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Match Thread: The Greatest v Preston North End

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Re: Match Thread: The Greatest v Preston North End

Post by smetro on Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:50 pm

@Dazzle wrote:It’s the constant returning to the things that have been proven not to work that send me off all discombobulated. Thor on the left we have seen doesn’t work, isolating Hogan up top and hoofing it to him we also know doesn’t work. We know Onomah is neither a left or attacking midfielder. I think it was Donald Rumsfeld who mentioned something along the lines of “there are things we know that we know, and there are also known unknowns”, or something to that effect.............O’Hare is a known unknown, because he cannot buy a chance no matter his form in our 2nd string, Bruce just won’t put him in, preferring to chuck anyone else into any position and hope it works. And more often than not it’s proven flawed. And yet we repeat. It seems the master plan begins and ends with Jack Grealish.

But it was working to a degree - we won plenty of games before Grealish returned (albeit unconvincingly) What seemed to happen to me, was that a player would return to the team and gives us temporary lift for a few games:-

Davis
Adomah
Grealish
Hogan

But now those are either injured or out of form. I am hoping that Grabban can have a run of a few games - and that might scrape us a few points until some of those above are back.



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Re: Match Thread: The Greatest v Preston North End

Post by FoxyAV on Wed Feb 21, 2018 2:54 pm

I wonder how Bruce played his teams in the past and if there's a reason he's a Championship specialist? Is it commonly accepted that Championship teams play hoofball and rough it out as opposed to the more delicate Premier League teams where players fall over at the mere thought of contact? There must be players who work best up front on their own and can work magic with whatever they're presented with, Kodjia and Benteke spring to mind. Stick them in a team and expect them to work with other players and it falls apart. Build a team to batter in more goals than you concede and you win the Championship, is that how Bruce worked in the past?

This is why I wonder if we'd arranged to buy Hogan, Hourihane and Lansbury before Bruce came along. Hogan just isn't one of those strikers, and while I can't remember much about last season (other than disappointment) I'm sure Jack was on the sidelines, only coming in to play on the left wing from time to time. Kodjia scored everything and the midfield didn't exist other than like Paul Lambert's middle three, to get neckache watching the ball hoofed over their heads and be the first line of defence when it came straight back at them. Maybe that's why Onomah gets to play, he's simply the most mobile defensive player in the furthest forward position.

Hogan, Hourihane and Lansbury were all statistics buys. Here's a huge wad of money, go and find the best players for the problem positions and build a Championship team. McCormack scores lots of goals, so do Kodjia and Hogan. A dream team.

Arguably RDM didn't have enough time because expectations were so high. He took the hit that Bruce is benefiting from by still being here.

What Bruce has brought is stability. Sherwood and Garde both chopped and changed the team every week in a constant quest to try to mould together the players they inherited. Sherwood's legacy was Grealish (and almost Gil), Garde didn't really leave one although he was the only manager to find a position (in his 4-1-4-1 formation) that made Sanchez make sense.

This feels slightly dirty to say but (until Grealish is back) I kind of like the idea of watching some 4-4-2 with Grabban and Davis up front. You know, strikers scoring goals. Mix in a bit of Hogan and see if he can score a few more. Stop fannying around with Onomah.

I have a feeling though we'll see more of the hoofball just now with two strikers not quite managing to get on the end of them and then one fewer central midfielder for the opposition to pass the ball round before the defence is having to deal with it.

Last night we had 12 shots, 6 on target. Preston had 21 shots, 7 on target. They had 7 corners to our 3, 48% of the possession to our 52%. I didn't watch the match, I haven't seen the highlights but I wonder how much of our possession involved knocking it around the defence before hoofing it forward and how much of their possession involved their defence receiving the ball in the air with thanks and their midfield threading it through our players to have a pot shot?

Compare that to Fulham, where we were the away team. Their stats were remarkably close to our Preston home stats: 14 shots, 7 on target. We managed 7 shots with 2 on target. So when 9th place Preston played away at VP they had three times as many shots and shots on target as we had playing away at Fulham.

We don't dominate possession, we don't work as a counter-attack team (at Fulham again and again Johnstone held onto the ball for long enough for the opposition to get into position before punting it long for them to bring back at us again), we can't pass, we can't feed our striker in Bruce's preferred 4-5-1 with balls when just one player is missing. So what do we do, other than field 11 mostly very talented individuals?


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Re: Match Thread: The Greatest v Preston North End

Post by smetro on Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:26 pm

@FoxyAV wrote:I wonder how Bruce played his teams in the past and if there's a reason he's a Championship specialist? Is it commonly accepted that Championship teams play hoofball and rough it out as opposed to the more delicate Premier League teams where players fall over at the mere thought of contact? There must be players who work best up front on their own and can work magic with whatever they're presented with, Kodjia and Benteke spring to mind. Stick them in a team and expect them to work with other players and it falls apart. Build a team to batter in more goals than you concede and you win the Championship, is that how Bruce worked in the past?

This is why I wonder if we'd arranged to buy Hogan, Hourihane and Lansbury before Bruce came along. Hogan just isn't one of those strikers, and while I can't remember much about last season (other than disappointment) I'm sure Jack was on the sidelines, only coming in to play on the left wing from time to time. Kodjia scored everything and the midfield didn't exist other than like Paul Lambert's middle three, to get neckache watching the ball hoofed over their heads and be the first line of defence when it came straight back at them. Maybe that's why Onomah gets to play, he's simply the most mobile defensive player in the furthest forward position.  

Hogan, Hourihane and Lansbury were all statistics buys. Here's a huge wad of money, go and find the best players for the problem positions and build a Championship team. McCormack scores lots of goals, so do Kodjia and Hogan. A dream team.

Arguably RDM didn't have enough time because expectations were so high. He took the hit that Bruce is benefiting from by still being here.

