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Call me negative but I've given up on the play offs.  Watching Fulham and Brentford, we are deluding ourselves.

Seems to me to be a key moment for the club.   

  • We have a number of loaned out players at the age where they need to be trusted as full squad members or sold.   
  • Leadership. Pack, Wright and Brownhill have left.  Smith and Williams look like they will.  What stood out yesterday was a complete lack of defensive leadership. In midfield Smith was getting exasperated with those around him, particularly after the raft of subs.
  • We surely can't carry on employing 'proven' Championship players on silly money. SL is not going to allow it.
  • I get the impression we have a number of mercenaries who don't care as lomng as they're paid their £15k a week and this is having a gradually poisonous effect.
  • LJ seems to distrust leaders. Get the impression that he sees a strong captain as a threat to his Authority. 

Will LJ be trusted to carry on in these conditions or do we look to a coach who will trust younger players and give leadership to them?

Key strategic decision is needed.  A moment of truth. 

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Started writing a similar post this morning, with predictions as to what would happen this season. Guessing 9th, scraping points together with the odd good performance.

LJ would go (not sacked, mutual decision) and a new manager coming in with primary aim of stabilising club for year whilst bringing in youngsters like O’Leary, Taylor-Moore, Morrell & Walsh into squad/team more regularly.

Few big sales (Diedhiou 4-5m, Elliasson & Massengo 8-10m) with lots of older players leaving too. Realistically with team now, the only players I’d be gutted if they left would be JD & Kalas. Everyone is sellable for right price 

 

 

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1 minute ago, brad blit said:

Started writing a similar post this morning, with predictions as to what would happen this season. Guessing 9th, scraping points together with the odd good performance.

LJ would go (not sacked, mutual decision) and a new manager coming in with primary aim of stabilising club for year whilst bringing in youngsters like O’Leary, Taylor-Moore, Morrell & Walsh into squad/team more regularly.

Few big sales (Diedhiou 4-5m, Elliasson & Massengo 8-10m) with lots of older players leaving too. Realistically with team now, the only players I’d be gutted if they left would be JD & Kalas. Everyone is sellable for right price 

 

 

The main sellable players are Fam and Eliasson.  Might as well keep Massengo and see if he can step into Korey's shoes.  If he does, his value will increase rapidly.  At the moment he is just promising.  

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One more chance for Lee next season I reckon (Steve might be thinking). Five full seasons is ample time to get a club in the current rude good health that we are in (amongst a number of clubs in various levels of disarray) into the top six at least once.

Each year (at the end of season review) there is always a "yeah, but" as for why we have yet to finish top six:

16/17 yeah, but it was Tomlin that ruined it; and anyway, it was Lee's first full season. He's young, upcoming...

17/18 yeah, but if we hadn't been so tired after the cup run; also, Flint, Reid and Bryan were off and stopped trying/didn't get on with Diony or Kent

18/19 yeah, but if we didn’t have to sell Reid (can't remember the reason we fell away last season)

19/20 yeah, but all the injuries. Afobe. The covid situation; we were just turning it around against Fulham

20/21 yeah, but ... 

 

Even Steve will tire of hearing this, and see through it, eventually (seeing as he has asked for a top six finish despite the challenge of doing so, and stated PL is the goal. If he is, in fact, content with being thereabouts playing dull football, then scrub all of the above).

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8 minutes ago, brad blit said:

Started writing a similar post this morning, with predictions as to what would happen this season. Guessing 9th, scraping points together with the odd good performance.

LJ would go (not sacked, mutual decision) and a new manager coming in with primary aim of stabilising club for year whilst bringing in youngsters like O’Leary, Taylor-Moore, Morrell & Walsh into squad/team more regularly.

Few big sales (Diedhiou 4-5m, Elliasson & Massengo 8-10m) with lots of older players leaving too. Realistically with team now, the only players I’d be gutted if they left would be JD & Kalas. Everyone is sellable for right price 

 

 

Good luck getting £8m to £10m for Eliasson in the current financial situation with a year left on his contract, would have been good business even in a normal summer window.

