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Herbie6590

2018/19 Season Reviews/Conclusions

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I would say that Jim sums the season up really well in that article. For me, the best game I witnessed was WBA away, the second half performance being one of great football from Rovers, fantastic atmosphere in the Rovers stand and brilliant drama at the end. 

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Obviously it goes without saying that I'm delighted with our League position. We've consolidated roughly in mid table. Nothing much to complain about there. The football on display has been up and down with more down that most of us would like but given the playing staff at our disposal I suppose that's to be expected. 

Looking to the future we are at a real crossroads. Some good reinforcements from outside along with judicious use of our up and coming younger players will set us up nicely for a shot at the play-offs next time.

Do I think this will happen ? Previous experience suggest not.

Edited by Tyrone Shoelaces

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Its progress so cannot grumble too much - but I do get the 'what could have been' feeling when I remember where we were in January and had the opportunity to strengthen and push on. We came out the window weaker and then were struck with injuries after sending a CB off on loan.

We played Derby off the park and beat many in and around the playoffs so just feel like we could have been there ourselves. 

Would have taken where we are at the start of the season though.

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Just now, Bigdoggsteel said:

Big decisions to be made on Mulgrew then. Stats go against him, Lenihan plays better without him. Can score plenty of goals from set pieces but I dont think thats enough when you look at the win/loss stats when he has played.

Lenihan for me should be captain next season - not sure Mulgrew will like it and might want to be off. I cant see him as anymore than a backup CB for us now sadly.

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Just now, JacknOry said:

Big decisions to be made on Mulgrew then. Stats go against him, Lenihan plays better without him. Can score plenty of goals from set pieces but I dont think thats enough when you look at the win/loss stats when he has played.

Lenihan for me should be captain next season - not sure Mulgrew will like it and might want to be off. I cant see him as anymore than a backup CB for us now sadly.

Ya, I am trying to think of a time where a club basically demoted captain and I can't. Even Hanley is club captain at Norwich, but doesn't really start. Not sure how that works to be honest.

Lenihan as captain just feels right at this point. I think he is ready and it would bring out the best in him. 

I would be happy for Mulgrew to stay, just not as a starter. 

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17 minutes ago, Giant said:

I would say that Jim sums the season up really well in that article. For me, the best game I witnessed was WBA away, the second half performance being one of great football from Rovers, fantastic atmosphere in the Rovers stand and brilliant drama at the end. 

Jim didn't write it. @Herbie6590 did. 

You can tell because it lacks the usual embittered dig at BRFCS😏

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That we have a young few players (Lenihan, Nyambe, Travis, Armstrong, Rothwell and of course Dack) that are there to be built around.

That any progression is based around Mowbrays ruthlessness, ie his willingness and also his ability (made far more difficult by handing out new deals) to move on senior pros who have given good service but have dropped below the level we need, ie Smallwood, Mulgrew, Bell, Bennett and Conway.

Said progression is also based around Mowbrays success in the transfer window. Goalkeeper, centre back, left back and right back the 4 priorities. Central midfielder, striker and perhaps a winger after that if possible.

That we are still so, so reliant on Danny Graham.

That Jack Rodwell and Elliott Bennett are not defenders.

 

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I think Mowbray can point to a good season and a healthy points return. We haven't quite reached the heights of Millwall or Sheff Utd last season when they came up but we've certainly done a lot better than Wigan. 

I think @Herbie6590's is a fair summary. I think 'what might have been' has been the overriding frustration of the last few months …. if only he's been less 'loyal' to players who were struggling to perform and strengthened in January.  I hope the new contracts he handed out to players who perhaps can't hack it in this league don't hinder his chances of improving the team for next season.

A season of a few excellent performances at home and quite a few more horrendous capitulations away...interspersed with enough narrow victories to assure a decent mid-table finish. 

Plenty of room for improvement nest season, which is always a positive.

