Whats gone wrong . .

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Cjay
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Whats gone wrong . .

Post by Cjay »

This season?

I have my own theories but what do we all think?

Injuries havent helped but we have had injury problems since Bielsa arrived, we have coped before so i dont think that can be the primary reason.

The team seems flat, the running stats are still high but those can be misleading (if your man runs off you and then you chase him but dont catch him your running stats would look good).

What has happened to our slick passing? We resorted to hoof ball second half (68% passing accuracy)

We arent creating chances like previous seasons.

We arent pressing

We arent controlling games.

But why?

Clearly something is wrong but what is it?

Is it purely injuries or is it deeper?

And more importantly do you trust Bielsa to fix it? Be honest, saying no doesnt mean you want him sacked just hand on heart do you feel he can fix it now?

Finally is this season something that the club should have seen coming?
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Re: Whats gone wrong . .

Post by Cjay »

I will just point out the square pegs as a major issue.

I firmly believe that at the top level that is a recipe for disaster. It doesnt work long term and even the best teams struggle with it and only do it as a last resort (Man City had Fernandinho playing cb for a while few seasons back and it didnt work)

Bielsa does it as a choice even when it isnt entirely forced.

It reached ludicrous levels yesterday.

So we had

Winger Dan james playing as a striker

We had striker Rodrigo playing as a central midfielder.

We had holding midfielder Adam Forshaw (he definitely is check his career stats the man hasnt a creative or goalscoring bone in his body) playing box to box midfield and was even at times our furthest forward player

We had Holding midfielder Kalvin Phillips playing centre back.

We had Central defender Diego Llorente playing right back at times (as did KP).

We had centre midfielder Jamie Shackleton playing right back.

We had winger Stuart Dallas playing full back/centre midfield.

Its ludicrous and whats worse is many of those changes werent forced, they were choices made by Bielsa.

We know Bielsa feels the system is king and players should be interchangeable but at the top level when man to man you are generally ourmatched talent wise all over the pitch it is asking for trouble.

Players have specialist positions for a reason, you dont see Klopp playing Henderson right wing for a reason, you dont see Van Dijk in the holding role for a reason, you dont see Rodri playing right back for a reason.

Even the best players would struggle out of their natural role against opponents who are their equal or who are even inferior, for our players against superior individuals being allowed to play their specialist role its like asking our players to play on ine foot, its a total hindering factor.

So for me i think one of our major issues is MB's square peg policy.

Ive never been keen but it has reached ludicrous levels like yesterday.

Injuries havent helped but he could have easily made it less daft yesterday.

Gelhardt to the striker role, James to the wing role, drop Harrison for Raph and Rodders for Klich.

Their is a stubborn side to Bielsa, i do wonder as more pressure comes will we see him do this sort of thing more and more?

We know he doesnt like to be questioned so the more he is questioned he may double down.

But yea for me this Square peg thing is beyond a joke now an it has reached ludicrous levels.

And id go as far as to say that his belief in the system over the individual is an active hinderence now as it causes him to make ludicrous selections that make no sense.
Last edited by Cjay on Sun Nov 28, 2021 12:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Whats gone wrong . .

Post by Scoobychief »

We're burnt out. And the opposition have also sussed our style of play.. also massive holes in midfield was never addresses. Playing 3 wingers. Inferior players that are championship level. It's a real mess this season. Would take a dramatic window to tun this around for the second half of the season. But cut see radz spending a bean this window.
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Re: Whats gone wrong . .

Post by BGwhite »

He's lost the plot mate end of. He needs to remember these are footballers not scientists. Tinker man No 2 and we know what happened to No 1.

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Re: Whats gone wrong . .

Post by mentalcase »

BGwhite wrote: Sun Nov 28, 2021 12:47 pm He's lost the plot mate end of. He needs to remember these are footballers not scientists. Tinker man No 2 and we know what happened to No 1.

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Nail on head.
Also as CJ says, he hates being questioned and will do it more to prove he's the boss and no-one else at any expense.
I said in an other thread about DJ as CF when we have JG on the bench, a striker whom we badly need didn't even get a chance, not one minute of game time, why is that ?
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Re: Whats gone wrong . .

Post by faaip »

Injuries for the main part, We've had 4-6 starters out virtually all season and the re-jigs are killing us. We're a 10-16 quality team which is a massive improvement on the lower mid Championship team when MB joined.... There's a grass is greener jealousy from our fans too but I doubt that manifests itself at grounds. Not sure how hard it is for footballers to ban themselves from the internet though, most have twitter accounts it seems.
Best 11, everyone fit - Meslier - Ayling - Firpo - Koch - Llorente - Phillips - Dallas - Raphinha - James - Roberts - Gelhardt Bench - Klaeson, Struijk, Rodrigo, Bamford, Forshaw, Harrison, Summerville
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Re: Whats gone wrong . .

