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Millwall MotM
Suggested By: Site Staff
Bentley60%
Dalsgaard0%
Egan20%
Bjelland0%
Clarke0%
Yennaris0%
Woods0%
Jozefzoon0%
Sawyers0%
Watkins20%
Maupay0%
Sub - Vibe0%
Sub - McEachran0%
Sub - Mepham0%
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Cardiff draw
26 December 2016 22:14 Post ID: #38533
Mel Scott
50010010025
Dire first half which went against us with what looked a very soft penalty. Games involving Warnock's teams are always hard to watch and they made it very hard for us .

Second half was much better and we deserved at least a draw. Subs really made a difference with two very good goals by Sulley who at last showed us what he is about. Surely he must start ahead of Vibe now?

Also thought Hoffman coming on made a difference, will be interesting to see if Smith tries to fit him into the formation but somehow doubt it.

You can dissect that game many different ways, the way Cardiff play, the ref and his decision making and our own performance but in the end it was a memorable ending that should give the team confidence against an out of sorts Norwich on Saturday.
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27 December 2016 07:39 Post ID: #38534 - in reply to #38533
Agree with that summary Kentbee, the final minutes are why we love this game! That said I couldn't post yesterday as I was too wound up with what went on yday. Sure we had a hopeless, dare I say biased, ref on our backs, one who sees a 'push' for their pen but not one on Field for their 2nd, and misses 3 good pen shouts of our own - truly awful & going against us too often. BUT there was more to it than bad luck, & KaiKai's quality brace may have saved Smith's skin after a dreadful 1st half. Negative defensive starting 11, yes with bottle job Vibe still included, we served up a slow lifeless half of hoofball - our lightweight midfield losing most second balls when the back line did stop lumping it or passing backwards/ sideways. Vibe unable to stand up let alone hold it up, & Hogan looking out of sorts . Cue the inevitable soft opener & we got worse, no passion or leadership on the pitch or the technical area. 2nd half better but this was no advertisement for championship football & not entirely Warnock's doing. Then came the subs, and after 70 mins we finally sorted ourselves out & came to life, worldy save from their GK & the chances & equaliser came, we went for it & got done again. Even after our 2nd we looked capable of conceding again so the final whistle was a relief & it felt like a win.

But on reflection I have to ask where we are going? An unbalanced squad, often negatively set up at GP, slow lifeless starts, long ball, soft goals given up, lightweight midfield, no pace or width, and yes the Hogan question, how do we replace his goals? I really do wonder if this was what MB had in mind when those big decisions were made & I'm increasingly skeptical that player recruitment combined with DS's limitations can take us forward. Not so long ago I felt hopeful that our DoF's were finally getting it right, Colin, Barbet, Bjelland & Woods plus this summer's signings as the evidence. Recently these players have all gone backwards & only the remnants of the Warbs / Macparland era that seem to add value. Then there is the style on the pitch, our so called DNA, for me this has completely gone now!

Teams such as Huddersfield & Barnsley seem to be closer to what I believe MB was looking for on similar resources. So maybe the ideas are right but the implementation has been entrusted to the wrong people?

Feels like a watershed moment right now, I support & trust MB, but think that big changes are coming again. January is critical & the DoF's need a good window regardless of what happens with DS. Yesterday was worrying.

Edited by RebelBee 27/12/2016 07:46
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27 December 2016 08:16 Post ID: #38535 - in reply to #38533
Paul Evans
100100100
For Christmas, one of my daughters bought me GW’s book about our first season in the Championship. This has reminded me of the ones who have moved on since then. One might expect that now we have a Management Guru who is an expert on finding talent, the quality of the squad would have improved. I won’t bore with a list of names as we all know who they are. Two of the current squad would seem to be down to DS rather than our two DF’s. So, after a year and a half they have found Ryan Woods? The two of our players that everybody wants to buy this January are from the previous regime. I don’t hold a candle for MW, but he certainly had better material to work with in my opinion.
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27 December 2016 08:57 Post ID: #38536 - in reply to #38535
Nicely put Spanish, sure I'd take survival in this league & don't think I'm entitled or too demanding - others may disagree. But the whole project to grow the club is very reliant on recruitment & style of play. Both areas are well short of where they need to be imo.
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28 December 2016 09:43 Post ID: #38537 - in reply to #38533
Mel Scott
50010010025
Depends on expectations I guess, for me if DS kept us in this division (with ideally some decent cup runs) until the move to LR then I would be happy and feel he has done a decent enough job. A very good job would be top 10 finishes given our resources and FFP etc. Once in LR our ambitions should rise with all that it brings. Others may disagree particularly some of the newer supporters that we have gained who don't have in their

