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Swindon Town FC => The Boardroom => Topic started by: Peter Venkman on Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 17:17:41



Title: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Peter Venkman on Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 17:17:41
Well the transfer window has shut (apart from freebies) so how do we all think we are shaping up?

I personally am enjoying games again after many years of not looking forward to watching us (probably since the last Wembley visit).

I have the buzz again (yes I should see a doctor I know!) which has been missing for a long time, I am quite enjoying the football under PB, he has made us harder to beat, we have competitive options in every position except for LB.

We are at times playing some great passing and running football as good as any we have seen in years, mixed with some long balls too to mix it up a bit.

We are getting a lot of late goals and never seem to give up, even a couple of goals down (except for Lincoln away who bullied us).

I am optimistic for a decent season even though it is still early, the signs are there of making genuine progress on the pitch.

I was looking at the start made this season under PB compared with the Championship winning sides in this division under PdC and Macari, also added Flitcroft last season by way of comparison.

PB - W3 D3 L1 GF12 GA12 - 12 points - 7th place
h 3-2 w
a 1-4 l
h 3-2 w
a 2-2 d
a 1-1 d
h 1-1 d
a 1-0 w

PdC - W3 D0 L4 GF10 GA8 - 9 points - 13th place
h 3-0 w
a 0-1 l
a 0-1 l
h 1-2 l
a 1-2 l
h 3-2 w
h 2-0 w

Macari - W2 D1 L4 F6 A13 - 7 points - 20th place
h 0-1 l
a 1-4 l
h 2-1 w
a 0-0 d
h 3-2 w
a 0-3 l
a 0-2 l

Flitcroft - W3 D1 L3 F8 A10 - 10 points 14th place
a 2-1 w
h 1-1 d
a 1-0 w
h 0-3 l
h 1-4 l
a 3-0 w
a 0-1 l

A fairly solid start and long may it continue.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: @mwooly63 on Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 18:09:52
Agree with the better football this season, and probably most enjoyable since Wembley.

Was about this stage we went on a winning streak under Macari after that poor start so anything that mirrors that is more than acceptable.

Current squad shows some really good play at times, if we can get a settled 11 without suspensions we just might be surprised.
Look forward to going at the moment and long may that continue  :pint:


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: The Artist Formerly Known as Audrey on Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 18:19:04
I look at our fixtures and think we should be winning all of them! Still reckon we’ll be top come October.

Nelson and Wolfie look so much more solid - bit worried about Conroy fully recovering his pre injury form atm.

Finally get Dave fit and firing, get Woolery up front with Adebayo and we’re looking well set.

Great start. Kudos to Brown and the players.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Bob's Orange on Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 18:22:58
Interesting that penalties and Red cards have played a big part in our season so far!

The 2 reds at Crawley cost us 2 points but the Tranmere red probably gained us 3.

From what I have seen it’s been quite enjoyable and the effort is certainly there. Cut out the stupid challenges and I think we’ll be there or thereabouts come the season’s end. Glad PB has sorted out the defence, Nelson and Wolf seem to be ideal for league 2 and we have goals throughout the team. And we still have Woolery to come into the side, I wonder how PB will utilise him?


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: RobertT on Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 18:36:15
I seem to remember last season, about two games in taking a stab and saying we looked good for play offs.  I still think we probably should have made them, but we had a couple of really bad wobbles and Flitcroft vanished up his own tactical genius arse at times.

I am not a fan of Brown, so remain cautious this season, despite potentially better signs.  Again, I think we'll make the play offs, based on what I have seen so far.  We are not amazing, there are obvious weaknesses, but, on the flip side, very little of what we have played has offered any reason why we shouldn't still make the play offs.  Lincoln were the only team who I'd be confident of finishing above us, with Franchise being the other team who I think will get to the Play Offs simply because they look tough to beat.

The midfield and Adebayo are stand outs for me, better than this league.  Keeper seems to have sorted itself.  Will be interesting to see how Richards goes for another full season at his age, and whether Woollery can fit in.  The defence shows signs of improving, the worry si Lancashire seems to have a broken body, Conroy might struggle to stay fit and Taylor may be playing his last season as a pro.

Reg will probably say something about the evidence suggesting we'll be fighting for our league survival by December, but the basic stats suggest Play Offs as well.  If all we did all season is repeat the results of the first 7 games, then play offs would be our home.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 18:38:37
 Still too early to make a judgement....  during the pre season, the problems at the back and up top were highlighted, and as anticipated they've been solved with some loan kids.

 It's asking an awful lot for these lads essentially here for experience to carry the burden of getting us back to Div 3.  It may be that they'll get recalled in Jan, leaving us back to square 1.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: RobertT on Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 18:48:39
Woolfenden is the only loanee likely to be recalled by the parent club for any reason other than injury or us treating them badly.

Most of our key players are just that, our players.

Nelson, Alzate & Adebayo are not close enough to their first teams currently, the latter two highly unlikely of being recalled to play.

In the event any of them did return in January, evidence suggests we'd replace them, especially if we are in the hunt, which the data suggests we probably will be.

One of our best teams in the past 30 years was riddled with loanees.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Batch on Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 19:18:47
I've enjoyed the games and its certainly been very entertaining.

I'm still none the wiser as to where we'll finish though. It feels a better squad than I thought, then again we have seen some weaknesses too. Gut feel? Early on I thought 12th or lower, but I think we have a shot at the playoffs. I do still think the autos are beyond us though.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 19:37:47
Woolfenden is the only loanee likely to be recalled by the parent club for any reason other than injury or us treating them badly.

Most of our key players are just that, our players.

Nelson, Alzate & Adebayo are not close enough to their first teams currently, the latter two highly unlikely of being recalled to play.

In the event any of them did return in January, evidence suggests we'd replace them, especially if we are in the hunt, which the data suggests we probably will be.

One of our best teams in the past 30 years was riddled with loanees.

Loan recalls can happen for a number of reasons.... think Doughty and Furlong, yes they were sort of replaced but not by what we needed. I assume you mean the Cooper side?   Yes had a load of loan players.... failed to get us up.  Presumably that is what you think we are trying to do?

For me... relying on loan kids in key positions isn't a particularly reliable template for getting promoted.  OK it's possible that we may be able to cover the centre halves to some extent, depending on Lancashire and Conroy's fitness, but we haven't really got cover for Elijah....


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: ferret on Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 20:04:25
Loan recalls can happen for a number of reasons.... think Doughty and Furlong, yes they were sort of replaced but not by what we needed. I assume you mean the Cooper side?   Yes had a load of loan players.... failed to get us up.  Presumably that is what you think we are trying to do?

For me... relying on loan kids in key positions isn't a particularly reliable template for getting promoted.  OK it's possible that we may be able to cover the centre halves to some extent, depending on Lancashire and Conroy's fitness, but we haven't really got cover for Elijah....

You can be dismissive about just about any category of players. ‘loan kids’, ‘lower league journeymen’, ‘old timers’ etc etc... call each of them what you like.

If there is a ‘particularly reliable template for getting promoted’, with the possible exception of throwing wads of cash around, I’m not aware of it.

Correct, we didn’t get promoted in 2015. But we finished 4th in a higher division. Further to which, that team was an extremely young one, which may have been detrimental in the presssure of the playoffs. This one, in addition to a smattering of ‘loan kids’ contained 3 x 35+ year olds on Saturday, and therefore appears to have a more sensible balance.

Woolery should soon be fit, and will offer ‘cover for Elijah’.

If you really think that the team will fail, have the balls to say so, rather than cowering behind the ‘too early to comment’ excuse. I think that we’ve improved significantly since the early games, most notably at the back (gone from conceding 8 in the first 3 to 1 in the last 3), and I think we are set for a serious promotion push.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Legends-Lounge on Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 20:14:14
You can be dismissive about just about any category of players. ‘loan kids’, ‘lower league journeymen’, ‘old timers’ etc etc... call each of them what you like.

If there is a ‘particularly reliable template for getting promoted’, with the possible exception of throwing wads of cash around, I’m not aware of it.

Correct, we didn’t get promoted in 2015. But we finished 4th in a higher division. Further to which, that team was an extremely young one, which may have been detrimental in the presssure of the playoffs. This one, in addition to a smattering of ‘loan kids’ contained 3 x 35+ year olds on Saturday, and therefore appears to have a more sensible balance.

Woolery should soon be fit, and will offer ‘cover for Elijah’.

If you really think that the team will fail, have the balls to say so, rather than cowering behind the ‘too early to comment’ excuse. I think that we’ve improved significantly since the early games, most notably at the back (gone from conceding 8 in the first 3 to 1 in the last 3), and I think we are set for a serious promotion push.

He’s probably picking the splinters out of his arse from sitting on the fence so often as opposed to sitting in the bench but will get round to answering you when he has carefully disected all of his previous and other posts pertaining to yours to carefully craft a nondescript reply bring you back to square one.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: The Artist Formerly Known as Audrey on Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 20:20:22
Without actually knowing, I’d imagine every club in L2 has a smattering of young loan players - the same as us.

We have great strength in depth in midfield. If Conroy gets up to speed we now seem OK for CB. Up front is the only worry if (when) Adebayo gets injured.

Keepers are ridiculously good for this level.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: ferret on Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 20:35:06
Without actually knowing, I’d imagine every club in L2 has a smattering of young loan players - the same as us.


This is another good point.

In 11/12 we were leaking goals. Conceding 3 at home to Hereford was the final straw, so di Canio, despite probably having money on tap, loaned in a ‘young kid’ without a first team appearance to his name.

In his opening 19 home league games, Wes conceded a total of 1 goal.

Using the loan market is hardly a recipe for failure. It’s common sense.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 20:38:23
Without actually knowing, I’d imagine every club in L2 has a smattering of young loan players - the same as us.

We have great strength in depth in midfield. If Conroy gets up to speed we now seem OK for CB. Up front is the only worry if (when) Adebayo gets injured.

Keepers are ridiculously good for this level.

It's likely but there are many risks involved....

https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2018/sep/06/football-league-loan-deals

I would say that ideally you want the core/spine of the side to be your own players and then the loans to add a bit of froth on the top, or plug an obvious gap, probably at full back or wing.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 20:45:32
This is another good point.

In 11/12 we were leaking goals. Conceding 3 at home to Hereford was the final straw, so di Canio, despite probably having money on tap, loaned in a ‘young kid’ without a first team appearance to his name.

In his opening 19 home league games, Wes conceded a total of 1 goal.

Using the loan market is hardly a recipe for failure. It’s common sense.

But PdC then used the  money to give Wes a 2 and a half year deal and Palace an undisclosed fee, after the 3 month loan deal expired.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: RedRag on Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 20:49:44
Like others, I am enjoying the football after years of pointless and risky keepball and last year's anti-football where the objective seemed to be to kick the ball as far and as high as possible.  In fact I had feared the clean sheet mentality Brown had trailed last year might not be all that watchable.  You certainly couldn't blame Brown for failing to deliver clean sheets with last year's comedy caper Keepers.   Now we have two "first choice" keepers in Vigs and McCormick, an abundance of combinations to set up in midfield and Adebayo rather than Norris up front.  Really, what is not to like?  

 :hmmm: Well just possibly the defence which doesn't reassure in terms of depth and where the experience available doesn't really adequately complement the youthful promise.  That doesn't shout "automatic" at me for sure but Nelson and Woolfenden are decent young additions and Taylor on the fringes is certainly a motivator.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: RobertT on Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 20:49:53
Core/Spine - You mean like having Adebayo on the bench recently, or Woolfenden having only started 1 league game, or Alzate being swapped out at times?  Didn't you also suggest he was probably not going to be much of a force for us anyway, given he'd got Leyton Orient relegated several divisions in one month or something like that?  They are either important, or not important, not sure which you think.

