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  • tauseef tauseef Apr 2, 2013 07:52 Flag

    Our Form since December

    Every now & then I find BR to be criticised as a mid-table team manager. So I thought to bring you notice our form since December in PL

    ManCity - P16 Pts 34
    Tottenham - P17 Pts 33
    Arsenal - P16 Pts 31
    Chelsea - P16 Pts 29

    By this comparision we can clearly see that we are very near to all these clubs in last 4 months that too with the blips against Villa at home & Saints away. also we could have won Arsenal & Mancity away matches. I think BR has done a good job considering our thin squad. He found Stirling, Suso, Jonjo and turn the fortunes around for the likes of Hendo Downing. Also, Joe was very good at beginning & I am sure he will be at his best in very near future. We also got he likes of DS & Coutinho at a bargain price considering their performance.

    Adding to that, we know our weak point and that is defence. If BR can sort it out this summer with a class CB (2 CB if Skrtl is leaving) and a DM along with a AM &/or striker, We will be in top 3 next season for sure.

    Apart from ManU, we can certainly overpower any other team if we play to our potential. We just need to strengthen our defence and make sure we don't leak so many stupid goals next season like we did this season.


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    • Colyn..100% agree with u we are FAR from the finished item. As u say which players out is becoming a more difficult decision as they are now not so easy to identify, logical as they will see their own jobs suddenly on the line and will up their game towards end of season.Think this is where BR has to really come into his own and do HIS JOB. Its his job to out any malingerers, he must surely know who they are or hes not doing his job. He has daily contact with these players so he should know. I also tend to think there exists an undercurrent of bad attitude and a culture of lazyness that seems to have infected the squad this season and this kind of thing can usually be traced back to 2 or3 players who consistently show such traits...these are the players we need to root out and get rid of before next season kicks off or we will be aware of this same problem again simmering away just under the surface; I think its what has led to so much inconsistency this season.

      • 1 Reply to colin
      • Colin, care to point out who you think those malingerers are? I'm not saying you’re wrong that we don't have some players who it would be better to move on for the sake of the entire squad, but to be honest I have seen an improvement in terms of effort by players this season over the last several seasons.

        I posted this earlier, but I do think, and do agree with Colyn that there has been some coasting by players in recent seasons. For me this started under Rafa in his last couple season with a number of players brought in on wages more based on what they'd done in the past than what they could do for us in the present. It continued and maybe accelerated under Hodgson, and while in a number of cases I think KK tried to address this issue (loaning out Cole for example) I do think it’s fair to say BR has been proactive on this front and called out publically those who he thinks are not putting in total effort.

    • Tau, I agree it has been a season of 2 halves, but I think the real reson for this was due to the comeback of Lucas. No one can deny that he makes the difference and if I can just bang on about KK again he didn't have Lucas for all of last season, so what would that season have been like?
      If we want to look at segments of seasons, then what about KK's return in the 2nd half of that season, by all accounts our form in that 2nd half we would have won the PL !!
      So to be fair in my opinion Lucas is the main factor in our progress and to be honest I don't feel him and Allen should be on the pitch at the same time !

      • 1 Reply to andy w
      • Andy, I don't disagree with you that not having Lucas for extended periods of time has hurt us, but think the loss of a single player should not be a major factor in the sides overall performance over a run of games. For me a more telling reason of why we performed so much less in the first half of the season compared to the second, is the simple fact the team was in transition with a new coach, new ideas, a much younger squad, and a number of players either new to the club and or relatively new to the first team set up.

        Think about it, before this season how many times have the likes of Jones, Wisdom, Allen, Shelvey, Sterling, Borini, or Suso got a run in the first team. Any club trying to integrate 7 new (to club and or first team) faces, is not likely to be operating in top gear from the off. To look at this a different way, excuses have been made for Villa this season because the coach has brought in do many new and young faces to the first team. So if both us and them have basically done the same or very similar things in terms of refreshing the squad, one has to ask why has it worked relatively speaking so much better for us?

        On KK, I personally think he was given a bad rap at the time, and I'm sure the lack of Lucas in the second half of the season did impact the performances at times. But again, not having one player out of 11 available on any given day, should never be the deciding factor. Besides, while I do feel for Kenny, and very much wish he'd been able to personally guide us back to the top, the cold hard facts are that during the second half of last season, based on cumulative results, we performed like a relegation zone club, and while the first half of this season under BR may not have lived up to our high expectations, it was quite a bit better that those fearing the drop to the championship.

    • Tau - I agree with that. The season is a season of two halves. The first was obviously transition and the second half does show some progression. Of course, no reds fan is happy with our position but I really believe that as you say, we get a coupla CBs - and a destroyer in the middle - we really will be looking at top 4 next year.

      • 2 Replies to Loki
      • Loki Tau agree with u both in principle but think there is a definite coaching flaw that MUST be rectified asap...we seem incapable of defending set-pieces particularly corners ? The blame for this must be placed at the door of the manager and coaching staff. Much of the time it still looks like we are employing a zonal marking system...much prefer man marking. We in turn seem to pose no danger whatsoever from the many corners we win; again this is a problem we must rectify asap and again the blame for this must be laid squarely at the door of the manager and coaching staff..from the amount of corners we win we should be scoring far more from them than we are ?

      • I'll disagree with you slightly here by saying the entire season is one of transition and not just the first half. I say this because while we have improved over the 2 halves of the season I still see consistency issues we've suffered in the second half such as the loss to Oldham, the inability to hold leads like against City, or fluffing our lines like we did against Southampton, and I honestly worried we might of in the first half on Sunday.

        I say this not to have a go at the team or BR, but for 2 reasons. First to set expectations, as we are not nearly the finished project BR has been working on, and second because I do think there is still more we can get out of the squad we have before even thinking about needing to add millions of pounds worth of new players.

        That is not to say I don't want or think we don't need reinforcements this summer, but it is to say I think we're extremely close to top 4 form with the squad we have, which is what I think is what tauseef's stats show. Therefore while I know we're all working on our summer wish list, I think we start with replacing with as good or better any player who leaves (Cara is the obvious) keep pace or surpass improvements made by our current direct competitors for top 4 (Spurs, Arsenal, Everton, and Chelsea), adding top quality in a couple key areas, and then building out more quality depth in the squad.