Why are we not progressing?

#1
I am puzzled. We know that Eddie is a scholar of the game. We know that he studies and analyses other managers and their teams; we know that he has travelled to other clubs, including clubs around Europe, in order to watch training techniques and to learn about the strategy and tactics of others.

And yet, it seems that our team has learnt very little over the past few years. Our style of play remains constant for the most part, there is less creativity then there was a few seasons ago, and tactics would seem to be one-dimensional.

Perhaps it is the lack of a quality, capability and experience with the backroom team. This would be the more obvious conclusion since Eddie is not a stupid man and we have to assume that he has at least been learning something from his journey.
 
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Kenya Cherrie

Fans' Favourite
#3
I am puzzled. We know that Eddie is a scholar of the game. We know that he studies and analyses other managers and their teams; we know that he has travelled to other clubs, including clubs around Europe, in order to watch training techniques and to learn about the strategy and tactics of others.

And yet, it seems that our team has learnt very little over the past few years. Our style of play remains constant for the most part, there is less creativity then there was a few seasons ago, and tactics would seem to be one-dimensional.

Perhaps it is the lack of a quality, capability and experience with the backroom team. This would be the more obvious conclusion since Eddie is not a stupid man and we have to assume that he has at least been learning something from his journey.
Maybe he has got confused. too much going on in his brain.
 
#6
The way I see it, everything has come at once... We have had an unprecedented injury list, we have key players out of form and we are getting to a crossroads, I fear, in the club's future...

Yes, you could look at the players out there yesterday at Brighton and argue that we weren't far off a full XI however, Smith, Brooks, Ake and Lerma are huge players for us... defence, midfield maestro and creativity and goals all in those 4 players... Also, our injury list has left us with kids, out of form players and Lg 1 stalwarts on the bench... not exactly game changers...

As for the dire performances we're seeing, this is the one area where we are hitting self-destruct... We won at Chelsea and had a decent go at Arsenal with a much improved performance... with 3 in the middle...

For whatever reason EH cannot see that Billing has gone into hibernation and 4 across the middle is no longer suiting us, and is leaving us overrun in every game...

We have also bought a lot of expensive duds... I like to keep positive about players but Solanke is looking like the biggest of all. Yes he's young but when you think him and Abraham were once (and not that long ago) at the same level... The career choices they both took have left them where they are today... Tammy an England international, thriving in a top team and scoring for fun, and Solanke now looking like the biggest flop in our clubs history... Even more than Ibe....

A club of our size cannot just write that £20m off and go and get someone else... I doubt we'll even be able to shift him on for half the price... In an ideal World you would bring back Surridge and try and get Solanke on a half season loan to a Champ club and bring him some confidence... But we are not in a position to be letting one of our 3 strikers go...

I don't feel that we're relegated yet, but the form doesn't lie... They say form is only temporary, which means it is starting to look like this is actually our level...

Looking forward to a few week's time, and get a midfield back of Lerma Cook and Gosling... King and Fraser on the wings and Ake and Smith back and I still reckon we'll scrape it... But my god... there needs to be some conversations in the summer about where this club is going and how it wants to approach it... Cos the current style is not us... We know it, pundits know it, opposition fans and managers know it... But Eddie seems blinkered to it... That is what worries me.
 
#8
And yet we competed with Chelsea and Arsenal for our only 4 points in recent history with a depleted team.
They raised their game as if it was an olden day Cup Tie in Div 3 South v Wolves, Spurs in 57 or MU in 84.
They ' Raised their Game'.. Lights and Dark!
What does that say about some players....and that doesnt include Gosling!
 
#9
Seems like a perfect storm at present. Need people to stay calm and not go over the top.

Thin margin between success and failure in this league - look at how Watford have turned the corner and now Man Utd favourites for top 4 despite us beating them just a few weeks ago.

Let’s not forget how far removed we are from Eddie’s preferred way of playing; he likes established playing patterns and continuity but we are missing the experienced leaders on the pitch that were able to hold together the playing style. In contrast, we are now fielding one of the youngest starting line ups in the prem with ramsdale 21, solanke 22, billing 22, Wilson 22, cook 22, mepham 22, Stacey 24 but inexperienced etc. Premier league is as much about mental strength as playing capability; Even cookie had a bit of a mare yesterday and he is more experienced than some of the youngsters.

Eddie needs to think about his own tactics too - continually letting Moy run the show yesterday was crazy. I would like to think Lerma would have helped but maybe getting surman and Stan back in midfield would help shore things up with their experience.
 

davygravy

Fans' Favourite
#11
Seems like a perfect storm at present. Need people to stay calm and not go over the top.

Thin margin between success and failure in this league - look at how Watford have turned the corner and now Man Utd favourites for top 4 despite us beating them just a few weeks ago.

Let’s not forget how far removed we are from Eddie’s preferred way of playing; he likes established playing patterns and continuity but we are missing the experienced leaders on the pitch that were able to hold together the playing style. In contrast, we are now fielding one of the youngest starting line ups in the prem with ramsdale 21, solanke 22, billing 22, Wilson 22, cook 22, mepham 22, Stacey 24 but inexperienced etc. Premier league is as much about mental strength as playing capability; Even cookie had a bit of a mare yesterday and he is more experienced than some of the youngsters.

