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Dr Balls

Substitutions - why so late?

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What game were Johnson, Holden & McAllister watching in the second half? It was crying out for Palmer to come on and keep the ball in midfield, plus look to go forward, but he wasn’t brought on until the 84th minute. And then he immediately affected the game.

Make no mistake we were very lucky Reading can’t shoot and Bentley is a great keeper, when they did have 2 good chances. Play like we did second half when pressed against a better team and we would have lost.

Lots of lessons to be learnt.

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5 minutes ago, Dr Balls said:

What game were Johnson, Holden & McAllister watching in the second half? It was crying out for Palmer to come on and keep the ball in midfield, plus look to go forward, but he wasn’t brought on until the 84th minute. And then he immediately affected the game.

Make no mistake we were very lucky Reading can’t shoot and Bentley is a great keeper, when they did have 2 good chances. Play like we did second half when pressed against a better team and we would have lost.

Lots of lessons to be learnt.

It was a bad performance all round and you say a good team would of beat us then surely it shows today was a one off because apart from the stand out team taking us apart first game we have played better teams then reading and still remain unbeaten 

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52 minutes ago, Dr Balls said:

What game were Johnson, Holden & McAllister watching in the second half? It was crying out for Palmer to come on and keep the ball in midfield, plus look to go forward, but he wasn’t brought on until the 84th minute. And then he immediately affected the game.

Make no mistake we were very lucky Reading can’t shoot and Bentley is a great keeper, when they did have 2 good chances. Play like we did second half when pressed against a better team and we would have lost.

Lots of lessons to be learnt.

Agree that it seemed made for Palmer to come on and take a bit of control in midfield.

Fam tired but didn’t see what Semenyo brought to the show. Radical theory - LJ showing Lansdown/Ashton he needs a striker who might cost big wages on a free? 

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6 minutes ago, GoodridgeandGoater said:

Agree that it seemed made for Palmer to come on and take a bit of control in midfield.

Fam tired but didn’t see what Semenyo brought to the show. Radical theory - LJ showing Lansdown/Ashton he needs a striker who might cost big wages on a free? 

Semenyo added nothing. It wasn’t a performance that suggested he should start. If we were planning to keep kicking it long from Bentley, then you might as well have kept Fam on, who was having a decent game for him. Or swapped Fam for Palmer and put Weimann up top. At least he could run onto what Palmer creates in through balls.

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I thought we started and ended the first half brightly. Our passing was slick, movement fluid and Eliasson was a genuine threat. After the goal he wasn’t utilised nearly enough, but I thought we looked good. Then at HT, for reasons I still can’t fathom, Weimann went to the left wing and O’Dowda went central and we looked stale. Although Rowe was on a booking, he wasn’t struggling defensively so it was odd. Then, subs are made, we go three at the back with Hunt playing centre back and nobody seemed to know who was doing what.

As others have said, better sides would have slain us today second half and if they had, then the blame would have been at the managers door. Sometimes, he tries to tinker, over-think and be a smart-arse and it ends up costing us. The changes in shape were unnecessary today imo, Reading posed little threat until we invited them to.

Edit to say Taylor Moore was magnificent.

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Always had a theory LJ is reactive rather than proactive. I was thinking if we are going ti change formation to 4231 then get Palmer on with 25-30 min left. He came on late and retained the ball and got us forward. Think this earlier would have seen us out a bit smoother. 

Think LJ thinks too simply at times. Like he can move Weimann wide and COD central because they are workers but forgets the other side of the game. Felt like KP45 would be a defensive sub of sorts because he would have eased pressure. Think that would have made more a difference than keeping busy bees on

Fam sub I didn’t get either. Probably his best performance at home in months. Brought Semenyo on who didn’t seem to know whether to attack at all or just stay in shape. 

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1 minute ago, JoeAman08 said:

Alwaysu had a theory LJ is reactive rather than proactive. I was thinking if we are going ti change formation to 4231 then get Palmer on with 25-30 min left. He came on late and retained the ball and got us forward. Think this earlier would have seen us out a bit smoother. 

Think LJ thinks too simply at times. Like he can move Weimann wide and COD central because they are workers but forgets the other side of the game. Felt like KP45 would be a defensive sub of sorts because he would have eased pressure. Think that would have made more a difference than keeping busy bees on

Fam sub I didn’t get either. Probably his best performance at home in months. Brought Semenyo on who didn’t seem to know whether to attack at all or just stay in shape. 

What’s baffling is he makes two changes at half time midweek when most would suggest there was no need Yet stands and watches us totally outplayed from kick off in second half without making changes

 

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16 minutes ago, Roger Red Hat said:

Hunt wasn't playing centre half, he was right wing back and Pereira moved in to RCH. Cant quite understand why we didn't go to 352 much earlier as we were being overrun in midfield.

