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Olé

Match Report: Slick City undone by counter attacking spell - and Jack Hunt

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That is one excellent and insightful match report, thanks.  So there could be a case to try a more defensively adept full back instead of Hunt primarily for the away games?

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Eloquent write up, but I can’t agree with many of those ratings. 

Watkins was better than a 4.

Fammy was better than a 6.

Kalas was better than a 5 (despite being in a defence that conceded 4 goals) 

I also think that’s a tad harsh on Hunt, despite some clear errors. 

I’m not sure Paterson was worthy of a 5. 

Ratings aside, I agree we played well, very well at times, and a few mistakes cost us dear tonight. 

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A strange match that swung wildly between the two sides, decided by West Brom's lethal striking pair racing repeatedly into space on the break in a crazy 15 minute first half spell, but ultimately flattering the home side, who  targeted Jack Hunt - City's clear weak link.
 
Lee Johnson's team unquestionably played the better football overall - passing through West Brom via slick interplay and movement led by the classy O'Dowda, dominating long periods of possession, starting and finishing the game strongly, with countless chances.   
 
The difference was Gayle and Rodriguez up front for West Brom, their Premiership speed and directness exposing City's back line on the break after a wild opening from the away team, who could've been 3 up in 5 minutes - confidence that'd become their undoing.
 
City went at the home team early on and in a carbon copy of Swansea away, Weimann got to the byline from the opening ball forward, his square pass struck cleanly by O'Dowda at close range and beaten away. Pack then hit a sweet 30 yarder from a half clearance.
 
Almost immediately good work by Kelly led to Taylor racing in on goal from the left, his drilled shot tipped round the near post, from which Weimann headed over at the corner. Next Webster's long ball was controlled by Weimann whose lob forced them to tip over.
 
It seemed a matter of when not if City would go in front, O'Dowda and Kelly in particular combining well to pepper the West Brom box with smartly weighted crosses that had the hosts backtracking - West Brom in response putting wayward balls forward out of play.
 
But the home side would find their passing range for a devastating fifteen minute spell of direct counter attacking, aided by City's by now over confident forward commitment  and the freshly rain soaked playing surface leading to slip ups as defenders raced back.
 
First Gayle was up-ended by Webster after a fast move down City's right, with Rodriguez converting the penalty. A point blank header forced Maenappa into a reaction save low at his left hand post, while in return Brownhill fired wide after a jinking run from O'Dowda.  
 
But yet another fast ball from a broken down City attack would allow West Brom to double their advantage, breaking at pace down the middle, City offering no challenge for the ball as the home side slipped Gayle inside City's last man in the box, to bury at the near post. 
 
Weimann would have a shot from the edge of the box after the enterprising Kelly got to the byline, but within a minute City would be three down after another move broke down, West Brom breaking quickly, Hunt outpaced to allow Rodriguez to turn home a low cross. 
 
West Brom would threaten from 2 free kicks as shell shocked City struggled to regroup against the bombardment of direct balls into the channels on the break, and City clung on grimly for half time in a game that oddly they had looked classy in for the opening fifteen.
 
City returned for the second half with no less purpose and Brownhill looped a free kick just over after being chopped down on the edge of the box, but as City struggled to contrive clear openings, LJ responsed by throwing on Diedhiou and Eliasson to cause problems.
 
It was effective immediately and after smart work from Eliasson, Brownhill saw a looping header from a Hunt cross go just over. But Eliasson was causing problems and quickly his wicked inswinging cross caused panic and was nodded in at close range by Kelly.
 
Slick City had the bit between their teeth yet again, passing quickly through West Brom, but as away fans sensed more was to come, Hunt was robbed in possession out on the touchline, his opposnent racing in on goal, slamming a rising shot into the top corner.
 
To City's credit they did not fold despite the immediate restoration of West Brom's three goal advantage, and more quick work from O'Dowda found Diedhiou on City's left - he ran inside his marker, into the box, lifting an improbable near post shot in off the far post.
 
All the noise was now in the away end - City  looking confident picking their way through West Brom in search of more. Another quick move got Weimann clear in the left channel and his square ball arguably gave Diedhiou an easier chance - but he blasted wildly over  
 
Lloyd Kelly was continuing to probe brightly on the left and his next dangerous cross was cleared to the edge of the box, from where Weimann's low stinging shot was deflected for a corner. It was played short, Eliasson's latest sharp cross headed over by Paterson. 
 
