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Rafael Benitez


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9 hours ago, Cornish Steve said:

Sigurdsson will never play again.

Correct - another huge investment who will walk away for free (best case we get compensation when the trial is concluded). What will get from our investment in Keane, Gbamin, Iwobi, Tosun, Gomes? So much wasted money for one reason or another - Benitez is not our biggest problem.

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The way I see it is that he is certainly a problem but he is far from being the problem, and it would be suicide to get rid of him now. 

On 22/11/2021 at 05:30, Palfy said:

My wish for Christmas is someone buy’s Moshiri out and sacks the fraud that is Brand’s, and we all live happily ever after. Dreams can come true if you wish hard enough yo ho ho. 

As Palfy alludes to above, I think the owner/boardroom is the problem at this club. In my opinion Moshiri only bought us to make money out of us a little bit further down the line. If you ask me, he'll get that stadium built and then he'll sell up as quick as possible to make a shit load of money. I don't think he's got an ounce of interest in anything else.

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2 hours ago, Formby said:

At the start of the season, with a nearly full-strength first XI, Benitez got a nice tune out of them and there were some promising signs. How anyone can say that, shorn of DCL, Doucoure and Mina (also Richarlison), we will somehow be the same is pure fantasy. Townsend and Gray benefitted early on because defenders were drawn to DCL, giving them space. They don't have that now. We don't have a right back or a left back who can do anything, our central defence without Mina is very poor and our midfield without Doucoure has zero creativity. So, what about effort? the naysayers cry. Why can't Benitez get the team, shorn of its spine, to be more up and at them? Well, they were against Tottenham - ish. But how many years has it been since we've had a proper up and at them team? These players are just not very good, sadly, and they're a bit disinterested, and they don't want to learn, and they don't want to put the effort in  - and the Benitez boo boys, like the parents of a classroom of kids who don't want to learn, blame the new teacher for the poor grades. A new manager is the last thing we need at the moment. Young dynamic full backs will most certainly help. A creative midfielder will help. Better luck with injuries will help. Recruitment needs to be sorted out and that's on the board.

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4 hours ago, duncanmckenzieismagic said:

I’m hoping this is just lazy journalism, hmmm who’s on a bad run, who’s out of work, bingo theres my article.

Yesterday and the last few games have been very poor, but changing manager isn’t going to fix the issue, the squad is thin on numbers and what there is needs improvement in many areas, which is going to be difficult while our hands are tied by FFP.

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22 hours ago, Btay said:

Just rinse and repeat. The only consistent factor in our absolute shithousery is this group of players not being held accountable for their lack of effort.

Time to be utterly ruthless and cut the shit from the team and replace the old legs.

I have no doubt as soon as Caro was aware he had no money this season it invest in this squad he was out.

Benetiz hasn’t been perfect by any stretch but if we continue to chop and change we will not benefit. We need to get an actual plan for recruitment and stop fucking about.

Out of interest who are those shit players that need to be cut? How many do you actually end up keeping?

I dont know if I am out on my own here but how we played against City was exactly how Benitez set us up. I think the players executed what he wanted pretty well and it sounds that way from some of his post match comments. 

That isn't me advocating for Benitez to be sacked either, he is what he is and I still think he will provide a stable influence on the club BUT that way of playing was on him, not the players IMO. I didn't think there was a lack of effort from them, they were really organised and on the whole kept going. They were just overwhelmed and unprepared whilst not being at full strength either (not that City were either). 

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9 hours ago, Bailey said:

Out of interest who are those shit players that need to be cut? How many do you actually end up keeping?

I dont know if I am out on my own here but how we played against City was exactly how Benitez set us up. I think the players executed what he wanted pretty well and it sounds that way from some of his post match comments. 

That isn't me advocating for Benitez to be sacked either, he is what he is and I still think he will provide a stable influence on the club BUT that way of playing was on him, not the players IMO. I didn't think there was a lack of effort from them, they were really organised and on the whole kept going. They were just overwhelmed and unprepared whilst not being at full strength either (not that City were either). 

