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Mr Popodopolous

The Summer...who stays, goes- gets traded?

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It's a bit premature given we are still in a playoff push, even though there are doubts as to whether we can seriously think of get there but what do we do in the summer?

Out of Contract:

Goalkeepers

  • Fielding
  • Maenpaa
  • Marinovic

Defenders

  • Pisano

Loanees

  • Kalas
  • Da Silva
  • Palmer

Out of those, I'd suggest at this stage bye to Marinovic, probably Pisano- on account of age, injury and mixed performances though he has improved this year, and Palmer as he started great but just seems not to have done enough. Keep one of Fielding and Maenpaa- one will have to go and try to buy Kalas and Da Silva- or even try to buy one and get an extended loan or a loan with option to buy with the other if possible.

Players under contract worthy of sale

  • Watkins

Think signing him was a mistake. Not too pricey a mistake but a mistake nonetheless! Perhaps Barnsley may want him back if they come up?

Players who we could consider trading

  • Baker
  • Diedhiou

Baker- he has only played 10 or 11 games in the League this season. He is probably not on cheap wages and has not been fantastic for a little while.

Diedhiou- hit and miss, lately more miss than hit but a reasonable record, only 26 and has experience in Championship and the top 2 divisions in France...surely there would be a few takers somewhere? He doesn't, and certainly not as deployed, suit our current style.

Kelly would be an obvious high value saleable asset but I'd rather not- we'd all rather not...

Players we should loan out to aid development- ideally to upper mid-table/ambitious League One sides

  • Adelakun
  • Eisa

In the case of Eisa, should have been this January IMO. Adelukaun, could also have had some loan time but then we did owe Scunthorpe compensation and had he gone out to League One and tore it up, could that have been a consideration, in the amount we would have had to pay?

Returning Loanees

Moore and Vyner- got to try to integrate them surely? Vyner has worked his way up the Leagues, while Moore has gone a slightly different route but got to try IMO.

Holden and Bakinson, I know little about, how they are faring- their chances of making it etc. If up to it, yeah integrate- if not, then sell them!

In this hypothetical squad, it'd leave us with the following

Goalkeepers:

  • Fielding/Maenpaa
  • O'Leary

Defence:

  • Hunt
  • Moore
  • Webster
  • Wright
  • Vyner
  • Kalas
  • Da Silva
  • Kelly

Midfield:

  • Pack
  • Brownhill
  • Smith
  • Walsh
  • Morrell

Wide Players:

  • O'Dowda- His versatility also enables him to play centrally or across the wide areas.
  • Eliasson

Attacking midfielders/those who can play across the front line:

  • Paterson- though basically a 10.

Strikers

  • Weimann
  • Taylor

Both of the strikers more versatile than Diedhiou.

What about Semenyo too- would he be staying, or going? If he's off we would at least probably be entitled to some compensation? I suppose the other question is, would we want to keep Wright, O'Dowda and Taylor or would we try to get something for them...

Actually think would free up cash, wages- not a bad foundation at all! Bit light on numbers though...would need a striker but maybe the cash freed up from trading plus summer 2018, would enable us to get a big hitter or a bigger hitter than what we've had in that position.

Edited by Mr Popodopolous
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I like how you spent so much time on this, only to still decide we should let Baker go. Baffled.

 

I’d focus on signing Kalas and Da Silva, and then build our team around those two, Baker and Brownhill.

Edited by Bryans Left Peg
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I'm thinking in terms of trading upwards and who we may get some cash for to help us do so- we know we made a huge loss 2 seasons ago, he has started 10 games for us this season in the League- injuries yes, has ability yes, but who do you sell, trade etc?

I assume he's one of our higher earners for a start. I'd rather have Kalas than Baker too, if it was a choice.

Edited by Mr Popodopolous

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It's interesting. We are currently in a similar league position to last season, yet are without any stand out money-making players, whereas we had 3 last year. Makes it harder to easily decide who to cash in on. Also shows how this season has been more of a team effort.

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35 minutes ago, Bryans Left Peg said:

I like how you spent so much time on this, only to still decide we should let Baker go. Baffled.

 

I’d focus on signing Kalas and Da Silva, and then build our team around those two, Baker and Brownhill.

So you'd ditch Webster from the starting XI?

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38 minutes ago, Bryans Left Peg said:

I like how you spent so much time on this, only to still decide we should let Baker go. Baffled.

