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Post  oldblackcat on 2019-06-02, 3:02 pm

Every fan has their own views on what mistakes were made last season, judging by the avalanche of crap and abuse that spewed forth after the play off final defeat a week ago.So what went wrong in your opinion and how do we put things right? Here's my views....maybe you'll agree,maybe you wont, but now a week later I think everyone's views wont be clouded with emotion and we will be able to discuss them sensibly.

The fact that we didn't have enough players for a five a side game at the start of the season (which has now been well documented) shows what a task lay ahead of Jack Ross when he took over.Unlike many fans I don't think the squad we have now is the one that Ross would have wanted.What most fans have forgotten is that at the start of the season actually acquiring players was made difficult because of the new wage limit we had and the limited cash we had to spend.High earning player's that didn't want to be here (or indeed had never came back) had to be moved on in most cases before we could bring players in.That imo was how we ended up with many of our "free" signings like Flanaghan,Loovens,Ozturk,McGeough,McLaughlin and James and our loan signings Power and Sinclair.Not an excuse but basically we got what was available at that time (bearing in mind we were already a couple of weeks behind every other team at that time) and had to build a squad in such a short space of time.Baldwin and O'Nien cost modest sums and the biggest fee was paid for striker Charlie Wyke.Numerous players were linked to us but eventually went elsewhere which,especially regarding  the strikers, lead to Ross signing 2nd or maybe 3rd choice players imo.Bearing this in mind why didn't he sign more of his prefered players in the 2nd transfer window? Were their fees inflated and we wouldn't pay the asking price? Did we not have enough cash?Were they simply not available? Did it come down to a simple choice of strengthening the defence or the forward line?Looking at our goals against column I believe we went for buying another striker believing that scoring more would cover our lack of clean sheets.

Were our Youth players utilised properly? Pre season saw quite a few youth players in the team/squad and indeed the first game of the season saw two in Mumba and Maja in the starting line up.Gradually as more experienced players came in the youth (apart from Maja and sometimes Hume) disappeared completely even from the bench.Should we have given them gametime? especially as we were supposedly copying the Dortmund model where young players appear quite often in the first team.Should Kimpioka have had more involvement rather than bringing Sinclair in on loan?Or could we not do that for lack of players in our younger teams?My personal opinion is that we should give our youth players game time and by that I don't mean sending them out on loan I mean giving them a few games in the team or is that too much of a risk? Dortmund and Ajax take that risk so why don't we?

Although Charlie Wyke was signed I don't think he was our first choice.Was he a good signing (bearing in mind he was injured when we signed him) or just a necessary signing because we had no other experienced striker? I know he's a proven goalscorer at this level but should we have just pushed the boat out moneywise to get one of our other targets who weren't injured?Although I was reasonably happy in that he added physicality to our attack (which we lacked) I think splashing the cash might have been a better option in this instance.There again hindsight's a wonderful thing.

Will Grigg is another proven goalscorer at this level but once again was signed injured.Did he make his injury worse by playing while not fully fit?Should we have even signed him? I think he's a good signing and when he signed said he was happy and used to playing in the system that Ross prefered,so I blame the lack of goals in his lack of fitness and a slight change to the way we played(will come to that later)

Should we have let Maja go? Many fans say we should have let him sign for another team but have kept him til the end of the season.I disagree as I think if he'd signed for another team he would have had no desire to give a 100% and wouldn't have cared about the result as the rest of the team as come the end of the season he wouldn't have been here.Should we have done more to keep him? Maybe,but it's all if's and but's and at the end of the day the majority of the fans would agree if they think they are too good to be here or don't want to be here let them go.

Tactic's has turned out one of the most controversial subjects.At the start of the season Ross's prefered formation was a 4-2-3-1 sometimes a lop sided one (according to some experts) and this worked perfectly well until Maja left.One fault that everyone picked up on was that when we played a ball out of defense to Maja he was beaten in the air or wasn't strong enough to hold it up.Theoretically with Wyke up there it should have been stronger but the missing thing was the goals.My thoughts are that when Wyke came back he wasn't 100% fit and although getting opportunities just couldn't hit the net.Grigg to me is the same as Maja in that holding the ball up is not his strength he also got opportunities but found it hard to hit the net.While this was happening the lack of goals started seeing more draws and a more "let's keep it tight" attitude rather than at the start of the season a more attacking mentality and us scoring more than we conceded.A 4-4-2 formation was introduced catastrophically against Accrington and Coventry....this formation imo was a big mistake in that we never kept the ball as much as when playing the other system and it came down to  a more physical battle (which we aren't cut out for) rather than a more technically skilled game.The defeat at home to Coventry saw us adapt a more boot it forward attitude as well resulting in us dropping down to,for want of better words, a typical 3rd div style.Although different formations sometimes are required (4-3-3 v Portsmouth) or a more direct style (4-4-2 2nd game v Accrington on a bumpy pitch) I think we are more effective playing 4-2-3-1.If we had just sat out our barren spell when playing that way rather than panicking and being more defensive and changing formation's we would have been ok.

