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Messages - Standaman

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I think the litmus test of a good coach is taking the players he inherits even those largely discarded by his predecessors and getting the most out of them while they are under contract to the club. That is not to say that everybody will fit in and that there won't be some player churn this summer but as a modus operandi we have to move away from the bomb squad mentality and using it as a way of managing the group as a whole.

Maybe he doesn't get a tune out of Zohore but it would be really helpful if he could get him up to the 3rd striker rotation level. That is better for us and the player rather paying him to leave to God knows where. 

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Matheus Pereira
« on: Today at 10:59:06 AM »
I thought that they signed Buendia from Norwich for £33m to 'replace' Greasy..........

To be honest I think that is more likely than them bidding for Pereira but if they get £100m for Grealish I suspect the money will be spent somewhere they are rumoured to be interested in Tammy Abraham and that's going cost a chunk and push Watkins out wide. Never quiet trust my read on them tactically so they could rock up with a bunch of cash I hope not I really do.

Does that mean I can come out the closet and officially start liking him??  ;D ;D

No that's a love that really does not dare speak it's name least ways on this board :-*

Genuinely shocked by this news if it proves to something other than the usual talks****  garbage.

On reflection this is the appointment I hoped for from the outset. It is the appointment that we should have made across the last 6 appointments. I don't mean specifically  Valérien Ismaël but the type of coach he is and a coach at this stage of his career.

He has a clear style of play and it is a progressive one. He has experience as coach roughly 10 years to date but has more of a career in front of him than behind him. He is first and foremost a training ground coach and works with players not only as a group but improves them individually. To some extent he is a long term appointment and Ken's comments on the club focussing too much on what is right in front of us might prove to be a watershed moment (only if backed up by actions)

Let's deal with the thorny issue of compensation and contract length. Or the first steps along a different path. A 4 year contract does show a commitment and intent. To some degree it follows on from the initial investment in buying out Ismael's contract with Barnsley we need to protect that investment.

I don't think it is a good appointment because we have paid compensation to get him. I will never ascribe to the "showing ambition" school of thought i.e. the move was ill considered but it cost the club a bunch of money so at least it showed ambition. Show me joined up thinking even if it is cheap joined up thinking rather than flashy ambition with no substance.

When we could recruit freely from Europe there was never any need to pay compensation for a Head Coach because the pool was vast and there were always good coaches available (it's not the pools fault we didn't hire them). The restrictions on recruitment we face as a Championship club are such that the dynamic has changed and I think we should credit the club for realising that and acting accordingly. For those who still wish to criticise the club for being "cheap" I will point out that while Ismael cost £2m Steve Cooper might have been available for £4m so Ismael is still the cheap option.

I am delighted with the appointment but I will add a note of caution. This is long term and as such patience will be required the squad will be learning a whole new style of play and there will be player churn so I suspect it will be slow burn in the first season we won't really hit our stride until Christmas.

However I am genuinely looking forward to a new beginning.     

Mendes has swapped out Nuno for Lage at the Dingles. Got Mourinho in at Roma and it now looks like he has Nuno placed with  Spurs. Watch players go round that circuit. Rui Patricio already reported to be on his way to Roma. Every move equals a fee for Mendes and his partners Fosun.

And I repeat UEFA do not regulate agents.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach
« on: Yesterday at 06:12:56 PM »
Not wanting to sound negative, but if someone did try to poach him before the 4 years, they would have to pay us compensation, but if we sacked him, we'd have to pay him off for the years on his contract?

Yes, that's how it works, big incentive for the club to give him time and having invested in buying him out of the contract we probably had to protect our position with a long contract.

We are in for the long haul here or it get's expensive very expensive.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: System / Tactics / Personnel
« on: Yesterday at 06:02:11 PM »
I think the younger players Diangana, Harper, Grant etc... at least have youth on their side. It is harder to see others adapting but I wouldn't write anyone off. One of the reasons why I have become increasingly enthusiastic about Ismael's appointment is that he can work with and improve players. 

