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One good half and then self destruct engaged


Olé

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Just back... but only to the station in Preston.

We're a poor team with very little understanding or instinctive forward movement amongst the players, nothing is natural or easy for us... but with that all said, today no complaints with the manager, first half we actually approached the game in a way we haven't for weeks and in a way I've been crying out for: players trying to get forward, being bright, trying to set the tone for the game, using the width and getting their heads up and looking to move forward. Wow.

We were the better side in the first half, we got O'Dowda into space and played a few neat bits and pieces. The problem was up front we didn't have enough, what we gained in width we lost in threat in the middle. Duric struggled although had by far our best chance of the game, which came from an early attacking cross by Vyner, the sort of thing we've just not been doing.

I fully expect some to come on and pan Bobby Reid, he gave the ball away very cheaply several times, but you know what, personally I think he is exactly what we've been missing, a risk reward player who tries creative things - he nearly threaded the needle several times and to be honest we desperately needed to get players clear as Duric was easy to mark out of it in the middle.

In the end we conceded before half time against the run of play and as so often it changed the entire tone of the game. We had the ball in the left back position in space and passing it about Bobby gives it away, Wright checks out of a tackle, and Burnley are left with an easy finish. It was a typical City self destruct and gave the home side a scarcely deserved lead and our confidence started to ebb away from the second half onwards.

Second half we were nowhere near as good and though LJ tried to change it positively with the two strikers and we occasionally got players wide and crossed into the box, the balls in were repeatedly poorly judged, too far too short behind the player or right to the keeper. But unlike the first half, Burnley really controlled the game as our midfield ran out of juice.

But Burnley actually wasted a lot of attacking moves of their own, and it says it all about our capacity for self destruct that there second came from our free kick into their box, Brownhill tests the keeper well, and despite having most of our team in and around the box, we fail to win the rebound and the break quickly behind us.

Overall not a game we deserved to win but it was positive to see the first half which was a lot closer to the way I'd like to see us play, although there is still a criminal lack of movement all over the pitch, and I have this horrible feeling all the time that we're a man short as there are so few options, it's depressing to have so few attacking outlets and ultimately today the extra width and purpose is all for nothing if there is no one pushing up into the box to actually give us people to aim it.

Final word for Andre Marriner the ref, by no means terrible but why is it whenever you get a Premiership ref in a match with a Premiership team, they feel their job is to wrap the team they know in cotton wool. For the first hour at least he would give fouls or advantages to them if we so much as looked at an opponent but I saw our players repeatedly get pulled back (Flint twice blatantly) and nothing was given. Some mysterious decisions at times.

Geifer 5 hmm looks calamitous at times
Vyner 6 thought he did well in both phases for an hour but got found out in the second half as players lost him and got behind him
Goldbourne 6 started well but disappeared by the second half and didn't seem to know his role
Flint 7 warrior
Wright 5 bad in patches
Hegeler 7 still looks a class act but didn't have much to work with
Brownhill 6 getting better all the time, really puts a shift in
Reid 6 mistakes but that goes with the territory, so much brighter and the only person who was going to create anything
Bryan 5 a couple of bright runs towards the end but makes the wrong decision or gives the ball away far far too often
O'Dowda 7 best game for a while 
Duric 5 didnt win much and could have done more with our best chance of the game

Tammy 7 sharper and smarter than any of our other players 
Engvall 6 good movement and drifts into space but his final ball was lightweight 
Pack 6 not much to do

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Great post as ever @Olé the only thing I didn't see the same as you was Tammy. I just thought he looked even more isolated and frustrated today. whether that was down to him making the runs and others not seeing, so as you say him being sharp,  or as I'm seeing it he not at the races I'm not sure. We just looked like we lacked quality going forward whoever was on.

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Is it better to have a player who looks like he might make things happen & gives away a goal or one who does neither?

So long as Reid continues to do the former I'm afraid he's increasingly not becoming an LJ player... although I'm not sure that'll matter for too much longer. 

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Thank you, @Olé - that has actually lifted my mood somewhat, as never expected a result, but hoped for a half decent performance, which if you take 'half' literally seems exactly what happened.

