Are we deluded and blinded

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nicscreamer
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Are we deluded and blinded

Post by nicscreamer » Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:36 am

Ok, first off, despite being asked not to, I am apologising. I blew my top and should have turned the other cheek. Dave takes a load of crap running this site and I added to it, I am not proud and offer my sincere apologies. End of....

Now... My post

I have been having a small facebook chat with some people on TOTT about our squad and our opinions of it. I tended to side with Bluemike in that I thought with our squad depth and budget (limited as it is) we actually have a strong and well balanced squad, with a few gems stuck in for good measure. However, I am now wondering if actually we are being blinded by our support for ITFC, and maybe, just maybe, we have a very average squad that is performing exactly as it should at this level. Thinking about where it matters, who do we have that is actually half decent? I don't think we have a striker that would get into any other starting 11. The midfield has maybe Downes, but really who else? The defence has maybe Woolfie, but who else? So out of our squad, we have a possible 2 players who would make other teams starting 11. Am I being deluded now, or have I seen the light? I am looking for some form of reason we are 8th and falling, when I expected (or just hoped) we would be fighting for 1st.!
Or.. are we just playing this league the wrong way? Should we have bought strong solid tank like players to out muscle the other teams? It seems to have worked for Rotherham.... Help me out here folks and give me some reason.

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Re: Are we deluded and blinded

Post by Ricco » Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:03 am

There's definitely merit in what you're saying, but I think you've swung a bit far to suggest only 2 players could get in to any other team?!

One thought along the same lines that I've had over the past 10 years or so is that perhaps we compare too much from within the club, the players are better, why is the team doing worse. I think part of the answer is the standard of football is getting higher, so even if as a club we were getting a bit stronger, if the league was getting much stronger, we'd still be trending downwards.

As for this squad, it is a good one, I won't say the classic best squad in the league line! But it's certainly comfortably top 3/4.

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Re: Are we deluded and blinded

Post by nicscreamer » Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:09 am

Yeah maybe I have swung too far , its hard not to given the run of results since October. All the leagues are getting better, that's for certain. The championship is now filled with clubs that would easily have been included in Prem .. Fulham, West Brom, Leeds, Forest.. the list goes on. And with that comes the increase in League one quality. I just worry that I expect too much from our players, when maybe they have just found their level.
We absolutely lack a striker of any quality (Jackson occasionally shows glimpses of style, but rarely). If we had a Toney in the team would we be performing better? If Bishop could stay fit, would he make a difference.

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Re: Are we deluded and blinded

Post by Shed on tour » Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:10 am

For me although we have a strong squad on paper, certain players who could be key to our chances are either injury prone (Bishop and Huws) or have under performed for the majority of time (such as Judge).
Also, when you think how poor the majority of this squad performed last season then perhaps we have been guilty in looking through blue tinted glasses in our expectations for this season.

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Re: Are we deluded and blinded

Post by Frosty » Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:13 am

One of the issues is that a few years ago, chambers, Skuse, Huws, Judge were established championship players. But whether age or accumulated injuries has curtailed their careers, only the coaching staff would know.

With the exception of the players you mentioned Nick, we actually only bought L1/L2 players in the past 2 seasons.

Our only real hope is a lucky/cheap transfer coming good or more likely Klug keeps coming up with good academy players.

I don’t think we realised how far off the pace the first names I mentioned would be.

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Re: Are we deluded and blinded

Post by nicscreamer » Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:18 am

And that last sentence highlights it for me.... We didn't realise how far off the pace they would be.

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Re: Are we deluded and blinded

Post by barmy billy » Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:19 am

I think you may well be right with your brawn outmuscles skill suggestion, a la Rotherham. Our imagined superior skilled squad certainly hasn't proved as such, has it.

At the end of the day I think we are where we deserve to be. A very average team sadly still slowly descending. The sooner our owner accepts this and arrests the decline the better. And with a new manager? Not sure.

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Re: Are we deluded and blinded

Post by nicscreamer » Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:24 am

Yeah, I love what PL has done for the "club" unity and the support he has managed to get back from the fans, but I feel, think, maybe even hope, he will depart if/when we don't achieve promotion this year.

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Re: Are we deluded and blinded

Post by nicscreamer » Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:25 am

And we have been outmuscled soooooo many times this year. Our midfield and attack have been very lightweight. I have lost count if the times Keane has lost out on headers to more physical players.

