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Got wound up about this and starting listing players from other teams and comparing them to ours. I was writing a proper piece for something else so this is a bit scratchy, and also unnecessarily long, skip to just the player lists at each paragraphs start to compare options for yourself.
4-5-1 Comparison of our competitors. I’ve put Villa, Norwich, QPR, Reading, Southampton, Stoke, Sunderland, Swansea, WBA and Wigan against us. These are scratchy fits.
Keepers: Jussi, Given, Ruddy, Green, Federici, Davis, Begovic, Mignolet, Vorm, Foster, Al Habsi.
I’m of the belief that the criticism on here of Jussi is harsh. Coyle made plenty of mistakes with his desire to create a younger team. Poor form to some extent from Jussi, but that defence was arguably the worst organised in the Premier League I’d seen for some years, easily up with Grant’s great management of our defenders. That can affect a keeper, and so can poor form, I think he was thrown aside. Settled, back with Sam and with a point to prove he could easily prove himself as good as most of that list. Given and Vorm are the best there, Al Habsi and Mignolet to follow, the rest are reasonably on par.
Full backs: Demel, Linda; Lowton, Warnock; Whittaker, Tierney; Onouha, Fabio; Gunter, Shorey; Clyne, Fox; Huth, Wilkinson; Bardsley, O’Shea; Rangel, Taylor; Macauley, Jones; Boyce, Figueroa.
That’s a pretty average list of full backs. The constant word I hear about ours is pace. Pace is not everything, positioning is key, and we won’t be playing as high up the field as last year. Even your top class, fast full backs are beaten for pace by Walcott, Young etc. Ashley Cole is a great full back, hes not as fast as Lennon, but there’s more to it than that.
Centre backs: Collins/Reid, Tomkins; Dunne, Vlaar; Ward, Turner; Nelsen, Ferdinand; Mariappa, Pearce; Fonte, Hooiveld; Huth, Shawcross; Cuellar, Brown; Williams, Flores; Olsson, Ridgewell; Alcaraz, Caldwell.
There’s a good few defenders on there I would hate to see at our club. Caldwell, Nelsen, Dunne and Turner seem to have had their best seasons a while ago. Vlaar, Flores, Mariappa and more unproven in this country and/or the Premier League. Williams and Shawcross are the only two I would really be excited to have in our team.
Wide/Mids cutting in: Collison, RVT; N’Zogbia, Albrighton; Pilkington, Surman; Hoilett, Park; Kebe, McAnuff; Llalana, Guly; Pennant, Etherington; Larsson, McClean; Dyer, Sinclair; Thomas, Brunt; Maloney, Beausejour.
In that respect we lack great delivery wide. We don’t have a real genuine wide man, but it’s not really in our system. We have pace and goals in RVT, which we’ll need. I don’t think we’re as exciting, but there’s a bit more functionality and cover into our midfield. Both the Villa wingers go missing, Wigan’s both did nothing until the season drew to its conclusion. Pilkington was either brilliant or invisible. I’m a little envious of Sunderland, Swansea and QPR, but Sinclair looks likely to leave and Hoilett and Park have new teams to fit into. The Reading and Southampton pairs have much to prove at this level.
Centre Mids: Nolan, Diame, Noble; Bannan, Ireland (according to Lambert), Clark; Johnson, Howson, Hoolahan; Faurlin, Barton, Taarabt; Leigertwood, Karacan, Tabb; Davis, Cork, Schneiderlin; Whelan, Whitehead, Delap; Cattermole, Gardner, Sessegnon; Allen, Britton, De Guzman; Dorrans, Mulumbu, Morrison; McCarthy, McArthur, Moses.
Moses will most likely be gone, Watson in his place, but there’s really little going on there that scares me or that I’m particularly envious of. Sessegnon is the best player in there, he will score, create and have masterful moments. We lack pace, but not majorly in comparison. Diame is mobile, and smart in positioning. Stoke have the least exciting midfield, but they do a job. We have physicality and I think Diame will give us cohesion. Arguably we have as many goals in us with Nolan than any of those midfields, and that’s certainly an advantage at a lower table level.
