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I heard a Luton caller on 3CR complain about our 'agricultural methods' on the way home on Saturday, which I thought was rich as Luton had four booked...two of whom committed fouls right in front of the officials. Admittedly we got a couple late on...but it seems to me that we are harshly judged as a spoiling team...and when the facts seem to deny this you get people bleating about giving us a bit of our own medicine. I haven't seen any great footballing sides reduced to 'our level' at Adams Park his season....usually just two League Two sides trying to get some points!



  • I think you will see a good footballing side on Saturday. Exeter really impressed me last season, despite us winning.

  • I've noticed our reputation has started to become that we are an "Anti-Football" team, with several clubs labelling us as using dirty tactics and timewasting. I have a few Mansfield mates and they all said that we are even worse than "Westley's Stevenage", and the general consensus at Barnsley is that the thought of "Ainsworth style" football would be a nightmare. Luton couldn't have been more smug about giving us a taste of our own medicine. Are we really that bad?

  • I heard on 5live last night a Derby fan calling for Ainsworth to be installed as their new manager, the football writer on the show picked up on that listeners text by saying that if Derby want to play attractive football, then Ainsworth is not the answer. He went on to state that while he has a lot of respect for Ainsworth we are by far the most direct long ball team in league 2.

  • Lets be honest, we are not an attractive footballing side. We slow the play down and frustrate the opposition and when at home we are now frustrating our own fans with how we play, as its just so poor to watch. Personally I feel we have reached a bit of a tipping point where fans are deciding if they want to carry on watching what is being served up at home matches. We all love Wycombe but when you keep returning from home matches fed up with what we witness you do question your continued loyalty. I don't feel great about us having such a growing negative reputation for spoiling tactics and negative football. I think you engage these tactics when you are in trouble at the wrong end of the table but not when you are mid table and trying to push on,its not something we need to see. You can argue until the cows come home whether or not we have the players that can play football in the way we would like to see but I remember when John Gorman came in and changed our approach, the football was a joy to watch yet those same players under Tony Adams were not playing the football anyone wanted to see. Suddenly we were playing one and two touch football, the game quickened up and we played great attacking football.

  • I remember it well. That first home game under John Gorman. "We're playing football" was the surprised reaction. It was great. Will we ever see the like again?!

  • I'm sure GA doesn't want to be known for anti-football and last year and in (very) brief patches this year we have shown that.

    He is still very much learning and when we're not getting results when the football doesn't flow he is focusing more on the importance of winning/drawing by stopping other teams play.

    I'm sure close season he will look again at what he needs to develop the playing side more having hopefully learnt from his mistakes this year.

    As an observation one of the main differences between the two close seasons was how quick the new players came in first time round compared with last year. I wonder whether it was harder for him being in the play offs and not knowing what division we would be in and by the time Wembleyhadbeen and hones lot of business had been conducted elsewhere?

    Back to the thread. A quote from Sean Dyche on the Derby sacking: "It is win first and build a style of football second."

  • I remember back in the early GA days we went through a spate of conceding late goals and GA getting increasingly pissed off with it - I'm not saying this was the first instance by any means but this was one of the games:

    I think the timewasting thing kind of grew from there, maybe with GA recognising that if we can't afford the quality players that other sides can, then we have to make up for that in other ways.

    I dislike the extent of gamesmanship I've seen us use, but I don't see enough games (around 4-6 a season) to know whether we do it all the time. Sadly a lot of what I have seen reminds me of a Westley side though, the relentless haranguing of the ref, the feigning injury for a convenient drinks break, although thankfully GA himself is nowhere near as embarrassing as Westley. I don't think he did himself any favours after the Plymouth game though.

    But for those who claim we don't timewaste, how is it that we consistently seem to play 6 minutes of stoppage time?

  • Well, the 6 minutes time added on last Saturday were down to Luton, not Wycombe.

    From what I have witnessed, I don't think Wycombe have been any worse this season than at least half of the other League Two teams. It seems part and parcel of 2015/16 League Two football: if you're in front, do what you can to disrupt the opposition and stop them getting back into the game.

    Yes, Wycombe obviously have gained a reputation for it or it wouldn't be being discussed here, but for most commentators and opposition fans it's just an easy, lazy insult to sling, when their own teams are no better.

  • It is a strange anomaly, that when I'm not at a game and I'm following the scores on tv, our games always seem to be amongst the last to finish. However I don't think this can purely be down to our timewasting, as it doesn't seem to matter whether we're winning, losing or drawing.

