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Hoppy510

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  1. Technically not impossible but from this position - and with the potential of a further points deduction - it would require us to play like a top team every week and get something out of nearly every game. Having just got our first win I'm far from convinced we'll be able to do that every week. Nor do we look like a settled side yet. As Hill said in his post match interview: “It’s too difficult to explain the mechanics of that game, the way we arrived at this point with the players we’ve got missing,” he said after the game. “We played a system tonight with players who have barely been on the training pitch and credit to them." ...so it looks as though we won more by accident than design/training/selection/strategy and TBH Bristol could and perhaps should have scored a couple early doors - we rode our luck a bit. Maybe he'll stumble across a winning selection and plan every week but it's a big ask. TBH I don't really want to even think about the possibility of survival for now - it's the hope that kills you etc and if we adopt that mindset chances are it will lead to disappointment, anger and reduced support for a team that is rebuilding and needs every bit of understanding we can give them. I'm just grateful we exist and for small mercies like this fantastic win.
  2. Good points. I'm also involved in youth football to a small degree and the one thing that stands out for me is the massive number of decent kids that want to play professionally who fall by the wayside at every level. It's a brutal system and they not only nearly all get rejected sooner or later but a fair few get bad injuries - I know a very talented 14 year old who recently did his ACL for the second time so that's him done and dusted. And I've lost count of former Cat A trainees I've played with and against over the years at a very low level. Difference is that a handful of clubs are scouting internationally and pulling in 10 year olds from Africa and Brazil etc. My mates a former player and Spuds scout and he tells some tales about the lengths that some clubs go to to cream off the best from around the world - and at an early age there's no doubt that they predominantly want to play for the likes of RM, Barca, Manure etc. Their parents are all for it and because the youngsters are big fish in a small pond at that age, they're easily convinced that they can do it. But the reality is that it's a tiny fraction of a percent that make it all the way. But it's a fair point about some rejects wanting it more. Hopefully we can find 'em.
  3. I think the minimum requirement of an Academy is that it washes it face financially either by selling on products or saving money on transfer fees to an extent that the investment that goes into it is fully recouped. To do that it should produce a Holding or Vela every couple of years and stop panic selling at below market value. In Vela's case he should have gone much earlier when his market value was higher, but that's water under the bridge now. If the Academy breaks even and no more then it's probably just about worth keeping on in case there's a gem in the pipeline, but ideally it should be making a healthy profit and ours certainly doesn't seem to be doing that. For me it all comes back to the basic problem caused by the Ferguson system i.e. bringing in vast quantities of the cream of youth talent at a young age on the back of a vague promise that they'll make it with a big name club (i.e. what they want to hear) and then ruthlessly culling them or farming them out to other clubs to develop them and pay their wages then bringing back the few who can make it or selling the borderline cases - often to the clubs they've been on loan to. Chelsea seem to be the current kings of that model and currently have over 40 players out on loan to other clubs and god knows how many aspiring kids. It's a great model considering kids are cheap, idealistic, dispensable and it simultaneously deprives other clubs of a chance of developing their own future players - as has been the case with us. We can't attract top quality kids and if any of those we do shows talent we don't get to keep them. I'm just wondering if Hill's recent comments about the Academy and coaches is a prelude to a cull or even the closure of the Academy itself i.e. Hill putting out the idea that he's doing due diligence as a pre-justification? There's a niff of constructive dismissal about it IMO.
  4. In those heady days the Academy had access to a lot better raw talent, and although they weren't able to compete for places in BSA's all star team, the Academy did produce some excellent players who went on to have success elsewhere. Look at the the success Blerim Dzmaili had when he left us and more recently Aaron Mooy. Even Chris Basham's playing in the Prem these days. That said, I think Hill is partially right inasmuch that the standard has dropped, but I put that partly down to us not having the pulling power for recruiting quality youth talent any more - comes with the territory when the first team keeps getting relegated - and partly down to having gone through a recent spell of having to sell off our better youth players just to balance the books. Even so, the whole point of the Academy is to produce players of a quality that can compete for places in our first team or get sold on ideally for a good price unlike e.g. Holding and it currently isn't doing that well enough. In our position we should be focusing on recruiting really good, really young 'uns and being patient for a few years - hopefully achieving the financial stability that would mean we don't have to sell off the better ones. As for the coaches, Hill might want to consider that they've had their better products sold off so it ain't all their fault.
  5. Agreed. Surprisingly I think Hoddle made a good point about Rashford coming in off the wing so he's always facing the goal as opposed to playing up front for Manure with his back to it. Which would go a long way to explaining why he's gash for Manure - and why Manure need a proper centre forward.
  6. No point in complaining about results or the quality of the players we have - this team was put together with kids and a well-scraped barrel and this season results are not as important as performances. All we can expect is that their fitness continues to improve and they give everything for the cause which seems to be increasingly happening. We mustn't lose sight of the fact that we are lucky to exist and that we are rebuilding from scratch. We might be shit but at least we are getting plenty of effort and an attempt to play a more entertaining brand of football and as Hill points out we should be enjoying it.
  7. Hoppy510