 

I’d focus on signing Kalas and Da Silva, and then build our team around those two, Baker and Brownhill.

What about Webster ? Baffled

Edited by RedDave
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13 minutes ago, simon uk said:

Trade diedhou and keep taylor? who would score our goals? 

Absolutely. I don’t get all this praise about Taylor. He’s been here about three years and scored a hand full of goals. When he leaves us he’ll end up where he belongs, league one.  

Edited by swanker
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I would hope Adelakun and Eisa will have bedded in by next season and will start to make an impact.

I don't think we need to get rid of Diedhiou so much as get someone else in who can play along side him. Semenyo or Eisa could be that player with a bit more time but it's not being reliant on one senior striker for goals.

I agree on Watkins and fear O'Dowda may end up going too, although I'd rather we kept him.

I reckon we're going to struggle to keep Baker happy as a back-up. I don't particularly want him to go but, if we kept Kalas, then him and Webster would be the first-choice XI and, even if we did not keep Kalas, I reckon we need a quality centre-back. So I think Baker may go too. 

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18 minutes ago, swanker said:

Absolutely. I don’t get all this praise about Taylor. He’s been here about three years and scored a hand full of goals. When he leaves us he’ll end up where he belongs, league one.  

I wouldn't mind trying Taylor as a CAM

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I can't see us selling Deidhiou. I think LJ believes he can be a 20 goal a season striker. If he can get that many next season then he will be worth a lot more than he is now. He would surely have reached 20 had he not been out for so long last season.  

 

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I would definitely keep Diédhiou. Even if he doesn’t start next season and we bring in a better player there he would still be a great option to bring off the bench and currently the only regular goal scorer for us. 

 

Kalas and Dasilva I would definitely sign permanently but would they come here? Dasilva I think would do but I’m unsure about Kalas.

In terms of the players out of contract Maenpaa has an option of another year which I would assume we would trigger. I would release the other three. 

 

In terms of signings I would go for a new keeper because I would like to always have three, a new right back as Hunt would be the only out and out RB we have, a new central attacking midfielder if we plan to keep the same system could it be Palmer not sure and finally a striker that can play a similar role to Diédhiou.

 

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59 minutes ago, simon uk said:

Trade diedhou and keep taylor? who would score our goals? 

Hoping to get someone better than Diedhiou with the trading thing, hence sell him to raise funds for a striker more in fitting with our (alleged) style of play.

Taylor- yes he doesn't score many but he provides assists, energy- could slot in as a CAM as @hodge suggested, worth a go anyway. Diedhiou doesn't do enough for his size (IMO), he isn't quick enough over the ground and though he can pull off moments of brilliance or strong technique, these are just flashes- overhead kick, hitting the bar at Derby with a 30 yarder- those were both brilliant but how often? Obviously if Diedhiou went we would need another striker.

Edited by Mr Popodopolous

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15 minutes ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

Hoping to get someone better than Diedhiou with the trading thing, hence sell him to raise funds for a striker more in fitting with our (alleged) style of play.

Taylor- yes he doesn't score many but he provides assists, energy- could slot in as a CAM as @hodge suggested, worth a go anyway. Diedhiou doesn't do enough for his size (IMO), he isn't quick enough over the ground and though he can pull off moments of brilliance or strong technique, these are just flashes- overhead kick, hitting the bar at Derby with a 30 yarder- those were both brilliant but how often? Obviously if Diedhiou went we would need another striker.

Good debate. If it was me, i would lose taylor and eisa, watkins and weimann if we could find someone to take him. Keep diedhou and semenyo and find 2 to come in. If we had to keep one it would be weimann, but we are desperate for someone of some pedigree to come in.

makes you wonder as well that if they could see Semenyo was something special why would they go for eisa and watkins. If we had pushed the boat out for marriott instead of those 2, im sure he would have had more of an impact, and we would have had more quality in the squad

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2 hours ago, swanker said:

Absolutely. I don’t get all this praise about Taylor. He’s been here about three years and scored a hand full of goals. When he leaves us he’ll end up where he belongs, league one.  

You are possibly right, but how much gametime in minutes on the pitch has he actually had? I’ve seen a lot of games home and away yet I feel I’ve hardly seen him, either he hasn’t been picked or has been injured. I’m not saying he is the answer but he hasn’t had as much time as many others either.

