win promotion people will realise what an achievement it has been and the optimism will return for the future, even if it's just for a short while.

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Guest sicko2ndbest

I always thought we would be competitive in this league and am pleased with the current position.

 

Perspective lost? maybe

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Completely agree, i believe we have lost some perspective and was going to make a similar post. Although TBF it's par for he course around here.

 

Most of the fans that frequent this forum are passionatley in love with NUFC and it's only through this which you get the instant reactions from them after a poor performance. Most people realise it's been a fairly remarkable season but are just a bit frustrated by the style of football.

 

Should we win promotion people will realise what an achievement it has been and the optimism will return for the future, even if it's just for a short while.

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful we're on our way back up but I can't agree that this season has been remarkable or much of an achievement to be honest.

 

We're only top of the league because it's a shite league and our position is more about our opponents than us.

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By the way, don't be naive enough to think that Hughton doesn't know exactly what he is doing by playing this boring (solid) formation and style. He's playing to our strengths because he probably knows we don't have enough on the front foot.

 

I suspect if we got promoted he would invest in new midfielders (he'd have to ;)).

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Completely agree, i believe we have lost some perspective and was going to make a similar post. Although TBF it's par for he course around here.

 

Most of the fans that frequent this forum are passionatley in love with NUFC and it's only through this which you get the instant reactions from them after a poor performance. Most people realise it's been a fairly remarkable season but are just a bit frustrated by the style of football.

 

Should we win promotion people will realise what an achievement it has been and the optimism will return for the future, even if it's just for a short while.

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful we're on our way back up but I can't agree that this season has been remarkable or much of an achievement to be honest.

 

We're only top of the league because it's a shite league and our position is more about our opponents than us.

 

Isn't it remarkable that our current set of players have managed it though?

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Our perspective have never been too realistic IMO! In the Premier League pretty much everyone were expecting us to be fighting for the TOP6 places with not so much better squad as the one we current have...realistic? I believe the problme is that we want to be entertained and watch our team play attractive football which haven't been the case for many season now. Under Hughton's defensive minded guidance we'll never gonna play attractive style and that's the thing what worries me the most

 

Hughton always seem to change the winning team and yesterday was a perfect example! Why on earth go and chance our biggest treath going forward Jonas for the worst player in the squad(Butt)?

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Completely agree, i believe we have lost some perspective and was going to make a similar post. Although TBF it's par for he course around here.

 

Most of the fans that frequent this forum are passionatley in love with NUFC and it's only through this which you get the instant reactions from them after a poor performance. Most people realise it's been a fairly remarkable season but are just a bit frustrated by the style of football.

 

Should we win promotion people will realise what an achievement it has been and the optimism will return for the future, even if it's just for a short while.

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful we're on our way back up but I can't agree that this season has been remarkable or much of an achievement to be honest.

 

We're only top of the league because it's a shite league and our position is more about our opponents than us.

 

Isn't it remarkable that our current set of players have managed it though?

 

Not really when you compare them to their peers in this league.

 

How many players in this league have;

 

- Played for England (Smith, Butt)

- Played in Champions League ties and finals (Smith, Butt, Colo, Lovenkrands)

- Still represent their country at top level (Colo, Jonas)

- Represent their country at more junior levels (Ranger, Kadar, Krul etc)

- Have loads of top level experience (Shola, Barton, Nolan, Smith etc)

 

The only surprising element this season is that the team pulled their fingers out and made some effort, which if they had of done last year, we wouldn't even be here (Hang your heads Messr's Owen, Beye, Martins, Barton etc).

 

There is enough proven quality and experience across our squad to make them favourites to go up (even if they don't all play well at the same time), to scare the opposition into respecting us too much and to outplay lesser knowns in this league.

 

Barely any of them are of premiership quality though which makes me rather pessimistic.

