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"Luke Freeman, I thought he was magnificent tonight"


Shtanley

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I don't think me and Cotts agree on everything but this is certainly the most we've ever disagreed. Worst player on the pitch today, do you think he's trying to keep up LF's confidence? I hope we see the LF of last year, BR to play the next few games. 

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I think Freeman has technique that a lot of the others don't which gives him potential and it showed last season but at this level I think he's struggling to use that technique to his advantage, he looks outclassed a lot even though you know he can do what he needs to. I think the biggest issue is in the formation we play he's the focal point of creativity and when he struggles to create so does the team as a whole.

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3 minutes ago, Shtanley said:

I don't think me and Cotts agree on everything but this is certainly the most we've ever disagreed. Worst player on the pitch tonight, do you think he's trying to keep up LF's confidence? I hope we see the LF of last year, BR to play the next few games. 

LF will know himself if he was shit. Doesn't need the manager to tell porkies. 

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3 minutes ago, Shtanley said:

I don't think me and Cotts agree on everything but this is certainly the most we've ever disagreed. Worst player on the pitch tonight, do you think he's trying to keep up LF's confidence? I hope we see the LF of last year, BR to play the next few games. 

Fairly obvious you have issues with Freeman in the same way I do with Pack. In fairness I praised Pack in another post, but it's fairly obvious we're both polarised in our views on both players and therefore could become a little boring to others members. Have to say that I'm right about Pack and you're wrong about Freeman but this is something I've learned to live with.

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If you ignore the back three and keeper, I thought his contribution was one of the better ones today.

I actually felt sorry that often he was up against the best player on the park (Danny Williams) who denied him space, often illegally, without getting pulled up for it.  Oh, to have him in the middle of the park for us!

When he was free he got the ball, used it fairly well, got a few shots in, etc.

I accept you may not agree with my view of today's game, but to say he was the worst player on the pitch is a bit OTT in my opinion.

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6 minutes ago, Davefevs said:

If you ignore the back three and keeper, I thought his contribution was one of the better ones today.

I actually felt sorry that often he was up against the best player on the park (Danny Williams) who denied him space, often illegally, without getting pulled up for it.  Oh, to have him in the middle of the park for us!

When he was free he got the ball, used it fairly well, got a few shots in, etc.

I accept you may not agree with my view of today's game, but to say he was the worst player on the pitch is a bit OTT in my opinion.

Who would you say? I'll add Wilbraham then Smith to the top 3. Probably in that order. 

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Unfortunately I feel this has been a massive problem for us this season. Freeman and I think Pack aswell have pretty crucial roles in our set up. Both I think are capable footballers but for whatever reason it just feels like it doesn't quite come off for them. Korey Smith holds his position well and keeps things pretty simple but that's all his role is. I say all, he does it very well, but it's one of those roles that can go unnoticed. 

Freeman on the other hand has a few tricks and has that quality that makes you feel like he could do something but it's just not working for him this season, like for example one of the corners he took today he did a short Fifa 16 style corner but seemingly forgot to wait for Bennett I think it was to actually run past the defender first! He's been losing the ball frequently and in such an attacking position it's so noticeable.

Pack came through more later on into last season and holds his own but doesn't always deliver the pass he needs, but at least usually it was the right pass he was thinking of doing. This aswell gets him singled out as his delivery is pretty inconsistent.

However I did think today that they were spotting Kodjias movement more and played quite a few simple balls straight between the full back and centre half well only for Kodjia to get caught offside too often.  

 

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Freeman pony. Really! From the where I was he was decent at winning and carrying the ball. He had trouble with a final ball and seems shot shy as well as not getting into positions where he could take a speculative effort, but pony no not really

However we do need someone else in there Somehow to help with much needed experience and know how and find that ball to Codge and a n other

We are short on confidence and need three players minimum, but Freeman is not a scapegoat for an awful closed season nor is Pack or Wilbo or anyone else in our team!

