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Dr Balls

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About Dr Balls

  • Birthday 29/04/1969

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  1. 35 is not that old for a goalkeeper. If he is still fit, it could even be described as his "prime". At least another couple of seasons would seem reasonable.
  2. This is the LJ/SL strategy. Some will come off such as Brownhill, O'Dowda, and Eliasson. I would even put Webster in the "buy them young and develop them" category. Same if we can get Dasilva and whatever we do with Academy products like Kelly, Vyner and Semenyo. SOD was charged to do the same thing, but struggled with the results. However nearly half of our first team players last season had got their starts with us under him, including Bryan & Reid. If you add in Flint's transfer fee to those two, that's a tidy near £20 million profit just there, so within the limits of FFP, it's hard to argue that it's not a sensible choice. Top up with some judicious loans and you may be able to create a half decent team at significantly less cost. And it's hardly a new strategy. The all conquering Liverpool team of the 70s was usually made up of home grown players and youngsters plucked from obscurity e.g. Keegan, Hansen etc. The one big buy they did make, which was inspired, was Dalglish to replace Keegan. Whether Adelakun or Eisa will make it at this level, we will have to wait and see, but in the scheme of things, the outlays both in fees and wages are not huge, so they are hardly a huge gamble.
  3. The common theme in games where we don't play well is the form of Pack and to a much lesser extent Brownhill. As many on here have stated, we need alternatives in midfield, but with Smith and O'Dowda injured, the only options are Palmer and Walsh. I can't see LJ dropping Pack, but in training I would definitely be looking at a 3 man midfield of Brownhill as the holding tackling player, Walsh as the distributor and Palmer as the player to move us forward. Also get Webster back with Kalas in a back 4. He can still come forward with the ball, but their partnership seems more secure than having Wright with Kalas.
  4. Accepted that today was going to be tough. They had just nearly beaten Norwich. Reading were the same a couple of weeks earlier. In this league, as it's so tight, if you are not 100% on your game and in form, there is a major risk that you will lose to a team who is on form, just as we did today. It partly explains all those draws at home, where most teams come and try to not lose. And why the Championship is far more interesting and unpredictable than the Premier League, where it's basically the big boys with most money in the top 6 and the rest, who may occasionally pull off a "shock" result.
  5. It has to be a bit of both. LJ does like to mix the formations and defensively we just seem a bit weak of late. Whether that's tiredness and too many games for some players, it certainly seems that we are not "on form" other than sensational opening 20 minutes against West Brom. The loss of Korey Smith can't be underestimated as I am sure LJ would have wanted to use during these last few games to support or even replace Pack or Brownhill, but that isn't going to happen. LJ has some huge decisions to make for Saturday. Win against Derby and it's potentially back in our own hands as to whether or not we make the playoffs. And some players such as Palmer might really have to step up as a starter, rather than 20 minute cameos. Personally I would also go back to 4 at the back with Kalas & Webstee in central defence. Play 3 in midfield with Brownhill supporting Pack (who will get picked again) and Palmer further forward. Have Eliasson and Weimann supporting Diedhiou up front. Hopefully that would be solid but also have enough attacking potential for what is a must-win 6 pointer.
  6. Were they working as waitresses in a cocktail bar? (Sorry it's s lateral link to Sheffield courtesy of Phil Oakey...)
  7. Dr Balls


    Everything was just a bit off. Crosses too deep, passes a bit wayward or too hard, and sometimes players on different wavelengths it seemed. We created chances but either fluffed them or one of their players cleared it away. We also lost some momentum when Liam Walsh replaced Korey Smith. Fine margins but at this level when you are playing against a team in form but scrapping at the bottom of the table for survival, it was never going to be easy. Reading were leading Norwich until the 80th minute at Carrow Road in their last away game and deserved their draw there, while a 10 man Wigan have just beaten Leeds at Elland Road today, which puts our recent draws at home against both teams into some context.
  8. Reading are not in bad form and still need points to avoid dropping into the bottom 3. We need to really go at them from the start like we did against West Brom and get an early goal. Our home record against teams scrapping against relegation is not great, so a draw wouldn't be a shock, but at this stage of the season, it could be extremely damaging to our playoff hopes.
  9. Ah the Goodies! People love to knock the 70s, but in those days we had Saturdays that included City in the top division, and the Goodies and Dr Who (Tom Baker - the best Doctor) on TV in the evening. Ain't nostalgia great!
  10. If we are getting ahead of ourselves, personally game A would suit me at home on the Saturday. I am working from 5pm, and getting someone to cover might not be so easy....
  11. Dr Balls

