Top of the League II

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tangfastic
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Top of the League II

Post by tangfastic » Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:42 am

Still top of the league, ffs.

Paul Hurst said “2-0 is a dangerous score”, but that’s three 2-0 wins in a row. I’ll take a 2-0 lead anyday.

The fixture list gave us winnable games to kick off the season. Job done so far.

We all know these sides aren’t going to be up the top end of the table, but a decent start nonetheless. And we all know how we capitulated last season after a good start, so can’t see anyone going over the top yet.

MK Dons next. Another ‘poor side’. But then we get Charlton, Lincoln and Gillingham in October. They should at least provide mid-table or higher standard competition so we can judge better where we’re at.

The most encouraging thing for me so far is the midfield seems settled and we’re passing and moving far quicker forward and and the full backs are getting involved up the field. We have sloppy periods, but good to see the midfielders getting in the box and scoring. A little lightweight in midfield, but I prefer that to being ultra-defensive.

The worry for me is we’ll get caught out by better opposition and then Lambert resorts to more defensive tactics - maybe Skuse comes back into the team to shore things up. Hope not. I hope we stick to this style of play, however the results go from here on.

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Bluemike
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Re: Top of the League II

Post by Bluemike » Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:20 am

Results wise we can't do any better than what we have done, for me over the there 90 minutes we have won them all pretty comfortably while playing much better football than last season.

Yes the stats show Rochdale had what 14 shots ? That shows how misleading stats can be cus I reckon at least Ten of them are lucky to even be considered as shots where as ours were saved, hit the post or cleared off the line, for me the scoreline flattered them.

Three clean sheets with a Nsiala/Wilson pairing at CB and a makeshift RB is incredible really, it augers well we still have KVY, Woolfy, Downes, Jackson, Judge, Skuse etc to come back into contention and while we don't want to change a winning side it's reassuring to know we have so many options.

Of course these teams are not going to be contenders but all Three of them have had decent results against some of the more fancied teams so we must be doing something right, the most pleasing thing for me is there is still so much more to come from us too.

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Andym
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Re: Top of the League II

Post by Andym » Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:52 am

tangfastic wrote:
Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:42 am

The worry for me is we’ll get caught out by better opposition and then Lambert resorts to more defensive tactics - maybe Skuse comes back into the team to shore things up. Hope not. I hope we stick to this style of play, however the results go from here on.
I agree with everything you said There will be times where we get overrun. and hopefully PL will spot it quickly and make the sort of changes you refer to by making early substitutions. But then he needs to start the next match with the free flowing attacking midfield that is working so well.

hallamblue
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Re: Top of the League II

Post by hallamblue » Sun Sep 27, 2020 11:06 am

A major problem for us last season was our total inability to beat ANY team in the top half of the division. So for me personally, the season starts proper, when we have shown we can beat the better sides in this division.

It’s almost a division within a division , and the more consistent team in the “ better half” of that mini league will the one that gets promoted.

Our midfield is streets ahead of any other clubs midfield (IMO), but our defence and to a lesser extent our front line (strikers), are our Achilles heel. We’re not clinical enough in sticking it away even against the lesser side, and it will be critical against the better sides that we do this, and we make repeated, sloppy mistakes at the back. Sort those two areas out and we will get promoted I feel.

tangfastic
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Re: Top of the League II

Post by tangfastic » Sun Sep 27, 2020 2:15 pm

I can’t say I know much about the other teams in the league.

Based on last season, you might look at Posh, Pompey, Sunderland, Fleetwood, Oxford ... along with Hull and Charlton ... as the best teams. But I wouldn’t know how any of these teams have been affected by the salary cap or whatever.

I’ve heard this said before that some teams have been weakened quite a bit whilst the league is likely to be a lot weaker than before. I don’t think we’ve been weakened that much. In fact, I’d say bringing in a genuine LB and a real target man has strengthened us a little or, at least, given better balance to the squad.

Time will tell who are the best teams. For example, Pompey outplayed us last season, but Jacket is a favourite to lose his job, so not sure if they’ll be one of the front-runners.

hallamblue
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Re: Top of the League II

Post by hallamblue » Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:18 pm

I hope you’re right in a fair few of those points tang 👍 Town could do with a big of luck in the game for a change

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Dubai Blue
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Re: Top of the League II

Post by Dubai Blue » Mon Sep 28, 2020 11:10 am

Really happy with progress so far. I'm not worried about the 'better' teams because I'm not sure if there are any. At the moment the kind of football we are playing is well above our level IMO.

What I worry about more is the games against teams with more aggressive players. And I wonder whether this is an area where having no crowds might benefit us. I still can't help feeling that without crowds the game must have less intensity for players and allow them more opportunity to focus on what they are doing as well as executing the plan properly. This must benefit quality players like ours. Does it also reduce the intensity of tackling and being aggressive?

tangfastic
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Re: Top of the League II

Post by tangfastic » Mon Sep 28, 2020 11:41 am

Dubai Blue wrote:
Mon Sep 28, 2020 11:10 am
Really happy with progress so far. I'm not worried about the 'better' teams because I'm not sure if there are any. At the moment the kind of football we are playing is well above our level IMO.

