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Everything posted by LondonBristolian

  1. I think it is a two way thing though. Wollacott has blossomed because he left. Had he stayed, I’m not sure he would or should have dislodged Bentley or O’Leary and arguably we’d have been holding him back. Ditto I gather Nurse is doing well in League One but that could be seen as an argument that we have done the right thing in letting a player who was not at Championship level build a career elsewhere rather than stagnate at a key time. Likewise with Britton. He’s behind Semenyo, Janneh, Conway and Bell and it may be there are other younger prospects that the coaches think are only a couple of years away too. I’d be sad to see Britton go but the fact Derry City are after him rather than a Championship or League One club suggests he has some work to do before he gets to Championship level, if indeed he ever does so. I think we hoarded players a bit in the past and I think Morrell is an example of someone we held onto without playing him to a point where it was detrimental to his career. James Morton seems to have stagnated too. Not every player will make it here. If Britton, Wollacott or Nurse get moved on, get a chance they would not have got here, take that chance and build out a career in the game, I don’t see that as a failure of our youth policy but more an example of what an ethical youth policy should look like.
  2. Speak for yourself! I'm pretty certain I'd not score against Brentford however long I was given to do it!
  3. For me, it sort of balances out. Bentley makes that I don't think O'Leary would make but I also think he makes unforced errors that Max has not (yet) made and, as others have noted, we play better football with Max in the team. I also think there may be a wider issue with Bentley. This might be completely unfair but Bentley reminds me of Shay Given in the sense that he is a really great shotstopper but seems to constantly find himself in defensively frail teams to a point where you have to wonder if he communicates and marshals the defence as well as some other goalkeepers do. I might be completely wrong on that, of course, but I wonder if our defence lacks on-pitch guidance at times and you do need your keeper to be doing that especially as our most experienced central defender doesn't seem to be the most vocal of players.
  4. Pearson did. Which probably counts for more.
  5. To be fair, we came back from the 2020 pandemic expecting a promotion push and then went into freefall last season. I think the reality is it doesn't take that much for what previously looked like a good team to suddenly fall apart. They've not made much in the major player sales in the last two years so I think it simply comes down to too many players simultaneously moving past their peak...
  6. I have to agree with that. I don't like it but I've lost count of the number of times I've got frustrated with teams like Preston under Alex Neill or Cardiff under Warnock where they'd suck momentum out of our attacks for 90 minutes and then nick a goal. I loved the free flowing fluid football we played to get us up under Cotts but the real you can only overwhelm your opposition with fluidity and technique if your players are way better than the opposition (and even then, as we saw last week, teams like Fulham add a lot of aggression into the mix too). We simply don't have enough of an edge on any opponent in this division to win without being a bit streetwise and we're really starting to develop that.
  7. I'm not so sure on that. I think there are times where we still miss a midfielder who'll sit deep and hold a position. Williams and James both "can" do it but I'm not sure it's how their best utilised and I think there are times where Massengo really benefits from someone who'll sit so he can focus on getting around the pitch. If we had a choice between renewing King or signing Pack, I think I'd go for the latter.
  8. Wow! My grandparents used to live at the top of Sunnyside Lane backing into the playing field. There was always football going on a Saturday but I had no idea until now that Yate Town used to play there!
  9. I wonder how we rank for time spent in possession of the ball in the opponents’ box during that time. My suspicion is we are rarely putting ourselves in positions where penalties can be awarded…
  10. Can’t help wondering how this is affecting our other defenders. It is easy to criticise our defence for being out-fought and out-challenged on Saturday but I wonder how easy it is to throw yourself into challenges when you have a teammate (and very possibly friend) coming to terms with the effect that throwing himself wholeheartedly into challenges has had on his body…
  11. I think Vyner has been made a bit of a scapegoat for wider failings within the team. He was poor at the weekend but not the only defender who made mistakes. It is a worry that he has the lapses in concentration that he does and, at the age of 24, he ideally should have nailed down a best starting position but I also think - prior to Saturday - he's looked better in recent weeks than he has all season and I honestly think some of the criticism of his performance has been more to do with previous performances than Saturday alone. For example, Kalas was an ineffective against Mitrovic for the second as Vyner was the first and - whilst Vyner's attempt to get the second ball for that second goal wasn't great - the reality is the striker was always the favourite to get it the second Mitrovic bested Kalas in the air. I'm not exonerating Vyner - I don't trust him in a back two , I don't know what his best position is and he has too many lapses - but it does feel he is being singled out as the scapegoat of choice in an appalling all-round defensive performance from the team.