I pretty much agree with everything thing you said bar City not being at full strength they have at least 18 players who would get in pretty much every first team in the league, they play a rotation system, even if KDB wasn’t injured he still might not have played that’s how strong there depth with in the squad is. On our set up there will be many who would advocate if it’s inevitable that you will more than likely lose then go down fighting, but the reality is no manager will employ them tactics even with a weakened team they will try and employ some tactics to try and get something out of the game, and Benitez with team he had at his disposal tried to defend and frustrate City in the hope we may have gotten a point out of it, but they proved to be to good for us and it took a brilliant first half goal to break us down no shame in that imo. We need better players and players in depth if we want to complete in this league, and that’s not the fault of Benitez that we haven’t. Some might be shouting for Benitez head after that but with our squad who do they think would have got us a better outcome, even if Pep was our manager and City had Boris the result would have been the same.  

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Our squad needs major overhaul again. Until we can do this we will struggle, especially with our best players out.

If we can get DCL, Richarlison, Grey, Doucoure, Alan, Dinge, Keane, Godfrey and Pickford all playing well together at the same time we do very well 

If we can get a right back and another midfielder/ winger we can be a top 6/7 side.

We just have to tough this shitty period out and give Rafa time.

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5 hours ago, Palfy said:

I pretty much agree with everything thing you said bar City not being at full strength they have at least 18 players who would get in pretty much every first team in the league, they play a rotation system, even if KDB wasn’t injured he still might not have played that’s how strong there depth with in the squad is. On our set up there will be many who would advocate if it’s inevitable that you will more than likely lose then go down fighting, but the reality is no manager will employ them tactics even with a weakened team they will try and employ some tactics to try and get something out of the game, and Benitez with team he had at his disposal tried to defend and frustrate City in the hope we may have gotten a point out of it, but they proved to be to good for us and it took a brilliant first half goal to break us down no shame in that imo. We need better players and players in depth if we want to complete in this league, and that’s not the fault of Benitez that we haven’t. Some might be shouting for Benitez head after that but with our squad who do they think would have got us a better outcome, even if Pep was our manager and City had Boris the result would have been the same.  

City were definitely not their strongest team. That doesn't mean they were still bloody strong but Laporte, Sterling and Palmer wouldnt have played. 

In terms of the tactics of sitting back and hitting them on the break, I have no problem with it, but like Carlo last season we were too deep, we didnt engage quick enough and we just let them play their football. If you want to play that way against a side like City you have to unsettle them, get close to them and stop playing. If you give them 3 or 4 yards 30 yards from goal they will find a pass and likewise it becomes incredible difficult to then play the passes you need to play to get at them on the counter. Rodri was constantly able to just step in and win the ball back in our half because we had no clue of how to get out. 

There is absolutely no doubt Benitez has his hands tied at the moment with injuries but there is no doubt the tactics needed to be better. We might have still lost by 3, that's football, but the performance would have been better and we would have given City something to think about. 

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said it a few times, the first half of this seasons is a complete  right off given the players we have injured, not to mention our record signing also out of the squad. Our squad is wafer thin on quality, so the shear volume and quality of the players missing over the past 2 months means it actually a job to field a competitive team in any Premier league games - (its a cliché but its the strongest league in the world by a mile?. Never mind the juggernaut of a squad like man city.

Benitez has been as unlucky as you could have been in his first quarter as an Everton manager. he has not been able to put our any sort of consistent team - for weeks now it been sticking plaster after sticking plaster.

Given the transfer window he was allowed - basically a clear out and bargain basement squad filler, the relatively poor squad he has inherited and luck he has had with injuries (to the better players) then I am not surprise we are not doing to well at the moment - its actually to be expected.

I think 'tactics' can only go so far when you simply field inferior player in a weekly make do and mean formations in premiership league games. 