Regarding Baker, I’d actually forgotten about him. Rarely features and doesn’t bust a gut in the same way for the team that Webster and Kalas do. Think he won’t be easy to shift though.

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The squad needs trimming and upping on quality imo.

I know it's a long season and it's nice to have options in case of injuries or tiredness but this year we've had too many bit part players.  I'd like to see us narrow our squad to just 17 or 18 established players and the rest of the squad should be propped up by academy prospects and young players who shouldn't be expecting to play much.

At the moment we've got a weird imbalance in the squad where we're signing players in their early 20s and then hardly playing them citing that they're not quite ready for Championship football.  The problem is they were ready for professional football at some level because they were playing full seasons elsewhere.  So what was the point in buying them?

Mo Eisa is a good example of what I mean.  He's gone from playing 45 games last season to "featuring" in just 5 this time, and "featuring" is taking the piss cuz most of those are coming on at 89 minutes.

I know he's had injuries but Adelakun is another example.  He played in 49 games last season and just 5 this time.

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Players I think will be gone for good:

Kalas, Fielding, COD, Marinovic and Pisano

Squad players I would try and offload:

Taylor, Baker and Watkins

Players I would loan out: 

Morrell, Eisa, Smith and all the conference players

Current lads on loan I’d try and bed into side:

Moore, Bakinson, Vyner

Squad players I’d try and get more minutes for:

Adelakun, Eliasson, Semenyo

Loanees we may buy:

Palmer and Dasilva

High value player we COULD lose:

Brownhill, Webster and Kelly

Hopefully we do not lose more than what I have said I believe we will not have come July 1st. Though I expect we lose at least 1 of the high value ones too. Hopefully Dasilva and Palmer bought. I don’t believe we can both match Kalas wages and ambition. 

If the two other loanees are bought I still think we need money spent on another keeper, striker and central midfielder as priorities. Then depending on who else leaves a couple ones for the future in those positions

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It's only worth signing Palmer if we feel he can be fully trusted to play at least 25 games imo.  In which case he needs to be playing consistently right now, rather than a start here and there and half an hour as a sub every other game.  Otherwise what's the point?

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3 hours ago, swanker said:

Absolutely. I don’t get all this praise about Taylor. He’s been here about three years and scored a hand full of goals. When he leaves us he’ll end up where he belongs, league one.  

He's a good back up option for this level imo.

He'll always be remembered fondly i think as he left Rovers and played that great ball into Smith.

Too early to think about the summer yet imo. We don't know what league we'll be in yet (although I do accept it's more than likely we'll be Premier League)

 

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1 hour ago, swanker said:

I wouldn’t  mind seeing Taylor score a goal!

Goals + assists? Movement, energy- all can give opposition defence something to think about. Judged purely on goals, well yeah. Strikers now have to do more- and he chips in with assists too- perhaps not enough goals and assists but he does, and is capable of it.

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34 minutes ago, Roe said:

It's only worth signing Palmer if we feel he can be fully trusted to play at least 25 games imo.  In which case he needs to be playing consistently right now, rather than a start here and there and half an hour as a sub every other game.  Otherwise what's the point?

Need to tweak the system to fully accommodate him.  That’s either play him as a true no10 in a 4411 which will put pressure on our two CMs (Which is why Pato has done better when we play 4141), or get a different striker to Diedhiou who is more mobile allowing Palmer to join him from a slightly deeper position.

The one thing we don’t really need from Palmer is picking the ball up deep from our CBs in front of their midfield 4/5...he needs to get the ball between the lines like he did v Bolton.

His signing for me depends whether LJ wants to make him key or not.  If he’s not gonna adjust the team to bring the best of Kasey’s talents, then we might as well not bother.

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4 hours ago, simon uk said:

Trade diedhou and keep taylor? who would score our goals? 

Wieman. Of course !  Maybe put in a cheeky offer for non scoring nicholls from the gas 

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9 minutes ago, kivsy said:

Wieman. Of course !  Maybe put in a cheeky offer for non scoring nicholls from the gas 

Better still that young big guy for the Gas, the one who is scoring regularly and in their last game belted one in the net from way outside the penalty area. Looks the part.