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1 minute ago, Moments of Pleasure said:

One more chance for Lee next season I reckon (Steve might be thinking). Five full seasons is ample time to get a club in the current rude good health that we are in (amongst a number of clubs in various levels of disarray) into the top six at least once.

Each year (at the end of season review) there is always a "yeah, but" as for why we have yet to finish top six:

16/17 yeah, but it was Tomlin that ruined it; and anyway, it was Lee's first full season. He's young, upcoming...

17/18 yeah, but if we hadn't been so tired after the cup run; also, Flint, Reid and Bryan were off and stopped trying/didn't get on with Diony or Kent

18/19 yeah, but if we didn’t have to sell Reid (can't remember the reason we fell away last season)

19/20 yeah, but all the injuries. Afobe. The covid situation; we were just turning it around against Fulham

20/21 yeah, but ... 

 

Even Steve will tire of hearing this, and see through it, eventually (seeing as he has asked for a top six finish despite the challenge of doing so, and stated PL is the goal. If he is, in fact, content with being thereabouts playing dull football, then scrub all of the above).

No more chances for me. The board has given him plenty of money to spend. I look at the current squad, and on paper it looks strong, but LJ cannot get get it right on the pitch. He mentions they all do well in training, but it’s not happening when it matters.

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Trust seems to be a very odd thing where LJ is concerned.

On the one hand we have Niki Maenpaa, who has been the most solid and dependable keeper I can remember at City in literally decades and  yet he gets dropped for no apparent reason, and is replaced by a totally out of form Bentley.  We then have players like O’Dowda who have maybe one outstanding game in 10, but seem nailed on to get on the pitch virtually every game.

This club likes to talk about DNA and when you look at both LJ and even moreso GJ before him, there does seem to be a mindset of caution and only wanting to use experienced pros, and a fear of using the younger players.  Not exactly the DNA of daring and patience we need to integrate a few younger players into the side.

We know Joe Bryan and Bobby Reid came through, but I fear they are going to be the exceptions under LJ.

Next season will be telling and seeing the likes of Walsh and Morrell getting game time is the the only thing I’m actually looking forward to next season. I’ve got a horrible feeling that they won’t be ‘trusted’ though.

 

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2 minutes ago, Corsham Ed said:

No more chances for me. The board has given him plenty of money to spend. I look at the current squad, and on paper it looks strong, but LJ cannot get get it right on the pitch. He mentions they all do well in training, but it’s not happening when it matters.

In their own minds, pretty much everyone is a great driver but you only have to go out onto the roads to know that isn’t true. I like to think I am a decent driver, but I would be kidding myself completely if I thought that I could compete with Lewis Hamilton. In Lee’s mind, he is a tactical coach who can emulate Guardiola and Klopp, but unfortunately when his team go on to the pitch, we can all see that isn’t the case either!

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11 minutes ago, Moments of Pleasure said:

One more chance for Lee next season I reckon (Steve might be thinking). Five full seasons is ample time to get a club in the current rude good health that we are in (amongst a number of clubs in various levels of disarray) into the top six at least once.

Each year (at the end of season review) there is always a "yeah, but" as for why we have yet to finish top six:

16/17 yeah, but it was Tomlin that ruined it; and anyway, it was Lee's first full season. He's young, upcoming...

17/18 yeah, but if we hadn't been so tired after the cup run; also, Flint, Reid and Bryan were off and stopped trying/didn't get on with Diony or Kent

18/19 yeah, but if we didn’t have to sell Reid (can't remember the reason we fell away last season)

19/20 yeah, but all the injuries. Afobe. The covid situation; we were just turning it around against Fulham

20/21 yeah, but ... 