Eddie needs to think about his own tactics too - continually letting Moy run the show yesterday was crazy. I would like to think Lerma would have helped but maybe getting surman and Stan back in midfield would help shore things up with their experience.
This is a great post. Its very easy to go OTT when you see where we were at the start of the season and now where we are. But as you say, fine lines in the PL this season. Some of our defeats have been just the one goal. I think the fact Callum and Fraser have been so off form has been the biggest problem so far and that needs to be fixed asap.

We have looked fairly solid at the back, even with the injuries. I don't think we are missing Smithy at right back for example, however good he is. Any team would miss Ake of course, although Meps has looked much better in his place. I also would have loved to have Lloyd Kelly at left back, even though Rico has done *ok* generally.

The squad is very young because that is the type of player we need to look at. That will always lead to inconsistencies and then you need the more experienced players [ Cook. Ake, Gosling, Lerma, Callum, Fraser etc ] to really hold their levels. Not all have.

Agree Eddie has dipped a little this season for whatever reason - leaving Mooy to do what he liked yesterday was shocking! All he said in the interviews was what a good game he'd had! I would have changed formation inside the first 15 minutes and put someone right on him, I'll never understand why that didn't happen.

But ultimately, I still can see a mid-table quality squad. We need as many fit as possible, for certain players to get their form back quickly and for that vital confidence to return. I'd also love to see a wildcard signing up top, whether its an Ollie Watkins or Jarrod Bowen, that kind of player who can come in and play with pace and confidence.
 
D

Deleted member 754

Guest
#13
my lad and I discussed new players yesterday. both felt that new blood may just add to the problems, tho we both would be happy to see matt ritchie come back, for his attitude, spirit, workrate & the fact he could slot straight in
 
#14
This is a great post. Its very easy to go OTT when you see where we were at the start of the season and now where we are. But as you say, fine lines in the PL this season. Some of our defeats have been just the one goal. I think the fact Callum and Fraser have been so off form has been the biggest problem so far and that needs to be fixed asap.

We have looked fairly solid at the back, even with the injuries. I don't think we are missing Smithy at right back for example, however good he is. Any team would miss Ake of course, although Meps has looked much better in his place. I also would have loved to have Lloyd Kelly at left back, even though Rico has done *ok* generally.

The squad is very young because that is the type of player we need to look at. That will always lead to inconsistencies and then you need the more experienced players [ Cook. Ake, Gosling, Lerma, Callum, Fraser etc ] to really hold their levels. Not all have.

Agree Eddie has dipped a little this season for whatever reason - leaving Mooy to do what he liked yesterday was shocking! All he said in the interviews was what a good game he'd had! I would have changed formation inside the first 15 minutes and put someone right on him, I'll never understand why that didn't happen.

But ultimately, I still can see a mid-table quality squad. We need as many fit as possible, for certain players to get their form back quickly and for that vital confidence to return. I'd also love to see a wildcard signing up top, whether its an Ollie Watkins or Jarrod Bowen, that kind of player who can come in and play with pace and confidence.
The amount of room Mooy had to himself yesterday was very similar to Ozil on boxing day. We sorted Ozil out eventually and then made the same error with Mooy but never got it sorted. That's shocking. I have been a big fan of Ollie Watkins previous to him joining Brentford but we've probably missed the boat as far as he is concerned. In my opinion we should have tried to sign him as opposed to Solankie but Brentford are now pushing for promotion with a new stadium on the way. They would be mugs to sell him at the moment and I don't think we'd be able to afford the fee that they would rightly demand.
 

davygravy

Fans' Favourite
#15
The amount of room Mooy had to himself yesterday was very similar to Ozil on boxing day. We sorted Ozil out eventually and then made the same error with Mooy but never got it sorted. That's shocking. I have been a big fan of Ollie Watkins previous to him joining Brentford but we've probably missed the boat as far as he is concerned. In my opinion we should have tried to sign him as opposed to Solankie but Brentford are now pushing for promotion with a new stadium on the way. They would be mugs to sell him at the moment and I don't think we'd be able to afford the fee that they would rightly demand.
Probably right about Watkins, he was just an example of the style of player we should try for. Bowen may be more realistic with Hull mid-table. Even Ivan Toney would be an interesting choice, as long as let him do his thing.

Right about Ozil, we switched quite early to try and combat that so again, no idea why Eddie did nothing at Brighton.
 
#16
He thinks we all adore him and that he has this job for life. Why should he worry. He doesn't have to fork out admission and travel money out of hard come by earnings.

The team has not got a suitable squad to handle the injury crisis. That is all down to the Manager whose collective failures include

-not buying the right players

-selling players because he doesn't like them personally even though they can do a better job than the yes men who he retains year after year after year.

- sending out essential players on loan.