That said he isn't a miracle worker and will need reinforcements. It will be interesting to see how this works Barnsley didn't recruit anyone over the age of 24 and with a high energy press it is difficult to see veterans fitting in.   

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: Valérien Ismaël - Head Coach
« on: Yesterday at 04:55:51 PM »
Four year deal that is a long term commitment. We now looking like it is Ken and Val show for the foreseeable future. Looks like the DOF role will be split up among CEO Head Coach Head of Recruitment and Head of Academy at first glance.   

General Football & Sports / Re: OFFICIAL CHAMPIONSHIP THREAD
« on: Yesterday at 08:36:53 AM »
Just saw the EFL statement - incredible. The powers that be in the EFL really want to relegate them, you can see that. How quickly can they assess Derby's account submissions though? Especially given Derby's right to appeal.

Can they get the appeal out of the way, can Derby submit years worth of accounts, the EFL review them and then make a decision on relegating Derby all in the space of a few weeks? Seems really tight, I just don't see how they can.

Wouldn't be shocked if Derby get a big points deduction this season instead.

Like I said there are many strands to this story and I have lost track but this is an appeal and I think on this issue Derby have run out of road. In accounting terms it is not going to take very long to restate the accounts and as part of the process they have been examined in forensic detail, I suspect the EFL know the answer.

 There are other issues bubbling in the back ground e.g. late submission of accounts and non payment of players etc....

It is not just the EFL management that are out for Derby's blood it is also the other EFL clubs because without their support the EFL board could not pursue the case. It would have been quietly dropped a year ago were it not for the other clubs sanctioning of the appeal.

General Football & Sports / Re: OFFICIAL PREMIER LEAGUE THREAD
« on: Yesterday at 12:52:04 AM »
Let's be clear Farve is a very good coach and about as good as one Palace could have landed. The task of rebuilding the squad is huge they have 14 senior players at present and two of which have long term injuries. In addition come January they will lose 4 players to the AFCON for the month.

On the one hand there seems to be plenty of scope for Farve to shape the squad but on the other that is about 10 players that need to be recruited and right now they can barely get an XI out in any shape.

General Football & Sports / Re: OFFICIAL CHAMPIONSHIP THREAD
« on: Yesterday at 12:36:48 AM »
Tweet from Henry Winter of the Times

EFL “has developed an interchangeable fixture list for Derby and Wycombe while disciplinary process is finalised”. Derby fined £100,000 over amortisation of player registrations and ordered to file restated accounts for financial years ending 30 June 2016, 2017 and 2018. FFP.

This is potentially huge Derby facing the real prospect of a points deduction and relegation because of a FFP breach. Derby are an absolute mess. I have lost track of the various strands to this story but at every turn they have acted in the utmost of bad faith and deserve everything that comes their way. 

General Football & Sports / Re: OFFICIAL PREMIER LEAGUE THREAD
« on: June 23, 2021, 07:00:26 PM »
The Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui has apparently turned Spurs down according to the BBC.  I don't use the phrase embarrassing too often because things are seldom as straight forward as fans would like them to be and deals unravel for all sorts of reasons.  But this is now legitimately described as embarrassing.   

General Football & Sports / Re: EURO 2020
« on: June 23, 2021, 03:39:55 PM »
Do you mean a different Steve Cooper than the manager of Swansea, as he's Welsh?

Yes, apologies to him in my head because of his previous treacherous association with the English FA he is English.  :D 

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: New Manager Thread
« on: June 23, 2021, 02:00:19 PM »
It's football insider throwing it out there to squeeze a few more clicks out of our manager search. In the meantime here's a few comforting words from my favorite ITK tweeter account

No hassle over the compensation fee that’s not a problem. Contracts are long, Albion in no rush, as always. But everything is fine and there’s no worries about this not happening

There you go nothing to worry about contracts are long a bit like O'Shea's balls apparently 8) They might even be right even a blind squirrel sometimes finds the nuts. 