I currently have nothing but sympathy of him at the moment. Because I don't think there is a manager out their past or present who would be excelling in these circumstances. Roll on the New Year when we hopefully have players back and match fit.

 

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4 hours ago, Bailey said:

There is absolutely no doubt Benitez has his hands tied at the moment with injuries but there is no doubt the tactics needed to be better. We might have still lost by 3, that's football, but the performance would have been better and we would have given City something to think about. 

That’s absolutely rubbish mate Benitez is in the top 20 managers in the world, yet you believe you can tactical do better with the players he has, and he’s not astute enough to see what you’ve seen what ever that might be, you would have gone out there giving them something to think about and lost 5,6 or 7-0, we had 1 player out there who looked capable of giving them something slightly to think of and he went off injured in the first half, it would have been boy’s against men no matter what the tactics. Laporte didn’t play Stones played someone who would walk into any team in the league and who is probably better than Laporte, Sterling played another who would walk into any team in the league, nothing to do with tactics mate all to do with the ability of the players at the managers disposal. 

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18 minutes ago, Palfy said:

That’s absolutely rubbish mate Benitez is in the top 20 managers in the world, yet you believe you can tactical do better with the players he has, and he’s not astute enough to see what you’ve seen what ever that might be, you would have gone out there giving them something to think about and lost 5,6 or 7-0, we had 1 player out there who looked capable of giving them something slightly to think of and he went off injured in the first half, it would have been boy’s against men no matter what the tactics. Laporte didn’t play Stones played someone who would walk into any team in the league and who is probably better than Laporte, Sterling played another who would walk into any team in the league, nothing to do with tactics mate all to do with the ability of the players at the managers disposal. 

As sad as it is the reality is that Cities players are faster, stronger, more skilful and more intelligent - its why City paid so much for them and why they get the biggest wages - they are among the most prized and elite athletes in world football. Coupled with that they play well as a team who have developed over 5 seasons or so being coached by arguably one of THE best coaches in the game.  If City get their own tactic right (and why wouldn't they), there is nothing or very little we (or many other teams) can actually do about it. With the players we have there is no other tactic other than to hopefully cling on and if you get really lucky land a sucker punch. 

Home and away - city on average are winning games by more than 2 goals. 

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21 minutes ago, RuffRob said:

As sad as it is the reality is that Cities players are faster, stronger, more skilful and more intelligent - its why City paid so much for them and why they get the biggest wages - they are among the most prized and elite athletes in world football. Coupled with that they play well as a team who have developed over 5 seasons or so being coached by arguably one of THE best coaches in the game.  If City get their own tactic right (and why wouldn't they), there is nothing or very little we (or many other teams) can actually do about it. With the players we have there is no other tactic other than to hopefully cling on and if you get really lucky land a sucker punch. 

Home and away - city on average are winning games by more than 2 goals. 

Very well articulated Rob, surely that won’t be argued against.  

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2 hours ago, RuffRob said:

said it a few times, the first half of this seasons is a complete  right off given the players we have injured, not to mention our record signing also out of the squad. Our squad is wafer thin on quality, so the shear volume and quality of the players missing over the past 2 months means it actually a job to field a competitive team in any Premier league games - (its a cliché but its the strongest league in the world by a mile?. Never mind the juggernaut of a squad like man city.

Benitez has been as unlucky as you could have been in his first quarter as an Everton manager. he has not been able to put our any sort of consistent team - for weeks now it been sticking plaster after sticking plaster.

Given the transfer window he was allowed - basically a clear out and bargain basement squad filler, the relatively poor squad he has inherited and luck he has had with injuries (to the better players) then I am not surprise we are not doing to well at the moment - its actually to be expected.

I think 'tactics' can only go so far when you simply field inferior player in a weekly make do and mean formations in premiership league games. 

I currently have nothing but sympathy of him at the moment. Because I don't think there is a manager out their past or present who would be excelling in these circumstances. Roll on the New Year when we hopefully have players back and match fit.

