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Wanderers Ways. Neil Thompson 1961-2021

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I do not get the mentality of some of our 'fans'

1 Have we progressed in every 6 month period since he got here ? Yes
 

2 Have there been some shit performances and results in last few weeks? Yes

3 Can he be criticised for point 2 ? Yes

4. Does he get credit for point 1 ? Yes 

So only question is does the last few weeks of dodgy performances outweigh the long term progress ? No 
 

 

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19 hours ago, desperado said:

It’s a good post with some very valid points.

But in the following 4 league games after Wycombe when Morley and Dempsey were paired together we only won one - so if he had carried on with this and we’d have kept on not winning games, he would have been called stubborn and clueless!

As I mentioned earlier the most successfull 3 so far this season has been MJ/Tomo/Lee - he changed it (I can see why after the hellish Gloucestershire week)

The only real conclusion you can reach as a fan is that no matter which 3 he picks you’ll never get everyone agreeing. And while we are are not winning you’ll always get folk on social media saying he should have done it this or that way with a different set of players than he selected! 

I’d go even further and say even when we win our next game, you’ll have those who say it should stay the same and those who’ll say he should change to suit the opposition!

Until we get on a good run again, I understand that there will be lots of debate and conjecture about who should/shouldn’t be playing. And that’s fine. But I also think there needs to be an understanding that IE and his coaching team will be best placed to get these decisions right (or at least make informed decisions) based on a number of factors, some of which are apparent to us, lots of which behind the scenes isn’t. 

Bit too much time on my hands today so did some low-tech research on our first 16 games. No doubt much less scientific than IE and staff will be able to do, but what did start to emerge for me was:

  • when we've played the Morley, MJ, Dempsey trio, or MJ and two of Morley, Dempsey, Lee, we've been the most productive in terms of shots on goal (50 in those first three games, including one where we played an hour with 10 men), in one case (Wycombe) with the lowest possession % of the season
  • But, with that trio, we also give up more chances and shots on goals (42 against in those three games)
  • when we've played the MJ and Tommo double screen we've given far fewer chances and shots away (only two on target across three games v MK, Posh and Lincoln)
  • But, our own shots have dried up (10 or less in each of 6 games from MK to Barnsley), 0, 2 and 1 on target across Chelt, FGR, Barnsley, despite us having over 60% possession in four those six games 
  • On the bulk of those occasions MJ and Tommo have been paired, so have Charles and Kachunga up front. 
  • Dapo and Baka were up front in the two games v Wycombe and PV, again v Sheff W, then never again. Baka hasn't started a game since, Dapo hasn't played in front two since     

As you might expect, a few anomalies within these figures, games where the apparent trend was bucked, all with various reasons, but it does make me feel that:

  • if we want to see more shots, chances and (assuming we convert them) higher scoring games, its two of Morley, Lee or Dempsey plus MJ in midfield. When Morley plays we make more chances. 
  • if however we want to protect our somewhat suspect back line, keep clean sheets and grind out narrow wins, there's a place for the MJ / Tommo combo, though with a different front two. 
  • Dapo needs to be returned to the front two for a run of games, Baka needs involving more 
  • Charles may well score goals if paired with Dapo or Baka, and played in front of the Morley, MJ, Dempsey trio
  • Wycombe game was by far our most productive performance of the season, 21 shots, 16 on target, 3 goals, from 53% possession. Worth revisiting that line up for a game or two, if all are fit and available

Apologies if that's all a bit long and dull, the result of a day sat in keeping an eye on builders!   