General Football & Sports / Re: EURO 2020
« on: June 23, 2021, 01:50:08 PM »
Without a complete humiliation there has always been about zero chance that the FA would fire Southgate and even if they did it's an English coach who will be the next cab of the rank (my guess would be Steve Cooper) so nothing to get overly excited about.

A one or two goal defeat to one of the major teams isn't going to move that particular dial and frankly if he gets past Portugal/Germany/France in the next round that's job done. We will eventually lose to Italy/Belgium/France and nobody gets sacked for that nor given our record in International tournaments should they. 

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: New Manager Thread
« on: June 23, 2021, 08:26:14 AM »
Further update from the ITK chancer on Twitter apparently he's heard a little something the announcement is now imminent. It only took him 2 hours for him to read the E&S story and let us know I'm not sure I could cope without his help. I guess he slept in because Mom & Dad let him stay up late to watch the footie last night. 

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: New Manager Thread
« on: June 22, 2021, 06:41:27 PM »
Just checked and only one of the Barnsley backroom staff don't predate Ismael so he worked with the existing staff at Barnsley and does not have his own backroom staff. Yet as Allardyce moved on with with Sam Lee etc... so there isn't really an existing staff at the club. This is not a big issue.

Footnote if you are running an ITK twitter account (which is plainly bunkum)  don't offer precise information because when the thing that you say will happen doesn't you have to explain it.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: New Manager Thread
« on: June 22, 2021, 01:22:46 PM »
Yes encouraging I haven't had the time to watch the return leg. It was played in fairly atrocious weather and by the end both teams had worked themselves into the ground. Basel are probably the better team but LASK matched them and you could absolutely see what Ismael was trying to do and LASK ran out 2:1 winners. 

Just seen one of the many ITK chancers (no link because I don't want to give them the attention they crave) has gone all in on a  precise prediction apparently Valerian Ismael will be will be arriving at 4pm and announced shortly thereafter.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: New Manager Thread
« on: June 22, 2021, 08:49:05 AM »
For those of you who feel the need to watch more football in the middle of the the Euro's there is the whole of both legs of the Basel v LASK Europa League qualifying round tie on You Tube ( which gives you a pretty good idea how Valerian Ismael sets up a team that isn't Barnsley.

Those of you with a Defensive Midfielder fetish need to look away now.

Our hopefully soon to be announced Head Coach plays with a double 8 midfield in a 3-4-3. Yokuslu is a 6 a very good 6 but never the less he is a holding midfielder in a system that does not use a holding midfielder. He would at a stroke go from being a really good signing to a really bad one.

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: System / Tactics / Personnel
« on: June 21, 2021, 02:26:10 PM »
Thought I'd reboot this in the light of the likely appointment of Valerian Ismael. I've mapped out the current squad in a 3-4-3 which is his stock shape with a high press.
                                                               Johnstone  (28, 2022 )
                                                               Palmer     (24,2023)
                                                               Button     (31, 2022)                                                                                                                         
                                             CB                               CB                                 CB                                                               
                                   O'Shea (22, 2023)             Bartley (29, 2022)    Ajayi (27,2023)                 
                                   Kipre   (24,2024)

           RWB                                       8                                            8                                       LWB                                                     
     Furlong (25, 2023)           Livermore  (31,2022)           Sawyers  (29,2022)                  Townsend (28, 2024)
                                           Harper      (20, 2022) 
                        RWF                                                 CF                                                LWF
               Pereira   (25, 2024 )                           Zohore  (27 2023)                 Robinson (26, 2025)
               Diangana (23, 2025)                                                                      Grant     (23, 2026)                     
               Snodgrass (33, 2022)                                                                     Phillips   (30 ,2022)
Aside from the shape there is a style at it's best is a high press designed to compact the space in front of the back 3 and win the ball as high up the pitch as possible. The wide players in the front three are inverted and the wing backs provide width. Ball progression is flexible Ismael's teams can be direct but at their best pass the ball well and have a great deal fluidity among a front three in possession. This is very much the version of his style that was prominent at LASK. The style at Barnsley was a lot more direct and heavily dependent on vertical long balls and set pieces but regardless the shape and personnel requirements are the same

Looking at the squad the issues are different to those created by the potential hiring of Wilder who also worked with a back 3 but never the less there is a common thread as to the areas of the pitch where we are just short of options. e.g. Central Midfield and Centre Forward.

