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Overperforming or Where we Belong?


Minhosa
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As it says on the tin really, do you think we've outperformed this season and we'll slip slightly over the next couple of years or do you think we'll push on from this level and be finishing around the top 6 in future seasons?

 

For me, I'm encouraged by the strength of the first team, if a little worried about the squad depth but when you look at a side containing Krul, Colo, Saylor, Tiote, Cabaye, Demba's and potentially HBA and an on form Jonas then that's surely got the makings of a top team?

 

There's always the worry also for me about who's the next out of the door and how strong will their replacement be - obvious examples this summer are Colo and Tiote who would be colossal losses and you'd be hoping there replacements could slot straight in as we'd inevitably lose games regularly without these two over the longer term.

 

I think I'm cautiously erring towards option 3 in that this really is where we belong and we should be pushing on from here but I'd be very interested to hear the thoughts of others.

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Around where we belong.  We haven't been below 7th all season - something to really think about.

 

http://i.imgur.com/1a3S7.gif

 

edit:  I don't think this is necessarily an indicator of how shite the rest of the league is.  The top half is as competitive as ever, Man Utd/City aside. 

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Around where we belong.  We haven't been below 7th all season - something to really think about.

 

http://i.imgur.com/1a3S7.gif

 

I was more thinking about future seasons - i.e: will we be around this sort of position this time next year or has this season been a freak event?

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None of those options really. We're doing better than pretty much anyone expected, but considering the players at our disposal I don't think it's a freak really. I also think we're one of the best non-'top teams' in the league, which is quite something considering we were relegated only a few years back.

 

Depending on what happens in the summer (which obviously depends on what happens in the rest of this season) I would expect us to be challenging for European spots again next year; in and around the top 7.

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I was more thinking about future seasons - i.e: will we be around this sort of position this time next year or has this season been a freak event?

Yeah, it's not been a freak.  I think we've got enough in the team to repeat this kind of season (knock on wood)
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It is a combination of luck and finally getting a good quality team together, I know they all arent world beaters but we have had previous seasons where we have only had 1/2 players worth of getting into most teams. We also cannot ignore the fact that the "pack" up front have slowed down for want of a better term they have fucked up which has given a club the chance to slip into the mix.

 

The question long term is will those top teams buck their ideas up and refresh in the summer and push on or will we be able to keep up with them when we have players worth selling and a club that dont have a track record of always plugging the gaps and spending when its needed.

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I think expectations in our players is partially down to us doing well, so rather than saying we could be doing even better (if Pardews tactics saw us go all tippy tappy etc, not that I wouldn't waant that of course), I'm in the camp that says we are doing very well with the players we have and are not too far off our limit, especially considering the extraordinary journey we have been on in the last couple of years.

 

Beyond the quality of personnel, we still are getting results that we might not have got in the past. Whether that's luck, playing beyond ourselves, or just a symptom of a great drive and belief among the players that is nurtured and sustained by a very good manager and coaching staff I'm don't know. Pretty sure a great deal is to do with the latter though.

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If the noises coming out of St James are correct about us having FC Twente's Douglas lined up for next season, then it seems we are going to continue to build and strengthen the squad next season, so I'm fairly optimistic. We already have a very good first team with everyone fit and available. Don't forget about Marveaux who I reckon is a cracking little player.

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Got some great players in key positions. The first XI (whatever that may be) is a very good team. My fear is Europe--should be qualify--will see us fighting on too many fronts with the current squad. Not that we have anything to fear in the Europa League: we are comfortably at that level and should do aalreet.

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None of those options really. We're doing better than pretty much anyone expected, but considering the players at our disposal I don't think it's a freak really. I also think we're one of the best non-'top teams' in the league, which is quite something considering we were relegated only a few years back.

 

Depending on what happens in the summer (which obviously depends on what happens in the rest of this season) I would expect us to be challenging for European spots again next year; in and around the top 7.

 

Spot on here.  Add this post as a poll option :)

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Running the club on a sound financial basis, avoiding aged high cost risky transfers, having a good scouting system, could be the forumla that gets the club to where it has always had  the potential to be, maybe, or maybe not.

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Isn't the phrase overperforming?

 

In any case, I was going to start a similar thread. On the balance of the football I've seen this season, I don't think we have played the fifth best football in the country. Or not the kind of football you'd typically associate with a team fifth in the league, anyway.

 

We've got results though. Obviously the summer transfer window brings change, so it's almost meaningless to speculate over where I'll think we'll finish in 16/17 months time. I do think, though, if we were to start this season again in August (ie. have no further transfers for our club or any other) we wouldn't be quite as high. I think we'd be scrapping with Stoke, Swansea, Norwich, Sunderland around 8th-10th. I say that purely on the basis that we've had so many results like Wolves (a), QPR (a), Man Utd (a) - games which have been borderline but which we've left wiping our brows in gratitude.

 

Every team has these types of games, I know, but we've had a fair few games where we've got results without dominating and where, but for last-ditch defending/Krul, we would have had nothing to shown for our efforts. Defending/goalkeeping isn't luck, of course, but I still feel on another day - or in another season - the break of the ball may not have been as kind as regularly [like last season, for example, where we conceded deflected goals in double digits, probably].

