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Nobbers v Rovers, Tues 24 Nov 7.45pm


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55 minutes ago, Mellor Rover said:

I’m all for giving the guy shit... but was TM actually right all along and Brereton’s best position is from the wing?! Or has he just developed him into that? Still early to say on Breo but the way he’s playing this season is very very promising.

I think naturally he's a 'wide' forward so it's just a matter of getting that out of him. Needs the team playing well and a solid platform like last night but he's starting to look decent regularly against the more limited teams.

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Lewis Holtby is a Rolls Royce of a player in this league. Mentally head and shoulders above anything I've seen this season. I've not seen a more effortless, classy display for some time from a Rovers

Suck that up Nobbers, brilliant. As poor as we may have been in recent years against them, we've never been anywhere near as shit as that!

Brereton was a revelation to me....clearly enjoying his football at the moment, his delight at setting up Dolan' goal was good to see.

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Been a bit of stick for Mowbray religiously playing 4-3-3 post lockdown and to some extent I get it as when the right players aren't available you've got to mix it up but...

4-3-3 has really solved a lot of problems we had with players who never fitted the systems we played before.

Rothwell wasn't really a winger as he came inside too much and was often out of the game too much. He is also better facing goal ready to drive. left of the midfield 3 has been revolutionary for him (interestingly it's always where he saw himself)

Holtby struggled to impact games on the wing, like Rothwell didn't get involved enough. As a 10 he could be out of games for long periods and you never though he was going to hurt you like Dack could. On the right of the 3 he is involved a lot more and is getting the ball frequently in key areas with runners in front of him (which is key) and naturally he has looked like the quality player we thought we were signing.

Brereton - Only a subtle change in the way he is being used but still more advanced - gets him closer to the box, he isn't wasting as much time and energy tracking back, he can get closer to the box. 

Armstrong can play through the middle now as he is has Brereton close to him to do some hold up play. Armstrong in a 4-4-1-1 would be much less effective.

Still interested to see where Dack slots back into all this.

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Now the key is consistency and also winning games we are less comfortable in, your season doesnt tend to be determined by how you play on your very best days. We are still down in 10th and 4 points from the play offs with a game extra played and I dont feel like we are genuine contenders while we have such a deficit so we need to put an elusive run of wins together.

We have won 5 from 13, none of which we won by a single goal and maybe slightly less so v QPR but in the games v Preston, Wycombe, Coventry (who all went down to 10 men) and Derby we blew them away. In the other games we have been poor and/or have always felt at arms length from our opposition yet havent been able to ever add further wins and indeed seldom even single points.

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3 hours ago, philipl said:

75% possession for us, 0 shots on target for PNE.

By way of comparison, only Barcelona with 70% possession in Kyiv come close to that level of dominance from last night's matches. Even Exeter's 6-1 demolition of Colchester came from just 54% possession while Hull won 3-0 at Ipswich from just 36% possession!

Hopefully, if we keep last night's squad fit they can repeat those sorts of performances.

And we needed that win just to keep in touch with wins for Norwich, Bournemouth and Brentford lastnight and straightforward games for Boro and Swansea coming up tonight.

Fingers crossed for two draws Millwall v Reading and Bristol City v Watford.

We have had about 70 percent possession and lost games before. I'm not going to get too happy about the 75 percent possession, as high as it is. But the 3-0 is highly welcome.

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53 minutes ago, darrenrover said:

Holtby is key for me, he holds it all together in the centre of midfield and has a fantastic range of passing and vision. As was said last night, he resembles Tugay more with each passing game.

 

Agree completely - Holtby makes a huge difference, and my son and I discussed the same about him playing a similar role to the great Tugay whilst watching last night.

Brereton - thinking back to watching him in the cup game at Birmingham before lockdown and he was terrible - looked like he had completely (mentally and/or physically) "lost it" in that game and it was very sad to see, taking him off was a mercy act. But what a transformation now - confidence, pace, power and the potential to become a major player ( a few more goals to come this season hopefully), and getting better in every game.

Other stand out positive (of many) was Wharton - a confident performance at CB, looking like someone who can really defend and understands the role. Good to see that every time he moved back or forwards to play the ball he immediately looked where Lenihan was and made sure they were in line and together ... I'd be happy for him to keep his place.

Edited by TonyM
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3 hours ago, CrouchingNunhiddenCucumber said:

Cracking result and performance, very happy to be proven wrong. 

Barnsley up next, fully expect to beat them given they're below us in the league. Millwall at home will be a test as they'll sit in and be physical. Should be getting 4 points minimum. 

So many false dawns under Tony but if we the go to Brentford and get a result after 4 points from Barnsley & Millwall then perhaps we could dare to dream. 

