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Match day thread: Derby



  • That's true. It's just that we're meandering in the bottom half at the moment.

    However, just 3 points off 6th still. And it's a long season.

    (And we'll ignore that it's also 3 points from the relo zone)

  • edited September 2022

    I don't agree that we're in transition. For that to apply, we'd have had to have a bigger turnover of players during the summer and I think we'd have to be significantly weaker than last season - and we're not. Other teams have strengthened more than we have, but we can't get much stronger in quite a few positions. Missing out on the play-offs (or at least doing so by a considerable distance) would represent quite a bad an underperformance imo.

  • Agree we were disappointing second half, don’t agree with whoever called Derby a shit team. They have some quality players and that quality told in the end. There is a difference between deliberately dropping back to defend and being forced back and I think it was more the latter than the former. Sometimes you have to hold your hand up and admit you were beaten by a better team and this was one of those occasions.

  • edited September 2022

    I think part of the issue is we play a style that lends itself to close games. We don't get many of those comfortable 3-0s like the Barnsley and Burton games (it is unusual for us to have two of those in nine!) so we are always walking a tightrope of dropping points.

    I actually find it hard to reconcile how a team with hard working but limited players like Blooms and Samuel came back so many times from losing positions, while a team blessed with ridiculous talent drops so many from winning positions. I believe we were 1st in the first half table last season, and are 2nd this season. Genuinely wondering why we can't make a lead stick most of the time. Do we exhaust ourselves after the initial 20 minutes of pressing? Retreat into our shells too much like today? It is more than an anomaly now - we have let so many leads slip, especially this calendar year, that it feels like part of our DNA.

    Points dropped from winning position:

    2 goal lead on Fleetwood 3-3

    TWO 2 goal leads on Cheltenham 5-5

    1 goal lead on Wigan 1-3

    TWO one goal leads on Morecambe 2-3

    TWO one goal leads on Accrington 2-3

    1 goal lead on Gillingham 1-1

    1 goal lead on Shrewsbury 1-2

    1 goal lead on Charlton 1-1

    1 goal lead on Fleetwood 1-1

    1 goal lead on Derby 1-2

    Points gained from losing position:

    Sunderland 3-3

    Lincoln 1-1

    Wimbledon 1-1

    Technically we were also behind v Cheltenham and ahead v Sunderland, but you can see why I put them in their respective columns.

    So I make it 25 Points dropped v 3 gained in 2022. I know it is easier to drop than gain (you only get a point for rescuing a draw versus dropping 2 if the other team rescues a draw) but I find a 25-3 imbalance massively concerning. From 17/18 through 19/20 I always expected us to come back in games. Now I am always expecting the opposite, even though we have the best talent ever!

    I am not writing this with the intent of a negative rant - just genuinely perplexed at what has become an undeniable trend.

  • this league is incredibly hard however we do have one of the strongest squads we have ever had , my fear is that Gareth does. not have the technical nouse to get us to challenge , he seems to see a different game to the rest of us , we deserved nothing from the game from 20 minutes in , it was only Max that kept us in the game , Gareth subs are always so late , Gareth is a brilliant man manager but afraid that is not enough

  • It’s certainly a concerning trend.

  • I make our last win from a losing position the 4-3 v Morecambe at home last October. We've lost six times from a winning position since then (Shev's list + 1-4 v Ipswich at home).

  • It looked like we played a 4-1-4-1 formation in the first half and then switched to a 3-5-2 formation (as used against Accrington Stanley) in the second.

    The second half was a mess. It has been a mess since the kick off at Wembley. I think it's insightful from @floyd to say that the key to enjoying this season is going to be accepting it for what it is. Unfortunately I don't think we should have to accept this mess. I may never witness first-hand watching my club kick a ball in the Championship. I was quite accepting of this back in 2020/21 but It was very painful missing out on a return at the final hurdle in May. We've completely lost momentum since then and we're now heading in the opposite direction. Summer recruitment has been a fiasco, as illustrated by bringing on a central defender to play up front this afternoon. If it isn't experienced players letting everyone down with petulant indiscipline, it's key players being hit by injury after injury. Even when they return, they are desperately short of form. The problem position that blighted Martin O'Neill is back like a taunting ghost and we have a squad lacking the depth to cope with this catalogue of woes.

    I think today's result ends any realistic hopes of reaching the play-offs. We could come out of this horrible run of games with just another point or two added to our tally and there are warning signs that we're going to repeat Lincoln City from last season. Add in the almost certain loss of Anis Mehmeti in the January transfer window and I must admit I already feel like I want this poxy season to end.

    NB: Anis Mehmeti was simply sensational today, a joy to behold and has to be considered as one of our greatest ever players. I am going to try my best to treasure him for the time he has left with us. Max Stryjek's save from Nathaniel Mendez-Laing was fabulous and he has made a great start to his career with us.

  • I am sadly on the same page as this. I unfortunately do not think GA is the manager to take us back to the Championship. Club legend but I don’t think he has the tactical nous to manage at a higher level.

  • Did a little bit more digging and since the start of last season, we've dropped 32 points from winning positions (=4 with Ipswich among current L1 teams who were also in the division last season) and gained 11 points from winning positions (second-last among the same teams, ahead of only Charlton).

  • "I think today's result ends any realistic hopes of reaching the play-offs."

    Holy shit!!!!!

  • We are in the ultimate glass half empty / glass half full situation: are we only three points off the play-offs or only three points above the relegation zone?

  • As much as I too am disappointed by today's result and concerned about our start to the season, Ainsworth quite literally has managed at a higher level (with us).

