Rovers 0 - 3 Brentford

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OneNightInGayParis

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#21
Must take issue with a couple of the points here.

Having listened to the game online, McLaren's name was mentioned about 3 times which sums up his contribution really. There's also a clear colleration between McLaren playing and Rovers not winning - it's like starting the game with 10 men.
Correct, McLaren didn't have a good game. However, the problem was using 3 defensive minded midfielders in a 4-3-3, rather than McLaren's performance per se. Neither Mendy nor Welsh were much more effective.

Parry's decision to play McLaren ahead of Blanchard is bizzare, stupid and ridicoulous. Blanchard has been one of our best players this season and must be part of the team every game if we have any chance of staying up.
In the absence of Labadie, Les should have played a more attack-minded midfielder - this would have been Fraughan, rather than Blanchard.

There are plenty of arguments against (and for) the 4-3-3 formation, but I disagree with the ones you have selected:

  • It provides no width.
  • Enoch is isolated upfront (or whoever else draws the short straw and plays upfront)
  • We can't keep possesion as the system is so rigid and relies on hoofs down the line or through the middle.
  • Both Akins and Jennings spent a lot of time glued to the touchline on Saturday. Every ball out by Gulacsi was, once again, aimed for Akins' head on the right wing. If anything there was too much width, which was why Enoch was isolated. I would suggest that if, say, ITM had played instead of either Jennings or Akins he would have been closer to Enoch.
  • Enoch's isolation was partly due to the above and partly due to the fact that there were no attacking midfielders coming through. This wasn't the case against Brighton where, certainly in the second half, Labadie played this role to great effect. This is down to team selection not to 4-3-3.
  • The Brighton game again dispelled this; led by Wootton's example Rovers played the ball out from the back and reduced the number of horrible long balls. We looked massively more effective and it was unfortunate that Wootton did not have a good game on Saturday. My point again is that this is not 4-3-3 but either deliberate (God forbid!) or due to lack of ability in the team.
Despite some rubbish this season, I have seen enough quality to suggest that we can move up the league. We played pretty well against Charlton and were excellent against Brighton - I missed the Peterborough game but we can't have played that badly. Picking up the points at Bristol Rovers was also a fine result. I think it is too early to start talking about sacking Les; the kids are getting a tough introduction to football at this level and the return of ITM, Broomes, Taylor and Mahon can only help. To be honest neither do I feel comfortable with anybody who saw the Brighton game (which was better than I think we have played for a long time) being able to turn on Les 90 minutes later.





Don't get me wrong, Les is doing some things wrong and needs to work on them:
  • Pre-match needs sorting out. The players don't look focused or together in the warm up and appear to be ambling in 10 minutes before kick off without a care in the world. We are starting matches in the same fashion, and are conceding early - Brentford, Colchester, Charlton, Yeovil and Bournemouth have all been ahead in the first 10 minutes. Apart from being on the back foot, this makes it more difficult for the crowd to get into the game and get behind the team.
  • 4-3-3 will not work with 3 defensive midfielders.
  • Our defenders need to be more confident on the ball and try to keep it on the ground. We are so much more effective as an attacking threat when the ball is played out on the deck.
I really struggle to see how anybody could come in with the same restrictions Les had last year and repeat the feat. I would expect PJ to be a little more circumspect as to when he wields the axe next time after Ronnie (plain bad decision) and Barnes (good decision but left the club in limbo and unable to replace for about 3 months). In fact I would go as far as to say PJ would need to have a replacement arranged before removing the management team, otherwise who ends up in charge? Steve Walker? Andy Quayle?
 

Boz

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Iain Hume
#22
If it takes a deflection or is an og? I remember Middlesborough beating Man City despite not having a single attempt on target according to the stats.

Saturday was woeful. Brentford did not look that good, but we conceded territory from the off. Les picks the side, so has to take a share of the blame if a total waste of space like McLaren starts and then contributes absolutely nothing in the time he was on the pitch. While I don't think any of the midfield trio covered themselves in glory, at least Mendy and Welsh broke sweat occasionally. Personally, I don't boo players, but if others wish to express themselves in this way, they've paid their money... If a player is contributing f*** all as McLaren was v Brentford, then booing him cannot make it any worse and may be of theraputic value for those who've forked out hard earned cash. Goodison gave him an earful too, so at least one of those on the pitch didn't feel he was pulling his weight either. I do not get this rash of sympathy for him on here, sorry.