       

         

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definitely not dull

 

i do think theres a chance that stats are misleading but id offer a view that our shot count would be higher with morley and dapo in the team - purely a gut feeling

 

a lot of will be very unlikely to reach the keeper though

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27 minutes ago, ianofcleveleys said:

Bit too much time on my hands today so did some low-tech research on our first 16 games. No doubt much less scientific than IE and staff will be able to do, but what did start to emerge for me was:

  • when we've played the Morley, MJ, Dempsey trio, or MJ and two of Morley, Dempsey, Lee, we've been the most productive in terms of shots on goal (50 in those first three games, including one where we played an hour with 10 men), in one case (Wycombe) with the lowest possession % of the season
  • But, with that trio, we also give up more chances and shots on goals (42 against in those three games)
  • when we've played the MJ and Tommo double screen we've given far fewer chances and shots away (only two on target across three games v MK, Posh and Lincoln)
  • But, our own shots have dried up (10 or less in each of 6 games from MK to Barnsley), 0, 2 and 1 on target across Chelt, FGR, Barnsley, despite us having over 60% possession in four those six games 
  • On the bulk of those occasions MJ and Tommo have been paired, so have Charles and Kachunga up front. 
  • Dapo and Baka were up front in the two games v Wycombe and PV, again v Sheff W, then never again. Baka hasn't started a game since, Dapo hasn't played in front two since     

As you might expect, a few anomalies within these figures, games where the apparent trend was bucked, all with various reasons, but it does make me feel that:

  • if we want to see more shots, chances and (assuming we convert them) higher scoring games, its two of Morley, Lee or Dempsey plus MJ in midfield. When Morley plays we make more chances. 
  • if however we want to protect our somewhat suspect back line, keep clean sheets and grind out narrow wins, there's a place for the MJ / Tommo combo, though with a different front two. 
  • Dapo needs to be returned to the front two for a run of games, Baka needs involving more 
  • Charles may well score goals if paired with Dapo or Baka, and played in front of the Morley, MJ, Dempsey trio
  • Wycombe game was by far our most productive performance of the season, 21 shots, 16 on target, 3 goals, from 53% possession. Worth revisiting that line up for a game or two, if all are fit and available

Apologies if that's all a bit long and dull, the result of a day sat in keeping an eye on builders!   

       

         

I’ve run out of likes. It’s a really good read, fair play for taking the time to put that together 👏.

The only player I’ve heard consistently praised (with far fewer negative comments) out of our 6-8 midfield contributors is Morley - and that research above backs up my opinion that he gets the ball moving quicker to our attackers more than any other of our midfielders. And IMO when he’s played as an 8 rather than a 6 he’s a goal scoring threat too - so I’d definitely like to see him involved more.

But I can’t help thinking Evatt is seeing something we aren’t with him. Not in a Declan John way (who I think will be off), more tactically in the balance he is looking for. And while I’d love to know why, I don’t expect to find out.

A return to MJ, Morley, Lee (I’ve not looked, but I’m sure it was these 3 in the good run last year including the Sunderland win) combination might be the one to get the balance right and get us on a good run again.

That said if the winning combination was Dempsey, Thomason and Sheehan, they’d all (including Evatt) get my backing and I’ll happily accept that my opinion was wrong! 

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4 hours ago, Mounts Kipper said:

Course he will be missed he’s been our best player august & September perhaps overplayed… his form has dipped in October and it’s no coincidence our form has also dipped. 

We'll see. I think we've had the best of him, and opponents know how to pressure him.

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I just think it’s a bit naive to compare us to 12 months ago when we spent the best part of half a million in January and then showed a massive improvement over the last half of the season.

We’re not playing anywhere near as good as we were from Feb to May but we have the same players ( swap Foss & Bradley).

It’s ok saying, yebbut we’re 6th, but Evatt said that he wants promotion so if that’s the case, we shouldn’t be losing against Cheltenham, FGR & Oxford.

Ridiculous that folks are calling for his head now but ffs, pick the best players then find the formation that suits them.

 

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7 minutes ago, Steejay said:

I just think it’s a bit naive to compare us to 12 months ago when we spent the best part of half a million in January and then showed a massive improvement over the last half of the season.

We’re not playing anywhere near as good as we were from Feb to May but we have the same players ( swap Foss & Bradley).

It’s ok saying, yebbut we’re 6th, but Evatt said that he wants promotion so if that’s the case, we shouldn’t be losing against Cheltenham, FGR & Oxford.

