M40

Anything yellow and blue
Kairdiff Exile
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Re: M40

Post by Kairdiff Exile » Mon Jul 13, 2020 9:55 pm

I don’t normally post immediately after a game, but here are a few random thoughts:

Football on telly is rubbish, isn’t it? What I’d have given for the commentator to have said: “And to any viewers who might have been offended by some of the choice language picked up by our pitchside microphones there, we would like to suggest you take up an alternative hobby such as f*cking ballet.”

The result was a punch to the guts. But that’s why we love football: if one side are shit but take their chances, they beat a side who are great to watch but fluff their lines. I don’t begrudge Wycombe; they did what we knew they’d do and were ruthlessly effective. Good luck to them.

Notwithstanding the above, it’ll haunt me how bad we were in the first half. Didn’t look up for it at all. We just froze. Apparently the team hadn’t trained at Wembley ahead of tonight, which I’d say was a mistake - the 2010 side said that acclimatising themselves to Wembley played a huge part in relaxing them to play well on the day.

I’m sad now at the certainty of Dickie and Brannagan leaving us in the summer to sign for Bigger Teams™.

If we’re smart, we’ll acknowledge where we’re at now. Flog off our very saleable assets, steady the ship for choppy financial waters ahead when bigger sides than ours will go under, properly blood our good crop of academy players coming through (Nico Jones, Fabio Lopes, Slavi Spasov), and gradually rebuild for a challenge in 2021/22. Survival now is key.

OtmoorYellow
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Re: M40

Post by OtmoorYellow » Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:26 pm

Wycombe will be straight back down.

What a wasted opportunity.

That was like an early round in the FA Cup against a Conference side. They just shoved everyone behind the ball. Awful to watch.

We had all the possession, created all the chances. Yet the age old issue of not putting the ball in the net.

The header for their first goal wasn’t even on target and only went in because of a bizarre deflection off Eastwood.

I don’t buy the penalty. Even ignoring the offside in the approach, Eastwood is perfectly entitled to go for the ball. There was no foul, it was just a clash after a 50:50.

But the game should not have even come down to such fine margins. We could and should have won comfortably.

I reckon there is a risk that Robbo will walk. His post match interview suggested to me he is looking for squad investment to match his own ambitions. I don’t think there is appetite for more investment from the board. This was the chance to progress.

I can’t see Dickie, Taylor, Sykes, Brannagan, Browne & Woodburn staying. They are the core of the talent.

Thoroughly disappointed.

Shoobedoo
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Re: M40

Post by Shoobedoo » Mon Jul 13, 2020 11:18 pm

That's the thing that saddens me most - that we'll now see the break-up of the best squad we've had in years.

All the big moments - Eastwood's foot turning the ball in, Henry's one-on-one, Browne not chasing down that short backpass, Moore's *one* defensive error - all worked against us.

Absolutely gutted. More than I thought I'd be.

Bloody football...

See you next season.

Dr Bob
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Re: M40

Post by Dr Bob » Tue Jul 14, 2020 8:19 am

I am not sure we would have kept all of our key assets even had we gone up, because of the wage offers that other Championship clubs could make. I very much agree with KE that (especially after the last few months) getting financial stability back into the club will be key for our long term future. But as a direct result, I also fear that OY could be right that KR will walk, as I cannot see where the money will come from for further major investment just now. I so hope he stays, but I also think that his stock will be high enough to attract offers from higher up as well, even if he decides not to jump ship.

Maybe it is a bit of ex post rationalisation, but given our overall financial situation, with the stadium and the recent Covid-related losses in particular, I was wondering just how much investment would we have been able to make in the squad - even before we recognise that average wages are several times higher than Div 3.

Good luck to Wycombe - it will be interesting to see how their style succeeds in the Championship. On the plus side, we can now look forward once again to proper local derbies.

Isaac
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Re: M40

Post by Isaac » Tue Jul 14, 2020 8:55 am

We weren't very good apart from half an hour in the 2nd half. Even then we only created two good chances (Dickie header and Henry) and one very lucky goal. I said elsewhere on here that I think our sort of high tempo football is difficult to get going from a cold start and the 3 month break did us no favours on that front. I hoped the play-off semis might clear some rustiness but it was a similar performance to those in lots of ways. Wycombe were more limited in their ambitions but they were very good at what they did, there's less that can go wrong with their approach and ultimately it was the team who made the fewest errors who won. It's an encouraging thing really, if you can look past the defeat, that a team with so few resources can compete and win in league 1.

