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Atko's Engine

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  1. Atko's Engine

    Nottingham Forest Home

    I thought it was a fairly decent, professional performance overall, especially coming off the back of the Luton game. Far more composed against a better side. It wasn't out-of-your-seat exciting, apart from the 10 minute spell near the end. Gally was poor again (arguably out of position) , so was Dack (1 great pass aside). Add in DG hardly seeing the ball, that amounts to a big disadvantage. But overall I can see improvement in how we're playing. Far fewer long balls over the heads of midfield, retaining & recycling possession better. We just need to find that killer ball more often. If we have the ball it limits what the opposition can do. Use it better in possession and that makes it a platform to build from. Points & performances matter at this stage. Points wise we're about where we were last season but performances have been better. I think (hope) we'll start to see more of Holtby & Rothwell in particular this next round of games, now that we're a bit more comfortable in possession. I'm fairly upbeat, and think there's enough plus points about where we are to have realistic expectations of a top 6 finish. As fans of a club like Rovers and given what we've suffered, I think sometimes we focus on faults more than positives. An outsider looking in (with ref to Ian Dowie's apparent comments, or the comments of other non-biased observers or even opposition fans) can have a better perspective than we sometimes do. We are, and should be, our own worst critics, but in the main we're viewed as a developing team, with good strength in depth & as dangerous opponents. If we can just find that final ball better / sooner, capitalise on that with more efforts on target then we'll be a real threat IMO.
  2. Atko's Engine

    Ben Brereton

    Newell cost us £1m didn't he? How much would that approximate to in today's crazy market? £15m upwards I'd say, so perhaps not that modest... Nice to see some respect for the Atko though... 😁
  3. Atko's Engine

    Luton Town home

    Very disappointing result and performance from Rovers yesterday to say the least. I've not seen any replays so what follows is my take from the stands. After a bright start with some fine approach play & recycling of possession, we went to pot after they scored through some weak defending (though offside?). Got it back again a bit after Travis scored, but again weak defending from a free kick did for us. There were too many players who, across the piece, were below par. Walton, Williams & Lenihan not dominant enough, Johnson too slow playing forwards, Downing not incisive, Armstrong & Dack anonymous, Gallagher ineffective. I personally think this defeat was down to the players though, more than the manager. They were too complacent, and that can't be the manager's doing because he always warns of the opposition's dangers, as is oft pointed out on here. The starting 11 was strong, as most agreed on here who commented, and should have done a lot, lot better. The officials were awful, allowed time wasting from the 6th minute. The booking in injury time was laughable. 2 offside decisions went against us, and their second goal was a v weak free kick to give against Cunningham. But the reasons we lost go beyond that. It's sad to see some more "Mowbray Out" posts. OTT again for me, far too overreactive after a (albeit very disappointing) defeat. Yes he could have made changes a bit earlier or more effectively, but it's the players that should take the lion's share of the blame, they just weren't good enough individually. At least there's a chance on Tuesday to correct the position, but there's a lot more unnecessary pressure on that game now.
  4. Atko's Engine

    Reading (A)

    Plus I don't consider having a loan keeper is automatically a bad thing, so long as he is a decent standard; it's his ability that counts and so far a direct comparison between Raya's & Walton's performances is favourable to Walton pretty much across the board. Sheff Utd did ok with a loan keeper last year and he's back there again, so it needn't be a bar to success nor a season-only option if it suits all parties. And as pointed out above, maybe next summer there'll be richer pickings available than there were this summer.
  5. Atko's Engine

    Lewis Holtby

    I reckon he'll start on Saturday, probably in place of Evans from last week's starting lineup.
  6. Atko's Engine

    Lewis Holtby

    As for Lewis Holtby...
  7. Atko's Engine

    Your expectations for the coming Season...