 

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Our perspective have never been too realistic IMO! In the Premier League pretty much everyone were expecting us to be fighting for the TOP6 places with not so much better squad as the one we current have...realistic? I believe the problme is that we want to be entertained and watch our team play attractive football which haven't been the case for many season now. Under Hughton's defensive minded guidance we'll never gonna play attractive style and that's the thing what worries me the most

 

Hughton always seem to change the winning team and yesterday was a perfect example! Why on earth go and chance our biggest treath going forward Jonas for the worst player in the squad(Butt)?

 

Jonas wasn't fit enough but playing Nicky Butt is criminal.

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31st January 2010: We're four points clear at the top of the table with a game in hand. Go back to August and would any of us in our wildest dreams expect us to be this position? We complain and whinge that we aren't playing very well but thus far hasn't this season exceeded all expectation?

 

There's still a long way to go of course but although this season hasn't been entirely satisfactory it's damn sight better than I or most fans for that matter would of expected. Personally I was expecting play-offs absolute tops, of course that is still a possibility, but the mere fact we're competing at the top of the table is both surprising and satisfactory. On paper this is to be expected, but when you take into account the way some of the lads played last term; the man we currently have managing them; and of course the numpties running the place it is a massive achievement to be where we are right now.

 

As I have said this season hasn't been entirely satisfactory, you can't help but feel had Hughton been brave enough to go 4-4-2 on the road we'd be even better off but an away record of won six, drawn six, and lost three is hardly poor. Then you go back to the beginning of the season. Would any of us expected any different from Hughton? We knew he was a pretty awful manager from his stint at the helm last season, allegedly allowing players to run the dressing room, playing players out of position and the implementation of the dreaded 4-5-1 formation. Yet despite this we're still at the top competing.

 

We've kept a majority of the midfield that was a significant in our relegation, they still can't play football and frequently get passed off the park even at this level but we've still ground out results. We still haven't addressed this problem in the transfer market, yet we've still done some good business. How many of us would of expected a couple of loan signings let alone three permanent moves? But people are still whinging about us missing out on players we never really had a realistic chance of signing.

 

I could go on but the fact is despite our joke of an owner, our inept manager and our crap midfield we're still top of the league. Taking these factors into account you could argue if anything we're punching above our weight. Of course this could all change in the weeks to come but what we've done thus far is pretty impressive. This season was never going to be pretty, next season could be a massacre without significant investment, but given some of the negativity around you'd miss the fact we're actually doing a hell of a lot better than most of us would have expected back in August.

 

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For me it's all about next season. If we don't go up we're fucked, so let's ignore that possibility. If we do get promotion it's going to take a new manager and probably £20m of investment to ensure our survival and we all know that's not going to come under Ashley. We're not even showing the most basic of signs of being able to cope with regular Premier League opposition.

 

If we were second and playing promising football that didn't always get the results it deserved I'd probably be much happier. As it is we're top almost by default.

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For me it's all about next season. If we don't go up we're fucked, so let's ignore that possibility. If we do get promotion it's going to take a new manager and probably £20m of investment to ensure our survival and we all know that's not going to come under Ashley. We're not even showing the most basic of signs of being able to cope with regular Premier League opposition.

If we were second and playing promising football that didn't always get the results it deserved I'd probably be much happier. As it is we're top almost by default.

Absolutely coudn't agree more  :thup:

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Completely agree, i believe we have lost some perspective and was going to make a similar post. Although TBF it's par for he course around here.

 

Most of the fans that frequent this forum are passionatley in love with NUFC and it's only through this which you get the instant reactions from them after a poor performance. Most people realise it's been a fairly remarkable season but are just a bit frustrated by the style of football.

 

Should we win promotion people will realise what an achievement it has been and the optimism will return for the future, even if it's just for a short while.

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful we're on our way back up but I can't agree that this season has been remarkable or much of an achievement to be honest.

 

We're only top of the league because it's a shite league and our position is more about our opponents than us.

 

Isn't it remarkable that our current set of players have managed it though?

 

Not really when you compare them to their peers in this league.