Chuckled a little when a cross led to what sounded like our clearest chance; knew it would raise an eyebrow.

My only concern is we'll line up completely differently and with very different players against Wednesday, and whatever improvements you saw will be washed away.

Thanks for the report.

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The problem with the risks that Reid took today is that they were too close to our own area. No problem with him taking risks when trying to create something in the opposition's half, but three times today he chose the wrong option in our own half, and we were lucky that it only cost us one goal. 

The main frustration for me today was the lack of ambition in the second half. Joe Bryan put a great ball into the box early in the second half and there wasn't a single City player busting a gut to get in the penalty area. And the substitutions should have been made earlier - the team that left the field at half time hadn't played badly, but never really carried any goal threat, and I thought our only realistic prospect of an equaliser was from the bench. I didn't expect us to win today but that second half was dispiriting. 

Agree with most of the OP's ratings but - 'head above the parapet' time - did Hegeler really deserve a 7? He dawdled a bit too much today, although admittedly Burnley were quick to close him down. 

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@Olé reference Reid I hear what you are saying and to a point a agree, but sadly the mistakes are unprofessional and again it comes down to game management, that close to half time is not the time to give away a sloppy ball in a dangerous area, unless he cuts out these errors he will find himself in and out of the team/squad, it is not what we need right now.

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21 minutes ago, OddBallJim said:

Keeper - 5 - Calamitous.

This does not make for good reading, what gave you this impression @Olé

Certainly concerning considering this guy is meant to now be our undisputed number one.

Just joined a team where he needs time to settle and get to know the players in front of him - build that trust and confidence in each other. Against a premiership side and away from home to add to the mix. Na, I wouldn't be worried.

Nothing to be concerned about yet. Give it more time to judge his ability.

Interesting though some people's reaction tonight at the result given our current form (not suggesting you - just an observation in general). Not sure anyone was counting on us beating this very good, well drilled opposition before kick off, but some of the reactions suggest otherwise - just an excuse for people to add the the hysteria maybe. 

Interesting to see that the constructive match report above which reads as of we played positively at times is pretty much glossed over in comparison to the threads criticising again. Appreciate people are perhaps too far gone now to ever support LJ even if he does turn this around. 

 

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17 minutes ago, Esmond Million's Bung said:

@Olé reference Reid I hear what you are saying and to a point a agree, but sadly the mistakes are unprofessional and again it comes down to game management, that close to half time is not the time to give away a sloppy ball in a dangerous area, unless he cuts out these errors he will find himself in and out of the team/squad, it is not what we need right now.

I need to see the first goal again mate, my sense at the time was Reid had players between him and the box as cover, it wasn't a dangerous position until Wright decided to pull out of tackling the player and the red sea literally parted.

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1 minute ago, Olé said:

I need to see the first goal again mate, my sense at the time was Reid had players between him and the box as cover, it wasn't a dangerous position until Wright decided to pull out of tackling the player and the red sea literally parted.

That's how goals are conceded Ole, i'm sure Reid's thought process so close to half time wasn't 'i'll try this pass if it doesn't work out there's plenty of cover", our season has been punctuated with one mistake and quickly exacerbated by a whole raft of following mistakes and goal conceded.

 

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4 minutes ago, Olé said:

I need to see the first goal again mate, my sense at the time was Reid had players between him and the box as cover, it wasn't a dangerous position until Wright decided to pull out of tackling the player and the red sea literally parted.

The move broke down, because Golbourne checked himself from passing back to the keeper mate. Played it short to Reid, who turned into pressure, when he should have played an angled ball to wright. Wright got nut megged. Poor by Reid and Golbourne AGAIN. We were doing ok until individual mistakes AGAIN. Duric's header looked destined for the net...did well getting between the two defenders and getting some power on it.

Second goal was just a brilliant break and finish by them.

Reid really needs to get his foot in sometimes...

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11 minutes ago, Olé said:

I need to see the first goal again mate, my sense at the time was Reid had players between him and the box as cover, it wasn't a dangerous position until Wright decided to pull out of tackling the player and the red sea literally parted.

Watched it a couple of times and both Reid and Golbourne could have cleared but we over play and Wright then gets megged but so sloppy.  Not sure if we say their 2nd was brilliant or questionable keeping.