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Re: Are we deluded and blinded

Post by Shed on tour » Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:39 am

nicscreamer wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:25 am
And we have been outmuscled soooooo many times this year. Our midfield and attack have been very lightweight. I have lost count if the times Keane has lost out on headers to more physical players.
I’ve come to the conclusion that Keane is following the new guidelines being brought into primary schools regarding heading the
ball.

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Re: Are we deluded and blinded

Post by nicscreamer » Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:40 am

Shed on tour wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:39 am
nicscreamer wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:25 am
And we have been outmuscled soooooo many times this year. Our midfield and attack have been very lightweight. I have lost count if the times Keane has lost out on headers to more physical players.
I’ve come to the conclusion that Keane is following the new guidelines being brought into primary schools regarding heading the
ball.
:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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Re: Are we deluded and blinded

Post by tangfastic » Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:48 am

Still trying to work it out, but we’ve definitely got a weak under-belly. Play some nice stuff, but as soon as the opposition gives back we seem to fold. We might have one of the best squads on paper, but is it well-balanced and have enough grit and nous about it?

We have so many midfielders but it’s only Downes who offers physicality and fight there. Skuse is a defensive midfielder, but isn’t a gritty, physical midfielder with drive - more of a mopper up. Too many floaty midfielders who flit in and out of the game and get out-muscled. We also don’t have a proper target man. Norwoods only 5 ft 10 and has had to over-compensate against bigger defenders - it’s no wonder he gives so many fouls away. The wide players haven’t offered much - so we’re forced to get width from wing backs.

Whether Lambert stays or leaves, I think we need to shake up the dressing room. Chambers and Skuse are great club men who’ve given a great deal, but I’d really like to see an experienced new skipper brought in. It might be a happy dressing room, but maybe we’re too comfortable and need that extra bit of steel. Not blaming Chambers/ Skuse, but it’s about time we have a change of mentality within the team as we’re far too soft. I actually feel for Chambers as he’s always brought out to offer positive comments to the media during a shitty period and it’s become a bit of a broken record. If we have to rebuild, I’d start with the midfield and a new skipper. A skipper who can kick a few arses and squeeze some players out of their comfort zone.

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Re: Are we deluded and blinded

Post by Frosty » Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:09 am

It’s an interesting thought Ricco that as the championship increases in standard are we now seeing League 1 follow suit. Certainly food for thought.

Obviously I don’t attend the games, but I think the comments after the first dozen games of the season basically implied that this league was of sh*t standard.

I still feel the rotation policy that was employed has ultimately been a big part of the downfall. If you don’t have to fight hard to get a game, or fight hard to retain your place what motivation is that?

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Re: Are we deluded and blinded

Post by nicscreamer » Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:16 am

In which case Dave, the fault lies firmly at PL feet. Im not convinced that hes totally to blame although obviously the buck does stop with him. The players need to stand up and be counted, and as it stands now, I just don't think they are good enough. And that's an issue I need to accept before the seasons out - so that the lack of promotion, or god forbid, a lack of playoff place doesn't hit me too hard!

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Re: Are we deluded and blinded

Post by Frosty » Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:35 am

Funnily enough Nick, this league is so topsy Turvey I am not prepared to write us off getting a playoff place. Let’s face it, finish in 3rd, finish in 6th, it’s just like a super over in cricket, (unless you are New Zealand), everyone is in with chance. The season starts again at that point. :wink:

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Re: Are we deluded and blinded

Post by Shed on tour » Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:49 am

Frosty wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:35 am
Funnily enough Nick, this league is so topsy Turvey I am not prepared to write us off getting a playoff place. Let’s face it, finish in 3rd, finish in 6th, it’s just like a super over in cricket, (unless you are New Zealand), everyone is in with chance. The season starts again at that point. :wink:
Frosty
Just can’t see us turning it around. 4 wins out of our last 22 matches says it all for me and even though on paper we end up the season with a easier run in than other teams I feel by the time we reach those games all hope of reaching the playoffs will be gone.
Hopefully you’re right and I’m wrong.

