Often Partisan

Stick or Twist

Did you ever play Pontoon as a kid? You know, the game where you have to make 21 with the cards? Sometimes you’d be dealt a fairly crappy hand and you’d be left in the quandary of knowing what to do – play safe and stick with what you’ve got knowing you could well lose with it, or go for it and ask for another card knowing it could easily bust you out as much as it could win the game for you. Lee Clark is in this position right now with Blues and I think it’s a decision he’s struggling with.

Clark came to the Blues with a bit of a reputation from Huddersfield fans as a “tinkerman” – someone who constantly chops and changes his team and doesn’t settle on a best eleven. It’s a reputation that has stuck with him at St Andrews – for one reason and another Clark has only named an unchanged lineup once (Cardiff City away) in fourteen games. Whilst it’s true his hand has been forced into changes because of injury and suspension there is no denying that Clark has tinkered with team selection throughout the season.

The big question is if it’s an unfair reputation. There is an argument at the moment that Clark is in a bit of a no-win situation; having seen his team go 3-0 down in eighteen minutes against Millwall away there are going to be complaints if he doesn’t change things slightly – particularly with players like Paul Robinson playing out of position in the last game and with Jonathan Spector or James Hurst ready to slot in. However, if he does change things then the “tinkerman” accusation will again be flung at him – particularly if the team doesn’t respond to the changes and once more there will be talk of Clark “being out of his depth” etc.

According to his presser yesterday, Clark is slowly regaining most of his team back from injury and suspension; Ibanez is back in training next week, Peter Lovenkrands is regaining fitness fairly quickly whilst Ben Gordon isn’t as badly injured as first feared which will leave just Paul Caddis and Stephen Carr as long-term residents of the treatment room whilst Nikola Zigic completes his three match ban with the game against Leeds. Should Blues make it to Ipswich with just the two aforementioned full backs out then for me that would be the time for Clark to be bold and pick an eleven that he is going to stick with. I fully expect him to make some changes for the Leeds game with players coming back but I think he needs to show that he’s got some sort of cohesive plan for the team.

There are signs it is slowly coming together; Ravel Morrison seems to have found his feet in the centre of midfield whilst Nathan Redmond has played in every game under Clark this season. Marlon King’s hat-trick against Millwall will surely reinforce his position as number one striker at Blues and there have been signs of a partnership developing between King and Lita. For me, if Blues can settle a spine of the team into place then playing improvements should come – I’m of the belief the lack of a settled central midfield two has cost Blues dearly with a lack of protection for the back four and a lack of creative outlets for the front two and wingers.

However, Clark has to make it work. For the team (and ultimately his tenure) to be successful, I believe it’s going to be vital to put together a run of positive results and the only way I can see him doing that is with a team that plays together week in, week out. It will require bravery in picking an eleven that might not click completely at first, and it will require steadfastness to stick to his guns under pressure but that’s what being a manager is all about. Whilst it might appear Blues don’t have the best of hands at the table at the moment there is nothing to say that others won’t go bust around us trying to outdo each other – and when they do, a solid steady lesser hand might just trump them all.

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56 Responses to “Stick or Twist”

  • skareggae72 says:

    Gutted that Zig cannot play against Leeds at Elland Rd :( as he usually does well there :)

  • Letsby Avenue says:

    It took Chris Hughton until October last season to get a first choice into his head.And onto the field.
    And he had more competitive games to ‘experiment’ or ‘suck-it-and-see’.

    For most of late August and September, last season, Chris had only one player not match fit and only one player still wanting away. So in his game had was playing with more than a full deck – stick with your analogy :-)

    Lee Clark took the whole of his coaching staff to watch Beale’s DS at Crewe this week. Did Alex or Chris, EVER, do that? The guy is committed to Blues and I sincerely hope that he comes through.
    He has both Robinson and Diop (hopefully for the latter) available, so yes, we can expect some changes. At Leeds and against Ipswich.

    Tinkerman? Just another borrowed cliche.

