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bcfcnick last won the day on December 23 2013

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  1. Jordan Henderson - what am I missing?

    I could see Stones playing in midfield and I think he would be better suited there but he'd have to be playing there for his club before it was tried internationally. I thought the last match was a wasted opportunity. Fine to play three at the back but why play two wide players who can't go past a player? On that point it was an odd decision to play Sterling as a number 10. Henderson is far from inspiring and I don't know why Southgate has persisted with playing two holding midfield players when playing teams who often play 11 behind the ball. It's unfortunate that probably the most two most naturally talented attacking midfield players available for England have a self destruct button - Ravel Morrison and Jack Wilshere. Maybe the latter will see the light and avoid wasting his career. I see that Wenger has given him three months to save his career with Arsenal. England don't have goals from central midfield and before we had 20 club goals a season players (Lampard) and Gerrard with a decent goal ration even though they couldn't play effectively together of course. England do have a fair quota of flair players but we don't get the best out of them . It's a question of playing the right system, getting the right balance and getting them to play with the freedom and ability they demonstrate at club level. If it's a mental issue then I am not sure Southgate has the managerial skills to get them to relax and express themselves. People criticise Sterling and Stones but I bow to the choice of probably the best club manager in the world. With money no object they get regular game time. Southgate seems a decent man but, rather than get on the 'phone to Pochettino, I'd actually like to see the latter manage the side for the World Cup tournament. Otherwise it's just going to be a case of qualifying with ease and getting knocked out of the tournament with equal ease.
  2. Lee Trundle

    Clearly a late developer, sign him up!! Looks like he'll peak at age 60. He needed to be used here in the same way that Swansea used him. It's no use signing a player like Trundle and trying to turn them into a workhorse like Milner or someone. Unlike Lee Tomlin I don't think he was hard to manage but just needed to be used in the right position. Definitely a player who also feeds of the adulation of fans.
  3. Well, hands up, I was one who wanted LJ out and John Pemberton put in for the end of the season. I got it wrong as many of us did. I have to give credit to both Steve Lansdown for holding his nerve and for LJ for making decisions that turned the latter end of the season into promotion winning form. I think they were brave as well as stubborn and the way they handled the immense pressure shows a strenth of character that is definitely a plus for the manager and owner. No doubt our luck turned as well. Clearly Lee made mistakes early on and changed things so I hope he has learned and taken on board the things that he changed and worked. Anyway, it's interesting to look at what did change and assess what were the most influential changes. In no particular order I'd go for these things :- 1) Playing 4-4-2. Matty Taylor may not have set the division alight with goals but he has given a balance to the team, provided defensive balance in a way that Lee Tomlin for all his talent can't do, added assists and helped bring the best out of Tammy allowing to add some match winning goals. We do need a 15 to 20 goal a season striker next season to replace Tammy otherwise we will struggle as there aren't enough goals from midfield to compensate. 2) Vastly improved defensive displays. The fact is John Pemberton was the defensive coach and things improved when he left so was he the issue. I thought he was merely coaching instructions from LJ but that looks not to eb the case. I felt previously the full-backs were required to play too narrow and this was obviously under instruction. That changed after JP left and Jamie McAllister came into the coaching set-up. The improvement performances from Mark Little and Joe Bryan can't just have been a coincidence. JB went from liability in this position to back to a potential Premiership player and Mark Little went from lame donkey to athletic race horse. I think it was a mentality issue and they were allowed to get forward and they had better cover in front. 3) it wasn't just these two who upped their game. Jamie Paterson and Josh Browning excelled and provided great balance for defence and attack. It appeared to be a mixture of a better team spirit, a settled team and a common sense tactical change to 4-4-2. 4) A settled side at long last. 5) The defensive improvement and more cohesive team play coincided with Jamie McCallister supporting LJ with first team coaching. He must have had a significant influence. I think the fact that he was a long time friend of LJ meant there was a better spirit within the coaching staff that transferred to the team as a whole. 6) Marlon Pack and Corey Smith restored their partnership and provided a well balanced solid midfield although ideally we do need a goal scoring midfielder. 7) Much as I like Lee Tomlin, LJ focused on getting a solid team set-up rather than trying to accomodate an undoubtedly talented player in positions and with duties that are alien to getting the best out of him. The lesson is if we do sign another flair player they have to be a bit more of a team player rather than an individual mercurial talent who is not the easiest to manage. 8) The return of frank Fielding. I think the foreign competion goalkeepers were poor signings and FF, as well as being a very competent keeper, has a great team ethic and the defence were much more comfortable in play and communication with him in goal. So a lot of things changed and all for the better. We won't know if it was some fresh inspiration from LJ at a timely moment or if sound advice from Jamie McAllister was very influential. Whatever happend, it worked. So let's hope LJ has learned form this and he will get a settled side and formation from game one next season. It seems he has inherited his father's trait of going on long winning runs and, unfortunately, lengthy losing streaks as well. He did that at Barnsley as well. He is, as Steve Lansdown points out, a young manager who has made mistakes and is still learning but who has a lot of characteristics in a manager that SL likes. Next season will show whether LJ has taken on board the lessons on this season. For all the new positives it is a fact that we won't have our consistent match winner next season so a key recruit will be a goal scorer who maintians the balance in the team in the way Tammy has. It's too much to hope we can get a Tammy mark 2 but it will be an important recruitment decision. Tammy has shown that most natural goal scorers can go through the levels and maintain their goal scoring ratio as it's usually a born art of being in the right place at the right time. The hope is that another natural goal scorer, Shawn McCoulsky, can follow in Tammy's boots and also score goals at higher levels. He cetainly deserves a pre-season chance although obviously another quality signing is essential as we will be losing Aaron Wilbraham as well as Tammy.
  4. When all is said and done...