    We are of course guilty at times, but I've seen plenty of other teams who've been every bit as bad as us. Plymouth & Luton spring to mind from this season and I seem to recall Newport taking it to extreme lengths last season. Perhaps because of our reputation we tend to complain less about it when it happens to us?

  • It's an interesting debate. I only see home games, but though we can complain that our football may not always be pretty or pleasing to the eye, I don't feel we are any worse with 'game management' than anyone else. As has been pointed out the added time at the weekend was for Luton injuries and they had more players booked and yet we are the spoilers and 'anti-football'. When an opposition manager or team automatically complains when you have to replace an injured goalkeeper, or when the oficials give a decision against is getting a bit stupid.

  • Just back to the Gormania era for a second. We played probably the best football we've played in the football league that half season.
    But I very much remember we seemed to draw a shittonne of games, and instead of being the 15-20 points clear we should have been, we were narrowly ahead, with a terrific team packed with class for the division.

    While the current team could do with a bit more flair and beauty, that Gorman team could have certainly done with a bit more of what we're pros at.

  • Yes, the decision to continue attacking Aston Villa after going in 3-1 up at half-time epitomised the romantic naivety of that wonderful man. 3-8 wasn't it?

  • Stayed clear of all the debate around style of football and how entertaining it is.

    Speaking personally I don't see it as a Wycombe problem. I don't get the same enjoyment out of watching any football these days as I used to. Some of this will just be the enjoyment of youth but I am struggling to watch football in general now.

    I think the amount of money in the game now makes teams more defensive. I'm hoping the changing order in the Premier League might filter down as teams who used to defend for draws against the top sides now realise they are beatable. Not many teams attack us at Adams Park and if they did I think the style of football would change.

    The level of gamesmanship and cheating is unacceptable across the board. We are getting a reputation but to be honest we are good at it and all teams do it to variable degrees. Stopping this part of our game wouldn't help in my opinion.

    Finally I think the standard of refereeing is awful and doesn't help the flow of a game. Goalies can timewaste as much as they want and refs take an age to book players for obvious things. Personally I'm getting fed up with centre circle refs. If they can't be bothered to follow the flow of the game it becomes stunted.

    To sum up I'd love Wycombe to be more free flowing and less gamemanlike but we are just one of many teams trying the same thing. We are very good at it and whilst it is a tactic that wins football matches why not use it? Will it stop me watching games in future years? Yes it probably will. That's the line the club need to tread though. I can only feel what I feel.

  • Gormans team had a very high budget. That enabled them to play expansively.

    Not sure what to make of the recent negativity. 10 days ago, I sensed none of it at Plymouth. Now after one win and one defeat, with the team 6th in the league and on course possibly for a second successive trip to Wembley, riches that would have been undreamt of 18 months ago at Torquay, some supporters seem to be falling out of love with the club.

    Is the minimum requirement really now bottom 6 budget, top six finish AND playing champagne football. Be very very careful what you wish for gentlemen.

  • @DevC Agree 100% on the be careful what you wish for. Football and sport in general is littered with examples of falls after expecting too much.

    I guess once more it comes down to cold hard results and the feeling leaving the ground. I'm really not enjoying the football I am watching at the moment but do appreciate the circumstances that may be used as a reason for it. Doesn't stop me not enjoying it though. Champagne football is a heck alot of steps away from what is being played at the moment. Maybe a couple of steps along that path might help.

    Or maybe I just need to swap a home season ticket to go to away games?

  • We score fewer away than at home, so I don't think that's a great route to seeing sparkling attacking football. More wins though.

  • Trust me, it's worse away from home. The Plymouth game, despite being happy we got the three points, bordered on being embarrassing. At one point JJ went down holding his head, stopped the game, and our physio started treating his leg! Luckily it was in front of our fans or there would have been more of an uproar. It seems Ainsworth has already briefed Allsop, who seemed to be taking twenty seconds to take goal kicks at Dagenham last night. I'm all for going for the win, but I don't want to be supporting a team who are developing such a bad reputation.

  • Goalkeepers taking more than the allotted six seconds (or whatever it is) that the rules of the game state is the maximum isn't unique to Wycombe; they pretty much all do it to an extent, unless their team is behind and time is running out.

    The fault, IMO, lies not with the goalkeepers, who are doing what they consider tactically best for their team, but rather with the weak refereeing that allows them to do it. If referees were to state clearly to the goalkeepers and their team captains before the start of the match that they will enforce the time limit, then back their words up with action during the match, the goalkeepers would either not do it or have to suffer the consequences.