I really liked MW's style of play and I think it is DS's natural inclination to play the same way but he is more pragmatic and cautious at times and I also think in this division many teams set out to stop us playing a more possession and passing game, We struggle against the more physical teams like Warnock and Cardiff and did to a degree under MW. DS has also been hampered by a lack of flair players, we cannot underestimate the impact of Judge, Pritchard and Jota in MW's season in the Championship, they were exceptional. It is a cliché but I really think we are a couple of players like that away from being a top 6 side possibly.
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28 December 2016 16:02 Post ID: #38538 - in reply to #38533
Over everything else we must stay in the division, does DS have the know how to keep us safe? Probably although another really bad run and improved form from other teams down there have to be considered. Clubs that have chopped & changed rarely fix their problems & the evidence of this is seen just a short ride up the road. The current unbalanced squad & lack of width, pace & creativity is worrying & maybe Smith is being harshly judged for recruitment failings elsewhere. Other ambitious clubs do seem to have equally innovative ideas & better implementation of them, Huddersfield, Barnsley spring to mind.

The issues with our midfield have been neglected for way too long & are really hurting us now, this has to be fixed in Jan. Big 3 games to come, as a minimum I feel we need 3 points & progress in the cup, any less & he could be in trouble. Hopefully we win the next game & go into the window feeling positive & able to get some decent deals done. Then we can look forward, it does feel like we all need a big lift atm - maybe the return of Jota or a player like Canos would provide this.
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28 December 2016 16:07 Post ID: #38539 - in reply to #38533
Stan Bowles
100050010010025
Having had a good look back at the highlights, the ref was genuinely BAD. He was looking at Bjelland and their player throughout the lead up to the free kick, never took his eyes off them while they were doing the usual dance. The moment their player went down he blew for a penalty. There really was nothing in it but the ref seemed keen to give something.

Hogan was pushed to the ground and penalty claims waived away. Perhaps by this time the ref was scared of being accused of evening things up. The handball claim that got Harlee booked was absolutely stonewall. The push on Field for their second goal was a little more debatable. Should Field have been stronger, was the push too excessive?

We started OK then fell apart when they got their pen and didn't recover until the subs came on. You can probably only pick out Vibe as having a poor game amongst a lacklustre team performance.

The way people are talking [on forums, the terraces and the pub] it seems Smith has to prove himself soon or he needs to go. Some say he should go now, others that he can stay and keep us mid-table but no one is suggesting he's the long-term answer to push us into the play offs and beyond. People have pointed out above that he hasn't had anything like the players Warbs had at his disposal and blame the DoFs. In reality, they are only playing with the money at their disposal and trying to sell a club way down the list in a league of big, big clubs after the same players.

Maybe we need to see if Thomas Frank can have a positive effect on performances and results before we push the button on Smith. I'd rather that than panic and go for a Holloway-type of appointment!
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28 December 2016 17:03 Post ID: #38540 - in reply to #38539
Paul Evans
100100100
I’m not sure it’s just about money, Beefy. Surely it’s about bringing in and selling on talent not spotted elsewhere, no?

I’m not sure about the numbers, but this looks about right -
Free transfers - Douglas, Donaldson, Forrester, Dean, Dallas, El Alagui, McCormack, Smith, Judge?

