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SIMON GARNERS 194

Your expectations for the coming Season...

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Just now, DE. said:

I'm not so sure to be honest. We went through long periods of relegation form last year and one of our best players in Reed is yet to be replaced, whilst we may soon be selling our No1 keeper. Graham is another year older, Mulgrew looks finished, Lenihan is injury prone and Dack's form is inconsistent. We will need the likes of Travis, Brereton, Nyambe, Bell, Chapman and Rothwell to step up which is far from guaranteed. We can't even be sure how many games Chapman can realistically manage before breaking down.

Granted this is a bit of a pessimistic perspective but I don't think we're anywhere close to being too good to go down. 

Dack is the main one I'd have to disagree on. He may have patches of bad form and criticism at times last season but he is a proven, regular goalscorer, amidst all that he got 15 league goals and 7 assists, he has 36 goals in 80 games in a Rovers shirt, the longest run of games without a goal last season was 6. 

Graham again is a proven goalscorer. Theres nothing to suggest a sudden decline that a lot of older players tend to hit (see Mulgrew) with him claiming to be as fit as hes ever been is around the corner. 

Mulgrew I agree is finished but he was last season, as per the noticeable drop in points collected and increase in goals conceded when he played, which he did fairly regularly. So Mulgrew was a massive hindrance statistically in a 15th place finish.

You mention the goalkeeper, Raya made a series of errors leading to goals, and we will surely replace him, so obviously the quality of replacement is key.

Reed is a big loss, I will give you that although the wide role didnt suit him. 

Travis and Rothwell had a run of game (the former for basically half a season) showing a lot of quality. Presumably they will be in the team going forward so you'd hope they can continue that over a full season.

The likes of Davenport and Chapman will be available from the get go, neither could contribute anything last season.

I do think we need major defensive reinforcements to push on but I dont think we will be in a dogfight if we dont sell any key players.

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It’s way too early to predict. We signed 3 players in the week leading up to the 1st game last season. So much can happen ins & outs between now & August. 

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4 hours ago, roversfan99 said:

Dack is the main one I'd have to disagree on. He may have patches of bad form and criticism at times last season but he is a proven, regular goalscorer, amidst all that he got 15 league goals and 7 assists, he has 36 goals in 80 games in a Rovers shirt, the longest run of games without a goal last season was 6. 

Graham again is a proven goalscorer. Theres nothing to suggest a sudden decline that a lot of older players tend to hit (see Mulgrew) with him claiming to be as fit as hes ever been is around the corner. 

Mulgrew I agree is finished but he was last season, as per the noticeable drop in points collected and increase in goals conceded when he played, which he did fairly regularly. So Mulgrew was a massive hindrance statistically in a 15th place finish.

You mention the goalkeeper, Raya made a series of errors leading to goals, and we will surely replace him, so obviously the quality of replacement is key.

Reed is a big loss, I will give you that although the wide role didnt suit him. 

Travis and Rothwell had a run of game (the former for basically half a season) showing a lot of quality. Presumably they will be in the team going forward so you'd hope they can continue that over a full season.

The likes of Davenport and Chapman will be available from the get go, neither could contribute anything last season.

I do think we need major defensive reinforcements to push on but I dont think we will be in a dogfight if we dont sell any key players.

I don't disagree with much of what you say, I've said before I think Dack's inconsistency is more down to Tony's tactics and team selection than the player himself. If we improve on both next season there's no reason Dack can't be effective throughout, but even with periods of inconsistency this season he hit very respectable figures in goals and assists. We really would be half the team without him.

Once players get to Graham's age the decline can come fast. Look at Mulgrew, there weren't really any warning signs there, he just seemed to suddenly become much worse over the space of a few weeks. Entirely possible DG will have another solid season in 19/20 and I hope he does, but we really need to be looking beyond him if we want to push forward. 

We can definitely do better than Raya, but to be blunt we have been shit at bringing in goalkeepers since Robbo left. I'm pretty worried about this position if Raya goes.