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2 hours ago, JoeAman08 said:

Players I think will be gone for good:

Kalas, Fielding, COD, Marinovic and Pisano

Squad players I would try and offload:

Taylor, Baker and Watkins

Players I would loan out: 

Morrell, Eisa, Smith and all the conference players

Current lads on loan I’d try and bed into side:

Moore, Bakinson, Vyner

Squad players I’d try and get more minutes for:

Adelakun, Eliasson, Semenyo

Loanees we may buy:

Palmer and Dasilva

High value player we COULD lose:

Brownhill, Webster and Kelly

Hopefully we do not lose more than what I have said I believe we will not have come July 1st. Though I expect we lose at least 1 of the high value ones too. Hopefully Dasilva and Palmer bought. I don’t believe we can both match Kalas wages and ambition. 

If the two other loanees are bought I still think we need money spent on another keeper, striker and central midfielder as priorities. Then depending on who else leaves a couple ones for the future in those positions

Damn you're good at this

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5 hours ago, simon uk said:

Good debate. If it was me, i would lose taylor and eisa, watkins and weimann if we could find someone to take him. Keep diedhou and semenyo and find 2 to come in. If we had to keep one it would be weimann, but we are desperate for someone of some pedigree to come in.

makes you wonder as well that if they could see Semenyo was something special why would they go for eisa and watkins. If we had pushed the boat out for marriott instead of those 2, im sure he would have had more of an impact, and we would have had more quality in the squad

Eisa has been given 5 minutes at   Bolton nearly scored in that time obviously like Engvald his face dont fit could do no worse than what is playing upfront at the moment

Edited by RobintheRed Red

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5 hours ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

Hoping to get someone better than Diedhiou with the trading thing, hence sell him to raise funds for a striker more in fitting with our (alleged) style of play.

Taylor- yes he doesn't score many but he provides assists, energy- could slot in as a CAM as @hodge suggested, worth a go anyway. Diedhiou doesn't do enough for his size (IMO), he isn't quick enough over the ground and though he can pull off moments of brilliance or strong technique, these are just flashes- overhead kick, hitting the bar at Derby with a 30 yarder- those were both brilliant but how often? Obviously if Diedhiou went we would need another striker.

Nah Taylor is League 1 at best.  He has what 4 assists this year? That’s just not a good reason to keep him

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2 hours ago, mozo said:

Damn you're good at this

Not sure I am any good at anything but is what I’d try to do if it were up to me. I don’t know how feasible any of it is outside the expiring contracts and loans

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7 hours ago, just like watching brazil said:

Surprised no one has said Johnson yet.

Not a fan of LJ at all, (surprising to many I know 🤭) but I do think now is the time for SL to back him with a decent amount around £30m for the next transfer window or sack him and get someone who he does trust with that kind of money.

No clue how that would go with the ffp bogguts or the SL softly softly :tumbleweed:zzz  plan but its time imo to inject some life into this club.

 

Edited by Bri Stool City

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9 hours ago, Lucan said:

Nah Taylor is League 1 at best.  He has what 4 assists this year? That’s just not a good reason to keep him

Often as a sub...often pretty selfless, similar to Weimann.

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3 hours ago, Bri Stool City said:

Not a fan of LJ at all, (surprising to many I know 🤭) but I do think now is the time for SL to back him with a decent amount around £30m for the next transfer window or sack him and get someone who he does trust with that kind of money.

No clue how that would go with the ffp bogguts or the SL softly softly :tumbleweed:zzz  plan but its time imo to inject some life into this club.

 

When you say £30m, do you break that down as a budget for fees, inclusive of fees or wages, gross or net spend?

You risk points deductions...that's why clubs try to offset it where they can. If Birmingham get their 12 point deduction this season, might that persuade you otherwise?

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9 hours ago, JoeAman08 said:

Not sure I am any good at anything but is what I’d try to do if it were up to me. I don’t know how feasible any of it is outside the expiring contracts and loans

All looks really plausable and sensible. Any players you reckon we should target to bring in?

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2 hours ago, mozo said:

All looks really plausable and sensible. Any players you reckon we should target to bring in?

That is much harder to gauge as I am not sure of budgets, wages etc. Though I like targeting lower league players I feel it is more time to add some star quality to the group. Think Palmer could add that if bought and with a full preseason. Problem is players like that cost 4-5m minimum and people will be put off Palmer because he has not immediately come in and taken the spot from Pato. 

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5 hours ago, Bri Stool City said:

Not a fan of LJ at all, (surprising to many I know 🤭) but I do think now is the time for SL to back him with a decent amount around £30m for the next transfer window or sack him and get someone who he does trust with that kind of money.

