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Nakhi Wells getting an easy ride


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I feel for the bloke honestly, came from an unremarkable but steady QPR, adored by their fans and on track for the golden boot with a bit of hard work.

Comes to city, different people in a different formation around him every other game, and we've won what - twice since he joined in January?

Not surprised he looks pretty miserable!

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Wells isn't used to relying on scraps and that's all we're providing. I don't think he's pushing as hard as he can because he knows he cannot do everything by himself. When we attack its down the wings, we have no penetration in the middle of the pitch which is where he thrives. He's not just a fox in the box as you say but he is very good at making runs in behind defences and running at defenders when they are on the back foot. Now tell me when you've seen us counter through the middle and actually provide that pass to him so he's moving forward, or when we've had someone in the middle playing a pass that splits the defence? 

As much as I could throw Wells under the bus and say "he doesn't want to be here" I'm not going to because he's not changed what he sad doing prior to us signing him, he's just in a team that isn't doing what his previous team did for him, playing to his strengths. Even Afobe looks blunt at the moment because we're also not playing him to his strengths. Then you have O'Dowda, he looks awful but again, he's not being played to his strengths because, like Eliasson, he's an out and out winger who keeps getting player in, or around the middle, which brings me back to Eliasson, we have a prolific winger who can attack players, play dangerous passes and where is he... on the bench. 

It's not just Wells that looks like he's not playing his best, it's multiple players, mostly our best players. As much as LJ wants to glue all these players together and make them work in the same system it's obviously not happening because he doesn't use their strengths, he expects them to change their game to suit his tactics and that's just not good management. If you want Wells at his best then put a midfielder or two in that looks to back defences up and create opportunities, same goes for Afobe, no surprise that his best link up is Palmer. If you want Kalas, Williams and Baker to look solid then don't play a system that sees them defending hard for 60-70 minutes of the game, it becomes overwhelming for any defender to have to be forever alert because the attack are rarely on the ball. If you want to see O'Dowda play well, don't put him in a system that forces him to be in the middle and out wide, let him hug the line and stretch the opposition out. 

Honestly at this point I think any tactically harp coach could come in and do better than Lee with his own players purely by playing them in position and to their strengths. 

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9 hours ago, Mr Popodopolous said:

Of the two from Burnley, I was hoping for Vydra if anyone- more flexible, more fluid- can play across the front line and a bit behind- younger too.

Don't think we setup in a way to get the best from him...but you can say that about many of our players this year.

My thoughts exactly.....Vydra is younger and quicker, and would have suited our style much better,  LJ had the choice between the two........guess what, he got it wrong?

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As many have pointed out, to be completely fair, he has scored three goals, but it hasn’t looked right at any point.
 

I was rather cynical at the time he signed, because to me it looked like a move so many clubs have made so many times where you go and sign a goal scorer in the hope it will miraculously solve all of the underlying issue with your team.

 

I think I posted on here even after the rare win against Derby that I wondered if Wells had ever spent so much time chasing aimless channel balls and having to try and compete in the air against centre halves much bigger than he is.

We’ve signed a penalty box forward to play in a team that never goes in the opposition box, a finisher for a team that creates no chances for him to finish.

He can join the list of players in this squad who have proven their qualities at this level, but for some reason don’t look the part playing in this team. I’d like to think the vast majority of us are aware of what that reason is by now to be honest..

 

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9 hours ago, Olé said:

To be clear I think LJ's time is up in spite of so many phenomenal away performances in the past two years, overall we are regressing - but for a change of topic could someone please tell me why Nahki Wells is getting such an easy ride?

We won four games in a row with Famara at the backend of January, often as lone striker, often without conceding a goal, but as soon as we made room for Wells, we've shipped goals and won just one game since he started (3-2 vs Derby)

Anyone with eyes can see he doesn't want to be here, probably didn't want to leave QPR, even today, which for me having stood through every game is easily the best 45 I've seen all season, Wells is the odd one out in an energetic team.

On Sunday he was slow to get the through ball chance out of his feet, and today Afobe, O'Dowda and Weimann easily did most of the pressing while Wells drifted half heartedly and never really got in the game. I do not believe he's up for it.

The easy excuse is he is a fox in the box - but that's just not true, I remember him scoring goals from all over for QPR and for Huddersfield, which is why he was/is so rated. For us he scores 2 yard headers and rarely does anything else.

Take away his nod ins and he is a terrible signing that upset the balance of the team and at £5m and going on 30 is largely a massive panic buy waste of money. Look at the stat sites and his data is pretty terrible across his games for us.

As LJ says, the form has been awful, but someone please tell me why Wells record in exactly the same run bears so little scrutiny. The pieces fell into place with the Brownhill deal and anxiety about another striker, but he has been ****.

