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Wanderers Ways. Neil Thompson 1961-2021

Brand Evatt


desperado
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We had a decent thread a while back discussing Evatt’s philosophies and approach to the game (think it got tainted and pulled)

So not a bad time to start it up again at the beginning of the season.

In the main he’s done a fantastic job. A minority lost patience round about Xmas/New Year in both seasons. 

But surely now he has the large backing of the majority of fans and the brand he talked about implementing here is now well and truly established.

Good article above highlighting how he’s using Sport Science to get the squad performing to it’s optimum level.

A young, meticulous, intelligent and passionate individual, who we are very lucky to have leading our club.

I hope he gets what he deserves with promotion to the Championship. 

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I was (and to a point still am) in a weird position with Evatt where I simultaneously realised he is the best man for the job and the process is working towards something very special, but also that I just couldn't bring myself to like the bloke. 

 

I think the job he's done so far has been nothing short of phenomenal, the recruitment has been on point for the most part, we play some electric football for the level we're operating at and off the pitch the club is looking healthier than it has in over a decade. 

 

But, something about his personality doesn't get me warming to him. But that's fine, I don't have to like him, I absolutely appreciate and respect the job he's doing though. 

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I love Evatt and have done from day 1. I've been frustrated with him at times and probably even thought the job was too big for him at times but for me, he's growing into an excellent manager. He makes less mistakes than he did - probably due to having better people around him.

Early on, he was spreading himself too thinly and not doing anything particularly well but the whole club is a different animal to what it was when he walked in.

After a decade of shite, it's the least we deserve having some proper football at last to enjoy.

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The main con with Evatt at times has been his comments. 'Best team in the league', 'Crellin needs to man up', compared our form to some Bible story at one point last season when we were at our worst, which made me cringe and have some doubts. However, contrasted with Keef, Evatt's media handling is practically perfect so I can't hold it against him too much.

Another con has been inconsistent form. I know Sunderland's previous manager Lee Johnson was nicknamed 'streaky' from his time at several clubs because of inconsistency and Evatt has had that with us. However, a lot of our inconsistency was due to upheaval and injuries. So again I can't really hold it against him much.

And those two cons are very nit-picky in the grand scheme of things. I wouldn't want anyone else in charge of BWFC right now. I've said it before, but really feels like we have a tangible strategy now and I still think we will get close to 90pts this season. It's clear as day that we have already improved a lot from last season, tactically. The players seem to know their roles much better now. 

It's refreshing to have someone ambitious at the helm who has a brain and despite some controversial media comments has largely said a lot of good things and has overseen a huge amount of progress at the club. I like his policy of 'we have to make sure we finish each transfer window stronger than the last' and also placing emphasis on sports science. And while he's done to death the 'perfect storm' quote, he is right. The club as a whole is moving forward and he's played a big part in that. So whatever happens from now Evatt will always have a ton of respect from me for what he's done and if you listen to his longer interviews like the Wanderer podcast recently on BBC, or his interview on Tifo from when he was at Barrow, he can be quite inspirational.

We've largely flown under the radar since his appointment, but a good performance against the Villa might get some heads talking...

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When we look back at previous periods in our history, in my opinion it's already fair to say he's easily ticked the Phil Neal box - I.E. (pun intended) he's turned the ship around, got us out of the bottom division and stabilised us in the next division up.

He's now well on his way to ticking the Bruce Rioch box, yes there's still a long way to go but I'm not sticking my neck out at all by stating that I have ever confidence in him.

Its obviously one step at a time, but it will be fascinating to witness if can ultimately tick the Big Sam box - I.E. get us to the prem., stabilise then climb up that table.

It took 3 managers, over lots of years, to progress from the bottom division to near the top of the prem (+ Europe 😁) last time, it would be a rare manager who can do it on his own.... But I think we might have that man; I certainly can't think of anyone else who might possibly be good enough to do it whilst remaining patient and loyal enough to see it through.

 

Edited by JOGLER
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7 hours ago, meanderson93 said:

I was (and to a point still am) in a weird position with Evatt where I simultaneously realised he is the best man for the job and the process is working towards something very special, but also that I just couldn't bring myself to like the bloke. 

 

I think the job he's done so far has been nothing short of phenomenal, the recruitment has been on point for the most part, we play some electric football for the level we're operating at and off the pitch the club is looking healthier than it has in over a decade. 

