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Discussion
Pros an cons of 0-0 boxing day draws at Highbury.

Pros:
- we've stopped our 743 game losing run

cons:
- we still had more winding up orders than points in the last couple of months
- our injury list is still ginormous
- so is our suspended list
- we still don't have a manager (oh wait, we've given our shite assitant the role full time so scrap that)
- we are possibly still fekkin shite (cannot judge as I'm not going anymore)
- still on our way to visit Morecambe and Accy Stan in League Two next season anyway
http://666kb.com/i/dgwmh8dnsj5h3h2ww.jpg
Coyle out Venky's out. League 1 bound. League 1.....

(No offence to those who support teams in League 1, but it seemed an absolute world away for us a few years ago )
http://i45.tinypic.com/35jcvmr.png
Oh ffs, another home defeat!
Hmmm... very concerning that we seem unable to respond in games when we concede first.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Very concerned we're shit - like 90% of the time I've seen Newcastle this season...... like yeah maybe better than Brentford but like we'd get beat 9-0 off Burnley or Boro

Isaac Hayden would be up there with the Des Hamilton's of the world if he was signed by Dalglish/Souness or someone less popular.
One for the Newcastle fans: there was an incident in our match with Forest the other day which you may be interested in. Van La Parra got on the run and Mills came across to block him. The incident starts at about 44 seconds in the video, and it's interesting. Worth noting that Van La Parra was booked despite putting the brakes on, having a 6'3" defender try to stamp on him then having the same lump headbutt him (possibly accidental, but on viewing the footage I really don't think it was - you don't throw your head back like that when you know someone is behind you). Lump also spent five minutes rolling around abysmally while certain players crowded the referee - all from an accidental collision. They're one of 'those' teams - a set of cheating thuggish bastards who got their comeuppance.

Does sound like we did our best to make things difficult tonight against Forest, but win's a win.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

We signed Jake Mackreth for an undisclosed fee from Macclesfield. Is @Fola still around nowadays? Was he any good in his second spell or is he sheet?
http://666kb.com/i/dgwmh8dnsj5h3h2ww.jpg
We signed Jake Mackreth for an undisclosed fee from Macclesfield. Is @Fola still around nowadays? Was he any good in his second spell or is he sheet?


The Non-League Jesus Navas. Great pace but that's it. Good player to bring off the bench but massively surprised he got a move to L1 as he wasn't even a regular for us.
On one hand, lucky to get a draw after being a goal down going into injury time. On the other hand, we were a goal down to a very poor side who benefited from a very charitable decision not to penalise a blatant push that stopped us clearing our lines - ball comes back in, they have their only shot in the game, goal. Yet another decision to add to the already extensive list of decisions which have cost us goals and points this season. The sheer brass neck of Coyle to complain about us getting a point in the end is almost unbelievable - you could almost imagine that we'd performed a smash and grab raid, and not the other way round!

We were poor in the second half, to be honest. Positive first half but didn't take our chances. Blackburn just couldn't get the ball off us. They had about 25% possession - most of which was waiting for their goalkeeper to take a goal kick. He took time-wasting to another level, to be honest. Made me laugh when Coyle asked the question about where five minutes of stoppage time came from - the ref could have added 10 for Steele faffing about over dead balls alone, never mind the three injuries (that's three more than the zero Coyle thinks happened - twice their physio was on, once ours), six subs (on five different occasions) and two goals (one in stoppage time, to be fair). Made me laugh even more when Coyle tried to explain that the free-kick we scored from wasn't a free kick. Whatever he's on, it's seriously good stuff, because last time I checked flattening someone just outside the penalty area was a free-kick whether they had the ball or not - drives me mad when managers and pundits say 'didn't have control' because the laws say nothing about control. Payne might have over-run the ball, but that doesn't matter - the Blackburn lad still came through him with a body-check 20 yards out.