 

I take your point and have some sympathy with it - although I still think Benitez is inept and part of the problem.

But for the longer term, what's the strategy? I've always been of the opinion that, to build a legacy that lasts for a decade, there's no viable alternative to having a very strong youth program. That program only has benefit, though, if there's a strategy for feeding them into the first team. Situations such as the one we face right now is the PERFECT opportunity to utilize the youth program. What won't work in the long-term is bringing in has-beens, which seems to have been part of our strategy for years now.

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1 minute ago, Cornish Steve said:

I take your point and have some sympathy with it - although I still think Benitez is inept and part of the problem.

But for the longer term, what's the strategy? I've always been of the opinion that, to build a legacy that lasts for a decade, there's no viable alternative to having a very strong youth program. That program only has benefit, though, if there's a strategy for feeding them into the first team. Situations such as the one we face right now is the PERFECT opportunity to utilize the youth program. What won't work in the long-term is bringing in has-beens, which seems to have been part of our strategy for years now.

Given that a significant proportion of the best players in a relatively poor squad have been missing for 2/3 or more of the 15 or so games Benitez has actually had at the club, I think it's extremely harsh to be judging Bentiez as inept.  Its taken new manages far longer to get a tune out of an injury free worldie of squads and get them playing as a team - give the bloke a break and half a change to make a go of the job for fucks sake. It's 15 games man with a crocked thread bare squad and a negative spend in players!!

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36 minutes ago, RuffRob said:

Given that a significant proportion of the best players in a relatively poor squad have been missing for 2/3 or more of the 15 or so games Benitez has actually had at the club, I think it's extremely harsh to be judging Bentiez as inept.  Its taken new manages far longer to get a tune out of an injury free worldie of squads and get them playing as a team - give the bloke a break and half a change to make a go of the job for fucks sake. It's 15 games man with a crocked thread bare squad and a negative spend in players!!

My point from the beginning was that he has a long track record of (i) inept game tactics; (ii) inept substitutions; and (iii) playing favourites. I'm not drawing this conclusion only from our performances so far this season - although I would submit that this track record has continued.

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On 21/11/2021 at 22:31, Cornish Steve said:

Norwich picked up Dean Smith, and Watford recruited Claudio Ranieri. Both would be an improvement on Rafael Benitez, and both have already had an impact on their respective clubs. If we start looking now, we won't have to panic when we're in the bottom third by the end of the year.

Thing is, that both these clubs are relatively well run with stable backroom staffs and admin.  Same for Leicester and Saints and Wolves, so the managers are well supported.  Everton are a basket case club with a dysfunctional backroom staff, totally screwed by FFP regulations.  Until we sort that, any manager we employ will struggle, as they have since Moyes and under Moshiri.

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48 minutes ago, Cornish Steve said:

My point from the beginning was that he has a long track record of (i) inept game tactics; (ii) inept substitutions; and (iii) playing favourites. I'm not drawing this conclusion only from our performances so far this season - although I would submit that this track record has continued.

To emphasize my point, here's a review of Benitez after 21 games as manager at Chelsea. Do these statements ring any bells?

"Laughable cup performances, late-match collapses, inert tactics, head-scratching post-match comments, even worse substitutions and in-game management, and a measured drop in league performance"

"Some people have called him a bit unlucky. Too many wasted chances and too many individual mistakes, they say, despite generally dominating matches... Too many injuries, they say, to an already (relatively) small squad. The man has no luck, they say."

https://weaintgotnohistory.sbnation.com/2013/2/8/3959750/on-the-ineptitude-of-rafael-benitez

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18 hours ago, Cornish Steve said:

To emphasize my point, here's a review of Benitez after 21 games as manager at Chelsea. Do these statements ring any bells?