Post by BGwhite »

mentalcase wrote: Nail on head.
Also as CJ says, he hates being questioned and will do it more to prove he's the boss and no-one else at any expense.
I said in an other thread about DJ as CF when we have JG on the bench, a striker whom we badly need didn't even get a chance, not one minute of game time, why is that ?
I dunno MC it's just baffling and quite frankly it's just become a complete joke and a farce. He's well on his way to pissing off the players never mind the fans. To get through December will be one thing but if strengthening doesn't happen in January the writing will be on the wall. Keep upsetting the players is not the way to go and at the risk of repeating myself management is not his forte ....coaching yes but not management.

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Re: Whats gone wrong . .

Post by YorkshireSquare »

I think there is only so far you can push a group of players without them crashing to a certain extent.

Three years seems about the most you can really push a team. See Liverpool last season, they seemd to fall off a cliff intensity wise plus with a few key injuries they struggled. Same with us this season.

But Liverpool have a bigger squad to draw on and the cash to splash to solve their problems in January. We are forced to plau U23s, who although talented are not yet that level, and others out of position. I really dont get why we splashed £25m on James when it's clear we needed a central midfielder. Bielsa becomes fixated on players and now we are playing him as a striker rather than our Spanish international or bright young thing.
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Re: Whats gone wrong . .

Post by SG90 »

We just didn't improve the squad when we needed to. Also last year everything was fresh, new and exciting. Now we don't have that behind us, so we have to work harder. But the players are tired after 3 long seasons before.
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Re: Whats gone wrong . .

Post by Leeds1000 »

Square pegs and injuries. We know everything about MB is machine like, (did someone mention he has changed the training methods this season to freshen things up), we just can't put a settled side out. I didn't watch the LC performance but the first 45 at Spurs was the best i have seen since last season. Bielsa obsession with fitting his wingers in is not helping us in midfield at all and most people will tell you lose the engine room and its one way traffic, which it was. Brighton's CB running with the ball into midfield adds another midfielder for them almost and it happens alot so its no surprise anymore.

Who would have thought it, missing Ayling, Alioski, & Bamford with Harrison and Klich not being at their best would make such a difference. Personally i would still just edge Southampton being our worst performance of the season but Brighton was also crap. They were both dire games without any fluency, accuracy, tactics, energy, confidence & hope. I don't know what's gone wrong but i am starting to lose faith it will ever come back to the level we witnessed last season.

I am unsure buying Championship quality players and throwing them into a side devoid of confidence will work (Dan James hasn't worked so far and he's superstar)... But i am has hopeful as the next man. We we be held to ransom and spend over the odds...It seems to be happening quite a bit.
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Re: Whats gone wrong . .

Post by Cjay »

Scoobychief wrote: Sun Nov 28, 2021 12:43 pm We're burnt out. And the opposition have also sussed our style of play.. also massive holes in midfield was never addresses. Playing 3 wingers. Inferior players that are championship level. It's a real mess this season. Would take a dramatic window to tun this around for the second half of the season. But cut see radz spending a bean this window.
Lots more people with interests though.

Radz has a giant list of investors because he let a venture capital fund get its claws into us.

Radz may not have a choice?
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Re: Whats gone wrong . .

Post by Cjay »

BGwhite wrote: Sun Nov 28, 2021 12:47 pm He's lost the plot mate end of. He needs to remember these are footballers not scientists. Tinker man No 2 and we know what happened to No 1.

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He does seem to be overthinking things now.

Making to many changes out of near desperation to find a winning formula?
Last edited by Cjay on Sun Nov 28, 2021 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Whats gone wrong . .

Post by Cjay »

mentalcase wrote: Sun Nov 28, 2021 12:56 pm Nail on head.
Also as CJ says, he hates being questioned and will do it more to prove he's the boss and no-one else at any expense.
I said in an other thread about DJ as CF when we have JG on the bench, a striker whom we badly need didn't even get a chance, not one minute of game time, why is that ?
Because he would prefer to use a senior player over a younger one, he said as much in a press conference.

It's strange because obviously he used Gelhardt then dropped him, doesn't send a great message to Joe and other youngsters?
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Re: Whats gone wrong . .

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faaip wrote: Sun Nov 28, 2021 1:02 pm Injuries for the main part, We've had 4-6 starters out virtually all season and the re-jigs are killing us. We're a 10-16 quality team which is a massive improvement on the lower mid Championship team when MB joined.... There's a grass is greener jealousy from our fans too but I doubt that manifests itself at grounds. Not sure how hard it is for footballers to ban themselves from the internet though, most have twitter accounts it seems.
The fans at the grounds haven't booed as of yet but realistically it won't take to long.

Fans love Bielsa but loyalty to the club goes further.