Ridiculous that folks are calling for his head now but ffs, pick the best players then find the formation that suits them.

 

Aye, agree with all that 

One thing he's also done twice is transform our fortunes in the January transfer window, recruited new players and changed formation to suit 

He'll be hard pressed to make wholesale changes (if indeed he wants to) because of the size of the squad, and he appears not wanting to change tactics but regularly tinkers with the personal 

Top six is great but not sure which way it will go if we keep on going as we are  

It really could go either way, feels like we could finish 4th as easily as 8th at the moment 

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Players not getting games will leave in January. Thete are a few decent players not getting out thete much.

I fear Dapo will be sold as he just doesn't fit the preferred forrmation, nor is he a wing back. That will be a terrific loss to us.

Sadlier, Aimson, John and one of the excess midfield players, plus Dixon if anyone would take him are in my mind.

He has to lose some if he has eyes on new faces. 

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How does the first 16 games of this season compare to the last 16 of last season?

 I can’t be arsed checking it out but I’m sure that somebody else can. Please.

 

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2 minutes ago, Steejay said:

How does the first 16 games of this season compare to the last 16 of last season?

 I can’t be arsed checking it out but I’m sure that somebody else can. Please.

 

Surely a better comparison would be the last 16 games for last season and the first 16 games to benchmark improvement??

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6 minutes ago, JimmyRiddle said:

Surely a better comparison would be the last 16 games for last season and the first 16 games to benchmark improvement??

Is that not what I said???

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2 minutes ago, Steejay said:

Last 6 games have shown that we’re underachieving with the squad that we’ve got.

Madness to deny it.

Its just a bad patch.

Weve had plenty of them over the past few seasons but have progressed anyway. 

We had the best start to a season in years btw.

Itll be right.

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6 hours ago, JimmyRiddle said:

Will he? Pray tell!! 

For me, he has been one of the poorest players in the last month, totally limited, particularly in home games.

Since the Lincoln game, when he has been on the pitch we have conceded 6 and score zero! With him off the pitch we have scored 6 conceded 1, so please someone tell me how he want straight back in the team on Saturday.

If I was Morely, Aimson, John or Sadlier I would defo get the feeling Evatt has his favourites regardless of their performance and his 'work hard and you'll get your chance' soundbites. Just words he thinks he needs to say,  he loses credibility week on week.

He was tactically brilliant against Barnsley and we were just as poor against Burton Albion - when he didn't feature - as were have been against others recently.

There was probably a good argument for leaving him out on Saturday, just because we were up against a hard-running midfield and we needed a more mobile midfield grouping of our own to counter that, but he's still a very important cog in our machine.

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8 minutes ago, Lt. Aldo Raine said:

He was tactically brilliant against Barnsley and we were just as poor against Burton Albion - when he didn't feature - as were have been against others recently.

I cannot agree with the Barnsley assesment, he had so much of the ball as we pushed them back but he is ponderous and slow. He did ping a couple of balls to Bradley granted, but nothing more than Morely does every game I've seen him play.

And the Burton game did descend into a turgid match, but the first 15 mins we did ping it about as fast as we have done for ages, and Dapo and Charles should have scored early doors. 

I have quoted the stats for MJ, we ship goals when he plays, and we score less.

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We have had a decent start to the season

Only 2 results really stand out as genuine bad ones, but i accept there were nearly 2 more last week

The two, Cheltenham...really bad day

Fgr, not good but shouldve still won

 

Not good enough v oxford, but theyre not fodder and and shouldnt be measured as such 

Theyll beat a fair few and will have a decent season

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15 minutes ago, JimmyRiddle said:

I cannot agree with the Barnsley assesment, he had so much of the ball as we pushed them back but he is ponderous and slow. He did ping a couple of balls to Bradley granted, but nothing more than Morely does every game I've seen him play.

And the Burton game did descend into a turgid match, but the first 15 mins we did ping it about as fast as we have done for ages, and Dapo and Charles should have scored early doors. 