 

Even Steve will tire of hearing this, and see through it, eventually (seeing as he has asked for a top six finish despite the challenge of doing so, and stated PL is the goal. If he is, in fact, content with being thereabouts playing dull football, then scrub all of the above).

Yeah, but  3 months of assessing where we are  and progress and considering the likely financial implications of Covid will probably focus SL's mind.  As will the drop in ST sales

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we have sold 12000 season tickets so far, people like myself buy a season ticket every  year . relegation would change that figure but we are not near that. i would change the  manager in summer , and breath new life into a very stale going around in circles situation.

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Just sent this to my Norwich fan friend who asked what I would do for next season: 

I would sell eliasson and diedhou as they want out and won't sign new deals, and odowda because he's wanted out for ages

Probably try and buy Afobe cheap but if that's not possible then need to move Kasey Palmer on because he's not consistent enough without his link with Afobe.

Probably release Korey at this point as sad as that would be as he isn't top of champ quality anymore sadly. If he signs a cheap deal to be club captain I'd be happy with that but it allows Johnson to rely on him too much if he's in the squad 

Then I would bring back Walsh who just won Coventry player of the year and play him at CAM, Szmodics who lit it up for Peterborough and play him in a front 3 with Wells and Weimann with Wells playing centrally but in a very fluid way as they all can run the channels and track back well.

Would allow us to press like when we had Bobby Reid

Then I would bring back Morrell from Lincoln who has established himself in the Wales team and play 2 of him, Massengo and Nagy(If he is settled here) as CDM depending on match ups/fitness

Then recall Taylor Moore and play him and Kalas at CB as Moore has some Webster style ability on the ball, Dasilva at LB and sign a new RB or Jack hunt if not possible.

Bentley probably needs to be kept for a while because of how much we paid but if we could move on from him I'd be okay with it, he was player of the season for the first half of the season and his formed dropped off when our confidence dropped. Still young with potential, may need to be given a bit longer, though mistakes are getting very worrying

Paterson off the bench as an impact player with some of the other young loanees (Semenyo etc) trim the squad a load (Eg. Watkins) Needs a big reset probably

I don't know if we would get even close to promotion with that team but it would be fun, and they are all fairly young (excluding wells and weimann) so fans would back them even when they lose.

Chances Johnson does this...probs less than 30% but it's possible aha

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37 minutes ago, Corsham Ed said:

No more chances for me. The board has given him plenty of money to spend. I look at the current squad, and on paper it looks strong, but LJ cannot get get it right on the pitch. He mentions they all do well in training, but it’s not happening when it matters.

I bet a lot of managers look at our squad and think how they'd love to manage it and with the backing of Steve 

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28 minutes ago, 77 punk said:

we have sold 12000 season tickets so far, people like myself buy a season ticket every  year . relegation would change that figure but we are not near that. i would change the  manager in summer , and breath new life into a very stale going around in circles situation.

The club rely on people like you to some extent by exploiting your loyalty, I like you renewed my season ticket almost out of habit year on year but last year the scales fell from my eyes and I could see us just treading water again, it seems to be we always start off well and fall at the final hurdle, to some extent we look like doing it again this season, I think you are right and we have reached a watershed moment and a fresh pair of eyes may be what we need to get everyone back on board.

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57 minutes ago, Corsham Ed said:

No more chances for me. The board has given him plenty of money to spend. I look at the current squad, and on paper it looks strong, but LJ cannot get get it right on the pitch. He mentions they all do well in training, but it’s not happening when it matters.

Yeah, but .....

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47 minutes ago, Varrei said:

Just sent this to my Norwich fan friend who asked what I would do for next season: 

I would sell eliasson and diedhou as they want out and won't sign new deals, and odowda because he's wanted out for ages

Probably try and buy Afobe cheap but if that's not possible then need to move Kasey Palmer on because he's not consistent enough without his link with Afobe.

