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Offline Aussie Baggie

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What have we lacked this season?
« on: February 11, 2019, 03:24:54 AM »
Even though we are sitting in fourth place and not too far now from the top teams, it is clear from the discussion on here that we've underperformed.

What specific areas have we underperformed in though?

Is it the quality of our players and their inability to play to a high standard for some games?

Is it soley the Manager and his lack of experience and tactical nous?

Is it the fact we haven't managed to buy a lot of players rather than bringing them in on loan?

What areas do you think we have lacked in this season?

Offline TheJacko2000

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Re: What have we lacked this season?
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2019, 03:36:55 AM »
Even though we are sitting in fourth place and not too far now from the top teams, it is clear from the discussion on here that we've underperformed.

What specific areas have we underperformed in though?

Is it the quality of our players and their inability to play to a high standard for some games?

Is it soley the Manager and his lack of experience and tactical nous?

Is it the fact we haven't managed to buy a lot of players rather than bringing them in on loan?

What areas do you think we have lacked in this season?


We've tried to 'beat the press' passing it around our keeper and back 3 who are clearly not fit for this purpose. In midfield we've been too defensive re personnel. Several times fielding 3 central defensive midfielders. (This is one of the reasons I'm not bothered when Brunt plays CM as he's invariably got a quality forward pass in his locker). Up front we're carrying Jay Rodriguez to a certain extent, his goal return hides how poor his general play is and his continued inclusion marginalises our best striker. It's Long/Odemwingie all over again. It's a testament to Gayle that he is still scoring as heavily as he is despite feeding off scraps.


That said we're not far away and I still think we'll be top 2 with a good chance of winning the title. With Phillips back we can ditch Livermore, with Harper as the perfect understudy to come into midfield if Johansen or Phillips are missing. I'd also leave Jay on the bench with Murphy wide left and Montero wide right though I doubt this will happen.
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Offline seteefeet

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Re: What have we lacked this season?
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2019, 08:49:38 AM »
I don't think we've underperformed at all, I expected us to struggle to acclimatise to the division, a bit like Stoke and Swansea. I also think our squad is over-rated by many, in that, yes it's a good Championship squad but is certainly not Prem quality or head and shoulders above all others..
The fact that we are stable in the top 6 and within touching distance of the top 2 has exceeded my expectations.

I do agree with Jacko that we have been too defensive at times in CM and the back 3 was a mess once it had been "found out". Moore has reacted to both of these things though and it has consolidated our position. To go from 352 to 433 and have the impact on goals conceded that it has, does not suggest a lack of tactical nous to me.

In game management has been the biggest concern for me, which I think is down to inexperience and needs to improve.

All in all though, I am happy with how we are doing and hope that the new signings can kick us on into the top 2. If not, I would fear no-one in the play offs, not even the dark one up at Boro or the messiah down the Villa.

Offline darbolina

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Re: What have we lacked this season?
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2019, 09:03:14 AM »
Consistency and solidity. They're the two things that get you promoted above goals which we've had. I know it's a balance between creating and defending (christ we saw that enough under Puilis!) but we will have to be more solid when teams break against us and defending set pieces if we're to have any chance of going up automatically.

Offline Hull Baggie

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Re: What have we lacked this season?
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2019, 09:13:42 AM »
I agree with aspects of what both Jacko and Setteefeet have said.

The 3 at the back was not working and went on for too long (at least 2 games too long) before we changed it, the defence looks more comfortable and a better unit as a 4.

 We have lacked a box to box midfielder, maybe Johansen will be that player but I disagree with Jacko re Brunt I think he's been the weak link in there all season and hardly ever plays a decent forward pass it's mostly sideways and backwards, also his dead balls have been mostly poor and he hasn't got a tackle in him. A midfield 3 of Livermore, Philips and Johansen is probably our best or even Barry, Livermore and Johansen. I would put Field and Harper in front of Brunt for a cm role.

Phillips should move into a more forward position alongside Rodriguez and Gayle with Murphy and Montero coming off the bench.
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Offline Aussie Baggie

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Re: What have we lacked this season?
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2019, 09:25:10 AM »
Thanks guys, great posts!