    I am quite mystified about how or why the vitriol is poured on Clark. Really.
    This time last season, Chris Hughton was villified for being out of his depth, not knowing his first choice X1, and so on…and Chris had had more games to suss it all out and was blessed with almost nil injuries.

    Yes, we will have people out of position, most of them as a result of in-match injuries, not tactics or ‘Tinkering’

    Too many commentators are running with the hare and hunting with the hounds, please don’t join them mate.

    • RichardW says:

      A lot of sense here and I hope Clark comes through. I admire his decision to drop Burke; I think he might have seen through Fahey who is too lightweight for all his talent. It’s a long season and a squad game; remember how Hughton managed the squad between Euro / League/ Cup games: look at the team that nearly beat Chelsea at the Bridge. And he didn’t have the injuries Clark has had to contend with.

  • ChrisG says:

    I think nearly all managers tinker with their team, a lot of the time it’s a rotational thing to keep players match fit, a change of tactics or for the majority of time to keep players happy. AMc had an amazing run in the prem with Blues with an unchanged side, but, one injury or suspension would have changed that & I don’t think he had many players to chose from at that time.
    I wonder how CH would have done last season if it hadn’t been for a great Euro challenge that did mask some sorry performances & results in the league, getting stuffed by Southamton, Forest & Pompie are just 3 that spring to mind, CH had the luxury of blaming poor performances against Blackpool in the play offs on tirdness & have playing too many games, let’s face it we were pretty inconsistant last season, and if we hadn’t been we could possibly have gone up automatically.
    Although we’re all unhappy with things at the moment I do think LC wants to do well for Blues & it will be interesting to see what he can do with a fully squad to choose from, i’ll openly admit that i’m one of those that have said LC is out of his depth, but then, the grass isn’t always greener as the old saying goes. KRO

    • KeeprightCroydON says:

      Off course LC wants to do well for Blues. Why wouldn’t he not? We would not expect anything else. I’m at a loss to understand the rationale from some here saying that CH did not do any better when he started last season. Grated his results were only marginally better, but I think the point these people are missing is the manner of defeats and wins, of performances. Under CH there was optimism because he set his team up to win. The pessimism associated with LC’s team’s performances is the manner in the team plays. We are actually being outplayed by (supposedly) inferior teams at home. Surely that can’t be acceptable. We cannot string two good halves together, and usually it’s the first half that’s bad, and we find ourselves playing catch up. Desperate stuff. Surely this is inexcusable. I’m still waiting for the first instance of Blues this season when they play two decent halves in the same game.

  • bluey says:

    Optimistic claptrap. The Bloke is useless.

  • evesham blue says:

    Interesting. I sense there is a turning of feeling towards LC with people starting to give him some slack now.

    Interesting that maybe it’s a sign that the fans are adjusting to the reality as well as to the situation at Blues.

    Just maybe there are some green shoots with the players as wel?. King hat trick. Morrison knuckling down. LC starting to suss things out better?

    It still remains tho – the potential for another horror showing. Until we tighten up defensively – then we I cannot see us putting a run together. So for me I would twist until the defensive side of things is sorted.

  • Euston 9.18 says:

    Was there a fall out between Chris Woods & Chris Hughton ??
    Chris Woods is still being loaned out to clubs (Bristol City & now Millwall )
    9 goals from 23 app’s for Blues,wonder why he left or hasn’t been asked back ??

    If you haven’t read the E’Mail…….

    “Initially there’s been a hangover & ************* suffered for not being ######

    “His approach is not quite as gung~ho as ######### was & as a result that has led to unfair accusations that he is to defensive”

    ********** = CHRIS HUGHTON.
    ###### = Lambert.

    Seems football managers have problems bringing there attack minded “OLAAAAAAAA” Brazilian football from one club to another.

    Norwich & the vile don’t seem to be scoring / playing attractive football,but it does seem there managers are being given a chance to sort it out.

    Maybe us BLUES FANS / SUPPORTERS should step back & think about what’s going on at our club.