 

But, something about his personality doesn't get me warming to him. But that's fine, I don't have to like him, I absolutely appreciate and respect the job he's doing though. 

I do get what you mean, even if I actually quite like the cut of his jib. I can imagine him being an absolute bastard to work under, but I'd definitely take him for a pint.

Perhaps just put it down to Coventrians being quite abrasive, difficult people. Believe me, I'm married to one 🙃

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33 minutes ago, TM Trotter said:

I do get what you mean, even if I actually quite like the cut of his jib. I can imagine him being an absolute bastard to work under, but I'd definitely take him for a pint.

Perhaps just put it down to Coventrians being quite abrasive, difficult people. Believe me, I'm married to one 🙃

Haha, my ex was from Coventry, absolute psycho. Fit though 🤷🏻‍♂️

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45 minutes ago, TM Trotter said:

I do get what you mean, even if I actually quite like the cut of his jib. I can imagine him being an absolute bastard to work under, but I'd definitely take him for a pint.

Perhaps just put it down to Coventrians being quite abrasive, difficult people. Believe me, I'm married to one 🙃

Contrarian Coventrians? 

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  • 1 month later...

Wondering where best to put this - but here seems to fit well considering how valuable Johnstone has become to the way Evatt likes to play.

While his aerial capabilities still concern me.

There is absolutely no doubting the influence his other attributes have on the way we play and he Is certainly a key contributor to the defensive shut-outs we’ve had and sets many an attack off with the way he brings the ball out from the back.

I wasn’t convinced he’d be a mainstay at the start of the season, but he’s winning me over week by week.

Edited by desperado
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9 hours ago, desperado said:

Wondering where best to put this - but here seems to fit well considering how valuable Johnstone has become to the way Evatt likes to play.

While his aerial capabilities still concern me.

There is absolutely no doubting the influence his other attributes have on the way we play and he Is certainly a key contributor to the defensive shut-outs we’ve had and sets many an attack off with the way he brings the ball out from the back.

I wasn’t convinced he’d be a mainstay at the start of the season, but he’s winning me over week by week.

I don’t think many question his abilities but he just needs that bit more aggression and decisiveness to round his game off.

He should have smashed the ball away against Charlton when Rak-Sakyi (???) got the better of him and it could be argued that he should have attacked the ball better for Plymouth’s first goal. I acknowledge that when a defender makes an error it can end up with a goal against but if he can improve his decision making that bit more, then we’ve got a top class defender with a great future ahead of him.

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37 minutes ago, Tonge moor green jacket said:

I reckon he gets his head on more attacking set pieces than Santos too. Not a lot in fairness, but perhaps more nonetheless.

Him and Aimson have actually scored goals for us.

Not quite sure why Rico never looks like scoring, but he’s not even getting close…

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For corners, Santos should stand on the edge of the box, primed for a late run to meet the ball.
He'll attract one or two makers/blockers, creating a bit more space in the middle, then when the ball is played, he should stay put and wait for the clearance.

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  • 1 month later...

For those like me who thought the top 2 was realistic at the start of the season, to see us have the month we have had, is a body blow and has meant a change in expectations.

There are clearly a number of things wrong. The main one for me is finding a way to get the best/most effective players in the team while maintaining a defensive solidity and scoring goals. Furthermore he wants to do this while embracing his philosophy and even more tricky, do it while keeping this large squad happy and together.

All easier said than done. 

There’s a myriad of combinations possible, a lot of which has been discussed on here.

If I’m being ultra positive, it’s arguable these solutions can be found within the squad, and can be found quickly with more time on the training ground this month and a 2 winnable away games.

Listening to his interview above I’m hoping it dispels some untruths that have started to be spouted about Evatt; he’s stubborn, why doesn’t he play players in their best position, he only plays with Wing Backs, why has such a player not been given a chance etc etc

He knows what the issues are. He’s clearly working hard to find a way to address these problems. He’s found a way every time before and should be trusted, at this stage, to find the solutions again.

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Good post

What’s baffling for me is the sudden dip

we finished last season very strong albeit against the lower sides but we looked sharp and created chances, 2nd half at Wigan we looked very good

no new transfers in the midfield/attacking area so not like he’s had players to gel etc

started off very well against ipswich & Wycombe after that it dips, poor individual performances, lack of intensity, creating chances.

Young George through a spanner in by playing well as daft as it sounds, I think IE was looking at loaning him out pre season IMO, perhaps he thought dapo would go?

