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Current league position

Prompted by @trevor 's comment that we were lucky to win at Cambridge, which seems pretty indisputable, I've got a genuine question for those who have seen more of us this season than me (which will be nearly everyone on here I suspect, although thanks to the FA cup draw I will soon have the unusual treat of seeing us two Saturdays in a row)

By most accounts we've played pretty terribly all season, which I'm definitely willing to believe based on the two games that I have managed to see (Blackpool and Carlisle) and from listening to Player - so how on earth do we now find ourselves in 10th and two points off the playoffs?

Comments

  • Chris its a really tight table isn't it. Take the top 5 out of the equation then the rest of the league has 8 points in it. I think every one is so well matched.

  • I don't think we've played terribly all season. I think we've been hampered by injuries and Ainsworth not knowing what his best side is.

    GA didn't buy well enough in the summer, but with O'Nien and Paris back, and a formation that seems to get the best out of everyone, I have every hope that we can stay away from the relegation zone.

  • Fortunately for Wycombe there about 18 very poor sides in the league this year.

  • I've missed just the one league game this season and I'd say 10th flatters us a little. It's so close however that defeat yesterday probably would leave us feeling hard done by, position wise (we didn't deserve the win as others have said).

    Funnily enough I think Carlisle was one of our better performances away from home, which shows how poor we've been on the road.

    Our style of football really isn't pleasing on the eye and when you're not getting results it's easy to think we're a bad team. I think we have an excellent first XI and just wish we'd see more of what they can do by allowing them to play the fast, direct, attacking football of 2 years ago. We 'managed' the game then too but at least we would still try to score again once going one up.

    This league really is poor, even more so than last season. You really don't have to offer much to be in amongst the top 7.

  • @prufrock_91 This formation surely can't be GA's preferred choice? Where's Weston? Where's Wood? Where's Thompson? Akinfenwa was bought to be a super-sub yet is now starting. Bloomfield's had a couple of decent games but surely he can't keep his place in the team for too long?

    I still live in hope that we'll settle into a 4-4-2 with Weston-O'Nien-Rowe-Thompson and Hayes-PCH, which to me gets far more out of the squad than the current 4-3-3. You've then got the option of bringing on Akinfenwa / Southwell / Kashket / Freeman to change the game, or McGinn / Bean to protect a lead.

    Given how tight the table is that to me has the signs of a play-off-scraping side. But I think the 4-3-3 has flattered to deceive against weak opposition. Coventry showed how it can be exploited by teams with skill.

  • @aloysius I tend to agree with you there, excepting the use of McGinn to protect a lead. McGinn is far to lightweight and slow for that task in this league.

  • Very much agree with the formation/personnel you suggest in your second paragraph @aloysius.
    I have alluded to the Myles Mystery in a separate thread. Presumably, previous injury problems have resurfaced but I wonder if the ubiquitous "mutual consent" might be lurking on the sidelines.

  • I agree with @BlueBoy that we have a good first 11 and @aloysius about the formation. It does seem to me that GA tactics and formation are not getting the best out of players who are pretty decent for this league. Hopefully that is beginning to right itself. As for being poor, none of the teams that have beaten us at home have actually been much better. It is tight margins in a tight league I think. Hopefully we can carry on scraping results for a bit so we can avoid some of the 'experts' on here with their insights on our failure.

  • Excellent post by @BlueBoy. One slight quibble - from listening to the commentary etc I had the impression that we played really well at Carlisle with a very elderly line-up and that we were arguably unlucky to lose.

  • Generally the teams we have played this season have been poor. I think only Luton have stood out as being much better than us, and we even had a good 20 minute spell against them.

  • No quibble to be had, @micra. My post actually expresses the same view. We were unlucky at Carlisle.

  • @aloysius Whether it was his preferred at the start of the season, is a different thing - I suspect it wasn't but he's ended up with it through force, or whatever, right now and 433 seems to be working.

    Playing with Akinfenwa has given much more freedom to Blooms and O'Nien as they can run off him - it lets Paris get wide and Hayes can drop smartly into gaps.