 

Think you’re being a tad harsh on Wells.

He’s come into a side firstly that don’t play football. QPR bossed us at Ashton Gate and we were fortunate to win that game if it wasn’t for their keeper gifting us the 3 points. 
 

Our midfield consists of Smith and Nagy, both of which are happy to stay in our own half taking the ball of the CB and passing it sideways - repeat.

Then you have O’Dowda and Weimann out wide - the workhorses with pace but very little quality. 
 

Even though we played some nice stuff in the first half yesterday we never threatened Forest. With the midfield and formation that started yesterday, the only threat was to get to the byline and whip crosses in. This has been our only real threat this season with crosses in the box, hence why we’ve scored nearly 20 headed goals and that Nahki’s goals have all been headers. Hardly creative but which Wells very nearly scored from again last night if it wasn’t for some brilliant defending. 
 

3 goals in 8 is it? I find it harsh that you’re blaming a centre forward for the basic service that we give them. 

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On 02/07/2020 at 09:33, maxjak said:

My thoughts exactly.....Vydra is younger and quicker, and would have suited our style much better,  LJ had the choice between the two........guess what, he got it wrong?

I don't know if Vydra was available in fairness but if he was, he undoubtedly should have been the first choice of the two- IMO. Agree with your post too though I'm not particularity disappointed with Wells.

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On 02/07/2020 at 01:32, SX227 said:

Usually I think you are spot on Ole.

Not this time.

Wells came on the expectation of promotion in a side 'on the up'

He's clearly not a fan of LJ bullshit and has probably made that clear to anyone who will listen - inc LJ.

So now he is the LJ whipping boy in public - if I was nearly leading the championship scoring race and then found myself being lectured about my boots, movement, not following instructions etc etc pretty much every presser - I'd be pissed as well.

LJ goes, he improves.

LJ stays - he's off - along with many others.

 

I wouldn't let him take a penalty while LJ is here either!  🤣

 

Another player who has had all his natural ability coached out of him.

Either LJ goes or I can see a heck of a lot of players leaving.....

I like this a lot. 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

On 02/07/2020 at 02:32, City_USA said:

"Either LJ goes or I can see a heck of a lot of players leaving....."

Sad but true

I don’t subscribe to the “lost the dressing room” term, but I can imagine lots of the rolling of eyes, and if Wells is used to be being able to speak up, he isn’t  gonna change now.

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On 02/07/2020 at 10:20, robin_unreliant said:

I'm also wondering if signing Afobe on a permanent deal would turn out to be another mistake. Could be a lot of money tied up in two strikers who don't appear to be a good pairing. 

Would you spend any cash in the current financial climate and uncertainty? 

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Possibly when we signed him we weren't expecting him and Afobe to both be available for selection, at least not until the last couple of games/play offs ? 

Now we're trying to shoe-horn the 2 of them and Diedhou at the same time and 3 into 2 won't go. 

Dreadful management to call him out as unprofessional over choice of boots/studs though. 

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20 minutes ago, Chappers said:

Would you spend any cash in the current financial climate and uncertainty? 

Pre-covid, I was hoping the option to buy was £3-4m, but Gregor reckons it’s £7-8m.

Post-covid everything looks a lot!!

If LJ is still in charge, then I’d tell him “you bought Wells, get on with making him better”.

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7 hours ago, Davefevs said:

Pre-covid, I was hoping the option to buy was £3-4m, but Gregor reckons it’s £7-8m.

Post-covid everything looks a lot!!

If LJ is still in charge, then I’d tell him “you bought Wells, get on with making him better”.

I think LJ at times thinks this is like a fantasy football league.

Buy a player that scores a lot and those losses or draws turn into draws and wins.

It really is not as simple as that.

It's not at all difficult when signing an experienced goalscorer to work out what gets the best out of him.

With Wells it was at Huddersfield with Palmer or Brown behind him. And at QPR with Chair, or maybe at times Eize behind him.

The key thing is as a lone striker with a number 10 in behind.

I do believe he could work in a front 2. But I am not sure he'd be the same player as he is when on his own.

We brought in Wells having won 4 in a row and suddenly it became a problem. How do we fit this player into our side?

Spending 5 million on a 29, now 30 year old has to be a signing that works pretty much instantly. 

We have yet to get the best out of him. This season is nearly over.

Next season we have to go with a Palmer or Pato, maybe even Szmodics behind him to get the best out of him.

Maybe he could work in a kind of Afobe role of earlier in the season where Weimann runs wide a lot, but Palmer is there in behind. So Wells would be free to play on the shoulder and run the channels.

Too much play with his back to goal in this current system. Too much outside the box. And any service he gets generally comes from wide areas. Not much for him to ever run onto.