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Re: Are we deluded and blinded

Post by nicscreamer » Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:03 pm

Frosty wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:35 am
Funnily enough Nick, this league is so topsy Turvey I am not prepared to write us off getting a playoff place. Let’s face it, finish in 3rd, finish in 6th, it’s just like a super over in cricket, (unless you are New Zealand), everyone is in with chance. The season starts again at that point. :wink:
I still get cold sweats about that super over!! Who in their right mind can say that NZ lost when they bowled out more England players for the same score? Its nonsensical and thank god I don't like cricket ;-)

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Re: Are we deluded and blinded

Post by Frosty » Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:06 pm

Shed on tour wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:49 am
Frosty wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:35 am
Funnily enough Nick, this league is so topsy Turvey I am not prepared to write us off getting a playoff place. Let’s face it, finish in 3rd, finish in 6th, it’s just like a super over in cricket, (unless you are New Zealand), everyone is in with chance. The season starts again at that point. :wink:
Frosty
Just can’t see us turning it around. 4 wins out of our last 22 matches says it all for me and even though on paper we end up the season with a easier run in than other teams I feel by the time we reach those games all hope of reaching the playoffs will be gone.
Hopefully you’re right and I’m wrong.
The title of this thread is ‘deluded’ ....... I am just playing my part ok mate! :lol:

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Re: Are we deluded and blinded

Post by Frosty » Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:10 pm

nicscreamer wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:03 pm
Frosty wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 11:35 am
Funnily enough Nick, this league is so topsy Turvey I am not prepared to write us off getting a playoff place. Let’s face it, finish in 3rd, finish in 6th, it’s just like a super over in cricket, (unless you are New Zealand), everyone is in with chance. The season starts again at that point. :wink:
I still get cold sweats about that super over!! Who in their right mind can say that NZ lost when they bowled out more England players for the same score? Its nonsensical and thank god I don't like cricket ;-)
We actually managed to lose two games in succession by super overs versus India’s in the recent T20 series. Just when you think it’s impossible, we step up and find a new way to lose. :wink:

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Re: Are we deluded and blinded

Post by Bluemike » Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:42 pm

I just don't accept that we are deluded or blinded at all and I still maintain we have the strongest squad in this division, any day of the week the likes of Judge, Keane, Huws, Downes, Woolfenden, Bishop, Dozzell, Chambers, Garbutt, Skuse and Holy should be every bit good enough to RIP this division up, add to that the likes of Nolan, Norwood, Jackson and Edward's were the best of what the lower leagues had to offer when we signed them.

There is something fundamentally wrong with our mental attitude for me because parts of games we tear teams apart, only just over a week ago we looked so impressive against Burton, creating chances and scoring goals, I didn't see the rotation policy being a hindrance that day, we carried it on for 44 minutes against Oxford but couldn't find the net, nobody was complaining that much where I was in that performance either, quite the reverse. I read how we have failed to beat any of the top sides and while that is true again it's odd because I saw us rip RIP Sunderland apart at home only for Chambers to gift them a draw, first half at their place we battered them and created a lot of chances, both games against Wycombe we were the better side, at their place Norris messed up to cost us the win and at home one of the famous red ref howlers cheated us of the win. Down at Portsmouth we were every bit as good as them and again Norris f*cked up for me, I think only Rotherham have made us look inferior although had Holy been in goal at their place we would probably have drawn, Peterborough at our place ripped us apart.

So we can blame who we like but for me it's the players for the most part who are at fault, yes Lambert rotated too much but it's not the real issue here at all, nor is it a lack of spending, some of it is down to the inability to perform for 90 minutes and we look shaken when we concede, we have also had a fair bit of bad luck but that can't be used solely as a reason although the four points we were cheated out of would certainly have us in a far better looking position.

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Re: Are we deluded and blinded

Post by rossi » Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:52 pm

Bluemike wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:42 pm
I just don't accept that we are deluded or blinded at all and I still maintain we have the strongest squad in this division, any day of the week the likes of Judge, Keane, Huws, Downes, Woolfenden, Bishop, Dozzell, Chambers, Garbutt, Skuse and Holy should be every bit good enough to RIP this division up, add to that the likes of Nolan, Norwood, Jackson and Edward's were the best of what the lower leagues had to offer when we signed them.

There is something fundamentally wrong with our mental attitude for me because parts of games we tear teams apart, only just over a week ago we looked so impressive against Burton, creating chances and scoring goals, I didn't see the rotation policy being a hindrance that day, we carried it on for 44 minutes against Oxford but couldn't find the net, nobody was complaining that much where I was in that performance either, quite the reverse. I read how we have failed to beat any of the top sides and while that is true again it's odd because I saw us rip RIP Sunderland apart at home only for Chambers to gift them a draw, first half at their place we battered them and created a lot of chances, both games against Wycombe we were the better side, at their place Norris messed up to cost us the win and at home one of the famous red ref howlers cheated us of the win. Down at Portsmouth we were every bit as good as them and again Norris f*cked up for me, I think only Rotherham have made us look inferior although had Holy been in goal at their place we would probably have drawn, Peterborough at our place ripped us apart.

