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14 minutes ago, Silvio Dante said:

Reading this thread, I’m reminded of what LJ said about Walsh - ie that he needed to be in a three to function well.

I’m not here to argue with that as for as well as he did with Coventry, this is a level up. However, it does get me thinking that as at this moment in time are any of our midfield combinations able to operate at a top six level in a two.

And if they aren’t, why are we playing a two?

I guess only time will tell if Walsh or Morrell are good enough for this level, but I’m certain that none of the current crop are - whether in a 2 or a 3. 
In their brief outings at this level, both have at least shown they are capable of playing in tight spaces and at least trying to take some responsibility on the ball. 
I also think our current options do not even compliment each other.

With Pack/Smith, they complimented each others games. What one was weak at the other made up for. 
Similar with Pack/Brownhill. Some level of complimentary play, an understanding / partnership. 
The current bunch (KS, AN, HNM) all have the same attributes - energetic, tenacious. But none have composure, quality, vision. They are all the same and do not compliment one another. 

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A genuine 3 is a useful starting point- LJ has a persistent aversion to this.

A 2, you're largely not going to succeed at this level with that. Smith was just on his own 2nd half, completely lost balance- what little control we had slipped away further.

I believe a fit Nagy in alongside Smith and Massengo could've matched up today. Saw a stat that said that CMs in a 4-3-3 run 8% more which is curious.

Massengo is an interesting one. Started his time here quite well- from a top class academy, and Monaco's academy is top class, it's notable- yet he's declined. Possibly been overplayed as well- system possibly doesn't help him either.

Edited by Mr Popodopolous
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Lots of complaints about our midfield but has anyone seen how many goals we’ve let in ? Only six teams in the division have let in more hence we have the second worse goal difference in the top 15

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6 minutes ago, harrys said:

Lots of complaints about our midfield but has anyone seen how many goals we’ve let in ? Only six teams in the division have let in more hence we have the second worse goal difference in the top 15

Hard when the defence is not offered any protection by an inept midfield.

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If you have top quality midfielders that can be instrumental going forward and defensively supportive then we wouldn't be arguing about having to leave Eliasson, Palmer out to accomodate a more "stable" side. We haven't got the midfield to get a real foothold in games. That's why most games we nick points out of we seem to be under constant pressure by teams with a more dominant midfield.

Only midfielder we had that was up to the standard we are trying to reach we sold in January.

Smith was wonderful at league one level but a couple interceptions in a championship game with no creativity isn't good enough if you want to be a top championship side.

Massengo runs around like he's still in nappies. Needs a loan to actually find his identity as a footballer. What type of midfielder is he? He certainly isn't an all rounder. Yet.

Nagy hasn't settled and its a bit late in the season to see if he will.

Henriksen who?

When we had Korey sitting, Pato and Brownhill in the middle with Fam up top was the last time i found we had any type of structure and at least a little control on the centre of the park.

Why do our centre backs not play it to our midfielders? They are not consistently good enough to be where we want to be. Sadly.

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54 minutes ago, Moments of Pleasure said:

And how do we do this? By selling from/weakening somewhere else in the team. Which will then be next season's priolite for strengthening in January. ....

Well, there is talk we are willing to buy either Toney or Afobe for £6m.

I’d rather go with Wells, Diedhiou & Weimann as our 3 main striker options, plus Paterson, Palmer & Szmodics who can all play behind a striker.

Use any funds we have to buy a top quality midfielder.

We struggle more to stop sides scoring than we do to score goals.

 

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27 minutes ago, harrys said:

Lots of complaints about our midfield but has anyone seen how many goals we’ve let in ? Only six teams in the division have let in more hence we have the second worse goal difference in the top 15

Any defence is made better by a competent midfield. 
We don’t have one. 

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12 minutes ago, GrahamC said:

Well, there is talk we are willing to buy either Toney or Afobe for £6m.

I’d rather go with Wells, Diedhiou & Weimann as our 3 main striker options, plus Paterson, Palmer & Szmodics who can all play behind a striker.

Use any funds we have to buy a top quality midfielder.

We struggle more to stop sides scoring than we do to score goals.

 

No doubt investment is required in midfield to compete for play offs in this league.

Too early to write off Afobe after 15 mins today though

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 Vyner was club developed player, but we all said on Twitter at 14:00 we didn’t need 5 defenders on the bench.  Although LJ’s presser said Rowe could come into midfield and Vyner was a DM.

I don’t agree that Massengo is not good enough.  But @hodge is right about the massive gaps being a major factor in our inability to play.

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13 minutes ago, Davefevs said:

 Vyner was club developed player, but we all said on Twitter at 14:00 we didn’t need 5 defenders on the bench.  Although LJ’s presser said Rowe could come into midfield and Vyner was a DM.

I don’t agree that Massengo is not good enough.  But @hodge is right about the massive gaps being a major factor in our inability to play.

Disagree with you there. Bar the Fulham and Huddersfield game, it has been quite apparent that he isn’t up to it YET. 

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19 minutes ago, Davefevs said:

 Vyner was club developed player, but we all said on Twitter at 14:00 we didn’t need 5 defenders on the bench.  Although LJ’s presser said Rowe could come into midfield and Vyner was a DM.

I don’t agree that Massengo is not good enough.  But @hodge is right about the massive gaps being a major factor in our inability to play.

I’m struggling to see what Massengo brings at the moment. Whether he reaches his mythical potential I don’t know, but right now, I don’t know what he offers. 
He often gets caught in possession. He doesn’t play intelligent, incisive passes, lacks vision. He doesn’t play quick first touch one-twos to create space/beat a man. He runs a lot, but when you look closer he lacks pace (the legs seem to move quickly but he doesn’t seem to get anywhere quick - like he’s running on a treadmill). His tackling is rash (maybe harsh, possibly more ‘excitable’ or naive). 
 