Probably release Korey at this point as sad as that would be as he isn't top of champ quality anymore sadly. If he signs a cheap deal to be club captain I'd be happy with that but it allows Johnson to rely on him too much if he's in the squad 

Then I would bring back Walsh who just won Coventry player of the year and play him at CAM, Szmodics who lit it up for Peterborough and play him in a front 3 with Wells and Weimann with Wells playing centrally but in a very fluid way as they all can run the channels and track back well.

Would allow us to press like when we had Bobby Reid

Then I would bring back Morrell from Lincoln who has established himself in the Wales team and play 2 of him, Massengo and Nagy(If he is settled here) as CDM depending on match ups/fitness

Then recall Taylor Moore and play him and Kalas at CB as Moore has some Webster style ability on the ball, Dasilva at LB and sign a new RB or Jack hunt if not possible.

Bentley probably needs to be kept for a while because of how much we paid but if we could move on from him I'd be okay with it, he was player of the season for the first half of the season and his formed dropped off when our confidence dropped. Still young with potential, may need to be given a bit longer, though mistakes are getting very worrying

Paterson off the bench as an impact player with some of the other young loanees (Semenyo etc) trim the squad a load (Eg. Watkins) Needs a big reset probably

I don't know if we would get even close to promotion with that team but it would be fun, and they are all fairly young (excluding wells and weimann) so fans would back them even when they lose.

Chances Johnson does this...probs less than 30% but it's possible aha

We want promotion.....we wont get that with the likes of smodiczs, Moore and weimann playing regularly.

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46 minutes ago, Varrei said:

Just sent this to my Norwich fan friend who asked what I would do for next season: 

I would sell eliasson and diedhou as they want out and won't sign new deals, and odowda because he's wanted out for ages

Probably try and buy Afobe cheap but if that's not possible then need to move Kasey Palmer on because he's not consistent enough without his link with Afobe.

Probably release Korey at this point as sad as that would be as he isn't top of champ quality anymore sadly. If he signs a cheap deal to be club captain I'd be happy with that but it allows Johnson to rely on him too much if he's in the squad 

Then I would bring back Walsh who just won Coventry player of the year and play him at CAM, Szmodics who lit it up for Peterborough and play him in a front 3 with Wells and Weimann with Wells playing centrally but in a very fluid way as they all can run the channels and track back well.

Would allow us to press like when we had Bobby Reid

Then I would bring back Morrell from Lincoln who has established himself in the Wales team and play 2 of him, Massengo and Nagy(If he is settled here) as CDM depending on match ups/fitness

Then recall Taylor Moore and play him and Kalas at CB as Moore has some Webster style ability on the ball, Dasilva at LB and sign a new RB or Jack hunt if not possible.

Bentley probably needs to be kept for a while because of how much we paid but if we could move on from him I'd be okay with it, he was player of the season for the first half of the season and his formed dropped off when our confidence dropped. Still young with potential, may need to be given a bit longer, though mistakes are getting very worrying

Paterson off the bench as an impact player with some of the other young loanees (Semenyo etc) trim the squad a load (Eg. Watkins) Needs a big reset probably

I don't know if we would get even close to promotion with that team but it would be fun, and they are all fairly young (excluding wells and weimann) so fans would back them even when they lose.

Chances Johnson does this...probs less than 30% but it's possible aha

You also missed out the forgotten man J.Smith... Oldham Top Scorer L2 last year and Fans player of the year .......

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My wish list for next season:

A formation. And stick with it!

A best 11. Rotated only when necessary. 

Positive football. None of this soaking up pressure and stealing points.

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40 minutes ago, Atyeo's Love Child said:

Never been in the Johnson out camp previously, but hard to see any other option if we don’t want more of the same next season... we will have to probably lose 5 or 6 of the remaining 8 games for SL to make that call.

After yesterday, losing 5 or 6 out of the remaining 8 is entirely possible.

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We've got decent youngsters, a good owner, great ambition, great fans (If I say so myself), a cracking stadium and good training facilities. For me the problems lie with Mr Johnson and the recruitment team.

