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Dr Balls

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About Dr Balls

  • Birthday 29/04/1969

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  1. JET had the physique of a rugby forward, the feet of a dancer, and a shot like a cannon. Having met him one time, when he visited my work one Christmas with a few other players, including Bobby Reid and Joe Bryan, made you realise what a nice bloke he was and also what a physical presence he had. As someone of a similar size and frame, I can assure that short bursts of speed are far easier than running 12km every match. The reality is he had so much skill that against League 1 players he could literally walk through the opposition, then unleash an unstoppable shot. As a spectator, he gave me and many others far more entertainment than any other player that I can remember in over 40 years of supporting City. Even when we were rubbish under SO’D, he was genuinely exciting to watch. Plus as others have mentioned, he was still happy to play a more secondary role in our promotion season, and meant that when we had injuries and was played with Matt Smith on loan, our form didn’t dip one bit. God knows we could do with someone similar now, but even if we did, I am not sure that LJ would play him. The lack of playing time for Kasey Palmer suggests LJ values work rate far more than inspiration.
  2. Probably talking about the rugby, the salary cap, and Saracens being punished and relegated. Guess he won’t want to talk about the not-upcoming City 4th round tie against Liverpool...
  3. After another generally poor performance but an important win, one aspect that frustrated me yesterday was our inability to understand and predict where the ball might be going from one player to another. This was particularly the case with the long balls to Fam. Even when he did get his head to it and play it forward or lay it off, there was usually no one there to go for it. It was a large part of the reason why Barnsley had so much possession, as we didn’t even make the second balls 50/50 challenges. So if we know that teams are going to come and play a high press against us at AG, and our only other option appears to be long balls for Fam to try to head, why doesn’t anyone play off him? Surely if that is “Plan B” then the players need to practice it in their coaching sessions? After yesterday if we continue to play that way, the coaching surely needs to work on how we play as a team and support our main/lone striker. On Match of the Day last night there was a similar analysis on how Bournemouth fail to score as Callum Wilson gets no support or real service. At times, Fam could claim something similar, with high balls hoofed forward for which he is supposed to do something all on his own.
  4. So were we in for Brewster or did the Ryan Kent episode scupper our chances of getting a loan from Liverpool? It’s all gone very quiet from the club about bringing anyone in up front, only Rodri leaving. That could be good news that Afobe might be back sooner than originally thought. But “limited options” up front is a valid gripe from LJ, with only Semenyo on the bench, who has shown little evidence that he can play at this level.
  5. We put all our eggs in the Nketiah basket as a loan striker, while Swansea have got Rhian Brewster, who looks the real deal up front. i have some sympathy for LJ in that his frontline still doesn’t play together that well, one exception yesterday being the one that Fam blazed over after Weimann’s intelligent cross. The Afobe injury was a massive blow and if we don’t get anybody in January, and Afobe is still out come March or April, I could understand his frustration. However I am still in the camp that I don’t think LJ has what it takes to get us to the Premiership, even if we did make the playoffs.
  6. The bottom line is that we have a major problem in the middle at the moment. Neither Williams or Baker feel happy bringing the ball out of defence, so playing out from the back really isn’t possible unless we play a sweeper/defensive midfielder in front of them (the Pack role). The difference from last season is that we miss Webster bringing the ball forward and we miss Pack providing cover, plus his longer ball passes. Even before Webster, Flint didn’t necessarily bring it out but was one of the best long ball passers that we have seen for a long time. No one at the back or in midfield now has that skill. Josh Brownhill is currently a liability. Lightweight in play, struggles to stay on his feet, easily bypassed in central midfielder, and not a “leader of men” as captain. He is best wide on the right but not in a midfield pairing, especially not with Korey Smith, who is clearly not the same player as two years ago, before his long injury lay offs. I have never been a Paterson fan but fair play to him, he really played well today, and would be MOTM. Eliasson has a tough afternoon, Dasilvais improving following his return, although he had little defensive support at times. Baker and Williams were ok at the back, while Weimann and Diedhiou played their usual games. However until we sort central midfield and how we play out from the back, we will continue to struggle. Barnsley played far better football today and were very unlucky to lose. They snaffled nearly every second ball, and at times played both around us and through us. They were good on the ball and generally fluid. We were second best for long periods and looked more like the team struggling near the bottom of the table.