I just can’t see what he’s providing to the team apart from just being an energetic body. 
 

I’m not writing him off. He may become a good player, but he’s far from one at the moment. Sorry. 

Edited by Harry
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1 hour ago, petehinton said:

Two of his replacements in Nagy and Henrikson can’t even get in a 20 man squad 

Has anyone said where they were today??? I take it they were just dropped?? If so struggle to see at least one of them on the bench. 

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We are awful in the center of midfield.

Neither Nagy HNM and Smith are powerful enough and we are played through easily. Hendrickson was supposed to be the answer but by all accounts he hates LJ and vice versa.

We have Kasey Palmer who takes risks at the back and has no real assets outside of a forward line.

I was told on this very forum how power was no longer a thing after we got bullied by WBA, yeah not so much!!

As someone said/implied the center of our spine is weak

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34 minutes ago, Red Alert said:

No doubt investment is required in midfield to compete for play offs in this league.

Too early to write off Afobe after 15 mins today though

I’m not writing him off but he is on a rumoured £35k a week at Stoke & has had 2 serious injuries.

Excellent player but signing him is a huge gamble.

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Unsurprisingly, I'm going to stick up for Massengo. Undoubtedly his tackling was rash today and you can't get away with that, but on the plus side he was full of enthusiasm and movement and always buzzng around looking for the ball. 

Think back to the second half and how anonymous our midfield suddenly became. We missed that energy and movement. 

I'm agreeing that HNM was naive today and had to be subbed, but that hasn't stopped him being a good player.

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20 minutes ago, REDOXO said:

We are awful in the center of midfield.

Neither Nagy HNM and Smith are powerful enough and we are played through easily. Hendrickson was supposed to be the answer but by all accounts he hates LJ and vice versa.

We have Kasey Palmer who takes risks at the back and has no real assets outside of a forward line.

I was told on this very forum how power was no longer a thing after we got bullied by WBA, yeah not so much!!

As someone said/implied the center of our spine is weak

When you play them as a pair, it makes it all the easier to play against them. Or through them.

Would be interesting to see the physical stats of Brentford today. Or Leeds tomorrow at Cardiff.

Edited by Mr Popodopolous
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2 hours ago, Harry said:

Was the biggest problem pre-lockdown and remains the biggest problem. 

Smith has always been mid-table average at this level. 
Massengo is not good enough. 

And.....that was it in today’s squad!! Mental. 
 

We end up playing O’Dowda in there, and he’s not even a good winger, let alone a CM. 
 

We have good players in all other areas of the team. 2 x 20 goal strikers, an assist machine, an expensively assembled back line. And yet we have a totally non existent impotent midfield. 
 

Clearly the manager doesn’t even rate Nagy & Henriksen if they don’t get on the bench in favour of Vyner (supposedly the midfield sub), who’s played his life at CB or RB. 
 

Are the returning loanees eligible to play. I’d put Walsh & Morrell in there in a heartbeat. 

I have to agree Harry it’s a huge problem.

Korey has been a great servant. Simply no longer up to it. We need to move him on.

I’m unsure what Massengo even offers other than energy and big hair to sing about.

Nagy. Same as Massengo minus the hair.

Henriksen? Now gone?

Apparently even Vyner is now a midfielder yet I can’t imagine any circumstances where he would ever be used there.

It’s square pegs in round hole’s at best. A common them under LJ. 

Edited by Taylor10
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19 minutes ago, Harry said:

I’m struggling to see what Massengo brings at the moment.
having watched today, if we are gonna play the “style” we played today, then I wholeheartedly agree.

I know you weren’t overly impressed earlier this season but I think of several games where he did really well, Derby (a), Swansea (h), then Fulham (a) etc.  I think he’s predominantly been better in the games against the footballing sides.  Both Blackburn games he has been poor.  Is that the trend?

Whether he reaches his mythical potential I don’t know, but right now, I don’t know what he offers. 
He often gets caught in possession. He doesn’t play intelligent, incisive passes, lacks vision. He doesn’t play quick first touch one-twos to create space/beat a man.
he did earlier with intelligent players who were willing to get into good receiving positions, like Palmer...until he also fell out of favour.

He runs a lot, but when you look closer he lacks pace (the legs seem to move quickly but he doesn’t seem to get anywhere quick - like he’s running on a treadmill). His tackling is rash (maybe harsh, possibly more ‘excitable’ or naive). 
 

I just can’t see what he’s providing to the team apart from just being an energetic body.
in hindsight, Blackburn might’ve been the wrong game, but I don’t think he nor Smith are helped by ineffective widemen (Eliasson needs to do more than have a good 6-7 minutes in a match).
 

I’m not writing him off. He may become a good player, but he’s far from one at the moment. Sorry. 

 

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On 20/06/2020 at 19:06, Harry said:

Any defence is made better by a competent midfield. 
We don’t have one. 

And any defence is made better with a competent back four and reliable keeper, ultimately all of this talk don’t amount to a hill of beans while we have a manager who is well past his sell-by date

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On 20/06/2020 at 17:52, GrahamC said:

OP is spot on, I got harangued the other day for pointing out our midfield was our Achilles heel but despite spending a lot of money in that department Brownhill’s departure has made us weak there..

Though it is going to be a huge ask to expect Walsh (7 Championship starts) & Morrell (0 Championship starts) to suddenly be 46 game players next season.

Our number one priority area to strengthen for me.

Perhaps we could bring JET back. He’s taller and stronger than our current midfield and is still only 29

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