There’s too many good players to fit in yes I get rotation but he makes ridiculous amounts and for me he’s trying to keep everyone happy

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Might sound daft but he’s perhaps got too many options and ideas spinning around.

Id prefer to see 4 or 5 squad members depart and replace with a couple of championship quality players.

Easier said than done I suppose

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38 minutes ago, Biggish Dave said:

Might sound daft but he’s perhaps got too many options and ideas spinning around.

I think the size of the squad is definitely an issue, or at least the number of players we have in certain positions. From the outside it seems he is picking some players to keep keep them happy rather than having a settled team.

But then that goes back to pre-season and recruitment, maybe mistakes were made?

Also from pre-season we were not told the trip to Portugal etc was to make us the fittest team and nail down the way we play? Yet here we are in Nov and he doesn't know his best team, or formation,  it would seem. It's not good, and imagine it has some players questioning if the manager does actually know how to deliver what he is trying to achieve in the 'style' he wants.

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9 minutes ago, gonzo said:

Maybe the rotation is part of his plan.

Seems to be the way with a few coaches nowaday. Potter at Brighton/Chelsea for example.

Not to this excess players don’t know if coming or going

It’s L2 football keep it basic, look at the promotion side few years ago yes smaller squad but it was settled 

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54 minutes ago, radcliffe white said:

Not to this excess players don’t know if coming or going

It’s L2 football keep it basic, look at the promotion side few years ago yes smaller squad but it was settled 

Agreed.

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I'd agree with Biggish Dave on the issue of him arguably having too many options in some areas. We needed to strengthen last Jan, and fair play to Sharon and co for stumping up the funds to back it, but if anything we got a bit giddy with it, giving us a surfeit of bodies in some areas. 

We've brought a lot in across Jan and this Summer but the concern for me is some of them aren't really making the sort of impact we'd hoped for and anticipated. Morley and Dempsey have spent a lot of time on the bench as Evatt's gone back to MJ, Tommo, Lee. Iredale's only proving to be a marginal upgrade on John. 

Up front Evatt's not really getting the best out of JDB, Baka, Dapo or Charles. There ought to be at least 40 - 50 goals in that quartet but none of them, maybe other than JDB, are firing. Three of them have spent more time on the bench than the grass. Charles is the biggest issue as said on another thread. Evatt's signed a lad who scored 20 goals in this league in a side set up to suit him. Here, he's being expected to hit that sort of return in a side that plays it forward far too slowly and with a midget for a partner instead of one of our bigger, more robust operators.

I do think Evatt's overcomplicating the business of winning matches at times, simplify the approach, be a lot quicker and a bit more direct and it'll be plenty good enough against the limited defenders of sides in the bottom half of this league at least

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17 minutes ago, ianofcleveleys said:

I do think Evatt's overcomplicating the business of winning matches at times, simplify the approach, be a lot quicker and a bit more direct and it'll be plenty good enough against the limited defenders of sides in the bottom half of this league at least

I think that a lot of the issues are related to a lack of intensity & tempo, Evatt's possession based football is much less effective if the passing is slow. The team looks a lot better when they move the ball faster, up the tempo and play with intensity, which is what they tend to do in the last 20 mins of games when losing and chasing the game.

I also don't know why they have recently started games so slowly, they are supposedly the fittest team in the league so surely they should be able to play at a quicker tempo and with more intensity for more than 20 mins a game ? - go for it at the start get the first goal, it takes the pressure off and lets them play with a bit more freedom. 

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It's always an issue finding the right balance between defence and attack but I was encouraged by Evatt saying that he's comfortable with switching systems to suit mid-game. However, where I think we've struggled lately is not so much system or selection but with "the basics" i.e. control, passing and concentration as we've played some good stuff in patches and then turned the ball over with a misplaced pass or conceded a crap goal through poor defending/marking/tracking. And to some extent, our midfield has been bullied. Simply put, if we want to play the "beautiful game", we have to win the right to do it and make sure we get the basics right. No wonder we lost to Oxford with a paltry 49% passing accuracy in the final third. We've struggled against sides in the bottom half of the league because they've worked out how to stop us playing - physical approach, defending in numbers and then breaking quickly and lobbing throws and set pieces into our box - not a problem if we have the quality to cut them apart at the other end but unless we stop giving it away cheaply we'll struggle.

 

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