|An archive of match day threads originally posted in the General Discussion forum.
Watched it in the pub yesterday, and its just this fixture isn't it? Bolton is going to become the new Anfield in the next few years when it gets to around 20 years without a win there
We were so so bad, and while i was favouring us in the relegation fight, a performance like that does not help with the pressure of Villa at home next week as we must get 3 points, there is no other way about it as we are getting **** all at the Bridge or Eastlands.
Bolton didnt even play the tough football we struggle with. They got the ball down and totally outplayed us. To see that Lee score with a header in the box with no one near him just summed up an embarrassing performance in my opinion. We were a "bit" better second half but we really lack threat away from home.
as mentioned, we lose this game before it even kicks off..
Fair analysis ,Good luck next week verbal, still seething now about that Day out at Stoke and their retard fans and Stone age football.
Of course you do - we put on our skimpiest French maid's outfit and bend over for your lot twice a year
What was with all the little kids over to the right of us? Literally not a single person over 20. Weird. Didn't appreciate having coins thrown at us after their second went in, good to see the stewards kick out the perpetrators.
As muggy as they were the still outsung us
Yeh I agree, bit like Stoke away in the semi yesterday.
But then again not surprising is it when you take into account what was happening on the pitch and that nightmare of a drive up the M6 yesterday.
Suppose but normally our away supports superb throughout, maybe the **** of the last few seasons is catching us up
Insipid, gutless rubbish.
I think there's every justification for criticizing Grant today. Some of the wiser posters on here have consistently pointed out that tactics mean **** all if one team has significantly better players than the other...and they are right. However that wasn't the case yesterday.
There's very little difference in quality between us and Bolton in terms of personnel....in fact I'd argue we are stronger, especially in forward areas. So application and yes, tactics then.
Protection in front of our full backs has been a problem for us on and off all season. To me it was obvious that this was going to be an issue yesterday with Keane and Piq occupying the 'wide' slots and so it proved. I hate the term 'tactically naive' but Grant showed it yesterday. Three strikers across the front away from home is suicide. Have you ever seen Manchester United do that? Or Arsenal? Or Chelsea?
Why did Avram think we could carry that? I like 4-3-3 and always have, and it has worked for us at times this season...but only when O'Neil is on one side. He has the nous and engine to cover Jacobsen (or Tomkins) which means the midfield three can shuffle across and provide protection on the other side for Bridge. Effectively 4-4-2 when we haven't got the ball.
At the moment it seems Grant is stuck between two stools: He wants to play his favoured system (4-3-3) but also wants to pick what he considers his best players - Robbie Keane/Ba - even if they don't necessarily suit the system. If he believes Keane has to play then he needs to play him in the system that will get the best out of him - and that ain't 4-3-3.
For possibly the first time this season we had all our big name forward players available for selection and yesterday Grant made a pig's ear of it. Square pegs, round holes. Whether he gets the blend right over the next six games will go a long way to determining whether we stay up or not.
For me, it is a simple decision: 4-3-3 with O'Neil and without Keane. Or 4-4-2 with Keane through the middle....
Us anti's have often said that you pick the system to fit the personnel. Grant doesn't seem at times to grasp that. Away at West Brom with two centre halves (Reid who hadn't player much of a lick) and MDC (coming back from injury) were given very little protection from Parker and Noble. Especially early doors. Now a lot on here blamed the full backs (and O'Neill was culpable for the first goal I think) for letting players come inside. It seems (and I agree that if players at their age cannot make good decisions it might never work) that they don't fully what they are expected to do in some circumstances. Obviously you don't let a player come inside onto his best foot. But you do if you are moving him into a double team. It seems as though they sometimes expect players to be in places that they are not it. Similar with forward balls into channels, they run one way we deliver another. So either these players are as thick as pig ***** or they are not worked in training at specifics.
When we hauled off Sears away at Everton I stated that I thought he should have been left on. I was criticised. My point is that play should be made predictable and that when full backs clear balls into channels the forward should know what is coming. Ergo he then makes the run into that channel. If he cannot do anything with it he makes the opponent either play back into the part of the field that the ball came from (where we are already in position to defend, or makes them play across the back, our midfield players "read" that and as the ball travels across the field they move accordingly. There was no one to do that and all it required was for someone to chase their arse off and make a complete nuisance of themselves for 9 minutes or so. No, we haul off Sears, pack the midfield and allow Everton 9 minutes in which to ping the ball around at their leisure, push the entire team into our half and hope for long balls forward which when and if we cleared them they were able to gain possession again very easily and continue. Naive to say the least.
I think that is one of Grant's biggest downfalls and it is the inability to generally change the course of the game with subs. Now a lot will pint out quite rightly that we have come back from poor situations, but I contend that most of the time they were of our own making due to the wrong set up, and/or players being asked to do what they are not really good at. I.e. yesterday playing Keane on the left and Piq on the right. Neither offer much defensively (in Keane's case zero) and consequently we had little or no cover for Bridge or Tomkins. It also left the midfield one man short our 3 against their 4/5. When Grant realised that Elamander was playing midfield, he did not adjust the team accordingly though with the personnel out their I am not quite sure what he cold have done. I would certainly not have subbed in the 5th minute, but it shows the inflexibility of a 4-3-3 which includes 3 out and out forwards.
Not for the first time this season.
I have complained to the FA about the use of invisibility cloaks in our 18 yard box by the opposition. How else could our defenders not see anyone in the six yard box?
He's a grade A mercenary ****. Sick and tired of him and those who defend him.
Upson's played his contract out and has never asked to leave, or caused any problems behind closed doors. So can somebody please tell me how it turns out that he's a mercenary?
Because he's paid £80(odd)k a week and just turns up, goes through the motions, does the minimum required and will wait out so that his employers get minimal return for their investment, and he gets the maximum options available to him.
If I was paid £80k a week to do a job, i'd put in a damn site more interest, commitment and dedication than that gormless d1ck does.
£80k+ per week?
Overall, he's been a very good player for us. He's had some dodgy moments due to having poor, unsettled sides around him.
Still the best CB at the club by a country mile.
a centre back who ball watches, gets caught flat-footed, who doesnt close down opponents quickly enough, gets beaten in the air by smaller opponents and gets turned by anyone with a bit of skill. Good Riddance
Overall he's been average for us, and now he's costing us countless problems due to an appalling attitude and lack of backbone. Technically, over his time at the club, i've seen glimpses of ability, but his overall attributes as a player make him nowhere near our best defender. Not by a long shot.
People seem to judge him on his reputation and the odd decent performance, and then overlook goal after goal after goal that we concede because he's not put in the required effort or concentration. That doesn't make him "very good" in my book, but we all judge differently.
EXACTLY!!! If people ignored who it was, ignored that he gets picked for England, his reputation etc, and just viewed his performances then they'd see what an appalling footballer he is when he can't be bothered.
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