RevidgeBlue Posted December 13, 2009 Share Posted December 13, 2009 Not been on the messageboard since early season so I wondered what peoples views on our progress or lack thereof this season were. It was twelve months ago this weekend that Ince was sacked following the debacle at Wigan. At that point I think we had thirteen points from seventeen games. If we go down to defeat on Tuesday against an in form Birmingham we'll be six points better off at a comparable stage. Imo the first half of this season has been fairly disappointing with entertainment at a strict premium at home (Chelsea cup tie excepted) and some real howlers of performances away from home, (I've only been to Forest in the Cup, Arsenal and Fulham away) On the plus side there are signs we might finally have stopped leaking goals which has remained a problem since Ince left. Robinson for Friedel was an inspired piece of business by Ince, Samba is the best centre half in the Prem apart from Terry for me, and Chimbonda has done a lot better than I expected so far. In midfield Nzonzi looks like a real find. After showing early signs of ring rustiness Bert is also now performing well. On the downside we seem to be paying Salgado a king's ransom for no reason at all, and Van Heerden or whatever he's called a smaller sum for even less. We still have no real creativity in midfield, Grella will obviously never be fully fit and Dunn has similar problems although he has done very well when we've got him fit and its essential imo we retain him. The signs look terminal for Reid who is also draining the wage bill. Up front Di Santo doesn't seem able to find the back of the net and seems to be to be playing with less and less enthusiasm as his loan period winds down. Kalinic has very good movement off the ball and clear potential but it's not yet clear if he'll succeed at this level. He needs time on the pitch, games, games and more of them - he's not going to improve sat on the bench. Roberts and McCarthy have clearly fallen out with the manager to a greater or lesser degree and father time isn't on their side. The two most disappointing players for me this season are Diouff and Pedersen, neither have offered anything at all this campaign and I would try to offload them for anything we can get. At the other end of the age and enthusiasm scale comes Hoillett who looks a rare talent and possesses the one thing we sorely lack throughout the side - pace. Unfortunately, he seems to want to leave. I would move heaven and earth to keep him at all costs. So overall with clear problems in midfield and up front, even though we currently stand five points away from the relegation zone,I still think we are only a hairs breadth or two or three poor results away from being in trouble. The main worry is that we sold £27m worth of players in the summer with relatively little of that being reinvested in the playing side. The surplus funds disappeared to pay off the Bank overdraft/the Trustees/operating losses depending on who you believe and predictably despite the huge trading surplus in summer we're told there's no money for January. In my view we only have Samba and maybe Robinson left on the books who would command a sizeable fee. What do we do when they've been sold off? So to return to the original question: are we any better off than when Ince was here? I would say, yes we are in the sense that we are now defending far better than when he was here, and our points tally is therefore slightly healthier but looking at the overall picture we are no better off or even weaker in terms of playing personnel. The main problem of course in my view is the ongoing and continuing lack of support from the owners and it is probably unfair to lay the majority of our deficiencies at the managers doorstep. The need for fresh investment and direction is now critical imo and as far as the manager's half term report is concerned the verdict is probably "Doing as well as can be expected in the circumstances". I do feel he could be a lot more adventurous in his approach though, the best we've played in his time he have been the second half against Bolton last season when we came from two down and against Chelsea in the cup with three strikers on the pitch. I appreciate most will see this as a glass half empty view but I would be really interested in other people's views as well. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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