  12. I think we have to factor in the fact he has been injured for a few months at a crucial point in his development. By all accounts, he did well at Gillingham in League One last season but, given that he must be a little bit ring rusty at the moment, I'd not be shocked if he got loaned out over the next two weeks with a view to him coming back in pre-season and showing the coaching staff where he is.
  13. Didn’t he say we should definitely not take up the option? That’s how I read it.
  14. Fulham away is usually one of our best chances of three points…
  15. I’d be more sympathetic to that defence of him if I felt he gave more when he was played in his preferred position. As it is, he is as frustrating and inconsistent a left wing back as he is a winger or central midfielder.
  16. I think the sticking point with Kalas is that people expect him to be a leader an coax better performances out of those around him whereas the reality is that he plays best when he can focus on his own game and tends to get a bit spooked and thrown off his game when inexperienced players struggle around him. I rate him as a defender but also think he is limited in the defensive combinations he excels in. He is a really good player when Baker is alongside him or when Atkinson, Vyner or Pring are on form but I don’t think he is someone who can grab a struggling defence by the scruff of the neck and bring them to order. Which doesn’t make him a bad player but does impact on what we can expect of him.
  17. I honestly don’t think it is one swallow we are looking at. It is a player who has been improving season on season but - like a lot of young forwards and wingers - needs time to adjust to this level, which means that you end up watching a lot of false starts and frustrating misses as he finds his feet but that there is going to be a moment where it clicks and that has been on the verge of happening ever since he came back from injury. There will still be ups and downs and gaps in consistency but I am confident what we saw today was not a flash in the pan but a guy who has the ability showing he is starting to figure out how to use it.
  18. This is it. Today was poor and Pearson and the team deserve criticism but it had to be seen in the context of recent improved performances on the whole. We are not where we need to be but we are where I think most of us thought we would be early in the season. It is just that a transitional season of mixed results sounds acceptable on paper but sometimes feels awful in reality.
  19. This is it. We are starting five or six academy products per game. Disasters are going to happen but the players getting a chance now are going to be players with experience in the future.
  20. The Problem for me is - as we saw with Holden - inexperienced coach + inexperienced players = recipe for disaster. Pearson may not prove the long term answer but he is giving our young players experience and chances to play. That could pay dividends in the long run, regardless of if Pearson is ultimately the one to reap the rewards.
  21. We aren’t though. We are mediocre and unable to compete with the best in the division but we have shown enough in enough games to know we are not shit.
  22. Indeed. Very few goals indeed are purely down to one individual mistake. It is almost always multiple mistakes by multiple players. Vyner should have done better for all three goals and is certainly having a poor game but I do think others are getting off the hook when Vyner is being blamed for three goals in which he is not alone in not doing his job properly.
  23. Being honest, I think Kalas did about as well as Vyner did for the first, and was fouled to the same extent Vyner was for the first. Vyner didn't do too well there but I do think the fact that multiple posters (not just you) are blaming Vyner and not Kalas reflects that academy players are judged to a slightly harsher standard. That goal is on Kalas just as much as it is on Zak. Both need to do better.
  24. I think it's a bit of both. Mitrovic is a superb striker and can get the better of even the best defenders in the division but Vyner has to make him work harder than that.
  25. Also a goal that was started, created and finished entirely by ex-academy players, which is nice.
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