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On 02/07/2020 at 08:33, JonDolman said:

Johnson at fault. 

Wells better as number 9 with creativity behind him.

We are not playing to his strengths. So will probably get less out of him.

I do believe though that he may work in a front 2 as well. But we need to sort out how to create from our midfield.

Johnson has to take blame as I can't imagine it was recruitment that made him sign a prolific goalscorer at this level. 

Surely this was one LJ really wanted. He said he needs a goalscorer and he has one.

No excuses.

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On 02/07/2020 at 00:15, alexukhc said:

Only we can buy One of the best strikers in the division and turn him into dogshite

I was going to write that again he is one of those players that looks better playing in another team. But you have put it so much better.

Yes it must be hard for players joining in January, but loads move and make an instant impact. I guess with deals like the Brownhill one that all parties must be happy and there is an unbalance here. Add to that playing out of position, the covid break and various sub appearances and it has been unsettling, especially when the change of team formation and tactics are factored in too. 

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Wells was never the answer to our problems.  He was a panic buy.  Now he's another square peg round hole conundrum.  A player should be bought to fit the system (which we don't have), not bought and then make up a system to fit.  Another shambolic transfer.  

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If you watched Millwall v Charlton yesterday it illustrated everything that is wrong with our style of play. Both sides played as though they knew, understood and trusted each other - team spirit!
So sadly lacking in any LJ team

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I don’t think Wells is in any sense as a lost cause but I think he has been a victim of an out of sorts team, a manager that does not know his best formation and a generally unsettling eight months.

I suspect it is true he would have rather stayed at QPR but think his time here could still be a success. It would take much better management though.

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Wells has done OK so far, not set the world alight but OK. Of course he'd benefit from more creativity behind him, every striker would, but they also have to play their part. They have to be in tune with the creative player. It's no good the creative player passing into the right channel if the striker runs left. They shouldn't be static in the box either. They have to do their best to meet the cross, by running across the front or dropping off behind the defender, and they need to be strong. When Matty Cash cleared from under his bar on Wednesday night, Wells could have been more aggressive. Many strikers of old would have taken Cash, the ball and themselves into the net. 

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25 minutes ago, cityloyal473 said:

Wells was never the answer to our problems.  He was a panic buy.  Now he's another square peg round hole conundrum.  A player should be bought to fit the system (which we don't have), not bought and then make up a system to fit.  Another shambolic transfer.  

I’ve wanted Wells here for quite a few years, but he’s always been a bit out of our reach.

At the January window he was in reach, so we bought him....but it appears without much thought about how we fit him in.

Wells doesn’t look happy, but nirvwoukd is with the head coach calling me out every press conference either.

I suspect Fam is a bit pissed off that as leading scorer he doesn’t start.

Ok, players are never happy when they aren’t playing, but most accept it when it’s based on clear selection criteria, e.g. playing well, scoring goals etc.  When some players are being regardless, results are poor, then things come to the surface.

Since Wells arrived, results have matched performance pretty closely.

We played well at Derby and Fulham, and ok v Forest, the rest have been below par.  In those games we have started with the same formation as the previous game twice.  And in one of those we swapped mid game.

The Head coach is using guesswork.

If we want to get the best out of this squad, Wells included, we need a new head coach.

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8 minutes ago, Davefevs said:

without much thought about how we fit him in.

Sums up most signings under Johnson  to be honest . Can you imagine the first conversation between them.

”if I sign for you , how do you see me playing lee” 

up front with benik , with Kasey in behind you both pulling the strings. You’ll get plenty of chances like you did with Eze at QPR. 
 

brilliant I’ll sign then. 
 

first training session 😯

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I don’t think Wells has done particularly well in his brief stint so far, if his lack of effort and misplaced passes had been Diedhou all hell would have broken loose. In hindsight, his signing wasn’t needed ( an expensive older signing) and the Nketiah saga almost forced us into it, where again, in hindsight a younger up and coming  player with some pace would have suited us. We just don’t have enough pace in the team. We cant stretch teams. We are a bit of a hotch potch of a team player wise and the style reflects that, unfortunately LJ has tarnished all the good work he had done and I will always go back to us losing Bobby Reid and getting Weimann as the first example him just not getting it right.

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6 minutes ago, exAtyeoMax said:

Too much reliance on data results, forgetting the human element to a player’s game. Stats don’t have all the answers.

Yep, and I love stats, but the one I love best is Goals For v Goals Against each game 😜

Thomas Frank was interviewed earlier in this season, and Brentford is stats-heavy, but he said (paraphrased) “I watch with my eyes, see things, then I go and check if the data shows the same as my eyes.....it usually does”

3 minutes ago, steviestevieneville said:

Sums up most signings under Johnson  to be honest . Can you imagine the first conversation between them.