"Laughable cup performances, late-match collapses, inert tactics, head-scratching post-match comments, even worse substitutions and in-game management, and a measured drop in league performance"

"Some people have called him a bit unlucky. Too many wasted chances and too many individual mistakes, they say, despite generally dominating matches... Too many injuries, they say, to an already (relatively) small squad. The man has no luck, they say."

https://weaintgotnohistory.sbnation.com/2013/2/8/3959750/on-the-ineptitude-of-rafael-benitez

Yet he guided Chelsea to third place in the PL that season and a Europa League win.

I'd take that! Wouldn't you????

And a cursory look at good old Wikipedia to offer some balance.

'Defender David Luiz credited Benítez with making critical changes at half time (of EL Final), saying, "He changed some of our positions in the second half. That's why we played better and won the title. He spoke a lot to us to change the intensity." On the winning goal scored by Branislav Ivanović, Juan Mata said, "Rafa told us we had to aim to the far post, because it was Artur's weakest place. I just tried to put the ball there and Ivanovic did the rest."'

'Benitez didn't take part in the lap of honour after the (last match of the season - against Everton), but many fans showed their appreciation for his efforts during the season, a notable contrast to the hostile reception he received before.'

 

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All I know is even though we are going through a terrible patch…. The football is still infinitely better than what was played under the worlds best manager…… with a lot less players available too.

But… I 100% will judge him how we turn up against the shite…. No matter what players are available.

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On 23/11/2021 at 17:45, Palfy said:

That’s absolutely rubbish mate Benitez is in the top 20 managers in the world, yet you believe you can tactical do better with the players he has, and he’s not astute enough to see what you’ve seen what ever that might be, you would have gone out there giving them something to think about and lost 5,6 or 7-0, we had 1 player out there who looked capable of giving them something slightly to think of and he went off injured in the first half, it would have been boy’s against men no matter what the tactics. Laporte didn’t play Stones played someone who would walk into any team in the league and who is probably better than Laporte, Sterling played another who would walk into any team in the league, nothing to do with tactics mate all to do with the ability of the players at the managers disposal. 

When was Benitez last in the top 20 managers in the world? What number was Ancellotti when he arrived as well?

I thought it was clear as day that we were stood too far off City. You can let good players play football deep in your own half and expect them to not score. I am not saying I could do X, Y or Z but that just isn't going to work other than the odd complete fluke.

It has everything to do about tactics. Just look at Utd. They have a world class squad and how is that working out for them? Do you believe that they wouldn't improve for Pep going in there? I don't deny that having world class players helps, but doing the basics right is fundamental to every good team at any level.

On 23/11/2021 at 18:25, RuffRob said:

As sad as it is the reality is that Cities players are faster, stronger, more skilful and more intelligent - its why City paid so much for them and why they get the biggest wages - they are among the most prized and elite athletes in world football. Coupled with that they play well as a team who have developed over 5 seasons or so being coached by arguably one of THE best coaches in the game.  If City get their own tactic right (and why wouldn't they), there is nothing or very little we (or many other teams) can actually do about it. With the players we have there is no other tactic other than to hopefully cling on and if you get really lucky land a sucker punch. 

Home and away - city on average are winning games by more than 2 goals. 

City have dropped points to the following teams this season:

Leicester

Spurs

Southampton

PSG

Liverpool

West Ham

Palace

They are not unbeatable, and I grant that catching them on a bad day helps, but its not just as simple as getting lucky IMO.

20 hours ago, RuffRob said:

I am going to hold out and base my opinion on what I actually see from the fella at our club - which is hopefully after a half decent transfer window and at least 12-18months in to working with a squad of players. To me that that's the minimum amount of time you need to give somebody to build some sort of a team - (Benitez or other). We all have to remember he is still working with an eclectic squad made up from the signing of 5-6 different managed - and a failing team at that. he was never going to come in and overnight turn us in to competitive team with this bunch.

Not bothered about 'quotes' or 'opinions' from others. Internet is full of useless or half baked opinions. Just because something is printed these days, doesn't mean there is any sort of truth about it.  