    I think the Club have to aspire to reach the play-offs. Seeking a solid middle of the table position is a bit like going out and playing for the draw and I don't think it works.
  5. April Mark Little

    He was previously asked to play narrow and closer to the centre backs. At long last LJ is letting the full backs add width. I was an advocate of John Pemberton taking the reigns but I have to admit the change has coincided with his departure. He does look fitter and more confident and he's such a good character to have in the team when he plays as he has recently.
  6. Why do respected managers treat us like we're thick..?

    In his defence he has to be diplomatic about players he doesn't select. If he doesn't like him for this game or he rates others above him then he can't say as such. He needs to keep his options open for the future rather than alienate players by saying the wrong thing. Fair enough for Andy Carroll fans to disagree with the failure to pick him but I don't think it shows a lack of intelligence to use diplomatic reasoning for those he leaves out.
  7. You choose... Pick an ex player as manager

    Bobby Gould ...
  8. Lee Johnson's Horse-Shit thread

    Not necessarily BS but I find his regular "he's a good human" cringeworthy. Not that long before dropping Bobby Reid from the squad :- "If you were a Premier League scout and you'd watched Dele Alli the year before last and seen what he'd done since, and then looked at Bobby Reid, you'd think he was not a million miles off." I think he also eulogised over JB as the next premier league left back star.
  9. Did JP become the problem?

