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Wanderers Ways. Neil Thompson 1961-2021

The Final


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Absolutely knew there’d be a total meltdown on here tonight. 
loads of crap about “bottle” and “being up for it” - wtf does that even mean? - other than childish catchphrases taken from has- been pundits trying to say they should have played better.

And playing better includes putting in more effort. It’s debatable whether they worked hard enough but today was about quality I.e. we didn’t have enough quality to execute OUR gameplan.

Oxford’s gameplan was to play to their strengths - and nullify ours i.e. no outball for our defenders who were forced to punt it long to their big defenders ( giving our forwards nothing to work with) and whenever we got it in midfield Branagan et al won it back immediately.  The forwards weren’t helped by appalling service from the wide men. 

Fact is Sheehan, Maghoma and to a lesser extent George were totally bossed - played like fancy dans  - although Demps wasn’t. 

Evatt made the right changes - but if he’d set the right tone from the beginning and brought on Paris and Sheehan late on instead of the other way round, we’d have won.

The game was played to their gameplan- our hope was to pass through them and we weren’t good enough to do that and a lot of the performances  were bad.

All comes back to trying to play like City with league one standard players.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, royal white said:

This is my only lasting memory of the game, it was at that point I fucked off. Some people will somehow  blame that on Evatt. 

Buck stops with the manager. That’s how it works, rightly or wrongly. If there is no urgency in the play off final when will there be?

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Just now, Farrelli said:

Buck stops with the manager. That’s how it works, rightly or wrongly. If there is no urgency in the play off final when will there be?

Fuck off. Theres 10 mins to go, you’re losing 2-0 and a player just strolls over for a corner, if he needs a manager to tell him to get a move on then he’s in the wrong job.  Not one of those players played to their best today 

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1 hour ago, Lostock Whites said:

I still don't fully believe Evatt should be sacked and should be given next season.

However, it's worth noting that Oxford and Portsmouth have both got promoted this season with managers, much more inexperienced and younger than Evatt.

Evatt had the full backing of the board, club, everything, he's been able to do whatever he wants, next season would be his 5th season with us.

Chopping and changing managers for me is an aspect of modern football that I massively disagree with.

But after 4 years of Evatt, I think a pertinent question at this stage would be: Has Evatt taken us as far as he can? 

Possibly.

Pretty much where I’m at.

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two of IE quotes got me thinking this week, 'we wont deviate from our principles' , and , the player need to think on there feet, that sounds to me like zero preparation!!

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3 hours ago, royal white said:

Oh and as well as us having the best fans in the world we also have the mongiest fans with the shittiest undies IMG_9797.thumb.jpeg.d86cc638b819553ada0a637ed2bdb38e.jpegIMG_9798.thumb.jpeg.3944d262e8045139b315d44847886e1b.jpegIMG_9796.thumb.jpeg.c8824ceea0fdea42f49d9ab6351b73ae.jpeg

 

Going on an all day sesh in light coloured kecks is asking for trouble.  Severe spash back and piss drips at the very best. Amateur hour 

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Unfortunately Oxford did their homework on us. Pressed us, didn't give us any time. We bottled it and I would get rid of Evatt.

I never believed we were the best team in this league like some did on here; Portsmouth and Derby were much better teams than us. Portsmouth especially.

Next season will be a tougher league, we missed a real opportunity this season. A big clear out is needed.

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IE has previously admitted in interviews to trying to ape the way Man City and Liverpool play, his issues are thus:

- Your players need to be skilled enough to play that way

- Your coaches need to be able to train into this system and they need to be able to bring players into it from scratch(this is the reason behind the "he'll be better after a full preseason" nonsense).

It's clear the club doesn't have the pull to bring in either these players or the coaches, with it being in League 1 and having limited resources. Even if IE understands what better managers are doing (which i doubt) fundementally he lacks the above, nothing will change that. Many of the players he has are good or even great at this level...but that's it.

To the people saying we've gotten better each year im not sure we have, first year back in League 1 it's mid table, second year we get lucky (if we're honest) with 2 top end loans, we scrape the play offs, and third year it's solid play offs but it's a weaker League 1 and we seem to be getting worse the longer the season went on.

He has to go. his arrogance is holding us back.

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That had the feel of the Watford defeat for me ( but worse) , just totally lackluster all over the pitch . In fairness today's performance has been evident in patches all through the season but in lots of games we have managed to salvage something from them .

A big season next season and a real danger that the play offs are going to take some getting in regarding the teams dropping down and those coming up , a really big chance missed this season in what was probably the weakest League for a while .