Striker: Cole, Bent, Holt, Cisse, Pogrebnyak, Lambert, Crouch, Campbell, Graham, Odemwingie, Di Santo.
Alternative Striker: Maiga, Agbonlahor, Morison, Zamora, Roberts, Rodriguez, Jones, Wickham, Moore, Long, Sammon.
This could be a weakness in comparison. Cole has shown inconsistency with goals in the Premiership. If he plays like he did at the back end of last year he offers goals and an all round problem. Bent, Cisse and Crouch offer more goals, as does Odemwingie if he’s up for it. Graham is well suited to Swansea and arguably would do very well here as he works hard, is strong and has a good touch. Holt’s got it all to do again, Lambert won’t be able to bully people as easily as he has done, nor will he get the space on headers or long range shots. Pogrebnyak had a good spell, but consistency remains to be seen. Sunderland and Wigan are both far weaker than us in first and second choice.
Combination and depth of our best two strikers is pretty solid. I certainly would rather what we’ve got to Wigan, Reading, Southampton, Sunderland. Morison dipped in and out of form and effectiveness, Moore is not Prem standard, Jones has not been the player he can be for a long time with Stoke. Long, Zamora and Agbonlahor are all options I would throw straight into our mixer, but none of those offer a consistent goal return, or anything higher than what we have.
Really we match up to these teams, have more experience on the pitch, plus we have a manager who knows our players and the league. I’d say we are certainly good enough, it then depends on a bit of injury luck and how much the players put on show of their ability levels. I think Norwich will have a rude awakening, whilst Swansea could equally find there’s a reason those players had never looked like Premiership quality before, and that Rodgers was very important.
I’d agree you must aim for more than to merely survive, but equally its the basic goal. Hopefully by looking at these teams comparatively you can see we are no way out of our depth. One thing we will have is unity, they fought together and most came out of that league depending on each other. We have a leader, experience, and bits of flair and pace too, if not enough for some people. For each Vaz Te comment about struggling to step up there’s a player in other squads who you could query similar or could question whether they can do it again. Three or four signings and we could be very comfortably settled in mid table.
Also, Rob Hall could be a star very soon, the lad is exciting. Maybe he’ll be our bonus off the bench.
Good post. Set out like that you realise that we are more than capable of holding our own. A lot of it will come down to Allardyce's organisation of the team IMO. If the players click and play how he wants them to, we should eclipse his early achievements with Bolton.
Sorry Folks without the addition of a proven Premiership goal scorer,i fear a succession of home draws
will not be enough,everyone highlights the defence,but even if they play out of their skins most weeks
where are the goals coming from ?
Is our squad good enough to survive this season?
Depends on what part of our squad gets tested by injuries and suspensions.
'Turned them in to'?
Rolls off the tongue nicely that, doesn't it?
Ah, yes, we're back to judging football in nanoseconds again, aren't we?
The same mindset that will see sections of our crowd booing our team if we haven't won any of our first 3 games.
The same mindset that was calling for the manager's head a small way into the season, completely and utterly ignoring the long term approach that was being undertaken.
Is it not abundantly clear to everyone by now, that this is Allardyce's M.O?
Get a team that is on the backfoot, in a mess - which it was under Ince - and turn it around.
You don't do that by continuing to try be pretty about it.
Security - Consolidation - Rebuilding - Developing
They were crumbling under Ince. It ran a hell of a lot deeper, throughout the club, than just what the starting 11 were or were not doing.
He got them to top half and a cup semi final.
With us, we were a mess. He got us promoted, changing the entire attitude and mentality at the club.
He took Bolton from lower league to European Qualifiers, containing international footballers.
Problem is, like we saw last season, what needs to be done; the Security and Consolidation, is never ever pretty, yet people just want to judge, judge, judge straight away, completely neglecting the true reasons behind the long term of it all.
Then, once that's established, you then see the next phase.
But, at Blackburn, people judged him by the immediate process. The Indians took over, got rid of Allardyce and they plummeted into relegation and haven't recovered since.
People who go against Allardyce just look at some aspects of the negativity.
They believe the hype of Wenger and Benitez about his football, they choose only to focus on 'long ball, Kevin Davies' and an initial spell of rebuilding football at Blackburn.