The question is how are we shaping up, and using previous years as a comparison, one of which is last year.  Evidence, in the form of data, is so far suggesting quite well.

Yes, I think a season similar to the Cooper one would be good.  I'd hope we could surpass the conclusion, but I am not sure.  On what I have seen so far, not making the play offs would be a failure, and yes, Brown should be concerned about his job if that did come to pass.  The available evidence suggests otherwise, so far.  We are in good form, we have got some tough results, we have improved in some areas of weakness, we are not the best club in the division, we have some weaknesses that could still hamper us and we might have to replace some loans if the worst happens, but we probably would do that based on previous transfer windows.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: ferret on Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 20:51:44
But PdC then used the  money to give Wes a 2 and a half year deal and Palace an undisclosed fee, after the 3 month loan deal expired.

That doesn’t change the point that signing a ‘young kid’ on loan, and having faith in him, was a very successful move. If we hadn’t done so, we would never have signed him permanently.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 21:07:24
Core/Spine - You mean like having Adebayo on the bench recently, or Woolfenden having only started 1 league game, or Alzate being swapped out at times?  Didn't you also suggest he was probably not going to be much of a force for us anyway, given he'd got Leyton Orient relegated several divisions in one month or something like that?  They are either important, or not important, not sure which you think.

The question is how are we shaping up, and using previous years as a comparison, one of which is last year.  Evidence, in the form of data, is so far suggesting quite well.

Yes, I think a season similar to the Cooper one would be good.  I'd hope we could surpass the conclusion, but I am not sure.  On what I have seen so far, not making the play offs would be a failure, and yes, Brown should be concerned about his job if that did come to pass.  The available evidence suggests otherwise, so far.  We are in good form, we have got some tough results, we have improved in some areas of weakness, we are not the best club in the division, we have some weaknesses that could still hamper us and we might have to replace some loans if the worst happens, but we probably would do that based on previous transfer windows.

What I said about Alzate is he is a talent, but now needs to work on the application of that talent.  This is a difficult job in his position, you only need to see how the England side can't find a quality playmaker. However it's not the midfield which could be a problem.

You and others may be happy with loan kids in key positions and it is what it is, but I'd have rather seen some experience in there.  I've pointed out that it was to be expected that PB would get in a couple of loan kids, as he waited to see how Lancashire and Conroy would rock up, but had hoped we might get another target man type.





Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 21:17:39
That doesn’t change the point that signing a ‘young kid’ on loan, and having faith in him, was a very successful move. If we hadn’t done so, we would never have signed him permanently.

Of course, judicious use of the loan system can be advantageous.  For instance Lou Macari after a dodgy start 85/86 needed a LB, and so got in Nicky Coleman from Millwall, he took a good pen.  Lou tried to sign him to no avail, but he was our only loan that record Div 4 season.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: ferret on Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 21:37:21
Of course, judicious use of the loan system can be advantageous.  For instance Lou Macari after a dodgy start 85/86 needed a LB, and so got in Nicky Coleman from Millwall, he took a good pen.  Lou tried to sign him to no avail, but he was our only loan that record Div 4 season.

You don’t need me to tell you that times have changed somewhat over the last 33 years. For parts of the 80s, clubs were only allowed to loan keepers.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: bamboonoshoe on Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 23:16:06
I was looking at the start made this season under PB compared with the Championship winning sides in this division under PdC and Macari, also added Flitcroft last season by way of comparison.

PB - W3 D3 L1 GF12 GA12 - 12 points - 7th place
h 3-2 w
a 1-4 l
h 3-2 w
a 2-2 d
a 1-1 d
h 1-1 d
a 1-0 w

PdC - W3 D0 L4 GF10 GA8 - 9 points - 13th place
h 3-0 w
a 0-1 l
a 0-1 l
h 1-2 l
a 1-2 l
h 3-2 w
h 2-0 w

Macari - W2 D1 L4 F6 A13 - 7 points - 20th place
h 0-1 l
a 1-4 l
h 2-1 w
a 0-0 d
h 3-2 w
a 0-3 l
a 0-2 l

Flitcroft - W3 D1 L3 F8 A10 - 10 points 14th place
a 2-1 w
h 1-1 d
a 1-0 w
h 0-3 l
h 1-4 l
a 3-0 w
a 0-1 l

A fairly solid start and long may it continue.

What stands out there for me and it may just be coincidence but the difference between the League winning/Promoted seasons and the DF season is strikingly obvious...Home form. Even on the Macari and PdC most their points in those early games came from Home tie wins.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: DV Canio on Thursday, September 13, 2018, 07:29:25
Not been to a game in over 5 years now, so not sure how valid my opinion will be...

Better squad in my opinion. We’ve had various injuries and suspensions already but at no point has players going out / coming in effected the quality of our starting XI.

Almost like England over the summer there has been a clear shift in attitude towards a more determined, gutsy attitude with increased application.

The keeper situation is so much better. A position so underrated in how important it is.
Defence still looks a bit shakey but the two loans have showed promise.
Midfield looks decent
Think Adebayo is a talent and will get us 15 goals. Not sure about our depth up top. Not sure Richards will still be up to it. Despite signing a year ago I still don’t feel we know much / enough about Woolrey. Stealing a ‘soundbite’ but he could be like a new signing.

Think it’ll be a top 8 finish.



Also, to an extent I see Regs point about having loan players being key members of the squad as it’s only a short term fix (unless we actually sign them)
I’d much rather have our own players so we don’t have to continually fill gaps.

However, now a days with almost all footballers on a 1 or 2 year deals the days of ‘keeping a squad together’ is an archaic, redundant concept.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Quagmire on Thursday, September 13, 2018, 07:42:51
When will you come back DV?


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: DV Canio on Thursday, September 13, 2018, 07:50:07
When will you come back DV?

Depending on circumstances one of the 4 below options

1. Never
2. When we show a bit of ambition*
3. When I’m mega rich and buy the club
4. If my son wants to go


* don’t want to derail the thread but will touch upon option 2.
Won’t say much about Power (and in truth I don’t have much to say about him anyway) we’ve for various reasons turned into one of those clubs who just make up the numbers. Not good to enough to progress up the leagues, not bad enough to slide down them.
As a football fan I can’t think of anything worse than supporting a middle of the road nothing team. For example Oldham, until last season basically made up the numbers in L1 for about 20 years with one play off finish in 03 (I think) such a boring, pointless existence.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Thursday, September 13, 2018, 08:17:48
You don’t need me to tell you that times have changed somewhat over the last 33 years. For parts of the 80s, clubs were only allowed to loan keepers.

Loans started in the early 70's our first being Paull Walker from Wolves he got 2 starts and 3 sub appearances. Right from the off a manager could get in a decent loan or a shit loan, which still holds true today. Over the 45 years of their use, far more have been miss than hit.

You mention PdC and Wes, however he did sign  a further 9..... including some right stumers, Daniel Boateng, Jonathan Tehoue, Ahmed Abdulla, Christian Montano, Ronan Murray.... others like Jake Jervis and Liam Ridehalgh were semi OK, and I think we'd have all been happy to have signed John Bostock and Lee Holmes permanently.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: RedRag on Thursday, September 13, 2018, 08:24:09
Excellent view on how we are shaping up, DV

I accept that, in the real world, there are many better ways to spend a Saturday afternoon than at the County Ground.

However, even if we are showing no real ambition as a club, you have noted that there is a more determined, gutsy attitude with increased application. And that there is some talent.

Try coming along.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: RedRag on Thursday, September 13, 2018, 08:26:50
Loans started in the early 70's our first being Paull Walker from Wolves he got 2 starts and 3 sub appearances. Right from the off a manager could get in a decent loan or a shit loan, which still holds true today. Over the 45 years of their use, far more have been miss than hit.

You mention PdC and Wes, however he did sign  a further 9..... including some right stumers, Daniel Boateng, Jonathan Tehoue, Ahmed Abdulla, Christian Montano, Ronan Murray.... others like Jake Jervis and Liam Ridehalgh were semi OK, and I think we'd have all been happy to have signed John Bostock and Lee Holmes permanently.
For all the variable quality and frequency of PDC's signings, the three points certainly used to come in on time.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: The Artist Formerly Known as Audrey on Thursday, September 13, 2018, 08:31:35
I thought we were going to try and sign Adebayo on a perm in January a la Anderson.

Be a bit of a coup, that. Sometime down the line he’s going to make big bucks.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Thursday, September 13, 2018, 08:31:57
Excellent view on how we are shaping up, DV

I accept that, in the real world, there are many better ways to spend a Saturday afternoon than at the County Ground.

However, even if we are showing no real ambition as a club, you have noted that there is a more determined, gutsy attitude with increased application. And that there is some talent.

Try coming along.


We've always been an essentially Div 3 side, with the occasional decent spell to get up to Div 2, or some sort of cup run to raise the profile.  That goes back to 1920 and the formation of Div 3.  What we want to avoid is getting stuck in Div 4,  or worse.... Power inherited a Div 3 club, and needs to get uis back there asap.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Thursday, September 13, 2018, 08:36:13
I thought we were going to try and sign Adebayo on a perm in January a la Anderson.

Be a bit of a coup, that. Sometime down the line he’s going to make big bucks.

It was mentioned.... can't see it. These days a Prem club probably wouldn't even start to talk for less than a mill.

Keshi was a bit different, as he didn't really look much good, just potential, which remains the case. Bayo does look a player.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Tails on Thursday, September 13, 2018, 08:49:10
Excellent view on how we are shaping up, DV

I accept that, in the real world, there are many better ways to spend a Saturday afternoon than at the County Ground.

However, even if we are showing no real ambition as a club, you have noted that there is a more determined, gutsy attitude with increased application. And that there is some talent.

Try coming along.


Its the difference between a customer and a fan I think.

I know we're shit and will always be shit but I've been going long enough that I have an affection that will never fade. It's over an hour drive for me now but I still do most home games. I honestly can't think of many better ways to spend my Saturdays than with my mates watching footy to be honest.

As for shaping up, I think we'll be okay. Got a good chance of going up I feel, but it's too early to really tell.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Peter Venkman on Thursday, September 13, 2018, 08:59:29
Of course, judicious use of the loan system can be advantageous.  For instance Lou Macari after a dodgy start 85/86 needed a LB, and so got in Nicky Coleman from Millwall, he took a good pen.  Lou tried to sign him to no avail, but he was our only loan that record Div 4 season.
We also had Chris Ramsey in the side and Dave Bamber and although they had been signed on perms by Macari both had previously been loan signings the season before.

I agree you can't rely totally on loan players in key positions but when you have talent available then why not use it? like every other club in this division and the one above.

If a good players appears for loan that will improve us then take him, we would be silly to ignore that.

Having a higher reputation than many in this league means we can maybe attracts a better quality loan than say Newport, Crawley, Yeovil or Carlisle.

Yes in an ideal world there would be no loans and all signings would be perm signings but then many young talented footballers would be sat in Premier League U23 sides never bettering themselves only to be released when they hit 24.

I think in Alzate, Nelson, Woolfenden and Adebayo we have 4 players that would walk into any side in this division.