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28 minutes ago, spudski said:

The move broke down, because Golbourne checked himself from passing back to the keeper mate. Played it short to Reid, who turned into pressure, when he should have played an angled ball to wright. Wright got nut megged. Poor by Reid and Golbourne AGAIN. We were doing ok until individual mistakes AGAIN. Duric's header looked destined for the net...did well getting between the two defenders and getting some power on it.

Second goal was just a brilliant break and finish by them.

Reid really needs to get his foot in sometimes...

The first goal was a snapshot of what has gone wrong for most of this dire run, under no pressure 2 players conspire to make bad choices, a third player is beaten all to easily and thank you very much, it is all to easy, predictable and inevitable and there will be no room for this on Tuesday.

The short clip showed 2 set pieces that we defended appallingly, the 2nd goal was a great goal of course it was, under normal circumstances I would have said again another goal that is a snapshot of our season so far, getting caught out far too easily, a neat bit of interplay and our midfield to a man struggling to get back and no right back in sight, I understand the circumstances to a degree but again it happens far to often to us to be coincidence, again there is no room for this on Tuesday.

LJ said it right a couple of weeks ago teams do not have to do too much to beat us.

 

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Good report, agree with most of it.

We played alright, but the mistake that led to the first goal wasn't the first time we'd given the ball away in dangerous areas and if you keep doing it eventually you're going to get punished. That's what's killing us at the moment.

I don't think there's anything wrong with this team that's drastically beyond repair, but you can tell that some players are very short of confidence and also I'd suggest confused and unsure about what they're supposed to be doing.

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4 minutes ago, Northern Red said:

Good report, agree with most of it.

We played alright, but the mistake that led to the first goal wasn't the first time we'd given the ball away in dangerous areas and if you keep doing it eventually you're going to get punished. That's what's killing us at the moment.

I don't think there's anything wrong with this team that's drastically beyond repair, but you can tell that some players are very short of confidence and also I'd suggest confused and unsure about what they're supposed to be doing.

and is the reason that Reid and Golbourne keep getting banished from the squad IMO, both have got to grow up and quickly.

 

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Bobby does need to have a look at himself for that first goal.
It was a half-hearted aimless ball he attempted down the line, with an opponent stood directly in front of him.  It's not difficult to understand that if you kick the ball directly at another player, it'll rebound, and you can't be sure where.  I don't have any beef with him attempting that pass down the line at that stage of the game, but at least TRY to pass it around your opponent, not kick it straight at him.  Absolute schoolboy stuff.  In fact, it's ******* dreadful and makes me angry.
What happens before with Golbourne, or after with Wright, bears no relation.  Bobby had time on the ball, was able to turn and look upfield.  He chose to kick the ball straight at his opponent who was standing 3 yards away from him.

Then the 2nd goal is down to the desire to defend in some of our players.  When they start to break away from the edge of their own box, Tammy & Brownhill both sprint back as quickly as they can.  However, once Defour passes the ball to his right, Brownhill gives up and starts jogging.  Tammy gets drawn toward the ball.  Because Brownhill has decided he can't be arsed to get goalside of Defour, there is then an easy pass back to Defour, who in all fairness, goes on to score a worldie.
All Brownhill had to do was keep tracking back - he'd done it for 40 yards, but decided he'd stop - why?  Get goal bloody side man.
This has been a major problem of ours.  We play to a certain point, close to certain distance, or move to a certain position and then just give up, maybe in the assumption that someone else will cover.  Maybe Brownhill assumed that Tammy would continue tracking Defour.  But he shouldn't make that assumption - he should get the **** back goalside and attempt to defend.

2 very different errors for the 2 goals today, but both very easy to cut out, and both very symptomatic of our problems.

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3 hours ago, Olé said:

I need to see the first goal again mate, my sense at the time was Reid had players between him and the box as cover, it wasn't a dangerous position until Wright decided to pull out of tackling the player and the red sea literally parted.

Not trying to stick up for Bobby or to knock another, but Golbourne had the opportunity to "wellie" the ball upfield instead of the little short ball that led to the errors by the others, Reid and Wright. Why don't we just do the simple things?

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