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Rotherham (Home League Cup) Wednesday August 29th

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2 hours ago, aaron said:

so do we, lets not forget those teams mentioned have European football, we don't right now. Our squad is still big so for me that's no excuse.

I meant in terms of quality more than depth to be honest. 

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Hi all, bit late to the party on this one.

I was sat behind the goal in lower Gwladys and so I will give my opinion  on what I saw of this game.

Sandro has gotten a bit of praise from the press but we have to remember the calibre of the opposition here. He didn't do much in my eyes. He huffs and puffs but doesn't seem to blow the house down. His shot was turned in by Gylfi though so that's something.

Calvert Lewin seems much more comfortable as a centre forward, I think we need to abandon the idea of him playing from a wide position. He took both his goals well and was unlucky not to have scored a header earlier in the game. The second goal was a sublime finish and I think highlights a problem we have in the team.

Someone actually needs to have a go. Calvert Lewin got in a good position and whipped it into the top corner. Earlier in the match Dowell got past his man and was baring down on goal only to turn it wide to the right for a cross. He could have struck the ball with the outside of his boot, it was opening right up for him to shoot and he elected to pass. The whole stand groaned when he failed to shoot.

Small players. I've moaned before and I'll moan again. Some of our players are too small. That's fine if you have blistering pace like Walcott does or are really tricky or have that low centre of gravity like Teves and Rooney in their prime. Most of our player don't.

Tom Davies is just a bit too small and a bit too weak. The heart is willing but the body falls short, I worry about him. He needs to bulk up a bit but not at the expense of getting any slower.

Holgate is too small to play centre back. He isn'tt good enough to get away with it, he's certainly no Fabio Cannavaro anyway. If you can't win the technical battle then you have to win the physical one. He's not bad with the ball at his feet but I worry when he is being backed into his box and made to defend.

Cenk and Niasse. Can't see either of them scoring double figures this year. A top striker is now our priority in January.

Zonal marking. I had to explain this to my friend as he couldn't understand what was going on at the corners and YET AGAIN we conceded from it. Zonal marking works but only when all of the players have been fully used to it. Even then I think certain players should be targeted. If you're playing against a Peter Crouch you absolutely have to man mark him, even if everyone else is doing zonal. 

If Marco Silva persists with zonal marking we are going to concede a lot more goals from corners. I reckon 1 in 5 corners will lead to us conceding until we get better at zonal marking or Silva drops it. Preferably I would do a mixed marking with key players picked out as previously mentioned.

Enjoyed the game though. Sorry for the wall of text.

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Good post Paul agree with most of it bar Cenk and Holgate 

I've never thought Tosun would be a prolific goal scorer tbh but I do think once he bags a goal he'll hit double figures here, as many strikers do he just needs that first goal but one thing about the lad is he offers a great deal besides goals 

His hold up play is great and brings others into the game well and doesn't let his head drop, very valuable player 

Holgate is a brilliant young CB in my eyes, the lad out on their left side in the second half tried to run him down a few times and he kept up and forced things in our favour with clever defending

Strong for his size and doesn't shy away from getting stuck in, I think his biggest attribute is the one that carried John Terry for years longer than his legs should have let him and that's how he reads the game

People talk of some of the other English CB's being targets and great players etc but to me we've had one on our hands for a while and he'll only get better imo

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Really not sure of Holgate, but then I'm set in my ways. I prefer my centre half to be 6ft+. I think he would do much better alongside a Jagielka but 10 years younger. I've always been a big fan of Jags and it's a shame to see him age and struggle a bit.

Cenk is great with his back to goal. Receives the ball well, turns and plays it every time. Problem is he doesn't have either the strength or the pace to drop his defender once turning. He is never going to do that and will have to rely on the give and go then getting into the box.

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17 hours ago, Cornish Steve said:

A decent win tonight, and I'm pleased we used mostly second-string players.

Look at this strategically. What, as a team, do we really want to do? What's our goal? What's our vision? What target are we shooting at? When will we know we've reached it? The answers to these questions should determine everything we do. Winning the pointless League Cup won't achieve anything except maybe a temporary glow until we realize it was barely worth the effort and serious teams are simply smirking.