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One problem is his shooting ability or lack of. He rarely hits the target, generally blazes over the bar. He is yet to score at AG for us which in itself is amazing.  Take his chance today at the start. Goes for a gap of a balls width at the near post instead of surely what they are taught of hitting it across the keeper. If nothing else the keeper may save a spill back out. 

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Freeman has many faults in that position:

1) he doesn't play through balls to Kodjia everything is sidesys

2) he doesn't have a decent shot on him, he doesn't generate any power whatsoever

3) the big one - he doesn't get into goal scoring positions EVER. When was the last time he was there to tuck away rebounds or balls across the box enabling him to finish it....it rarely if ever happens.

 

now on the right side cutting in or the left whippig balls in then might be different...at this level this isn't the position for him.

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6 minutes ago, Londoner said:

Freeman has many faults in that position:

1) he doesn't play through balls to Kodjia everything is sidesys

2) he doesn't have a decent shot on him, he doesn't generate any power whatsoever

3) the big one - he doesn't get into goal scoring positions EVER. When was the last time he was there to tuck away rebounds or balls across the box enabling him to finish it....it rarely if ever happens.

 

now on the right side cutting in or the left whippig balls in then might be different...at this level this isn't the position for him.

I think that narrows the play too much. He's a left winger and Elliott a right winger. Go 4-4-2 and tell them both to attack their full backs and ******* go for it.

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He certainly isn't the player he was last year , but he has bags of talent . You can't keep playing someone whose not producing , has to be rested , with bench duties for the foreseeable . Would like to think he will come good again , maybe in a role more suitable to him , but would he be better than others in those positions or would the current tactics allow for it ? 

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59 minutes ago, Shtanley said:

Who would you say? I'll add Wilbraham then Smith to the top 3. Probably in that order. 

Here's my ratings and a bit if blurb. I'm adding 0.5s, because a 5, 6, or 7 can sometimes be difficult to differentiate;

Frank 6 - one good save with feels, a few normal kicks into touch.

Ayling 7 - after an uncertain first 5-10, I thought he was good with and without ball today

Flint 6.5 (almost a 7!) - tidy enough, won good ball in the air.  Negated Pack's aerial need / screen today.

Baker 6.5 - similar to Flint until he got injured (why did he stretch for that ball, when he could have left it to Joe B?)

Moore (sub) 6.5 - good individually at the back, but maybe left Joe a bit exposed in last 20.

Bennett 7 - good at both ends, good delivery, tireless running.  Linking well with Ayling.

Bryan 6 - started on front foot, looked a bit more like old self, but got pushed back more and more as game went on.

Smith 6 - quietest game I've seen him have....wonder if Danny Williams dominance clouded by view of Korey today.

Pack 5.5 (almost a 6) - quietish today.  I'm not a Marlon boo boy, but I think he didn't win much in the air as a screen today.  In fact I'd like to see a Flint coming for more of those long punts, to allow a Maroon to be a bit further forward and engage the opposition quicker.

Freeman 6.5 - buzzed around, almost scored in opening 25 seconds, had a couple of shots blocked.  Picked his pass better today than a month ago.  Did get caught on ball by Williams, but who didn't today.

Wilbs 5.5 - not effective enough today, over 90.  Might have scraped a 6, had he played 65-70!

Kodjia 6.5 - amazing and frustrating in one game....that's what you get with him.

As always, expect some, lots, everyone (!) to disagree, but that's how I saw it.  So quite a few worse ratings than Luke.

....and as you said "pitch" what about Taylor, Vydra, Sa and Ferdinand, they wouldn't have got a 6 for me.

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1 minute ago, Port Said Red said:

To me the biggest problem is that he slows play down when we are breaking. He holds it too long, either to allow defenders to get back or to allow them to close him down so he has to turn and pass back or sideways.

He put Kodjia away 3 times today on the counter.....not clean through, but in behind their last line.

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None, it's 10 if you count those!