Disappointing to have dropped so many points against Blackburn in December, though. If we could finish more than two of our 51 shots on their goal, we'd be golden, but hey ho.
Take no notice of Coyle, he talks absolute shite.
http://i45.tinypic.com/35jcvmr.png
Take no notice of Coyle, he talks absolute shite.

All he needed to say was that you came with a game plan which you executed to near perfection - which you did, up to the last-minute free-kick. Does he still refer to himself in the third person, like some kind of Roman Emperor? We were profligate, and that's driving me mad - we've had enough chances in recent weeks to really take teams to the cleaners, but we've dropped silly points, even with things going against us.
How the fuck is it we have more wins than anyone else, have the division's top scorer, and yet can't get one goal in 180 minutes against fucking Blackburn?

Maybe we're doomed to fuck this all up.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Cannot believe we've lost to Blackburn twice this season, unbelievable.

I thought they were supposed to be shit or something?
Hilarious, two wins and two clean sheets (we've only kept one other clean sheet all season) against Newcastle. Mulgrew again!

They'll still go up, but they need to remember they couldn't score in 180 mins against a team set up by Owen Coyle, clearly a lot of work needs to be done.
http://i45.tinypic.com/35jcvmr.png
Hilarious, two wins and two clean sheets (we've only kept one other clean sheet all season) against Newcastle. Mulgrew again!

They'll still go up, but they need to remember they couldn't score in 180 mins against a team set up by Owen Coyle, clearly a lot of work needs to be done.

Technically we actually scored twice this afternoon.
They'll still go up, but they need to remember they couldn't score in 180 mins against a team set up by Owen Coyle, clearly a lot of work needs to be done.

I don't think we're as sure a bet as everyone thinks. We're winning lots of matches, but we're losing games we need to draw, and we're way too cautious in certain games. We seem unable to respond to going behind, as if we lack the something Brighton has, and our back-up options are not working. This pair of defeats to Wednesday and Blackburn is a hefty slap in the face, and the teams below us all winning is a worry. Couldn't care about the title - avoiding the fucking play-offs is the must.

We're going to have to make signings. Especially in midfield - Hayden & Colback lack creativity as a duo, Shelvey is still banned, Diame and Atsu are off to ACON, Perez isn't looking the answer, Ritchie has gone off the boil.

So. Yeah. Happy New Year.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Awful first half gave way to a marginally worse second half. There were two shots on target in the entire game - with the first, Kachunga stung the palms of Jaaskelainen, and the second came because the keeper dropped it at Wells' feet. The second went in.

To be fair, we rotated like mad. Seven changes to Saturday's side. We looked disjointed. Billing picked up an early booking for breathing on an opponent and was running scared after that. Midfield was nowhere in the first half as a result. Too pedestrian, no incision. Same went for the second half, although Lolley added some impetus on his return from 4 months out injured. We took the only chance of the game, it really is that simple. Wigan, fresh from restricting Derby, looked like a side doomed to the drop again - absolutely nothing there whatsoever. They got lucky against us at our place with what was a much better performance from both sides than this one. Our current run of 7 unbeaten has furnished 2 points fewer in 7 games than Wigan have accumulated in 25, which says a lot about them.

We still need a striker. Possibly two. One or two fringe players showed why they're not in the first team at the moment - Bunn was anonymous and got the hook early in the second half, while Billing had the game pass him by. Defence was very solid, though. Kachunga needs a breather and will hopefully get it on Saturday against Port Vale. Wells also picked up a knock, which is worrying.
I don't think we're as sure a bet as everyone thinks. We're winning lots of matches, but we're losing games we need to draw, and we're way too cautious in certain games. We seem unable to respond to going behind, as if we lack the something Brighton has, and our back-up options are not working. This pair of defeats to Wednesday and Blackburn is a hefty slap in the face, and the teams below us all winning is a worry. Couldn't care about the title - avoiding the fucking play-offs is the must.

We're going to have to make signings. Especially in midfield - Hayden & Colback lack creativity as a duo, Shelvey is still banned, Diame and Atsu are off to ACON, Perez isn't looking the answer, Ritchie has gone off the boil.