Would love to hear some more opinions. :)

Offline Backofthenet

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Re: What have we lacked this season?
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2019, 09:40:22 AM »
I think if anything it's defensive quality that has been found wanting. We have conceded quite a few sloppy goals which have cost us and it was very gratifying to see us produce a clean sheet on Saturday having scored early on. At the start we were scoring goals for fun but that more than likely will not continue so we have to be solid and accept that there will be a lot of times when 1-0 would do. So more discipline at the back a bit more solidity in midfield linked with creativity would be my answer.

Offline BoingFlyer

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Re: What have we lacked this season?
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2019, 10:08:28 AM »

Armchair managers who know there arse from their elbow. :P
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Offline baggiejohn

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Re: What have we lacked this season?
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2019, 10:47:36 AM »
I think if anything it's defensive quality that has been found wanting. We have conceded quite a few sloppy goals which have cost us and it was very gratifying to see us produce a clean sheet on Saturday having scored early on. At the start we were scoring goals for fun but that more than likely will not continue so we have to be solid and accept that there will be a lot of times when 1-0 would do. So more discipline at the back a bit more solidity in midfield linked with creativity would be my answer.

I agree that it's sloppiness at the back that has been more of an issue than tactical naivety.

I would also suggest that the switch from a back 3 to a back 4 has also had an impact on our ability to create & score goals, as the two wing backs are having to spend more time in defensive roles.
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Offline OldburyWBA

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Re: What have we lacked this season?
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2019, 11:09:32 AM »
We lack another striker but thats not reserved for this season as we've needed another for a couple of years, we've also messed around too much in the middle of the pitch putting Brunt there when its obvious to anyone he cannot play there, can't tackle, can't pass as well as he does out wide and is just filling a gap, now the likes of Field and Harper have proved they are up to this level and the inclusion of Johansen hopefully thats the end of that square peg.

Defensively we're sorted at the moment so lets hope we keep the formation we have and not go back to the 3 which didn't work especially with the players we have.

We do lack someone on the bench to guide Darren along, for me Jones is a number 2 only and despite being around Roberto Martinez for many years doesn't have that experience in the hot seat which I feel Darren needs at times. Even Stoke have Paul Hart with Nathan Jones in the background and Solskjaer depsite doing well at United has said he speaks to Fergie regularly, get someone who's been there and done it as a number one to advise Darren when he needs it (not to butt in when he's not wanted).
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Offline 17GD

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Re: What have we lacked this season?
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2019, 11:19:08 AM »
There isn't too much wrong. We're top scorers, only failed to score in 3 games and we arguably have the best squad in the league.

We look like a team very much in transition, but that's a good thing because for about 5 years we've all been crying out for big changes.

I think ultimately last season Wolves played attractive football and won matches. That doesn't usually happen in the Championship. If we compare ourselves to them then we're going to be disappointed.

Offline SmethDan

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Re: What have we lacked this season?
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2019, 12:32:13 PM »
Even though we are sitting in fourth place and not too far now from the top teams, it is clear from the discussion on here that we've underperformed.

What specific areas have we underperformed in though?

Is it the quality of our players and their inability to play to a high standard for some games?

Is it soley the Manager and his lack of experience and tactical nous?

Is it the fact we haven't managed to buy a lot of players rather than bringing them in on loan?

What areas do you think we have lacked in this season?

In many instances I feel there's been a huge under performance on football forums, Facefk and Tw@tter as evidenced by goggle eyed, arms in the air, foaming at the mouth drama queen over reactions leading to an excess of nappy shitting and bed wetting when things don't go 'our' way as they do on Football Manager and FIFA.

Other than that I think we've been doing OK overall, thanks for asking  ;D .
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Offline Albionic

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Re: What have we lacked this season?
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2019, 12:45:19 PM »
Ruthlessness, DM is very loyal to his players, sometimes to his detriment, whilst I do think the loyalty is admirable, there is a case for saying its being over cooked, fine margins though.
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Offline KN22

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Re: What have we lacked this season?
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2019, 12:55:43 PM »
I don't think we have under performed at all. This is a highly competitive division and we came down as a club in disarray and a team who had been managed for so long by Pulis they really only knew one way to play. Darren has transformed the playing style and we are enjoyable to watch whilst also carrying a potent threat as we attack. The 3 at the back was an error and was carried on for too long. The now regular 4-3-3 however works very well. Like many others I feel that the return of Phillips sooner rather than later will be key to our hopes of automatic promotion. For me he would play up top alongside Gayle and Jay. Defensively we now look stronger than we have all season and have, I truly believe, the best back 4 in this division.