What I have seen so far is

- fit and available squad, we where winning games and doing ok - nothing spectacular, but effective.

- threadbare squad due to injured players, we are not winning games and struggling in the toughest league in the world.

If you have been keeping a keen eye on Benitez over the years and have detailed dossier on him then fair do's to you, I have not been scrutinising him in any sort of detail over his career, all I really know is he won a fair bit of stuff in a number of countries, the Newcastle fans quite liked him in his last premier league job a couple of years ago (and would have snapped him up again last month if he wasn't with us), and he is generally well respected by most in football for his knowledge, hard work and dedication. 

I will give him a fair chance to build something. 

 

 

 

I agree with this. The jury is still out on how we will perform with a fully fit squad as it didn't really help Ancellotti in the end, but whilst I may be critical about certain parts of our performances recently, there is more than enough hope in there that we will be competitive when he has more of his players at his disposal.

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No attempt to win the game right from the off and then stubborn as fuck to not change things when it was clear we were going nowhere in terms of getting back in the game.

I've said before that I understand going with experience and holding the youngsters back but what we were doing just was not working, so why not throw the dice and see what happens? We fucking lost anyway!

And, again, he's not our biggest problem but he is certainly one of our problems.

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I’m not going to ask for his head.

But I just watched Gordon who has no left foot cut I side literally every time he touched the ball. And he got left there for the lions.

While on the other side Iwobi just Iwobied the ball every time.

Now imagine changing it round for a bit and giving the right footed guy a chance to get the ball into the box? 

I know I know, I’m a pioneer, thinking outside the box and that!

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1 hour ago, dunlopp9987 said:

Who do we bring in if Rafa is sacked. Who's the next stop-gap manager?

Believe me this appointment isn’t working and won’t work. It is completely wrong on all accounts. I wasn’t bothered about him being an ex Kopite. 
 

What I can clearly see though is it’s not working on and off the pitch and is highly highly unlikely ever too. The players look disinterested. It just shows how good a manager Ancelotti was that he had this group up the top end of the table virtually the whole season. 
 

We are in serious trouble if this continues. 

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4 minutes ago, MC11 said:

Believe me this appointment isn’t working and won’t work. It is completely wrong on all accounts. I wasn’t bothered about him being an ex Kopite. 
 

What I can clearly see though is it’s not working on and off the pitch and is highly highly unlikely ever too. The players look disinterested. It just shows how good a manager Ancelotti was that he had this group up the top end of the table virtually the whole season. 
 

We are in serious trouble if this continues. 

Carlo Ancelotti can fuck right off. Forever and always.

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8 minutes ago, Tonsta said:

No doubt there will be banners on Wednesday saying well done Raffa, you're doing a great job.

Agent Rafa it’ll be. Oh and they’ll have a song to go with it too. Let’s hope we don’t get a hide in as it will be very very ugly if we do. 

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31 minutes ago, StevO said:

We really need consistency at the club if we want any long term improvement, but I don’t see him being in a job come January. I’ve no idea where we go from here and I can’t see any way Wednesday isn’t one of the worst days in my lifetime supporting Everton. 

I’ve listed my ticket (and my dad’s) - just can’t face the 200mile round trip in shit weather - getting home at 12:30 to get up at 6:30 - can’t be arsed! Gone for 0-5 on my Super 6 - really can’t see any other outcome at the moment.

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1 hour ago, Tonsta said:

I hear what people say about injuries, and full squads, but this was Brentford, championship team, Watford no wins put five past us at Goodison, this is a lot more than a few players missing. Displays have been dire; you don't need to be a top player to work hard.