You cannot say that about Flipflops 7 loanees - Hussey (good attcking awful defending), Smith (moments of good many of bad), Gordon (fast and petulant with no end product), Eslnik (started well went to pot when he got an injury), Banks (started well got worse), Anderson (showed promise so was bought), Menayese (good at times nieve at others).

I would take even one Alzate over all those TBH.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Thursday, September 13, 2018, 09:03:24
Its the difference between a customer and a fan I think.

I know we're shit and will always be shit but I've been going long enough that I have an affection that will never fade. It's over an hour drive for me now but I still do most home games. I honestly can't think of many better ways to spend my Saturdays than with my mates watching footy to be honest.

As for shaping up, I think we'll be okay. Got a good chance of going up I feel, but it's too early to really tell.

Good man...


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Flashheart on Thursday, September 13, 2018, 09:06:44
I think we're still not 'clicking'. There's some very good passages of play but not enough flow overall with attacks often quite not panning out as they could.

The table's still looking decent for us, though. If we do start clicking then we could be in for a very good season.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Thursday, September 13, 2018, 09:15:19
We also had Chris Ramsey in the side and Dave Bamber and although they had been signed on perms by Macari both had previously been loan signings the season before.

I agree you can't rely totally on loan players in key positions but when you have talent available then why not use it? like every other club in this division and the one above.

If a good players appears for loan that will improve us then take him, we would be silly to ignore that.

Having a higher reputation than many in this league means we can maybe attracts a better quality loan than say Newport, Crawley, Yeovil or Carlisle.

Yes in an ideal world there would be no loans and all signings would be perm signings but then many young talented footballers would be sat in Premier League U23 sides never bettering themselves only to be released when they hit 24.

I think in Alzate, Nelson, Woolfenden and Adebayo we have 4 players that would walk into any side in this division.

You cannot say that about Flipflops 7 loanees - Hussey (good attcking awful defending), Smith (moments of good many of bad), Gordon (fast and petulant with no end product), Eslnik (started well went to pot when he got an injury), Banks (started well got worse), Anderson (showed promise so was bought), Menayese (good at times nieve at others).

I would take even one Alzate over all those TBH.

Again it's too early to tell... Timi looked a talent, but was ground down by the physicality. We're about 5 weeks into the season, the weather is decent, pitches good.

The aim for Alzate will be to show he has the required physicality and mental application for the slog.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: hefty toe on Thursday, September 13, 2018, 09:19:25
Pretty well.  Only seen us vs Macclesfield, Tranmere and Franchise.  Sounds like Woolfenden has improved our defence.  I think we'll make the play-offs barring injuries.  On paper Lincoln, Franchise, Mansfield, Forest Green, Exeter and Notts County might have stronger first XIs/squads.  Hopefully Toumani will live up to his reputation.  The big plus is that it's so much more enjoyable than last season.  Brown has done well with the signings.  Watching players like Alzate, Doughty and Adebayo is joyful and worth the entrance fee.  We should be grateful to Mansfield for taking Flitcroft.    


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: DV Canio on Thursday, September 13, 2018, 10:35:38
Its the difference between a customer and a fan I think.

I know we're shit and will always be shit but I've been going long enough that I have an affection that will never fade. It's over an hour drive for me now but I still do most home games. I honestly can't think of many better ways to spend my Saturdays than with my mates watching footy to be honest.

As for shaping up, I think we'll be okay. Got a good chance of going up I feel, but it's too early to really tell.

Not got an issue with quality. Hell, I did 42 games in the Iffy relegation season. That team was dross but for the most part at least they tried. I can take being beaten by better teams.

It was the Wilson/Hart relegation season that destroyed me as a fan. That team was decent but the attitude was all wrong.
When we finally got rid of Wilson (too late imo) we needed a managed to galvanise the players & make them realise they were in a proper fight.

We appointed Paul fucking Hart, quite literally one of the worst managers of all time the exact opposite of what we needed.

I still can’t understand why we did that. What it was about Hart that appealed to those in charge. Again, quite literally anyone else in the entire universe would have been a better choice.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Thursday, September 13, 2018, 10:43:33
Not got an issue with quality. Hell, I did 42 games in the Iffy relegation season. That team was dross but for the most part at least they tried. I can take being beaten by better teams.

It was the Wilson/Hart relegation season that destroyed me as a fan. That team was decent but the attitude was all wrong.
When we finally got rid of Wilson (too late imo) we needed a managed to galvanise the players & make them realise they were in a proper fight.

We appointed Paul fucking Hart, quite literally one of the worst managers of all time the exact opposite of what we needed.

I still can’t understand why we did that. What it was about Hart that appealed to those in charge. Again, quite literally anyone else in the entire universe would have been a better choice.

Hart had about a dozen games, he had I think the previous season kept Palace up from a similar sitution might have got a few more game to do it... so there was a certain logic.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: DV Canio on Thursday, September 13, 2018, 10:58:00
Hart had about a dozen games, he had I think the previous season kept Palace up from a similar sitution might have got a few more game to do it... so there was a certain logic.

At Palace he managed 3 wins in 14 games.
That shit wouldn’t have kept us up.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: The Artist Formerly Known as Audrey on Thursday, September 13, 2018, 11:12:35
I tend not to dwell on football past. Even those games during the 3 day week with crowds under 2000 and various seasons of general shite have all but slipped from memory.

I was definitely waning last season under Flitcroft - any reason not to go was seized upon - especially after Lukewarm Luke’s season.

I’m missing my first home game Saturday - off to Nerja for a week - so thanks to iFollow I shouldn’t miss all the excitement! The fire has returned.

I would really appreciate a good FA Cup run this season - away to any London PL side would do. I think it would galvanise some of the lapsed.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Thursday, September 13, 2018, 16:03:59
At Palace he managed 3 wins in 14 games.
That shit wouldn’t have kept us up.

W3  D6 l5. As we know the six draws are worth 2 wins.  Had Hart come in for 14 games and replicated his Palace record we'd have been on 46, one off D and R and 2 off Saddlers who stayed up.

Of course his Palace rescue, was a different set of circumstances being in the Championship, but still 46 game but only 3 down. When he took them on they had 33 points against our 31.  He got them to 49 a similar amount would have kept us up.

It ws all the more remarkable as Palace were docked 10 for Admin.... I guess it all added to why Fitton and co saw him as a short term firefighter.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: RobertT on Thursday, September 13, 2018, 16:21:52
Again it's too early to tell... Timi looked a talent, but was ground down by the physicality. We're about 5 weeks into the season, the weather is decent, pitches good.

The aim for Alzate will be to show he has the required physicality and mental application for the slog.

Not sure he will, only one game this season has been against a team wanting to rough it up, the good old says of Div 4 are gone for now, most teams try and play it around a little to pander to the top clbs desire when sending out these loanees.  Pitches are also pretty good now.  We were a rarity last season, I think I suggested at one point that we should churn our pitch-up to improve our chances.

Anyway, he's either someone we'd miss (your suggestion we shouldn't have loanees in the spine because we might lose them all), or he's someone not significant enough to make an impact (your suggestion he might be a risk for a team trying to get promotion)..  You can't have it both ways.

There is only one fact, we are, after 7 games, in the top 7.  There is nothing concrete to suggest it will get worse, nothing concrete to suggest it will get better.  Your view that it could all unravel holds as much credence as someone suggesting we'll find something not yet seen and romp the league.

My "belief" is we'll make the play offs, it is a lottery after that.  Is that good enough, maybe not - I  think we are heading where our pre-season prep seems to have been geared towards, be in the hunt for January, then take stock and see if some bells and whistles could make a difference.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: DV Canio on Thursday, September 13, 2018, 16:23:19
W3  D6 l5. As we know the six draws are worth 2 wins.  Had Hart come in for 14 games and replicated his Palace record we'd have been on 46, one off D and R and 2 off Saddlers who stayed up.

So, we have still gone down. Just 22nd rather than 24th

Palace stayed up despite Hart rather than because of.

He was always a shit manager.
Nothing will change that.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Thursday, September 13, 2018, 16:46:43
So, we have still gone down. Just 22nd rather than 24th

Palace stayed up despite Hart rather than because of.

He was always a shit manager.
Nothing will change that.

The original point was what possessed seemingly sane men to appoint Hart... and there's the reason. OK it was a bad pick and Fitton acknowledged he'd screwed up by walking.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: DV Canio on Thursday, September 13, 2018, 16:57:04
His crap stats with Crystal Palace are not justification for his appointment.
Quite the opposite.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Bob's Orange on Thursday, September 13, 2018, 17:18:53
Not got an issue with quality. Hell, I did 42 games in the Iffy relegation season. That team was dross but for the most part at least they tried. I can take being beaten by better teams.

It was the Wilson/Hart relegation season that destroyed me as a fan. That team was decent but the attitude was all wrong.
When we finally got rid of Wilson (too late imo) we needed a managed to galvanise the players & make them realise they were in a proper fight.

We appointed Paul fucking Hart, quite literally one of the worst managers of all time the exact opposite of what we needed.

I still can’t understand why we did that. What it was about Hart that appealed to those in charge. Again, quite literally anyone else in the entire universe would have been a better choice.

Each to their own but it appears to be a bit lame that you don't go anymore because we appointed Paul Hart.

You sound like the sort of person that doesn't speak to your mum anymore after she bought you crap shoes as a 7 year old.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: DV Canio on Thursday, September 13, 2018, 17:41:24
Each to their own but it appears to be a bit lame that you don't go anymore because we appointed Paul Hart.

You sound like the sort of person that doesn't speak to your mum anymore after she bought you crap shoes as a 7 year old.

I wish I didn’t speak to my Mum anymore. Having just produced her first grandchild I can’t go a day without seeing her!!

I didn’t stop going because we appointments Paul Hart, but that was the tipping point on the end of that season which began my melancholic feelings towards the Town.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: wheretherealredsare on Thursday, September 13, 2018, 17:49:14
I wish I didn’t speak to my Mum anymore. Having just produced her first grandchild I can’t go a day without seeing her!!

I didn’t stop going because we appointments Paul Hart, but that was the tipping point on the end of that season which began my melancholic feelings towards the Town.

Congratulations on the grandchild production. Maybe therein lies the answer.

Go to the match to avoid speaking to mum (for a few hours at least) :)


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Thursday, September 13, 2018, 17:50:02
Each to their own but it appears to be a bit lame that you don't go anymore because we appointed Paul Hart.

You sound like the sort of person that doesn't speak to your mum anymore after she bought you crap shoes as a 7 year old.

Is that why VD is so vehement in his anti Hart stance.... to me he was a short term firefighter, brought in because he'd kept Palace up the previous season, and failed with us.  Disapponting but really no more than that, the reasons for our demise had been in motion for a while before Hart

I still have a smile when I see Calvin Andrew getting the odd goal for Rochdale... Hart obviously knew him from Palace and he looked terrible, but he's had a career as a sort of occasional goalscorer, and is probably regarded fondly at Rochdale.  Scored the winner at Cov ealrier this month, his first of the season


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: DV Canio on Thursday, September 13, 2018, 18:13:29
I don’t blame Hart for our demise. As you said it started well before that.

His appointment was still stupid and he was completely the wrong man for the job.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: DV Canio on Thursday, September 13, 2018, 18:15:54
Congratulations on the grandchild production. Maybe therein lies the answer.