    NO CHAIRMAN !!
    NO BOARD !!
    NO MONEY !!

    Most of the squad are stop gaps to see us through the season.
    I think it’s laughable to think BLUES should be pushing for a “play~off” position with this squad of players.
    Imagine if we went up !!
    How many of this squad would be able to compete in the Prem ??
    We would need to buy a new team & we know what happens then,relegation,the “MERCENARIES” players leave & we are back to square “1”

    My hope is BLUES get enough points to stay up & then BLOOD THE KIDS,you might find a few more fans might turn up at St Andrews,knowing the future players showing 100% are in the team.

    K`R`O !!

    • nicky wicky says:

      Blues current squad is perfectly capable of putting a run together, and challenging for promotion. Have you not heard about the time when Millwall were top at christmas and got relegated. the biggest problem is they keep giving at least a goal away virtually every game(They seem to have won when Packwood was playing at right-back though interestingly). If they could sort out the defence then they would soon climb up the table!

    • nicky wicky says:

      Blues current squad is perfectly capable of putting a run together, and challenging for promotion. Have you not heard about the time when Millwall were top at christmas and got relegated. the biggest problem is they keep giving at least a goal away virtually every game(They seem to have won when Packwood was playing at right-back though interestingly). If they could sort out the defence then they would soon climb up the table!

  • evesham blue says:

    Here here. Stop Gaps hit it on the nail. I think the strategy to blood some kids is a good one but he LC is already doing that more than Hughton ever did.

    Redmond,Butland, Packwood. A number of younger players given squad numbers

  • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

    Changing teams is not neccesarily bad neither is keeping a team together. Look at someone like Jerome for instance who played week in week out when he needed dropping. A settled 11 is all very well and I would normally go with that but changes are good at times too, keep the incumbents on their toes.

    I wish we would forget all about Hughton now, showed zero loyalty to us smae as all those players who left us when we went down. Personally I hope he gest sacked.

    Lee, if you read this blog, I am right behind you mate. My support increases during hard times not lessens. Keep Right On Lee.

    • dcp says:

      paul – sorry mate but no way is this ‘the voice of reason’
      we’re now nearly into november,3 months into the season and look where we are.
      unfortunately LC is responsible for this and if you’re going to argue this you’re clearly more deluded than i first thought
      how can we have gone from play-off candidates to battling relegation in such a short space of time?
      maybe it was all hughton but i don’t want to give him any credit because ‘the voice of reason’ says he showed us no loyalty! i’m amazed you’ve had a pop at CH, clark’s failings just go to show how much we didn’t appreciate what we had when we had it.
      hughton left with the thanks and good will of the majority so don’t let your minority views publish themselves as ‘the voice of reason’ – after all if it is a self-given title, maybe we should have a democratic vote to ascertain who can post their thoughts with such an outlandish and authoritarian moniker???

      • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

        dcp, no need to be sorry mate. You’re entitled to air your views same as me.

        Why am I deluded just cos I don’t hold LC fully responsible for this? As you state it’s the same players who have gone from play-off candidates to battling relegation in such a short space of time so they share some of the responsibility surely? Are you telling me LC makes Chris Burke go from the best winger in this league to a passenger who goes missing? We’re broke that’s why we have Lee who has my utmost support. Talking of support where are all our fans? Half empty grounds again? Real fans don’t desert their club during the hard times.

        Why are you amazed that I’ve had a pop at Hughton. He was on his arse when we gave him a job but when we needed him he did one. I don’t care how good it was under him he left us when we needed him so he can go feck himself as far as I’m concerned,

        Don’t get so uptight about my user name dcp, it’s just a user name on a blog. No need to get so wound up. Stick to booing at the games or moaning away on the net. Booo, Clark Out. Admit it that makes you feel better don’t it?