So we can blame who we like but for me it's the players for the most part who are at fault, yes Lambert rotated too much but it's not the real issue here at all, nor is it a lack of spending, some of it is down to the inability to perform for 90 minutes and we look shaken when we concede, we have also had a fair bit of bad luck but that can't be used solely as a reason although the four points we were cheated out of would certainly have us in a far better looking position.
and my take on it remains that we have too large a squad containing similarly average at best players.

We would have done better to offload around 10 of the current squad at the start of the season in order to trim the wage bill, and to have invested that saving on 2 or 3 players of more quality than we already had.

I also don't think it is valid to bleat on about having been cheated out of 4 points - maybe we were, but we are far from being he only team in the league to which that has happened.

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Re: Are we deluded and blinded

Post by AylesburyBlue » Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:02 pm

The squad is good enough to go up, easily.

The issue is lambert:
- Too much rotating early on so no consistency,
- Ridiculous decisions..... Norris after Holy equalled a record?
- No identity, no play style, no obvious formation.
- Focuses too much on the opposition. We’re the top team, they should focus on us.
- Too many favourites.....

He promised so much and delivered so little. Since he took over I have enjoyed the atmosphere in the away end, however I haven’t enjoyed watching the football one bit. At the end of the McCarthy era I hated him.... but at least the players looked like they gave 100% to a takle and we had a formation. Sack Lambert, hope we get a new manager bounce and build for next year...... I actually think longer term we would be better off not going up this year as it would mask massive cracks in the management and squad.

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Re: Are we deluded and blinded

Post by Bluemike » Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:08 pm

rossi wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:52 pm
Bluemike wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:42 pm
I just don't accept that we are deluded or blinded at all and I still maintain we have the strongest squad in this division, any day of the week the likes of Judge, Keane, Huws, Downes, Woolfenden, Bishop, Dozzell, Chambers, Garbutt, Skuse and Holy should be every bit good enough to RIP this division up, add to that the likes of Nolan, Norwood, Jackson and Edward's were the best of what the lower leagues had to offer when we signed them.

There is something fundamentally wrong with our mental attitude for me because parts of games we tear teams apart, only just over a week ago we looked so impressive against Burton, creating chances and scoring goals, I didn't see the rotation policy being a hindrance that day, we carried it on for 44 minutes against Oxford but couldn't find the net, nobody was complaining that much where I was in that performance either, quite the reverse. I read how we have failed to beat any of the top sides and while that is true again it's odd because I saw us rip RIP Sunderland apart at home only for Chambers to gift them a draw, first half at their place we battered them and created a lot of chances, both games against Wycombe we were the better side, at their place Norris messed up to cost us the win and at home one of the famous red ref howlers cheated us of the win. Down at Portsmouth we were every bit as good as them and again Norris f*cked up for me, I think only Rotherham have made us look inferior although had Holy been in goal at their place we would probably have drawn, Peterborough at our place ripped us apart.

So we can blame who we like but for me it's the players for the most part who are at fault, yes Lambert rotated too much but it's not the real issue here at all, nor is it a lack of spending, some of it is down to the inability to perform for 90 minutes and we look shaken when we concede, we have also had a fair bit of bad luck but that can't be used solely as a reason although the four points we were cheated out of would certainly have us in a far better looking position.
and my take on it remains that we have too large a squad containing similarly average at best players.

We would have done better to offload around 10 of the current squad at the start of the season in order to trim the wage bill, and to have invested that saving on 2 or 3 players of more quality than we already had.

I also don't think it is valid to bleat on about having been cheated out of 4 points - maybe we were, but we are far from being he only team in the league to which that has happened.
I think luck evens itself out, I'm not so sure being cheated does.

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Re: Are we deluded and blinded

Post by number 9 » Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:28 pm

Very good thread, it’s been enjoyable to read. Baffling that we’ve dominated periods of games, and yet we’re dropping like a safe thrown off a high rise. I guess another reason for our demise could be team cohesion. Yes I know we all hate the ‘gel’ word, but the squad has been carved up since Hurst’s debacle. Lambert hasn’t really had a chance to rebuild the squad as he’d like to I’m sure. If we’re at least showing signs of creative football that is pleasing on the eye maybe we’re still developing. Maybe we do need more time to be Top 2 contenders. As a few have pointed out, we’re still weak in areas and we’re still probably in need of a few ‘different’ style players. I hate to say it, but if we don’t get promoted maybe Whoever the manager is can trim the squad and add players who can compete at this level. The more I think about it, I think Lambert should at least be given the opportunity to tweak the squad and give it another go next year. He really hasn’t had a lot of time or financial backing to put together a Top 2 contender. We were in survival mode when he replaced Hurst, and he really only had the summer to rebuild. Maybe that’s why he has used the rotation approach...he may still not know who is starting 11 are.