City just would not quit and a strong penalty shout followed, as Diedhiou looped a ball to the far post where Weimann appeared to be pushed. Famara was a constant nuisance and his downward header from a deep Pack free kick flashed agonisingly past the post. 
 
It was probably the closest City would get to another goal back for their dominance in the closing exchanges, and the noise from the away end contrasted sharply with now quiet home fans, perhaps minded of how flattering the score now looked on the balance of play.
 
But for City only loud applause at full time, a signal that though well beaten on paper, the team had again played with a real purpose and class, highlighted by O'Dowda's man of the match performance, and good work from Weimann, Kelly, Pack, Brownhill & Eliasson.
 
Defensive concerns to be addressed for sure - in particular how forward-minded pass and move is not at the expense of being able to track and defend direct opposition balls into the channels on the break - but in truth take out Hunt's meltdown and City earn a point.
 
Maenappa 6
Hunt 3
Kelly 7
Webster 5
Kallas 5
Brownhill 6
Pack 6
Watkins 4
O'Dowda 8
Taylor 6
Weimann 7
 
Elkasson 7
Diedhiou 6
Paterson 5

I mentioned the targeting of Hunt in another thread. Sigh!

still we played well and will hopefully take it all on board!

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No disgrace in this game, a bit of learning for sure. We are a good solid mid table side, and that is a huge step up after 20 years plus  in L1. By being middle of the road it means you are in touching distance of the play offs. I cannot think many would moan about that. 

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A strange match that swung wildly between the two sides, decided by West Brom's lethal striking pair racing repeatedly into space on the break in a crazy 15 minute first half spell, but ultimately flattering the home side, who  targeted Jack Hunt - City's clear weak link.
 
Lee Johnson's team unquestionably played the better football overall - passing through West Brom via slick interplay and movement led by the classy O'Dowda, dominating long periods of possession, starting and finishing the game strongly, with countless chances.   
 
The difference was Gayle and Rodriguez up front for West Brom, their Premiership speed and directness exposing City's back line on the break after a wild opening from the away team, who could've been 3 up in 5 minutes - confidence that'd become their undoing.
 
City went at the home team early on and in a carbon copy of Swansea away, Weimann got to the byline from the opening ball forward, his square pass struck cleanly by O'Dowda at close range and beaten away. Pack then hit a sweet 30 yarder from a half clearance.
 
Almost immediately good work by Kelly led to Taylor racing in on goal from the left, his drilled shot tipped round the near post, from which Weimann headed over at the corner. Next Webster's long ball was controlled by Weimann whose lob forced them to tip over.
 
It seemed a matter of when not if City would go in front, O'Dowda and Kelly in particular combining well to pepper the West Brom box with smartly weighted crosses that had the hosts backtracking - West Brom in response putting wayward balls forward out of play.
 
But the home side would find their passing range for a devastating fifteen minute spell of direct counter attacking, aided by City's by now over confident forward commitment  and the freshly rain soaked playing surface leading to slip ups as defenders raced back.
 
First Gayle was up-ended by Webster after a fast move down City's right, with Rodriguez converting the penalty. A point blank header forced Maenappa into a reaction save low at his left hand post, while in return Brownhill fired wide after a jinking run from O'Dowda.  
 
But yet another fast ball from a broken down City attack would allow West Brom to double their advantage, breaking at pace down the middle, City offering no challenge for the ball as the home side slipped Gayle inside City's last man in the box, to bury at the near post. 
 
Weimann would have a shot from the edge of the box after the enterprising Kelly got to the byline, but within a minute City would be three down after another move broke down, West Brom breaking quickly, Hunt outpaced to allow Rodriguez to turn home a low cross. 
 
West Brom would threaten from 2 free kicks as shell shocked City struggled to regroup against the bombardment of direct balls into the channels on the break, and City clung on grimly for half time in a game that oddly they had looked classy in for the opening fifteen.
 