  • Lost to the better side. They had plenty of players to cause real problems. We only had mehmeti offering a proper threat.

    Felt we contained them well first half. Second half they were all over us and we never got a foothold.

    There are several key issues for me:

    • injuries/suspensions. State the obvious here but we are constantly without 2/3 players from the starting 11. The second string are a significant step down. Not much that we can do about this, but if the bad luck continues we’ll be inconsistent all season.
    • Lack of pace upfront. I think Hanlan is a huge miss here. He gives us an out ball in games like today. Genuine pace and power upfront, which we badly lack at the moment
    • General lack of athleticism in the team. Pretty much every time we play the top sides in this division I feel we’re knackered after an hr. We have a lot of players that are small and/or quite old. When you’re playing like we did today (and the way we often do away against top half sides) you simply run out of steam in the end unless you’ve got 11 Curtis Thompson types that can run all day long. How many times have we conceded goals in the last 20 mins in games like that over the last 3 seasons? Seems like a lot to me. And our habit of scoring late on seems to have gone, or at least lessened. To me we need a couple of younger, taller, faster players to address the imbalance.
    • GK kicking. I’d give Max MOTM today. Nonetheless, his kicking needs work. It is a massive part of our game and missing the target man too often harms us more than it would other teams.

    These things can all be addressed. Hopefully they will be.

    If we’re top half at Xmas and get the Jan window right we could get push on for a play off finish.

    If we’re mid table, or worse, and then lose Mehmeti in Jan I think we could be in for quite an unpleasant campaign.

  • I do wonder if GA is struggling with the transition from a manager who had to scrap and scrape for everything, with a team built in the same image, to a manager with some financial clout under pressure to deliver a more positive style.

    This season we’ve either been by far the better team, or we’ve sunk without trace. Maybe Fleetwood and Accrington are the only two exceptions. It feels like we’ve lost the middle ground where we gained so much success.

  • edited September 2022

    That combination must be the largest variance then, unless Charlton were one of those dropping more than us?

  • @Shev Thanks for this, I hadn't appreciated this trend. 8 points already lost from winning positions this season, we'd be in third place if we'd held on to them.

    @eric_plant As you know, I'm generally willing to make an early call. As expected, both of our predictions for today were wrong.

    I might think things have been messy since that shitty day in May and that we won't be challenging this season but Gareth Ainsworth is the ONLY Wycombe Wanderers manager to take us into the Championship and he certainly represents our best chance of getting back there (hopefully in 2023/24).

  • Ugh, I just turned my laptop off. I'll try and remember tomorrow, unless you want to run even more numbers 😉

  • So as you say we need to get the Jan window right but who would you get? What is the position or positions that is/are letting us down?

    We have Max, Mawson, Scowen, Mehmeti, Vokes, McCleary and a pretty good supporting cast. We have Hanlan and KaiKai coming back from injury, so where do we need to strengthen? Or is it tactical or lack of fitness or application?

    I am not sure what is needed but today we were well outplayed by a team that will be in the top six come season end.

    Today we looked bang average but who is to say that tomorrow we will look like World beaters. A very mixed season so far.

  • We let so many leads slip because we sit back and defend,let teams attack us, simple. Instead of continuing to attack and score ourselves

  • That’s a 3-4-2-1. We’ll, 2,6, and 20 were definitely the three central defenders but 23 and 26 appear not to have done as much defensive work as wingbacks are generally expected to do.

    I’m struggling a bit with what, if anything, was going on further forward.

  • Come on gang, I think there’s a bit too much despondency about tonight.

    We we’re poor and deservedly lost but it’s a long, long season and Gareth’s ability to turn things around is legendary.

    Personally I won’t be too disappointed if we fail to reach the play-offs. It was a massive achievement in each of our last two seasons in this division but I don’t think it’s now the benchmark given the size of some of the clubs in this division - regardless of what Rob Couhig did or didn’t say.

    Lets hang in there and see what happens - who knows they may just do something remarkable once again but if not it won’t be the end of the world.

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  • The Gasroom early in the season when we are a bang average L1 side with a manager with no tactical nous (love the guy club legend) kiss goodbye to our chances of the playoffs after ten games and will lose all our best players in January is starting to get a bit repetitive for me year on year. Portsmouth and Ipswich and Derby amd Peterborough and Oxford will walk this league ( as usual).

  • edited September 2022

    What does Derby's historical silverware have to do with anything? People quite often use that seemingly as a way of trying to put results against big clubs into context and it's completely irrelevant. All that matters is the current incarnation of the team - who happened to be very good but could equally have been poor.

    But Ainsworth got it badly wrong tactically today and people have made some very relevant an interesting points. With the exception of one or two usual suspects, none of it's been 'clickbait'.

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  • @fame_46 - I pointed out a concerning long(ish) term trend using actual results, a post that actually took some time to put together. Hardly click bait.

    Honestly, this Positivity Police thing is getting old. It is okay to sometimes feel negative or disappointed at missed opportunities for a club we all spend countless hours following. There is a bit of an undercurrent on here lately that the more positive someone is, the better fan they are, and it is getting old.

    I love Wycombe with all my heart, and every player who pulls on that shirt, but I do find some aspects of the past two seasons desperately disappointing, and can't always bring myself to do heelclicks down the street or swing around lampposts just to avoid looking negative.

    On the other hand, there are many aspects which have caused unbridled joy - Mehmeti in full flight, Scowen and Gape's tenacity, the astonishment of Vokes and Mawson in Wycombe shirts.

    It's called balance. Much in the same way we rejoice at weddings and mourn at funerals, you are going to get everything on the spectrum.

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