 

Edited by RedNachos
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We are going nowhere fast and playing the most tedious and boring football imaginable, was hoping that after a three month break we might of come back with fresh ideas yesterday but it sounds to me like it was as bad as ever

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I must admit, despite being `LJ in`, I`m beginning to see parallels with the last days of his father. I said then that GJ had taken us as far as he could and am starting to think the same about Lee.

The key of course is, if he were to move on, getting the right person in to take over. We all know what happened after Gary left and none of us want that again.

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9 hours ago, The Bard said:

Call me negative but I've given up on the play offs.  Watching Fulham and Brentford, we are deluding ourselves.

Seems to me to be a key moment for the club.   

  • We have a number of loaned out players at the age where they need to be trusted as full squad members or sold.   
  • Leadership. Pack, Wright and Brownhill have left.  Smith and Williams look like they will.  What stood out yesterday was a complete lack of defensive leadership. In midfield Smith was getting exasperated with those around him, particularly after the raft of subs.
  • We surely can't carry on employing 'proven' Championship players on silly money. SL is not going to allow it.
  • I get the impression we have a number of mercenaries who don't care as lomng as they're paid their £15k a week and this is having a gradually poisonous effect.
  • LJ seems to distrust leaders. Get the impression that he sees a strong captain as a threat to his Authority. 

Will LJ be trusted to carry on in these conditions or do we look to a coach who will trust younger players and give leadership to them?

Key strategic decision is needed.  A moment of truth. 

Next season, we currently have 26 1st teamers in contract. 
GK - Bentley, O’Leary, Gilmartin. 
RB - Hunt, Vyner. 
LB - Dasilva. 
CB - Kalas, Baker, Moore. 
CM - Nagy, Massengo, Walsh, Morrell, Bakinson. 
LW - Eliasson, O’Dowda, Rowe. 
RW - Weimann, Watkins, Adelakun. 
AM/10’s - Palmer, Szmodics, Paterson. 
ST - Wells, Diedhiou, Semenyo. 
 

10 of those 26 have been loaned out this season. 
A number of those are surely going to be kept in the 1st team squad next season. You’d certainly think that if Vyner, Moore, Walsh, Morrell, Adelakun & Szmodics aren’t in the squad next season then they may as well move on for their own careers sake. It’s now or never for those guys I reckon. 
 

LJ does indeed have a dilemma. If he can’t play these youngsters next season, and more players are brought in who aren’t of much better quality, then I think he’ll get short shrift from many fans. 
Alternatively, if he regularly plays these kids (well, I say kids, they’re mostly 22/23 now), I wonder if he’ll get a little more patience from the fans? 
 

Let’s say we regularly put out a team of :

O’Leary

Vyner-Kalas-Moore-Dasilva 

Walsh-Morrell-Massengo

Palmer-Szmodics 

Wells

Would fans give that time to settle, even though results might be mixed? 
I think I would. I’d be quite intrigued and excited at that sort of line up. 

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9 hours ago, Corsham Ed said:

No more chances for me. The board has given him plenty of money to spend. I look at the current squad, and on paper it looks strong, but LJ cannot get get it right on the pitch. He mentions they all do well in training, but it’s not happening when it matters.

very true enough is enough.

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2020/2021 could be the season we operate with (finally) a smaller squad with some genuine “pathway” players. 
I’d be happy with a season using that squad with a change to see the likes of Moore, Walsh, Morrell, Bakinson, Szmodics, Palmer all utilised and played regularly. 
 

Bar Morell, LJ signed all these players. 

