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The Swan and Cemetery

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  1. Buttler’s test record doesn’t indicate he’s likely to turn into a test player, plus an out and out batsman at 7 is a luxury we can’t afford. Might swap Root and Denly, as think Root prefers a bit more of the shine off and better to sacrifice a lesser player. Roy isn’t an opening batsman in first class cricket so can’t see him hanging on, but might be feasible at 5 (which would mean persisting with Bairstow as WK and think you’re right re him batting and Foakes keeping; and arguably Pope above Roy in pecking order anyway). 7 down is quite a long tail, but probably more stickability than a lot of the batting options available. Basically I agree with you! One other thought: if we can’t find batsman who can score runs, we might as well give Woakes/Curran a spot and try and bowl teams out more quickly. Little point having players in for the sake of it. Prefer your selection overall, but an alternative, with batting bolstered a bit (albeit lacking proven performers 1 to 3), could be: 1. Burns 2. Sibley 3. Denly 4. Root 5. Pope or Roy 6. Stokes 7. Bairstow (WK) 8. Archer 9. Leach 10. Broad 11. Anderson Looking at it, think this shows how light we are in terms of batting talent, as don’t think we’d lose many runs if we got rid of an out and out batsman and replaced with either Foakes as per your team, or Woakes/Curran.
  2. Whilst he often looks less than great, Fam’s scoring record in the Championship is very similar to Vydra’s, approx 1 every 2.8 games. Assombalonga slightly, but not earth shatteringly, better. Maybe other buys we’ve made could give Fam the chances he needs to be 20+ a season striker? Not sure he’s been blessed with tip top service during his time here. In my view needs someone like Gayle (1 every 1.7-ish) to feel confident a new striker is going to be fundamentally changing our prospects. That said, Bobby Reid might be decent... Overall think there’s a reasonable case that centre half is at least as big a priority as a striker, so hopefully that’s sorted as well!
  3. That’s very much the opposite of the point I was making. Hoped my full post made that clear, but maybe it didn’t. I’ll seek further instruction from my manager.
  4. The manager will be working to instructions of those above him/her, so does that absolve Johnson from blame, as Ashton hasn’t correctly inspired/directed him, who in turn hasn’t been appropriately directed by Lansdown? Seems perfectly reasonable (and would happen in any workplace I’ve been in) to lay accountability at all those who’ve contributed to something going wrong, in last night’s case both manager and players. To remove all accountability from the players seems to suggest the ‘workers’ have no ability to make choices re their own effort/performance etc. Set up/tactics, Johnson needs to take responsibility, effort/bottling tackles etc, surely the players can make choices, not rely on external motivation from others (and if it does have to be external - don’t think it does - receipt of a very decent salary might suffice)?
  5. Pack and Brownhill getting off quite lightly on this thread. Seems a very high risk policy to expect zero individual errors from defenders, to enable central midfield to position themselves wherever they like - both consistently too far forward and not getting back in when WBA (in particular Johnstone) had the ball. Neither Kelly's nor Hunt's errors (think both deserve criticism btw) were in particularly dangerous positions, with sensible set up/cover. Could argue that it was our very attacking set up that created all the chances - possibly fair, but a) surely we need to ensure we get into better defensive formations with more urgency when they have the ball and b) "you score 7, we'll score 8" seems optimistic with their frontline and likely conversion of chances %?
  6. Mentioned a couple of times above, but our (lack of) composure in their final third when piling forward (and often out numbering them), resulted in us losing the ball and being exposed to their very swift counter attacks (risking a net 2 goal loss... sort of) short of defensive shape. If we’re going to get forward (and their defence looked distinctly dodgy all night, albeit it may have different personnel in the 2nd leg), we need to be more composed/clinical as they were defensively there for the taking (but admittedly they could easily have scored more). Once we’d contained their breaks, our set up look tight/composed and they spent vast amounts of possession titting around left to right to left again ad nauseum across our box. All the above is picky as we’re not (yet) Barcelona (either Barcelona).
  7. Was at the other end. City loud throughout and very, very loud at points. Must have kept the 11 on the field going as their legs started to turn to jelly. Didn’t think Man City were all that bad, just a typical home crowd when team playing rubbish (by their standards). A few decent choruses of Blue Moon, but Red City won the singing battle easily.
  8. In fairness, the quotes are from his defence lawyer, folk who aren't renowned for saying "My client is Dr Evil incarnate, send him down for as long as poss and ideally deny him access to Murphy's Mob re-runs, albeit I accept this maybe taking his punishment too far".
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