- appointment of poor medical staff re David Brooks recovery.

Some believe you have a magic wand and all will become right. However, we are not in this position by accident, Our manager is now light years behind Wilder, Rogers and the Wolves chap Nuno, when he should be alongside them in the league. We need to bring in Redknapp and Pulis to save our season, and then a proven manager for next season to take us into serious top 6 challengers.

As for beating Man U, that was their 4th away game in 11 days, they were totally knackered especially Rashford.
As for beating Chelsea, anyone in the division can win at Stamford Bridge this autumn.
 
D

Deleted member 754

Guest
#17
if u watch any of his pressers, the one thing he ALWAYS says is that managers jobs can NEVER be taken for granted, including his own. he certainly doesn't think he has a job for life.

as a club, we are miniscule against leicester, wolves & even sheff united

I think you're on a wind up - redknapp & pulis?!?!?! :acid:
 
#19
We have 22 year old players playing in the top division and still some of our "supporters" give them grief during the game! That's a bit embarrassing, isn't it?

I do wonder if some on here realise every other club is trying to get better every year too.

We've lowered the average age of the squad last two seasons, not only planning for the future but also making sure we don't "do a Pompey" and get relegated with a squad full of 35 year olds on huge wages that nobody wants.
 

Neil Dawson

Fans' Favourite
#20
There are so many factors it really is the perfect storm.

Injuries
How much of this we can control is up for debate but leaving that aside for the last 12 months we have had game changing players unavailable. Losing Brooks, Danjuma and Stanislas left us with speed only up front and no craft which meant teams can sit back against us and render us totally impotent. Which they do.

Other teams have got better our signings?
We have added Mepham, Solanke, Billing Danjuma and Stacey for the best part of 65m. None of them were better than what we had (yet). Other teams signings improved them so they moved up a notch and we stood still.

Tactical rigidty
We used to blindly attack everyone and leave gaps at the back. We generally beat the bottom teams but failed against the top teams.
We switched to attacking nobody, conceding possession and defending deep. We now look better against the top teams (but they are harder to beat) but impotent against the bottom teams.
We would be better off going back to what we did or... we would be really better off playing both ways depending on who we were playing. Eddie doesn’t like this though... he likes just one philosophy and style. This makes us predictable

Anachronistic tactics
We have a DNA of 4-4-2 and a coaching team bred in it. When we play other styles we can’t get them to work so are probably better off going back to 4-4-2 (yes even I think this). The issue is there is a reason why nobody plays this anymore outside of us and Burnley. It’s a very easy system to counter and it only really suits long ball which bizarrely we don’t play so have one less midfielder to play our style of football with. Recently, with the players that understood it gone we have looked worse as we have players that would never have played this in their lives. Danjumas bewilderment at Newcastle when he came on is a prime example.

Individual form and commitment
Fraser was our key player last year but his head has been turned. There are heavy rumours Ake was giving it half a season. Wilson has been linked with getting away. Eddie and JT always renew with three years left but are currently on 17months which the players will be aware of. A bedrock of Collective stability has become a fountain of individual need. Players like Lerma and Danjuma are also here just for the cash, great though the former is.

Not knowing our best team
We always knew our best team. I could tell you Liverpool and Chelsea’s best team I could even tell you Watford’s. I have no interest in those clubs. I have huge interest in us, and as someone told me on DM am a strongly opinionated w**ker but I still have no clue what our best team is. More worrying neither does Eddie. He hasn’t even tried the huge talent of Harry Wilson in his international position. We change team every week depending on who had a good appearance off the bench.

Fresh ideas
The greatest managers become predictable. It’s why nobody really lasts longer than 3 or 4years at any club. Wenger with all his cash won nothing in years. Howe is no different. People see his teams coming now. They know how to play us. We shocked Chelsea with a five man midfield but we are now back to Eddie plan A and Brighton picked it apart with ease. He has to change things around and find new impetuses however that might look.

No Director of Football
Old fashioned managers hate this. Harry being the prime example of it. There is a reason the best clubs do this though. Coaches are not talent spotters and vice versa. Controlling every aspect of your club is very league one. Eddie is a phenomenal coach of individual players but his transfer record is pretty poor. He should accept help on this front from people who are skilled in it, not people who played with him.

Natural size constraints
We are who we are. The best use of our cash would have been to build a ground. Go down if necessary. With a stadium you have hope of coming back. We will need a second miracle to do so. Nobody will play for us if they can play in front of 30,000. We may well regret not sorting this out and Eddie has been a key decider in saying he wanted the cash for a team. We are not attractive and we won’t get the gate money to help us long term.

A lot of these decisions are significant changes and I’m not sure either Eddie or the club have the appetite to make them. Without some of them ( not all) we will not maximise what we could be. Maybe it’s not important though... we don’t have the need to be in the top league to survive properly that teams like Leeds and Sheff W have. Maybe we should enjoy it for what it is and take what comes. It’s not like the PL has been that enjoyable for awhile and the pressure on Eddie looks immense at the mo. Time catches up with resources eventually.
 
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