They focus on the start of his tenure at West Ham; the rebuilding, the ugly foundations and footwork, the necessary evils for a long term goal.
Yet the promotions, the star signings, the more attractive football once established, the cup finals, the cup semi finals, the European qualifications, the team confidence, the team spirit, the eventual all round improvement.
Well, that don't quite fit in with the agenda, does it?
Nah f*ck it, I'll ignore that bit...
Didn't bother reading what you wrote, RARS. Would imagine it was all bo11ocks.
Can I just say - When are we signing Kevin Davies? No-one knows how old African footballers are! Bolton rejects! hoofball! Northern Tw@! Darren Anderton - injured again eh? and isn't Benni McCarthy fat?
Wilko 1304 -Superb post. As has been said on this site, far too many are looking at the business we haven't done, as opposed to what we have. We have a chance, if some on here are expecting Chris Samba, Carlos Tevez and a 9th place finish, then we're going to do sh1t. For those of who are expecting us to fight for every point, bring a couple more players and the odd loanee and are hopeful that we can just about keep our heads above the parapet....I'll see you at the Boleyn on the 18th!
RARS, you are of course spot on. Sadly, your post is probably too long for many on here to bother reading. Keep it up though and maybe some of the kids on their hols might actually learn something other than how to wet themselves about a forthcoming football season.
Sam isn't a boring/dull manager, I actually think Sam is probably the first good "modern" manager of our time, due to the fact that managers don't get a long time in the job these days, it's all about results from day one etc. etc.
So what Sam does (and does very well may I add) is to get his team playing "dull and boring" but extremely effective football from day 1. He gets the results that buys him and his team time, which allows them enough time to adjust and rebuild and then once this happens, he slowly adds creativity and flare to the team.
I mean ****ing hell, how stupid are some people on here? We ALL witnessed this last season, and it'll probably be the same this season (if he doesn't get hounded out of a job first that is).
We started off playing long ball football, but we were hard to break down and we got results that slowly bread confidence. Then as the team adjusted to each other, Sam started to give them more freedom and creativity and by the end of the season (around Brum at home) we were playing some really nice football.
Or did some people honestly think Sam changed his formula because of the “We play on the floor” chants….
Last edited by Romford_Iron on Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:19 am, edited 2 times in total.
Swansea: Michel Vorm, Angel Rangel, Chico , Ashley Williams, Ben Davies, Leon Britton , Jonathan de Guzman, Michu, Wayne Routledge , Luke Moore , Danny Graham.
Again.....sign a good RB and I'd pretty surprised if we lose either fixture before deadline day......
First seasons for promoted clubs are often defined by their team spirit. And it's something that isn't shown by names on a team sheet or players signed in the close season.
Allardyce will rely a lot on getting this part right.
Agree Nolan and Sam know how to create a team sprit, as well as that we have some quality, winning combination to me.
Excellent post RARS.
Some spectacular assumptions even by your standards. As good as your "for a few mill more you could get Llorente"
I suppose it's easier for you to put anyone who thinks differently to you into one box all thinking and feeling the same thing. Problem is it's not that simple is it. I could easily say "everyone who is happy with Allardyce doesn't go to the games and are a bunch of SKY generation supporters who think football is a business where all that matters is PL survival". I'm sure there are many who this statement may apply to but it still doesn't make it anything more than a sweeping generalisation that is a load of b*llocks. I'm, sure you get my point.
The issue I have here Rars is that you are suggesting there is only one way of turning a club around. Also the perpetuated myth (IMO) that it takes years to turn a club round. It's simply not true. There are many examples of clubs/teams being completely revitalised in a matter of weeks often through the confidence and feel good factor a new manager can bring, like with O'Neill at Sunderland. Before you label me as someone with no patience , I'm simply pointing out there's no one silver bullet for re establishing struggling clubs.
No agenda mate, just expressing opinions. But all that what you mentioned he did at one club, just like Pulis has done at Stoke. Excellent achievements by both given where the teams started under them, but that doesn't automatically transcend to being able to produce the same at other clubs, in different surrounding with different expectations. By your reckoning Pulis should have been up for the Liverpool or Spurs jobs, after all if he can do it with one club it means he can automatically do it at any other. Personally I don't agree and have experienced this sort of situation myself.