I give a thumbs up to the manager as well.True he's made mistakes...but he can't win.At the start of the season many remarked they were pleased in when and who were replaced in his substitutions...Later in the season this was one of the big criticisms.The fans wanted us to play 4-4-2 when he did he they said he didn't know what he was doing.I think this season he'll right the wrongs of last season,I think we'll see players with a bit physicality and a bit of pace come in to strengthen the team throughout.Certainly I think we'll see more of the team he wanted this season next season and I have faith he will deliver.

I'm sure I've missed a load of things I was going to say but hey, I'm sure you lot will pipe up Very Happy
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Post  Jerry the Jinx on 2019-06-02, 3:53 pm

Excellent post Paul - really good read
Definitely agree on getting some brute strength into the team - too often we were bullied out of games
Despite the setbacks this season, I saw what I wanted from my team
A group of players who gave their all for the team and the fans and never knew when they were beaten
Just need to move it up a step next season
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Post  gil t azell on 2019-06-02, 4:28 pm

Brill OP and as J added get pace as well as the brute force.

3-4 good additions will see us as winners and get rid of the pesky draws which has cost us so heavily.
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Post  Hieronymus on 2019-06-02, 4:45 pm

Fabulous post OBC, thoughtful, well informed and an excellent read.

Everyone at the club will have learned a lot about playing in League One and at start of August those still here will know the objective - automatic promotion, no play offs, and preferably as Champions!

We also agree that in this tough league we need more physicality and pace. Hoping our youngsters and Watmore will add the latter and a fitter Charlie Wyke up front with another big guy as well - don't know who - but not sure Grigg is the answer - will provide the former. We need to be even harder to beat than we were this year and turn those 19 draws of this season into the wins, and points, required.

I think Jack Ross is the essential ingredient to ensure we progress next season and I will leave it up to him to decide on tactics and formations. I am sure he analyses every game and knows the mistakes he made (he seems the type to do that) so I am confident next season fans will continue to enjoy the football and that we will achieve promotion with games to spare.
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Post  gil t azell on 2019-06-02, 7:11 pm

Hieronymus wrote:Fabulous post OBC, thoughtful, well informed and an excellent read.

Everyone at the club will have learned a lot about playing in League One and at start of August those still here will know the objective - automatic promotion, no play offs, and preferably as Champions!

We also agree that in this tough league we need more physicality and pace. Hoping our youngsters and Watmore will add the latter and a fitter Charlie Wyke up front with another big guy as well - don't know who - but not sure Grigg is the answer - will provide the former. We need to be even harder to beat than we were this year and turn those 19 draws of this season into the wins, and points, required.

I think Jack Ross is the essential ingredient to ensure we progress next season and I will leave it up to him to decide on tactics and formations. I am sure he analyses every game and knows the mistakes he made (he seems the type to do that) so I am confident next season fans will continue to enjoy the football and that we will achieve promotion with games to spare.
Maquis from Donny will provide both.

Mccann as already admitted they have replacements lined up. The fly in the ointment is whether other teams come in for him.
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Post  fitz on 2019-06-02, 8:48 pm

Not a fan of the Grigg signing - considering he was by far and away the biggest acquisition and has not had much of an impact - maybe it will be different next season (I hope so)

League 1 is a very physical division and as the biggest name in it other teams are always going to come into the games with an extra edge and will be a bit more physical and we saw that on a number of occasions

I don't want the team to get back into bad financial practices again but they do need to add to the squad as it is not going to get any easier next season.

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Post  barrowmackem on 2019-06-02, 10:12 pm

the time has come for me anyway I don't want my team to get to the prem and face continual struggle, quite happy seeing what I am seeing not to bothered anymore what league we are in. BTW OP great post. My mojo is back with SAFC as I see a club reconnected with the fans and on a business sense run correctly.

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Post  Black Cat Kiwi on 2019-06-02, 11:32 pm

Great Post OBC.

One question though, I've NEVER seen SAFC staff quote Dortmund so if you have, please do send a link. I personally, have STRONGLY suggested they do & having followed Klopp for a number of years, would love to read SAFC's thoughts on the subject or those of Southampton.

Ps. Congrats to Kloppy for getting that elusive CL title.

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Post  MrRAWhite on 2019-06-03, 8:39 pm

I'm not sure that much went wrong to honest.. It will be a long and hard road if we are ever going to get back to the top, and we took a step in the right direction last season.

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