 

In terms of players/assets, I think we have top calibre assets (as mentioned in the OP). Another poster said recently we have better players than we do a manager - which I tend to agree with. Pardew is good though, I just think our bunch of individuals are capable of even more - which is quite staggering/exciting, really. That may sound greedy, but it's a testament to the flashes of brilliance and football I have seen from them in fits and starts.

 

I've yet to see us string together convincing performances, or dominate matches for 90 minutes on even a semi-permanent basis - which is what I would normally associate with a top 4/5 team. Arsenal have done so in patches, but have been horrendous in others, and not picked up points in those poor phases. Liverpool are underwhelming too. Chelsea... well, Chelsea haven't impressed me either - but they're well versed in picking up points without playing well. The league is as poor as I can remember it, IMO. I don't want to denigrate our achievements, because we've made the most of it with a lot of commitment, effort and hard work. I just feel like we actually have more in the tank (ie. untapped ability). I don't want Pardew gone or owt like that (if that is how my post has read thus far), but I hope he can get us playing better football to fully utilise our potential. It's a work in progress and it takes time tbf. There's some room for improvement, growth and development for him as a manager too is what I'm saying. Interesting times.

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It is a combination of luck and finally getting a good quality team together, I know they all arent world beaters but we have had previous seasons where we have only had 1/2 players worth of getting into most teams. We also cannot ignore the fact that the "pack" up front have slowed down for want of a better term they have fucked up which has given a club the chance to slip into the mix.

 

The question long term is will those top teams buck their ideas up and refresh in the summer and push on or will we be able to keep up with them when we have players worth selling and a club that dont have a track record of always plugging the gaps and spending when its needed.

 

You make an interesting point about those top clubs not to mention that many will be due fundamental change over the next few years with SAF retiring, Wenger possibly following suit, AVB's settling in period finishing, Redknapp and England/Bird, Kenny trying to stay sane and Mancini being severely tested. Thats before Financial Fair Play is considered, though what difference it will make to them, I'm unsure.

 

Also, many of the top four are going to need fundamental changes to their core players if they are to retain their current status and again will their current owners fund that (obv, Citeh apart) and will they buy well?

 

Just off the top of my head:

 

Man Utd - Carrick, Rio, possibly Vidic, Scholes (again), Giggs, Evra and Berba.

 

Chelsea - Terry, Lampard, Drogba, Bosingwa, Cole and a long term replacement for Cech.

 

Arsenal - RVP's contract situation + many players not really playing to a top four standard consistently.

 

Spurs - Probably the best placed to continue for the next few years without massive investment and will have massive funds to do so if/when Bale or Modric go.

 

Liverpool - Gerrard, Carragher, Kuyt and Bellamy all finished within two years pretty much.

 

Citeh - Irrelevant as they'll throw money at anyone who gets three MoM's in a row anyway.

 

Very interesting times coming up and thinking it through Spurs look very well positioned to continue with their top 4 achievements if a settled, consistent and highly achieving side is what this requires.

 

 

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The only reason why anyone could say we're over-performing is because the squad is brand new and 'ungelled', if that's anything like a word.

 

We've got the players on paper to be in the Top 6 and we deserve to be here as far as i'm concerned.

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I think if we can sneak that EL place this season then we can keep up. If we keep in touch our players might not get too impatient and stay to allow us to keep building. If we reach that point I can see us keeping touch for a good few years and making it a 'top 7'. There's only 5 European slots in the league and 6 'top' teams. There's never going to be a specific 4 teams massively above anyone to rest on their laurels, so now is as good a chance as any, for anyone, to break into it and make things more competitive imo.

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We have a pretty damn good team with some special players. But, how many will go in the summer?

 

I think we deserve to be where we are this season, but just cant see it happening next year, unless we keep everybody.

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I don't think we are out/over performing by much, the real issue is bigger teams not performing so well, especially those competing for the final CL spot and Europe.

 

Apart from Tottenham and Citeh earlier in the season most teams up there have been poor. Manu going through the motions, Chelsea in transition, Arsenal's much publicised problems continue, Liverpool spunked a fortune on average players and Everton doing their usual CBA for half a season routine 'oh shit lets pull it out the bag second half of the season now the pressure is off' and all that has left a door open for a team like ourselves to gain some ground.

 

If next season is more settled then we can look forward to comfortably finishing in the top half of the table, it then relies on who is buckling again and whether we ride our luck a bit for how high up the table we finish.

 

 

 

 

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We have a pretty damn good team with some special players. But, how many will go in the summer?

 

I think we deserve to be where we are this season, but just cant see it happening next year, unless we keep everybody.

 

or manage to carry on replacing the "irreplaceable players" with those who are capable.

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We have the first team of a top 7 club, we have the squad of a top half club.

 

We're performing well but a lot of teams are wildly underperforming IMO.

 

I also think someone like Villa are a better manager away from being similar to us.

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We have the first team of a top 7 club, we have the squad of a top half club.

 

We're performing well but a lot of teams are wildly underperforming IMO.

 

Agree on the first team point but I don't think the likes of Perch, Taylor, Loven, Shola etc would get in many other top half teams so I would say the squad players are bottom 6 quality for the most part.

 

There's no question the top top sides are underperforming though - and last season was the same with freak results all over the shop. Unless that's the new normal?

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Guest ObiChrisKenobi

Perhaps it shows how much the quality of the Premiership has dropped? Obviously its favoured everyone else but the 'bigger' clubs don't look half as good as they were 5-10 years ago.

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