City returned for the second half with no less purpose and Brownhill looped a free kick just over after being chopped down on the edge of the box, but as City struggled to contrive clear openings, LJ responsed by throwing on Diedhiou and Eliasson to cause problems.
 
It was effective immediately and after smart work from Eliasson, Brownhill saw a looping header from a Hunt cross go just over. But Eliasson was causing problems and quickly his wicked inswinging cross caused panic and was nodded in at close range by Kelly.
 
Slick City had the bit between their teeth yet again, passing quickly through West Brom, but as away fans sensed more was to come, Hunt was robbed in possession out on the touchline, his opposnent racing in on goal, slamming a rising shot into the top corner.
 
To City's credit they did not fold despite the immediate restoration of West Brom's three goal advantage, and more quick work from O'Dowda found Diedhiou on City's left - he ran inside his marker, into the box, lifting an improbable near post shot in off the far post.
 
All the noise was now in the away end - City  looking confident picking their way through West Brom in search of more. Another quick move got Weimann clear in the left channel and his square ball arguably gave Diedhiou an easier chance - but he blasted wildly over  
 
Lloyd Kelly was continuing to probe brightly on the left and his next dangerous cross was cleared to the edge of the box, from where Weimann's low stinging shot was deflected for a corner. It was played short, Eliasson's latest sharp cross headed over by Paterson. 
 
City just would not quit and a strong penalty shout followed, as Diedhiou looped a ball to the far post where Weimann appeared to be pushed. Famara was a constant nuisance and his downward header from a deep Pack free kick flashed agonisingly past the post. 
 
It was probably the closest City would get to another goal back for their dominance in the closing exchanges, and the noise from the away end contrasted sharply with now quiet home fans, perhaps minded of how flattering the score now looked on the balance of play.
 
But for City only loud applause at full time, a signal that though well beaten on paper, the team had again played with a real purpose and class, highlighted by O'Dowda's man of the match performance, and good work from Weimann, Kelly, Pack, Brownhill & Eliasson.
 
Defensive concerns to be addressed for sure - in particular how forward-minded pass and move is not at the expense of being able to track and defend direct opposition balls into the channels on the break - but in truth take out Hunt's meltdown and City earn a point.
 
Maenappa 6
Hunt 3
Kelly 7
Webster 5
Kallas 5
Brownhill 6
Pack 6
Watkins 4
O'Dowda 8
Taylor 6
Weimann 7
 
Elkasson 7
Diedhiou 6
Paterson 5

Yet again a brilliant brilliant post 

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I didn’t go and am only going by the highlights and reports. But a positive thing for me is that the errors for the goals are very much fixable - individual errors by Hunt and Kelly and whoever the midfielder was who didn’t just pull the chap down on the breakaway before Gayle’s goal. 

Some naivety from a young team perhaps and when playing a class attack like West Brom’s we’ll be punished for these mistakes. But very impressive that we seemed to create plenty of chances, stuck to the style of football we want to play and showed some character. Would much rather lose a game like this than the limp 1-0 defeat away at Bolton last season for example. 

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Thanks Ole..Look forward to reading yr reports. ..But can I just ask people who are going to quote from longer posts like this. ..Please. Please. Please DON'T QUOTE THE WHOLE THING!

...especially when only adding something like “great post”!

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Good review and a fair reflection of how I saw the game. 

Mistakes punished ruthlessly. Clearly from the number of goals WBA score they are very strong going forward.

I’d question 7 for Kelly though. I think his contributions going forward and his goal, masked his defensive errors. In the first half he lost possession just before and then in the run up to the penalty over playing things - and could, at first glance, have tracked back better for the second goal at least perhaps. I like the way Kelly plays with confidence on the ball - LJ has spoken about players being brave enough to take chances - but  I’m sure he’ll reflect today on when and where to take those risks.

Not a Kelly bashing, because he is superb, but I think both flanks were exposed defensively last night. 

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I didn’t go and am only going by the highlights and reports. But a positive thing for me is that the errors for the goals are very much fixable - individual errors by Hunt and Kelly and whoever the midfielder was who didn’t just pull the chap down on the breakaway before Gayle’s goal. 

Some naivety from a young team perhaps and when playing a class attack like West Brom’s we’ll be punished for these mistakes. But very impressive that we seemed to create plenty of chances, stuck to the style of football we want to play and showed some character. Would much rather lose a game like this than the limp 1-0 defeat away at Bolton last season for example. 