Last edited by The Moth on Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
This is an important point and one that I feel confident Allardyce will get right. He did last season and he has done so in the past.
We had a terrific squad in 2002-3 but still went down because we didn't have the right attitude until too late in the season. That was compounded by the fact that a united Allardyce led team dug in and kept above our (on-paper) stronger squad. At the opposite end of the spectrum to the squad relegated three years earlier our 2005-6 newly promoted team, surprisingly to many of us, achieved what they did through togetherness, hunger and spirit. In those respects I'd liken that year's team to Swansea last season.
Top post RARS Some of our own supporters seem to want Allardyce to fail. Whether it's because they simply dislike him and what they have assumed/ decided he stands for, or because they want to be proved right and be able to say 'I told you that he was wrong for us' , I don't know. Probably a combination of the two. But it's pretty tedious.
Top post RaRHs..
We will definetly stay up, we will sign a steady RB probably on loan, some one as good as Kieron Richardson (probably him) and an extra CB id love it to be Olssen but if i was him id hold out for a better club. We will prob even strengthen in areas that we think are fine though the loan market.
some need a reallity check on here Diame, Maiga and Collins are solid signings for a newly promoted side, they are all young enough and hungry enough to want to do well and stay in the top flight. They are not old and looking for a final pay day. (which is our normall pre season buisness). Moshini (spelling) is being looked at as cover, id rather sign talented, young league one players for this then old has beens.
Some of you might not like BFS but surely you realise that he knows what he is doing, he has a hell of alot of experiance even more then some of you Football Managers 2010's out there. He watches our team day in day out and he knows where we are weak. he will only sign players that will fit his system and will not alter his methods. This direction and leadership is exactly what we need, we are not going to be any one fav second team this season but we will be a top flight side.
It boils down to thus:
There is no set way of doing things. No generalisations. There are a million different ways of doing things.
But, I'll repeat the statement that doing what needs to be done, is never pretty. I stand by that completely.
Once we've done what needs to be done, then the process starts of doing what we want to do.
You expect him to do the process it in a certain way. He doesn't, you don't like it and you judge the process accordingly, instead of waiting for the end result.
If you're happy for us to employ Martin O'Neill so he can do it his way by wearing tracksuits, jumping up and down on the sidelines, making everyone feeling warm and cosy, whilst running away from Judy with a link of sausages... that's up to you. I can't question that.
To me, the bloke's a moron. A grossly overspending, irritating, blithering moron.
Horses and all that...
Facts of the matter. Where we were. Where we are. He IS producing the goods here and we ARE seeing positive, attractive results in the manner that many called for... after a period of ugly rebuilding.
To deny, is mental.
At Bolton he did it. At West Ham, he's started to do it.
At Blackburn he started to do it. Owner pulled the plug, club got relegated.
At Newcastle, he started to do it. Newcastle fans (very much as impatient and deluded as our own) didn't like it. Pulled the plug. Club got relegated.
As it stands, we play attractive, passing, goalscoring, free-flowing football. Right now, this is where we stand.
Or, you can judge Allardyce's West Ham United as of the 8th August 2012, by what Allardyce was doing at Blackburn Rovers 2 years ago and what he did for the first few years at Bolton.
I was nodding in agreement until....
....but that's a discussion for another thread, no?
Of course it's all up for debate.
Right now, with the pre-season friendlies, perhaps not.
But seriously, what I was saying though, was for the first 6 months of the season, it was hard and ugly.
For the last 2 months it got better and we finished up playing some of the most attractive stuff in the country, scoring goals for fun.
The 2 months is where we are/were... but many focus on the start of the season instead.
Future thread, yes. Let's wait and see how our new-ish first team adapts to the Premiership. But as it stood towards the end of last season, we were indeed playing attractive football.
Edit: RARS - still defending BFS? That's a full-time job fella with plenty of overtime to come when we've lost a couple
Last edited by DrVenk on Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Another top post RaRHs, the big one a couple above..