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That Paul Walker, what does he know anyway?

Filed: Saturday, 20th September 2014
By: Raedwulf

In response to the estimable Mr Walker's latest opinion piece, "thanks heavens" I would never say, sir!

Even though I don't agree with all of everything he writes at any particular time, this was again well-written, and as interesting as always. To me, he seems a bit "either end of the see-saw" sometimes; one extreme and the other (often both in the same article). Then again, all too many fans are only ever on one end, so at least he offers both sides...

I tend to be more measured than most commenters and writers on KUMB. You only have to compare Staff's opinion of Downing at Hull with mine, if ever you thought football wasn't a game of opinions! As far as Paul goes, I didn't see the Hull game, for example, either as "throwing men forward" or "seconds from disaster". The attacking intent is certainly more noticeable (and a big "Hurrah" for that), and the defence is shakier also. But I don't think the one is necessarily related to the other.

On Reid, I do agree. As I said at the end of my Hull report, has his head been turned? It's not on the pitch where it should be. But that doesn't have anything to do with a new West Ham style. That's just Winston catching early-stage "Big Time Charlieism" and not doing what he should be doing. Which is concentrating on doing his best for those currently paying him, letting his performances do his talking. Sam needs to have a word with him about knuckling down and getting back to last season's form.

The notion of O'Brien in central defence worries me, though, Paul. Linda, yes, he did very well last season, I thought, when he he had to cover in there, but O'Brien didn't. He's not my favourite full back at the best of times, but DC? {shudders} Anyway, I digress...

I also am enjoying the spectacle. I'm not entirely convinced that we have a new style. We still, mostly, seem to be playing in straight lines across the back and up the flanks. We still don't move enough off the ball, still don't create angles enough, still don't go through the centre of the pitch enough. It's improving, though. Time will tell. And, for sure, it feels more like we're trying to win, instead of trying not to lose.

On the other hand, I'm not having heart attacks yet either (the time will come, I know, I know!). Demel turning on the ball? He rarely does that much short of the opposition penalty area. He's not the most subtle or skillful of our squad, but he has been a good, solid, reliable player for us in his time here. I confess to being a little bit of a fan; he has been, perhaps, our most consistent player over the few years. And JT passing the ball doesn't bother me either (Reid, as noted, needs to get his head straight).

On the other other hand (Hang on! How many hands?!), I again agree that we're going to get picked off. I'm not so sure of time and again. The top clubs certainly will pick us off, on any sort of reasonable day for them.

On the... do I resort to feet, now? What if they have a bad day? I would far rather we continued to play with the Spurs - Palace - Hull mindset. Occasionally, we'll get a Saints game, when we fall flat all over the pitch. But we do that, however we try to play.

Some teams, especially the top teams, will make mugs of us. But there again, what would you prefer? Trying to play a containing, stifling game that flatters to deceive, gets us the very occasional nil-nil; vice Stamford Bridge last year; or take the game to the opposition. Because, mostly, we lose against them, regardless of style and intent. OK, so if we lose 5-1 at the Etihad, so what? We expect to lose anyway. What about 2-2 against Arsenal? It's 5 years ago now, but we did do that latter, and we didn't do it trying to stifle.

I'm not suggesting that we go gung-ho, far from it. Gung-ho is not Sam's style, but Liverpool are vulnerable at the back, Man Utd are in transition, so who knows what you'll get by pressing, attacking, being aggressive? My fear is that, in the next couple of games, Sam will set up defensively. I think that would be a mistake.

I think we should try to play the same way in our next two games as we did against Spurs, Palace, Hull. If we lose to both "Reds", we probably will, regardless of how we play. We will, I think, learn more from trying to play football than from trying to scrape a point, though. The more we do it...

The more we'll be picking our rivals apart, rather than being picked apart. The more we'll be looking up the table and dreaming of challenging for Europe (no, we won't get there soon, except through a cup, but wouldn't it be nice to dream?), instead of trying to climb out of the crab-bucket of relegation, with all the others crabs trying to drag us back...

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.

Your Comments

by Mick
12:14PM 28th Jul 2009
''Nice to read a bit of positivity instead of all the doom and gloom merchants, well done!


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