The goal is to become a top four team and remain a top four team. Within that goal, we should aim to be number one and stay number one. This is a real goal, and it's achievable if we focus on it - and on it alone. With that in mind, the League Cup is a good way to learn whether second-string players are progressing, but that's about it. If it makes us tired for an upcoming weekend game, that's a negative. If it means we lose focus on the league, it's a bad thing. Focus, focus, focus. This is why finishing 6th instead of 7th is good, because we're getting closer to our goal. Finishing 10th and winning the League Cup means we're further from our goal and vision.

Achievable if we double our annual revenue as a club, assuming no growth in resources to the top 6 or big continental clubs. And that puts it at unlikely.

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3 hours ago, TallPaul1878 said:

Really not sure of Holgate, but then I'm set in my ways. I prefer my centre half to be 6ft+. I think he would do much better alongside a Jagielka but 10 years younger. I've always been a big fan of Jags and it's a shame to see him age and struggle a bit.

Cenk is great with his back to goal. Receives the ball well, turns and plays it every time. Problem is he doesn't have either the strength or the pace to drop his defender once turning. He is never going to do that and will have to rely on the give and go then getting into the box.

I get what you mean with both of these. Holgate is better than his size would suggest though. He might not be a powerhouse but he is relatively strong and very good in the air. At the moment he just isnt going to go through 90 mins without making a sizable mistake or creating a ripple that puts the rest of the team off kilter. He is another Michael Keane. 

Tosun is a toughie. He does a lot of good, hard work and is a very good finisher but he isnt giving himself enough chances. He doesnt create anything for himself so he needs to be the one finishing the move but at the moment he isnt. Its early days though, everyone is still getting used to Silva and I am sure he will start getting himself more goals in time.

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13 hours ago, Paddock said:

It’s about winning trophies- that’s what the fans want, that’s what the club needs. It’s essential we start winning silver ware again, until we do the club will sit in mediocrity. Yes the too 4 is the ultimate goal but to get there winning a cup along the way is what makes the board, coaching team, playing staff and fans believe in the project.

I do understand the value of winning, and for sure you understand much better than I the frustration of so many years without silverware; nonetheless, the chance that we'll achieve our goal increases significantly when we put all else aside in an obsession to reach it. I'd rather we established a lasting legacy in the top four than a flash in the pan League Cup final win that, after more years of drought, will come to ring hollow.

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5 hours ago, Cornish Steve said:

I do understand the value of winning, and for sure you understand much better than I the frustration of so many years without silverware; nonetheless, the chance that we'll achieve our goal increases significantly when we put all else aside in an obsession to reach it. I'd rather we established a lasting legacy in the top four than a flash in the pan League Cup final win that, after more years of drought, will come to ring hollow.

Is rather we did both

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7 hours ago, Cornish Steve said:

I do understand the value of winning, and for sure you understand much better than I the frustration of so many years without silverware; nonetheless, the chance that we'll achieve our goal increases significantly when we put all else aside in an obsession to reach it. I'd rather we established a lasting legacy in the top four than a flash in the pan League Cup final win that, after more years of drought, will come to ring hollow.

going by that then should we finish outside the Europa League spots until we are good enough to finish 4th? The Europa would be a distraction from achieving 4th would it not? To attract the players who will get us to 4th and above, you need to be winning silverware, playing in European football etc. I'm sure the players we signed this summer have done so on the back of a promise that we will be back playing European football soon and challenging for trophies, which in turn will attract better players once those goals are completed.

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1 hour ago, aaron said:

going by that then should we finish outside the Europa League spots until we are good enough to finish 4th? The Europa would be a distraction from achieving 4th would it not? To attract the players who will get us to 4th and above, you need to be winning silverware, playing in European football etc. I'm sure the players we signed this summer have done so on the back of a promise that we will be back playing European football soon and challenging for trophies, which in turn will attract better players once those goals are completed.

Financially, we wouldn't succeed by doing what the rich clubs do anyway. This is why we need a strategy that is unique, and the best is to focus on youngsters. To answer your question, yes. We should not chase the Europa League when we're not ready. Just look at the last two occasions we were there, or look at Burnley this year. A poor record in the league hurts rather than helps our chances of recruiting top European players.

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