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21 Feb 2021 16:21:02
Reading a lot of negative comments on here and to be fair over the last 5 or 6 games most have been justified.
Today was a reality check. Leicester are 2 to 3 seasons ahead of us in terms of their development. Much better team than us and their position in the league supports that.
We are very much a work in progress. The real test for us is against teams in and around us, Spurs, Wolves, Leeds.
Without Grealish we look a bit toothless but we've got to have a plan B.
8th place is about as high as we can expect to finish this year, although 10th - 12th is more likely to be honest.
Look at the teams above us, all established in the Prem for some time.

The summer will be massive for us, not just in terms of who we can add but also holding onto the jewel in the crown, JG.

Is Smith the man to take us to that next level? Jury's out for me on that one.

Agree0 Disagree0

21 Feb 2021 16:40:13
Yes Trinity, but we have gone backwards mate, if a player is not playing well he should be dropped, that is not happening.
McGinn was really poor again today, but still gets picked as do others.

21 Feb 2021 17:04:58
Dave i said last week that mcginn and barkley are benchers on current form. i don't understand why sanson isn't getting a run. Ramsey even seems ahead of him in dean's eyes. Hope its not another waste of money.

21 Feb 2021 17:14:23
Villa Dave, I agree, and Barkley for me should never have walked back into the team at the expense of players who were bang in form (AEG for one) .
You are no different to most fans who once there team is moderately successful you become greedy. There’s nothing wrong with that but we have to remember where we were this time last year and the huge strides we’ve made.
We’re going to get better and more consistent with further investment and the right coaching.
We have a relatively small squad compared to half the teams in the league. Sanson should have started today and hopefully will next week.
Nakamba deserves a go too but we shouldn’t expect them to be the answer.
Expectation is, or can be, the biggest enemy.

21 Feb 2021 17:20:29
We stand off way to much, when we are in possession teams are all over us closing us down, at 1 point today a Leicester player outside our box with the ball and we had 4 players standing waiting for him to do something, we were not doing this in our first 15 games we didn’t beat Liverpool by standing off, we went at them didn’t give them a second, we need to get back to that but I think dean motto lately is to stand off, soak up pressure and hit on the break, that’s working against lower teams and teams not playing well but against top 6-8 teams we will get punished by their quality. I just hope we don’t start free falling or the likes of jack and ezri will be on their bike come summer.

21 Feb 2021 17:41:24
Very good post Trinity and nice to see some measured thinking.
I think it's more than fair enough to ask questions about why Smith seems reluctant to give other players a go and agree with many on here that continuing to play Barkley at the expense of Ramsey/ Sanson is frustrating. But at the same time, we have to acknowledge how far we've come in a short space of time as a result of Smith's decisions, leadership and coaching and we have no idea how well these players are performing in training or what's going on week to week. He's raised the bar massively this year and I worry that those who give us the fickle reputation will soon turn what should be a massively positive season into another manager out campaign, which is ludicrous.

21 Feb 2021 18:13:54
Trinity, you have just said what I was saying, players need to be dropped, and other players played.
And your point about being greedy, I am not greedy Trinity, all I wanted was to maintain mid table, and push on next season.
But we have gone backwards, ant that is the point, Jack played last week and it was just the same.
Dean Smith as much as I like him, lacks the big round things, and I think is a Mr nice.

21 Feb 2021 18:35:17
You must also remember DBS, that we can fall back to where we have come from in a short time as well mate.
Measured thinking also involves, making tough decisions, and we are not doing that.

21 Feb 2021 18:42:22
DBS we all agree that we have made huge strides but it’s all for nothing if we start going backwards, that’s everyone’s big fear, we look like we are going backwards and dean is not addressing it like a premier league manager should. I want it to be dean that brings us to the next level but he’s not showing us that he will, and if our owners don’t think he can they will either stop investing or get rid of him.

21 Feb 2021 21:28:42
Like I said, its perfectly reasonable to ask some of the questions around team selection and tactics, but in my opinion its unreasonable to jump on the bandwagon and start talk of Smith not having a clue, not being a top level manager etc etc just because we're in a poor bit of form. Look around the league and you'll be very hard pushed to find any teams that have not had bad patches, we're still in the top 10 and above some very good teams even during our bad patch. i think people need to stop for second, think about that and where we've come from recently and get some perspective before coming out with some of the comments on here. If in 12 weeks we're hovering just above the relegation zone then fair enough, maybe you can justify asking the bigger questions, but as things stand we're in a bit of bad form and we should be happy the club is making progress in the broader sense, not think the sky is falling down after what might well be a short term dip in form. It's this short term, reactionary thinking that gives us the fickle reputation.

21 Feb 2021 22:14:17
Agree DBS, we're in our second season back and clearly progressing. We asked for mid table before the season and suddenly that's not good enough.
It would be nice to mix things up but we also don't know the fitness of the players not starting. It's all well and good us shouting for certain people to play but for all we know they were the ones hit worst by CV or are carrying knocks and can't play a full 90.