        See you at Leeds mate and KRO

        • dcp says:

          we were broke last year
          clark has brought in his own players, partially agree burke hasn’t performed like last season but 2011/12 was the best of his career so it’s no surprise he hasn’t maintained his performance unfortunately
          but if burke isn’t performing then LC can always turn to his big money signing Darren Ambrose…oh wait. my point is that Clark’s signings have been poor. hughton’s were good. both were made under considerable financial constraint.
          you can back clark to the hilt and i applaud that but as you say im entitled to my opinion and my opinion is that clark is, and never will be good enough. looking forwards, if a takeover goes ahead as widely reported, how easy will it be for the new man at the top to gain the adoration of the fans (as if replacing CY isnt enough) – a new manager
          just a matter of time, i like that, i might start posting as that, dcp – just a matter of time
          yes paul see you at leeds, i’ll be the only one booing…….
          for the record, i dont boo, i acknowledge good things the players have been doing but there hasnt been much to acknowledge, like 451 at home to huddersfield, or 343 when 2-0 down at home to barnsley. but of course that was the players who set the bcfc stall out, nothing to do with the man gesticulating furiously on the touchline!

          • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

            we were broke last year
            clark has brought in his own players, partially agree burke hasn’t performed like last season but 2011/12 was the best of his career so it’s no surprise he hasn’t maintained his performance unfortunately
            but if burke isn’t performing then LC can always turn to his big money signing Darren Ambrose…oh wait. my point is that Clark’s signings have been poor. hughton’s were good. both were made under considerable financial constraint.
            you can back clark to the hilt and i applaud that but as you say im entitled to my opinion and my opinion is that clark is, and never will be good enough. looking forwards, if a takeover goes ahead as widely reported, how easy will it be for the new man at the top to gain the adoration of the fans (as if replacing CY isnt enough) – a new manager
            just a matter of time, i like that, i might start posting as that, dcp – just a matter of time
            yes paul see you at leeds, i’ll be the only one booing…….
            for the record, i dont boo, i acknowledge good things the players have been doing but there hasnt been much to acknowledge, like 451 at home to huddersfield, or 343 when 2-0 down at home to barnsley. but of course that was the players who set the bcfc stall out, nothing to do with the man gesticulating furiously on the touchline!

            When Ambose and Mullins signed there were people on this very blog stating automatic promotion, more excited than ever before one bloke said. There’s a reason these players came, cos they’re cheap and nobody else wants them. That’s where we shop and that’s why we get below standard players. I can’t see why anybody doesn’t get it. You answer your own question. Burkes gone backwards do you really think Clark sends him out and tells him not to bother?

            We have 13 points from 12 games, just what I expected. Halfway or just under is what I expect. Clark is the scapegoat for the shite situation the club is in. Changing sides and formations is what I’d expect him to do.

            And as for Hughton, not all his signings were good Erik Huseklepp, Andros Townsend, Caleb Folan and Guirane N’Daw weren’t exactly world beaters were they. Also Clark has given youth a chance where Hughton wouldn’t. I don’t suppose you remember Hughton saying at the end of last season:
            ‘Right at this moment, I don’t anticipate another exodus. I don’t want to see players going out the door’

            2 faced cant.

          • RichardM says:

            Hang on DCP – who were Hughton’s good signings? Burke, King and Gomis already purchased by McLeish before Hughton arrived. He inherited Mutch, Redmond, Fahey and Davies who were the other stand out players of last season. N’Daw (on loan), Caudwell, Elliot, Spector and Pablo were CH signings, of which only Caudwell was a regular last season and playing well regularly.

            I agree Hughton owed us another season at least, so the sadistic side of me is enjoying watching him struggle at Norwich. I pray and hope that Lee Clark has it in him to turn it around, but somehiw I don’t think so. Let’s get enough points on the baord to stay up, hope the take-over hapens quickly and we can start to compete again in 2013-14.

      • nicky wicky says:

        dcp this league is so tight it would only take a few wins for blues to be at the top of the table. What we need to do is sort out the problems with blues and find out why they keep conceding all these soft goals.Firstly there seems to be a lack of communication between the goalie and the defenders. When they take the lead they are then mysteriously after being in control suddenly conceding possession resulting in an equaliser. Little things like this if you can sort them out then suddenly blues start winning matches,and climbing the table. I think LC’s more or less found a formation that works,and will try and stick to it and iron out the kinks!