Another positive is that although this league is very competitive there aren't many stand out teams, and that finishing in the top 6 is not out of the question with a good manager. We will only be 10-15 points away this season and we've been regularly battered away from home. 

Edited by blueboy3333

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In hindsight it has been a pretty good season. There was a time when I genuinely thought we may challenge for play offs but it quickly became apparent there are far better teams than us in this league. We are in a fair position relative to our quality. In terms of league position there can be no grumbles whatsoever.

Transfers has been a funny one. Ben Brereton seems to overshadow any other player in this discussion and I think for that reason alone it's been quite a poor season for incomings. Rothwell hasn't had much of a chance but looks a real player; Reed superb and a shame to see him go; Rodwell played largely out of position but looks much more comfortable in central midfield (and miles better than the rest we have there); Chapman needs to get fit but glad to see him back. It does seem like there wasn't much thought gone into the deals and a kind of sign who I can approach. Our squad balance has taken a hit but TM has done enough to give himself another couple of windows and hopefully address the balance and put together a defensive unit than can match our attacking capabilities.

It has been nice to see the emergence of Travis and a number of our youngsters get signed up. This is one of my biggest praises for Mowbray (but soon to be a slight criticism...) in that he has tied players down to contracts and either secured their services or a fee should interest arise. We gave Smallwood a new contract a bit too prematurely - he had a further year + optional 1 year left on his original contract he signed with us as far as I am aware. Likewise I think we may have rushed to sign Mulgrew on until 2021 without really thinking about the jump in quality to the Championship but hindsight is 20/20. Conway and Graham were good bits of business in my eyes and should Conway not get another extension I'll be sad to see him play his last game for Rovers as he's been a tidy player for us for some time now and never once have I heard questions about his commitment.

In terms of quality it's been average. Some real glimpses of brilliance but then a revert-to-type shocking few displays against clubs we should really be competing with. I think this all comes down to the lack of balance in the side and perhaps too much faith given to players who are triers but haven't got the quality to compete. Mowbray hasn't instilled much confidence in his defensive shape and there's been a lot of nonsense around this 2 1/2 attackers, Rothwell not understanding the defensive phase etc etc. I am not a manager or coach so, apart from messageboard chatter (pub talk), can't really comment on whether or not his approach is something football professionals understand but from a fans' perspective we have looked far better with Rothwell on the pitch than without.

Rambling a bit here really but in conclusion I believe we need to refresh the guard. This summer I wouldn't be phased if we saw players like Conway, Mulgrew, Smallwood and Evans leave. I like Bennett because of his versatility but I don't think he should be starting. Sign Rodwell. Sign Reed. Sign some defenders.

If all remains similar my ideal starting line up for the first game of next season would be

Raya

Nyambe Lenihan (New CB) (New LB)

Travis Reed

Armstrong Dack Rothwell

Brereton

Bench: The Canadian, Wharton, Bennett, Chapman, Rodwell, DG, Butterworth

We are one or two good players in key positions away from a really good squad here

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25 minutes ago, Bigdoggsteel said:

Ya, I am trying to think of a time where a club basically demoted captain and I can't. Even Hanley is club captain at Norwich, but doesn't really start. Not sure how that works to be honest.

Lenihan as captain just feels right at this point. I think he is ready and it would bring out the best in him. 

I would be happy for Mulgrew to stay, just not as a starter. 

Didn't we end up in a similar situation with Nelsen being Club captain and Samba as captain on a matchday?

But yer, not sure how that really worked either.

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Just now, Sparks Rover said:

Reed won't stay

I spoke to Reed and asked him would he be coming back. He just kept saying we will see with a big grin on his face. Make of that what you will

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24 minutes ago, Dreams of 1995 said:

In hindsight it has been a pretty good season. There was a time when I genuinely thought we may challenge for play offs but it quickly became apparent there are far better teams than us in this league. We are in a fair position relative to our quality. In terms of league position there can be no grumbles whatsoever.