Go to the match to avoid speaking to mum (for a few hours at least) :)

Meeting my now wife 5 years ago and working till 7am Saturday morning and playing football Saturday all contributed.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: suttonred on Thursday, September 13, 2018, 21:16:05
Is that why VD is so vehement in his anti Hart stance.... to me he was a short term firefighter, brought in because he'd kept Palace up the previous season, and failed with us.  Disapponting but really no more than that, the reasons for our demise had been in motion for a while before Hart

I still have a smile when I see Calvin Andrew getting the odd goal for Rochdale... Hart obviously knew him from Palace and he looked terrible, but he's had a career as a sort of occasional goalscorer, and is probably regarded fondly at Rochdale.  Scored the winner at Cov ealrier this month, his Only of the season

I'm confident in that prediction. Not Audrey getting a hitler tache confident, but confident.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Friday, September 14, 2018, 00:17:27
I'm confident in that prediction. Not Audrey getting a hitler tache confident, but confident.

 :) Let's see, I reckon Calvin is good for another couple. interestingly he's made more apperances off the bench, than starts, in a career boasting over 300 games for 30 odd goals


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: ferret on Friday, September 14, 2018, 10:16:11
Loans started in the early 70's our first being Paull Walker from Wolves he got 2 starts and 3 sub appearances. Right from the off a manager could get in a decent loan or a shit loan, which still holds true today. Over the 45 years of their use, far more have been miss than hit.

You mention PdC and Wes, however he did sign  a further 9..... including some right stumers, Daniel Boateng, Jonathan Tehoue, Ahmed Abdulla, Christian Montano, Ronan Murray.... others like Jake Jervis and Liam Ridehalgh were semi OK, and I think we'd have all been happy to have signed John Bostock and Lee Holmes permanently.

Frequent loans represented a particularly sensible approach under Di Canio because if one of them stepped out of line they could immediately be sent ‘home’, without us needing to pay off an extortionate contract.

It can hardly be said that his regular use of the loan market resulted in failure.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Saturday, September 15, 2018, 17:08:56
On the basis of today's evidence, we're still a long way off shaping up into a functional match winning unit.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: bamboonoshoe on Saturday, September 15, 2018, 17:15:39
On the basis of today's evidence, we're still a long way off shaping up into a functional match winning unit.

You're a fucker, you've been waiting to put this. Had we beat Bury you'd say "Well it was only Bury and to be expected, it wasn't a true test of whether we can mix it with the big boys..."

or similar.

Mods, change his name to Trolly McTrollface  ;) (You know I'm jesting Regina)


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Saturday, September 15, 2018, 17:22:38
You're a fucker, you've been waiting to put this. Had we beat Bury you'd say "Well it was only Bury and to be expected, it wasn't a true test of whether we can mix it with the big boys..."

or similar.

Mods, change his name to Trolly McTrollface  ;) (You know I'm jesting Regina)

No, had we won convincingly, I'd have said a good sign that we're making progress...


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: bamboonoshoe on Saturday, September 15, 2018, 17:25:01
No, had we won convincingly, I'd have said a good sign that we're making progress...

 ;)


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Flashheart on Saturday, September 15, 2018, 18:57:56
You're a fucker, you've been waiting to put this. Had we beat Bury you'd say "Well it was only Bury and to be expected, it wasn't a true test of whether we can mix it with the big boys..."

or similar.

Mods, change his name to Trolly McTrollface  ;) (You know I'm jesting Regina)

This mod wishes that others would just follow my lead...

(https://i.imgur.com/XrIEwcC.jpg)



Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Amir on Saturday, September 15, 2018, 19:17:00
No, had we won convincingly, I'd have said a good sign that we're making progress...

My arse. You know you would have added a caveat.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Legends-Lounge on Saturday, September 15, 2018, 19:26:07
On the basis of today's evidence, we're still a long way off shaping up into a functional match winning unit.
Right on cue, so predictable.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Flashheart on Saturday, September 15, 2018, 19:38:29
Please don't feed the troll.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Legends-Lounge on Saturday, September 15, 2018, 20:09:40
Please don't feed the troll.

I agree 😂


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Saturday, September 15, 2018, 20:13:38
My arse. You know you would have added a caveat.

Last week I was saying we need to find a consistency and that Bury with one win on the road, since 16/17, presented a decent opportunity.

PB backed that up when he said....

Quote
“Bury have got this away record that they need to cast to one side if they possibly can, and that is something we need to exploit.”

“If a club doesn’t travel well, we have got to start the game on the front foot and get right in the face of the opposition to make sure they don’t travel well on Saturday and send them back to Bury with nothing in their back pockets.

Had we succeeded as PB wanted, I'd have said job done... good. Saying that Bury don't travel well is only statement of fact, even if a possible caveat.



Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: pauld on Sunday, September 16, 2018, 19:53:43
I think Reg is one of the few people on here who could carry off a cravat, with or without caveats. He has that kind of Leslie Philips suaveness :)


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Legends-Lounge on Sunday, September 16, 2018, 20:52:25
I think Reg is one of the few people on here who could carry off a cravat, with or without caveats. He has that kind of Leslie Philips suaveness :)
[/quote

Sick bags at the ready. You really need to to sit on his knee more often and have one to one tutoring on being a word smith.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: DV Canio on Sunday, September 16, 2018, 21:33:06
You really need to learn how to quote properly


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Legends-Lounge on Sunday, September 16, 2018, 22:14:53
You really need to learn how to quote properly

Errr, no I don’t. Cause I don’t give a fuck. You can quote me on that if you like.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: DV Canio on Sunday, September 16, 2018, 22:43:09
No one gives a fuck about your obsession with Reg either but we still end up with it in most threads.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: suttonred on Sunday, September 16, 2018, 23:06:22
I think Reg is one of the few people on here who could carry off a cravat, with or without caveats. He has that kind of Leslie Philips suaveness :)

I can. (wrapped around my forehead rambo style) Sweat and all..


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Legends-Lounge on Monday, September 17, 2018, 05:45:51
No one gives a fuck about your obsession with Reg either but we still end up with it in most threads.

I’m pleased and no you don’t.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: pauld on Monday, September 17, 2018, 08:25:31
I can. (wrapped around my forehead rambo style) Sweat and all..

Class


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: horlock07 on Monday, September 17, 2018, 08:40:41
Whilst I would hate to butt in on the playground fun and games.....

How are we shaping up?

Consistently inconsistent, which if my old man is to be believed has basically characterised our performances on the whole since he first started going in the 1940's.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: RedRag on Monday, September 17, 2018, 08:45:56
Whilst I would hate to butt in on the playground fun and games.....

How are we shaping up?

Consistently inconsistent, which if my old man is to be believed has basically characterised our performances on the whole since he first started going in the 1940's.

This   :clap:


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Peter Venkman on Wednesday, October 3, 2018, 09:09:48
With a few people saying they no longer trust PB and hes had enough time to sort it out - I did another quick "same point of the season" comparison with our other 2 championship winnings seasons in this league under Macari and PdC.

All after 11 matches played.

Brown   - position 11th W4 D4 L3 F16 A15 P16

Macari   - position 12th W5 D1 L5 F14 A15 P16

Di Canio - position 12th W5 D0 L6 F17 A12 P15

Interesting.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Flashheart on Wednesday, October 3, 2018, 09:14:05
Some had us down for automatic promotion after the Yeovil game. After yesterday, some have us down as not even making the playoffs. Football fans are a funny old breed.

We need some consistency. The frustrating thing about yesterday is that we are capable of so, so much better.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Sippo on Wednesday, October 3, 2018, 09:19:18
We are not team that can win every game. Of course we will lose some. Not necessarily by a better team either. That is life. That is reality.

Too early to judge. After christmas is always the critical time. So many games left.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Wednesday, October 3, 2018, 09:43:35
We are not team that can win every game. Of course we will lose some. Not necessarily by a better team either. That is life. That is reality.

Too early to judge. After christmas is always the critical time. So many games left.

I think some defeats feel worse than others, so for example losing at Lincoln wasn't altogether unexpected. 

Losing at Crewe midweek, a bit more damaging. It throws onto the balance sheet 2 things.... last season we tended to struggle with midweek fixtures, against recently we've usually managed to get something at Gresty Road, as Crewe's model has looked increasingly anachronistic, leading to them struggling at the wrong end of Div 4.

We've now got Cobblers coming up.... not quite a must win yet, but not far away.  They've a new gaffer, and Curle obviously went back to basics, last night and got a 0-0.

I'd imagine he'll go for more of the same on Saturday, and make it ugly hope to nick something, especially as weather forecast isn't great.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Batch on Wednesday, October 3, 2018, 10:05:44
Fair to say I've flipped between playoffs and not playoffs.

You are quite right Sippo, its too early to know which way it'll go.

But its natural to react on current game trend isn't it? 3 out of the last  4 games haven't been good enough. At Yeovil it looked like Bury was an off day, now it looks potentially more serious. When we hammer Northampton (!) it'll flip back to "inconsistent".

Such is human nature.

I can't see autos this year, I'm 99.9% certain. You can quote me on that if I'm wrong,


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Bogus Dave on Wednesday, October 3, 2018, 10:09:17
Difference with the di Canio season is that when we had a weakness in the squad, it could be quickly attended too with a loan (ridehalgh and foderingham spring to mind as the most obvious examples). That cannot be done this time


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Wednesday, October 3, 2018, 10:09:49
With a few people saying they no longer trust PB and hes had enough time to sort it out - I did another quick "same point of the season" comparison with our other 2 championship winnings seasons in this league under Macari and PdC.

All after 11 matches played.

Brown   - position 11th W4 D4 L3 F16 A15 P16

Macari   - position 12th W5 D1 L5 F14 A15 P16

Di Canio - position 12th W5 D0 L6 F17 A12 P15

Interesting.


Let's look at all our Div 4 seasons.

Trollope 82/83 - position 6th  W5 D4 L2 P19

Beamish 83/84 - position 13th W4 D1 L6 P13

Macari 84/85 - position 12th W3 D3 L5 P12

Wise 06/07  - position 4th W 7 D2 L 2 P 23

Flitcroft 17/18 - position 9th W 6 D1 L 4 P19

Does this tell us anything  :hmmm:


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Batch on Wednesday, October 3, 2018, 10:21:05
2 championship winnings seasons in this league under Macari and PdC.

...
Macari   - position 12th W5 D1 L5 F14 A15 P16
...

This was before my time. anyone remember what the vibe was at this time under Macari. Were people seeing something good was happening, or were they as skeptical? What changed it around for Lou's team?

I guess we are less patient and demand instant results these days anyway. That said, football has changed too. Its not normal to build a squad over more than 1-2 years.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Wednesday, October 3, 2018, 10:38:18
This was before my time. anyone remember what the vibe was at this time under Macari. Were people seeing something good was happening, or were they as skeptical? What changed it around for Lou's team?

I guess we are less patient and demand instant results these days anyway. That said, football has changed too. Its not normal to build a squad over more than 1-2 years.

Although a dodgy league start on the road, we did well in the LC, beating Sunderland over 2 legs. The season was turned round by beating Exeter late on.... Colin Calderwood.  Lou made a number of personnel changes, as you could still acquire players back then so Kenny Allen came into goal... Nicky Coleman was loaned into left back, and Lou himself retired. Possibly the key change was Leigh Barnard, having filled in at LB for a bit came back from injury into midfield.

Leigh was one of those, who you will still find posters on here telling you was no good, but was to use modern parlance a water carrier. After the Exeter game we lost 3 of the next 37 winning 29 and drawing 5. Happy days.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Peter Venkman on Wednesday, October 3, 2018, 11:28:35
This was before my time. anyone remember what the vibe was at this time under Macari. Were people seeing something good was happening, or were they as skeptical? What changed it around for Lou's team?