      • nicky wicky says:

        dcp this league is so tight it would only take a few wins for blues to be at the top of the table. What we need to do is sort out the problems with blues and find out why they keep conceding all these soft goals.Firstly there seems to be a lack of communication between the goalie and the defenders. When they take the lead they are then mysteriously after being in control suddenly conceding possession resulting in an equaliser. Little things like this if you can sort them out then suddenly blues start winning matches,and climbing the table. I think LC’s more or less found a formation that works,and will try and stick to it and iron out the kinks!

  • evesham blue says:

    Loyalty? You can’t expect any such thing from managers and players. They are not fans.

    CH did an amazing job. I am sure if you were offered a pay rise to the big league you wouldnt be turning it down when you knew your current employees were going down the pan?

    LC – it might help if you shut your gob and stopped talking utter twaddle

  • James says:

    Modern day football fans make me laugh. The bile shown to the last umpteen managers at Vile Park, the shocking abuse that Steve Kean received at Blackburn and even certain Liverpool fans having a pop at Kenny Dalglish ( several league titles, 3 european cups, aka Mr Liverpool)

    Managers need time, sometimes 2 to 3 seasons to build something. The moaning, the booing, the negativity around St.Andrews – it’s all starting to wear a bit thin and this “woe is me” type attitude.

    Look at pompey, who are a million times worse off than we are. Constant support/ singing, a group of fans who have set up a group to buy the club – it’s a far cry from some of supporters who do nothing but moan ( if we made the Champions League Final I can guarentee a negative would be found)

    Clark has no money, a shocking injury list and a section of fans who will always question his decisions – coming back from 3 nil down on Tuesday away from home and still the manager gets zero credit.

    I believe that we’ll be okay this season. I’m not expecting a instant return to the prem, maybe a last minute run of games and some support and who knows ……

    KRO Lee

  • evesham blue says:

    I think LC and his cronies are from the tub thumping ‘we want warriors’ on the pitch’ Keagan era.

    CH was measured,deep thinking and and articulate.

    Now I think Blues fans took to CH as he was a down to earth kind of guy. He was quite obviously a higher calibre manager than the current incumbent. We got him because he was out of work and sacked unfairly.

    LC has had a hard act to follow but his signings, tactics and the crap he comes out with in the press doesnt help his cause.

    I dont dispute the guy is passionate and works hard but he is not the same calibre of manager. Why else would he surround himself with the back room staff he has?

    The guy has also had a shocking spate of injuries at right back which hasnt helped.

    I think we are treading water until this ownership issue is sorted. Hopefully, the ship can be steadied in the meantime on the pitch but I subscribe to the belief that we cannot get much better than we are now until we have new owners with a plan.

    LC is just like his players really. A Stop Gap as someone put it earlier

  • Macc lad says:

    When we’ve been shipping goals as we have this season there certainly is something wrong. Getting beaten at home by Barnsley by 5 is probably the worst result in my lifetime, and at 46 I’ve seen my fair share of bad results.
    You don’t need money to be able to organise a team properly, to be able to coach them to defend properly and to ensure they know that when they want to pass a ball that we play in blue.
    Credit for coming back from 3-0 down to Milwall? We were 3-0 down to Milwall. That’s all you need to know really. I’m not sure that Milwall will score another 3 in their next 10 games. They are poor, and will be favourites for the drop alongside ourselves should a managerial change not be made.
    My worst nightmare at the moment is that the takeover goes through and the guy gets given money. He’s not set the world on fire with his signings so far. I dread to think who would come in if we spent something!

  • James says:

    I really couldn’t care less about Chris Hughton. He managed us last season and left us to join that huge club, Norwich. I really wish fans would stop referring to him as some sort of Messiah.

    Back the current manager – there really is no other option

    KRO

    • evesham blue says:

      I think you are missing the point mate. I dont care about CH either but comparisons are going to get made quite naturally. How else do you measure performance?