IMO Travis had a mixed season, some good and some bad, although he wasn't helped by being partnered by either Evans or Smallwood most of the time. I think he would have looked much more impressive if he'd been beside Reed more often, but I guess we'll never know. As of yet no signs of reinforcements in this area so unfortunately it looks like it'll be Evans beside him again. Sigh. Rothwell had some excellent games towards the end of the season, but I'm not convinced that Tony will keep starting him. He only did so at the end of the season because he had nothing to lose. I can see the manager reverting to type, being overcautious and leaving Rothwell out again - at which point you wouldn't begrudge him looking for a move elsewhere. I hope he is a regular next season though as he has shown he can be the difference in the same way Dack often is.

Not pinning any hopes on Davenport or Chapman. The former because he'll have to "earn his spot" and will be lucky to make the bench imo, and the latter because his injury record suggests he won't be able to contribute regularly. Also question marks over whether Mowbray will start him - he wasn't willing to do so in L1 so will he do so in the Championship?

Defensive reinforces are an absolute must if we are realistically going to progress rather than regress. If we start in August with Nyambe/Bennett - Lenihan - Mulgrew/Williams - Bell then I foresee another season of goals being conceded on a regular basis.

Edited by DE.

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Just now, DE. said:

I don't disagree with much of what you say, I've said before I think Dack's inconsistency is more down to Tony's tactics and team selection than the player himself. If we improve on both next season there's no reason Dack can't be effective throughout, but even with periods of inconsistency this season he hit very respectable figures in goals and assists. We really would be half the team without him.

Once players get to Graham's age the decline can come fast. Look at Mulgrew, there weren't really any warning signs there, he just seemed to suddenly become much worse over the space of a few weeks. Entirely possible DG will have another solid season in 19/20 and I hope he does, but we really need to be looking beyond him if we want to push forward. 

We can definitely do better than Raya, but to be blunt we have been shit at bringing in goalkeepers since Robbo left. I'm pretty worried about this position if Raya goes.

IMO Travis had a mixed season, some good and some bad, although he wasn't helped by being partnered by either Evans or Smallwood most of the time. I think he would have looked much more impressive if he'd been beside Reed more often, but I guess we'll never know. As of yet no signs of reinforcements in this area so unfortunately it looks like it'll be Evans beside him again. Sigh. Rothwell had some excellent games towards the end of the season, but I'm not convinced that Tony will keep starting him. He only did so at the end of the season because he had nothing to lose. I can see the manager reverting to type, being overcautious and leaving Rothwell out again - at which point you wouldn't begrudge him looking for a move elsewhere. I hope he is a regular next season though as he has shown he can be the difference in the same way Dack often is.

Not pinning any hopes on Davenport or Chapman. The former because he'll have to "earn his spot" and will be lucky to make the bench imo, and the latter because his injury record suggests he won't be able to contribute regularly. Also question marks over whether Mowbray will start him - he wasn't willing to do so in L1 so will he do so in the Championship?

Defensive reinforces are an absolute must if we are realistically going to progress rather than regress. If we start in August with Nyambe/Bennett - Lenihan - Mulgrew/Williams - Bell then I foresee another season of goals being conceded on a regular basis.

Dack would get into the majority of teams in the league, hes our bit of quality and regular scorer that should keep us well away of danger, even though he cant push us towards the play offs on his own.

Travis only broke into the first team half way through, his initial incredible performances certainly dipped but he was consistently better than Smallwood had been prior, and he definitely improves us on what we started last season with. I also think that Davenport would be an upgrade on Smallwood but thats much more of a stab in the dark. Likewise Rothwell, he only established himself near the end and of course I am assuming he will continue to play him on the back of that.

I agree 100% that we badly need defensive reinforcements, certainly far more than we need Sam Gallagher back. But we aren't saying do we think our defence is going to be the same as last year, its do we think we are going down. Last seasons team finished 15th.

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Just now, roversfan99 said:

I agree 100% that we badly need defensive reinforcements, certainly far more than we need Sam Gallagher back. But we aren't saying do we think our defence is going to be the same as last year, its do we think we are going down. Last seasons team finished 15th.

True, although I think we'll potentially be looking at a more competitive Championship this time around. Last season two of the relegation spots were practically filled in December, and there were some incredibly poor teams down there in Rotherham, Millwall, Reading, etc. It's possible it will be similar this season with a few teams already in dissarray - Hull and Birmingham for example - but the other positive we had last season was momentum from our League 1 campaign, which carried us to some excellent early season results. This season could be very different looking at our first few fixtures. Do I think the current team and manager have the stomach for a fight if we do find ourselves scrapping at the bottom early doors? Not sure about that. I don't think we have any real leaders which is a major concern for me. A no-nonsense defender who can crack some skulls together when things aren't going well is what we desperately need. Either that or a proper DM to replace Evans/Smallwood.