Apologies, yes Hunt at RWB but the point remains.

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5 minutes ago, BobBobSuperBob said:

What’s baffling is he makes two changes at half time midweek when most would suggest there was no need Yet stands and watches us totally outplayed from kick off in second half without making changes

 

I don’t get it either. He didn’t even show any emotion either. We were dominated for 30 min and LJ was just sat there with his hands in his pockets. Yes we won and I am delighted but they easily could have equalised through long balls last 10-15 min and you wouldn't be able to argue it. We should have been more than 1-0 up at HT and instead of continuing that style for 15-20 min we immediately shut up shop and it almost and probably should have cost us. 

It is almost as if LJ wants them to equalise so he can throw on Palmer and call himself a genius when we score and win. Guess he can still call himself that but I would class this as 3 points earned from the players sheet will rather than anything special LJ did. No matter how well we do LJ still leaves you needing to see more.

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Playing with two wingers is always a risk in a 442 formation as it weakens the midfield unless they do a lot of defensive work. Neither O’Dowda or Elisasson did the defensive work required in the second half. It was obviously from about the 50th minute that Reading had changed formation and were controlling midfield. The substitutions were far too late and rather strange. I’m not Diedhiou’s biggest fan, but there’s no point taking him off unless he’s replaced by a better player. Semenyo looked like he was playing in a different time dimension with the game passing him by 

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2 minutes ago, JoeAman08 said:

I don’t get it either. He didn’t even show any emotion either. We were dominated for 30 min and LJ was just sat there with his hands in his pockets. Yes we won and I am delighted but they easily could have equalised through long balls last 10-15 min and you wouldn't be able to argue it. We should have been more than 1-0 up at HT and instead of continuing that style for 15-20 min we immediately shut up shop and it almost and probably should have cost us. 

It is almost as if LJ wants them to equalise so he can throw on Palmer and call himself a genius when we score and win. Guess he can still call himself that but I would class this as 3 points earned from the players sheet will rather than anything special LJ did. No matter how well we do LJ still leaves you needing to see more.

Thought we totally got away with it due to some last ditch blocks , a top top keeper in Bentley ...and a combination of them missing chances and the ball and simply the ball not dropping for them in the box 

Sunderland made less chances and scored 3 against us 

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5 minutes ago, JoeAman08 said:

I don’t get it either. He didn’t even show any emotion either. We were dominated for 30 min and LJ was just sat there with his hands in his pockets. Yes we won and I am delighted but they easily could have equalised through long balls last 10-15 min and you wouldn't be able to argue it. We should have been more than 1-0 up at HT and instead of continuing that style for 15-20 min we immediately shut up shop and it almost and probably should have cost us. 

It is almost as if LJ wants them to equalise so he can throw on Palmer and call himself a genius when we score and win. Guess he can still call himself that but I would class this as 3 points earned from the players sheet will rather than anything special LJ did. No matter how well we do LJ still leaves you needing to see more.

Normally a very level headed posted Joe, you don’t honestly think LJ wanted us to concede an equaliser?!

As I said on the match day thread, yes a pretty poor display at times, but apart from a couple of scraps they only troubled the goal from distance once in the second half. We withstood most of what they threw at us. 

Perhaps they felt the team could just defend the lead for 45 minutes, given the tired legs out there? 

My opinion of watching that second half was that my emotion was more frustration than anxiety, to be honest.

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3 minutes ago, BobBobSuperBob said:

Thought we totally got away with it due to some last ditch blocks , a top top keeper in Bentley ...and a combination of them missing chances and the ball and simply the ball not dropping for them in the box 

Surely that’s what any manager expects, your players putting themselves on the line......?

On the final whistle I glanced around the pitch and almost every City player bar Williams was fist pumping or arm clenching celebrating the win. 

Anyone who thinks that they’re not committed to the cause can think again.

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21 minutes ago, Robbored said:

Surely that’s what any manager expects, your players putting themselves on the line......?

On the final whistle I glanced around the pitch and almost every City player bar Williams was fist pumping or arm clenching celebrating the win. 

Anyone who thinks that they’re not committed to the cause can think again.

Not a great performance but sometimes team spirit is what you need to gain promotion. The Alan Dicks promotion team of the 70s didn’t necessarily have the best players in the league but they had commitment. Perhaps this is what will work for us this season 

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We rode our luck somewhat, 2nd half in particular.

Wasn't an easy game and didn't think it'd be...Reading have some better players than their League position suggests 

What I would say though is, the substitutions were questionable, late and didn't address the issue of lack of control in the 2nd half- we were too open, but we did it.

All these injuries yet 10 unbeaten, into the international break on a high.