      I agree with Macc lad. Something is wrong as we are playing like spanners and conceding goals we shouldnt be. Thats a coaching thing

      • evesham blue says:

        Plus LC has made Caldwell his captain. I dont think I am out of order in suggesting most fans can see quite plainly that the guy is past it, the legs have gone and he is a major factor in our pathetic defending attempts.

        Dare I say drop him and play Packwood there?

        • nicky wicky says:

          evesham we definitely should play Packwood more. can’t agree with you about Caldwell. The problem i think lies in a lack of communication between the defenders and the goalie. each is leaving it to each other to attack the second balls so were being left exposed. They need to decide who is going to come and when to tighten up the defence. Against Millwall the defenders left the throwin for the goalie, and the goalie was expecting the defenders to clear it so chris wood nipped in and scoredan easy goal!

        • RichardM says:

          100% agree with this. Someone was complimenting LC on his “play the kids” policy, but I don’t agree. Butland’s playing becuase if he wasn’t we would have lost him, Hancox has had little opportunity at Left Back (LC preferring to bring in the ageing Paul Robinson). It’s as plain as the nose on your face that Caldwell is now a liability in defence, yet we have a fresh, promising, gagging at the bit centre-back in Packwood being left on the bench.

  • Blueboy88 says:

    Football is all about results ….
    Houghton got them , Clark hasn,t..
    One is looked on fondly , the other one isn’t..

  • evesham blue says:

    I really do think there is a problem with the back 4. Think Butland kopped the blame for it first and now the midfield is kopping the blame but it’s basic defending.

    The line is too high with defenders with no pace that you can get behind plus opposition teams know to target the full backs. Set pieces not marked and crosses not cut out. Having said that I agree teams are walking through the midfield with ease.

    Lack of leaders on the pitch maybe? How comes we can play like champions for 20 minutes and relagation fodder the next ? Why do the players not concentrate for the full 90?

  • nicky wicky says:

    What I see is we have a problem at the moment is we have an experienced defence,and an inexperienced goalie who is very slow to come off his line at times and close down the oppossition. when defending set pieces throw ins and corners,etc noone is attacking the second ball they are all leaving it for each other so the oppossition are nipping in and scoring cheeky goals. They need to sort out who is going to come for them whether its Butland or the defenders so that blues tighten up the defence. Maybe also it might be an idea to give Jack Deamon a go at right-back. hes supposed to be a deadball specialist,and blues have not scored a lot of goals from free kicks and corners this year because the delivery has not been good enough. Curtis Davies hasn’t notched a goal yet!

    • Blueboy88 says:

      Don’t have a go at Butland , you would be nervous too with Robinson at right back , or Hurst or Gordon , & there within is the problem..

      I am certain if Carr & Murphy had been fit & ever present this season we would have been tighter in defence , & more dynamic going forward.

      While I Have sympathy with LC because of injuries sustained at full back , I have no patience with his desperate loan signings he has authorised to overcome the problems.

      • nicky wicky says:

        I’m not having a go at Butland,but he’s very inexperienced,and they are leaving the defending to each other so blues are conceding soft goals. someone needs to sort it and decide who is going to do what and when,so that they don’t keep getting these mix ups and freezzes and conceding soft goals. blues need to tighten their defence. they are scoring goals,but they are currently conceding moore than they score!

  • Denis Thwaites says:

    There is a thin dividing line between tinkering with the team and shuffling the pack cos you ain’t got a clue what to do next and I fear LC borders on doing the latter not only at Blues but previously at Huddersfield.

    The fact is that at this stage last season with Hughton (who had to completely rebuild the team after the mass exodus) Blues had 20 points from 11 games and had only played 5 home games. This season we have 13 points from 12 having played 6 home games. The defence is conceding on average two goals a game this year compared with one last year and at home we had conceded one so far and this season have let in 9. So there lies the problem!!. Teams that keep clean sheets are usually in contention and teams that concede goals at the rate we are doing struggle.