    Honesty time

    While I wouldn't expect us to follow Wolves & be competing for 7th in our first season, relegation after one season is not a given. However don't follow the Fulham route and splash all your cash on players who haven't played in the Premier League. Things that are needed by all promoted teams are a resolute defence, a decent playmaker, and a forward who can score at that level, which is where the acquisition of 3 or 4 top notch players will cost but also make the difference. Both Cardiff and Huddersfield are lacking decent strikers and it shows. Fulham have Mitrovic but no one in midfield of high enough quality, the surprise being that Tom Cairney hasn't really made the step up, plus a woeful defence. Norwich will probably make a decent fist of it next season, if Pukki can keep scoring and with Krul in goal. However they will still need to strengthen their defence and add to their midfield. Plus they are unlikely to blow the budget, given recent experience. As for us, the goalkeeping situation (Max's heroics on Saturday aside) needs sorting and we need more speed and attacking intent in midfield. We also need a natural striker, who can score 15+ goals at that level.This could be the hardest player to find and would undoubtedly cost the most. And finally if we did go straight back down then at least we would have the experience and the parachute payments to have a better chance of promotion again. Seriously, if you look at some of the clubs in the Premier League like Bournemouth, Watford and Brighton, are we really suggesting that we couldn't compete with them, given the changes at the club, the ground, the backing of Mr Lansdown, and generating support from the 7th largest city in England?!
  12. So Scott Duncan can join the "Trevor Kettle Worst Referees Ever Hall of Fame". Perhaps we should award him a "Warnock" for worst refereeing performance of the weekend. And to think I was worried about Keith Stroud against WBA?! And for what it's worth, having seen the penalty for Reading against Bolton back in January, that is an even worse decision than the one against us yesterday. Bring on VAR because that's the only way that players, coaches, and supporters can expect any consistency from officials. In yesterday's game, Weimann's goal likely would have stood and there would have been no penalty for Villa. City 1-0 up at half time and the outcome could have been very different.
  13. Your own "one eyed" opinion & "big club" mentality is borne out by these 2 comments alone. It's very rare, unless you are playing a bunch of thugs, that one side has one "unfair" booking and the other has 6 "fair" ones, plus 2 for the coaches. One thing we have berated our team for over the past few seasons is how soft we seem compared to cynical teams, such as those managed by Warnock. That doesn't change overnight! And please can we have undeserved penalties when we are missing a few players or can't beat the goalkeeper any other way, "just to balance out" the fact that we aren't winning at home? Penalties should only be given because of the offence committed not because the ref wants to give you a one-on-one from 12 yards out directly in front of the goal to make up for the ones you haven't already taken. Look, Villa have a budget way bigger than ours, and the players to match, but for most of the season, their team, with a few exceptions (McGinn, Tammy) has been underperforming. They are better with Grealish pulling the strings, but to suggest a "homer" of a referee is due recompense for his absence is frankly bizarre! P.S. We are CITY. "Bristol"are the egg-chasers who were playing (and beating) Saracens yesterday.
  14. Considering how much players cost these days does anyone think we could easily replace Fam for what he cost us? The simple answer is no. He has been inspired since the international break, especially as he has been much less isolated up front. Playing the lone striker in our 4-1-4-1 formation must have been a really frustrating experience, yet he kept plugging away despite usually being constantly fouled by opposition centre halves. It is not his natural game but he has always kept trying even when his first touch has been less good. I know that some will laugh at this next suggestion but in some ways he is our Flint replacement. At defensive corners, he just concentrates on getting his head to the ball, and most times he does. Plus he is passionate and want to get the crowd going. Who was giving it big to Section 82 and the South Stand to sing up with 10 minutes to go in Tuesday? Fam of course! He is not Pukki or Sharp but a lot of other clubs in the Championship would be interested in taking him now at the price we paid.
  15. Is it downhill towards the South Stand? That would definitely help!
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