Today was stagnation over improvement

Rektseasider

Well-known member
So when Crewe has some good moments, you assume it’s their manager who has had that effect. When we started to come back and try something different, you assume it’s our players taking it upon themselves.

It was the right tactic and the press was far better than before, once you have players like Woodburn and Dougall in the midfield, and hopefully (though obviously I don’t know their quality) Ballard and Gretarsson at the back that 1 goal margin of error that has cost us in most games will be overturned by stronger defence and smarter attack.
Do you think Critchley told them to go long part way through the second half? I don’t.

Crewe’s best period can straight after half time, i.e straight after 15 minutes of instructions, from their manager. Where they hit us in our weakest points. That’s in game management.

Agree with the basis of your second paragraph. I hope you’re correct that if we sure up the back teams will have to come on to us more leaving more space for Yates, CJ, Woodburn and the others to exploit.
 

Alf

Well-known member
Do you think Critchley told them to go long part way through the second half? I don’t.

Crewe’s best period can straight after half time, i.e straight after 15 minutes of instructions, from their manager. Where they hit us in our weakest points. That’s in game management.

Agree with the basis of your second paragraph. I hope you’re correct that if we sure up the back teams will have to come on to us more leaving more space for Yates, CJ, Woodburn and the others to exploit.

I think if we are going for the Klopp style, he will have been trying to get it into them from day one that it doesn’t always have to go along the ground, it’s just that when you’re playing fast in tight spaces it’s hard to find the time to look up and see further afield. I was watching yesterday with an Italian friend who is a football coach and tactical rain man, normally he hates watching us but yesterday he said he was really impressed to see how much our players were looking up, thinking fast, picking a pass.
My opinion is the more they learn the system, the greater range of passing you will see.

Do you think it’s more likely that they all telepathically decided to change the way they played at the same time? Or that they have trained for a Plan B in case of conceding, which we did mid way through the second half?
 

Rektseasider

Well-known member
I think if we are going for the Klopp style, he will have been trying to get it into them from day one that it doesn’t always have to go along the ground, it’s just that when you’re playing fast in tight spaces it’s hard to find the time to look up and see further afield. I was watching yesterday with an Italian friend who is a football coach and tactical rain man, normally he hates watching us but yesterday he said he was really impressed to see how much our players were looking up, thinking fast, picking a pass.
My opinion is the more they learn the system, the greater range of passing you will see.

Do you think it’s more likely that they all telepathically decided to change the way they played at the same time? Or that they have trained for a Plan B in case of conceding, which we did mid way through the second half?
Well hopefully you’re correct. It will take time to get this way of playing nailed down with the influx of new players.

I don’t think however there’s been a great deal of flexibility on the pitch in any of our games from Stoke onwards, when certain points have been crying out for it.

It doesn’t take much for a team to just start lumping it forward off their own backs during a game, anyone who’s ever played football can tell you this can happen. All it took was Robson and Turton to start going long, which worked by the way and everyone was doing it. If that really was a tactical change why were no substitutes made? To better exploit “plan B”.
 

Insider

Well-known member
When you dominate possesion you don't go long because the opposition are playing deep. I actually said during the first half that dominating possesion doesn't allow us to use the space behind the full backs to get CJ in.
In the second half when Crewe did have a bit of possesion they moved up the pitch and a long ball became an option.
Just to repeat what I and others have said where we fall short is crowding the oppostions box, we never seem to get the knockdowns either from our headers or the defenders.
One final point is the delivery from set plays. Ward's corners for me were too wishy washy, lacking in pace. Robson's efforts were not much different. Add to that our lack of height and I can't see us scoring too many headers from crosses but hopefully the new defenders will add a bit more of a threat from free kicks and corners.
It's not all doom and gloom but it might be a few weeks yet before Critchley gets us playing the way he wants. So I will wait until at least Christmas until I get twitchy.
 

Alf

Well-known member
Well hopefully you’re correct. It will take time to get this way of playing nailed down with the influx of new players.

I don’t think however there’s been a great deal of flexibility on the pitch in any of our games from Stoke onwards, when certain points have been crying out for it.

It doesn’t take much for a team to just start lumping it forward off their own backs during a game, anyone who’s ever played football can tell you this can happen. All it took was Robson and Turton to start going long, which worked by the way and everyone was doing it. If that really was a tactical change why were no substitutes made? To better exploit “plan B”.