    Whilst I agree that in isolation we shouldn't be considering a 2-1 win at Reading as a great result, it's definitely possible to argue that it was great in the context of showing improvement in seeing out the victory / game management, and for putting together back to back victories at this point in time, when most of us agree this run of games is a key barometer of what we might achieve this season. I've no idea if that's what your mates were suggesting of course, but to me the ability to go 2 goals up, concede, but then not collapse (& indeed see the game out pretty comfortably from what I hear) is a huge improvement from where we were last season. Being able to bring on the likes of Graham, Johnson & Holtby, with all their nouse, guile & experience, is a massive bonus in my opinion and should stand us in good stead going forwards.
  8. Atko's Engine

    Reading (A)

    Isn't the issue here more about whether Gallagher is a striker or a forward? A striker, either by talent or formation, scores goals and does little else. It's the role of the rest of the team to get the ball to him so he can strike. Like Rhodes. Gallagher is not a striker, or at least he's not being utilised as one. He's playing as a forward, mainly in a wider role but pretty much anywhere across the front / midfield in a way that's inter changing with other forwards and attacking midfielders. In that role he's there to create problems for defenders that he or team mates can profit from, whilst also tracking back when required out wide. He's therefore being played differently to how Graham was last season, as he's being asked to play a wider role far more often due to his pace & mobility, something Graham never had, so they're not directly comparable. Though I accept Graham has more to his game than being just a striker too. Overall, his contributions in games is excellent imo, though we'd all be happier if he scored more goals like we know he can. We can debate about whether or not he's being utilised in his best position by TM, but ultimately he's an important cog in the wheel of a team that is playing well & winning games. That's not just my opinion, or me repeating the manager's words; wasn't it Rigger who said Reading's fans thought he was our best player, or words to that effect?
  9. Atko's Engine

    Reading (A)

    Great result yesterday, this ability to see games out is a thing of beauty. Ok they hit the post and had us under the cosh for a bit, but you expect the home team to fight, yet we were able to call on some guile & experience to counter that and bag the win. This is what we were crying out for last season. All those point-scoring positions squandered in the last 10 mins. If (early days yet I know) we can keep that side of our game up & maintain what we did last year, that gap between 17th & top 6 becomes much narrower and we should be in the mix. We'll need a bit of luck with injuries & suspensions (esp Tosin, I'm beginning to wonder if he's made of glass) but most teams do across a season. If we can pull results & performances like that out with Evans in the team, Travis below par, & the likes of Rothwell, Graham, Holtby, Johnson & others waiting in the wings, there's real promise there. Far from perfect, but I'm definitely in the camp that TM knows where he wants us to be & how to get there, and I can see the pieces of his jigsaw gradually coming together. We have options in the squad in term of systems & styles that can be employed as the situation desires, be if from kick off or mid game. That's a great position to be in imo. We've 2 very important fixtures coming up now, which can really put a marker down for us. But we mustn't take Luton lightly, arguably that cost us against Charlton. Approach that game right, and there's no reason we can't build on this.
  10. Atko's Engine

    Start of the season

    Is it a trick of photography, or do Armstrong's feet not touch the ground?! 🤣
  11. Atko's Engine

    Premier League Stuff

    This could go in Arbitro's "Things I Hate About the Modern Game" thread; the complete lack of patience with managers who go through bad runs. Fergie would only be seen as a failed has-been at United if he were starting out today, not the legend of the game that we (albeit grudgingly) should respect for what he achieved there after a poor start.
  12. Atko's Engine

    Championship season 2019-20

    This could be a problem for some clubs & their creative accounting techniques... http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/49600851
  13. Atko's Engine

    Club vs Country

    "Rovers fan" my arse.
  14. Atko's Engine

    Bolton Wanderers Unpaid Staff Need Food bank.

    This is in the Bolton thread Stuart, so I guess Matty's referring to them...
  15. Atko's Engine

    West Brom Away

    It's a bit harder to defend a second ball when it pings back off the crossbar and lands at the feet of an opponent, but I take your point. The key is to stop it arriving in the first place, and Arma was close enough to the ball when it was pulled back to have cut out the cross-shot had he been more alert to the obvious danger.

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