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Everything posted by LondonBristolian

  1. I agree with you to an extent but, although you are right that the idea of a strong first XI is less relevant than it was a few years ago, I don't think it is irrelevant. You are right that teams rotate but even a team like Man City or Liverpool do broadly have a "first XI" that are likely to start top of the table games or key Champions League matches. And I reckon that even the managers like Pep that will deviate from their strongest team depending on the tactics of the game still need to have a clear idea of the template they are deviating from. Pep will rotate his team but that doesn't mean he doesn't have a clear idea of the eleven players he is most likely to put on the field and why. And, if we had a major game - say a key relegation clash or play-off final - I think NP would have an idea in his head of what team would be too.
  2. Three weeks into the season and I feel - in a good way - increasingly unsure what our best XI is. It seems NP is pretty set on the 3-4-1-2 formation, which I've no problem with at all but there's a lot of players making a positive case to be included. Start of the season, I'd have said Bentley, Wilson, Kalas, Naismith, Atkinson, Dasilva, Weimann, Semenyo, and Martin were obvious picks in our best XI and it was just a case of which two from Scott, James and Williams slotted into the midfield. Right now you could make a case for at least 15 or 16 players to deserve to be in the frame for a starting spot. It's a nice problem to have but leaves a question. If everyone was fit, there are no more incomings or outgoings and we stick with the same formation, what do you currently see as the first XI?
  3. That's good news and must be a big relief for his family and friends. Really hope he continues to make progress.
  4. Indeed. Hull unbeaten too. Very early in the season but the three teams we have failed to beat this season are teams nobody else has yet managed to beat either.
  5. I think you misread the tone of my post. It is very possible that I was being sarcastic.
  6. Wow. “It will be nice to see Kal for a moment, I’ll speak to him after I’m sure, but I’m not interested in reacquainting myself with anyone. I want to win the game, so if I never speak to Kal Naismith again but win the game, I’ll take that and that’s nothing on Kal, I really like Kal, and he did excellent for this football club.” That's some serious venom.
  7. Without sounding like a bit of a conspiracy theorist, I wonder if more was made of it because - at the time - we'd moved from a back three to a back four and the manager did not see Ayling as a right back in a back four. I don't necessarily mean the club deliberately scapegoated him and forced him out - more that it was a point where the manager needed convincing on whether Ayling fitted into his long-term plans and the incident convinced him in the opposite direction. Obviously, if that was the case, it looks like a colossal misjudgement in hindsight. But I don't think Ayling would have become anywhere near the player he has if he had stayed here.
  8. It's poorly worded but think the point they are trying to make is that Ayling is the first ever top flight player to openly march in the parade itself. Other footballers may or may not have attended, or perhaps even marched, but if so they did not feel either able or willing to publicly state they were doing so.
  9. I feel for Engvall in many ways Whatever the reasons why it didn't work, it did nothing for his career to move to a team that could not use him and, from a personal point of view, moving abroad at 20 must be a big deal and being stuck in a foreign city with a manager (and perhaps teammates) that clearly didn't rate him must have been a lonely place to be.
  10. I'm using this an excuse to post the video of Bullseye's greatest prize ever:
  11. Unless a Premier League team came in - and I'm not sure they would - I think Weimann would think long and hard about moving elsewhere. He's lived in England since he was sixteen so presumably settled here and is playing at a team that are letting him play his best football. He's not someone who has moved around a great deal, doesn't have the carrot of a world cup to encourage a move and - whilst he might get a bit more money elsewhere - I'm not sure that would necessarily be enough to tempt him to move. I might be proven wrong but I'm pretty confident he will be with us come the end of August, even if bids do come in.
  12. For me, it is less about individuals and more about combinations and how they work together. When Semenyo is fit, Martin is an absolute must on the team sheet. Those two complement each other and, with Weimann behind, we had the most potent attack in the division outside of the promotion places. However I am not sure we have found a way to get the best of Martin without Semenyo. I am still interested in seeing Weimann and Martin with Sykes behind and that could be effective but the evidence right now is Wells and Conway can combine effectively and there is certainly an argument for them both to keep their places.