    I accept there have been injuries but there were last season too! It is quite simple in that unless this management team resolve our defensive problems we are likely to remain in the bottom half of the Championship.

    I mentioned a few games ago that in my opinion the only way Blues will improve during a period where injuries were occuring was to scrap a few nil nils/one nils and build a bit of defensive confidence and having nicked a one nil at Brighton I was hopeful that mentality had been set but since then we have gone back to type!.

    • Oldbluenose says:

      Dennis mate;, I am in complete agreement with your analysis, Though it is not the way we would like it to be, far better to get understanding and stability in the [ team ] defensivly, therefore gaining confidence in each other, ?.

      We all are aware of the atrocious injuries situation, !!. but surely the coaching should be directed towards the mentality, — WHAT WE HAVE, — WE HOLD, !!!!!!!!!!!.

      • Denis Thwaites says:

        Next two home games are against Ipswich and Bristol City and clean sheets in those games would I think get us 6 points so lets hope LC and his backroom get it sorted prompto

  • nicky wicky says:

    Yes denis asi said the problems lie in defence with a lack of communication between goalie and defneders. They keep leaving for each other to clear. One games it’s Butland leaving the ballfor the defenders the next it’s the defenders leaving the ball expecting Butland to come. All this about Caldwells legs going is nonsense. someone needs to sort it out and decide whats going to happen and when cause at the moment were getting periods when the defence freezes and the oppossition nipps in and scores!

    • evesham blue says:

      Nicky mate. Have you seen Caldwell turning when the ball goes past him and the CF is in on goal?? It makes reversing lorries look fast!

      I wouldnt blame Butland – he has kept the score down on recent times. You cant excuse defenders that dont clear and ask questions later.

      Having said that Watson leaving wa a loss but our Jack is not doing too badly considering his age.

      • Ali Duncan says:

        Agreed – Caldwell has the turning arch of the Titanic!

      • nicky wicky says:

        I know caldwellisn’tfast but he wasn’t fast last year but the difference wasa the goalie used to come out to cover for him.If you watch the gamesyou will see that at times Butland is not sure whether to come or stay and thats where the confusion is and the oppossition get their soft goals. Maybe Butland should come for everything and then they wouldn’t have that problem of him being turned!

      • nicky wicky says:

        I know caldwellisn’tfast but he wasn’t fast last year but the difference wasa the goalie used to come out to cover for him.If you watch the gamesyou will see that at times Butland is not sure whether to come or stay and thats where the confusion is and the oppossition get their soft goals. Maybe Butland should come for everything and then they wouldn’t have that problem of him being turned!

  • jazzzy786 says:

    The amount of support LC gets depends on our performance on the pitch. If Millwall had gone on to thrash us fans would have lambasted him especially seeing we beat them 6-0 last year. The fightback from 3-0 down shows there is fight in the side. The football played has improved recently but defensively we are still poor and our ball retention is still not good enough.

    • evesham blue says:

      I agree with that. You got to be hard to beat first before you can improve your play.At the moment we are shooting ourselves in the foot.

      Perhaps Diop and Morrison could form a team? Full back situation is just a joke. No coincidence that we looked better attacking wise down the left with Murphy back.

      RB – pity Hancox wasnt a right back. Think Carr has had his day (too many injuries and should retire now?) and we need Caddis back pronto.

      Loan full backs are no better than what we have already

      • Ali Duncan says:

        Performances have definitely improved and the ball retention in the second half at Millwall was easily the best I’ve seen this season.

        How we move on and develop from the come back at Millwall will be very clear in the first 15 minutes on Saturday – at a place like Leeds you have to keep hold of the ball and be confident with it as they’ll come right out of the traps and press from the off. If confidence is low we’ll be found out straight away.

        I’m not a massive fan but I’d start Keith Fahey as he is excellent at slowing the pace of the game down and keeping possession. That said I don’t want him coming in at the expenses of King or Lita to make up a five man midfield. I want to see two strikers up front to build on the good work / understanding they had at the Den.