So. Yeah. Happy New Year.


This was all relevant when we were winning games - We were just lucky to eke them games out with no one really paying attention.

The Shelvey thing is an easy excuse - no other team has a 'creative' midfielder and goals still happen. We need pressure - which we rarely provide. No real pressing, no bombardment of the box, no one willing to beat a man - very little through balls or crosses, CM's rarely getting into the box, Wingers not holding width, and full backs never overlapping. And never any substitutions.

The Non-League Jesus Navas. Great pace but that's it. Good player to bring off the bench but massively surprised he got a move to L1 as he wasn't even a regular for us.


Looked alright today given it was his first game in a proper crap side. Certainly has some pace and got some ability at least. Put in a good cross or two but didn't look like he's going to tear sheet up in this division it has to be said.



















Oh and we lost again, WA-HEEEEEY
http://666kb.com/i/dgwmh8dnsj5h3h2ww.jpg
This was all relevant when we were winning games - We were just lucky to eke them games out with no one really paying attention.

The Shelvey thing is an easy excuse - no other team has a 'creative' midfielder and goals still happen. We need pressure - which we rarely provide. No real pressing, no bombardment of the box, no one willing to beat a man - very little through balls or crosses, CM's rarely getting into the box, Wingers not holding width, and full backs never overlapping. And never any substitutions.

Its a weird one all told. Its an easy excuse but the performance against Wednesday was bad. Yesterday was as much the issue of nobody stepping up to get goals when Gayle was effectively muted, but the midfield was still pants going forward. But it goes back to stuff I wondered earlier in the campaign about not asserting ourselves during games. Clearly we haven't learned.

Strangely its been pointed out that at this point in 2009/10, we had 52 points and were 6 points clear of the team in third - on those two stats, its identical this time around. Only this time we're winning a shitload - more wins than anyone else in the division - but guilty of being shit when going behind, and there's also stronger competitors. Brighton are probably going to win the league, and the likes of Reading, Huddersfield and Leeds are providing a stronger challenge than I thought they would. Certainly its a stronger league than it was 7 seasons ago.

«This comment has been edited»
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Classy Portsmouth fans. Apparently they were shouting abuse and singing "You're going home in an ambulance" after a Luton player broke his leg and then the ref booked him for hitting the floor in frustration/pain. Even Mike Dean isn't that much of a wanker, probably.
Classy Portsmouth fans. Apparently they were shouting abuse and singing "You're going home in an ambulance" after a Luton player broke his leg and then the ref booked him for hitting the floor in frustration/pain. Even Mike Dean isn't that much of a wanker, probably.


In fairness to Portsmouth fans, Luton do have a tendancy, at least since I've seen them under Nathan Jones, to over-play injuries a bit. I remember last season at our place one of their players went down under a fairly innocuous challenge and lay there for ages getting treatment, then had to be stretchered off etc... seeing as how he wasn't the first opposition player to milk it that game we all booed him similarly to the Portsmouth fans and Jones came out afterwards and said how terrible we were blah blah blah. Anyway, long story short that same player started for them next game after his miraculous recovery.

Also: getting booked for breaking your leg and hitting the floor is fucking ridiculous - I knew there were some absolutely shit refs in League Two but that takes the piss.

«This comment has been edited»
Its a weird one all told. Its an easy excuse but the performance against Wednesday was bad. Yesterday was as much the issue of nobody stepping up to get goals when Gayle was effectively muted, but the midfield was still pants going forward. But it goes back to stuff I wondered earlier in the campaign about not asserting ourselves during games. Clearly we haven't learned.

Strangely its been pointed out that at this point in 2009/10, we had 52 points and were 6 points clear of the team in third - on those two stats, its identical this time around. Only this time we're winning a shitload - more wins than anyone else in the division - but guilty of being shit when going behind, and there's also stronger competitors. Brighton are probably going to win the league, and the likes of Reading, Huddersfield and Leeds are providing a stronger challenge than I thought they would. Certainly its a stronger league than it was 7 seasons ago.


