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How does the Saturday curse end?

Let's see who gets closest.

My take: Next week at Bristol Rovers we come back from 2-0 down to be tied 2-2 going into injury time, which comes in initially at 15 minutes, but Barton spends the first two minutes of injury time having a wild strop on the sidelines about the time added, as he knows they are up against it. In the 17th minute of time added on (thanks to his time-wasting tantrum), a Bristol Rovers player boots the ball out of play, thinking it will run the rest of the clock down. However, a Wycombe fan (dressed as a horse with boxing gloves on) takes the full force of the clearance, and it bounces back into play in time for Stryjek to launch it hopefully into the sky. The referee is about to blow up, but trips over a sliding Bristol Rovers defender who is actually trying to take out the marauding GMac, who instead skips past the defender and fallen referee to cross for Vokes, who backflicks the ball against the post, where it careens off the goalkeeper, a defender, the goalkeeper again, and dribbles along the line, where Scowen, who is lying on the line having been fouled, nods the ball in a split second before the referee blows up.

That, or a routine 2-0.



  • It ends through the following.

    Ditching the back 3.

    Getting McCleary back in the line up

    Stop trying to use Scowen as the furthest forward of the centre mids.

  • @shev I know it’s the weekend but stay off the ‘shrooms fella.

  • Mass hypnosis make them think it’s a Tuesday

  • I love the idea we have any sort of "routine" win in us right now.

  • Only 3/16 teams in the PL this weekend started with a back 3 (Forest, Sheff Utd, Chelsea). And Palace and Arsenal will both start with back 4s tomorrow. Burnley would have started with a back 4 had they played, Luton probably a genuine 5.

  • Wrong thread, but I appreciate it!

    Same again for the next 3 tiers? 😂

  • Ffs, just realised.

    League One 13/24

  • Champ 7/24 (incl QPR)

  • League Two 12/24, with FotMob saying Wrexham played a back 5

  • Not with a bang but a whimper

  • Back five and still conceded five. Obviously worked. "Keep it tight, lads".

  • In fairness, they did only concede 8 shots - and had 28 themselves!

  • But yeah, I know tactical trends naturally filter down the pyramid, but the number of back 3s in L1 and L2 seems a bit extreme.

  • edited August 2023

    And I think if a lot of teams are doing it, that's a very valid reason to revert to a 4. Be the trendsetters (not to mention we've got the perfect personnel for an effective 4-2-3-1 if we do it right).

    Max; KVY, Forino, Low, Boyes; Scowen, Potts; GMac, Leahy, Taylor; Vokes

  • I thought about doing a 'hilarious' pastiche of When Saturday Comes by the Undertones, changing the lyrics to reflect our current situation but bloody hell that song makes no sense at all. They were on stronger drugs than Shev when he started this thread.

  • Good stats @ReturnToSenda , interesting to see it's not as favoured very much in the higher divisions.

    Has to be some logic behind that.

  • I'd guess it's changing fashions - couple of years ago everyone was doing it in the prem, gradually everyone lower started copying. It'll swing back in a couple of years.

  • (also thanks for looking it all up @ReturnToSenda )

  • Certainly the use of a back three is in fashion at the minute in lower division football. I think Barnsley’s success last season with that approach has been particularly influential.

    I’m not totally against it, but nor am I a huge fan. Largely because I’ve seen us try it previously so many times with such little success.

    The notable exceptions being the Kelman era with Steve Abbley marauding down the right and Andy Robinson starring as an unlikely sweeper and that final period of the Championship season, when the combination of Fred on the left and the box midfield worked wonders.

    The worst was the Gregory era when he persisted with it week after week. While there was some nice passing to watch at times we offered no attacking threat (and were particularly hopeless away from home). As a result, we seemed to be in a perpetual relegation battle.

    Of course the jury’s still out on the current team but it does feel a bit like watching the Gregory team all over again.

  • edited August 2023

    Under Gregory I'm pretty sure we barely conceded a goal at home for one calendar year.

    That was the major success of it, but like you say we were absolutely no attacking threat away from home in the main.

    Oddly my strangest stand out memory of Gregory, was sitting in the Main stand with an old relative, watching him totally alone post warm up, no-one anywhere near, aiming to kick a ball between two cones and miss, and scream

    "f'''''''cking hell".

    Just bemusing.

  • To make a back three work you really do need exceptional players in the wing-back positions.

    Abbley and Sean Norman were (at that level of football at least) and Fred and Jason McCarthy were absolutely on it over the last couple of months of the Championship season.

    But then it really didn't work when Gareth tried to replicate that approach in League One with McCarthy and Obita.

    Its early days, but while KVY and Boyes are ok, neither of them offer the threat that’s needed to make us look threatening going forward.

    Instead, you just get a sense we’ve not got enough players in forward positions and that most of our nice passing is just taking place in front of the massed ranks of opposition defenders and midfielders.

  • edited August 2023

    Formations are pretty irrelevant nowadays at the top level. You may claim Premier League teams ‘play with a back four’, but it’s hardly comparable to a traditional back four. For many of the sides it involves building out in the shape of a back three and inverting a full back into midfield. Different shapes for different phases of play. Highly fluid and dynamic in approach. On another day we’d have battered Burton 3-0 after going up by a goal in the first half. I don’t think the wing backs are capable of playing as full backs. Grimmer is unlikely to be fit. Jmac isn’t fit. So who plays right back? Can you play with a right footed left back in a back four (KVY)? The desire for a change in tactic feels like outcome bias based on recent results to be honest. We’ve had a disrupted pre-season with injuries and players joining at different stages. I’d much rather Bloomfield gave the players the opportunity to get to grips with this system before binning it for another. Give the team time.

  • Despite my reservations, i do tend to agree. The squad has so clearly been built to play 3 at the back that we probably do have to stick with it. Certainly for a few more games anyway. In Matt we trust.

    We haven’t got a right back with Grimmer injured, I’m really not sure KVY could play in a back four. So, other than give Jasper a go (and he was pretty good there against Bristol City last season), I think we’ve little choice really but to try and make the back three work.

  • I wouldn't say formation is that irrelevant - it's still the ultimate basis of your system and a useful reference point for spectators. I'd argue it's quite a lot less fluid at our level, too.

  • KVY has played the majority of his career games at RB

  • Fair enough, maybe theres some defensive capability there that hasn’t been particularly apparent in the 5 games he’s played so far.

    Lets hope so.

  • edited August 2023

    There's no such thing as a curse, it's all superstition and coincidence, just ask Howard Carter's team.

    However, I'd happily take a plague of frogs and/or locusts disrupting Joey Barton's plans at Bristol this week, leading him to field a totally unprepared group already decimated by an outbreak of boils.

    We win 55-0 to set a new record having scored every 2nd minute on average.

    On the way home Marlow bridge is closed to traffic but the team bus is able to drive on the dry river bed as the Thames mysteriously parts.

  • I must be knackered / going blind / starving - I thought you said 'plague of biscuits'

  • Not sure why this has got thumbs down - they're facts.

  • It’s not really relevant. It’s often a back three in possession and a back four out of possession, which is ambiguous. It’s not League 1 level. And there was a time within the last ten years when 15/20 of those teams played a genuine back three in and out of possession instead of a back four. Conte, Poch etc. Don’t mean this comment offensively.

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