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Re: Are we deluded and blinded

Post by mugen1 » Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:30 pm

Ricco wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:03 am
As for this squad, it is a good one, I won't say the classic best squad in the league line! But it's certainly comfortably top 3/4.
The league table would argue otherwise.

I'm tired of hearing how we have the best squad in the league or words to that effect.

How often do we get out worked, out muscled, out passed etc? Too often imho. There is clearly something not quite right with our club. We're being told how well players perform in training etc yet as soon as they cross that white line, if we are to believe what we are told, it all goes out of the window. My question is why? The players themselves? The training isn't happening quite how we are led to believe? The coaching staff aren't getting the best out of the players?
I don't know the answers, but it makes for sad viewing.

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Re: Are we deluded and blinded

Post by nicscreamer » Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:31 pm

Wow this has thrown up so many different ideas around what the issue is.... Obviously its not simple, it never was going to be, but its amazing that we all seem to conclude either...

1. Its the squad not performing to potential
2. Its the squad being too big
3. Its the squad being not good enough
4. Its PL rotation
5. Its PL being a poor manager of a good squad
6. Its a mental attitude that the players/team have wrong
7. Its the lack of strikers.

I must admit I honestly thought we would do well this year, and maybe given the shock of relegation, and any number of the above, we are actually doing exactly as we should? Either way, its going to be a very "interesting" if not entertaining next few weeks.

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Re: Are we deluded and blinded

Post by MasseyFerguson » Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:59 pm

PL has had three transfer windows to shape the squad the way he'd like. I get the whole financial restrictions thing but it is still wrong, in my opinion, to suggest that he hasn't had time.

I think this squad is, on paper, easily capable of automatic promotion from this league. A manager like Warnock or Hughton or, speak it quietly, McCarthy would have this squad winning this league and finishing comfortably mid table in the championship next season.

For me, and I'm repeating my fears from when he was appointed, PL just does not seem to be a manager whose teams eke out important results when the pressure is on. There is a fragility against half decent sides that is down to PL's lack of ability to instil fight into his teams.

I really thought we'd go up this season because I thought he would be a good manager at this level. I fear I was wrong.

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Re: Are we deluded and blinded

Post by Ricco » Tue Feb 25, 2020 3:33 pm

mugen1 wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:30 pm
I'm tired of hearing how we have the best squad in the league or words to that effect.
It wasn't words to that effect and saying top 3/4 is actually a fairly objective opinion held by many exterior to the club. Many good squads over the years have failed and many poor or average have done remarkable things.

As you've alluded to yourself, there could be many reasons for underachieving, most of which have been discussed in this thread.
MasseyFerguson wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:59 pm
PL has had three transfer windows to shape the squad the way he'd like. I get the whole financial restrictions thing but it is still wrong, in my opinion, to suggest that he hasn't had time.
It's true when relegated you shouldn't have to spend to strengthen like if you weren't, but I believe I'm right in saying that money has only passed hands on one of PL's transfers (KVY), the rest were loans or freebies.

Now if there is a fundamental mentality problem within the club, that can take time to remedy, if instead the main problem is the blinking owner, it doesn't matter who is at the helm of the team, it can be a near impossible task to get success, even more so in the long term.

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Re: Are we deluded and blinded

Post by number 9 » Tue Feb 25, 2020 4:47 pm

It's true when relegated you shouldn't have to spend to strengthen like if you weren't, but I believe I'm right in saying that money has only passed hands on one of PL's transfers (KVY), the rest were loans or freebies.

Now if there is a fundamental mentality problem within the club, that can take time to remedy, if instead the main problem is the blinking owner, it doesn't matter who is at the helm of the team, it can be a near impossible task to get success, even more so in the long term.
I agree with you Ricco. I think it's a bit unfair to say Lambert has had 3 transfer windows to fix the squad. I think he's really only had 1 transfer window where he received any funds at all. To be honest, I'm really not a huge Lambert supporter; I just don't think there's any manager right now who can provide a quick fix. I've always wanted Warnock, but I doubt he has the patience to deal with the Frugal One.

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Re: Are we deluded and blinded

Post by Bluemike » Tue Feb 25, 2020 4:54 pm

What I do know is this, change manager again and the whole sorry scenario starts again, and then again, and then again etc etc, he must be given time, this season isn't over yet but he needs next season too...... at the very least.

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