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DH - “We try to focus on how we want to play and not focus on the opponents”


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Haven’t seen this shared yet so thought why not. Sorry if I didn’t get the quote exactly right but it was along those lines but this is exactly what I wanted to hear from the next manager after LJ. He’s ticking so many boxes! I always felt we focused on the oppositions tactics rather than perfecting our own. So far couldn’t be more pleased 👍

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I honestly think that's where we went wrong last 2 seasons, several games you could see players had been placed in unfamiliar roles to nullify the opposition. This led on several games you could  see players often running into the same places and cost us last seasons slump in my view 

We seem be playing to our players strengths and positions and the difference is apparent already. I've no idea where we will end up but its soo much better already.

Edited by Crackers Corner
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3 minutes ago, ZiderEyed said:

Holden seems to be the LJ antithesis in many ways. 

I don’t think it’s a coincidence either, I think it’s a very deliberate strategy from DH given the reaction to his appointment. He’s certainly not daft.

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5 minutes ago, 054123 said:

Which, for me, would beg serious questions about the relationship for the previous four years.

In a way having an assistant with opposite views has its benefits. LJ may have hired him to hear them and choose which ones made more sense to him. Sorta like churchill hiring a cabinet of enemies 

 

4 minutes ago, BRISTOL86 said:

I don’t think it’s a coincidence either, I think it’s a very deliberate strategy from DH given the reaction to his appointment. He’s certainly not daft.

This may also be the case, it's certainly what plenty of fans want to hear 

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13 minutes ago, Robin Wood said:

Lee Johnsons downfall was he always worried about what the opposition could do rather than what he could do with his team 

Yep. Just like SOD did. LJ was an ODriscoll clone. Negativity beyond belief talking up other teams’ strengths. No wonder we bottled every 2nd half of a season with that negative thinking!

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8 minutes ago, Crackers Corner said:

I honestly think that's where we went wrong last 2 seasons, several games you could see players had been placed in unfamiliar roles to nullify the opposition. This led on several games you could  see players often running into the same places and cost us last seasons slump in my view 

We seem be playing to our players strengths and positions and the difference is apparent already. I've no idea where we will end up but its soo much better already.

I agree we aren't a top six team but we could be with team spirit and playing in a way we want to play rather than worrying about the opposition 

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Funny how some thought he was 'part of the problem' and was going to be 'Lee Johnson MKII' but he's turning out to be the complete opposite.

You can tell the players want to play for him too and believe in what he is doing.

I don't believe they did towards the end of Johnsons reign.

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Sturny said:

In a way having an assistant with opposite views has its benefits. LJ may have hired him to hear them and choose which ones made more sense to him. Sorta like churchill hiring a cabinet of enemies 

Perhaps more likely LJ’s 2 rules of management.

Rule1:  The Head Coach is always right.

Rule 2: When the Head Coach is wrong rule 1 applies.

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This is the biggest noticeable change this season, the shackles do seem to have come off. The style of football we are playing with the high press and energy is similar to what we saw in the middle of LJ's tenure cilminating in the cup run and excellent start to 17/18 season, sadly after we tailed off and up to the end of his reign LJ did seem to baffle himself more and more with the marginal gains, sports science, data analysis etc and worrying about how th eopposition could hurt us to the point we seemingly stopped trying to impose ourselves on the opposition for a mixture of all these reasons.

DH looks to have given the players a lot more freedom and confidence so far and unlocked us from the turgid, frightened football that we ended up with, this is absolutely not a knock at LJ who I think helped the club progress immeasuarably but reached the end of his shelf life.

 

Edited by Dolman_Stand
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7 minutes ago, BRISTOL86 said:

I don’t think it’s a coincidence either, I think it’s a very deliberate strategy from DH given the reaction to his appointment. He’s certainly not daft.

I’d like to think it goes a little deeper than that, rather than just some kind of shallow attempt to win over a few perennial moaners on OTIB.  The next thing we’ll hear is those ‘fans’ who threatened to tear up their season tickets and never darken Ashton Gate again claiming credit for forcing Dean to adopt a match-winning strategy.

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6 minutes ago, Sturny said:

In a way having an assistant with opposite views has its benefits. LJ may have hired him to hear them and choose which ones made more sense to him. Sorta like churchill hiring a cabinet of enemies 

 

This may also be the case, it's certainly what plenty of fans want to hear 

To be an ‘assistant’ and unable to either get your view point across or indeed enacted, sounds like the most infuriating role, to me.

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Isn't that just a soundbite though? "We try not to focus too much time on the opposition"

Caus that's the actual quote. Show a manager who will say. "We try to focus too much time on the opposition."

It's a pretty meaningless statement. He bigs up the opponent. Boxers do this to promote a fight. Managers do this to give yourself an excuse if you lose.

And if you win... After you win. STOKE ARE "AN OUTSTANDING GROUP OF PLAYERS" the opposition manager is "A TOP INTERNATIONAL MANAGER" So how good does that make me? Caus y'know, we won. So, I'm better right? Caus I  beat an outstanding group of players and a top international manager.

Are either of those things true? Outstanding in what way is the group of Stoke players? Is Michael O Neil a top international manager? Maybe he thinks so.

Dean Holden did a really good job today. This interview is very professional. And that's what I took from it. We looked at the set pieces, we looked at strike partnerships, we looked at giving Powell and Clucas time on the ball. So we did focus on the opposition, but we didn't try to focus on, and we didn't focus on them too much, because we won.

So good job, let's not go crazy over an incredibly obvious statement like "We try not to focus too much time on the opposition" when everyone does that.

Edited by Prinny
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LJ often gets beaten with the stick of focusing on opposition too much- I'd say he did annd he didn't.