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1 hour ago, WesM said:

I thought we started and ended the first half brightly. Our passing was slick, movement fluid and Eliasson was a genuine threat. After the goal he wasn’t utilised nearly enough, but I thought we looked good. Then at HT, for reasons I still can’t fathom, Weimann went to the left wing and O’Dowda went central and we looked stale. Although Rowe was on a booking, he wasn’t struggling defensively so it was odd. Then, subs are made, we go three at the back with Hunt playing centre back and nobody seemed to know who was doing what.

As others have said, better sides would have slain us today second half and if they had, then the blame would have been at the managers door. Sometimes, he tries to tinker, over-think and be a smart-arse and it ends up costing us. The changes in shape were unnecessary today imo, Reading posed little threat until we invited them to.

Edit to say Taylor Moore was magnificent.

Don’t believe that was a change at halftime, rather 5 - 10 minutes into the second half, after Reading pushed an extra man in midfield & pushed their full backs 10 yards higher. They were quite simply overrunning us in midfield, only other solution would of been going to 3-5-2, which we did later. Personally thought they were the worst team I’ve seen this season in the first half, thought had we got the second, it could of been 3 or 4. But credit to their manager, as his adjustments certainly improved them in the second half. Another good win, with an average performance. COYR 

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2 hours ago, pongo88 said:

Playing with two wingers is always a risk in a 442 formation as it weakens the midfield unless they do a lot of defensive work. Neither O’Dowda or Elisasson did the defensive work required in the second half. 

It paid off early doors with the goal. Granted some close shaves with conceding equaliser but we looked pretty solid at the back and got the 1-0. Some solid management surely?

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We have always struggled against teams at the bottom down the years we are always more likely to be beaten by the bottom team with their only away win of the season and then beat teams at the top or who are above us 

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4 hours ago, WesM said:

I thought we started and ended the first half brightly. Our passing was slick, movement fluid and Eliasson was a genuine threat. After the goal he wasn’t utilised nearly enough, but I thought we looked good. Then at HT, for reasons I still can’t fathom, Weimann went to the left wing and O’Dowda went central and we looked stale. Although Rowe was on a booking, he wasn’t struggling defensively so it was odd. Then, subs are made, we go three at the back with Hunt playing centre back and nobody seemed to know who was doing what.

As others have said, better sides would have slain us today second half and if they had, then the blame would have been at the managers door. Sometimes, he tries to tinker, over-think and be a smart-arse and it ends up costing us. The changes in shape were unnecessary today imo, Reading posed little threat until we invited them to.

Edit to say Taylor Moore was magnificent.

That only happened for a few minutes in transition. It wasn’t a permanent tactical change as far as I saw

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3 hours ago, Up The City! said:

Injuries too early on Wednesday and then too late today, LJ can't win can he.

It’s almost as if they were two different games and two entirely different sets of circumstances.

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sorry, didn’t see this thread;

was impatient at the time and after the game, but a few hours reflecting, I saw it slightly different.

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7 hours ago, Dullmoan Tone said:

The problem was he should probably (with a large slice of hindsight) have put Palmer on instead of Semenyo yes defo hes trying to give them all a game without upsetting the squad but not picking his best team meanwhile.

 

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19 hours ago, Alessandro said:

Normally a very level headed posted Joe, you don’t honestly think LJ wanted us to concede an equaliser?!

As I said on the match day thread, yes a pretty poor display at times, but apart from a couple of scraps they only troubled the goal from distance once in the second half. We withstood most of what they threw at us. 

Perhaps they felt the team could just defend the lead for 45 minutes, given the tired legs out there? 

My opinion of watching that second half was that my emotion was more frustration than anxiety, to be honest.

No of course I don’t actually think that! Just sometimes he makes really odd decisions that make you wonder. 

Thought it was baffling he changed formation start of second half. Equally baffling he didn’t change back to 442 and then baffling again he waited until after 70 min to make changes. 

Really feel we were lucky yesterday. Mostly we have spent in defence and GK and that made the difference. If they would have equalised LJ would rightly be getting loads of stick. The players grinded that out and LJ should still be criticised imo. 

Doesn’t make him bad or anything. Just think until he is more proactive in situations like that, he won’t be looked at like a top manager. We have had plenty of games like this at home where teams come out stronger in the 2nd half and he is slow to change things. We have the talent now where this won’t happen as often but LJ can still get a lot better. 

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37 minutes ago, JoeAman08 said:

No of course I don’t actually think that! Just sometimes he makes really odd decisions that make you wonder. 

Thought it was baffling he changed formation start of second half. Equally baffling he didn’t change back to 442 and then baffling again he waited until after 70 min to make changes. 

Really feel we were lucky yesterday. Mostly we have spent in defence and GK and that made the difference. If they would have equalised LJ would rightly be getting loads of stick. The players grinded that out and LJ should still be criticised imo. 

