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Blackburn (A) - Weds 17th March 19:45 - Matchday Thread


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"Stick your neck out" predictions  

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1 hour ago, RoystonFoote'snephew said:

Not the performance of Birmingham but solid nonetheless with O'leary hardly troubled. Mariappa and Vyner forming a good defensive partnership. Could of made more of our opportunities but it wasn't to be tonight. Massengo Mom for me, the lad seems to be everywhere. I lost count of how many times he managed to get goal side to put out potential fires. 

Not the opposition performance of Birmingham either mind! Let's not underestimate the task at hand; Blackburn are a decent side with a few talented players and they looked reasonably sharp and up for it today. We did well to stay solid.

Agree with you in singling out Massengo and Mariappa. They've earned another start on Saturday. 

O'Leary good with his game management and hands, not good with his feet today.

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5 hours ago, mozo said:

Not the opposition performance of Birmingham either mind! Let's not underestimate the task at hand; Blackburn are a decent side with a few talented players and they looked reasonably sharp and up for it today. We did well to stay solid.

Agree with you in singling out Massengo and Mariappa. They've earned another start on Saturday. 

O'Leary good with his game management and hands, not good with his feet today.

I just think with Max he was more happy to get a good clean connection and distance on that pitch. He didn't look too bothered where the ball went at times which is unlike the usual Max.

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45 minutes ago, JonDolman said:

I just think with Max he was more happy to get a good clean connection and distance on that pitch. He didn't look too bothered where the ball went at times which is unlike the usual Max.

Agreed. The pitch was substandard yet again. Fines, and huge ones at that, need to be handed out to these clubs.

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8 hours ago, italian dave said:

I'm disappointed in Fam too: on the whole he's been great for us

Substitute ‘ great’ for ‘disappointing ‘ and I am with you. 
 

I don’t think we’ve played Famaral to his strengths , whatever they are, and he’s not a natural finisher. 

To his credit he has tried his best but I had hoped for a bit more from our record signing. 
 

 

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11 hours ago, The Dolman Pragmatist said:

I quite enjoyed it.  Blackburn much better than I expected, but we defended resolutely and had our chances on the break.  I’ll take the draw.

They are a well drilled team under Mowbray, and playing a similar system to us (4231-ish) they showed how you can work hard off the ball in-possession to play from the back through midfield.  Rothwell, Holtby and to a lesser extent Johnson showed how little runs off the back of forward or midfielders shoulders timed well broke through us.

Although quiet(ish) last night, Adam Armstrong as the lone striker, proved you don’t need a “big-man” up-top to play 4231, let alone one that offers little to build attacks off of.

If you look at their team, you could easily argue that Lenihan, Douglas, Holtby, Rothwell, Johnson and Armstrong would all be regular starters in our team, some would be nailed on starters.  Couple those individuals with a team system that is well drilled and you could see why we were outplayed at times last night.  However we showed that defending solidly can eke out points.

Being very harsh on Fam it was like playing with 10 (10 1/2?) last night, both in and out of possession.  I don’t think he really has to put much more effort in to make us more effective....but his heart isn’t really in it imho.  Therefore it’s a strong correlation that we didn’t have 30% possession.  I noticed Palmer directing him where to go several times second half.  I’m hoping Pearson has noticed too.

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11 hours ago, JonDolman said:

Happy with a point. We might even have had the better chances. Blackburn move it around very well but maybe do that too much when in the final third. We seem to try and create a chance with less touches of the ball. 

Was really frustrating 2 times we won it high up 2nd half, Semenyo could not get it under control, so laid it to Fam who's touch was unbelievably bad. Lost possession.

And then the time when we won it high and Wells could have shot but instead him, Kasey and Fam decided to pass it around before Fam was offside. So poor.

But the other time was when Fam got on to loose ball and shot superbly that may have been a great save onto post. Though not seen back.

Mariappa and Sessegnon best players imo.

O'Leary very assured in everything he did. 