  13. Well, now it is official. We are screwed. Where on Earth will our next win come from?
  14. Bentley Wilson Klose Atkinson Pring (if fit) Kadji Massengo Scott Sykes Weimann Wells Logic is to rest some players and rotate squad without putting out a team so weak it cannot compete or sets up the players who come in to fail. Kadji gets a chance as we need to learn if we have a defensive midfielder in the squad. Sykes and Weimann with Wells lets us try something new in attack to see if we can find more movement without Semenyo. My assumption is James and Williams not going to be fit/fresh enough to play.
  15. I agree. I think both clubs have been shafted by Wasps and the Commonwealth games but I don't think Coventry can be blamed and I think it shows the problems that arise for clubs that don't own their ground.
  16. Based off that, I think I'd like to see: GK Bentley RB Wilson (Tanner if Wilson not fit to start) RCB Klose LCB Atkinson LB Pring (Dasilva if Pring not fit to start) DM Kadji CM Scott CM Massengo FW Sykes (playing somewhere between an attacking mid and a wide forward) FW Weimann (playing somewhere between an attacking mid and a wide forward) ST Wells I think that balances using the squad a bit and seeing if Kadji can offer something in the position we most need someone to come in whilst also adjusting our shape for players who are missing and putting out a side who can compete.
  17. It's probably useful for a lot of clubs in terms of squad management and giving players outside the first XI a shot at forcing their way into the managers' plans. There's only ever been one season I've actually enjoyed the League Cup but - whilst I know this almost definitely won't happen - if Dylan Kadji got a chance tonight and showed something that suggested he could solve our defensive midfield issue, that would make it worthwhile on its own.
  18. I'm obviously unhappy with our start but don't think this is by any means the worst period I can remember, even in recent years. Our results and performances are disappointing but I think our squad is in better shape than it was at the start of our relegation season under McInnes, during our time scraping the lower end of League one with SOD, during our dire period at the end of Holden's reign and start of Pearson's and in better shape than it was at the start of last season. We need two injured players to get fit and we need to find a way to bring 2 or 3 new players in, even if it means selling one of our key assets to afford it. We need to get some good results soon to lift the mood around the club but I'm not overly worried yet
  19. Obviously the real reason we've lost our two opening games is because our home kit now has white sleeves and the players get confused by the lack of red sleeves and don't recognise their team mates as a result. (Since everyone else is coming up with nonsensical issues with the team, I thought I'd join in)
  20. It’s Harry Thickitt I feel sorry for. Most successful manager in our history, gets us runners up in the top flight and to an FA Cup final and still our ungrateful supporters overlook him for trendier young whippersnappers like Ramsey and Warnock.
  21. My one question would be what the central defence looks like. Can Naismith play in a two and can he or Atkinson play on the right side of defence? I also sort of think that - if Naismith or Vyner are being touted as possible defensive midfielders - that is as much about whether we tweak where they are on the pitch and how they play in a back three as much as it is a formation change, which are subtly different things.
  22. I think the individual errors are a symptom of the other weaknesses in the team. If players are confident that their teammates will do their jobs effectively, they can focus on their own roles with confidence and will get into a headspace where they get on with it and don't make mistakes. If players constantly think a mistakes going to happen elsewhere, they'll start changing their game to compensate for the perceived mistakes they think their teammates will make and suddenly they'll be making mistakes too. What the number of mistakes we are making at the moment tells me is the players know about our weaknesses as a team just as much as we and the opposition do.
  23. I immediately think of the Aesop Fable of the Frogs who wished for a King. The short version being there were a group of frogs who wanted a King. So they prayed to Zeus and he sent them a wooden log and told them the wooden log was their King. The Frogs got angry with how passive and inactive the log was so sent back to Zeus and demanded a King who was more proactive. So Zeus sent them a new King, who was a Water Snake, which proceeded to eat all the frogs. In short, change isn't necessarily going to be for the better.
  24. I agree with this, especially not replicating WSM without Semenyo.
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