    It's quite easy to see, whenever JP has been given responsibility he has done well. He won the old 'combination league title in his sole season as Forest reserves manager, he took Palace academy to the cup final in his sole season in charge and he transformed a long losing run to get decent performances and results in his short-time managing City. As coach he had City playing decent football and getting good results before LJ eroded his influence and brought in DH (despite fans elsewhere having contempt for his coaching abilities) and put his own destructive stamp on tactics, team selection and recruitment. Contrast that to LJ's record with his ever changing tactics and personnel. His had a decidely mediocre time at Oldham at best and his losing streak at Barnsley combined with the negative reaction of both sets of fans tells its own story that has continued and got worse here. LJ has the worst record of any City manager in tandem with the biggest transfer spending spree. SL wanted stability in the set-up hence he wanted someone to work within the existing structure but LJ has got rid of two key and well-liked personnel by players and fans alike in Wade Elliot and JP as well as breaking-up the team spirit with some very random multi-million buys for the future. One is not wanted in any league and has to be sent back to Sweden the other, despite us being short of right backs, isn't deemed ready here. Steve Lansdown gave quite a glowing opinion of JP in an earlier season interview when questions were being asked of LJ. I had thought he would do the right thing and give JP a decent until end of season chance when it became LJ couldn't cut it. He's obviously been influenced by LJ, GJ and, quite probably, even his Jon Lansdown to sack the worng man regardless of common sense and a mass of evidence to the contrary. I've no doubt that Lee will have played the situation and involved JL in a way no other manager would in order to connive to make him more difficult to sack. I suspect Mark Ashton will just advocate whoever he thinks has the power base in order to keep his own job. SL has missed an opportunity here to give JP an opportunity to replicate what he has done whenever he has been given responsibility. I wouldn't want a successful snake-like manager but SL has chosen a failing one over a genuine, honest down to earth football man who fits well with fans and players alike. More importantly he seems to have the pedigree to get the Club back on track on all fronts when under LJ it is failing with tactics, spirit, personnel, perfomance and, no suprise, results. Nothing surprises me so the slightly forlorn hope is that SL will eventually see sense and sack LJ / DH end of season and give the job to someone who has the attributes to get the Club back on track with the fans and on the pitch. There are plenty of decent candidates out there although some might not fit what appears to be the top criteria of being able to be SL's friend. I'd find it highly amusing and pleasing if JP applied and got the job.
  10. Lack of pace.

    I don't think LJ would have won many 100m sprints . .. a case of the team reflecting the manager.
  11. Wrong man sacked

    Definitely the wrong man sacked. The team were doing well when he had more influence and wasn't just coaching the defence in isolation. A team defends as a unit and shouldn't just be segmented to the back four. A coach that isn't selecting players, formations and tactics isn't the one who needs to go. JP's CV is actually impressive and he won the league with Forest reserves in his season there and had success also with the Palace academy team. He had limited time as temporary manager but he set the right tone, worked hard, set tactics astutely, kept it simple and showed some passion. I think he is a good man manager as well and I am sure players and fans alike would respond much better to his down to earth style compared to LJ's verbal diarrhoea. We will never know but I think Steve Lansdown has made another wrong choice. I am sure his son JL enjoys working with Lee but that shouldn't;t be the criteria for determining our manager, At least SL had the grace to put out a replacement statement to the charmless one that went out yesterday. Whoever drafted that for the media team, I assume it was Mark Ashton, should hang their head in shame.
  12. #JohnsonOut

  13. Announcement at 5.30pm today

    Would have loved to see Pembo given the opportunity to replicate what he did before. Defies any kind of basic common sense if he has been removed. Just hope it isn't accurate. http://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/ex-crystal-palace-no2-keith-millen-working-at-tottenham-4169235
  14. Pemberton

    I'd love to see JP given the opportunity. In his brief spell last time he showed very astute management skills - he changed the tactics, motivated the players, communicated well with the fans and showed an incredible work ethic for the job. He's actually got a very good CV and track record whenever he's been given the opportunity. The argument against him is that the defence hasn't done well and he is the defensive coach. Well, the same was applicable under Cotts and it's always the manager who dictates tactics and has the role of getting the most out of the players. It's very late in the day to bring someone outside the Club in and by the time they had familiarised themselves with things we could well be down. I think the best chance of staying up would be a JP until end of season appointment. If he did then keep us up he would fully deserve a chance of managing next season. It's wrong to compare JP with Keith Millen as they are different personalities. KM has got a deservedly good reputation as a coach and number 2 so I'd like to see JP given until end of season with KM brought in as a coach and assistant.
  15. Worst City manager ever?

    It's a tough one as it highlights how many poor managers have been here. In fact nobody has mentioned Brian Tinnion and he wouldn't be the worst and, quite rightfully, is stll held in high esteem for his playing years here but it does show the Club aren't great at selecting managers. Coppell signed Nicky Hunt which helps his claim and I suspect if he has been in post longer we would have had a few more like that. Lee's has had a better budget than all of them and has the record of the worst ever run but I have to give the accolade to SO'D for being so obnoxious, arrogant and patronising when his dismal managerial record and drab performances required humility. How he loved to wear the Emperor's clothes. Presented himself as a coach who played attractive passing football yet route one was his preferred style.