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Can't get excited at the prospect of what is ahead, based on developments (or lack of them) to date.

If there are significant incomings, and some clarity around what our ambition for the season actually is from the manager, then perhaps the situation will change for me. My question would be though, what is the point of a professional football club? I mean, are we there just to make up the numbers, or are we there because we want to achieve something - if it is the former, then it is time for a change all round. If it is the latter, where are the signs of intent and what is it, exactly, that we are trying to achieve?

Cue existential crisis and brow furrowing for many of the more philosophical and erudite blue and whites...

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14 hours ago, Herbie6590 said:

It’s way too early to predict. We signed 3 players in the week leading up to the 1st game last season. So much can happen ins & outs between now & August. 

Don’t let that get in the way of all the worry, you know that’s not very “on brand” for BRFCS :)

For me though, the main thing is waiting to see if we pick up some quality and keep hold of the better players.

The likes of Nyambe, Travis, Lenihan, Raya etc should all get better. It’s not guaranteed but one would expect the younger lads to improve.

Equally the Graham’s, Bennetts and Mulgrew’s are likely to be phased out.

Thus with a couple of savvy signings, I don’t see why my aspirations shouldn’t be set towards the top half.

A key proponent will be Bradley Dack. If he leaves and isn’t replaced, my expectations would be through the floor. Equally, if he’s stronger and fitter, more experienced with more quality around him - I don’t see why he can’t notch 20 goals this season.

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Just now, Biz said:

Don’t let that get in the way of all the worry, you know that’s not very “on brand” for BRFCS :)

 

Its supposed to be about how the team will go next season, not the MB. :)

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1 hour ago, Biz said:

Then don’t cherry pick the only sentence from a post that isn’t!

Your opening sentence!!!

I didn't have anything else to disagree with! :)

 But you've packed a lot of caveats in there.

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Expectations should always to be seeing progress in my view, and a strong play off push is the minimum of what would be classed as a good season. As things stand, the squad doesn't look capable of that, but we knew that last season. The squad in 4 or 5 weeks time will be when I decide to be optimistic or not.

That said, I think even if we were to go into next season exactly with the squad that we have, I don't think we'd have any worries at all about flirting with relegation. Bad spells or not, we were streets ahead of half a dozen teams at the bottom last year. It looks like the teams that struggled last year are unlikely to be making significant improvements (if not going backwards) the promoted teams don't look that threatening and there are plenty of teams that look like they could under-perform versus last year with either smaller budgets or odd looking managerial changes. 

Staying up isn't remotely a benchmark for success, but I'd be amazed if it's something we're ever genuinely concerned about. 

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Way too early to say, but I'd say the teams coming down from the premier league are not that great (Fulham may do ok but they have a rookie manager) and several teams around us seem to be imploding (e.g. Birmingham, Swansea, Nottingham Forest). Brentford seem likely to lose a large proportion of their best players, as do Leeds.

Just for the reasons above, I think we're currently looking at an improved finish on last season. Also, we have Samuel, Davenport, and Chapman who will feel like new signings as they barely played last season; and I'd fully expect Breo to be much improved on last season, and Rothwell to start where he finished off last season. Add that to some of the youth players that look ready to make an impact on the first team, particularly Butterworth, and we are probably a little stronger that this time last year. However, as it stands, we'll concede way too many goals to challenge for a top 6 place so our hopes will largely depend on who we can sign at the back. 

 

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Just now, rovers11 said:

Way too early to say, but I'd say the teams coming down from the premier league are not that great (Fulham may do ok but they have a rookie manager) and several teams around us seem to be imploding (e.g. Birmingham, Swansea, Nottingham Forest). Brentford seem likely to lose a large proportion of their best players, as do Leeds.