Massengo our best midfielder. Worked so hard.

Interesting to see the next line up. I think some changes will need to be made.

Shame Watkins is I guess injured. As could really have done with him on last 20 imo up front. Hopefully back soon.

Yes, and if we can get more possession then I think we can create even more....in that type of game where opponent isn’t parking the bus.  Kasey Palmer’s volley from Wells pull-back was rated a 0.22 XG chance according to Wyscout.  It was the highest XG chance of the night!!

Some of that “creating chances from small number of touches” comes from players like Palmer, getting on the ball quickly in the phase of possession.  He really does try to be proactive in making angles and being available for passes.  Others could learn from that.  Another interesting bit of info from last night is the relationship between Massengo and Palmer, and that they seem to be on each other’s wavelength.  Other than long passes from Max to Fam, Massengo and Palmer made the most passes between each other.  I think there is some chemistry there....and imho not much of a surprise that last season, both players best form was when they were in the team together!

But don’t necessarily expect high possession to equal high chances against teams who are happy to get men behind the ball and frustrate us.  There haven’t been many of those, if any this season!  I think most opponents think we are there for the taking! 😉

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A mystery to me last night was why NP kept Fam on. The manager has told us numerous times that his philosophy is that there is no individuals but a group. When you have a player doing practically nothing and the rest working there socks off, surely this would cause ill feeling. Not the way to bring togetherness in my opinion. He should have been off before half time....he did it with Bakinson.

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4 hours ago, JonDolman said:

I just think with Max he was more happy to get a good clean connection and distance on that pitch. He didn't look too bothered where the ball went at times which is unlike the usual Max.

I think that was exactly it.  And he did kick pretty cleanly on that cabbage patch.

The other week we were discussing Fam attacking balls from the side.  Last night he struggled with that. Not because of Max’s kicking but you asked how do you stop your CBs getting clattered by him - last night you saw the answer Harry or Cowshed gave - you block his run.  Douglas and Johnson obstructed him 90% of the time (that we could see).  

Like Saturday - don’t piss about with it at the back.  If it means a few kicks into touch, so be it.  On a better surface, like ours, I’d expect different but we saw the problems their keeper got into, so I’m happy with Max’s approach.

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4 hours ago, Major Isewater said:

Substitute ‘ great’ for ‘disappointing ‘ and I am with you. 
 

I don’t think we’ve played Famaral to his strengths , whatever they are, and he’s not a natural finisher. 

To his credit he has tried his best but I had hoped for a bit more from our record signing. 
 

 

Top goalscorer last two years - and most likely this. Double figures every season with us. Player of the season last year. You certainly have high standards for anyone to progress beyond 'disappointing' Major!!

I think his fee is something Ashton or Lansdown have to answer to, not the player.

I don't disagree with you that it's not clear what his strengths are, that we don't see to know or play to them if we do, and that he's not a natural. He's no Tammy Abraham.

He's a bit of an enigma: one minute you get sublime skills - the header that set up Wells the other week, that 'disallowed' goal at Blackburn last season. The next he looks like he couldn't control the ball if he had half an hour to do it. One thing I'm pretty sure of is that his strength is definitely not playing on his own, 40 yards ahead of any other red shirt, and us booting the ball high and vaguely his direction. We've done that too often, and we did it at times last night.

He seems - for whatever reason - to look better away from home. He's never the star performer in a big game at Ashton Gate. The games I most remember him from are at places like Blackburn, Norwich, Huddersfield, Birmingham, where he has almost single handedly been difficult for 2 or 3 opposition defenders to manage, and that has given other players (even when we've only got one or two others up in support) far more space than they could reasonably expect. 

I'll look back on his time here with a lot of fondness, certainly not disappointment.

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Pearson has been hitting his targets. Away wins, away win with clean sheet, battling away draw with clean sheet. Next on the agenda is a home win!! If he hits that on Saturday and safety is pretty much guaranteed it will be interesting to see whether he implements any new ideas into the way we play.

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