Transfers has been a funny one. Ben Brereton seems to overshadow any other player in this discussion and I think for that reason alone it's been quite a poor season for incomings. Rothwell hasn't had much of a chance but looks a real player; Reed superb and a shame to see him go; Rodwell played largely out of position but looks much more comfortable in central midfield (and miles better than the rest we have there); Chapman needs to get fit but glad to see him back. It does seem like there wasn't much thought gone into the deals and a kind of sign who I can approach. Our squad balance has taken a hit but TM has done enough to give himself another couple of windows and hopefully address the balance and put together a defensive unit than can match our attacking capabilities.

It has been nice to see the emergence of Travis and a number of our youngsters get signed up. This is one of my biggest praises for Mowbray (but soon to be a slight criticism...) in that he has tied players down to contracts and either secured their services or a fee should interest arise. We gave Smallwood a new contract a bit too prematurely - he had a further year + optional 1 year left on his original contract he signed with us as far as I am aware. Likewise I think we may have rushed to sign Mulgrew on until 2021 without really thinking about the jump in quality to the Championship but hindsight is 20/20. Conway and Graham were good bits of business in my eyes and should Conway not get another extension I'll be sad to see him play his last game for Rovers as he's been a tidy player for us for some time now and never once have I heard questions about his commitment.

In terms of quality it's been average. Some real glimpses of brilliance but then a revert-to-type shocking few displays against clubs we should really be competing with. I think this all comes down to the lack of balance in the side and perhaps too much faith given to players who are triers but haven't got the quality to compete. Mowbray hasn't instilled much confidence in his defensive shape and there's been a lot of nonsense around this 2 1/2 attackers, Rothwell not understanding the defensive phase etc etc. I am not a manager or coach so, apart from messageboard chatter (pub talk), can't really comment on whether or not his approach is something football professionals understand but from a fans' perspective we have looked far better with Rothwell on the pitch than without.

Rambling a bit here really but in conclusion I believe we need to refresh the guard. This summer I wouldn't be phased if we saw players like Conway, Mulgrew, Smallwood and Evans leave. I like Bennett because of his versatility but I don't think he should be starting. Sign Rodwell. Sign Reed. Sign some defenders.

If all remains similar my ideal starting line up for the first game of next season would be

Raya

Nyambe Lenihan (New CB) (New LB)

Travis Reed

Armstrong Dack Rothwell

Brereton

Bench: The Canadian, Wharton, Bennett, Chapman, Rodwell, DG, Butterworth

We are one or two good players in key positions away from a really good squad here

Agree with almost all of this.

One thing I'd add is that, even though the team generally has been on a pretty awful run, something that has been missed is that Bell has quietly improved pretty substantially in my view. I wasn't originally a fan for the same reasons as everyone else, but I haven't noticed him being as lose with his man and easy to attack as the start of the season. His delivery is still very hit and miss mind, but I've seen evidence that he's worth persevering with. 

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21 minutes ago, Oldgregg86 said:

I spoke to Reed and asked him would he be coming back. He just kept saying we will see with a big grin on his face. Make of that what you will

What's the difference between a smile and a grin in this context? What are you saying?

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Just now, Sparks Rover said:

What's the difference between a smile and a grin in this context? What are you saying?

I believed he would be gone and not coming back. After speaking to him (briefly) I wouldn't rule it out. I think if Southampton don't want him he would come back. 

You know that kind of grin😂

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Just now, Oldgregg86 said:

I believed he would be gone and not coming back. After speaking to him (briefly) I wouldn't rule it out. I think if Southampton don't want him he would come back. 

You know that kind of grin😂

He hasn't figured much recently which points towards a different outcome.

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8 minutes ago, Sparks Rover said:

He hasn't figured much recently which points towards a different outcome.

He was also wearing a full leg brace. That might have something to do with it to. 

He said he was out for the rest of the season

Edited by Oldgregg86

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If football was played on paper rather than grass then this was a good season. We played for long spells with players who have been relegated and then performed in League One.