Les has got to get out of the habit of "one size fits all" tactics and adapt tactics and formations dependent on our opponents. As a start, let's try and hold onto possession more, less aimless long punts forward, more playing ball to feet. I do feel it's too early to write off some of the new recruits; Enoch looked pretty rubbish the first couple of games, but is looking a decent buy now and certainly McGurk, Akins & Blanchard have potential. I'm less hopeful for Morrow, but after ~1 half of football it's too early to tell. My inclination would be to re-assess the situation at the end of November, but any repetition of this depth of mediocrity increases the prospect of Les being shown the exit.
 
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OneNightInGayParis

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#23
Wasn't at the game, obviously it's a dreadful result, but can someone tell me how a team manages TWO shots on target, yet scores THREE goals? Answers on a postcard to the BBC.
Can only guess that either:

a) penalties don't count, or
b) the second goal was a cross that went in so didn't count!
 
8 Sep 2009
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Chris Greenacre
#24
One Night in Gay Paris is spot on. As soon as I heard the team I knew that as your playing the bottom team at home, you dont start with 3 central midfielders who are all defensive minded.

I am not Fraughans biggest fan but he should have started ahead of McClaren to provide some support for Enoch. Failing that, he should have changed formation to 4-4-2.

I still dont agree that McClaren simply cant be bothered or is lazy. He simply isnt up to it anymore - its a different thing.

As for Les - I think he would rather resign than change from the 4-3-3. Lets face it, it has proved useful against Brighton, Posh etc but this is when we are at home against the better sides not expecting to attack.

When we are at home, with a must win game, against a poor side, I dont think the 4-3-3 creates enough chances etc.
 

Ian

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Aldo
#25
When we're at the game, it's our place to support the team. Too many managers in the stands thinking it's their place to criticise players. That's Les' job. If you want us to improve, get behind the ****ing team.
I don't buy any of this nonsense.
I get behind the team every year when I purchase a season ticket, programme, shirt etc etc.. They have to give something back, surely.

I've always said all I want from the players is effort, is that too much to ask for in return? I'll criticise players if they aren't putting in the effort.

Les also doesn't have a plan B. We are so rigid. It was obvious the game wasn't going well in the first half. Make some changes, try something different. Second half, same XI trotted out and we were worse than the 1st half!
 

Boz

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Iain Hume
#26
Sparky, I'm don't share your opinion of McLaren's performance on Saturday. I'd seen him at Shrewsbury pre-season and at Huddersfield in a defensive midfield role, nothing earth-shattering, but he did ok. There's been nothing said post-match about Paul carrying a knock or feeling unwell, so for me it's a case of wouldn't rather than couldn't and that is unacceptable.

ONIGP, I can see the argument for replacing the injured Labadie with an attacking midfielder, but on balance feel Blanchard was the better option. Max can get forward and is certainly capable of passing the ball forward, which may have given the likes of Enoch and Akins something to run onto. Mendy and Welsh are also capable of building/finishing an attack, but didn't get involved enough against Brentford. Ryan Fraughan needs careful handling. He played really well v Peterborough especially on the defensive side of his game, but was dropped next match as Welsh returned. When he came on against Brighton and Brentford, he didn't make much impression, can only remember a couple of shots well wide from the latter, when perhaps he should have been trying to work an opening. I think it may be a confidence thing, trying to make an instant impression, rather than working the openings that he is best at.
 
26 Sep 2008
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Jimmy Harvey
#27
Am no 'Mystic Meg' more like 'Septic Peg', but all my worst fears for this season were confirmed in 90 minutes on saturday afternoon. The failure to learn from the mistakes of last season were always going to lead to disaster this season. Very little point in commenting on the game itself as we all know how bad it was. Tactically we had it all wrong and were punished for it.

On the subject of support and cheering the team on etc its very hard to get enthusiastic and clap and cheer a team who are 3-0 down at home to the team that were rock bottom of the league at the start of play. I dont agree with singling out one person for abuse saying that as to be honest I dont think its the players fault many of them simply are not good enough or are too inexperienced to improve. Its also not really Les's fault he was offered a step up in his career and grabbed it, realistically he should not have been considered in the first place.