What I worry about more is the games against teams with more aggressive players. And I wonder whether this is an area where having no crowds might benefit us. I still can't help feeling that without crowds the game must have less intensity for players and allow them more opportunity to focus on what they are doing as well as executing the plan properly. This must benefit quality players like ours. Does it also reduce the intensity of tackling and being aggressive?
Agree with that in regards we could benefit from lower-intensity, less physical games due to no-crowds.

Mick Mills did say at HT that the games felt like a training game at times. I’d say many of our players our technically better than most in this league, but probably less physical than most. We got bullied last year often. Bit early to tell, though, as we’re just three games in. I would expect teams in the future to give Dozzell or Bishop some heavy treatment as part of a plan to unsettle us.

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Bluemike
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Re: Top of the League II

Post by Bluemike » Mon Sep 28, 2020 12:19 pm

It's odd the bullying thing because I think I'm right in saying last season we committed more fouls etc than our opponents nearly every game.

tangfastic
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Re: Top of the League II

Post by tangfastic » Mon Sep 28, 2020 1:00 pm

Bluemike wrote:
Mon Sep 28, 2020 12:19 pm
It's odd the bullying thing because I think I'm right in saying last season we committed more fouls etc than our opponents nearly every game.
Giving away free-kicks or picking up cards doesn’t necessarily mean we were physically more powerful than the opposition. I can remember Norwood over- compensating against bigger defenders and giving away free-kicks all the time... can remember Edwards getting banned for too many cards after reckless challenges... Chambers getting sent off for pulling down an opponent (Harrison, I think) after he was over-powered.... and so on.
I think we were forced into these types of fouls because we were physically over-powered quite often - not because we were a particularly physical side.

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rossi
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Re: Top of the League II

Post by rossi » Tue Sep 29, 2020 12:55 pm

tangfastic wrote:
Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:42 am
Still top of the league, ffs.

Paul Hurst said “2-0 is a dangerous score”, but that’s three 2-0 wins in a row. I’ll take a 2-0 lead anyday.

The fixture list gave us winnable games to kick off the season. Job done so far.

We all know these sides aren’t going to be up the top end of the table, but a decent start nonetheless. And we all know how we capitulated last season after a good start, so can’t see anyone going over the top yet.

MK Dons next. Another ‘poor side’. But then we get Charlton, Lincoln and Gillingham in October. They should at least provide mid-table or higher standard competition so we can judge better where we’re at.

The most encouraging thing for me so far is the midfield seems settled and we’re passing and moving far quicker forward and and the full backs are getting involved up the field. We have sloppy periods, but good to see the midfielders getting in the box and scoring. A little lightweight in midfield, but I prefer that to being ultra-defensive.

The worry for me is we’ll get caught out by better opposition and then Lambert resorts to more defensive tactics - maybe Skuse comes back into the team to shore things up. Hope not. I hope we stick to this style of play
, however the results go from here on.
Exactly. As an ever-present member of the team for the last few seasons, Skuse (along with Chambers) has to take a large share of the blame for the failures we have had. As you say, it's nice to see a more attacking midfield - Skuse may be defensive by nature but I think that his inclusion in any team has a negative effect on his team-mates. I, for one, hope he never returns to the first team.

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Bluemike
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Re: Top of the League II

Post by Bluemike » Tue Sep 29, 2020 1:49 pm

I must admit I've never had an issue with Skuse in the side but there is no doubt whatsoever that I am enjoying it far more this season with Dozzell, Nolan, Bishop and Downes. I think he's run his course now.

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Andym
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Re: Top of the League II

Post by Andym » Tue Sep 29, 2020 5:29 pm

Skuse was a decent player. But a typical MM type, just totally defensive. Broke up play well by intercepting or tackling. But never wanted the ball off the defence. And his passing was usually sideways, but more importantly was rarely quick. That's the change we are noticing.

I still would have no problem in Skuse being introduced as a sub when needed, but he shouldn't be a starter. I do agree with Rossi that we would never be a successful attacking force with Skuse in the side. But if our defence is struggling in a match - and I think it well against better sides - I can see changes being made.

hallamblue
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Re: Top of the League II

Post by hallamblue » Tue Sep 29, 2020 7:21 pm

I agree with these comments from various posts here , but I would say the Town side even now lacks any true pace in it . But at least with AD the play can be switched in the blink of an eye and making the hall do the work raster than our players had to be a step in the right direction. But I agree also, that in certain games the solid holding player in front of back four may well be required on occasions. There’s nothing wrong with that , it’s just another option at Lambert’s disposal.

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