I guess we are less patient and demand instant results these days anyway. That said, football has changed too. Its not normal to build a squad over more than 1-2 years.
Under Macari I felt there was a feel good factor in the club all season, even when we started poorly, Lou had been sacked the season before and reinstated so was an idol of tha fans who almost 100% backed him.

Brown does not have that but then again fans seem to be more fickle now than they were but that could just be social media giving idiots the freedom to express their feelings, back then it was only expressed in the pub or on matchdays so it could depend upon you circle of mates, if they were generally positive then so were you.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: bamboonoshoe on Wednesday, October 3, 2018, 11:33:17
Let's look at all our Div 4 seasons.

Trollope 82/83 - position 6th  W5 D4 L2 P19

Beamish 83/84 - position 13th W4 D1 L6 P13

Macari 84/85 - position 12th W3 D3 L5 P12

Wise 06/07  - position 4th W 7 D2 L 2 P 23

Flitcroft 17/18 - position 9th W 6 D1 L 4 P19

Does this tell us anything  :hmmm:


I think it tells us that comparative to the current season you are in (of which there are many variables), you can't draw any accurate conclusion to the data available.

My opinion? Don't forget I am a rose-tinted, over estimating of our players ability type (apparently). I think a lot are just acting on impulse after a match. So lose = we're Oxford (last night was just a bad advert for L2, although had Iandolo's strike gone in, many would look at it differently no doubt, still both teams were poor), Win = we're Hoddle's heroes, Draw = Just a middling L2 club looking for stability.

We really can't predict the future, even if we claim to be Nostradamus or Septic Peg but we can have a bloody good guess. FWIW and I know my opinion is looked at with very, very much caution so will always be overlooked. I think we have flipped our form around from last season. We seem to be much better at home than under Flitcroft and a little worse away (so far!). We have to remember though, we still haven't been at full strength yet. Every time we get a "settled team", someone has either picked up an injury or made a stupid tackle (Knoyle, Dunne). Taylor's red, I'll forgive and I still have my opinion on that (another story, another thread). PB is having to play players out of position because of this. Of course he can't control a player making a rash high tackle "in the moment" and players like Doughty, Woolery, and Conroy who would likely make the starting XI or at least be pushing, have been injured. The latter seems to be about there now though. If we have a near fully fit and unsuspended compliment, then from now to January I'd say we can be there or abouts the play-off places. True intent from the board, if PB gets to buy a "lay it off" type striker (or Richards discovers he can actually work in the current system or Woolery comes into the squad and plays well) and a LB cover then we still could make a good go at autos.

As mentioned above there are way too many variables right now. Come back to me on the evening of the 29th December (after we've played Mansfield off the park and won, resulting in DF getting the boot) and see where we are going in to the "Transfer Window".

Also, have you been to see your friend Lee play? He's rather good, you know.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Wednesday, October 3, 2018, 11:48:38
Under Macari I felt there was a feel good factor in the club all season, even when we started poorly, Lou had been sacked the season before and reinstated so was an idol of tha fans who almost 100% backed him.

Brown does not have that but then again fans seem to be more fickle now than they were but that could just be social media giving idiots the freedom to express their feelings, back then it was only expressed in the pub or on matchdays so it could depend upon you circle of mates, if they were generally positive then so were you.

Little difference between then and now, other than more platforms to express opinion... the opinions are largely the same.

So for example John Trollope..... yes John Trollope Town legend, was buried by negative fan reaction to a poor trot of results, when he was trying to build a sustainable Town side in the image of Bert Head, using a high number of local players.

Lou got a bit more time as we'd dropped to a historic low, and signs of progress, albeit small steps were discernible in his first season.  By his final season, when we had a poor trot, gates dropped right down, and questions were asked about his commitment to the cause. Poor trot was 1 win in 9 Oct/Nov 88, we still made the PO's Lou left at the end of the campaign.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Batch on Wednesday, October 3, 2018, 12:21:24
Thanks Reg/Venks


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: RobertT on Wednesday, October 3, 2018, 12:52:55
I still think the Play Offs by season end.  Our worst, Lincoln aside, has been narrow losses, our best was a convincing win - I think when we are poor, and we will be, we are still in games.  Last night for example was very poor but we could just as easily come away 1-0 winners, a draw or lost 2-0.  We'd have always been in that game though, even allowing for our performance.

I think our best is better than nearly all teams, our worst is only worse than a small handful.

Brown needs to have a think about being so stuck on a single formation though - last night and Bury have surely shown us that key players in key positions are crucial.  Lose them and it is not as simple as putting someone else into their slot, sometimes we have to look at the squad and see how you get the best out of the best eleven you can put out.

Putting it another way, if we do not make the Play Offs, Brown should have his bags packed for him.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Wednesday, October 3, 2018, 13:37:02
I think it tells us that comparative to the current season you are in (of which there are many variables), you can't draw any accurate conclusion to the data available.

My opinion? Don't forget I am a rose-tinted, over estimating of our players ability type (apparently). I think a lot are just acting on impulse after a match. So lose = we're Oxford (last night was just a bad advert for L2, although had Iandolo's strike gone in, many would look at it differently no doubt, still both teams were poor), Win = we're Hoddle's heroes, Draw = Just a middling L2 club looking for stability.

We really can't predict the future, even if we claim to be Nostradamus or Septic Peg but we can have a bloody good guess.

Of course, all seasons are different, but with some similarities discernible.  Namely you play 46 games 23 at home on the same pitch etc.  Most games will be closeish as most teams in Div 4 are of fairly similar ability, and it will take a while to find a winning formula if it is at all possible. Luck will play a big part which can't be easily factored in.

This explains why given the sample size no side has won 11 out of 11, no side has lost 11 out 11, the wins and loses are somewhere in between tending towards a median figure.  Scores in individual games follow this trend, it's unusual to get a 5-0, 0-6 outlier type of thing.

So the median figure for wins after 11 games is 5... it's wins that mostly accumulate points, so what you should be aiming to do.

PB has 4, slightly substandard but not by much and possible to rectify, compared to our most recent other season in Div 4 17/18 Flitcroft had 6, slightly above the median figure but again not by much... but is it possible to detect something even here?  Flitcroft seemd to like having plenty of forward players.... Smith, Norris, Mullin, Woolery, Anderson, and then Richards for Smith.... PB is more defensive minded doesn't mind a draw, hence why one fewer forward player and a bit more emphasis in midfield... or it coud be the injury problems to Conroy, Lancashire and Robertson forced his hand on the loan moves.

In the league winning seasons, Macari and PdC and were able to significantly strengthen when necessary.... not a luxury that will be available to PB. (Unless something very strange happens)


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Batch on Wednesday, October 3, 2018, 13:57:29
I still think the Play Offs by season end.  Our worst, Lincoln aside, has been narrow losses, our best was a convincing win -

I'm still at a loss whether to describe our late wins as lucky, or our inability to score before the 90th minute as unlucky. On balance I think they were deserved, but I've still no idea which side of the watershed we'll come down on as the season progresses. Probably both


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: bamboonoshoe on Wednesday, October 3, 2018, 14:32:11
Of course, all seasons are different, but with some similarities discernible.  Namely you play 46 games 23 at home on the same pitch etc.

In the league winning seasons, Macari and PdC and were able to significantly strengthen when necessary.... not a luxury that will be available to PB. (Unless something very strange happens)

Yeah, I feel our home form is better (I think stats back that up) than it was under Flitcroft to date. Can't deny he seemed to have a "nak" of finding a way to win away. However we haven't been overtly shit away. The standard of football is better and we are becoming harder to beat. It's like we've sorted the defence out (largely) and midfield, maybe PB was trying to get in a striker but those links have petered...for now. We certainly (as RobT says) have to get through the next three months and see where we are at. I'm sure if we aren't in a play-off spot or higher then it will be addressed in January (Power paid reportedly £350k for Woolery, so he does pay for a player). Well we'd hope. Sending Romanski, Will Henry, Twine and possibly Smith on loan would free up some wages to bring in two? We may even see a couple leave by mutual consent (Robbo & Is RCC still on our books or not?), possibly a retiree? I feel we are nearly there. The right shuffling of the squad and two more in the positions mentioned and we could be up there.

Anyway, nicely measured post Reg :)


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Wednesday, October 3, 2018, 14:59:33
Yeah, I feel our home form is better (I think stats back that up) than it was under Flitcroft to date.

It is, but a significant stat might be that at no stage under Flitcroft, did we draw back to back blanks in the goals for column. That didn't happen last season until the antepenultimate and penultimate games under Brown namely Grimsby (h) and ColU (a)


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Monday, November 5, 2018, 11:55:28
So a bit more time has elapsed since the OP, so now more data to go on.... and it isn't comfortable reading.  As things stand with over a third of the season gone this is our worst ever Div 4 side.

17 games in, comparison

82/83 34 points p3rd
83/84 24 points p10th
84/85 23 points p12th
85/86 31 points p7th
06/07 31 points p4th
11/12 29 points p6th
17/18 29 points p5th

Using this by way of an indicator to final season's position

82/83 -5
83/84 -7
84/85 +4
85/86 +6
06/07 +1
11/12 +5
17/18 -4

In other words, usually from this stage of the season, although it can happen, mostly a side doesn't drop or rise too many positions until the end of the seasson.

In none of the seasons where we've had an improvement, could we get to the PO's from where we are, but an 82/83 style late slump would see us into the Conference.   I know there are those who maintain the Beamish outfit was the worst STFC side since the mid 50's, and certainly the air of atrophy hung thickly around the CG, but this is arguably worse.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: The Artist Formerly Known as Audrey on Monday, November 5, 2018, 12:06:46
The thread titles is ‘How are we shaping up’.

That shape is pear


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Batch on Monday, November 5, 2018, 12:15:32
Our worst ever start in the football league. Marvelous.

I've been a bit surprised by the calls for Brown to leave, more by some of the people who have seemed to be patient in previous dire situations.

But that really does put things into perspective.

And to be fair, his recent team selection are tipping me towards 'bugger off to Hull'. The only reason I'm not fully convinced its a good idea is that we may end up with Taylor. He seems a great pro,  but its too risky. Internal appointments...no.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Monday, November 5, 2018, 12:31:17
Our worst ever start in the football league. Marvelous.

I've been a bit surprised by the calls for Brown to leave, more by some of the people who have seemed to be patient in previous dire situations.

But that really does put things into perspective.

And to be fair, his recent team selection are tipping me towards 'bugger off to Hull'. The only reason I'm not fully convinced its a good idea is that we may end up with Taylor. He seems a great pro,  but its too risky. Internal appointments...no.


I guess all managerial appointments are to some extent a risk, but if Taylor does possess a magic wand, this could be a good time to find out, insofar as realistically we're not going to make the PO's and should just about have enough to stay up as long as the likes of Macc and Numb continue to struggle.

Ideally Hull will take Brown and give Power some compensation.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Batch on Monday, November 5, 2018, 12:43:54
I guess all managerial appointments are to some extent a risk

True.

I'm just dead against internal appointments myself. And would prefer to try an 'up and coming' who has done a bit of management. Guess the chances of poaching anyone are zero.
-------------------------------
Not much to add on the 'how are we shaping up'.

Before the season started I thought we'd struggle for goals. Then August happened and I was looking a bit silly. Then September happened and I felt a bit smug.