I have quoted the stats for MJ, we ship goals when he plays, and we score less.

I meant the defensive side was tactically brilliant. Constantly covering, being in the right place, etc.

The statistics you provided are from a very small sample. Against Accrington Stanley we changed formation and got width high up the pitch, and against Burton Albion we just threw bodies forward.

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2 hours ago, Steejay said:

We’re not playing anywhere near as good as we were from Feb to May but we have the same players ( swap Foss & Bradley).

pick the best players then find the formation that suits them.

 

On point one, this was the conversation we had in the pub. And this is my real frustration at the moment. I genuinely thought we could challenge the top 2 and replicate this form on a more consistent basis. And while there are some genuine explanations and mitigating factors that have all been raised, there’s no denying we are falling short of that at the moment and both Evatt and the players need to raise their game.

The 2nd point is the solution….. but getting there seems to be more complicated than we all imagined! The best players and the right formation is something that Evatt and all us individual fans can’t agree on.

If it was me I’d be tempted to go back to that team that beat Sunderland. As you say it’s only Bradley for Fossey I think. But this is the 3rd different team I’ve picked in a week, so what do I know 😂

I keep coming back to the only thing I have been consistent with, despite a dodgy month, we have to trust Evatt to get it right and I believe he will. 

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11 minutes ago, desperado said:

On point one, this was the conversation we had in the pub. And this is my real frustration at the moment. I genuinely thought we could challenge the top 2 and replicate this form on a more consistent basis. And while there are some genuine explanations and mitigating factors that have all been raised, there’s no denying we are falling short of that at the moment and both Evatt and the players need to raise their game.

The 2nd point is the solution….. but getting there seems to be more complicated than we all imagined! The best players and the right formation is something that Evatt and all us individual fans can’t agree on.

If it was me I’d be tempted to go back to that team that beat Sunderland. As you say it’s only Bradley for Fossey I think. But this is the 3rd different team I’ve picked in a week, so what do I know 😂

I keep coming back to the only thing I have been consistent with, despite a dodgy month, we have to trust Evatt to get it right and I believe he will. 

I think that's actually quite a big difference. Fossey had something we're definitely lacking and which is quite a big deal, espacially at this level - a turn of pace.

I'm not claiming he's a better player (I think his quick turn of pace often tended to get him out of situations Bradley wouldn't find homself in), but we don't currently have the right kind of wing-backs to play the system we're trying to play IMO.

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1 minute ago, Lt. Aldo Raine said:

I think that's actually quite a big difference. Fossey had something we're definitely lacking and which is quite a big deal, espacially at this level - a turn of pace.

I'm not claiming he's a better player (I think his quick turn of pace often tended to get him out of situations Bradley wouldn't find homself in), but we don't currently have the right kind of wing-backs to play the system we're trying to play IMO.

I know what you are saying. Fossey and Bradley different types of wing back, but both excellent IMO.

And it gives more credence to your argument than mine that on the other side it would be John. Technically he could still play, but I think we all know that now seems very unlikely. Maybe Beck… but he’s not had enough time for us to to judge. TBF Iredale in first couple of games looked good there, but been off (like most of em unless they are a sub!) in the last month.

We’re back to suggesting another option for it to be quite rightly critiqued and pulled apart! 

I’m breaking off from making anymore team predictions/changes/suggestions for a while, it just goes to show there’s an endless amount of combinations with our squad at the moment, I just hope IE can find the right solutions throughout Nov/Dec.

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42 minutes ago, Lt. Aldo Raine said:

I think that's actually quite a big difference. Fossey had something we're definitely lacking and which is quite a big deal, espacially at this level - a turn of pace.

I'm not claiming he's a better player (I think his quick turn of pace often tended to get him out of situations Bradley wouldn't find homself in), but we don't currently have the right kind of wing-backs to play the system we're trying to play IMO.

Connor Bradley is no slouch, i wouldn’t mind betting he’s one of our quickest over 40/50 yards.

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