Goal Keeper

As ever with Johnstone probably leaving Palmer seems to be the obvious successor.  However there are some specific requirements it is helpful if the keeper's distribution is good and more critically they do need to be able to sweep behind a high back line. I don't know if Palmer can but that is what we need.


At Centre Back we are probably short of numbers and I am not entirely sure we have the right personnel Ajayi and O'Shea might have the pace to work in a high line but Bartley is more of a concern, he generally has always looked more comfortable in a low block and Kipre remains a bit of a mystery. If we are going to play out form the back rather than be very direct we absolutely need at least one left footed Centre Back.


This is a problem regardless of who we bought in as Head Coach

Wing Backs are fine but right now there isn't cover and given the role you can't get by by putting a Centre Back (e.g. O'Shea) out there, Phillips at a stretch on the right but we have nothing on the left.

Central midfield is a different kettle of fish we are short of numbers and quality. Ismael uses a double 8 central midfield rather than double pivot with a DM. However the distinction is somewhat arbitrary neither roles have the luxury of sitting deep a high press requires a high degree of mobility and aggression however how well the central midfielders retain and pass the ball will determine the fluidity and again whether it's LASK or Barnsley. I would add that a high press is not solely about charging around the pitch tackling everything that moves but also closing down passing lanes with intelligent movement.   


We potentially have two options in both wide attackers positions all of whom would be ideal for the set up

We've got Zohore and I am far from certain he is fit for purpose at any level. Grant and Robinson could be used as Centre Forward options but neither are the sort of target man the system requires and besides which one of them would be playing left wing. We need goals physical presence and an intense work rate.

To get a functioning first XI we need

2 x Central Midfielders
1 x Strikers
1 left footed Centre Back

All at starter level quality if any of the current starters leave they need replacing, for back up options I would look first at the club's under 23's

West Bromwich Albion FC / Re: New Manager Thread
« on: June 21, 2021, 11:44:40 AM »
Fingers crossed that this goes through without further hitch and if it does credit to Ken for rescuing the situation after the absolute debacle of Wilder/Wagner. Although and I know I am being insanely optimistic here but pivoting from Wagner to Ismael does have a stylistic logic.

General Football & Sports / Re: EURO 2020
« on: June 21, 2021, 10:04:33 AM »
What you talking about? To be the Captain of the England Football team or any other England team should mean something to the player wearing it pride and passion not a piece of cloth to be passed from one player to another during a game. That's my personal opinion (hate) and i will never change my mind on that issue.

No don't get it what actual difference does who the Captain is make at any given moment in a match?

General Football & Sports / Re: EURO 2020
« on: June 21, 2021, 09:24:56 AM »
It is nothing to do with the anthem. Or the arm band. Or the players hating the country and not caring.

I purely mention anthem alternatives because there were posters saying our players don't sing God Save the Queen with the same passion as Il Canto degli Italiani. The reality is that it's a s*** anthem, not that the players don't care.

It's tactics and ability holding us back so far.

Obviously, I think we need a universal sarcasm emoji for my posts on this subject.

If you are looking beyond the obvious i.e. A Rolls Royce front and Mini Back that is poorly wielded together then only thing I would point to is the fear that seems to engulf England from time to time. That is players desperate not to be the guy that screws up and therefore they don't take risks this is magnified by cautious coaches and yes we get performances like we got against Scotland as a consequence. 

General Football & Sports / Re: EURO 2020
« on: June 21, 2021, 08:48:47 AM »
I see we are singing the wrong patriotic song before the match yes I see that is plainly the problem.

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