I think the midfielder was Watkins, and you're right, he should have fouled Harvey Barnes and taken a booking. Sean Maguire of Preston was allowed the same freedom last season, after scoring from a long, unchallenged run. I'm sure there are other recent examples. We need to be more 'professional'.

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That is one excellent and insightful match report, thanks.  So there could be a case to try a more defensively adept full back instead of Hunt primarily for the away games?

But even if Pisano was fit, he's also better going forward than defending.

The best defensive player capable of playing right back is the injured Bailey Wright.

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What really pleased me yesterday was how hard Fammy worked for the ball up front, at times finding himself out wide and others working hard just in front of the midfield. I've read a few comments, especially in the last game, suggesting that he can be a bit lazy but there was clearly no evidence of this last night. His goal was sublime but he coupled that with a lot of hard work winning the ball and moving around in the final third. 

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Good report and fair ratings.

At the end of the day all 4 of their goals came from poor individual play on our part:

1st - Kelly losing the ball in dangerous area of the pitch, which was then crossed in and led to the penalty. Kelly played a poor infield pass a few minutes after, but aside from that did really well against a difficult opponent. He also scored to atone for his hand in gifting them their 1st.

2nd - Watkins allows their player to run with the ball from just outside his own penalty box to just outside ours. Clearly should have committed professional foul around the half-way line and taken a yellow. 

3rd - Hunt allows their player to run with the ball down the flank and stop and turn to get it on his favoured foot without getting any challenge in, woeful.

4th - Hunt again, and the worst give away of the 4, not really sure what he was trying to do but got robbed and simple pass and good finish, just after we had got back to 3-1 too.

Like to see Watkins back on the bench for Wigan, and frankly Hunt right back at Ashton Gate. Pisano should be given the RB spot after Hunts non-performance.

 

 

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But even if Pisano was fit, he's also better going forward than defending.

The best defensive player capable of playing right back is the injured Bailey Wright.

May sound a bit ‘left field’ call (Or should that be right field !)  but Hunt actually looks like a right sided midfielder to me - Possibly a  good one

A defenders first thought should be defending and sniffing / sensing danger - Hunt regularly doesn’t see it - doesn’t think like a defender to me

Edited by BobBobSuperBob
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4th - Hunt again, and the worst give away of the 4, not really sure what he was trying to do but got robbed and simple pass and good finish, just after we had got back to 3-1 

I think he was pushed off the ball by Gayle, but not entirely sure what he was trying to do before that.  

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I felt Kelly was at fault for both the first two goals - did well otherwise but didn't feel he deserves a seven.

He was. And neither do I.

Sadly 3 for Hunt was too many. From the moment he struggled to control the ball on the touch line by us, then struggled to clear but managed to let it run out it was obvious that he was going to struggle. And my Christ did he....

First 20 minutes we were good, and remained so throughout the 90. Looked all at sea after 3 goals and 30 minutes and whilst the subs certainly helped I’d have liked more boldness and for them to have been made earlier/at halftime.

We could have gone second but hey ho. Still looking good and I’m going to be bold. Top two by May......

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Baffled again as to why Hunt was singled out tonight, yet had played well in the team that just won 4 on the bounce.... and let alone the fact Kelly was at fault for 2 goals tonight! 

Great report otherwise! 

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Pretty accurate summary i'd say . I watched the game last night with a couple of 'baggies' i'd been working with and they were surprised with how good City were ( backhanded compliment  i know...) but as one of 'em said ' if we'd walked out with the 4-2 scoreline in your favour we couldn't have complained'.....it was THAT sort of game !

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1 hour ago, The Dolman Pragmatist said:

I felt Kelly was at fault for both the first two goals - did well otherwise but didn't feel he deserves a seven.

Put under needless pressure by Pack (?) for the first one at least. 

So our RB position hasn’t been rectified yet, or is this an over reaction. Pisano seems surplus to requirements and perhaps has been told to find a new club if his wife’s tweet is correct. Perhaps we are already lining up a January replacement. If we ( fans) can see Hunt is a weakness then of course managers can. I can see us being targeted in this area now.