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1 hour ago, wiggy said:

With 10 minutes to go we had a corner. Our corner taker strolled over like we were 2-0 up. And our defenders walked slower than I could possibly imagine from the halfway line to get into the box. Couldn’t believe what I was watching. Just weird 

But they did run off at half time

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, dusan nikolic said:

That had the feel of the Watford defeat for me ( but worse) , just totally lackluster all over the pitch . In fairness today's performance has been evident in patches all through the season but in lots of games we have managed to salvage something from them .

A big season next season and a real danger that the play offs are going to take some getting in regarding the teams dropping down and those coming up , a really big chance missed this season in what was probably the weakest League for a while .

If we lack the killer instinct, then next year in a tougher league is basically a write-off

Edited by jmjhb
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So the sun has risen down under and I've been out for a decent walk with the dog, the world hasn't ended but I'm still numb about the performance. There have been some extreme reactions, considered criticism and a few pointing to Evatt improving is season by season on here.

Fact is he's missed his targets so his performance review will be 'below expectations' but that doesn't generally lead to the sack, it leads to a strong discussion about how you will rectify your faults and how they impact the team.

If Evatt can reflect on the past 2 seasons in this league and present a plan to improve to the Board then I think he'll get a chance to implement it. Can he be more flexible with formation (could he have gone 442 or 433)? Can he be more pragmatic in approach (drop a ball player for a nasty cynical bastard)? Does he have a solid plan for finishing with the extra 6 to 9 points that would get automatic promotion next season? If he pulls out a PowerPoint that says 'the same but better' I think he should go, if he jumps up full of enthusiasm with different ideas he should stay. Enthusiasm is the only thing that beats cynicism. Those players today were every bit good enough to win promotion but they didn't so tactics, coaching and leadership could change and get a more positive season with the same group of players (glad to think GJ will be back, maybe in place of Santos). As a manager I worked under was fond of saying "if you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got".

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6 hours ago, Wanderlust said:

Absolutely knew there’d be a total meltdown on here tonight. 
loads of crap about “bottle” and “being up for it” - wtf does that even mean? - other than childish catchphrases taken from has- been pundits trying to say they should have played better.

And playing better includes putting in more effort. It’s debatable whether they worked hard enough but today was about quality I.e. we didn’t have enough quality to execute OUR gameplan.

Oxford’s gameplan was to play to their strengths - and nullify ours i.e. no outball for our defenders who were forced to punt it long to their big defenders ( giving our forwards nothing to work with) and whenever we got it in midfield Branagan et al won it back immediately.  The forwards weren’t helped by appalling service from the wide men. 

Fact is Sheehan, Maghoma and to a lesser extent George were totally bossed - played like fancy dans  - although Demps wasn’t. 

Evatt made the right changes - but if he’d set the right tone from the beginning and brought on Paris and Sheehan late on instead of the other way round, we’d have won.

The game was played to their gameplan- our hope was to pass through them and we weren’t good enough to do that and a lot of the performances  were bad.

All comes back to trying to play like City with league one standard players.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is an odd post, you dismiss fans saying it came down to bottle, but then give the reasons we lost as being outfought, players not putting in enough effort and playing like fancy Dan's on the day.... this is exactly what people mean when they talk about bottle.

We didn't play to our potential, and haven't on almost all big occasions this season. No reason for that other than poor mentality. Or not having the bottle for it 

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4 hours ago, perth_white said:

So the sun has risen down under and I've been out for a decent walk with the dog, the world hasn't ended but I'm still numb about the performance. There have been some extreme reactions, considered criticism and a few pointing to Evatt improving is season by season on here.

Fact is he's missed his targets so his performance review will be 'below expectations' but that doesn't generally lead to the sack, it leads to a strong discussion about how you will rectify your faults and how they impact the team.

If Evatt can reflect on the past 2 seasons in this league and present a plan to improve to the Board then I think he'll get a chance to implement it. Can he be more flexible with formation (could he have gone 442 or 433)? Can he be more pragmatic in approach (drop a ball player for a nasty cynical bastard)? Does he have a solid plan for finishing with the extra 6 to 9 points that would get automatic promotion next season? If he pulls out a PowerPoint that says 'the same but better' I think he should go, if he jumps up full of enthusiasm with different ideas he should stay. Enthusiasm is the only thing that beats cynicism. Those players today were every bit good enough to win promotion but they didn't so tactics, coaching and leadership could change and get a more positive season with the same group of players (glad to think GJ will be back, maybe in place of Santos). As a manager I worked under was fond of saying "if you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got".

Problem for me is Evatt has always done what he's always done while managing us. The only times he has switched formation were from 532 to 433 in league 2 when we were in danger of getting relegated. And then again the season after back to 532 when we had a bad slump in league 1. Both those switches worked and we've maintained progress, but there is never any flexibility game to game depending on the opposition or even our player availability. So I can't see how that would change now.

