Safety in numbers

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Kernow Yellow
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Safety in numbers

Post by Kernow Yellow » Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:25 am

Well 52 points has removed any lingering doubts about relegation. Unless we go into administration before the end of the season of course!

I can't help wondering how different the table would look had we conceded that 93rd minute chance at home to Bradford, and not enjoyed the momentum of that match's remarkable conclusion since then. Deceptively fine margins!

It would be nice to think we were now planning for next season's playing squad with some sort of certainty, but the off-field financial situation makes me think that's unlikely...

Kairdiff Exile
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Re: Safety in numbers

Post by Kairdiff Exile » Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:12 am

With safety now seemingly confirmed, it's time for an inquest into what went so wrong this season for a team who had been tipped for (and had the budget for) a playoff place ended up spending most of the year fighting relegation. For me, there were four things (more to follow in due course, probably), each of which offers valuable learning:

1) Signings
Whatever poor luck we have had with injuries, some of that was predictable and avoidable given the type of player we signed - essentially, experienced and able, but only prepared to drop to our level because of a poor track record with injuries. Carruthers and Holmes were the most obvious examples of these, and both ate up a significant chunk of our budget. Their signings seemed a departure from the tried-and-tested policy of bringing in promising, up-and-coming youngsters who we could then sell on at a profit. Indeed, in players like Whyte and Sykes, we have some current examples of that being a better approach for the club.
I've also been underwhelmed by our use of the loan market. Jerome Sinclair has turned out to be very valuable, but KR's account is very much in deficit here: Sam Smith, Luke Garbutt, Jonathan Mitchell, Holmes and Carruthers were (for one reason or another) not better than what we had - and even with his recent improvement in form, is anyone clamouring for Garbutt to be here next year? The value - to the team and to the balance sheet - is with developing players who will be part of the nucleus of a side in the long-term and have a resale value.
Learning point: It's already been heavily implied that we'll have a lower budget next year, so KR will have to do more with less. Taking more chances on young players on their way up in the game rather than ageing crocks who are on their way down seems like a good place to start. And loans should be brought in to supplement your main squad, not to be the backbone of it.

2) Strikers
Pretty self-explanatory, this one - but relates to the point above. The imbalance in the squad, the reliance on capable-but-injured attacking midfielders and inexperienced loan strikers very nearly did for us. Investing in a proper target man with a track record of getting goals is a must, and this is one area where a more experienced head would be useful. Someone like Amond at Newport County (60 goals in three seasons despite playing for sides battling relegation for much of that time, and now on the fringes of the Ireland squad even though he's in Div 4) would be a start. Or bringing back Danny Hylton, who clearly can still do it at this level and is unlikely to stay with Luton when they go up to Div 2.
Learning point: Let's not leave it too late, like we have in the last two transfer windows. Let's not make promises about named players we want to sign, only to then not get them. Let's focus our energies on working behind the scenes to get an early signature during the summer of a proven goalscorer.

3) Interviews
To state the blindingly obvious, it does the club and the team no good for the manager to make a fool of himself in front of the media every week. Whether it's bemoaning referees, naming players he wants to sign (who then don't come) or just chatting s**t about what music he's playing in the dressing room, it needs to stop. Be professional. Behave like an adult. Set an example.
Learning point: If Robinson is to stay (and it sounds as though he is), he needs to understand that he has to operate within the budgetary constraints given to him, without complaining, and he needs to act with decorum when someone puts a microphone in front of him. Chris Williams, or someone external, needs to give him extensive media training, he needs to listen to it, and he needs to have every single interview analysed afterwards internally until he conducts himself better.

4) Pay your bloody bills
No more winding-up petitions. No more staff going unpaid. No more creditors being owed. Pay your bills. Pay your staff. Pay your taxes. It's not just financially prudent, it's also part of being a responsible, respectful club to your community.
Learning point: Get in a Finance Director who is skilled and experienced in international money transfers who can make sure we don't have 'gaps' in funding. Sort out the arbitration with Ka$$am which is poisoning a vital commercial relationship.

What would others like to add? Stadium? CEO?

slappy
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Re: Safety in numbers

Post by slappy » Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:30 pm

The bigger question is what on earth is Tiger's plan for the club?
There was talk earlier in the season of identifying five alternative stadium sites, but that all seems to have gone quiet.
There are two wealthy directors in Bakrie and Thohir who don't appear to have any share in the Singapore holding company.
Without player sales in 2017/18, the club would have lost even more than the £2M reported, which if repeated year-on-year is unaffordable and clearly causing cashflow problems already.

Kernow Yellow
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Re: Safety in numbers

Post by Kernow Yellow » Mon Apr 08, 2019 2:40 pm

slappy wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:30 pm
The bigger question is what on earth is Tiger's plan for the club?
I'm not even sure it's Tiger's plans that are important, as I don't think he has the cash to sustain us. Is he scraping his piggybank every month to pay the bills (late)? Are the other directors being made to put their hands in their pockets? Or is the finance coming from elsewhere? There are a lot of unanswered questions about the club's ownership that have far bigger implications for our club than Robinson's lack of media savvy.

And of course the stadium is the biggest issue of the lot - it is frankly unbelievable that this seems to have taken Tiger by surprise, and illustrates how unprepared he was to own OUFC (as also demonstrated by that first appalling press conference).

