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Boracic Lint

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John Harkes

John Harkes (6/14)

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  1. Well, so much for my foray to a place that's supposed to be the 'grown up place' where you can have an actual debate without getting shut down. Much love. Bye.
  2. Why you posting about him then?
  3. We were in too much of a mess fitness wise and tactically for Xisco to put anything advanced in, hence the u9s zonal system.
  4. My point is and has always been that he never got the chance to fully implement anything. Almost everything he did was reactive. The team for the last 2 years has had no shape or style of play. The players just got through by being better individually than everyone we faced. We needed the discipline. Look how many points we lost at the start of the season through stupid or lazy play. Palmer v Soton, Gregory freekick v Preston. The zonal system, you have a new defence and midfield, no prep time and you're playing superior opposition. The remnants from the season before are unfit and undisciplined, getting caught on the break and out of position regularly. You want to press, but your team isn't fit enough. Your players don't make decisions or react fast enough for the step up in level. What do you do? You put in a system that anyone can slot in and pick up quickly., where everyone has to be in a certain position, no freestyling. You defend the area and let the rest go, so they don't all pile in after 60 minutes. You remove steps and simplify the process till they get used to it. You put in a system that focuses on shape and discipline. May not be the best, but it's a quick dirty solution to a problem, that, considering the amount of pressure they were under every game wasn't as bad as people make out. The one thing he fucked up on was dropping Smith or playing him with Gregory, as then we had no outball to relieve pressure or anyone to challenge for a clearance. Smith and somebody quick would have made a world of difference, as seen in the last 2 games. But Musaba and Gassama weren't fit then so his options were limited. After the first 2 games, they only conceded 2 open play goals in the next 5.5 games. Defending set pieces need time and familiarity which we didn'thave. It took DM most of a season to stop leaking goals from corners and freekicks. The zonal and positional system may not have been the best, but it would have been much, much worse without it. This team has been too slow and not been able to cope with the press for 2 years now, they weren't suddenly going to be able to counter it if Xisco let them 'express themselves' or whatever. He said himself, the players weren't ready for the advanced stuff, learner drivers he called them. He had to simplify, reduce the variables, to get the basics that he could build from. What they did in training may have been completely different to what we saw in game, we don't know. The basics that Rohl is now building from.
  5. Yep. He pissed me off too. Preseason was a mess, but he couldn't put 11 senior players out, what did people expect? The sad thing was the u21 players got what he wanted, it was the 'senior' players letting him down. We were getting worse, he'd bottled it by then and was doing what the fans wanted, going back to 532 etc. At WBA, when he stopped giving a fuck and put out a team that was more 'his', even without Bannan and Windass was much better than the few games previous, and a bit like Saturday, played 20 minutes with 10 men and nearly got a result against a team better than anything we've played since. So some of the improvement was already there. If he had took the early pain, trusted the process and seen the transition through, like Swansea and Boro did, I'd say we'd be out of the bottom 3 by now. Rohl has managed to start with a clean slate, and has the ability and backing to see it through. As Chansiri said, this is very much a continuation of what he was trying to achieve but failed.
  6. With all the problems and the fixture list, the break after Huddersfield was always going to be when our season started, any manager would have been lucky to get anything before then. I'll admit that we seem to have fell on our feet with Rohl, but had he (or DM) started the season, the odds are that he'd have been sacked by now and we'd be looking at them as a disaster.
  7. Endurance fitness is a marathon not a sprint. The difference in fitness required from playing DM ball when you're on top to the backs to the wall defending we've been doing is like night and day. Half if the team were unfit when they got here, Xisco was working on it. He literally said he wanted to press, like Rohl, but the players couldn't keep it up. Many players were only getting up to fitness near the end, Valentin, Musaba, Byers etc couldn't last 90 minutes. It doesn't happen quickly. You can't get that much fitter in a short amount of time while playing games, or they'd all be fucked after 20 minutes. Yes, the sessions are longer, but that's tactical play, not fitness. Maybe Xisco did shorter sessions so they had more time in the gym? We'll never know.
  8. Not when it came to DM. The only time context was allowed is if you're using COVID as a reason for relegation. Fun fact: DM actually got more PPG when in hospital than when he was on the touchline that season.
  9. Fitness work and normal training sessions are separate things. Xisco commented on it a lot at the start, but was still mentioning lack of fitness after. Got drowned out by more important things like Neymarv. Smash fitness work when you're playing twice a week and see how well you do. The players also said that training under Xisco was much more intense than DM, so what the fuck was DM doing? Are the players now much more fit than when they played WBA? Nope. There's a much bigger progression in fitness from Spain to Southampton to WBA than from WBA to now. Just because they don't tell you about it doesn't mean it isn't happening.
  10. If Xisco hadn't been doing fitness work, the team would be weeks away from playing Rohls style. You don't suddenly get fit in a couple of weeks, especially not during the season or you wouldn't be able to play through fatigue or injury. It takes months of slow grind to get the fitness up to be a pressing team from where we were when he rocked up. You can't just run through Greno woods a couple of times and all of a sudden you're fit.
  11. That's the biggest difference. Communication. Their play styles are intended to be more or less the same. Bit hard to implement though when you're getting pinned in your own half every week and you're players can't keep up. He can explain to the fans what he's doing and being given the chance to. Xisco couldn't, he tried, badly, but people were more interested in where Neymarv was than what he was doing. To be honest, this fanbase cares more if you're likeable and appreciate them than if you're good at your job. If Chansiri just came out and said "he lives us all and appreciates all the fans, they're like an extra player, but he's having cash flow issues, so he's put up PotG prices so that away fans and a few casuals cover the shortfall rather than punishing his loyalist fans by removing the earlybird discounts", people would lap it up.
  12. Chansiri inadvertently reveals hidden fire and evacuation safety concerns.
  13. Full preseason? Most of the team showed up the week before the first game. Byers, Musaba, Gassama, Iorfa, Valentin and others all injured or unfit for a lot of the games. Buckley, Hendricks didn't turn up till near the end. Xisco never once had a full team to pick from. It takes a lot longer than 3 weeks to get players to full fitness from low levels, months sometimes. Some of them were only capable of 90 minutes at the end of Xisco's time. If you think he wasn't doing fitness work then I have a bridge to sell you. The average position of Xiscos opposition was 6.8. Rohl 16.8. There's a world of difference there. Rohl's playing a 3421 going into 541 in defence, wonder where we've seen this before. He's literally doing 80-90% the same as Xisco did. This massive revolution that people are seeing doesn't exist.
  14. Young players choosing to stay away from Hillsborough.
  15. Reading the article, which is a garbled mess as none of it's in order, it's pretty obvious that it's hypothetical. They also left the questions asked out, just posting the replied, which is dodgy at the best of times, especially with hypothetical questions. Journo: "What would you do if Hillsborough was full of zombies" DC: "I'd lock the gates and burn it down" Headline: "Chansiri hates Hillsbourough and wants to burn it down!"
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