Although things can always be better, I for one am pleased with the season so far.

Offline wba_1996

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Re: What have we lacked this season?
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2019, 01:02:29 PM »
At first it was the 3 at the back and Brunt at centre mid, with the insistence on playing out under pressure. Bartley was never going to be a ball playing centre back and Dawson and Hegazi didn't look comfortable, Johnstone isn't the type of keeper to play that way either as his distribution is a weakness. Brunt just cannot play centre mid, I've been a fan of his but he's honestly woeful virtually every time he plays there. So we started the season with our two most expensive summer signings, the best two centre backs in the league, and our club captain looking completely inept in the system we were playing.

Moore/Jones were too slow to change the above, and we ended up with the blessing of Brunt and Bartley getting injured which forced the switch. Since then, the issue has been solely Moore's in game management. Yes the team selections have been iffy at times and since Barnes was recalled (+ Phillips injury) HRK has been given too much game time, but the glaring weakness was the in game management. I've been saying it for months, and it's cost us quite a few points in that time. I think Darren got it spot on against Stoke though, for the first time in a long while, subs were what we needed at the right times. This has given me some hope that he'll improve in that aspect, especially because he has a stronger bench now and when Phillips is back we're at full strength.

Tuesday will be the acid test though, we've thrown games away at home recently. Another two game week so we'll need fresh legs early in the second half, especially in that midfield 3. If he gets the subs right I'll be much more confident for the run in.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 01:05:03 PM by wba_1996 »

Offline FallOutBoy

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Re: What have we lacked this season?
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2019, 01:10:38 PM »
I don't think we have under-performed - for much of this season the squad has been much worse than people have said, and last summer I for one was worried about doing a Wolves / Sunderland and being in that much of a mess that we went straight through into league one.

That being said, I think talk has tended toward the negative because the problems that we have had have been obvious, and have been allowed to go one for too long before Moore and his staff have sorted them out.

Three at the back? Took an injury to break that up. The Livermore-Brunt partnership in midfield was far too pedestrian, yet it was only injury that saw that bought to an end. Not owning our best players? Still the case, but we're no longer as dependent on 1 player as we were with Barnes.

It took us ages to start keeping clean sheets on any regular basis, and even now we persist in playing every goal kick short and playing out from the back, when teams have long since cottoned on and put us under pressure straight away.

If there is a sense we've under-performed, it's only because these problems haven't been rectified once they became obvious.

Offline boinging_along

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Re: What have we lacked this season?
« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2019, 05:21:50 PM »
I don't think underperformed is the right word.  I mean, we're doing well, a lot of teams in this division would swap places - it's just that annoyance there that we could *easily* be doing better.

DM took too long to change things tactically at the start of the season and his game management has cost us quite a few points as well as "play it out from the back".  It's not even like it has been hindsight, we've been crying out for things like "no Brunt in CM", and it's taking us sooooooooooo long to learn our lessons.  How many times have we been caught out by a short corner?

Offline Pureade1

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Re: What have we lacked this season?
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2019, 05:24:50 PM »
My main concern isnt actually where we lack on the pitch or even in the dugout as i believe both are doing ok with the tools they have.

My big concern is an owner with no real interest in the club and therefore where we go if we dont go up. Looking at it we will barely have a first team if we fail to get promoted and despite what others may think i genuinly dont think he will put his hand in his pocket -

Keepers
Johnstone will stay as nobody else will want him at a higher level, myhill will go, bond should stay but will he be content as a number two keeper? My money says yes so goalkeepers 2 out of 3 here next season.

Defenders
Dawson, gibbs and possibly hegazi from the back line will be sold, tosin and holgate are on loan whilst i dont expect to see nyom again. Mears out of contract. Potentially and in my opinion probably leaving us with Bartley and townsend as the only two defenders with first team experience which scares the hell out of me. 2 maybe 3 defenders out of 9 currently on the books.