    The back pass rule, which was introduced for essentially the same reason - to stop teams preventing the opposition from playing by having the ball in their 'keepers hands - is enforced, so why not the time out rule too?

  • Having this reputation is nothing to be proud of,didn't our fans slag off Stevenage under Westley for a number of years? This is all down to Ainsworth's orders so we can't blame the players.

  • Until it's clamped down on, or team will continue to 'play within the rules'

    So for the good of the game introduce new rules to stop it

  • The football is so poor I love the club to bits, but I leave after the games and wonder why I do it there's no enjoyment no one's got any composer on the ball it's hot potato stuff, the time wasting is embarrassing now and ainsworth never seems to have a plan b when we fall behind. On Saturday he didn't even switch the wingers over at 1 down. All this we've got a small budget crap don't wash anymore I'm sure Dagenham and Carlisle have worse ones yet it didn't stop them out playing us at home. I honestly think we have good players there not the problem we need somebody to get them playing on the floor

  • @robin Westley's mob were a whole different game. Every single challenge seemed to be on the borderline of a foul, and their disciplinary record was a lot worse than ours. We haven't added the mid half fake injury routine either so everyone else can get instructions/a break.

    @Chris , perception is a funny thing. Without checking, I'd have thought we scored more away, but like you say, that's not true. It's simply the perception we do, as we concede so many less away, win more games, and it's like we're remembering the goal difference rather than the actual goals.

    I think @micra has pointed it out a few times, that we've only won at home a couple of times in about 4months. That is woeful in anyone's book. I'm amazed we've almost been able to disguise it so brilliantly with the excellent away form.

  • @Uncle_T There is no time limit for taking goal kicks. Unless it is ridiculously excessive then all the ref should do is add the time on. Which I think they usually do. (If it is ridiculously excessive then a yellow card might get shown too).
    I don't know why this is suddenly such a hot topic tho, I always felt it was time wasting that cost us the play-off final. Anyone that saw us taking the ball to the corner flag with 30 mins to go and feigning injury would say we got what we deserved. There were people on here then saying how proud of the team they were, personally I left Wembley feeling pretty p'd off that we'd cocked it up.

  • @Doob said:

    personally I left Wembley feeling pretty p'd off that we'd cocked it up.

    Probably for the best. Half the Gasroom would have slit their/our wrists if we had gone up as we'd still be playing crap football (although maybe not with so much time wasting) and probably be cut adrift at the foot of the table

  • @Doob : I think people are referring to a goalkeeper kick from the hands, in which the keeper has "approximately 6 seconds to release the ball". Allsop was taking far longer after we took the lead, I'm fairly sure he was holding on to the ball for about 15 seconds at one point, something which the majority of us noticed in the away end.

  • Noone will ever match Jordan Archer's time wasting for us. He was beyond cynical.

    I'd love to know how much importance and time in the week Ainsworth allocates to these tactics.
    But no one has ever left us and moaned about it, or "Outed" it in the press, so I guess it's either not that much, or accepted that it's one of those necessary tactics.

  • edited February 2016

    Quick question. Is our time wasting much more evident away from home? I ask because I don't tend to go to away games these days and I have to admit, in the few home matches I've seen us win this season, I've not really noticed too many underhand tactics. Against Oxford, yes there was a protracted Hayes substitution towards the end, but nothing much apart from that. And against Crawley we actually came alive in the closing stages and played some good stuff, eventually scoring a well deserved 2nd goal in the final minute. Certainly no time wasting there.

    Are we really worse on a regular basis that Plymouth & Luton were in their wins at Adams Park?

  • It is rare that an away team who is leading doesn't waste time....particularly where that team has a significantly lower budget than the home team. Maybe our reputation is a result of our excellent away record so a lot more fans experience our spoiling tactics. Or more likely just sour grapes at getting beaten. Anyway if we are wasting time the ref should either add time or book the culprit. Although my theory doesn't explain Luton's whinging. Our last two away performances there were excellent.

  • In contrast to the general whinging from Exeter fans, their manager has been taking a different approach to his thoughts on our style..
    Mind games though maybe...

  • Quality manager Mr Tisdale.

    Never hear him complain about his clubs fan owned status and consequent comparative lack of resources, consistently over-achieves all reasonable expectations, his club in all likelihood will drop the table like a stone when he leaves but despite it all, the fans still refuse to show any gratitude and his clubs forums are full of criticism and thinly veiled abuse.

    Thank goodness the same thing could never happen at Wycombe.

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