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1 hour ago, Harry said:

Next season, we currently have 26 1st teamers in contract. 
GK - Bentley, O’Leary, Gilmartin. 
RB - Hunt, Vyner. 
LB - Dasilva. Pring (as back up?)
CB - Kalas, Baker, Moore. 
CM - Nagy, Massengo, Walsh, Morrell, Bakinson. 
LW - Eliasson, O’Dowda, Rowe. 
RW - Weimann, Watkins, Adelakun. J.Smith
AM/10’s - Palmer, Szmodics, Paterson. 
ST - Wells, Diedhiou, Semenyo. 
 

10 of those 26 have been loaned out this season. 
A number of those are surely going to be kept in the 1st team squad next season. You’d certainly think that if Vyner, Moore, Walsh, Morrell, Adelakun & Szmodics aren’t in the squad next season then they may as well move on for their own careers sake. It’s now or never for those guys I reckon. Agree totally
 

LJ does indeed have a dilemma. If he can’t play these youngsters next season, and more players are brought in who aren’t of much better quality, then I think he’ll get short shrift from many fans. 
Alternatively, if he regularly plays these kids (well, I say kids, they’re mostly 22/23 now), I wonder if he’ll get a little more patience from the fans? 
 

Let’s say we regularly put out a team of :

O’Leary

Vyner-Kalas-Moore-Dasilva 

Walsh-Morrell-Massengo

Palmer-Szmodics 

Wells

Would fans give that time to settle, even though results might be mixed? 
I would.  If we genuinely need a transition season, so be it.  We shouldn’t need one, as I think we could generate funds from selling:

  • Diedhiou
  • Eliasson
  • O’Dowda
  • A couple of others too

and invest sensibly in key areas

I think I would. I’d be quite intrigued and excited at that sort of line up.

funnily enough the team I picked for yesterday (two weeks ago) was a 4312, but that was purely because I thought he’d go 2 up top.  I think a 4321 has a lot of merit.  Especially if you permed 2 of Palmer, Szmodics and Weimann.  I wouldn’t mind seeing this under another head coach.

image.thumb.jpeg.14a51e522136dd478462613db702cc88.jpeg
 

Harry, I did a similar view the other day.....comments ⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️⬆️ In your post above.  I have a couple more in my list, e.g. Janneh, Morton, but they must be candidates to go out on loan, or move on, e.g Cundy?

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13 hours ago, Harry said:

Next season, we currently have 26 1st teamers in contract. 
GK - Bentley, O’Leary, Gilmartin. 
RB - Hunt, Vyner. 
LB - Dasilva. 
CB - Kalas, Baker, Moore. 
CM - Nagy, Massengo, Walsh, Morrell, Bakinson. 
LW - Eliasson, O’Dowda, Rowe. 
RW - Weimann, Watkins, Adelakun. 
AM/10’s - Palmer, Szmodics, Paterson. 
ST - Wells, Diedhiou, Semenyo. 
 

10 of those 26 have been loaned out this season. 
A number of those are surely going to be kept in the 1st team squad next season. You’d certainly think that if Vyner, Moore, Walsh, Morrell, Adelakun & Szmodics aren’t in the squad next season then they may as well move on for their own careers sake. It’s now or never for those guys I reckon. 
 

LJ does indeed have a dilemma. If he can’t play these youngsters next season, and more players are brought in who aren’t of much better quality, then I think he’ll get short shrift from many fans. 
Alternatively, if he regularly plays these kids (well, I say kids, they’re mostly 22/23 now), I wonder if he’ll get a little more patience from the fans? 
 

Let’s say we regularly put out a team of :

O’Leary

Vyner-Kalas-Moore-Dasilva 

Walsh-Morrell-Massengo

Palmer-Szmodics 

Wells

Would fans give that time to settle, even though results might be mixed? 
I think I would. I’d be quite intrigued and excited at that sort of line up. 

I assume we're selling Fam and Eliasson then?

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As supporters you rightly expect more of very well remunerated proven players. It would improve the atmosphere at home if we had a team with more progressive types. Players looking to prove they are up to the standard. 

 

There may be a few half wits going on about a lack of ambition but whenever we start paying big money at this level we get it very wrong. Real ambition is going all out for something you believe in not just chucking money around..