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1 hour ago, The Dolman Pragmatist said:

I felt Kelly was at fault for both the first two goals - did well otherwise but didn't feel he deserves a seven.

Agree. He's a great player but he seems to like trying that cut-back trick when inside our own half, he lost possession doing it against Blackburn and we almost conceded as a result. Last night we did pay for it. 

I think LJ referenced this in his and Pack's interview on RB early last week. He mentioned that Kelly had made a mistake and they went back into VR to check it out and see it from an attackers point of view. Surprised to see the same thing happen again so soon.

I assume this was the mistake they were making reference to as he hasn't made many others! 

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As usual an accurate and insightful analysis from Ole.

Had O'Dowda and Weimann converted early it would have been a very different proposition, but it's all about hindsight.

We played some excellent football, my question would be whether or not, in the circumstance, that was appropriate? We rarely get anything at The Hawthorns and last night set up as very open and expansive. Early goals go in and WeeLee's a genius, they don't and we ship too many. Almost appeared that WeeLee had gone Keegan and we'll simply outscore them.

First, against the run of play, is Kelly attempting to be over-elaborate. There's a time and place but wasn't sure last night was it - he'll learn from that mistake but worth noting that's how the team was set up. Second, ok he's scored twice, but clear demonstration of why Pearson (sorry Watkins) should never be in the starting XI. Nothing short of embarrassing. Third some will put down to Kelly but one would have to ask why was he constantly so far forward such he hadn't a hope in hell in getting back once we'd ceded possession. Fourth was Hunt personified. Crowd already love him for the way he gets forward and the commitment he shows. Love him and you also have to love the fact he'll give away 4 or 5 uncontested possessions each game, many of which will be in danger areas. Pros Vs Cons, I'm really not sure which side he falls, particularly away from home.

But to the positives, if we continue to pass and move as we did last night we'll win more than we'll lose. Diggery looked far more mobile than Saturday - it's just a shame we can't combine his finishing with Taylor's movement as we'd have one hell of a player. Much improvement through the middle such there may be life beyond Pack but Brownhill clearly is noted for many things, but not his finishing.

Also goes to show football's about finishing, not possession or stats and that's why decent strikers cost a fortune. They win you things.

Edited by BTRFTG
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41 minutes ago, MC26 said:

Agree. He's a great player but he seems to like trying that cut-back trick when inside our own half, he lost possession doing it against Blackburn and we almost conceded as a result. Last night we did pay for it. 

I think LJ referenced this in his and Pack's interview on RB early last week. He mentioned that Kelly had made a mistake and they went back into VR to check it out and see it from an attackers point of view. Surprised to see the same thing happen again so soon.

I assume this was the mistake they were making reference to as he hasn't made many others! 

I thought the error he was referring to was the Kasey Palmer hit the bar one

He was poor on the first three goals last night - it’s a steep learning curve and he will benefit long term

Edited by BobBobSuperBob

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1 hour ago, southvillekiddy said:

Difference was their razor sharp pair up front. No disgrace in the result especially as we came back at them

Had a quick read of their forum just now.

One poster commented that we played them off the park, but were blown away by a 15 minute spell. Another, that had Gayle been playing for us then we'd have won last night.

It sounds like we started really well, but failed to take our chances during that time and almost as sure as night follows day, we were duly punished, and heavily so. 

The game probably emphasis the difference between our good strikers and their premier league strikers. Had we scored the 1 or 2 early on , that our play deserved, then we would almost certainly got something from the game. As it was they only needed that 15 minute spell to wipe us out.

 

 

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On another night we really could have had 4,5 or even 6 goals with the same chances. I would rather lose playing that way (obviously without schoolboy defensive mistakes) than setting up very defensively. As said keep playing like that with the pace and movement and we will win a lot more games than we will lose. If an early goal went in we could have had them properly under the cosh, crowd on their backs and win comfortably, BUT we just never got it.

Same as if Blackburn would have got their second against us we could have lost that game as it would have totally changed the game.

Hard to feel really down after creating that many chances, and a lot of positives can be taken from the game. Just a huge shame it was terrible mistakes that cost us.

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I thought this post from their forum was pretty on point about our naivety. If we played with a tad more restraint would've beaten them I reckon. 
 