Am sure I will get slated for this but hey ho, the blame for our current mess lies completely at PJ's door. His decision making has been woeful and its pretty obvious he is only with us now until he gets his money back. My uncle sits in the main stand and told me there was uproar in there when the 3rd goal went in because PJ was laughing his head off!

Even with the players who are left to come back in we will go down, our budget is simply not adequate to compete at league 1 level and undoubtably if we do go down the budget will get slashed even further. We have been on a downward spiral for a good few years and now the slide is gathering pace. Its going to be a long season and as Ian said earlier you can only see things getting progressively worse, Les seems to be clueless when selecting tactics or team, he seems to have lost the dressing room, ITM has some 'issues to work out' WTF does that mean if he is fit then he should be playing, we dont shoot at goal, we cant defend and even the players who come back will probably only make a marginal difference (Ash, Ladabie).

Its depressing stuff but like I said earlier I was fully expecting this to happen.
 

Rob

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Clint Hill
#28
I don't buy any of this nonsense.
I get behind the team every year when I purchase a season ticket, programme, shirt etc etc.. They have to give something back, surely.

I've always said all I want from the players is effort, is that too much to ask for in return? I'll criticise players if they aren't putting in the effort.

Les also doesn't have a plan B. We are so rigid. It was obvious the game wasn't going well in the first half. Make some changes, try something different. Second half, same XI trotted out and we were worse than the 1st half!
I agree, performing badly is on occasion excusable but some of these players arent even trying which is disgusting.

It also winds me up when the team are getting thrashed and the subs are on the pitch at half time pissing about doing keep ups and flicking each others ears.

Did anyone else with a view from the Borough Road happen to notice McLaren storm up the tunnel when substituted?
 
3 Apr 2007
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Goodison
#29
When we're at the game, it's our place to support the team. Too many managers in the stands thinking it's their place to criticise players. That's Les' job. If you want us to improve, get behind the ****ing team.



For someone who didn't go to the game, you have an awful lot to say.

Enoch is looking isolated, but your other points concerning 4-3-3 are incorrect.
The 1st part of the quote sounds like the kind of thing PJ would say...
We're entititled to voice our views given were paying their wages!

Les doesn't seem to be doing a very good job though does he? Also 4-3-3 has no width- Akins and Jennings are strikers, for someone who goes to the games I thought you would know what positions players like to play in. As for possession, one of the reasons why we don't control games is that we can't keep the ball playing 4-3-3.
 

Ian

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21 Sep 2005
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Aldo
#30
Am sure I will get slated for this but hey ho, the blame for our current mess lies completely at PJ's door. His decision making has been woeful and its pretty obvious he is only with us now until he gets his money back. My uncle sits in the main stand and told me there was uproar in there when the 3rd goal went in because PJ was laughing his head off!
Maybe he was laughing in hysterics at what he was seeing, as did I when the third went in. Better than crying I suppose.

It also winds me up when the team are getting thrashed and the subs are on the pitch at half time pissing about doing keep ups and flicking each others ears.
Well, why should they care? They still get paid at the end of the month regardless of how bad we are on the pitch.

Did anyone else with a view from the Borough Road happen to notice McLaren storm up the tunnel when substituted?
Yeah, saw that.

The McLaren debate is a little fruitless. He's the easy scape-goat when things are going wrong. There was a lot more wrong with the performance and setup on Saturday than just McLaren.
 
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OneNightInGayParis

Guest
#31
Did anyone else with a view from the Borough Road happen to notice McLaren storm up the tunnel when substituted?
I saw this from the Main Stand but impossible to tell why he was upset. I sincerely hope it was because he realised he had not had a good game; although it is possible (but would be pretty bizarre) that he thought he was playing too well to be subbed! He may also have been angry at the reaction he received from the Main Stand/Paddock.

To be honest I always find it quite amusing when a player is withdrawn after a poor performance; nobody seemed quite sure whether they should be applauding the fact that McLaren was being taken off, jeering McLaren as he was coming off, or cheering Fraughan coming on!=D>:evil::?
 

Rob

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#32
I just hope that we can get those who are absent like Broomes, Taylor and Mahon back to some level of fitness relatively soon to plug the holes although there doesnt seem to be any sign of the three above coming back anytime soon.