However...

This in itself is damning of our failings in recruitment this season - particularly in defensive positions. Wasting a huge war chest (by Rovers’ recent standards) on a single player who is apparently a project for the future - and yet we still need to improve those same positions (despite Mowbray’s first bit of business being to offer improved terms our existing right back).

The reluctance to play certain players until late in the season, and the misguided loyalty to stick with players who have literally anchored the team has been a major cause of frustration, waiting until it was too late.

We seemingly wasted a lot of time this season trying to find the right formula (I’m sure Mowbray didn’t deliberately hold us back) when had we just read the instructions on the side of the packet then we could have had a much better product. All of the ingredients were there just mixed in the wrong order and the timings were off. Even Thomas Edison got it right eventually though.

In the cold light of day we remain a Championship club, and some will no doubt use the dreaded “stability” word, but then so do Wigan, and they didn’t spend anywhere near the kind of money we did. It’s arguable that they have just had two better seasons than us. Luton Town, however, who were also promoted in second place in their division last season, showed what is possible when you build on the momentum you create and ignore the bookies.

6/10 - passed but, despite a late run of marks in the final few questions of the exam paper, not enough for a distinction.

Next season will be a better measure of how successful this season has been.

Edited by Stuart

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It took him fair too long to pick the right team, but he’s done that recently. 

Evans and Smallwood shouldn’t be starting together (or individually) ever again now, ideally at all. Need a new central midfielder to partner Travis. If we can get Reed, great, but I won’t hold my breath.

Edited by K-Hod

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On 24/04/2019 at 21:09, Stuart said:

If football was played on paper rather than grass then this was a good season. We played for long spells with players who have been relegated and then performed in League One.

However...

This in itself is damning of our failings in recruitment this season - particularly in defensive positions. Wasting a huge war chest (by Rovers’ recent standards) on a single player who is apparently a project for the future - and yet we still need to improve those same positions (despite Mowbray’s first bit of business being to offer improved terms our existing right back).

The reluctance to play certain players until late in the season, and the misguided loyalty to stick with players who have literally anchored the team has been a major cause of frustration, waiting until it was too late.

We seemingly wasted a lot of time this season trying to find the right formula (I’m sure Mowbray didn’t deliberately hold us back) when had we just read the instructions on the side of the packet then we could have had a much better product. All of the ingredients were there just mixed in the wrong order and the timings were off. Even Thomas Edison got it right eventually though.

In the cold light of day we remain a Championship club, and some will no doubt use the dreaded “stability” word, but then so do Wigan, and they didn’t spend anywhere near the kind of money we did. It’s arguable that they have just had two better seasons than us. Luton Town, however, who were also promoted in second place in their division last season, showed what is possible when you build on the momentum you create and ignore the bookies.

6/10 - passed but, despite a late run of marks in the final few questions of the exam paper, not enough for a distinction.

Next season will be a better measure of how successful this season has been.

Good post , but I had to retract the like when you said Wigan have had two better seasons than us. That's not true. They have had a tough season down around the bottom of the table. They may have spent less, but there was big talk about takeovers etc. I am sure practically all their fans would say we had a better season. 

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20 minutes ago, Bigdoggsteel said:

Good post , but I had to retract the like when you said Wigan have had two better seasons than us. That's not true. They have had a tough season down around the bottom of the table. They may have spent less, but there was big talk about takeovers etc. I am sure practically all their fans would say we had a better season. 

IMHO, they have had two better seasons based on them beating us to first last season and both of us finishing ahead of the relegation zone (which was seemingly the only target for both clubs). There will be no additional benefit to what place we both finish. Based on respective budgets, pound for pound they have had a better return on their investment for 2018/19.

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2 points advantage to Wigan last season and currently 11 points advantage to us this season.

Putting the 2 squads together, how many Wigan players would get into a Wigburn first XI and who would be manager?

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