The approach was a bit strange considering how much respect we showed Sheff Utd in our own yard, yet in this game we were away to a team with an attacking line up too good for this division. 

 

 

A very enjoyable game (not sure would of said that had we lost 4-2)

I dont go to many away games but i do look forward to home games, you know there will be goals, you know it will be exciting, cheers mooro!

Last night i think Bristol City fortunately played into our hands, the first 10-15 minutes was a carryover from friday (abeit slightly better) we looked very nervous again and i think the crowd were restless too, the way we are playing at the back doesnt inspire confidence on or off the pitch.

Bristol City were gifted two great chances from our own sloppiness, I think all they needed to do at that point was be patient, it was obvious we were going to keep making mistakes, fortunately for us after they missed the second sitter where the bloke tried to put it over Johnstone, instead of being patient, Bristol obviously tried to go for the kill, this left plenty of space for us going forward and with our attacking players we are pretty devastating at this level.

Even at 1-0 i think they should of just remained patient but instead they went chasing and the game just opened up for us and we picked them off, any team trying to do that at this level we will beat.

I thought Barry played very well first half, he seemed very calm and it was an actual centre midfielder in that role instead of playing a player out of position (same as if we played Brunt on the left, he is still more than a good asset for us out there) but Barry faded whether thats age, lack of matches, etc who knows but Field should of maybe came on 15-20 minutes earlier that he did.

I havent been convinced by Johnstone so far but last night he made two very good saves early on and created two goals with quick distribution, it wont always go that way but credit to him.

Going forward, there was a spell in the first half where the football was brilliant, one and two touch, great movement, and as myself and others have stated, our attacking unit is the best at this level.

At the back, it would seem we are going to persist with the 3 players currently starting, if thats the case i think one tweak would be switch Bartley and Hegazi over so Bartley is in the middle, i like that we are trying to play football but i think we are going to continue to stuggle when we have 3 players trying to play out who it isnt their natural game, i would be giving Tosin a run of games now.

Also noticeable again last night how our defence are reactive rather than proactive, Bartley seems to talk and point a lot but whatever he is saying doesnt seem to be working that well, the three defenders keep looking across at each other as if passing the buck a bit, they then have a meltdown at each other when the opportunity has passed for the opposition, they just dont look comfortable as a unit.

Thought Bristol City were a really good side going forward, enjoyed watching them, good support too, fortunately any team who includes Nathan Baker in defence always gives me hope we will score, think it was him who ended up on his arse and missed the ball for Gayles goal. As long as its not at our expense i hope they go up this season.

That said its been a tough few years to watch recently at the Albion at times, this new approach drives you mad at times but its fun, its entertaining and certainly at home, its effective!
« Last Edit: Today at 10:33:12 AM by Albion79 »
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1 hour ago, Drew Peacock said:

I think he was pushed off the ball by Gayle, but not entirely sure what he was trying to do before that.  

I agree, but possibly shouldn't have tried to stay on his feet and bought the free kick. That said Ref was quite lenient so may not have won it.

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Everything I assumed would be true about us at the start of the season seems to have been flipped on its head. I assumed we'd struggle at the front, but we're really struggling at the back.

With that being said, it feels like we're a defensive coach away from being a top-table contender at this point in the season. For all our faults, we did just play a team full of Premier League quality talent, and ultimately I think the only real difference between us as a guaranteed promotion-chaser is those mistakes.

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1 hour ago, downendcity said:

Had a quick read of their forum just now.

One poster commented that we played them off the park, but were blown away by a 15 minute spell. Another, that had Gayle been playing for us then we'd have won last night.

It sounds like we started really well, but failed to take our chances during that time and almost as sure as night follows day, we were duly punished, and heavily so. 

The game probably emphasis the difference between our good strikers and their premier league strikers. Had we scored the 1 or 2 early on , that our play deserved, then we would almost certainly got something from the game. As it was they only needed that 15 minute spell to wipe us out.

