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Match day thread: Birmingham

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  • @Last_Quarter said:

    I believe we'll be relegated this season. When we are, for me the story of the season will be the points we've dropped in home games where the opposition have been absolutely there for the taking. Rotherham, QPR, Millwall and Huddersfield could easily have generated an extra 10 points for us before tonight, and we can now add Birmingham to that list. The most frustrating thing is clearly feeling that we're strong enough for the fight, but consistenly failing to land a meaningful blow.

    definitely, we were always going to get spanked a few times at this level when we're facing clearly better players - fair enough.

    It's the failure to get ahead in the marginal games where we've been very much competing that's the frustration. I think having Ikpeazu available in more of the first half of the season would have made a big difference.

    But coulda, woulda, shoulda and all that.

  • Any word from GA? Iโ€™m not seeing anything on Twitter.

  • .

    @Stewie63 said:
    Any word from GA? Iโ€™m not seeing anything on Twitter.

    Probably trying to find the right words to sum up his own performance.

  • Clearly a clean sheet after Saturday was the management imperative, but really did it have to be at the expense of any other positive?
    Gaz and Dobbo a tight team but, with no โ€˜director of footballโ€™ level member of the clubs management who do they turn to for objective critical analytical guidance and advice?
    It needs a respected football man,who G&D respect, brought in who can look them in the eyes, behind closed doors, and ask โ€œwhat the f*** was that, now letโ€™s discuss how weโ€™re going to sort itโ€.
    Whatโ€™s Ian Holloway up to these days?

  • BBC report has a few GA quotes @Stewie63. "League 2 standard match" "No quality" "both goalkeepers outstanding"

    It would be interesting to understand why we were so timid tonight? I'd love to be able to look back at the end of the season and reflect that this was actually a vital point, but that looks increasingly unlikely.

  • From the BBC:

    Wycombe manager Gareth Ainsworth told BBC Three Counties Radio:

    "It was going back in time a little bit, that game - no disrespect, but it wouldn't have looked out of place in League Two. There were very limited moments of quality.

    "I think what was Premier League was the two goalkeepers - they both made match-saving saves. If anyone comes out with credit, it's the goalkeepers and that's usually the story of a 0-0.

    "From Saturday (a 7-2 defeat at Brentford), we've progressed a great deal and that was important.

    "Either team nicking it would probably have been unjust. I'm pleased with the point and we'll build on that."

  • Ho> @Brownie said:

    From the BBC:

    Wycombe manager Gareth Ainsworth told BBC Three Counties Radio:

    "It was going back in time a little bit, that game - no disrespect, but it wouldn't have looked out of place in League Two. There were very limited moments of quality.

    "I think what was Premier League was the two goalkeepers - they both made match-saving saves. If anyone comes out with credit, it's the goalkeepers and that's usually the story of a 0-0.

    "From Saturday (a 7-2 defeat at Brentford), we've progressed a great deal and that was important.

    "Either team nicking it would probably have been unjust. I'm pleased with the point and we'll build on that."

    Sorry Ainsworth but you should not be pleased with a point. We need to win games to stay up.We need to be more brave to ' nick it'

  • edited February 2

    @ChasHarps said:

    I think we will be well adrift by the end of Feb.
    Plus points tonight Obita looked comfortable, and at least we not not freezing our nuts off watching that tactically inept garbage tonight.

    Looking at the table makes it feel even worse.

    12 points off Birmingham who are 4th bottom.
    If we'd won tonight, we'd have seen that 12 become 9, two games in hand, loads of games, and it'd all feel so much more hopeful.

  • To be honest I was more disappointed by that than Saturdayโ€™s match.

    In fairness, I did say we needed to tighten up a bit but not that much. We canโ€™t just give up on passing or trying to retain controlled possession of the ball altogether in favour of headers, tackling and flick-ons.

    Terrible, but thatโ€™s always likely if you leave all the footballers on the bench (or loan them to League Two clubs).

  • BSEBSE
    edited February 2

    On the plus side we only need 8 more points from the next 27 to beat Rotherham's worst ever championship tally of 23.

  • @Shev I had the Wycombe game & Crawley v Leyton Orient running simultaneously on 2 devices. The more the evening went on the more I was watching the Crawley game. And yes, you guessed it, Nick Freeman was Man of the Match.

    I just canโ€™t help but think weโ€™ve gone into the Championship campaign completely unprepared for what it entails. I watched the Watford v QPR game last night & it proves beyond all doubt you have to play a bit of football in this league.

    Weโ€™ve signed wide players like Horgan & McCleary and yet have a ridiculously narrow pitch. The tactic of free-kicks, corners and second-balls may have got us where we are but the players in this league are much better and can cope better with that. I think we have players who can play a bit given the right conditions but that was utter garbage tonight & I see no chance of us staying up now.