No clue how that would go with the ffp bogguts or the SL softly softly :tumbleweed:zzz  plan but its time imo to inject some life into this club.

 

We had to sell 4 players to comply with FFP from last season..... You want to spend £30m?

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4 minutes ago, JoeAman08 said:

That is much harder to gauge as I am not sure of budgets, wages etc. Though I like targeting lower league players I feel it is more time to add some star quality to the group. Think Palmer could add that if bought and with a full preseason. Problem is players like that cost 4-5m minimum and people will be put off Palmer because he has not immediately come in and taken the spot from Pato. 

If we're looking at CO'D leaving I'd consider looking at Gwion Edwards at Ipswich, signed for about £800,000 last summer so wouldn't imagine he'd be hugely expensive. Can play either wing or the 10 role as well, 5 goals and a few assists may not be the best return but it is in a struggling Ipswich team.

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6 minutes ago, hodge said:

If we're looking at CO'D leaving I'd consider looking at Gwion Edwards at Ipswich, signed for about £800,000 last summer so wouldn't imagine he'd be hugely expensive. Can play either wing or the 10 role as well, 5 goals and a few assists may not be the best return but it is in a struggling Ipswich team.

It isn’t a bad shout. My only concern is does he come in and displace Eliasson or Weimann? If not then aim higher. If so then go for it. Just wary of signing another Watkins, Taylor or Weimann. Sounds harsh but these types are taking up wages and minutes from younger players. I’d rather trim 5-6 players down and bring in 2-3 quality in their stead. The other 3 spots from our youth ranks. 

Example of my meaning is if COD, Fielding, Pisano, Baker, Brownhill and Taylor were all gone by matchday 1, I’d rather spend big on Brownhill’s replacement and a striker and get the likes of Adelakun, Vyner, Moore, Smith, Semenyo, Morrell to pick up the bench appearances. COD is a good example because we still have options of he goes in Weimann, Eliasson, Adelakun, Paterson and Smith. I know they are unknowns right now some of them but they have racked up big minutes in league football now. Time to utilise them more imo. 

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3 minutes ago, JoeAman08 said:

It isn’t a bad shout. My only concern is does he come in and displace Eliasson or Weimann? If not then aim higher. If so then go for it. Just wary of signing another Watkins, Taylor or Weimann. Sounds harsh but these types are taking up wages and minutes from younger players. I’d rather trim 5-6 players down and bring in 2-3 quality in their stead. The other 3 spots from our youth ranks. 

Example of my meaning is if COD, Fielding, Pisano, Baker, Brownhill and Taylor were all gone by matchday 1, I’d rather spend big on Brownhill’s replacement and a striker and get the likes of Adelakun, Vyner, Moore, Smith, Semenyo, Morrell to pick up the bench appearances. COD is a good example because we still have options of he goes in Weimann, Eliasson, Adelakun, Paterson and Smith. I know they are unknowns right now some of them but they have racked up big minutes in league football now. Time to utilise them more imo. 

I'd probably look to sell Watkins and someone like Edwards is then able to cover both wings on the bench/rotate on form. Essentially CO'D & Watkins out with 1 incoming, money gained through sold players and probably less than half the wages. Adelakun then acts as squad member incase of injury/suspension.

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On 14/03/2019 at 15:03, hodge said:

So you'd ditch Webster from the starting XI?

 

On 14/03/2019 at 15:06, RedDave said:

What about Webster ? Baffled

Good spot, don’t know how I forgot about him 😧

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Thing about trading is you can only sell players who other teams want and are able to afford to pay.  Non-playing players on good wages don't tend to want to accept significant drops in the earnings just to play without being compensated. 

Realistically, O Dowda will go as he's just got the one year left.  Similarly both Taylor and Wright could go should we get decent offers and we not be minded to renew their contracts.  This won't get a huge amount in transfer fees but would at least free up some space in the squad

I would definitely tie Maenpaa onto a good contract and let Frank go, or if Maenpaa doesn't want to stay, give Frank another year.  Max O'Leary needs to either be promoted to number 2 or loaned out to League 1/2 to get experience. 

Whatever we do, don't buy another wide attacker/winger.  We've wasted at least one squad position on them at the expense of a central striker or experienced CM. Each season there is a blind spot in our recruitment meaning we slog players to death

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On 14/03/2019 at 20:07, Davefevs said:

Need to tweak the system to fully accommodate him.  That’s either play him as a true no10 in a 4411 which will put pressure on our two CMs (Which is why Pato has done better when we play 4141), or get a different striker to Diedhiou who is more mobile allowing Palmer to join him from a slightly deeper position.