 

 

Have a relative who is a Norwich fan. Norwich were a bit of a yoyo team a few years back. I remember him saying when they were struggling in the Prem  that the difference between that League and the Championship is that there were actually not that many true chances created in the Premiership but that the middle to best teams always put them away. Norwich didn't have anybody of the quality to do that. Weinman set O'Dowda up perfectly to score but it didn't happen and then Weinmann himself, who did well to even get to the ball didn't have that extra 5 % of quality to execute the chip on their keeper. As you say we would have been 2 nil up

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5 hours ago, BobBobSuperBob said:

May sound a bit ‘left field’ call (Or should that be right field !)  but Hunt actually looks like a right sided midfielder to me - Possibly a  good one

A defenders first thought should be defending and sniffing / sensing danger - Hunt regularly doesn’t see it - doesn’t think like a defender to me

I was thinking that especially when the other defenders are fit again, he'll probably make way for them

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Pretty much as I saw it and similar ratings as I gave in the Ratings thread. Hunt is not a Championship standard defender which is obviously a great pity as his endeavour and ability on the ball are pretty good. Silly mistakes against quality opposition get punished. We also need to look at what we are doing in central positions around the box. Brownhill for all his hard work is not a playmaker.

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It’s concerning that we can play well, but still concede 4 goals! 

We have to find a ‘ middle ground’ if we are to continue the decent start we have had. We certainly left ourselves very open at times, against a side that has players that will punish our openness. 

We need to be a little more realistic away from home, because we all would have taken a point before the game, so the most important thing last night should have been not conceding, rather than going for it and leaving ourselves open to the counter attack. 

Yes, we played some really good attacking football which was great to watch, but to be successful in this division we will need to reign in on some of that attacking. I’m not trying to put a downer on attacking football, just being realistic!.

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6 hours ago, BobBobSuperBob said:

May sound a bit ‘left field’ call (Or should that be right field !)  but Hunt actually looks like a right sided midfielder to me - Possibly a  good one

A defenders first thought should be defending and sniffing / sensing danger - Hunt regularly doesn’t see it - doesn’t think like a defender to me

A right footed Joe Bryan then, Bob!

Bailey Wright needs to get fit quick. Which doesn't say a lot for Pisano or our recruitment for this position since allowing Luke Ayling to leave. I know Johnson is an idealist and so, in the modern way, wants full backs to play as auxiliary wingers but - for me - I'll go with defensive solidity first and foremost. Plus - playing Wright at full back hardly affected the team's attacking form that much pre-Xmas last season.

I don't know much about him but - simply on the basis WBA wanted to sign him - Tom James at Yeovil is surely worth a look?

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8 hours ago, tommy32 said:

I didn’t go and am only going by the highlights and reports. But a positive thing for me is that the errors for the goals are very much fixable - individual errors by Hunt and Kelly and whoever the midfielder was who didn’t just pull the chap down on the breakaway before Gayle’s goal. 

Some naivety from a young team perhaps and when playing a class attack like West Brom’s we’ll be punished for these mistakes. But very impressive that we seemed to create plenty of chances, stuck to the style of football we want to play and showed some character. Would much rather lose a game like this than the limp 1-0 defeat away at Bolton last season for example. 

I agree with this about Kelly - if he's any sort of player then last night will be the kick up the backside he needs. It's all well and good being composed on the ball but you cannot be casual or make poor decisions. The silver lining to his below par performance is that it came in a game we were likely to lose anyway. If it had happened at home and cost us the only goal of the game the repercussions are obviously that much greater. We'll see how the lad responds - this is when you find out what's between a player's ears, it will be interesting to watch.

 As for Hunt, I fear he's just a shite defender and we still haven't solved this position.  

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7 hours ago, Midlands Robin said:

What really pleased me yesterday was how hard Fammy worked for the ball up front, at times finding himself out wide and others working hard just in front of the midfield. I've read a few comments, especially in the last game, suggesting that he can be a bit lazy but there was clearly no evidence of this last night. His goal was sublime but he coupled that with a lot of hard work winning the ball and moving around in the final third. 

Agree - Fammy has tended to be (or look) lazy and not physically strong enough, but last night I thought he upped his game.

Feed the Beast and he will score - hopefully !

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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 %? 

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5 hours ago, EnderMB said:

Everything I assumed would be true about us at the start of the season seems to have been flipped on its head. I assumed we'd struggle at the front, but we're really struggling at the back.