”if I sign for you , how do you see me playing lee” 

up front with benik , with Kasey in behind you both pulling the strings. You’ll get plenty of chances like you did with Eze at QPR. 
 

brilliant I’ll sign then. 
 

first training session 😯

On a serious point you do wonder how he sold City to Wells (and others) don’t you?

Do you think Kalas signed thinking he’d play alongside Webster this season?  I know players move on all the time, but it would not surprise me if Tomas was told “we ain’t selling Webster for any amount of money”.

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3 minutes ago, Davefevs said:

Yep, and I love stats, but the one I love best is Goals For v Goals Against each game 😜

Thomas Frank was interviewed earlier in this season, and Brentford is stats-heavy, but he said (paraphrased) “I watch with my eyes, see things, then I go and check if the data shows the same as my eyes.....it usually does”

On a serious point you do wonder how he sold City to Wells (and others) don’t you?

Do you think Kalas signed thinking he’d play alongside Webster this season?  I know players move on all the time, but it would not surprise me if Tomas was told “we ain’t selling Webster for any amount of money”.

Well, without trying to sound nasty and I really don’t want to get personal with LJ.

its become quite apparent he’s full of bluff and nonsense . His recent press conferences have highlighted this. 
To be blunt , he’s a billy bullshitter. 

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3 minutes ago, EmissionImpossible said:

I don’t think Wells has done particularly well in his brief stint so far,

Can’t argue with that, but he still has 3 in 7 starts without contributing much else

if his lack of effort and misplaced passes had been Diedhou all hell would have broken loose.

Agree, he has escaped a bit of flak...but the head coach has no qualms about throwing him under the bus.

In hindsight, his signing wasn’t needed ( an expensive older signing) and the Nketiah saga almost forced us into it, where again, in hindsight a younger up and coming  player with some pace would have suited us. We just don’t have enough pace in the team. We cant stretch teams.

the stupid thing is that’s exactly what Wells used to do for Huddersfield, less at QPR.  It’s why I always thought he’d be a good fit for us (not for LJ necessarily!!)

We are a bit of a hotch potch of a team player wise and the style reflects that, unfortunately LJ has tarnished all the good work he had done and I will always go back to us losing Bobby Reid and getting Weimann as the first example him just not getting it right.

Weimann was a good signing imho.  Play him as the main striker, and he is a different beast.  Paired with Pato as the 10, or Matty Taylor as they secondary striker, and you see a very different striker to the one paired with Diedhiou, or the one forced to play right wing.  In fact, you either play Diedhiou on his own, or not at all....he never forms a partnership.  Wells and Weimann v Fulham looked encouraging.

⬆️⬆️⬆️

3 minutes ago, steviestevieneville said:

Well, without trying to sound nasty and I really don’t want to get personal with LJ.

its become quite apparent he’s full of bluff and nonsense . His recent press conferences have highlighted this. 
To be blunt , he’s a billy bullshitter. 

Nothing nasty in that. 🙂

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I do have to ask how many of you have played football,wells has no service has been in and out of the team like a bloody yoyo,anyone will tell you who has played football there is nothing worse than having manager that has no confidence in you,all are centre forwards are half decent but they don't get a run of games to prove it,lets be bloody honest here not one of are players are guaranteed there spot on a Saturday,imagine turning up every week not knowing if your playing or not is a shite feeling.

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1 minute ago, Davefevs said:

⬆️⬆️⬆️

Nothing nasty in that. 🙂

It’s a difficult one Dave . I really want him out of our club and have done for a year or more, but. You can see the pressure getting to him . He looks tired and his press conferences have been bizarre to say the least . I’d like him to come back in future (managing someone else ) and get remembered fondly . If this carries on much longer ,  There’s a chance he will become hated. 

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1 minute ago, Davefevs said:

⬆️⬆️⬆️

Yeah, I’m not saying Weimann was a bad signing but repacking Reid was never going to be easy and required a change of approach but Lj and the fans wanted to see the football of that season the next season albeit with more consistency/fitness and Weimann was never going to enable that. I believe Wells is a decent player and maybe with Weimann like at Fulham would be decent but it’s not the direction we should have gone, its affected the rest of the team. Which in turn has led LJ into this ‘throwing players under the bus’ which in turn has led to the players simply not putting in the required effort , since Tomlin, LJ hasn’t trusted ‘flair players’ and KP (although unlike many fans, i think he would require a change in style, which would take a lot longer than LJ implied) to not be trusted even though he hasn’t really shown Tomlins negative attributes.

In short i think LJ has reacted far too much instead of doing what he did when he started out and that has led to a dysfunctional team and system and treatment of players. 

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