21 Feb 2021 23:05:39
We’re not where we are because we are playing well though we are in the top half because other teams are so bad this year, the last couple of weeks other teams have done us favours beating teams around us so we haven’t slipped down, we have to play Everton and spurs twice still, not looking forward to those, Leeds, Liverpool, United, city will all give us a lesson if we keep playing like this, we have taken 2 steps forward in first part of season, we have taken at least 1 step backwards of late, we need to finish our season in decent form, I’m not saying we got to beat everyone but playing like this I don’t know who we will beat.

22 Feb 2021 06:17:19
Well that's just nonsense. A short run and we're not where we are from playing well.
We played at least 17-18 games playing well and we're at 1.5 points a game which is usually enough to challenge for Europe.
2 steps forward and one step back is still a step forward. It takes time to get there but as usual a few wins turned people hysterical.
It's only been 4 weeks since we were locked down. Look at how long it has taken Saint-maximan and Lascelles to get their fitness back at Newcastle.
How many teams have actually switched up their tactics this season? Smith seems to be the only one that can't take us to the next level not doing it though.
We've built a good side for our plan A, we still need to flesh out the squad for the plan B. And in regards to Everton, their form and performances are just as patchy so I don't see how having to play them twice is particularly worrying.

22 Feb 2021 09:03:32
Our points ratio from the 5th game of the season until now is 24 points from19 games. Had we not had that terrific start to the season the situation now would be slightly more concerning. For instance had we not got off to a flier and our points return for the first 4 games had been what it’s been since, we would be around 14th in the league now.
It would have still represented progress but not as impressive as the picture looks at the moment.
We are not relegation fodder but our form over the bulk of the season suggests we are not going to finish any higher than we are now.
I appreciate final league position is important as much as an extra 2 million is at stake for each place, due to the merit payments. The difference between finishing 8th and 14th for example would represent at 12 million difference in our revenue for the season.
However as mentioned in a previous thread, I think, and I know several others do the same, that the time has now come to experiment a little in preparation for next season.
Would it not be a good idea to see what other players in the squad are capable of and also to take a good look at what the best of our youngsters could do in some of the remaining games. It wouldn’t necessarily compromise our final league position, sometimes a few fresh faces injects fresh life into the side and just lately the signs have been that our play is becoming a little stagnant to say the least.

22 Feb 2021 10:00:08
Not factoring in as yet not rearranged games our next 6 fixtures are Leeds, Sheffield, Wolves, Newcastle, Spurs and Fulham.
We could quite easily be back in the mix come the end of those as none have been particularly impressive. Not sure it's time to throw in the towel just yet but some rotation will be necessary.

22 Feb 2021 10:21:24
Yes we got there by playing well but the last few weeks we have being lucky with other teams losing, arsenal, spurs Southampton all dropping a lot of points, on current form we will average 4 more wins and 2 draws, that won’t be enough to stay in the top 10. that final 20 mins capitulation against Burnley seems to have being a turning point, the only games we won since was arsenal and Southampton and both of them played us off the pitch for the majority of the game only for our defence have being keeping standards up for the most part, everyone thinks the same as in we need to sort out that midfield or we will finish just above the relegation places after all our good work, if that happens it won’t have being a good season by any means after the start we had, the owners won’t be wanting to spend 70-80 million to move up 1 or 2 places.

22 Feb 2021 12:04:08
Whack, even if that's all we manage it puts us at 50 points which will be around 10th and therefore reaching our goal.
Another season improving by 10 points puts us in Europe. Its not the dreamland we could have hoped for but its improvement and reaching the expectations set.

22 Feb 2021 14:07:44
That’s a fair point rk and 50 points wouldn’t be a bad haul whatsoever, if we only win 4 more I’ll be happy enough yes it’s not what we hoped after such a good start, it’s the way we are playing that worries me more than the results themselves, we can play well and still get beat, there’s positives there for sure and it’s not as disheartening as looking at a midfield with no ideas what to do, if we drop off from here and stay up our options wouldn’t be the same in the transfer market as if we can keep it going and finish well in the top half, and it’s not just about buying players we need to keep what we have and our best players won’t want another season of getting run ragged if we continue in this form till may. this is a strange season and lots of unpredictable results, if fans are back as normal next season it might be a lot tougher for us to improve, seeing how much better we have done without them. I’m just wanting to get as much as possible out of this season while we have this great chance at our fingertips, maybe it’s just a blip and we will pick up again but we said that a few games back so that’s why I’m starting to worry, I hate losing but at least if we are playing decent football there’s some positives for us, if we don’t improve we are just back to our relegation form of last year and that’s damn heartbreaking.

22 Feb 2021 19:02:15
Elements are similar but I still think its a stretch to make out that it's that bad.
A sign of a good team is to play badly and get results. We're doing that more than Wolves and Spurs who are supposedly good teams. We were close to nicking a point yesterday at the end of a game we thought was going to be a walkover.
This season is a great opportunity to capitalise on others form and we can say we missed a trick if we don't manage it.
I still feel we are now using the early season Liverpool and Arsenal games as a base standard rather than exceptional results. This has led to "relegation form" comments from slightly below par performances that realistically still get 3 points against 6 or 7 of the other teams.



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