Would also be nice to see ITM working through "his issues" and turning out and finally I would like to see Les work out whatever his issue is with Bakayogo as he is infinetely better than Darville/Akins as a RB/RW
 
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OneNightInGayParis

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#33
I just hope that we can get those who are absent like Broomes, Taylor and Mahon back to some level of fitness relatively soon to plug the holes although there doesnt seem to be any sign of the three above coming back anytime soon.
Broomes might not be too far away. Les is saying he should play for the reserves on Wednesday. A couple of weeks, perhaps?
 

Boz

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Iain Hume
#34
McLaren is an issue. After a dismal showing at Southampton, when Les made reference to poor performances by experienced players, the only changes he made were to recall Goodi for Wood (a no-brainer) and to replace Blanchard with Darville. Max isn't mainly a full-back, so could see the sense in that, but not dropping one of our better players from the side completely. My impression of McLaren storming up the tunnel was a response to the crowd's enthusiasm for the change.

Would also be nice to see ITM working through "his issues" and turning out and finally I would like to see Les work out whatever his issue is with Bakayogo as he is infinetely better than Darville/Akins as a RB/RW
Zoum has never played as right-back with us to my knowledge, so I don't think there's anything to support your assertion he'd be any good on the right. As he didn't score any goals last season; think he hit the bar once, while his assists weren't as frequent as Cresswell's, I don't think there's any justification for replacing Aaron.Though, as others have said, it may now be time to accommodate both in the side.
 
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Ian Muir
#35
mclaren didnt storm off down the tunnel he actually shook hands with les before walking down the tunnel.
 
8 Sep 2009
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Chris Greenacre
#37
Les wont change to 4-3-3 so as a consequence, I cant see him playin both Cressa and Zoom in the same team.

I agree that the 2 of them down the left in a 4-4-2 interchanging would I think be good.

But Les is stubborn - he said pre season he didnt like having wingers as they werent flexible enough to play in other positions.

So he'll stick with the 4-3-3 hoping that when everyone is fit, we'll do a bit better
 

SonkORLY?

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8 Sep 2008
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Eddy Sonko
#39
The 1st part of the quote sounds like the kind of thing PJ would say...
We're entititled to voice our views given were paying their wages!

Les doesn't seem to be doing a very good job though does he? Also 4-3-3 has no width- Akins and Jennings are strikers, for someone who goes to the games I thought you would know what positions players like to play in. As for possession, one of the reasons why we don't control games is that we can't keep the ball playing 4-3-3.
Yawn, PJ, etc.

The top team in 3 of the 4 major european leagues play in a 4-3-3, but perhaps you've realised huge inherent flaws in that system that Ancelotti, Deschamps and Guardiola have overlooked. Doubt that though. One of the nice things about having 3 central midfielders, for example, is that it's theoretically easier to keep possession in a key areas of the pitch. Width can either be provided by fullbacks or outside forwards - on the right hand side we have Akins in the latter role, while on the left we have both Jennings and Cressa who are proficient going forward/from wide positions. We successfully crossed the ball in from open play a number of times on Saturday (you wouldn't know this because you didn't go to the game). The main problem with the 4-3-3 in so much as it concerns us is that, with Labadie injured, we don't really have anyone either a.) willing to get forward and support nochy or b.) who is frankly very good. Mclaren, Mendy and Blanchard are poor central midfielders at this level; a change of formation isn't going to rectify that. That said, a typical two-bank 4-4-2 is 'easier' to play in, so for that reason alone, I would be quite happy if we were to revert to type.

You're legally entitled to do lots of things at a football match, but short of actually getting behind the team vocally, or at least trying to enjoy the game, you aren't being very helpful to either the club or yourself. Your financial contribution is appreciated, but why not save some bother by setting up a direct debit from home? That way you never have to go and watch, get upset when we concede a goal, scream at players all game, boo the team off...save yourself the bother.
 

SonkORLY?

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Eddy Sonko
#40
I saw this from the Main Stand but impossible to tell why he was upset.
You are surely joking - if I had my own "supporters" behaving like that I'd have done much more than storm off.

edit: your post previous to this was brilliant and I agree 100%





So, common opinion is that our role as supporters is to "let the players know how they're doing?". It's easy to cheer a team when they're doing well, less so when you're losing at home. Are we as more likely to turn things round on the pitch when the fans are supporting or criticising the players? Do we want the team to turn things around, or is it more important that we feel we've given those naughty, underperforming players a good telling off? Are they playing badly on purpose, just to piss us off?