First Quarter Report

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First Quarter Report

Post by JohnC »

First Quarter Report
P11 W2 D2 L7 F12 A23 Pts 8

In 2009-10, we started:
P11 W1 D4 L6 F12 A19 Pts 7 Relegation

2011-12 opened like this:
P11 W5 D1 L5 F20 A16 Pts 16 Survival

2012-13 began:
P11 W2 D0 L9 F10 A19 Pts 6 Relegation

Last season, Wycombe who finished 22nd with 43 points, started:
P11 W2 D1 L8 F6 A19 Pts 7 Relegation

I think we can see a pattern here.

Over the last six seasons, 22st place has been taken by:
2021: Wycombe 43 pts; 2020: Charlton 48 pts; 2019: Rotherham 40pts; 2018: Barnsley 41; 2017: Blackburn 51; 2016: Charlton 40pts.
Stick a point onto each of those totals, and you have a required average safety total of 45 points, though we happen to know that 54 points won’t guarantee it. We’re on course for 33 points. In 2010, we finished bottom with 34 ppints.

Close-season Recruitment
Beevers, JC-H, Marriott and Knight were to provide Championship experience; apart from that, players from Leagues One and Two joined up.
Marriott looked like a reasonable gamble; Knight was an obvious choice. Randall seemed as if he might be designated as the likely Dembele successor. None has made a significant contribution. Arguably, our best signing might prove to be Cornell.

Last season’s good fortune may have used up our allocation for this season. Beevers, Randall, Marriott, Jones and Taylor have all fallen victim to injury. Unfortunately, given what we’ve heard about Marriott’s injury, it seems unlikely that we’ll see him again deploying for us the explosive acceleration on which his game depends. The JCH suspension isn’t helpful. The fixture list was, though. Luton didn’t seem like a powerhouse against which to open; we started at home to ‘troubled’ Derby, and then encountered teams who hadn’t started particularly well: Preston, Sheffield United and Reading.

The departure to EPL clubs of Nascimento and Clarke is an endorsement of the developmental work being done. The fact that Burrows and Edwards don’t look out of place in the Championship reinforces this impression. RJJ may look on these developments with mixed feelings: even if he does manage to achieve match fitness, he doesn’t seem to figure on any high-level must-buy lists.

In a way, Ward is emblematic of our team as a whole: very capable at League One level, but questionable at Championship level
Unlikely as it sounds, Ward may prove a significant figure for us – perhaps in a last half-hour substitute role. We know he can cross a ball. We know he can hit a free kick. We don’t know if he has the confidence to play more aggressively for longer during a game.If he wants to believe that he can do that, then I feel the Chairman’s recent comments questioning his commitment are unhelpful and – in these COVID times – irresponsible: if a player feels unwell, I suggest that he has an obligation to make that fact known.

We have the worst defence in the Championship. Some of the pressure we have to withstand has come from defenders trying to be pass-masters and/or playmakers. Chris Turner and Mick Jones and Dave Robinson knew the location of Row Z. We ship three or more goals every other game. When we stop conceding two goals a game we can be a little less snooty about ‘clearing our lines’.
Size matters. Cardiff headed two goals after Beevers and JC-H went off.

Head Cases
The tendency to cave in once a goal has been conceded has been commented on at length, as has the abysmally poor away form. These are clearly systemic problems, and therefore largely the responsibility of the management/coaching department.
I’m not sure that we show appropriate situational awareness at times. In added time against Cardiff, if Randall had headed for the corner flag instead of taking on a shot, we might have won that game; sitting on a three-goal lead over Birmingham in the 93rd minute, Butler lunged needlessly into a clumsy challenge and was booked; against Bristol City, in conditions conducive for goalkeeping handling errors, we seemed set on avoiding making the goalkeeper handle the ball.

Our starting eleven against Bristol City had a total of eighty-nine Championship appearances, and no one player had more than eleven.
Non-starters, for various reasons, were
Mark Beevers 240
JC-H 57
Josh Knight 37

Expect all three to figure prominently in future months.

It Is What It Is

Without Derby’s points deduction, we’d be bottom of the table.
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Joined: 01 Feb 2020, 15:52

Re: First Quarter Report

Post by stumpy »

Interesting as well that Swanny has released his average marks per player so far this season - ... 356?page=6

Despite conceding hatfuls of goals, the top marks go to defenders and goalkeepers....
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