    Pompey

    Visibly tired in the second half and for a while Pompey were all over us but the main thing was that we offered little in terms of attacking threat, especially after Verlinden went off. We just weren't creating clear cut chances. Still it's a lot better than it has been and we look reasonably organised at the back. Zouma is a strong lad but still looks a bit of a liability at times - hopefully he'll learn from the experience. At least it's something to build on for next season in League 2.
  8. Kinell Pig - I've just had my "permanent" ban rescinded and now you come on here? Do I need to change my deodorant? Need your support over there in my efforts to see if two permanent bans are possible. Ross McWhirter's pen is twitching.
  9. Portugal is great north of the Algarve with a beautiful coastline and nice coastal towns from Sesimbra through Cascais, Nazare, Peniche etc - think it's called the Silver Coast and locals holiday there and the seafood is excellent. Inland some amazing places like Obidos and mountain villages which are pretty much self-sufficient and bartering is rife to avoid taxation. People are great but not many English speakers in that area although quite a few of the older generation speak French from the time when many of them had to go there to find work. Off to Kos for a week shortly and then back for 3 before heading to SE Asia for a month until New Year - fortunately none of it booked through Thomas Cook - although my mate has just lost her TC holiday and is very pissed off, but sympathetic to the staff and customers.
  10. It won't change whilst polluting industries with a vested interest in the status quo are by default the biggest lobby groups and influencers for Governments. That's how it works - make a fortune selling e.g. fossil fuels which will put you in the strongest position to make political "donations" to keep the gravy train running. I heard years ago that the market leaders in fossil fuels were buying up emerging green fuel technologies just to put them on the shelf so they'd never see the light of day. Difficult for small companies and inventors to fund further development of great ideas and equally difficult for them to turn down several million not to pursue those ideas. That's capitalism though - once you're ahead in the game you're in the best position to kill off the competition to protect your position - which is why progress is so slow.
  11. One player who always seems to get a shift in is Chris Basham. Thought he'd just about disappeared after he left us, but he's done a cracking job for Sheff Utd and doesn't really look out of place in the Premiership so far.
  12. Maybe there's a Muamba type role for him in front of the back four? - win the ball and give it to someone who can pass.
  13. Hoppy510

    Pompey

    Could do with getting our first win in this one seeing as they're a relegation contender. Tough place to go for it though.
  14. I love VAR. Problem is the people interpreting "the truth" have problems with it when it's a close call, the rules are a bit dodgy, the technology can be improved further and the lack of communication between the ref(s) and the fans whilst the decision is being made is piss poor compared to say American Football. VAR is young in it's development but it can only get better, but for the vast majority of decisions it already works fine. Certainly a damned sight better than depending on the ref's eyesight and we should know given our history.
  15. Expectations. Their fans expect to walk the league, get promoted and certainly beat a team in our position. We on the other hand are still in la la land simply because we exist and so far we expect nothing. A couple of decent performances and some signs of improvement from the regular 5 nil thrashings may bring a swift end to that - I'm already hearing talk of survival and that's the first step down the road to having expectations. Bit daft really seeing as today Southend and Tranmere both won and Stanley managed a draw so now we're 15 points behind Portsmouth and they have a game in hand on us so that task got bigger if anything. Question is how much further can we improve this season? The lads seem to be putting in 100% already but they can certainly gel more as a team when they know each other better, getting a striker in may help and not every team we play will have the quality of Sunderland so there is some hope, but folk should be very wary of getting carried away. Personally I won't mind if we get relegated, but the moment folk start expecting us to survive will spell the end of the feel-good factor that has become the inspiration of the squad and the manager and ultimately the driving force behind our renaissance. I'll be gutted if all the progress is undermined by wankers who are incapable of simply being grateful that we still exist and start getting on the players/managers back if we have a bad game or we don't survive. Rebuilding from scratch is a long, slow process and there will definitely be bumps along the road.
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