Whether a tactical change or not, no substitutions is equally odd. That was one head scratcher yesterday for me.

My best guess is, as a coach coming from a background of intense and extensive performance analysis (him not me 😂), when he makes a decision or decides on a line up he wants to really see as much of that line up together as possible and as long as we’re not being mullered give them more time on the pitch so he can observe what’s going wrong/right and convert that into data.

I’m an events manager. Sometimes I can set up a music night, a bingo, a party, a pool tournament or whatever and see from the beginning it’s not going to be a success. But my method is to let it run its course for the evening, so I can learn as much as possible why it’s not working, take notes and do the opposite in future. It might mean less revenue on the night, but over two months I can guarantee it means you develop a system of events perfect for the venue and the crowd, and over a financial year you see a much bigger reward.

There may be something to be said about his experience as a youth manager, where perhaps the analysis was more important than the results, but for reasons stated above I’m glad he doesn’t seem to change with the wind and sticks to the plan. I do believe it’s for reasons of data analysis, which is unsurprisingly why some of our fans (particularly on FB) cannot get their heads round it and are now calling for his.

The fact is if every time something doesn’t work you change it quickly, you’ll never learn why it doesn’t work, and you depend on a large amount of luck that the next thing you try will be better. This is why managers like Lee Clark, Billy Davies etc. Often have one or two great seasons because they get that stroke of luck, and then can rarely replicate it again because there was no method and no analysis in the first place.

All in my opinion of course, I don’t think we’ll go up this season but I think we’ll finish with a style and intensity that will have us very excited for the next. I watched Liverpool every week during the boycott, and the parallels are there. The first season their back line was an absolute shambles, no structure whatsoever, and many of the scousers all kept saying ‘this style of football means you always have to score 5 or you won’t get anywhere and we can’t expect to always score 5’ - they were wrong. It just took time (4-5 years in total) and better defenders.
 

Rektseasider

Well-known member
When you dominate possesion you don't go long because the opposition are playing deep. I actually said during the first half that dominating possesion doesn't allow us to use the space behind the full backs to get CJ in.
In the second half when Crewe did have a bit of possesion they moved up the pitch and a long ball became an option.
Just to repeat what I and others have said where we fall short is crowding the oppostions box, we never seem to get the knockdowns either from our headers or the defenders.
One final point is the delivery from set plays. Ward's corners for me were too wishy washy, lacking in pace. Robson's efforts were not much different. Add to that our lack of height and I can't see us scoring too many headers from crosses but hopefully the new defenders will add a bit more of a threat from free kicks and corners.
It's not all doom and gloom but it might be a few weeks yet before Critchley gets us playing the way he wants. So I will wait until at least Christmas until I get twitchy.
I think you make fair points, maybe this is all far too early, when in reality next season probably should be the acid test.
Whether a tactical change or not, no substitutions is equally odd. That was one head scratcher yesterday for me.

My best guess is, as a coach coming from a background of intense and extensive performance analysis (him not me 😂), when he makes a decision or decides on a line up he wants to really see as much of that line up together as possible and as long as we’re not being mullered give them more time on the pitch so he can observe what’s going wrong/right and convert that into data.

I’m an events manager. Sometimes I can set up a music night, a bingo, a party, a pool tournament or whatever and see from the beginning it’s not going to be a success. But my method is to let it run its course for the evening, so I can learn as much as possible why it’s not working, take notes and do the opposite in future. It might mean less revenue on the night, but over two months I can guarantee it means you develop a system of events perfect for the venue and the crowd, and over a financial year you see a much bigger reward.

There may be something to be said about his experience as a youth manager, where perhaps the analysis was more important than the results, but for reasons stated above I’m glad he doesn’t seem to change with the wind and sticks to the plan. I do believe it’s for reasons of data analysis, which is unsurprisingly why some of our fans (particularly on FB) cannot get their heads round it and are now calling for his.

The fact is if every time something doesn’t work you change it quickly, you’ll never learn why it doesn’t work, and you depend on a large amount of luck that the next thing you try will be better. This is why managers like Lee Clark, Billy Davies etc. Often have one or two great seasons because they get that stroke of luck, and then can rarely replicate it again because there was no method and no analysis in the first place.