 

How many players in this league have;

 

- Played for England (Smith, Butt)

- Played in Champions League ties and finals (Smith, Butt, Colo, Lovenkrands)

- Still represent their country at top level (Colo, Jonas)

- Represent their country at more junior levels (Ranger, Kadar, Krul etc)

- Have loads of top level experience (Shola, Barton, Nolan, Smith etc)

 

The only surprising element this season is that the team pulled their fingers out and made some effort, which if they had of done last year, we wouldn't even be here (Hang your heads Messr's Owen, Beye, Martins, Barton etc).

 

There is enough proven quality and experience across our squad to make them favourites to go up (even if they don't all play well at the same time), to scare the opposition into respecting us too much and to outplay lesser knowns in this league.

 

Barely any of them are of premiership quality though which makes me rather pessimistic.

 

 

Is it remarkable to be at the top with such shit? I think so, regardless of the awards of the likes of Butt. How he played in the champions league, i will never know.

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31st January 2010: We're four points clear at the top of the table with a game in hand. Go back to August and would any of us in our wildest dreams expect us to be this position? We complain and whinge that we aren't playing very well but thus far hasn't this season exceeded all expectation?

 

There's still a long way to go of course but although this season hasn't been entirely satisfactory it's damn sight better than I or most fans for that matter would of expected. Personally I was expecting play-offs absolute tops, of course that is still a possibility, but the mere fact we're competing at the top of the table is both surprising and satisfactory. On paper this is to be expected, but when you take into account the way some of the lads played last term; the man we currently have managing them; and of course the numpties running the place it is a massive achievement to be where we are right now.

 

As I have said this season hasn't been entirely satisfactory, you can't help but feel had Hughton been brave enough to go 4-4-2 on the road we'd be even better off but an away record of won six, drawn six, and lost three is hardly poor. Then you go back to the beginning of the season. Would any of us expected any different from Hughton? We knew he was a pretty awful manager from his stint at the helm last season, allegedly allowing players to run the dressing room, playing players out of position and the implementation of the dreaded 4-5-1 formation. Yet despite this we're still at the top competing.

 

We've kept a majority of the midfield that was a significant in our relegation, they still can't play football and frequently get passed off the park even at this level but we've still ground out results. We still haven't addressed this problem in the transfer market, yet we've still done some good business. How many of us would of expected a couple of loan signings let alone three permanent moves? But people are still whinging about us missing out on players we never really had a realistic chance of signing.

 

I could go on but the fact is despite our joke of an owner, our inept manager and our crap midfield we're still top of the league. Taking these factors into account you could argue if anything we're punching above our weight. Of course this could all change in the weeks to come but what we've done thus far is pretty impressive. This season was never going to be pretty, next season could be a massacre without significant investment, but given some of the negativity around you'd miss the fact we're actually doing a hell of a lot better than most of us would have expected back in August.

 

 

Think you have done very well so far, never a question of whether you were good enough to bounce back, many relegated Premiership teams struggle to adapt when faced with Championship teams roughing up prima donnas and big time charlies.

You have done the dirty stuff really well, you have a real goal threat for this division, time will tell if you can stay the course but so far so good, although the Leicester performance would be a bit worrying, Cardiff will be a good test of where you stand for the rest of the season, win that and I think you may well keep going at the top, lose and you a back among the chasing pack, it may get very difficult if teams stop fearing you!  

 

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For me it's all about next season. If we don't go up we're f***ed, so let's ignore that possibility. If we do get promotion it's going to take a new manager and probably £20m of investment to ensure our survival and we all know that's not going to come under Ashley. We're not even showing the most basic of signs of being able to cope with regular Premier League opposition.

 

If we were second and playing promising football that didn't always get the results it deserved I'd probably be much happier. As it is we're top almost by default.

 

Agreed.  Our league position and points total has been better than I expected so far, to balance that out this league is not as good as I had expected.  The quality of our football has been crap more often than not and I don't see why we should just accept it as being good enough, I don't think it's necessary either.

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the season has exceeded expectations simply because the league is far worse than most of us imagined. on top of this we hung on to more of our better players than most of us expected. we're not top because Hughton is some great manager. Given the weaknesses of this league and some strong elements of our squad (defenders, end product) i'd expect most managers in this league to do the same were they in charge of us.