On an individual level at times he did, but his insistence on the shape we set up in last season in particular paid no regard to the division as a whole and how easy it would be to outnumber/outmuscle/outmanoeuvre us in midfield. So in individual games at times he certainly did, but as a whole he seemed to go his own way often- 2 genuine CMs, 2 CBs- when you have 3 CBs and hopefully in due course two genuine CMs, that makes such a difference.

Edited by Mr Popodopolous
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31 minutes ago, Sturny said:
Haven’t seen this shared yet so thought why not. Sorry if I didn’t get the quote exactly right but it was along those lines but this is exactly what I wanted to hear from the next manager after LJ. He’s ticking so many boxes! I always felt we focused on the oppositions tactics rather than perfecting our own. So far couldn’t be more pleased 👍

I think it's really important to get what he actually says rather than "what I wanted to hear".

I'm with you on how he's doing btw. And thanks for sharing.

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1 minute ago, Prinny said:

I think it's really important to get what he actually says rather than "what I wanted to hear".

I'm with you on how he's doing btw. And thanks for sharing.

Fair enough it's not word for word. Mods are welcome to change title 

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And that is what I want to hear from our Manager and how it should be.

This weekend has seen 39 prem goals across the matches so far. What I have taken from it is that more teams are much more focused on what they can do to win games, and those focused on stopping the opponents have been the ones who have lost majority of the matches.

We are a good team, if we impose our way of playing and confidence in a game we will win more matches than we will lose. Johnson was holding us back by his over complicating

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lets not forget dh  seems to have 2 good guys along side him and yes it is early doors but the trio are doing a great job,the team spirit just seems really good and if we can keep the cup run going and keep rotating the squad to keep all the players involved this season could be a good one.

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3 hours ago, Robin Wood said:

I agree we aren't a top six team but we could be with team spirit and playing in a way we want to play rather than worrying about the opposition 

Not top 6 ? Please name 6 teams with stronger squads then ours 

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10 hours ago, 054123 said:

Which, for me, would beg serious questions about the relationship for the previous four years.

Agreed that it went tits up last season but LJ deserves credit for dragging the club up to be respected challengers for the last few seasons. 
 

He left the club in a better position than the one he took over even though towards the end he lost his way. 
 

 

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10 hours ago, Prinny said:

Isn't that just a soundbite though? "We try not to focus too much time on the opposition"

Caus that's the actual quote. Show a manager who will say. "We try to focus too much time on the opposition."

It's a pretty meaningless statement. He bigs up the opponent. Boxers do this to promote a fight. Managers do this to give yourself an excuse if you lose.

And if you win... After you win. STOKE ARE "AN OUTSTANDING GROUP OF PLAYERS" the opposition manager is "A TOP INTERNATIONAL MANAGER" So how good does that make me? Caus y'know, we won. So, I'm better right? Caus I  beat an outstanding group of players and a top international manager.

Are either of those things true? Outstanding in what way is the group of Stoke players? Is Michael O Neil a top international manager? Maybe he thinks so.

Dean Holden did a really good job today. This interview is very professional. And that's what I took from it. We looked at the set pieces, we looked at strike partnerships, we looked at giving Powell and Clucas time on the ball. So we did focus on the opposition, but we didn't try to focus on, and we didn't focus on them too much, because we won.

So good job, let's not go crazy over an incredibly obvious statement like "We try not to focus too much time on the opposition" when everyone does that.

What caught my attention with DH is if you look back at the clip of that great cup win over Man United a few seasons back and when we scored the second and what was the winning goal. Whilst LJ was juggling a ball boy, McAllister and Scotty were embracing each other, there was DH in the technical area still straight faced and concentrating on the game and trying to calm everyone down and to concentrate on the few minutes left to ensure the focus remained - That for me is someone who is an ultimate professional. Yes celebrate by all means but do it once the final whistle has been blown!

It struck me at the time as an odd reaction not to see him celebrating but in hindsight it says so much more about our current head coach 

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10 minutes ago, INCRED said:

What caught my attention with DH is if you look back at the clip of that great cup win over Man United a few seasons back and when we scored the second and what was the winning goal. Whilst LJ was juggling a ball boy, McAllister and Scotty were embracing each other, there was DH in the technical area still straight faced and concentrating on the game and trying to calm everyone down and to concentrate on the few minutes left to ensure the focus remained - That for me is someone who is an ultimate professional. Yes celebrate by all means but do it once the final whistle has been blown!

It struck me at the time as an odd reaction not to see him celebrating but in hindsight it says so much more about our current head coach 

I thought it was because he was a Man United fan...

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8 minutes ago, INCRED said:

What caught my attention with DH is if you look back at the clip of that great cup win over Man United a few seasons back and when we scored the second and what was the winning goal. Whilst LJ was juggling a ball boy, McAllister and Scotty were embracing each other, there was DH in the technical area still straight faced and concentrating on the game and trying to calm everyone down and to concentrate on the few minutes left to ensure the focus remained - That for me is someone who is an ultimate professional. Yes celebrate by all means but do it once the final whistle has been blown!

It struck me at the time as an odd reaction not to see him celebrating but in hindsight it says so much more about our current head coach 

I didn't remember that and that's a great spot.

I personally like a manager who doesn't get too up or too down. But I think being excited at the right moments is important too. Jurgen Klopp often celebrates vital goals. A sign of togetherness and team bonding etc.

Manager style is such a confirmation bias style argument because it's really all about winning. If we win he's professional and cool, we lose he's unemotional and lacks passion and isn't connected to the team.

I think it was smart of LJ to assemble a mix of personalities in his coaching staff.  Dean Holden needs to keep being consistent to himself and be honest and he can have no regrets.

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