  7. There were moves to get rid of teams before WW2 because there was a feeling from many that they got in the way of the traffic, through the narrow streets and main roads here, in contrast to the avenues that you find in places like Liverpool or Birmingham, while buses are part of the traffic. Plus in Bristol we made our own buses in those days so there was thought to be little economic loss from getting rid of them. The bombing of the Electricity Station was a convenient excuse to get rid of the trams. Of course, being electric they would now be much more environmentally friendly too, although back then it would have all been coal powered generation. Where we really missed out in Bristol was not becoming a metropolitan authority with a transport executive, unlike say Newcastle, which was able to recycle its abandone railway lines from the 60s into a metro system in the 70s and 80s. Bring Bristol, we did nothing much and ended up with cycle tracks instead. Fair play to those who developed them but it just about says it all really of what happens in this city. Not forward-looking and dependent on people getting on with things themselves on the cheap as local politicians bicker amongst themselves and achieve nothing. Now we have a mayor we have just got rid of the bickering but still achieved nothing!!
  8. Easy way to while away 5 mins. In fact, more of a challenge to get them all completed in the time, although no. 22 is a gimme! https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/50986818
  9. And then switch off again, like they did after the Man City games....
  10. The simplest thing to say is that it has to be “clear and obvious”. In other words, you don’t need 5 minutes and 10 camera angles. VAR also disrupts the flow of the game. So as far as I can see it there should be 2 changes that go hand in hand. 1. A wider margin of error i.e. more than a toe or the edge of a shoulder needs to be offside. 2. There should be a time limit on any VAR decision. I would suggest 30 seconds. That feeds into the first point and will mean that VAR is only overturning obvious errors, where a player is clearly gaining an unfair advantage, which was my understanding of what it was brought into to do. Of course being British, we have taken it to the nth degree, because that’s what we always do with every rule or law. Then those bringing in the change (FIFA/UEFA) get the blame, when in fact, it’s our own officials who are the culprits by interpreting it to the most absolute wording, rather than the spirit. I could go all political along similar lines, but probably best not!
  11. Just seen Liam Walsh score for Coventry and create another for them via an own goal at the Mem. Even on loan, he obviously knows where his loyalties lie...
  12. If we made 6th and the playoffs then LJ could rightly say he had achieved SL’s requirements. Humble Pie all round and the crowds would come for a playoff semi-final, especially as we would have to be playing a hell of a lot better than we are now in the process. However the evidence of the last month suggests that LJ has more chance of taking us towards a relegation battle than the playoffs.
  13. Tommy Rowe is experienced, competitive and not easily shaken off the ball, plus his usual position has been central midfield until he moved here and started covering for Jay. The obvious set up is a 4-2-3-1 with Rowe as one of the 2 in front of the defence. He could play on the left and Brownhill on the right, but I am not sure that Brownhill suits that role. So let’s assume Brownhill moves on, gets injured or more unlikely still dropped. Why not play Rowe next to Massengo or Nagy with Palmer playing in a central role of 3 further forward with Weimann and Eliasson on the right and left respectively plus Fam up top? Play Hunt and Dasilva as wing backs with Moore and Kalas in central defence, as both can bring the ball out and should be encouraged to do so more often with Rowe dropping back to cover, similar to Pack. We would look more solid defensively plus more positive going forward.
  14. Do you think that he could get more out of our current team than LJ is managing at the moment? The simple answer is Yes. He has experience and has achieved at this level. He wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of (Yorkshire) tea but if we were winning more games at home, and pushing for promotion would anybody care that much about the style of play? Not really. Fans enjoy seeing their team win. Playing well but losing regularly will upset quite a few. Lose regularly playing awful football, and you have our current situation, where most supporters would like the coaching staff changed and to start over again, before it’s too late this season for a chance at the playoffs.
  15. https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/50975993 He took it well!
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