      • nicky wicky says:

        Deamon is a right back, and he’s supposed to be a dead ball specialist too. He’s agood player,and would be useful at free kicks. maybe curtis davies would score a few if he was in the team?

      • almajir says:

        Deamon is a right back,

        Deaman (correct spelling) is a centre back who can cover right back Nicky.

        How do you know he’s “a good player” – have you actually seen him play?

        • Nicky wicky says:

          I’ve watched a few of his gameshe played in pre season andhes been playing in this mini league. He’s got a good right foot like jordon mutch had,and he takes the free kicks. He must be another utility player like Packwood?

          • john says:

            Deaman was signed as a centre back but has played a number of U21 games at right back.
            He played 90 minutes against both Munchengladbach (centre back and centre midfield) and Shrewsbury (right back) pre season and has played all the U21 games.
            He looks big and comfortable on the ball and with a great right foot according to Andy Walker – corner and free kicks regularly mentioned in the U21 reports.
            Worth giving him an opportunity with the current defensive problems?

  • KeeprightCroydON says:

    “I fully expect him to make some changes for the Leeds game with players coming back but I think he needs to show that he’s got some sort of cohesive plan for the team.”

    The second part of the sentence in the above extract from your article sums it up in a nutshell. CH also made changes, rotations to keep people fresh, especially when we had a surfeit of games during the Euro run. But he had a cohesive plan, a philosophy, which the squad (not just the team) understood and bought into. LC needs to embrace this and facilitate induction of squad members in place of other in a seamless transition. Then the term “tinkerman” will not be used.

  • Paulo says:

    It cant be a good sign when Chris Hughton’s name is being thrown around in the mud. He was unfairly sacked and PP swiped him up pronto. If we were in better financial circumstances he might have stayed, but no one can blame him for going. He knew the club was in turmoil and it wasnt going to get better overnight. Now of course he is a guy of a higher calibre, which is why he did what he did, and got results.
    Now we really are in the sh*t, and PP went shopping in the lower leagues, and got a bloke who was out of work already. Cheap as chips. ..which is turning out to be a problem, as he never read the small print on LC. He could easily have found out, but didn’t care. Just like he doesn’t now. LC will be someone else’s ‘issue’ soon, as my guess is that PP will dissapear into the ether if/when BIHL is to collapse after the sale.
    The club’s in one holy mess, and the team is being managed by a guy who is out of his depth, and obviously cant see the effect both him and his two counterparts are having on them.
    Finishing in the championship will be a result this season, but that’s the problem ..settling for 2nd best, and I hate it.

    • Euston 9.18 says:

      “PAULO”

      Only 3 teams go up & there is more then 3 teams “banking” on going up to the “promised land”

      If BLUES can stay in this league this season with this squad,which must be one of the cheapest on transfer fees in the championship,hopefully a take over before the season ends,we might have a interesting 2013/14 season.

      K`R`O.

      • Paulo says:

        Euston, yes I do know there are going to be many teams chasing promotion, and the play offs will be just as exciting for them. Of course only 3 teams will go up, just as 3 teams will go down. My frustration is just that it feels like success for blues will be to finish safely above the drop zone at the end of this season.
        The simple fact is, although we are no doubt the cheapest on transfer fees, there are plenty of other teams that have the ability to win games. When I say ‘2nd best’ …I mean, it will become a good thing to settle for a draw and play negative. All this was common knowledge anyway, and was simply confirmed by those who were kind enough to give their input (HTFC fans).
        Either way, none of us know right now what the next owner(s) will bring to the table ..and who.

  • Nicky wicky says:

    I have to say that I feel that all the young pros that have been given contracts this year and brought through to the first team have done a good job when given the chance. There seems to be a good production line of talent coming out of blues academy these days!

  • Art Watson says:

    Paulo,

    You have superbly summed up the current situation and the reason why 5000 supporters have voted with their feet and you can’t blame them.

    The club and its management are in a state of turmoil or perhaps shambles is a better description.


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