The one thing we don’t really need from Palmer is picking the ball up deep from our CBs in front of their midfield 4/5...he needs to get the ball between the lines like he did v Bolton.

His signing for me depends whether LJ wants to make him key or not.  If he’s not gonna adjust the team to bring the best of Kasey’s talents, then we might as well not bother.

I'd like to see Palmer and Paterson play together. It's been one or the other except for a few minutes.  

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First out the door Paterson - to anyone that will take him - as long as it’s not MLS I’ll pay his fare!

i can see Fielding, Callas, Baker and unfortunately O’douda going, have a feeling that Brownhill, Pack and Elliason will want away too - mainly because of our lack of progress by season end.

Fammy will stay, but only because no team will pay us anything near £5mill for him

 

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42 minutes ago, The Bard said:

I'd like to see Palmer and Paterson play together. It's been one or the other except for a few minutes.  

Why? How long would the partnership last? Palmer working his socks off until Paterson sees the possibility of a challenge and gives the ball away! It would happen so often that Palmer would avoid going anywhere near him!

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13 hours ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

Often as a sub...often pretty selfless, similar to Weimann.

And he’s a sub because he isn’t very good

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58 minutes ago, dave36 said:

Why? How long would the partnership last? Palmer working his socks off until Paterson sees the possibility of a challenge and gives the ball away! It would happen so often that Palmer would avoid going anywhere near him!

Why?  Because I think we lack creative minds in the team. Paterson played his best football last season when he was on the same wavelength as Bobby Reid.  To my mind Palmer is a very good player and I am looking at LJ and thinking 'Can you manage a player who is maybe stepping down to play for us rather than someone stepping up'.  He doesn't trust him and that doesn't reflect well on the manager. Give the man confidence and he'll do stuff. 

The real problem we have is a lack of balance in the squad.  Certain players will get picked no matter how out of form due to a lack of resources in their position whereas others dont get 2 games in a row despite good performances.

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11 hours ago, JoeAman08 said:

It isn’t a bad shout. My only concern is does he come in and displace Eliasson or Weimann? If not then aim higher. If so then go for it. Just wary of signing another Watkins, Taylor or Weimann. Sounds harsh but these types are taking up wages and minutes from younger players. I’d rather trim 5-6 players down and bring in 2-3 quality in their stead. The other 3 spots from our youth ranks. 

Example of my meaning is if COD, Fielding, Pisano, Baker, Brownhill and Taylor were all gone by matchday 1, I’d rather spend big on Brownhill’s replacement and a striker and get the likes of Adelakun, Vyner, Moore, Smith, Semenyo, Morrell to pick up the bench appearances. COD is a good example because we still have options of he goes in Weimann, Eliasson, Adelakun, Paterson and Smith. I know they are unknowns right now some of them but they have racked up big minutes in league football now. Time to utilise them more imo. 

No point replacing COD.  We should be looking to Semenyo, Weimann, Paterson, Eliasson and Adelukan, not mention the lesser spotted Marley Watkins to play in wide areas.  Brownhill wil probably play there too when Smith is back fit.

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1 hour ago, The Bard said:

Why?  Because I think we lack creative minds in the team. Paterson played his best football last season when he was on the same wavelength as Bobby Reid.  To my mind Palmer is a very good player and I am looking at LJ and thinking 'Can you manage a player who is maybe stepping down to play for us rather than someone stepping up'.  He doesn't trust him and that doesn't reflect well on the manager. Give the man confidence and he'll do stuff. 

The real problem we have is a lack of balance in the squad.  Certain players will get picked no matter how out of form due to a lack of resources in their position whereas others dont get 2 games in a row despite good performances.

Sorry but Paterson on the team means we are a player short!

yes he can demonstrate fantastic speed and control, BUT only if he is playing in space. He almost never tackles and going forward can’t wait to get rid of the ball if challenged. Certainly not strong or brave enough to support any centre forward!

just seeing his name in the starting 11 is enough for us and more importantly the players to know that it’s going to be a difficult game - the only one feeling the love is LJ, not a surprise as that’s the same playing style he offered in his last two seasons, stand off from attackers and get rid of the ball PDQ when attacking

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