It feels like we haven't hit the magic formula, but in searching for that we are continually tinkering and the result seems to be regression rather than progress.

In fact at times the players look a little confused in the roles they are supposed to be undertaking. Me too.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Monday, November 5, 2018, 12:56:28
True.

I'm just dead against internal appointments myself. And would prefer to try an 'up and coming' who has done a bit of management. Guess the chances of poaching anyone are zero.
-------------------------------
Not much to add on the 'how are we shaping up'.

Before the season started I thought we'd struggle for goals. Then August happened and I was looking a bit silly. Then September happened and I felt a bit smug.

It feels like we haven't hit the magic formula, but in searching for that we are continually tinkering and the result seems to be regression rather than progress.

In fact at times the players look a little confused in the roles they are supposed to be undertaking. Me too.

It's the way of the modern game though to tinker, players have to be adaptable, to a certain extent... namely you probably wouldn't stick a centre half on the wing, but might ask him to play in a 3 as well as 2 and perhaps occasionally as a holding midfielder.

Our problem, is again that the quality of players we can afford to recruit on the Power budget isn't very good, which is then compounded by injuries and suspensions.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Batch on Monday, November 5, 2018, 13:23:20
Flexabiity is one thing.
Its the players left in the cold suddenly appearing as starters and vice versa that does my nut.

I know squads are there to be rotated for freshness and competition for places. This feels a bit more..random..in the hope we happen upon 'the solution'.

Do you honestly think McCourt plays his role better than Dave for example. That's one example of baffling tinkering. Though there is an obvious explanation.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: RobertT on Monday, November 5, 2018, 13:29:33
I still hold firm that the quality of players in the squad, even allowing for obvious in-balances, should be enough to get into the play offs given the nature of opposition we are playing.  Take Colchester, a team doing well.  There was nothing on display that showed them to be a superior team by way of quality of players.  Certainly having watched them for 90 minutes, nothing that we should have feared.

Therefore, the current performance of the team suggests, to me, that we are underperforming.  That tinkering is the reason as far as I can see it.  There is nothing wrong with change - in fact, I've said before that trying something new and unseen works best.  Our 1990 team played a formation and style not really seen by others before.  Doing it effectively, with the right players meant we caught a lead on the division.  Ossie then had some success to begin with higher up, but teams work it out eventually.  Redknapp made a career by essentially changing his squad every year or two.  That is not the same as changing from one game to the next, every game.  Players don't tend to be a reflection of the average when you look at smarts - they concentrate on being better than everyone else at football when at school, not their homework (generalisation, but it is why players who get degrees are often on the BBC homepage).  Making them figure out how to play every game cannot be helpful, unless you recruited based on educational qualifications.  Let them be good at what they do, find out how to extract that, stick to it for a season, then re-invent again.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: pauld on Monday, November 5, 2018, 13:55:23
Players don't tend to be a reflection of the average when you look at smarts - they concentrate on being better than everyone else at football when at school, not their homework (generalisation, but it is why players who get degrees are often on the BBC homepage).  Making them figure out how to play every game cannot be helpful, unless you recruited based on educational qualifications.
You're assuming that:
a) There is always a correlation between intelligence and educational attainment
b) That there is only type of intelligence, which can be measured in school exams, and applied to football.

Both wildly incorrect IMO.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: RobertT on Monday, November 5, 2018, 14:04:22
Football intelligence is another matter, but very few display it, again just an opinion.  Even at the very top level, look at Guardiola and his evident frustration during games they are winning 6-1 - because players do not always follow the plan.  He is someone who seems to have that intelligence but he still doesn't believe his team are delivering to the level he thinks they can do if they just follow the plan, training. instruction, coaching etc.

Coopers season is a good example of when it works - we did not deviate from a defined plan for a good 60% of that season.  We did toward the end when we added Swift and it created a bit of uncertainty, and we looked far more fragile overall despite having a better player in the team.  The rest of the league seemed a bit bamboozled by us, before a couple of teams worked out a way, then they all replicated that towards the end.  It nearly worked over a full season, maybe a plan B was needed towards the end, but not a new plan for every game.  Some fans were frustrated at the way we played out so dangerously at times, but it was the plan.  The team knew it, they stuck to it and it paid dividends more than it worked against us.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: pauld on Monday, November 5, 2018, 14:08:10
Yep, agree with all that. And none of it has anything whatsoever to do with the school system or school exams, which was my point.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Sir red ken on Monday, November 5, 2018, 14:11:13
So a bit more time has elapsed since the OP, so now more data to go on.... and it isn't comfortable reading.  As things stand with over a third of the season gone this is our worst ever Div 4 side.

17 games in, comparison

82/83 34 points p3rd
83/84 24 points p10th
84/85 23 points p12th
85/86 31 points p7th
06/07 31 points p4th
11/12 29 points p6th
17/18 29 points p5th

Using this by way of an indicator to final season's position

82/83 -5
83/84 -7
84/85 +4
85/86 +6
06/07 +1
11/12 +5
17/18 -4

In other words, usually from this stage of the season, although it can happen, mostly a side doesn't drop or rise too many positions until the end of the seasson.

In none of the seasons where we've had an improvement, could we get to the PO's from where we are, but an 82/83 style late slump would see us into the Conference.   I know there are those who maintain the Beamish outfit was the worst STFC side since the mid 50's, and certainly the air of atrophy hung thickly around the CG, but this is arguably worse.
I've been troubled by the towns form of late but your stats have given me food for thought.
If we carry on as we are there's not going to be enough games by the end of Jan to save our arses based on our current form. We may only stay up by other teams being more shite than us despite our current mid table position. So here's my thoughts, the club is run on a shoe string and may not have the funds to remove PB or better still bring in a manger who can turn things around. If he does go then the sooner the better as we could stop the rot with some Jan signings (will be loans and freebies but that would be something) There's an air of resignation regarding our plight as we've been slowly sinking for a few seasons now, unless there's a wholesale change in the club its looking like we're heading to the conference. We have 3 old players who can't cut it in this division, we start with them each week which is a kin to sending out 8 players to face 11. Why does PB keep repeating the same mistakes/ is it part of a bigger plan! LASTLY OTHERS HAVE POSTED THIS, PLEASE GOD NO INTERNAL APPOINTMENTS, IT NEVER WORKS.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: RobertT on Monday, November 5, 2018, 14:14:45
Oh, and Guardiola's "Genius" is that he has deployed the same plan for many seasons and nobody has yet really figured it out - his teams still largely retain a much higher % of the possession even when playing teams with equal resources and potentially playing talent.  His team are going to lose the odd game and miss out, but by and large there isn't  clear way being used to combat him.  Hoddle did the same with us - nobody else was playing that way.  Cambridge thought they had it, then Hoddle stuck two fingers up at them.  You still lose games, we didn't have the best squad and had to sell a fullback to pay a tax bill, but we were always able to play our way.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: RobertT on Monday, November 5, 2018, 14:17:41
That's a lot of rambling from me to say the problem is Brown does not have a plan, that is evident and I believe the underlying cause to our position and performances of late.  Made more frustrating by the fact that for a few games we seemed to be on to something.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Sir red ken on Monday, November 5, 2018, 14:40:23
That's a lot of rambling from me to say the problem is Brown does not have a plan, that is evident and I believe the underlying cause to our position and performances of late.  Made more frustrating by the fact that for a few games we seemed to be on to something.
I feel that if we had a good plan and played to our strengths then it would be a diffrent season.They've proved they're good at times. However we need strengthening, which isn't going to happen and why would players sign for us now. If we lose or draw our next two games, then the rest of our season will become squeaky bum time.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Monday, November 5, 2018, 15:51:07
Oh, and Guardiola's "Genius" is that he has deployed the same plan for many seasons and nobody has yet really figured it out - his teams still largely retain a much higher % of the possession even when playing teams with equal resources and potentially playing talent.  His team are going to lose the odd game and miss out, but by and large there isn't  clear way being used to combat him.  Hoddle did the same with us - nobody else was playing that way.  Cambridge thought they had it, then Hoddle stuck two fingers up at them.  You still lose games, we didn't have the best squad and had to sell a fullback to pay a tax bill, but we were always able to play our way.

Guardiola's trick is to get clubs whose financial might over the rest is so huge that can amass a huge squad of talent to tinker with. That gives you a massive head start,  I'm sure Brown could have us a few slots up the table with a budget say comparable to Lincoln, Mansfield or even ColU.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Monday, November 5, 2018, 16:00:26
I've been troubled by the towns form of late but your stats have given me food for thought.
If we carry on as we are there's not going to be enough games by the end of Jan to save our arses based on our current form. We may only stay up by other teams being more shite than us despite our current mid table position. So here's my thoughts, the club is run on a shoe string and may not have the funds to remove PB or better still bring in a manger who can turn things around. If he does go then the sooner the better as we could stop the rot with some Jan signings (will be loans and freebies but that would be something) There's an air of resignation regarding our plight as we've been slowly sinking for a few seasons now, unless there's a wholesale change in the club its looking like we're heading to the conference. We have 3 old players who can't cut it in this division, we start with them each week which is a kin to sending out 8 players to face 11. Why does PB keep repeating the same mistakes/ is it part of a bigger plan! LASTLY OTHERS HAVE POSTED THIS, PLEASE GOD NO INTERNAL APPOINTMENTS, IT NEVER WORKS.

Lancashire isn't old, if that's who you mean, he obviously is sufering a bit atm with the injury. It isn't Taylor and Richards who are the problem rather the younger players, who are struggling to become league standard.

I was interested last night watching Vitorino Hilton at Montpellier 41 year old centre back, Montpellier have the joint best defensive record in Ligue Un, having conceded something like 6 all season. Hilton doesn't run much but organises the younger lads around him, who do that bit for him.

That's Brown's plan if you like, now you can argue as to whther it's failing because the senior players aren't communicating well enough, or as I feel more likely, the younger players are not good enough.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Tails on Monday, November 5, 2018, 16:04:01
We won't finish top 7 under Brown. I was willing to give him time as I thought the football generally improved under him at the tail end of last season... But for me he isn't the man to take us up and I think it will be better to get someone in now and give them January - July to prepare for next season (this one has gone, lets face it). Even if its Matty Taylor. I know people are against internal appointments but he knows the club well now, the fans like him and he's a smart fella. Harsh to judge him on that Cheltenham game alone last season I think.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Monday, November 5, 2018, 16:19:21
We won't finish top 7 under Brown. I was willing to give him time as I thought the football generally improved under him at the tail end of last season... But for me he isn't the man to take us up and I think it will be better to get someone in now and give them January - July to prepare for next season (this one has gone, lets face it). Even if its Matty Taylor. I know people are against internal appointments but he knows the club well now, the fans like him and he's a smart fella. Harsh to judge him on that Cheltenham game alone last season I think.


Because he knows the club, I'm far from convinced he'd take it if offered.  When Macari took us on, people asked him why, and he answered because STFC should be higher up the league having just finished in a historic low position, therefore he should be able to get progress on his CV.... now of course he did this, but only on the back of financial doping, that fans did not know about at the time.