Doesn’t make him bad or anything. Just think until he is more proactive in situations like that, he won’t be looked at like a top manager. We have had plenty of games like this at home where teams come out stronger in the 2nd half and he is slow to change things. We have the talent now where this won’t happen as often but LJ can still get a lot better. 

As I think has been said in another thread, last week he changed things too early...this week too late. There are plenty of times LJ has or hasn't changed it up and it's worked and likewise there have been times he has or hasn't changed it up and it doesn't work. There have been occasions, IMO, of both proactive and reactive subs, sometimes working, sometimes not. You could argue the half time change up was a proactive one that didn't work out, still proactive.

Whether LJ is a 'top' manager or not is obviously up for debate, but the fact we are here debating this, after a home win, 3 games in a week, 5/6 key players out, unbeaten in 10, 6th in the table and 2 off the top shows how much progress we've made. Expectations forever rising.  

Specifically on yesterday's game. I think it's easy to overlook the mitigating circumstances of a long week. Some of those players looked very tired in the second half. LJ admitted himself in the post match presser the team seemed happy to sit back and defend the lead. Despite and all the comments from some on here, the possession stats still shaded in our favour and in the second half they only got in behind us once IIRC and apart from a goal mouth scramble from a corner were limited to long shots. So defensively we were generally very confident and did the job. The problem was the inability to retain the ball for any period of time, and I felt our options on the bench were fairly limited to solve that, hence no doubt the late subs. Palmer was the obvious one to bring the ball forward and he did, but is that at a defensive cost? It will only take one untracked runner to give the opposition an equalising goal. Semenyo i'm afraid just had a poor turn. Formations were tweaked but if the players are not fulfilling the game plan, not much you can do on the sidelines, especially if the sub options are limited. 

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3 hours ago, Alessandro said:

As I think has been said in another thread, last week he changed things too early...this week too late. There are plenty of times LJ has or hasn't changed it up and it's worked and likewise there have been times he has or hasn't changed it up and it doesn't work. There have been occasions, IMO, of both proactive and reactive subs, sometimes working, sometimes not. You could argue the half time change up was a proactive one that didn't work out, still proactive.

Whether LJ is a 'top' manager or not is obviously up for debate, but the fact we are here debating this, after a home win, 3 games in a week, 5/6 key players out, unbeaten in 10, 6th in the table and 2 off the top shows how much progress we've made. Expectations forever rising.  

Specifically on yesterday's game. I think it's easy to overlook the mitigating circumstances of a long week. Some of those players looked very tired in the second half. LJ admitted himself in the post match presser the team seemed happy to sit back and defend the lead. Despite and all the comments from some on here, the possession stats still shaded in our favour and in the second half they only got in behind us once IIRC and apart from a goal mouth scramble from a corner were limited to long shots. So defensively we were generally very confident and did the job. The problem was the inability to retain the ball for any period of time, and I felt our options on the bench were fairly limited to solve that, hence no doubt the late subs. Palmer was the obvious one to bring the ball forward and he did, but is that at a defensive cost? It will only take one untracked runner to give the opposition an equalising goal. Semenyo i'm afraid just had a poor turn. Formations were tweaked but if the players are not fulfilling the game plan, not much you can do on the sidelines, especially if the sub options are limited. 

Agree with most of this. Just thought they had a few good chances that could have cost us. The 1v1 Bentley saved. The goalmouth scramble. Puscas had a tap in from 5-6 yards out. Boye was a longer range effort but took another good save from Bentley and another 2 that flashed across our box. Think a team higher on confidence maybe leaves with 3 points. Think with our home performances lacking it was a good game to keep the pressure on for 60-70 min then see where you are. 

But yea you are right it does show progress us talking about this after a win. Though I do think it is time we expect a bit more. Especially, for me, when you look at clubs like Preston or Charlton. Charlton may not last but not a big budget, lost a few players and generally go at teams. Preston spend some but usually less than 2m on any player and usually from lower leagues. They are flying and top scorers in the league. We can keep saying we are young and we lose players but there are other young sides who sell or just refuse it. Plenty of time left in the season but I’d really like to be a legitimate playoff contender because even though we have been close the past couple seasons, you get the feel no one thinks we will actually do it. 

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Game of two halves.  You earn the right to mop up some pressure if you go and take the lead.  Yeah, it was nervy, but it wasn’t 45 minutes of panic stations.  I wouldn’t say they were peppering our goal but they did fashion a few good chances in the second half.  On the break we were a bit wasteful too (COD, Massengo, Palmer).  It always feels worse when we are the team defending. It was more frustrating that we couldn’t get hold of the ball....and then keep it.

We’d had two tough away games, Reading the extra day between fixtures.  Fine margins and all that.

We deserved to hang-on....3 points from 3 games would’ve felt unfair.  5 points from 3 games seemed right.

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