Ok Barnsley lost 1-0 at home to Brentford last night but recently they've been on the up. They won't be push overs. I'm expecting a really tough game on Saturday. Play like we did against Preston and we should have enough to win. The issue is - can we put in two really good games in a row ?

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1 hour ago, darrenrover said:

I agree, the front 3 were much more fluid last night, regularly inter changing positions. They played more inside than I can remember and this made them difficult to pick up and created the space outside for Douglas and Nyambe as you say.

Holtby is key for me, he holds it all together in the centre of midfield and has a fantastic range of passing and vision. As was said last night, he resembles Tugay more with each passing game.

Just a shame we weren't there to witness it and rub a bit of salt in afterwards in the pub!

Entirely agree with Holtby. He's such a clever player. For Brereton's goal he has a player to his left and he gives the Nobbers 'the eyes' by looking at him. As they anticipated Holtby passing to him he played Brereton in without even looking at him. There aren't too many players who can do that.

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1 hour ago, rigger said:

So we played with a center forward and two inside forwards. It's like going back to my youth.

That's what it amounts to, with the full backs operating as part time wingers. Both of Brererton and Gallagher look better players when they're not isolated on the wings and are playing more towards the old inside forward role. From what I saw I was really pleased to see the enthusiasm and willingness to run off the ball. That's half the battle. We were taking the ball on the run instead of taking it stood still.

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Just now, Tyrone Shoelaces said:

That's what it amounts to, with the full backs operating as part time wingers. Both of Brererton and Gallagher look better players when they're not isolated on the wings and are playing more towards the old inside forward role. From what I saw I was really pleased to see the enthusiasm and willingness to run off the ball. That's half the battle. We were taking the ball on the run instead of taking it stood still.

I agree Tyrone, it's often my biggest criticism of Rovers' forward play, particularly when teams are prepared to sit deep. Hopefully they've learned the lesson because I feel that's exactly what will be needed when Barnsley do exactly that on Saturday and Millwall probably too midweek.

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Re: Gallagher

It's worth noting where he's run from to win the penalty. He's about 20 yards inside his own half when the ball is played. 6 seconds later he's being brought down in the box. Fantastic determination and pace - but even better for the fact he's had to take a couple of touches with the ball (from just inside their half) and managed to get his body across the defender to draw the foul. Great forward play.

38s.jpg

44s.jpg

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Just now, LeftWinger said:

Re: Gallagher

It's worth noting where he's run from to win the penalty. He's about 20 yards inside his own half when the ball is played. 6 seconds later he's being brought down in the box. Fantastic determination and pace - but even better for the fact he's had to take a couple of touches with the ball (from just inside their half) and managed to get his body across the defender to draw the foul. Great forward play.

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I was really impressed with him last night and this piece of play in particular was brilliant. He looks like he's got a point to prove and he's starting to show a bit of what he can do. Thought he was unlucky to have his goal ruled out. He did everything you want from a central striker; being in the right position, getting across his man and applying the finishing touch. Just a shame that Douglas was offside.

Edited by RoverKyle
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6 minutes ago, LeftWinger said:

Re: Gallagher

It's worth noting where he's run from to win the penalty. He's about 20 yards inside his own half when the ball is played. 6 seconds later he's being brought down in the box. Fantastic determination and pace - but even better for the fact he's had to take a couple of touches with the ball (from just inside their half) and managed to get his body across the defender to draw the foul. Great forward play.

38s.jpg

44s.jpg

If you look back at the highlights when we break out in the move were Armstrong hits a long shot just over the bar Nyambe is busting a gut to get up into the right wing position in case he's needed. For the Dolan goal although we've broken away down field if you look into back play another Rovers player  ( Gallagher ? ) is also busting a gut coming in off the right wing to get involved with play, just in case.

That level of effort, commitment, and willingness to make runs when you know you're unlikely to get the ball is all I ever ask of Rovers players. If we can do it against the better teams we'll be in with a shout.

Edited by Tyrone Shoelaces
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The other bit of play I really enjoyed was Rothwell's assist for Brereton. Great burst of pace, draws in the defender and plays the ball at the perfect time to release Brereton.

For a player who often plays with his head down a bit, the vision of what was going on around him was excellent.

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3 hours ago, arbitro said:

I actually thought Gallagher had a different role last night. There did not appear to be the relentless long, diagonal balls aimed at his head out on the wing. He spent more time infield allowing Nyambe to bomb on. He played on the shoulders of defenders more than I have seen him but, as he did for the penalty once he is free his pace and strength become apparent. He is far from the finished article but playing to his strengths help.