It's the tactics though. The players aren't supposed to go forward

Also seriously worried about the 'ambition' around the club - people genuinely upset about only finishing 10th now seemed to be resigned to being unable to compete with Brighton

Also reckon last time was loads harder - WBA immediately set themselves up in midtable along with us, and Nottm Forest went on a crazy winning/unbeaten streak.
They kinda go hand in hand really - not going forward enough and further not being bullying enough to other teams. More assertive forward thinking would benefit. Although on Monday we were definitely the more forward thinking side - more possession, shots, and having penalty appeals and goals turned away. But still, work required either way.

Feels like I've said this before but the whole issue in comparing 2014 and now is how relative it all is. 2013/14 was disappointing purely on the parameters of that campaign, which is going to be the way for sleepwalking to the end from being 6th and with a shot at the top 4 at Christmas to nearly dropping out of the top 10 in the final month, but that was still preferable to the twisted tortured mess of the following 2 seasons, and now whatever the fuck this is. Still, its easy to doom monger. The win attrition means something might come about. And its one thing for being resigned to be finishing behind Brighton. They might walk away or they might collapse. Still got 4 months to go yet. Maybe its still too soon to be doomy, if not too soon to recognise things aren't really going the way they should be.

I knew Forest did alright in the last campaign we shared a tier with them, but not specifics. 19 game unbeaten run in October 2009-January 2010, then fell face first over the line with 8 defeats after mid January, and losing both legs of their play-offs, or least so says Wiki. Which isn't too bad a run but seems to have stunted them - they seem to have been permanently stuck in midtable since. But I don't recall the Cardiff, Leicester and Blackpool teams that rounded off the top 6 being that great.

As an aside, Luton may well have their moments of being arrogant dickheads judging by what little I know of Jones in post-match comments, but there's really no excuse for booking McGeehan for striking the pitch in pain or serenading him in a manner akin to that Alan Smith got at Liverpool in 2006. Shame as well as McGeehan seems like a decent player.
noir et blanc armée

Read my FM Career A Little Bit Of History Changing

Ravel Morrison and Nick Powell in same team? Shiiiit
Izzy Brown signed on loan from Chelsea. One of two Rotherham players emerging from this season with something resembling credit, he'll provide more cover for the advanced 3 behind the front man, going on Wagner's comments, which hopefully means another striker will be coming in. Liked the look of him when we played Rotherham, to be honest, and I was pleased when he was subbed off.

Probably means Bunn to Barnsley is also a done deal, after Paurevic departed for Ufa yesterday.
Izzy Brown signed on loan from Chelsea. One of two Rotherham players emerging from this season with something resembling credit, he'll provide more cover for the advanced 3 behind the front man, going on Wagner's comments, which hopefully means another striker will be coming in. Liked the look of him when we played Rotherham, to be honest, and I was pleased when he was subbed off.


Good signing for you that yeah, when we played them he was probably the best player on the pitch, certainly the best in their team by some distance.
http://i45.tinypic.com/35jcvmr.png
Only signed one player? Pfff. We broke the bank and signed THREE players at once today! (Well two of them on loan, but anyway)

First one is Taylor Moore, 19 years old, defender who joins on loan from Bristol City. Quite chuffed about this. England international, got senior experience in two countries already and by all accounts Bristol's fans seem to rate him, so good signing probably.

Second is Reece Brown. Had him last season but Flickers let him go and he joined Sheffield United. Couldn't get a game for them, trained with us for a few days and he's back now. Not the kind of signing i was hoping for but I take that.

Third is Cameron Burgess. Defende,r on loan from Fulham. Scottish born but plays for Australialand. Oldham fans seem to rate him quite highly, so that will do me.

If we weren't playing bloody Scunny away I'd be half confident we could snatch a point or so
http://666kb.com/i/dgwmh8dnsj5h3h2ww.jpg
Big Mike giving us an additional £33m.

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