What Bruce has brought is stability. Sherwood and Garde both chopped and changed the team every week in a constant quest to try to mould together the players they inherited. Sherwood's legacy was Grealish (and almost Gil), Garde didn't really leave one although he was the only manager to find a position (in his 4-1-4-1 formation) that made Sanchez make sense.

This feels slightly dirty to say but (until Grealish is back) I kind of like the idea of watching some 4-4-2 with Grabban and Davis up front. You know, strikers scoring goals. Mix in a bit of Hogan and see if he can score a few more. Stop fannying around with Onomah.

I have a feeling though we'll see more of the hoofball just now with two strikers not quite managing to get on the end of them and then one fewer central midfielder for the opposition to pass the ball round before the defence is having to deal with it.

Last night we had 12 shots, 6 on target. Preston had 21 shots, 7 on target. They had 7 corners to our 3, 48% of the possession to our 52%. I didn't watch the match, I haven't seen the highlights but I wonder how much of our possession involved knocking it around the defence before hoofing it forward and how much of their possession involved their defence receiving the ball in the air with thanks and their midfield threading it through our players to have a pot shot?

Compare that to Fulham, where we were the away team. Their stats were remarkably close to our Preston home stats: 14 shots, 7 on target. We managed 7 shots with 2 on target. So when 9th place Preston played away at VP they had three times as many shots and shots on target as we had playing away at Fulham.

We don't dominate possession, we don't work as a counter-attack team (at Fulham again and again Johnstone held onto the ball for long enough for the opposition to get into position before punting it long for them to bring back at us again), we can't pass, we can't feed our striker in Bruce's preferred 4-5-1 with balls when just one player is missing. So what do we do, other than field 11 mostly very talented individuals?



I think we grind out minor victories - now and again we dip below that - and now and again we rise above it. But thats our baseline we are quite difficult to beat. The hangover we have now is that we have just come of the back of several good performances. Really there is only wolves that seem to play well week in - week out - and Cardiff who just keep going.
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Re: Match Thread: The Greatest v Preston North End

Post by FoxyAV on Wed Feb 21, 2018 3:43 pm

@smetro wrote:
@FoxyAV wrote:I wonder how Bruce played his teams in the past and if there's a reason he's a Championship specialist? Is it commonly accepted that Championship teams play hoofball and rough it out as opposed to the more delicate Premier League teams where players fall over at the mere thought of contact? There must be players who work best up front on their own and can work magic with whatever they're presented with, Kodjia and Benteke spring to mind. Stick them in a team and expect them to work with other players and it falls apart. Build a team to batter in more goals than you concede and you win the Championship, is that how Bruce worked in the past?

This is why I wonder if we'd arranged to buy Hogan, Hourihane and Lansbury before Bruce came along. Hogan just isn't one of those strikers, and while I can't remember much about last season (other than disappointment) I'm sure Jack was on the sidelines, only coming in to play on the left wing from time to time. Kodjia scored everything and the midfield didn't exist other than like Paul Lambert's middle three, to get neckache watching the ball hoofed over their heads and be the first line of defence when it came straight back at them. Maybe that's why Onomah gets to play, he's simply the most mobile defensive player in the furthest forward position.  

Hogan, Hourihane and Lansbury were all statistics buys. Here's a huge wad of money, go and find the best players for the problem positions and build a Championship team. McCormack scores lots of goals, so do Kodjia and Hogan. A dream team.

Arguably RDM didn't have enough time because expectations were so high. He took the hit that Bruce is benefiting from by still being here.

What Bruce has brought is stability. Sherwood and Garde both chopped and changed the team every week in a constant quest to try to mould together the players they inherited. Sherwood's legacy was Grealish (and almost Gil), Garde didn't really leave one although he was the only manager to find a position (in his 4-1-4-1 formation) that made Sanchez make sense.

This feels slightly dirty to say but (until Grealish is back) I kind of like the idea of watching some 4-4-2 with Grabban and Davis up front. You know, strikers scoring goals. Mix in a bit of Hogan and see if he can score a few more. Stop fannying around with Onomah.

I have a feeling though we'll see more of the hoofball just now with two strikers not quite managing to get on the end of them and then one fewer central midfielder for the opposition to pass the ball round before the defence is having to deal with it.

Last night we had 12 shots, 6 on target. Preston had 21 shots, 7 on target. They had 7 corners to our 3, 48% of the possession to our 52%. I didn't watch the match, I haven't seen the highlights but I wonder how much of our possession involved knocking it around the defence before hoofing it forward and how much of their possession involved their defence receiving the ball in the air with thanks and their midfield threading it through our players to have a pot shot?

Compare that to Fulham, where we were the away team. Their stats were remarkably close to our Preston home stats: 14 shots, 7 on target. We managed 7 shots with 2 on target. So when 9th place Preston played away at VP they had three times as many shots and shots on target as we had playing away at Fulham.

We don't dominate possession, we don't work as a counter-attack team (at Fulham again and again Johnstone held onto the ball for long enough for the opposition to get into position before punting it long for them to bring back at us again), we can't pass, we can't feed our striker in Bruce's preferred 4-5-1 with balls when just one player is missing. So what do we do, other than field 11 mostly very talented individuals?



I think we grind out minor victories - now and again we dip below that - and now and again we rise above it. But thats our baseline we are quite difficult to beat.  The hangover we have now is that we have just come of the back of several good performances. Really there is only wolves that seem to play well week in - week out - and Cardiff who just keep going.

We've bought rather than built a team.

In a way it would be more interesting if the U23s played all our cup matches without any first team players involved. At least then we'd get to see a team that works together, week in, week out and in some cases players who've played together for years and know what each other's going to do.
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Re: Match Thread: The Greatest v Preston North End

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