 

in terms of performances, looking for positives elements in our play, there's very little to be encouraged about. every game, bar maybe one or two, follows the exact same pattern - opposition show us some respect in the opening exchanges, then get a hold of the ball, realise we're shit, and dominate possession. this even happens when the opposition are a man down. the only reason we don't get punished for getting dominated every game is down to the poor quality of finishing in this division. we're top but playing like a lower mid-table side. the only part of our team that looks like it is playing as a cohesive unit is the back five, but even then we are very generous in terms of giving other sides chances. the midfield and attack betray the situation - they look like they are playing without a manager, without any sort of recognisable style or cohesion.

 

what is worrying, not just for next season but for the run-in of this season, is that we've had a slight drop in performances. with two good teams close behind us we need to buy a couple more players by the end of the window and return to winning back to back matches.

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I don't know what anyone else's perspective is but mine is that if Ashley pushes the boat out and signs a decent forward it could seal promotion. There was a very real chance we could have got Moses but we didn't really go for it, similar with Kilgallon and Beckford, although the latter was priced out of a move in reality. Routledge and Williamson are decent signings but the Moses one would have shown real intent.

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I don't know what anyone else's perspective is but mine is that if Ashley pushes the boat out and signs a decent forward it could seal promotion. There was a very real chance we could have got Moses but we didn't really go for it, similar with Kilgallon and Beckford, although the latter was priced out of a move in reality. Routledge and Williamson are decent signings but the Moses one would have shown real intent.

 

CM with legs is a must as well imo. At the moment we're just getting ran off the park in the middle, the game just seems to bypass our midfield. It's almost like we're playing every game with 9 players.

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I don't know what anyone else's perspective is but mine is that if Ashley pushes the boat out and signs a decent forward it could seal promotion. There was a very real chance we could have got Moses but we didn't really go for it, similar with Kilgallon and Beckford, although the latter was priced out of a move in reality. Routledge and Williamson are decent signings but the Moses one would have shown real intent.

 

CM with legs is a must as well imo. At the moment we're just getting ran off the park in the middle, the game just seems to bypass our midfield. It's almost like we're playing every game with 9 players.

 

Realistically we won't have a limitless budget so I doubt we'll get a quality midfielder AND a striker so if it's a choice a striker is more important for me. We have a few options in the middle, Guthrie or Barton could be given more of a central role in games to come. That said, if Palace are selling players left and right, a cheeky bid for Ambrose wouldn't be the worst bit of business.

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I am lazy to quote, but for those who are worried that we rarely look good in the Championship (despite grinding out results) ..

 

If we refer to the history, looking good in the Championship is as much a curse as blessing

 

Successful beautiful team :

 

Reading under Coppell

Sunderland under Keane

Burnley under Coyle,

West Ham under Pardew

 

I suppose we can also find contradicting examples :

 

Wolves under McCarthy

West Brom under Mowbray

Sunderland under McCarthy

 

For successful labourers :

 

Birmingham under McLeish

Stoke under Pulis

Hull under Brown

Wigan under Jewell

 

For unsuccessful labourers :

 

Birmingham under Bruce

Derby under Davies

Watford under Boothroyd

Sheffield Utd under Warnock

 

All these going back to 2004-05 Championship

 

But if we change a different angle :

 

2008/09 - Wolves

2007–08 - West Brom

2006–07 - Sunderland

2005–06 - Reading

2004–05 - Sunderland

2003–04 - Norwich

2002–03 - Portsmouth

2001–02 - Man City

2000–01 - Fulham

 

In the recent years, being the Championship Champion is almost a curse.

 

In conclusion, if anything, I wouldn't worry too much how we perform or where we are positioned in the table - as long as we are promoted.

 

Then only we worry about how to keep ourselves in the Premiership.

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Speak for yourself, but I totally expected us to be in this position. I knew this division was full of crap and we had a squad of players that should be expected to win it. The one thing I have been surprised about is despite not really playing up to our potential we've still managed to win as many games as we have.

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