Fans and players have turned against far more successful managers before (used the Leicester example) ours will turn against Bielsa fairly soon if things don't change imo.
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Re: Whats gone wrong . .

Post by danhirons »

Cjay wrote: Sun Nov 28, 2021 12:41 pm I will just point out the square pegs as a major issue.

I firmly believe that at the top level that is a recipe for disaster. It doesnt work long term and even the best teams struggle with it and only do it as a last resort (Man City had Fernandinho playing cb for a while few seasons back and it didnt work)

Bielsa does it as a choice even when it isnt entirely forced.

It reached ludicrous levels yesterday.

So we had

Winger Dan james playing as a striker

We had striker Rodrigo playing as a central midfielder.

We had holding midfielder Adam Forshaw (he definitely is check his career stats the man hasnt a creative or goalscoring bone in his body) playing box to box midfield and was even at times our furthest forward player

We had Holding midfielder Kalvin Phillips playing centre back.

We had Central defender Diego Llorente playing right back at times (as did KP).

We had centre midfielder Jamie Shackleton playing right back.

We had winger Stuart Dallas playing full back/centre midfield.

Its ludicrous and whats worse is many of those changes werent forced, they were choices made by Bielsa.

We know Bielsa feels the system is king and players should be interchangeable but at the top level when man to man you are generally ourmatched talent wise all over the pitch it is asking for trouble.

Players have specialist positions for a reason, you dont see Klopp playing Henderson right wing for a reason, you dont see Van Dijk in the holding role for a reason, you dont see Rodri playing right back for a reason.

Even the best players would struggle out of their natural role against opponents who are their equal or who are even inferior, for our players against superior individuals being allowed to play their specialist role its like asking our players to play on ine foot, its a total hindering factor.

So for me i think one of our major issues is MB's square peg policy.

Ive never been keen but it has reached ludicrous levels like yesterday.

Injuries havent helped but he could have easily made it less daft yesterday.

Gelhardt to the striker role, James to the wing role, drop Harrison for Raph and Rodders for Klich.

Their is a stubborn side to Bielsa, i do wonder as more pressure comes will we see him do this sort of thing more and more?

We know he doesnt like to be questioned so the more he is questioned he may double down.

But yea for me this Square peg thing is beyond a joke now an it has reached ludicrous levels.

And id go as far as to say that his belief in the system over the individual is an active hinderence now as it causes him to make ludicrous selections that make no sense.
I'm not convinced this is the issue as we did it last season and still did well...

injuries for me is more of the issue, as well as overachieving last season, players underperforming slightly, second season syndrome (teams know how we play now), lack of strengthening over the summer
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Re: Whats gone wrong . .

Post by Cjay »

YorkshireSquare wrote: Sun Nov 28, 2021 1:54 pm I think there is only so far you can push a group of players without them crashing to a certain extent.

Three years seems about the most you can really push a team. See Liverpool last season, they seemd to fall off a cliff intensity wise plus with a few key injuries they struggled. Same with us this season.

But Liverpool have a bigger squad to draw on and the cash to splash to solve their problems in January. We are forced to plau U23s, who although talented are not yet that level, and others out of position. I really dont get why we splashed £25m on James when it's clear we needed a central midfielder. Bielsa becomes fixated on players and now we are playing him as a striker rather than our Spanish international or bright young thing.
Agree with all of this.

What is frustrating is some of us saw this coming even before pre season.

You can't push a small group if players non stop without expecting a drop off.

You can't buy players purely because they run a lot.

You can't have a squad this small indefinitely because eventually injuries will bite
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Re: Whats gone wrong . .

Post by Cjay »

SG90 wrote: Sun Nov 28, 2021 2:11 pm We just didn't improve the squad when we needed to. Also last year everything was fresh, new and exciting. Now we don't have that behind us, so we have to work harder. But the players are tired after 3 long seasons before.
People got very upset when second season syndrome was mentioned.

Kinnear being an arrogant idiot even mocked it in one of his programme notes.

Maybe their was a naiveness to our club?
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Re: Whats gone wrong . .

Post by Cjay »

Their is one more factor thay hasn't been mentioned.

Fans being back.

The most successful periods in this teams time has been behind closed doors.

Maybe that plays a part?
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Re: Whats gone wrong . .

Post by WestgateRun »

Maybe Karen had a point...
Three seasons of Bielsaball will take their toll if you don't get fresh players on board.
Especially if you have a small squad and pick up some injuries.
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Re: Whats gone wrong . .

Post by SG90 »

WestgateRun wrote: Sun Nov 28, 2021 3:51 pm Maybe Karen had a point...
Three seasons of Bielsaball will take their toll if you don't get fresh players on board.
Especially if you have a small squad and pick up some injuries.
That wasn't what she said. She said we only got promoted because of covid. :lol:
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