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23 hours ago, Varrei said:

Just sent this to my Norwich fan friend who asked what I would do for next season: 

I would sell eliasson and diedhou as they want out and won't sign new deals, and odowda because he's wanted out for ages

Probably try and buy Afobe cheap but if that's not possible then need to move Kasey Palmer on because he's not consistent enough without his link with Afobe.

Probably release Korey at this point as sad as that would be as he isn't top of champ quality anymore sadly. If he signs a cheap deal to be club captain I'd be happy with that but it allows Johnson to rely on him too much if he's in the squad 

Then I would bring back Walsh who just won Coventry player of the year and play him at CAM, Szmodics who lit it up for Peterborough and play him in a front 3 with Wells and Weimann with Wells playing centrally but in a very fluid way as they all can run the channels and track back well.

Would allow us to press like when we had Bobby Reid

Then I would bring back Morrell from Lincoln who has established himself in the Wales team and play 2 of him, Massengo and Nagy(If he is settled here) as CDM depending on match ups/fitness

Then recall Taylor Moore and play him and Kalas at CB as Moore has some Webster style ability on the ball, Dasilva at LB and sign a new RB or Jack hunt if not possible.

Bentley probably needs to be kept for a while because of how much we paid but if we could move on from him I'd be okay with it, he was player of the season for the first half of the season and his formed dropped off when our confidence dropped. Still young with potential, may need to be given a bit longer, though mistakes are getting very worrying

Paterson off the bench as an impact player with some of the other young loanees (Semenyo etc) trim the squad a load (Eg. Watkins) Needs a big reset probably

I don't know if we would get even close to promotion with that team but it would be fun, and they are all fairly young (excluding wells and weimann) so fans would back them even when they lose.

Chances Johnson does this...probs less than 30% but it's possible aha

One problem with your team plan. What happens when we play teams like West Brom, Millwall or Blackburn who have 11 6 feet 3 monsters

LJ has recruited in his own image and since Pack has gone we barely win a header in midfield and get out muscled every week

A good bigun is always better than a good littlun and with your front 3 and midfield we would be swamped

 

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1 hour ago, The Bard said:

I assume we're selling Fam and Eliasson then?

They’re on the squad list I posted mate. Although I wouldn’t be surprised to see both moving on this summer. 

57 minutes ago, The Bard said:

As supporters you rightly expect more of very well remunerated proven players. It would improve the atmosphere at home if we had a team with more progressive types. Players looking to prove they are up to the standard. 

 

There may be a few half wits going on about a lack of ambition but whenever we start paying big money at this level we get it very wrong. Real ambition is going all out for something you believe in not just chucking money around..

This is an interesting point and one I’ve often pondered. 
A few years ago we went for a recruitment approach of “young and hungry”. The types who have talent, a potential that can be reached with hard work and desire, but are obviously within our limited wage structure and determined to carve a career for themselves rather than sit back on a nice contract. 
 

Whilst I acknowledge that they are good players, I do sometimes wonder if the likes of Kalas, Dasilva & Palmer, all coming to us having spent years and years at Chelsea, arriving on large contracts before they’ve really proven themselves, is the recruitment philosophy we’d designed. 
All of these players will naturally have had a different footballing education and experience having been brought up through the Chelsea academy, and whilst I’m not going to judge them personally, I do wonder if their “hunger & desire” is as strong as a player coming from a different and more challenging route. 
These guys will have already been on decent contracts at Chelsea and therefore we’d have to improve their contracts significantly to get them here. This might lead to a less ‘hungry’ demeanour. 
In contrast, you takes the likes of Ollie Watkins, Jarred Bowen and the likes, who had to start at L2/Non league levels and fight to get to where they are now (young, hungry etc). 
 

I wonder if we’ve recently taken too big a step away from that previous recruitment philosophy? 
 

 

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