Do you really think he's a WB (I think the nickname is pathetic personally)?  He can be frustrating I accept, but he can be brilliant too.  All in the same game.  He gets fans off if their seats like no City player I've seen for a long time.

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@Davefevs

simply referring to city players. Although everyone bar Williams (who is IMO someone who could easily be playing in the prem) wasn't very good. 

 

Fielding - 6: Everything he did was fairly sound, solid distribution made a half decent save and caught one or 2 crosses 

Bennett - 6: Another solid performance from our hopefully permanent WB. Just lacked that final cross which could've given him an assist to complete his game. One great chance when Kodjia was at the near post but he aimed for the far instead. 

Ayling - 7: Really showing us what he's capable of recently. Calm and collective as always and is never fased by bringing the ball forward, made some great tackles and kept going for 90 minutes. 

Flint - 6.5: Fairly bogstandard Flint performance. Won most of his headers and played a few nice long balls

Baker - 7/Moore - 6: Baker was very solid before the injury. Some lovely cushioned headers. Moore was pretty sound but did poorly for their goal. 

Bryan - 6.5: Tried his best down the left and looked lively with some great tackles and the occasional nice link up play. Tired big time towards the end though. 

Smith - 5: One of his least efficient performances I've seen. Williams as I've said could easily be playing prem but I'm sure like many people on here I rate Smith as a very good championship player. I don't remember him breaking up play often and certainly didn't seem to make any decent passes. He also completely overlooked an open Jonathan Kodjia which was incredibly frustrating. 

Pack - 6.5: I think he's been slowly but surely improving this season, saved a goal with a fantastic block first half and broke up play a fair amount. Just needs to improve on that killer through ball. 

Freeman - 4.5: I know I have it in for him. But simply because I don't think he's performing, he works as hard as anyone else granted and he doesn't seem to give up which are 2 wonderful traits but he consistently lost the ball first half and all but disappeared in the 2nd. He won a few 50/50s but as our playmaker he certainly didn't make any play. He's great in open spaces but it's in the final third where he seems to run out of ideas. Had our best chance of the game and hit it tamely into the side netting, also had a few chances to play through JK and each pass was disastrously over hit and awkward for him. 

Wilbraham - 5: 2 or 3 times Wilbraham was one good touch or pass away from a goal/creating a goal. But after this game I think I'm finally of the opinion he shouldn't be starting. His partnership with JK is for some reason not the same and although they occasionally have interplay he's never able to catch him up. Died out of the game after 60 minutes goodness knows who SC was looking at when he said energ levels were great all game. Burns to start over him against Preston. 

Kodjia - 6.5: Classic Kodjia, ever so awkward and exciting against defenders. All this boy needs is a new shiny pair of shooting boots and we have a goal machine. 2nd on his list though is a strike partner that can help him out. Created quite a few chances all you need is someone on his wavelength and he'll be raking in the assists too. Some great runs with the ball it's a shame his great runs without it are almost always overlooked. 

Cotterill - 5.5: A much improved performance when you consider how the home fixture went. Our system was working well we just couldn't quite find the killer ball or the right set piece delivery. However once again I feel that leaving on Wilbraham so late meant the ball was coming straight back and we got more and more tired. Needs to utilise his bench earlier in games and then I think most things will be swell. 

Thoughts?

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@Shtanley we appear to have watched a similar game, so that is good. Can happily agree to have a widely different opinion on Luke.

Re Wilbs - I do wonder whether the season has caught up with him.  3/4 (not three quarters!) games off might be best.  We still need him from time to time.

Re Smith - glad it wasn't just me.  Was really struggling to recall his play today.  First time he's not been one of our top 3 performers in every game.

Re Danny Williams - the best midfielder I've seen this season (twice).  Forget Blackmans 12 goals, Reading would be very ordinary without him.  Even Quinn, who always is influential against us did nowt today in comparison to the man from across the pond. 

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