The plan for promotion this season seemed to be to buy a very good squad at this level and play the exact same way every game as the quality of the players should get us through most games. Well it hasn't, so either we back Evatt further to keep getting even better players to play his one system, and hope we have fewer bad days as a result, or we get in a more tactically astute manager who can adapt the formation/tactics to suit the game.

I'd love to know what thought goes into Evatt's tactics game to game tbh.

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4 minutes ago, Stig said:

Problem for me is Evatt has always done what he's always done while managing us. The only times he has switched formation were from 532 to 433 in league 2 when we were in danger of getting relegated. And then again the season after back to 532 when we had a bad slump in league 1. Both those switches worked and we've maintained progress, but there is never any flexibility game to game depending on the opposition or even our player availability. So I can't see how that would change now.

The plan for promotion this season seemed to be to buy a very good squad at this level and play the exact same way every game as the quality of the players should get us through most games. Well it hasn't, so either we back Evatt further to keep getting even better players to play his one system, and hope we have fewer bad days as a result, or we get in a more tactically astute manager who can adapt the formation/tactics to suit the game.

I'd love to know what thought goes into Evatt's tactics game to game tbh.

Or as I was trying to get across, Evatt reflects on the last 2 seasons and changes his approach. It is the next step in his development and without reflection that leads to adaptability he will have a cap in how far he can go in the game.

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2 minutes ago, perth_white said:

Or as I was trying to get across, Evatt reflects on the last 2 seasons and changes his approach. It is the next step in his development and without reflection that leads to adaptability he will have a cap in how far he can go in the game.

Fair enough if he changes in that way. Would be a big transformation though!

 

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We need to have a plan b and a plan c that we can execute as well as our plan a when we’re on top form.

We’ve never had these options and until we do we will struggle to beat teams who stop our plan a.

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Not sure if this has been mentioned but Paris picked up a knock early and was awful on day when standing out as awful was a tough job. 
 

Would love to know what the medical call was and was it made by player of the staff ? Who ever made it, it was wrong. 

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Every Bolton player had won that game in their head before they walked onto the pitch yesterday.

Oxford turned up knowing they’d have to sweat blood for 90 minutes.

We have an arrogance that may match our talent, but it doesn’t match our fight.

anyone who’s played football knows that you impose yourself first, play football second.

We just think we can play football and it’s enough.

That we didn’t fight is unforgivable. And it’s down to the manager for not sending them out there in the right frame of mind.

I fucking hate football, me, I do.

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Apologies if mentioned, did anyone spot the bell end in 106 calling his own fans for their lacklustre support? Criticising the atmosphere, screaming were an embarrassment, being out sang by an 8 year old, yada yada yada… then left in the 89th minute?

Aye, proper supporter you lad

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Dr Faustus said:

Apologies if mentioned, did anyone spot the bell end in 106 calling his own fans for their lacklustre support? Criticising the atmosphere, screaming were an embarrassment, being out sang by an 8 year old, yada yada yada… then left in the 89th minute?

Aye, proper supporter you lad

As usual on these days the support seemed littered with idiots , behind me ( in 213) it kicked off with some Oxford fans at the back ( in an executive box I think ) and I spotted a few very heated arguments all around near the end.

Edited by dusan nikolic
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Sadly I don’t think Evatt can change, I’d love to see some real characters in the team, players like Super John, Nobby and Brownie, players who’d run through a wall for the club, players with attitude with a never say die mind set. When we went two down I immediately thought of the Reading game and the changes Bruce made at half time and the fight back in the second half but I also knew that that wouldn’t happen this time. No half time changes, no positional or system changes just the same old playing into Oxfords hands. I really do like Evatt but I just don’t think he’s astute enough to take the club any further. Even when we got out of L2 we nearly blew it and now twice in L1. That team and certainly squad should have won the yesterday but from the off we never looked like it. Nothing will change if we just keep the status quo I’m afraid to say.

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8 hours ago, wiggy said:

With 10 minutes to go we had a corner. Our corner taker strolled over like we were 2-0 up. And our defenders walked slower than I could possibly imagine from the halfway line to get into the box. Couldn’t believe what I was watching. Just weird 

It’s a great point and there were so many instances. Not major in isolation but when you think what it means for their overall mentality it speaks volume. Maghoma taking an age to get off the pitch when subbed - I get it, you’re injured but not that badly that you couldn’t do a limping jog, we’re 2-0 down in a play off final FFS.

I thought Evatt was all about the little details, like when he came in and demanded the players run off the pitch at half time. It’s all part of the “we’re too soft”, “we don’t have a shithouse”, “we lack leadership” debate. The body language and tone of team is awful - of course some of that rests on the players themselves, but the leaders (Manager / Captain) should be making it very clear that it’s not accepted and you’ll get a fucking bollocking for walking around at 2-0 down in a play off final, instead they’re at it themselves.

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