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Yesterday
#1
Well that's Albion isn't it? You could have scripted it. A huge injection of positive thinking had followed a decent start points wise and a great window. Happy clappers and pulisouters all came together to praise the squad building. Hope and expectation were at a level not felt in a very long time. The trip to Brighton was anticipated more than any away game in a long time. It was all set up for semper te fallant wasn't it? It was classic Albion.

Pulis had probably his worst day decisions wise since he has been at the club. I don't care how much you irrationally hate him or love him, he got it badly wrong yesterday. This isn't hindsight. There was head scratching AOTS in the pubs, in and around the ground. You concede 1 goal in 3 games and then rearrange your defence like that? It was bizarre and is it any surprise that they defended so badly.

It wasn't just the defence selection. We effectively played 451 with Rondon totally isolated for the vast majority of his time on the pitch. When we did play a central midfielder further forward, it was Barry that was pushed on. ( he is a class act and he still played well but a number 10??? wtf) We played Rodriguez on the left and he played most of his football just ahead of Nyom. An absolute waste of his talents. Picking Rondon was also a strange one that backfired. He has always struggled after being away on international duty. Given he had a long haul flight on Thursday, what possessed TP to pick him for this one when JR is more than able to play up top. 

Not picking Brunt, a first on any team sheet for me be it as LB or LW, was also wrong. For a team so reliant on set pieces, not picking our best at it is just not right. Plus, what message does that send out to him given how well he has started the season? He won't sulk bit you can forgive him doing so.

People will argue that for 44 minutes we were comfortable. We were but despite more possession than we normally have, it was like treading water. Going nowhere, just surviving. Sideways, backwards, sideways, backwards. It was so rigid, the movement so poor. On another day, we will do that and defend better and pick up draws or even a win like at Burnley and people will say its justified as overall we will pick up enough points to survive. 

We now have some real talent in the squad, bloody hell, one of them is on 115k a week and had Juventus after him before he signed for us. I can understand the Pulis way when he arrived and for the first couple of years even whilst he sorted the mess out left beyond by the idiots that came before him. He has done a brilliant job with rebuilding and now have a squad to be proud of. So do we still have to go to newly promoted teams, who are average at best, and play 7 defensive outfield players and get your 2 wingers to babysit their fullbacks and leave a striker so isolated? Really? is this all this squad is capable of in TP's eyes?

I am not expecting massive changes to TP's approach. But I do want to see him get rid of this inferiority complex and use the talent he has in his squad and stop this square pegs in round holes approach. It's not much to ask for is it. It won't stop the bad performances ever happening and the odd semper te fallant moment but it would make going a lot more positive experience.
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#2
Inferiority complex are the key words here Rich, I've been banging on about it for 2 seasons now, especially away from home. We've been in the Premier for what 8 years on the bounce now?
Got to change this approach

Cuzer
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#3
+1 Rich. But as DK and other Stoke fans will tell you, despite strong player investment the tactics never change.
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#4
(09-10-2017, 09:51 AM)cunninghamismagic Wrote: +1 Rich. But as DK and other Stoke fans will tell you, despite strong player investment the tactics never change.
My sentiments exactly. 

We're probably about where TP was with Stoke although we're still lacking the FA Cup final.
Stoke gambled and went for Hughes. It still remains to be seen whether he's any better than Pulis. 

We're comfortably mid-table, but difficult to see how Pulis can take us much further when he refuses to change his approach against teams that will probably go down. The only time in his managerial career that the handbrake was fully off was at Palace where he had nothing to lose.  

It would be interesting to know if yesterdays gameplan was all his own or did others have an input?
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#5
Displacing Nyom seemed, at the very least, a bit puzzling. Moving him to a position where he's already demonstrated he's less comfortable, ahead of Brunt or our newly signed specialist left back, was inexplicable.

But Pulis has that in him - an inclination to be perverse - always has had. Megson had it as well.
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#6
Couple of good posts by Hawks and Rich on yesterday. I wasn't there and can't comment on the game or indeed the team's performance.