But (and it's a big but), what happens if he runs out of money and can't persuade others to stump up? However useless Tiger may seem, the thought of what happens without him is truly scary. We're not a great proposition for prospective buyers at the moment - substantial and mounting debts, few saleable player assets and held over a barrel by Kassam with little realistic prospect of relocation. Very worrying times.

Kairdiff Exile
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Re: Safety in numbers

Post by Kairdiff Exile » Mon Apr 08, 2019 2:44 pm

I am still clinging to the hope that, once the Indonesian elections are over in ten days' time, Thohir will have discharged his other footballing and non-footballing duties elsewhere, and he will then be announced as the new Chairman and we will hear the full set of plans for him to deliver us a new stadium. And Sumrith Thanakarnjanasuth will then disappear off into the sunset, presumably with a fat wodge of cash.

Boogie
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Re: Safety in numbers

Post by Boogie » Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:05 am

On the match that sees us safe (not checked if that is mathematically correct but so many of the teams below us play each other), the team has strength now, mainly by sticking with the same back four and with Kashi and Brannagan in midfield forming an understanding. Well done KR for bringing in Kashi.

Walsall were poor but 10 men did us proud. Good to see that Browne has apologised but from about the time that KR described him as the best in the division he has disappointed. Special mention for Garbutt who adds to the resilience and is calm under pressure as shown by his finish. He also had the assist for Dickie. I would try to keep him for that position on the left next season, as he and Ruffs are also forming an understanding. More trickery can come from the right and a number 10.

Dr Bob
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Re: Safety in numbers

Post by Dr Bob » Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:34 am

And how mad is it that the fans of a team starting the game in the top half of the table could sing 'we are staying up' at the end of the match. This is one crazy relegation battle but surely we are safe now. Got to say that throughout the first half, even from the other end of the ground, I felt that Browne was getting really riled, whether by the fouling, the crowd, or both. The TV angle is no help in trying to see if it was a red or yellow card offence, although RadOx felt it was a yellow but the Walsall report said it was rightly a red.

Walsall were clearly a very poor side, only scoring because of our defensive dithering (Nelson's fault, for me) - but I was still really impressed with our play in the second half. Inevitably Walsall did have one spell of repeated attacks, but Nelson in particular was immense (dithering forgiven). It was also good to see Whyte being put on as the second half wore on. His pace kept the Walsall defence pushed back and helped limit their attacking options.

Interesting reading an article the other day about our fitness coach:
https://www.witneygazette.co.uk/sport/1 ... -contract/

Maybe a bit naively I thought that even down to 10 men we would be OK fitness-wise - but sure enough (apart from one ever so tired pass from Long near the end that at least did not cause problems) everyone did brilliantly. They have certainly earned their extended break this week.

ty cobb
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Re: Safety in numbers

Post by ty cobb » Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:22 am

Given the injuries we have had this season I think a top half finish would be above par, but recognise I may be alone in this view.

I am rarely in the camp of sacking managers, especially ones which are showing marked improvements and ones which like playing passing attacking football. The fact he has kept the team spirit there and the loan players motivated towards the end of the season is a good reflection on his man management. I would also go as far to say that Robinson is the 3rd best manager we have had in the last 21 years, behind only Wilder and Appleton (in that order). This just goes to show you should always be very careful replacing a manager as more often than not you end up with someone worse.

If we can tie a couple of loan players down, keep the good players in the squad and finally get a good striker in, next season looks pretty good. The last transfer window bodes well for the future and hopefully Robinson will learn from his mistakes of last summer.

OtmoorYellow
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Re: Safety in numbers

Post by OtmoorYellow » Thu Apr 11, 2019 6:46 pm

It's been a good run of results, but oh how those results could have been very different. It's not as if we have totally dominated other teams. We even came very close to losing at home to Bradford as part of that run.

There are still plenty of combinations of results that could see us being overtaken by every other team bar Bradford, even given that some of the teams below us have to play each other, so whilst glad to reach what I suspect will be a safe total, I'm counting precisely zero chickens at the moment. It's been that sort of season.

For me, KR needs to continue this run and take at least 8 of the last 15 points on offer, which should be well within the team's capability. He also needs to cease his embarrassing touchline antics. Fair enough if there is a truly diabolical game changing decision, but arguing with the ref and lino and 4th official over a few yards difference where a throw in should be taken is pretty unprofessional.

recordmeister
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Re: Safety in numbers

Post by recordmeister » Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:26 am

I’m just incredibly relieved. And I wish I’d put my money on Wycombe to go down...

slappy
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Re: Safety in numbers

Post by slappy » Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:36 am

The Bristol Post did a feature on the rich list for football league clubs.
https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/sport/foo ... la-2746213

It's staggering how much money is out there, and what is an affordable loss in one year for the richest clubs could probably bank roll half of league 2.

OtmoorYellow
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Re: Safety in numbers

Post by OtmoorYellow » Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:12 pm

Because Walsall and Southend have to play each other, only one of them can now catch us.

Ditto for Rochdale and Wycombe.

Bradford are already too far behind.

Several clubs are only able to just match our 53 points because they play each other.

So we are now virtually mathematically certain to stay up, bar a very extreme set of results going against us for the remaining games.

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