Midfielders
Barry out of contract, brunt out of contract, mozza out of contract with an option to stay. Field and harper should stay. montero, murphy, johanson all on loan. Livermore will go i suspect, phillips will go, hoolahan out of contract, burke already dont want to come back and i doubt he will. Leaves us with Field and Harper and probably Mozza to keep the physio busy and brunt with another years extension. 3/12 midfielders i would say will be here next season plus mozza to keep the treatment room on their toes.

Attackers
Gayle on loan and wont be able to afford him, rondon wants to stay up north, jrod will be off. Maybe a deal might be done for Gayle to stay but i dont see it. HRK will stay due to the sex tape he must have of big dave that keeps getting him in the side. 1/4 attackers.

That is my worry this season is that IF we fail we could well be in a lot of trouble next season.

Hope i am proved completely wrong or even better than big dave gets us up.

Offline boinging_along

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Re: What have we lacked this season?
« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2019, 05:30:29 PM »
Agree with all of that.  Regardless of what happens this season we are going to need a huge overhaul of the squad. 

If we don't get promoted then I think your comments are pretty accurate.

If we do get promoted then we've still got the loans, out of contracts, players not up to scratch to shift out.

All in all, if we are going to rebuild the squad next year I'd rather do it on Prem money even if it means we come straight back down.  Better than doing it on a shoe string in this division.

Offline Pureade1

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Re: What have we lacked this season?
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2019, 05:32:42 PM »
My worry is will Lai sanction a rebuild or just tell the club to do it aa cheap as possible in order to recoup some of the money he lost when our value dropped by going down. Thats why although i hate the greed league and all of its 'top 6' obsession i really hope and pray we bounce back at the first time of asking.

Offline AlbionFan

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Re: What have we lacked this season?
« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2019, 06:12:30 PM »
For me, the owner, Mr Lai not engaging with the fanbase and outlining his vision for the club
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Offline beechyboy90

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Re: What have we lacked this season?
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2019, 07:17:22 PM »
Big Dave being loyal to certain players. and sometimes his reluctance to change things.

it took so long too change the 352 when it was obviously not working. sometimes wonder if we would be top if we had changed the system a little earlier.

as people have mentioned it took injuries to brunt and bartley to see the changes that were required. at the moment I think Big Dave is too loyal to rodriguez which sees gayle out of position. He either needs to drop of them, or play 2 up top and play the third "forward" player just in behind so both are central- which will see gayle involved more and rodriguez contribute more than just effort.
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Offline Adder

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Re: What have we lacked this season?
« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2019, 09:40:59 PM »
It's early days but I'm a bit worried about the physical presence and work rate of a front 3 of Gayle, J-Rod and Murphy. I don't think we'll be quite as potent. Barnes was always looking for work and showing for the ball and his strength for his age was good. The lad always looked like he'd put a shift in for good reason because he always did. Think that will be missed a bit.

In fairness HRK does work hard and show for the ball even if his output is variable.
 
Phillips has also shown strength and work rate as well as quality. We'll have to see how his fitness is after this layoff. We need him back playing as he was.

Offline chipperclark

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Re: What have we lacked this season?
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2019, 04:57:02 AM »
 ;D I think the "kids" can do a job very well with another years experience of playing some Chump games eg Harper,Field, Leko, etc.
No need to panic if we stay down. Yes we will lose Phillips,Dawson,Hegazi,Gayle,Rondon and Jrod. But the kids can fill in nicely.

Offline Standaman

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Re: What have we lacked this season?
« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2019, 11:27:48 PM »
I think while the squad has better individuals in it than many in the Championship there are a number of flaws which mean almost anyway Moore sets up there is a player or two that isn't playing a position they are entirely comfortable with. For instance when we had 3 at the back we didn't have a Centre Half comfortable on the left. Equally at RWB we had Phillips great going forward not so great defensively or Mears who might be ok as a traditional full back but not as wing back.

Switching to a back four and importing Holgate fixed that problem but that has created other issues. We don't have a left footed wide forward or rather we do but it meant 2 of our least effective players HRK and Sako (who has since left the club anyway) get more game time than most would have wanted. We now have Murphy out there who is Right footed and will tend to operate as a more traditional winger which on limited evidence is not ideal.

 
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