Once the disappointment has worn off hopefully we'll look back on a good season, with some truly excellent performances in amongst it, when they got it right the team were brilliant to watch. Certainly the best football of the last 20 years. Part of the disappointment with the play-offs is we never really showed our best. Given we sold Baptiste, Fosu and lost Cadden (the biggest loss of the 3 in my opinion) at Christmas I don't see it as a wasted opportunity any more than any other season. The old tedious cliche of "we'll never get a better chance" is self-defeating. Already next season is the best chance.

There's so many unknowns about next season, but they won't all necessarily work against us. I wouldn't be surprised if we start the season with a fairly similar team - the biggest question will be about the loanees. As the season moves on and more is known about finances/crowds/budgets then there is a big risk our better players (Brannagan/Dickie and Sykes if he continues his improvement) will disappear off at the end of the transfer window and Robinson too will be tempted by a Championship club who have made a bad start. Whether we can hang on to Robinson and quickly identify players to replace the ones we sell will be the important in the short term at least.

SmileyMan
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Re: M40

Post by SmileyMan » Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:34 am

Being realistic, I can't help feeling we've dodged a very expensive bullet. Wycombe will be straight down, and the poorer for it. We might have been the same.

OtmoorYellow
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Re: M40

Post by OtmoorYellow » Tue Jul 14, 2020 1:54 pm

SmileyMan wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:34 am
Being realistic, I can't help feeling we've dodged a very expensive bullet. Wycombe will be straight down, and the poorer for it. We might have been the same.
The Championship is worth an extra £5m in turnover. Any increase in costs is voluntary.

Isaac
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Re: M40

Post by Isaac » Tue Jul 14, 2020 3:55 pm

OtmoorYellow wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 1:54 pm
SmileyMan wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:34 am
Being realistic, I can't help feeling we've dodged a very expensive bullet. Wycombe will be straight down, and the poorer for it. We might have been the same.
The Championship is worth an extra £5m in turnover. Any increase in costs is voluntary.
Some of that £5m would already be spent on wage increases/bonuses for existing players/staff (assuming most have an increase if they get promotion). Also, will it be £5m without crowds for some/all of the season?
Anyway, a fear of what might happen if we got promoted is not a reason to avoid promotion, always better to go up and find out than stay behind wondering.

Kernow Yellow
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Re: M40

Post by Kernow Yellow » Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:09 pm

SmileyMan wrote:
Tue Jul 14, 2020 11:34 am
Being realistic, I can't help feeling we've dodged a very expensive bullet. Wycombe will be straight down, and the poorer for it. We might have been the same.
Wycombe may well be straight back down and the richer for it if they play their cards right. As OY points out, there's no need to spend above existing contractual obligations in a higher league. Our situation is somewhat different - we had more chance of becoming a semi-established Championship club with the backing of some of our mega-rich board and associated hangers-on. This was a real opportunity to give them something attractive to invest in (usual stadium difficulties notwithstanding). I can't help worrying they'll be less inclined to do so now. And it's not as if we're exactly solvent in L1 unless our debts get written off, so I don't buy the 'dodging a bullet' argument at all.

Reflecting on last night hasn't cheered me up. All those chances! Henry's non-shooting of course, just when he'd started to influence the match, but also Matt Taylor doing likewise a little later, Sam Long's shot, Dickie's headers (not that he ever scores them despite looking dangerous). And Sykes had three glorious opportunities to put a goal on a plate for Taylor - the first drew an excellent block from Stewart, though a lofted pass might well have got through; the second fluked its way in to the top corner; and the third was straight into the keeper's arms. Sykes was our brightest outlet for much of the game, but his crossing was not exactly pin-point. So gutting to lose to a team who I don't recall having a meaningful shot on target all game.

Can't believe anyone is questioning the validity of the penalty (marginal offside call aside). Though I also can't believe the Sky commentator was expecting a red card! I thought if you were attempting to play the ball you couldn't be sent off with a penalty award these days? Anyway, he was going away from goal and there was defensive cover. It just summed up the appalling nature of the coverage (making Wycombe's least effective player the centre of attention for most of the evening, for example). I also hated the way Wycombe got people in to Wembley to act as cheerleaders, and the fact we had to hear their shouts echoing round the otherwise empty stadium. Bastards. Not that I'd have cared if we'd won though of course.

The only silver lining of the defeat for me is that a season in the Championship with no fans (or at least no away fans) wouldn't have been much fun. But going up now would have given us a better chance of being there when things return to normal. When does the new season start?

Hog
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Re: M40

Post by Hog » Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:35 am

So is everyone confident that OUFC won't be one of the "40 or more" clubs that could go bust?

slappy
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Re: M40

Post by slappy » Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:21 am

I wonder if any Pompey fans watched that final and were thinking what a chance they missed by not beating us in the semi-final.

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