All in my opinion of course, I don’t think we’ll go up this season but I think we’ll finish with a style and intensity that will have us very excited for the next. I watched Liverpool every week during the boycott, and the parallels are there. The first season their back line was an absolute shambles, no structure whatsoever, and many of the scousers all kept saying ‘this style of football means you always have to score 5 or you won’t get anywhere and we can’t expect to always score 5’ - they were wrong. It just took time (4-5 years in total) and better defenders.
Again some very valid points in there for me too. On the Subs question I was just firing back a Counter point but I agree with you Critch is probably trying to see as much from what he’s currently got as possible.

which of course means he’ll have to do the same again with the players we’ve not yet seen.

I think the problem is that a lot of us, me included got a bit carried away thinking we’d be up the top competing, as we’d done the business early and Critch had been with the club since March. (I think). We still might be, but it seems like a hard place to start that from now.

My intention wasn’t to be doom and gloom, far from it. Just some things I hadn’t expected to see from NC. That worried me.

Lastly a quick question for both of you, and this isn’t an intentional needle I’m just genuinely interested. Would you both take “ work in progress” up to Christmas, being frustrated around 15th-17th place. With the hope of finishing strongly down the stretch?
 
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voyeur

Well-known member
I think you make fair points, maybe this is all far too early, when in reality next season probably should be the acid test.

Again some very valid points in there for me too. On the Subs question I was just firing back a Counter point but I agree with you Critch is probably trying to see as much from what he’s currently got as possible.

which of he is means he’ll have to do the same again with the players we’ve not yet seen.

I think the problem is that a lot of us, me included got a bit carried away thinking we’d be up the top competing, as we’d done the business early and Critch had been with the club since March. (I think). We still might be, but it seems like a hard place to start that from now.

My intention wasn’t to be doom and gloom, far from it. Just some things I hadn’t expected to see from NC. That worried me.
I'm open minded about this season. The key thing is for us to develop. We may climb the table, and I think we will. How far, no idea. I'm happy to observe the development. i think what NC is doing is interesting. It's ambitious, and it's positive. Has he got the players to make us into world beaters? Probably not. But familiarity and practice will enable progress. I think we have largely been better than some teams we've played - Crewe (13th), Swindon (17th), Plymouth (6th). About the same as Lincoln (3rd). Not as good as Ipswich (1st) and Gillingham (8th).

We are only 7 points off the play offs, with 40 games to play.
 

Rektseasider

Well-known member
I'm open minded about this season. The key thing is for us to develop. We may climb the table, and I think we will. How far, no idea. I'm happy to observe the development. i think what NC is doing is interesting. It's ambitious, and it's positive. Has he got the players to make us into world beaters? Probably not. But familiarity and practice will enable progress. I think we have largely been better than some teams we've played - Crewe (13th), Swindon (17th), Plymouth (6th). About the same as Lincoln (3rd). Not as good as Ipswich (1st) and Gillingham (8th).

We are only 7 points off the play offs, with 40 games to play.
The last point should be taken by myself, which it definitely is, figures crossed I can post a write up saying how wrong I was.

I’d only say I think teams like Plymouth Crewe and Ipswich figured us out far to easily in games and we didn’t counter it. This worry is compounded by NC’s credentials and my belief he should have know what to do in these situations.

Perhaps it does need 6 months to work out only time will tell.
 

Alf

Well-known member
I think you make fair points, maybe this is all far too early, when in reality next season probably should be the acid test.

Again some very valid points in there for me too. On the Subs question I was just firing back a Counter point but I agree with you Critch is probably trying to see as much from what he’s currently got as possible.

which of course means he’ll have to do the same again with the players we’ve not yet seen.

I think the problem is that a lot of us, me included got a bit carried away thinking we’d be up the top competing, as we’d done the business early and Critch had been with the club since March. (I think). We still might be, but it seems like a hard place to start that from now.

My intention wasn’t to be doom and gloom, far from it. Just some things I hadn’t expected to see from NC. That worried me.

Lastly a quick question for both of you, and this isn’t an intentional needle I’m just genuinely interested. Would you both take “ work in progress” up to Christmas, being frustrated around 15th-17th place. With the hope of finishing strongly down the stretch?
Two things - I also got carried away, my thinking was exactly the same now but I thought we would get that stroke of luck more often than not, for no good reason other than giddiness.

Secondly, yeah I would so long as we’re talking 15th-17th and I can see that he is still being consistent with his long term vision and not chopping and changing to save his job and dodge the pressure.

If we’re talking Lee Clark, Neil McDonald, Jose Riga points tallies then no, realistically it could be Guardiola in charge and I’d say better to find somebody who can keep us up and develop their own system next season.