Gray + Odubajo + Hogan + Jota = < 4Million
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29 December 2016 13:14 Post ID: #38541 - in reply to #38533
Stan Bowles
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Well it is about the money otherwise we'd have a team of Champions wouldn't we?

Not all of those transfers were free. Judge definitely wasn't and I'm pretty sure we had to pay something for Dallas [not much though]. Dean was a try before you by and I think also cost us a minimal amount possibly at a tribunal. Douglas, Donaldson and McCormack let their contracts run down and were all over 24 therefore no tribunal fee. They all came to us in league one.

Those we paid for in your list all joined us in our first year up when we spent some money - probably with the intention of making sure we stayed up but as we know it went better than expected.

Yes, of course it's about bringing in talent not spotted elsewhere but we aren't the only team looking down the leagues. We spotted Kemar Roofe and were very close to getting him until he started scoring for fun and everyone else took notice too and Leeds splashed more cash than we could. I would say that we've done exactly that with Bentley, Egan, Henry [and I know the jury is still out with some people but] Sawyers too. Woods is also post Warbs era and current DoFs purchase.

Bentley + Egan + Henry + Sawyers + Woods = < £4m They are all young and on long contracts.
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29 December 2016 16:48 Post ID: #38542 - in reply to #38533
Seems to be getting harder to find / acquire young players lower down the leagues here than it was. Lookman at Charlton ought to be someone we could go for & yes I know he's an English u20 player, but £10M to Everton - really??? Even crazier than the Roofe thing.

I felt our recruitment had improved after summer 2015 where there were far too many duds brought in on decent money (allegedly). However in recent months I've started to question some of those again, sure Bentley has been great, Egan good & Sawyers promising. Colin, Barbet, Woods & Bjelland seemed to be coming good, although for one reason or another they've all seemingly gone backwards a little. Maybe nothing to be alarmed about but when our system relies on us adding value & selling on, who other than Hogan & Judge would be worth a lot more than they cost us? Either the process is getting tougher or we need to get better at it. I keep referencing Huddersfield & Barnsley who are similar to us in budget & size, they look to be outdoing us, or am I wrong?
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29 December 2016 18:44 Post ID: #38543 - in reply to #38533
Stan Bowles
20001000100100100
Had to watch the game on beesplayer as we have to bloody work a normal day here on the 26th. No day in lieu for Christmas either, Bank Holiday on a weekend? Tough. Lose it.

Wasn't over impressed to be honest. Woods gives the ball away far too often and far too much. He runs around a lot, gets involved and wants the ball, then gives it away too cheaply. I still find this "Ginger Pirlo" thing a bit hard to fathom. Sawyers is a real mystery. Got so much talent, most of what we do good goes through him and not Woods, but then he makes a simple, stupid mistake that nearly costs us. Field is an excellent prospect and felt he was very quiet first half but the build up for the first goal was purely down to him.
Agree with Beefy re the penalty and the one we weren't given. Ours was much more of a foul but it would still have been a bit soft. Shows how soft theirs was. Still not over awed by Bjellend though. Once again, guilty of giving ball away too cheaply too often. Felt Colin and Harlee had their usual stalwart games, but as for Hoff. First touch. Brilliant. Lovely little flick off. But this is someone playing for his future. He lost every single aerial battle, one of which started the move for their second goal and if the ball is not directly at his foot or head, he won't bother trying. Get rid of this most expensive wage on our bill asap. He is not worth it, and will never be worth it. We keep going on about our budget, well, we are wasting so many thousands a week on that sh*t. I make no apologies for that. He is awful. Get shot asap. Please, someone take him. Pay someone to take him.
Cardiff weren't great and nor were we. It was two average sides playing out a mid table game.
That said. A great finish and MOM has to go to KaiKai or their keeper. Two great goals from someone I have found it difficult to understand the hype about, but he went some way to showing it Saturday. Their keeper made a couple of very good saves too.
Draw was a fair result.
Onto NYE. Have to record that and watch it early am as am working in a bar playing music for drunk people.

HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL! INCLUDING BEEFY LOL
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