Brown came out with the old we should be higher up the pyramid bullshit, but Power's modus operandi tells us different.  If If I was an ambitious wannabe gaffer looking at a first job, I'd want an awful lot of guarantees from Power about budgets, future plans regarding training facilities, etc before risking my reputation especially when he can probabaly get a nice support job at a Prem club, or an upwardly mobile club like say Pompey for more money.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Tails on Monday, November 5, 2018, 16:36:27
Almost makes it a win / win for him I think. If he does well, it looks good on the CV... If he doesn't, then it was because it was in difficult circumstances. I still think he'd make a decent manager one day, at Swindon or somewhere else. I feel like the squad we have is only 1 or 2 away from being a top 3 side at this level. The talent is there and Brown currently isn't utilising it at all.

He seems to genuinely enjoy being at the club too.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Batch on Monday, November 5, 2018, 16:40:36
Harsh to judge him on that Cheltenham game alone last season I think.

Agreed there. Certainly he could be a good manager. My objection is I don't think the transition from teammate to boss has worked well in the past. If it happens and Taylor got it, I am not closed to the idea that it could work this time .


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Monday, November 5, 2018, 16:49:35
Almost makes it a win / win for him I think. If he does well, it looks good on the CV... If he doesn't, then it was because it was in difficult circumstances. I still think he'd make a decent manager one day, at Swindon or somewhere else. I feel like the squad we have is only 1 or 2 away from being a top 3 side at this level. The talent is there and Brown currently isn't utilising it at all.

He seems to genuinely enjoy being at the club too.


I really don't see the talent.... I ask myself a basic question, could I see this lad playing further up the pyramid?  When I look at our squad the answer is mostly... no. Alzate and Bayo whilst having some ability, are miles away from being near a finished product, which is of course why they're on loan to try and add that missing something.

I was interested to read that Bayo was in fact brought through by Fulham as a centre half, up front is a recent conversion.

Rather what you need to do is forge a unit where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts and we're not doing that atm for a number of reasons.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Monday, November 5, 2018, 17:13:47
Agreed there. Certainly he could be a good manager. My objection is I don't think the transition from teammate to boss has worked well in the past. If it happens and Taylor got it, I am not closed to the idea that it could work this time .

The what makes a good manager question is one of life's great mysteries.  I mean if it ws so obvious that Eddie Howe was going to be a managerial genius why couldn't we see it when he was with us... and why didn't it work at Burnley.

Look at someone like Julian Nagelsmann at Hoffenheim took them on aged 28, when in a releagtion battle kept them up and got CL qualification the next season for the first time in their history, still only 31.

Injury finished his career early so he went off to uni, and then coached youth sides on graduating, before getting the top job.

I guess Power saw a bit of Nagelsmann in Luke....


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Tails on Monday, November 5, 2018, 17:26:33
Agreed there. Certainly he could be a good manager. My objection is I don't think the transition from teammate to boss has worked well in the past. If it happens and Taylor got it, I am not closed to the idea that it could work this time .

Has it happened much at Swindon? I can't really think of any, not permanently at least. Ady Williams... The Miller / Ward combo had it for a few games. Who else?


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Monday, November 5, 2018, 17:58:49
 The sort of thing we could do with is a 2000 -13 vintage Paul Sturrock.... I guess Power sees Brown as a poor man's Sturrock.

 Always thought it a shame he'd had enough by the time Fitton et al came on board, so was tempted by a nostalgic return to Plymuff, where it didn't work out him second time.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: RobertT on Monday, November 5, 2018, 18:04:46
I really don't see the talent.... I ask myself a basic question, could I see this lad playing further up the pyramid?  When I look at our squad the answer is mostly... no. Alzate and Bayo whilst having some ability, are miles away from being near a finished product, which is of course why they're on loan to try and add that missing something.

I was interested to read that Bayo was in fact brought through by Fulham as a centre half, up front is a recent conversion.

Rather what you need to do is forge a unit where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts and we're not doing that atm for a number of reasons.

Alzate is better than anything I have seen at this level - that doesn't mean he will be a great player, but a decent Manager should be able to extract something useful from him this season.

Adebayo was a forward when younger, Fulham tried converting him to a defender due to his size and frame, they then agreed to move him back being a forward.

Both Doughty and Diagarouga are better than this level when on form, they have even shown as much with us this season in several games (not all).

Nelson is more than competent.

Knoyle could well have a career at the next level, depends how much effort goes into nurturing him.

There are others with a lot to prove, but there is enough in this squad to compete (we have competed in pretty much every game bar two).  You might like to portray us as cannon fodder, but the results show we are not.  They don't lie, we are not performing well enough to be higher than we are, but they show a team that is not far off those it plays against when it loses.  You tell me that Colchester looked markedly better than us on Saturday?


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: RobertT on Monday, November 5, 2018, 18:11:36
Has it happened much at Swindon? I can't really think of any, not permanently at least. Ady Williams... The Miller / Ward combo had it for a few games. Who else?

Not really, but we have promoted from within without much success.  I think it depends on the who, not the what.  Gorman and Williams both being seen as good coaches and were generally friendly with the squad, as far as we are told.  Not sure how Taylor is seen internally.  We can see what he does on the pitch and he does offer advice but he doesn't seem to lead, not from what I can see on the screen anyway.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Flashheart on Monday, November 5, 2018, 18:28:50
I got the impression that the players didn't really fancy playing under Taylor in his one game in charge.

Players are usually well up for it when there's a new manager to try and impress and what not, but they just didn't seem that bothered. I know it was only one game and it's harsh to judge him on that, but still...


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Frigby Daser on Monday, November 5, 2018, 18:39:30
Eddie Howe lost his first two games at Bournemouth. We’ve nothing to judge Taylor on, apart from the fact he is clearly intelligent, articulate and that he’s incredibly keen to coach and appears to be ambitious.

I just don’t buy the “internal appointments don’t work” theory. They don’t work where they are made by default - i.e. he is here, so why not? There are a lot of those, where sentimentality or budget prevail over an objective selection of the best available option.

Taylor doesn’t fall into that bracket. If he applied, having not played at the club, he would still fit the criteria I would be looking for in a manager. As a lower half League 2 team, we no longer have the option of having “previous success” as a criterion. The fact Brown was appointed on that basis suggests it isn’t the best indicator anyway.

Appoint Taylor. Let him choose an assistant. What have we got to lose? We’re heading nowhere as it is. I just have a very good feeling he could turn us around.



Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Monday, November 5, 2018, 18:43:25
Alzate is better than anything I have seen at this level - that doesn't mean he will be a great player, but a decent Manager should be able to extract something useful from him this season.

Adebayo was a forward when younger, Fulham tried converting him to a defender due to his size and frame, they then agreed to move him back being a forward.

Both Doughty and Diagarouga are better than this level when on form, they have even shown as much with us this season in several games (not all).

Nelson is more than competent.

Knoyle could well have a career at the next level, depends how much effort goes into nurturing him.

There are others with a lot to prove, but there is enough in this squad to compete (we have competed in pretty much every game bar two).  You might like to portray us as cannon fodder, but the results show we are not.  They don't lie, we are not performing well enough to be higher than we are, but they show a team that is not far off those it plays against when it loses.  You tell me that Colchester looked markedly better than us on Saturday?

Re Alzate being better than anything you've seen at this level... Matt Ritchie  :hmmm: 

Bayo's physical attributes may get him a career, but not necessarily at a high level.  Dia and Doughty have played at a higher level but it's doubtful they'll go back upwards.

Sid may make a career as a lower league stopper, and there's nothing wrong with that. Knoyle for me doesn't do enough, tidy , but you don't get a Kewell saying if you stop Knoyle getting balls in the box you stop Swindon like he did with Taylor.

I've said many times one of the good things about Div 4 is it is a relatively even league, hence a lot of draws and mostly not much between sides.... it's the little things that make the difference. So for example ColU could lure our leading goalscorer away, which has just given them an edge, especially as he wasn't replaced. Someone like a Lincoln could sign a Harry Toffolo, a player I'm sure we'd have all liked to see at LB.

Sometimes, the marginal gains can be something a bit strange and out of the blue.... so for example Accy last year, pick up Kayden Jackson who really had no sort of pedigree at all, he gets them 16 goals and they win the league.... Jackson gets snapped up by Ipswich has scored one league goal, and Tractorboys are detached at the foot of Div 2.

How much impact did Accy's free burger bonus for winning have?  There's little sign that anything a bit random is happening for us like a Twine coming good.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Monday, November 5, 2018, 19:02:15
Eddie Howe lost his first two games at Bournemouth. We’ve nothing to judge Taylor on, apart from the fact he is clearly intelligent, articulate and that he’s incredibly keen to coach and appears to be ambitious.

I just don’t buy the “internal appointments don’t work” theory. They don’t work where they are made by default - i.e. he is here, so why not? There are a lot of those, where sentimentality or budget prevail over an objective selection of the best available option.

Taylor doesn’t fall into that bracket. If he applied, having not played at the club, he would still fit the criteria I would be looking for in a manager. As a lower half League 2 team, we no longer have the option of having “previous success” as a criterion. The fact Brown was appointed on that basis suggests it isn’t the best indicator anyway.

Appoint Taylor. Let him choose an assistant. What have we got to lose? We’re heading nowhere as it is. I just have a very good feeling he could turn us around.



Howe was appointed by default according by your definition, Bormuff were skint had a skeleton staff, and had been docked something like 15 points. He was still on the payroll but injured and a senior player, so he got the gig.

Flasher's point about Taylor's one game is semi valid, apart from normal rules of engagement don't apply v Numb.   I doubt Taylor has a magic wand, the most reliable way for us to get back some forward momentum is for Power to either invest, or sell up to someone who can.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: The Artist Formerly Known as Audrey on Monday, November 5, 2018, 19:16:57
The problem for any owner who doesn’t just want to throw money at it, is there is not much incentive to be in L1 as opposed to staying in L2.

Accepting life in L2 has, of course, inherent problems - as in actually staying there.

What if the players who may well be capable of better realise the club isn’t really focussed or that bothered about getting promotion?

It’s why every club needs to be 100% pulling in the same direction. I honestly don’t feel, atm, that the club is that bothered.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Frigby Daser on Monday, November 5, 2018, 19:24:19
He was - the point is that if you extrapolate data on managers appointed (a) because they are in the building, and (b) those that happen to be in the building but would be the best fit anyway, even if they’d been outsiders - then the number of success stories in (b) would likely the as high, if not higher, than with any other managerial appointment. It is far too basic to say “he’s already here, so it cannot work.” That is simply false.

And based on a fairly safe assumption that neither of your Power-related solutions have even a remote possibility of happening, I think it’s fair to say a change of Manager is the most likely variable at this time.  


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Monday, November 5, 2018, 19:33:08
The problem for any owner who doesn’t just want to throw money at it, is there is not much incentive to be in L1 as opposed to staying in L2.

Accepting life in L2 has, of course, inherent problems - as in actually staying there.

What if the players who may well be capable of better realise the club isn’t really focussed or that bothered about getting promotion?

It’s why every club needs to be 100% pulling in the same direction. I honestly don’t feel, atm, that the club is that bothered.

Well you're going to get a better calibre of loan in Div 3, and then maybe you can pick them up if decent like Luongo,
 Byrne, so flog for decent money.... further better players around you make all players look better to some extent, so a Ben Gladwin looked good for a while with us we got a decent fee and he's been shit since.

This won't have escaped Power... however what has escaped Power is the ability for his contacts to spot a player. There are still players to be had... take Jack Marriott who's attracting a lot of attention at Derby.... youth at Ipswich, without playing, so out on loan 3 times to Woking, where he scord a few... Luton take a punt, then onto Posh where he scored loads last year.