So I guess we will see, but I’m nowhere near panicking or even concerned in all honesty. The general direction to me is just as exciting as it was in pre-season.
 

Rektseasider

Well-known member
Two things - I also got carried away, my thinking was exactly the same now but I thought we would get that stroke of luck more often than not, for no good reason other than giddiness.

Secondly, yeah I would so long as we’re talking 15th-17th and I can see that he is still being consistent with his long term vision and not chopping and changing to save his job and dodge the pressure.

If we’re talking Lee Clark, Neil McDonald, Jose Riga points tallies then no, realistically it could be Guardiola in charge and I’d say better to find somebody who can keep us up and develop their own system next season.

So I guess we will see, but I’m nowhere near panicking or even concerned in all honesty. The general direction to me is just as exciting as it was in pre-season.
See I feel like I’ve lost a lot of the excitement from pre season, not sure if that’s the general mood of watching football at the moment or the lack of a cutting edge from us. I think it’s the latter that’s frustrating me more.

Yes I just meant if we’re hovering around the relegation zone at Christmas but we’re playing well I’d tend to agree Critch needs at least 12 months from now to implement his vision. I did advocate the same for Grayson but that did turn into truly turgid football. I can’t see that happening this time round. 👍.
 

Bottle

Well-known member
How can you not be excited about the potential that this young side, rebuilt completely by a new manager who is enjoying getting the full backing of the owner?

Its still early days in a strange season, which may be a blessing that there is no crowd to get on the players backs whilst things are still working themselves out - but I guess a lack of support FOR them might be playing a part too.

For many years we have had to put up with a lack of investment, sale of anyone half decent, last minute signings etc. And prospects have always been about just surviving/maintaining rather than having ambition.

As fans we aren’t used to having that feeling so you can’t blame people for getting carried away and being disappointed we aren’t top of the pile, but we are in a far better position to start to improve and have some strength in depth for when the hard part of the season kicks in and when games come thick and fast.

At least we have some promise, and I’ll take that above the prospect of more of the same stagnation year on year we suffered for so long.
 

Alf

Well-known member
See I feel like I’ve lost a lot of the excitement from pre season, not sure if that’s the general mood of watching football at the moment or the lack of a cutting edge from us. I think it’s the latter that’s frustrating me more.

Yes I just meant if we’re hovering around the relegation zone at Christmas but we’re playing well I’d tend to agree Critch needs at least 12 months from now to implement his vision. I did advocate the same for Grayson but that did turn into truly turgid football. I can’t see that happening this time round. 👍.
Aye I had the same idea with Grayson, but by this point last season I was already starting to change my mind, I didn’t really feel good after most of our wins, total opposite to now really I thought we were getting the luck but not building anything behind it. That contrast plays massively into my optimism.
 

Rektseasider

Well-known member
How can you not be excited about the potential that this young side, rebuilt completely by a new manager who is enjoying getting the full backing of the owner?

Its still early days in a strange season, which may be a blessing that there is no crowd to get on the players backs whilst things are still working themselves out - but I guess a lack of support FOR them might be playing a part too.

For many years we have had to put up with a lack of investment, sale of anyone half decent, last minute signings etc. And prospects have always been about just surviving/maintaining rather than having ambition.

As fans we aren’t used to having that feeling so you can’t blame people for getting carried away and being disappointed we aren’t top of the pile, but we are in a far better position to start to improve and have some strength in depth for when the hard part of the season kicks in and when games come thick and fast.

At least we have some promise, and I’ll take that above the prospect of more of the same stagnation year on year we suffered for so long.
Very excited about the Sadler era and the club in general.

Not overly excited about the performances on the pitch yet to date, which is what all of my post are alluding to.
 

adamswonkyteeth

Well-known member
Sorry Rekt .. I stopped reading at this point because that was a massive improvement and had just one or two things gone our way that would have been a convincing win following a very convincing defeat .. can't see how that wouldn't be classed as an improvement

I think as a fan base we’re letting ourselves down by seeing today as a step in the right direction.
 

Rektseasider

Well-known member
Sorry Rekt .. I stopped reading at this point because that was a massive improvement and had just one or two things gone our way that would have been a convincing win following a very convincing defeat .. can't see how that wouldn't be classed as an improvement
You make an incredibly lazy point.
 

utmp_

Well-known member
We've picked out five good points and five bad as we look ahead to the Charlton game tomorrow night:

 
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