Couple of things on the team selection though, which are obviously just suppositions on my part.

I think TP sees, or until yesterday, saw the best central defence pairing as being Hegazy and Evans. So Dawson gets moved to RB where he has performed well in the past and Nylon on goes to LB again a position he has done well in and so far so good. A back four of Dawson Hegazy Evans and Nyom at 5 to 3 yesterday would have brought few complaints. Obviously we would all expect to see Gibbs in when match fit, the main issue here being the absence of Brunt who is playing in the form of his life.

Pulis' issues were forward of the back 4 in terms of team selection. He wants to play Livermore, now a regular England international, Greg K on over a £100k a week and Barry who has performed well since joining. All of these 3 fulfill defensive duties and none of them are natural attacking midfielders. This leaves no room for Brunt who is another defensive minded midfielder. The remaining 3 positions he fills with attacking midfielders and our only out and out available forward. So we go with Phillips, J Rod and Rondon.

There is a logic here that I understand, I looked at the team selection yesterday and though what a great bench. The problem being, by all accounts, it just didn't fucking work on the day. With every enormous great error of judgement there is the positive of learning lessons. As an old Brentesque boss of mine used to say "you either win or you learn". While there is absolutely no chance of Pulis changing his basic footballing philosophy I believe he is a man capable of learning even at this stage of his career. We will see.
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#7
Pretty much the way I feel Rich.
Just before their goal I mentioned we were lacking any kind of cutting edge going forward and not giving them anything to worry about, which in turn gave them a bit more confidence to come forward. We seemed happy to try and get a set piece to get the goals without creating much in open play.
Lets hope Pulis learned a bit from the game anyway.
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#8
I agree with a lot that Rich. However as Stoke are finding out under Hughes whoever is in charge there is no next level for clubs like us. The best we are going to achieve is 8th. Whether we have Pep or Pulis. The football will be different but not much else.
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#9
(09-10-2017, 10:53 AM)Derek Hardballs Wrote: I agree with a lot that Rich. However as Stoke are finding out under Hughes whoever is in charge there is no next level for clubs like us. The best we are going to achieve is 8th. Whether we have Pep or Pulis. The football will be different but not much else.

I agree. Which is why we should keep Pulis, finish mid table and really go for it in the cups.
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#10
Summed up perfectly Rich. Pulis messed up yesterday, big time.

TP has real quality at his disposal now, gone is the necessity to just survive. The squad is pretty much entirely his and he has been backed, IMO this season he will be judged on that.

Rich has already summed up the poor decisions yesterday, I totally agree. Pulis seems determined to shoehorn all three of Livermore, Barry and Greg into the team, for me you have to choose just two of them and then put Chadli or Mozza in with them.

For me Nyom shouldn't be used as a left back, he was excellent against Stoke but always looked vulnerable and awkward when switched to his wrong side. Hughton had obviously identified this judging by the way they kept peppering that flank with diagonal balls. Hughton wont be the only one to identify this.

Rondon, fuck me where do I start. Worst I have seen him play, he seems to be going backwards. I've heard all the muttering about problems or issues he may have, being brutal I don't care, he's being paid to do a job and he's not doing it, bottom line.
Personal issues shouldn't mean he can't control a football, basic stuff. Yesterday his second touch was far too often a tackle, he was controlling the ball further than most fuckers could kick it.
If he continues to offer that level of performance he shouldn't make the squad let alone the team.

There were positives too yesterday though. Gibbs and Burke both looked bright when they came on and, once Mozza was on and the handbrake taken off, we showed we could be a threat going forward.

We tend to get one or two absolute shockers a season, yesterday reminded of performances we have seen at Palace and Swansea in recent years. I'm thinking it's out of our system now and hope to see massive improvements in the next few games. One things certain, play like that again too many times and pressure will be put on the manager. It's his team now and he needs to find the right balance, I'm sure he will.
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