I wonder if our scouts saw him when watching Jonny Goddard and thinking he was the business.

Another example... David Brooks a handful of Conference games for Halifax, then Sheff U buy him.... a handful of games for them then 11 mill to Bormuff.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Monday, November 5, 2018, 19:47:39
He was - the point is that if you extrapolate data on managers appointed (a) because they are in the building, and (b) those that happen to be in the building but would be the best fit anyway, even if they’d been outsiders - then the number of success stories in (b) would likely the as high, if not higher, than with any other managerial appointment. It is far too basic to say “he’s already here, so it cannot work.” That is simply false.

And based on a fairly safe assumption that neither of your Power-related solutions have even a remote possibility of happening, I think it’s fair to say a change of Manager is the most likely variable at this time.  

It's axiomatic that most managers fail, as it is a very difficult job.  It requires all sorts of peculiar personal qualities many of them not necessarily that pleasant. So for example you have to be ruthless without appearing bullying... I think having trusted staff around is also key, so that you can delegate many aspects.  Brown may well be missing Horton's input.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Frigby Daser on Monday, November 5, 2018, 19:55:46
You seem to be missing my point. Taylor wouldn’t fail because he has spent time at the club. He would succeed or fail depending on whether he is any good.

I’d  also say that managers have succeeded without being ruthless, and some have succeeded whilst openly encouraging an element of fear (PDC, Clough...). Some have succeeded without trusted staff, but some don’t. Brown may be missing Horton, but he didn’t do much better when he had him here. I’m not sure how any of this relates to the original point above, except to say that there is no golden rule to managerial success, just trends, many of which get bucked.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Tails on Monday, November 5, 2018, 20:02:36
I got the impression that the players didn't really fancy playing under Taylor in his one game in charge.

Players are usually well up for it when there's a new manager to try and impress and what not, but they just didn't seem that bothered. I know it was only one game and it's harsh to judge him on that, but still...

Not true. The fans and players were well up for it. We just didn't play well and the heads dropped. The defence was terrible that day and Eisa tore us apart


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: RobertT on Monday, November 5, 2018, 20:17:19
Reg - Alzate is better than anything I have seen this season.  Even Ritchie was bang average when he first came - at the time he looked a far less likely prospect than Ward.  PDC found his sweet spot, that's for sure.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Monday, November 5, 2018, 23:33:07
Reg - Alzate is better than anything I have seen this season.  Even Ritchie was bang average when he first came - at the time he looked a far less likely prospect than Ward.  PDC found his sweet spot, that's for sure.

Oh right. Not a lot to compare with this season. Danny Ward now there's a name.... his little knock in after a run by JPM at the Valley, a thing of great beauty, but look at the hero of that night Steven Darby, when it boils down to it, it's only a game of football.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Bob's Orange on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, 10:11:26
I really don't see the talent.... I ask myself a basic question, could I see this lad playing further up the pyramid?  When I look at our squad the answer is mostly... no. Alzate and Bayo whilst having some ability, are miles away from being near a finished product, which is of course why they're on loan to try and add that missing something.

I was interested to read that Bayo was in fact brought through by Fulham as a centre half, up front is a recent conversion.

Rather what you need to do is forge a unit where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts and we're not doing that atm for a number of reasons.

Brighton have given Alzate a 5 year contract I think so they obviously see him as a talent and someone who could play at a higher level. I presume next season they'll be looking for a league 1 side for a loan next season, and then Championship etc.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Bob's Orange on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, 10:21:41
Oh right. Not a lot to compare with this season. Danny Ward now there's a name.... his little knock in after a run by JPM at the Valley, a thing of great beauty, but look at the hero of that night Steven Darby, when it boils down to it, it's only a game of football.

Great post Reg.

Going off topic for just a second, did anyone see Doddie Weir either on the one show or before the Wales v Scotland egg chasing on Saturday? His life is slowly being shut down and he speaks with such humour and with a smile on his face. Its a battle that sadly he can't win, but he won't let that show. Such a horrific disease.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, 10:24:29
Brighton have given Alzate a 5 year contract I think so they obviously see him as a talent and someone who could play at a higher level. I presume next season they'll be looking for a league 1 side for a loan next season, and then Championship etc.

Doesn't really indicate a whole lot, other than B and HA think he might make a player, and not much to lose if he doesn't.

Chelsea have 40 players on loan, and an U 21 side of players there who could win 4-0 at the CG.... more or less none of these will play for the first team, but they may make a few bob out of selling them, Patrick Bamford style, on the back of the loans.

Soton extended Jordan Turnbull's contract when he was with us, then soon afterwards moved him out.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Bob's Orange on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, 10:51:37
Doesn't really indicate a whole lot, other than B and HA think he might make a player, and not much to lose if he doesn't.

Chelsea have 40 players on loan, and an U 21 side of players there who could win 4-0 at the CG.... more or less none of these will play for the first team, but they may make a few bob out of selling them, Patrick Bamford style, on the back of the loans.

Soton extended Jordan Turnbull's contract when he was with us, then soon afterwards moved him out.

I don't disagree with you at all. Premier league sides have the resources to work like that unfortunately. Hopefully there will be a change of rules to limit that.

What is good to see is talented English players getting a chance in Germany. Reese Nelson and Jadon Sancho tearing up the Bundesliga. Closer to home Loftus-Cheek finally looks to be given a chance at Chelsea and Morgan Gibbs-White at Wolves looks a talent as well. I'm sure there are others but the future looks bright for England at last.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, 11:59:13
I don't disagree with you at all. Premier league sides have the resources to work like that unfortunately. Hopefully there will be a change of rules to limit that.

What is good to see is talented English players getting a chance in Germany. Reese Nelson and Jadon Sancho tearing up the Bundesliga. Closer to home Loftus-Cheek finally looks to be given a chance at Chelsea and Morgan Gibbs-White at Wolves looks a talent as well. I'm sure there are others but the future looks bright for England at last.


I suppose Brexit will close off that route for young English players.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Batch on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, 12:51:01
I suppose Brexit will close off that route for young English players.

Who the hell knows. Its a risk.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Sir red ken on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, 14:44:56
I suppose Brexit will close off that route for young English players.
It could close off non Uk players coming here as well. Then perhaps our youngsters won't need to ply their trade in the bunglers league.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: RedRag on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, 17:34:18
I suppose Brexit will close off that route for young English players.
Might have stopped Vigs going to Waterford


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, 18:20:20
Might have stopped Vigs going to Waterford

Although there has been free movement between UK and RoI since the 1920's, you do wonder if it can carry on post Brexit.

 


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Wobbly Bob on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, 18:44:55
Hopefully our final away game won't be a who retains their league status shootout.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, 18:52:34
Hopefully our final away game won't be a who retains their league status shootout.

That doesn't bear thinking about....


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: RobertT on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, 19:25:02
Although there has been free movement between UK and RoI since the 1920's, you do wonder if it can carry on post Brexit.

 

How can it?  I assume at a Passport/Nationality level maybe, but you can't retain an open border without undermining the entire point, otherwise those pesky Polaks will keep flooding in to take your jobs while also sponging off of the benefits.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Sir red ken on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, 20:38:44
That doesn't bear thinking about....
We might come back to your post at the end of January. By then we may start thinking about it!


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Legends-Lounge on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, 21:37:09
Although there has been free movement between UK and RoI since the 1920's, you do wonder if it can carry on post Brexit.

 

Why not? If it did before why shouldn’t it or wouldn’t it again?


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, 21:55:17
We might come back to your post at the end of January. By then we may start thinking about it!

Oldham got their point at Meadow Lane to drop us down to 17th.... our lowest position after a significant amount of games since finishing 17th in 83/84, however the Beamish side only dropped there after te final round of games previously spending most of the seasona bit higher.

Does keep a nice gap to Notts mind, so not all bad.... further Flitcroft's boys again did us a favour by beating Grimsby and so moving into the PO positions.  Grimsby will most likely be one of those who we won't be able to afford a repeat of last season if we are to stay up.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: jayohaitchenn on Wednesday, November 7, 2018, 06:46:57
At risk of bringing politics into this thread, I very much doubt FoM is going to end at all.

https://news.sky.com/story/eu-free-movement-to-continue-under-no-deal-brexit-minister-suggests-11545699


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: singingiiiffy on Thursday, November 8, 2018, 21:12:33
it may be early but iv pretty much written off this season already in terms of expectations.

Compared to last season we are the same if not stronger in all areas of the pitch except up top. All flitcrofts team needed was cb's and a decent keeper which we now have decent competition for.

Should have kept Mullin personally, in hindsight you could say we should have kept Norris but it was a case of it just wasn't going to work and sensible to cash in, that cash however should have gone back on a striker. Seems like we took a gamble on a loan striker, an old experienced striker on a goal drought and a hit and miss Woolery to get us promoted.

The one tiny bit of hope is to get to january and not be too far behind


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Sir red ken on Thursday, November 8, 2018, 21:23:05
it may be early but iv pretty much written off this season already in terms of expectations.

Compared to last season we are the same if not stronger in all areas of the pitch except up top. All flitcrofts team needed was cb's and a decent keeper which we now have decent competition for.

Should have kept Mullin personally, in hindsight you could say we should have kept Norris but it was a case of it just wasn't going to work and sensible to cash in, that cash however should have gone back on a striker. Seems like we took a gamble on a loan striker, an old experienced striker on a goal drought and a hit and miss Woolery to get us promoted.

The one tiny bit of hope is to get to january and not be too far behind
January, unless we go on a blinding run, could be another 8 to 10 defeats, and or draws away. If we're not close to playoffs who's going to sign for us just to be involved in a relegation battle? Will the solution be more non league, non fee unpolished turds. What a bad position we find ourselves in, unless we start getting back to back wins and that's not happended for ages. With the benefit of hindsight I can safely say that every season we start with a team which is worse than the last. Difficult times and dark days for STFC, where's our saviour when we need one!


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: singingiiiffy on Thursday, November 8, 2018, 21:49:34
January, unless we go on a blinding run, could be another 8 to 10 defeats, and or draws away. If we're not close to playoffs who's going to sign for us just to be involved in a relegation battle? Will the solution be more non league, non fee unpolished turds. What a bad position we find ourselves in, unless we start getting back to back wins and that's not happended for ages. With the benefit of hindsight I can safely say that every season we start with a team which is worse than the last. Difficult times and dark days for STFC, where's our saviour when we need one!

I still can't say that this team is worse than last (obviously points reflect that though), keepers, centre backs and centre midfields have significantly improved. just hasn't come together and the lack of a goal scoring highlights the rest of the teams flaws.


Title: Re: How do you think we are shaping up?
Post by: Reg Smeeton on Thursday, November 8, 2018, 22:08:19
I still can't say that this team is worse than last (obviously points reflect that though), keepers, centre backs and centre midfields have significantly improved. just hasn't come together and the lack of a goal scoring highlights the rest of the teams flaws.

Not only did we lose Norris and Mullin and replace them with a loan kid, but also Matt Preston, who although we offered to, was always going to sign for Mansfield.  Is it a coincidence they've the best defensive record in Div 4 ?  We replaced Preston with Nelson, again on loan, not a bad player but not as good atm.

The defence isn't that much worse, our 22 conceded plays last season's 20 after 17 games, but the 19 scored against 26, tells you all you need to know...... further that is the fewest for any Div 4 campaign at the same stage

We are better in midfield, however Brown punted on the Dia/Doughty axis and it just hasn't worked out due to injury and suspension.