With that being said, it feels like we're a defensive coach away from being a top-table contender at this point in the season. For all our faults, we did just play a team full of Premier League quality talent, and ultimately I think the only real difference between us as a guaranteed promotion-chaser is those mistakes.

Really struggling at the back? The 4 games previous to this one suggests we aren't? Agree that their attack was ruthless punishing our mistakes though.

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2 hours ago, Merrick's Marvels said:

A right footed Joe Bryan then, Bob!

Bailey Wright needs to get fit quick. Which doesn't say a lot for Pisano or our recruitment for this position since allowing Luke Ayling to leave. I know Johnson is an idealist and so, in the modern way, wants full backs to play as auxiliary wingers but - for me - I'll go with defensive solidity first and foremost. Plus - playing Wright at full back hardly affected the team's attacking form that much pre-Xmas last season.

I don't know much about him but - simply on the basis WBA wanted to sign him - Tom James at Yeovil is surely worth a look?

Totally agree 

We turned out our best results last season when we had the four centre backs playing across the back with BW at right back who at best could be described as solid and offered no attacking threat.

We should have enough creative sources elsewhere in side

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I've just watched the highlights. Didn't think Kelly's error for their first was as bad as I'd heard. There was time to recover it, but credit to WBA - clinical. 

Hunts for their fourth though, and ultimately the one that killed the game is a bit of a shocker. Not sure what on earth he's thinking there. Put it in row Z! Give your team mates some time to recover and get in position and defend the throw. 

Appreciate LJ has encouraged them to play out from the back, but not when defending! Get it out!

Shame really, but as others have said, just the difference between their premier league strikers being as clinical as they were. I remember Gayle scoring at AG for Newcastle couple of seasons back. Ended 1-0 to them and they created very little. One ball to him and he buried it. Fine margins. 

Our defence has been decent and good to recover some goal difference and pride at the end. Onto Friday - hopefully reality check in place for all

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Kelly silly choice to cross for the second. Poor from Taylor not to block the roll out and Watkins should just take a yellow like he did 10 minutes later when given the chance again. 3rd goal poor from Hunt Webster and Kelly.

One of those days where we’re only noticing these mistakes cause they’re punished. 

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Both full backs had a nightmare. Id say Kelly was partly at fault for at least two. Hunt looked really poor. The two centre midfielders didn't provide anywhere near enough cover either. That said, on the ball we were really good, and if we can learn from the errors then things are looking good.

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16 hours ago, cheshire_red said:

Pretty much as I saw it and similar ratings as I gave in the Ratings thread. Hunt is not a Championship standard defender which is obviously a great pity as his endeavour and ability on the ball are pretty good. Silly mistakes against quality opposition get punished. We also need to look at what we are doing in central positions around the box. Brownhill for all his hard work is not a playmaker.

But maybe Odowda could be? Good range of passing and picks a good pass and some pace, which Marlon lacks. Maybe one for the future in that position?

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23 hours ago, cheshire_red said:

Pretty much as I saw it and similar ratings as I gave in the Ratings thread. Hunt is not a Championship standard defender which is obviously a great pity as his endeavour and ability on the ball are pretty good. Silly mistakes against quality opposition get punished. We also need to look at what we are doing in central positions around the box. Brownhill for all his hard work is not a playmaker.

Yep, lots of folk defending Hunt, and can see why as he does, as you say, offer endeavour and ability on the ball pushing forward is good. Fact is defensively, aside from Blackburn game, he has lost his man 2 or 3 times in each game he has played - just not been punished with goals conceded until WBA. He needs a solid defensive game against Wigan.

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We really do need a defensive midfielder in front of the two centre backs.

We've conceded too many in the last three seasons when opposition just run straight at our unprotected back four. Barnes running fifty/sixty yards with ball is the latest. This goal is due to system we play. Needs to be resolved.

The others all due to individual errors. Work with the individuals to not do it again but something one cannot anticipate.

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11 hours ago, hoxton casual said:

But maybe Odowda could be? Good range of passing and picks a good pass and some pace, which Marlon lacks. Maybe one for the future in that position?

I thought he struggled to influence the game anywhere near as much as he was doing when out wide. Still had a really good game as a whole.

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