Just for the reasons above, I think we're currently looking at an improved finish on last season. Also, we have Samuel, Davenport, and Chapman who will feel like new signings as they barely played last season; and I'd fully expect Breo to be much improved on last season, and Rothwell to start where he finished off last season. Add that to some of the youth players that look ready to make an impact on the first team, particularly Butterworth, and we are probably a little stronger that this time last year. However, as it stands, we'll concede way too many goals to challenge for a top 6 place so our hopes will largely depend on who we can sign at the back. 

 

Basically exactly where I'm at!

I'm not as optimistic that Samuel is going to make an impact. I feel for him, and I don't think he's without strengths, but I think the squad is at a place now where I don't see him getting enough game time to improve or really stake a claim in my view. Totally agree with Chapman and Davenport though.

I think it's going to be a really wide open division next year. Inevitably there'll be a surprise team or two that break from the pack like Norwich & Leeds last year, but you can go through the whole league and there's nobody really to fear as far as I can see. 

Edited by Admiral Nelsen

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Just now, Admiral Nelsen said:

Basically exactly where I'm at!

I'd not as optimistic that Samuel is going to make an impact. I feel for him, and I don't think he's without strengths, but I think the squad is at a place now where I don't see him getting enough game time to improve or really stake a claim in my view. Totally agree with Chapman and Davenport though.

I think it's going to be a really wide open division next year. Inevitably there'll be a surprise team or two that break from the pack like Norwich & Leeds last year, but you can go through the whole league and there's nobody really to fear as far as I can see. 

Wouldn’t be too surprised to see one of Nuttall or Samuel to go out on loan for 6 months to league 1.

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Just now, Biz said:

Wouldn’t be too surprised to see one of Nuttall or Samuel to go out on loan for 6 months to league 1.

Nuttall I reckon. Hopefully he gets a good move to a team who will be competing and creating plenty of chances. Could do him the world of good

Que dorks coming in saying we should loan Brereton in 5...4...3....2.....

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20 hours ago, Herbie6590 said:

It’s way too early to predict. We signed 3 players in the week leading up to the 1st game last season. So much can happen ins & outs between now & August. 

Agree. Which also emphasises how important this window is for us. A few key signings for us and we'll be looking upwards. No signings or poor ones and we'll be looking downwards and in a relegation scrap. 

If the question is how would the team as is finish next year then I'd say a little lower. Graham isn't getting any younger with Mulgrew past it, whilst Dack's lack  of focus isn't helping his development eirher. Although Dack and Graham are still capable given how much we rely on them even a small drop will make a big difference to us. 

There's also real weaknesses in the squad from lack of other striking options, only injury prone centre backs, poor left backs and no real width (I imagine Downing will be more central)

4 key additions - a centre back, a quality striker, a wide (ideally left footed) mid and left back and we'd look very competitive. Travis and Bennett guarding the defence, or Downing pulling strings in there, Graham and another to out away chances, Rothwell and Dack for creativity and a bit of defensive solidity with some very promising youngsters potentially giving us a platform for years to come. 

Problem is I think TM doesn't see all bar the centre back position as needing improvement, leaving us narrow, over reliant on Graham and with rubbish left backs. 

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It's tricky to call the Championship table.

If you need any proof to back that statement up. Read This. Everyone had Norwich and Leeds U down to finish 14 & 15! With Stoke City 1st and WBA 2nd...got it so so wrong. So, if history repeats itself in turn, that means we are at least 3rd come May. Might be worth putting a fiver on still ;)

Bare in mind Norwich city underwent a complete re-build during the summer where as  - we're doing naff all. Not bringing in WORLD class players for little or nothing!

Edited by starscascade

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2 hours ago, JacknOry said:

Then what happened?

....Venkys bought The Stallions for themselves,came a flashing their Cash.

The very experienced Steve Kean was appointed head of Stables but through neglect the Stallions starved to death and the owd fella was run over by a silver Rolls Royce.

 

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Just now, SIMON GARNERS 194 said:

....Venkys bought The Stallions for themselves,came a flashing their Cash.

The very experienced Steve Kean was appointed head of Stables but through neglect the Stallions starved to death and the owd fella was run over by a silver Rolls Royce.

 

Bravo sir

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As it stands, we'll do well to repeat last season's position. Downing addresses none of the team's problems. 

Mowbray needs to be honest with the fans over the club's ambitions (or lack of them) and not tell what them what they want to hear.

 

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