This is very hard to take today because I’m pretty sure every other team in the league beats Brentford today as they were so poor. This isn’t the Brentford who beat Arsenal and matched Chelsea/Liverpool; they’ve got a few injuries and look very average. Sadly, we’re an absolute shambles. Okay, our defence (bar Coleman) and midfield look okay but where would you rank Iwobi, Townsend, Gordon and Rondon as an attacking 4? I don’t think, there’s a weaker front 4 if you look at the weekend line-ups. In reality, all are back-up but that in itself is worrying. I like Gordon and am happy to have Townsend as an option but in reality, unless we are pretty much fully fit, we are a very poor side.

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3 hours ago, Tonsta said:

No doubt there will be banners on Wednesday saying well done Raffa, you're doing a great job.

 

3 hours ago, MC11 said:

Agent Rafa it’ll be. Oh and they’ll have a song to go with it too. Let’s hope we don’t get a hide in as it will be very very ugly if we do. 

All of which says more about them to disrespect someone who did so much for their club and left on reasonable terms. I think Rafa would be proper hurt by those type of banners - to question his integrity, wild only spur him on. 

Regardless we are in such a bad spot. The longer this goes to more I’m frustrated at our spending over the last few years. Koeman and Walsh in particular. We’ve paid out over £100 million pounds for players who’ve hardly kicked a ball and it’s disgusting. 

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1 hour ago, c1982 said:

This is very hard to take today because I’m pretty sure every other team in the league beats Brentford today as they were so poor. This isn’t the Brentford who beat Arsenal and matched Chelsea/Liverpool; they’ve got a few injuries and look very average. Sadly, we’re an absolute shambles. Okay, our defence (bar Coleman) and midfield look okay but where would you rank Iwobi, Townsend, Gordon and Rondon as an attacking 4? I don’t think, there’s a weaker front 4 if you look at the weekend line-ups. In reality, all are back-up but that in itself is worrying. I like Gordon and am happy to have Townsend as an option but in reality, unless we are pretty much fully fit, we are a very poor side.

I hear what you say, one of them forwards probably the worst cost 35 mil, the reason the others are there is because the way the club is run, and allowing us to be restrained by the financial rules. All season its always if Mina was fit or DCL or Dacou, we have had them play, not all the time, but our problems are still there. Kean and Delph have even gone from poor to ok back to poor again, Last season was poor apart from a good start the standard was dire at times, we lost more home games than at any other time in our history, the only reason Carlo was given so much leeway is because his reputation was above reproach, but he was poor. The club needs a complete change of direction, and DOF who knows what he is doing, not someone who picks targets from youtube, we can all do that. Our problem is not who plays but the attitude in which they play, Brentford's forward line and Norwich to name 2 have worse forwards than us today, but they had a lot more bottle desire, work ethic, whatever you want to call it. Sure, with our first-choice players we should do better, but without them we should fight as good as anyone in the league. There is not talent required for effort.

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So much flying around twitter suggesting Rafa is in big trouble. Evidently it's not going well for him. It baffles me the fans are blaming the manager. Look at the state of the squad, the dreadful investment over previous years, the current injuries. Rafa was brought in and given a kitty of £2m by all reckoning, what on earth was he supposed to do with that? The squad we have isn't strong enough to compete for a top 6 spot. What's any manager supposed to do with it, let alone Rafa? I'm at a loss for what direction the club needs to take if they do decide to sack him, a manager who shouldn't have been brought in in the first place. There are plenty that would jump at the chance to manage us, but none if any would be good enough. There doesn't seem to be any money to spend unless we offload some of our best players, who I wouldn't blame for wanting to leave. The only other option would be to bring a manger in to build a squad i.e a Graham Potter (who I doubt would want to come here unless we fill his pockets enough). The issue with this is that we seem to have a board who aren't capable of allowing the people they employ to do their job, they seem to think they know what's best for the club even if it is out of their expertise.

I'm afraid with clubs around us like Brentford, Brighton, West Ham, Leicester, Villa who all seem to be run far better than we do that there is only one way for us, and that's mid table mediocrity for the mid term future.

It's about time we start losing our ego and realising what state the club is actually in, and no manager or stadium is going to fix that anytime soon.

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