    The Coventry note is a cruel one as they are a league above, and we simply don't have good enough players to compete with teams at the top of this league, let alone a division higher.

    Not sure what's going on with Weston, although not particularly fussed about Thompson not getting a game - has always flattered to deceive for me.

  • @BlueBoy said:
    No quibble to be had, micra. My post actually expresses the same view. We were unlucky at Carlisle.

    Perhaps wrongly, I read into your second paragraph a sense of "if you thought that was disappointing [the Carlisle match] you should have seen some of the other away games".

  • @prufrock_91 . Thompson was somewhat of a whipping boy last year. He looked utterly clapped out and super ineffective for much of the season up front.

    Does an adequate job wide midfield, but doesn't really contribute goals or assists. I'd be in absolutely no hurry to bring him back in at all. Regrettably, and I much prefer Wood to Thompson, a similar boat for Sammy.

  • @Malone Woody had a poor season last year, and while Thompson is better out wide - he's not got the pace to do the job effectively.

  • @aloysius said:
    prufrock_91 This formation surely can't be GA's preferred choice? Where's Weston? Where's Wood? Where's Thompson? Akinfenwa was bought to be a super-sub yet is now starting. Bloomfield's had a couple of decent games but surely he can't keep his place in the team for too long?

    I still live in hope that we'll settle into a 4-4-2 with Weston-O'Nien-Rowe-Thompson and Hayes-PCH, which to me gets far more out of the squad than the current 4-3-3. You've then got the option of bringing on Akinfenwa / Southwell / Kashket / Freeman to change the game, or McGinn / Bean to protect a lead.

    Given how tight the table is that to me has the signs of a play-off-scraping side. But I think the 4-3-3 has flattered to deceive against weak opposition. Coventry showed how it can be exploited by teams with skill.

    I think we've looked awful with a 4-4-2. At this level it typically means most attacks starts with the ball being fed into the two strikers. And by default the opposition central defenders take one each. In that scenario all our strikers (Bayo the exception) will often lose the battle. I think a 4231 works better for us as it prevents that happening and makes us much more likely to get bodies forward from midfield. To play a 442 we really need much more pace, power and mobility to get the better of the opposition centre backs, who are normally pretty physical (Pierre and Stewart a good example). At least with a 4231 we can play off Bayo and have a much better chance of getting the upper hand in midfield and using that as a platform to play from.

  • @Glenactico I take your point but our best football under Ainsworth came when we were playing 442 in the play-off season. You can only do it with a strong core, which we had with Scowen and Murphy and then Saunders and Yennaris, but I really feel in my bones that O'Nien and Rowe could blossom into as effective a pairing if they ever get gametime together. Weston will hopefully prove as tricky as Wood was on the left. If you feel Thompson is too slow on the right PCH could always take back his old role freeing up Hayes to either partner alongside Akinfenwa for the knockdowns or Kashket for the pace. You never know, we might even discover Muller is the ball-playing central defender we've been lacking since Mawson departed. Then we really would be in a position to re-create the magic of 2014-5.

  • @aloysius said:
    Glenactico I take your point but our best football under Ainsworth came when we were playing 442 in the play-off season. You can only do it with a strong core, which we had with Scowen and Murphy and then Saunders and Yennaris, but I really feel in my bones that O'Nien and Rowe could blossom into as effective a pairing if they ever get gametime together. Weston will hopefully prove as tricky as Wood was on the left. If you feel Thompson is too slow on the right PCH could always take back his old role freeing up Hayes to either partner alongside Akinfenwa for the knockdowns or Kashket for the pace. You never know, we might even discover Muller is the ball-playing central defender we've been lacking since Mawson departed. Then we really would be in a position to re-create the magic of 2014-5.

    Agree that Rowe and O'Nien should probably be the starting pair in central midfield. I just don't think Hayes is mobile enough to play striker any more. In the hole behind Akinfenwa maybe but we'd then be desperately reliant on Paris and Wood/Weston to provide the running power in forward positions.

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