I was dismayed to see him starting on the right again but as you say, he tucked in a bit more and the tactics shifted away from long pointless punts up to him. It certainly helped him out a lot more as he made a real positive impact and his run for the penalty was a great bit of play from him.

1 hour ago, LeftWinger said:

The other bit of play I really enjoyed was Rothwell's assist for Brereton. Great burst of pace, draws in the defender and plays the ball at the perfect time to release Brereton.

For a player who often plays with his head down a bit, the vision of what was going on around him was excellent.

Yer, it summed up exactly what Rothwell should be about, a bit of pace and positive running but with a final product, something he's often lacked.

This new position brings out the best in him where he can run from a bit deeper but now he's adding assists and hopefully some goals in the future. 

Edited by davulsukur
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Our second goal was key to killing the game off for me. When they introduced Potts and he was buzzing about in the gap between our defence and midfield, I was concerned for 10 minutes or so.

We scored our second and the remainder of the match was just a procession. Embarrassingly so from a North End perspective, overall though they were shocking.

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The obvious thing with Wharton is that he is definitely a level or two above the other young centre backs that have played in the last couple of years.

When Magloire, Carter and Grayson have been given a couple of first team games, they have looked like boys rather than men. Wharton has clearly massively benefitted physically from playing nearly 100 games of senior League football.

Regarding Douglas, it was logical based solely on Bell's performances since he signed that he was not a competent option to bring in to try and improve the team defensively as he cannot defend one on one. Especially if it was specifically to negate the threat of a player who he played against in the same fixture last season and said player scored 2 of 3 goals! Whether Douglas is good enough defensively, we cannot be sure at this stage but he certainly appears (as did Cunningham) to be levels above Bell who is lucky to still be at the club.

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20 minutes ago, LeftWinger said:

So we should have conceded at least one in the 49% he was up against Douglas surely? ?

Listen Barkhuizen is a top player, a lad who's destroyed us on two or three occasions, and under a different circumstance, where Preston didn't play like a League Two team, it would have been a much more difficult night for Wharton and Douglas on that side. 

Both played extremely well on the night though.

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13 minutes ago, roversfan99 said:

The obvious thing with Wharton is that he is definitely a level or two above the other young centre backs that have played in the last couple of years.

100%. I was impressed with Tyler Magloire in pre-season but Wharton has showed some stability in recent games. He's not perhaps got the ball playing, but his experience as a no nonsense centre-back is mightily impressive and I'm glad he's started to prove my pre-season thoughts on him wrong.

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Just now, JoeH said:

100%. I was impressed with Tyler Magloire in pre-season but Wharton has showed some stability in recent games. He's not perhaps got the ball playing, but his experience as a no nonsense centre-back is mightily impressive and I'm glad he's started to prove my pre-season thoughts on him wrong.

I don't know about anyone else, but I don't really want or need to see a "ball playing centre back".

Get your toe, head, knee what ever on things and give it to the lads in midfield who can influence things further up the pitch.

He's had a couple of good games coming in has Wharton, and at least should be above Williams in the pecking order now, as I think we all know as soon as Ayala is fit that Wharton is back on the bench.

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Just now, JoeH said:

Listen Barkhuizen is a top player, a lad who's destroyed us on two or three occasions, and under a different circumstance, where Preston didn't play like a League Two team, it would have been a much more difficult night for Wharton and Douglas on that side. 

Both played extremely well on the night though.

Im not sure that Barkhuizen is a "top player" but even so, the one thing that we can be sure of based on his Rovers career to date (and highlighted again at Deepdale last season against Barkhuizen) is that Bell is not a competent defensive full back to face a player deemed as such a threat.

Just now, MarkBRFC said:

I don't know about anyone else, but I don't really want or need to see a "ball playing centre back".

Get your toe, head, knee what ever on things and give it to the lads in midfield who can influence things further up the pitch.

He's had a couple of good games coming in has Wharton, and at least should be above Williams in the pecking order now, as I think we all know as soon as Ayala is fit that Wharton is back on the bench.

Agree that the ability to play it out from the back is massively overstated, its mostly important to defend properly. I would say though that you do need a degree of competence on the ball though and that there have been a couple of times especially v Luton where he has created (usually minor) defensive problems by conceding possession in poor areas so it is important that he improves on the ball but defenders defend first and it is very difficult to expect centre backs at this level to do both sides of it.

Wharton doesnt get into our best 11 but I think he has shown to Mowbray that as one of 4 CBs he can be depended upon, which will be required especially as the other 3 are injury prone. Last season we were left short a couple of times, which saw bring Bennett in at RB and subsequently move Nyambe or bring in Carter and it cost us points.

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