    And before the Pravda-element come out in defence of โ€œlittle Wycombe punching above their weightโ€, are we really saying that Luton Town have masses more resources available to them than Wycombe? Potentially I think we have signed some useful players but itโ€™s about bringing out the best in them and I donโ€™t think hoofball does.

    Itโ€™s such a shame as I thought we could really give it a go in the Championship but not with this approach Iโ€™m sad to say.

  • We have great midfielders, but they are all fairly similar in style, if not quality. They are all great at high energy harrying and ball winning, but none of them are significantly creative. Nnamdi and Adeniran can drive forward at times, but that is about it. Even if we played two of this type but played a creative player too, we should be able to keep it tight enough. Mehmeti is the only real option now, but I'd rather go down firing the cannons than weighing anchor.

  • I do wonder how much of the comments are based on thinking Birmingham might be a team we should beat. It was an awful game in awful conditions and their keeper made one amazing save from that one deflected Uche shot.

    I suppose my only other point is to those stating they were glad they weren't there. I'd give anything to watch games live again. It's horrible watching empty stadiums on internet connections.
    I think a crowd tonight might have got us going.

  • First time ib> @Malone said:

    Looking at the table makes it feel even worse.

    12 points off Birmingham who are 4th bottom.
    If we'd won tonight, we'd have seen that 12 become 9, two games in hand, loads of games, and it'd all feel so much more hopeful.

    Your posts are so one dimensional....

  • edited February 2

    @A_Worboys - absolutely spot on! It would be one thing if Freeman had been awful for us, but I thought we looked so balanced when he had his tiny run in the side (two games?) a little while back.

    Even with our great wide players, they are reduced to hopeful crosses once they make a bit of space on the wing. There is not usually anyone to play a dangerous pass to release them into the box. It is all crosses, flick ons, and set pieces.

    That really is my biggest disappointment this season - seeing a vision of what we could be as a team, and having it cut off at the stump in favour of something which is patently not working.

  • Might watch Orient on Saturday myself.

  • To say we were that much tighter at the back is just a myth isnโ€™t it? We allowed a goal shy Birmingham side who are just above the relegation zone 18 shots at our goal, 5 of which hit the target and 2 of which produced world class saves. We could have shipped 10 against Spurs, much as everyone seemed so keen to laud plucky Wycombeโ€™s performance, and then we actually did concede 7 against a very good Brentford side. We were extremely lucky tonight, make no mistake.

  • edited February 2

    @A_Worboys said:
    @Shev I had the Wycombe game & Crawley v Leyton Orient running simultaneously on 2 devices. The more the evening went on the more I was watching the Crawley game. And yes, you guessed it, Nick Freeman was Man of the Match.

    I fear this "Freeman was the key" narrative is going to go into overdrive now.

    While ratings can be quite subjective, just for a little balance, fotmob has him 12th highest rated player out of the 22 starters. A red card for Orient may have affected him, but it's a neutral rating system.

    And it is 2 divisions lower in fairness. I'm not sure he'd have had a look in tonight, the way that scruffy, no time, battling game went on.

  • Yes I think thatโ€™s right Malone, it canโ€™t all be about Nick Freeman can it. We are where we are on that one.

    However, a bit of a rethink is needed ahead of Saturday about whatโ€™s needed to beat teams at this level (and for that matter in League One) as huff and puff alone isnโ€™t enough.

  • It's not just about Nick Freeman - it's about the role. Some of you say he is not the answer, then in the same breath I hear that we can't afford a Championship level creative fulcrum (which is true). So even if you don't believe in him, do you really think we are better going six deep on defensive midfielders, all the way down to Pattison and Blooms, and shipping out one of only two creative midfielders?

    If we needed a point a game to survive, I would be all for going 5-5-0 and being hard to beat, but it is genuinely stunning that so many are against the idea that we have a creativity problem in midfield.

    Everyone keeps bringing up L2, but I am basing the Freeman argument on how he looked for us, and how we looked with him.

  • Iโ€™m not saying Freeman was the key at all. But to survive in the Championship you have to be able to play a bit. Letting Freeman go on loan was a sign that is not accepted at WW. Maybe he would be a regular sub but nobody seems to want to answer the question as to why Luton are performing much better than us? And even Coventry - without a home ground. What Iโ€™m saying is you HAVE to play a bit of football in the Championship. To achieve that you have to play some football on the deck & have a squad thatโ€™s comfortable on the ball & are allowed to express themselves.

  • Missing tonight was an attacking mid who can also bite legs and mix it a bit. So Mehmeti a bit lightweight, macleary maybe not physical enough...was a time for Horgan I think but he probably isnโ€™t quite fit enough to risk yet? Blooms can do the nipping at ankles and hassling well but is off the pace now sadly. Wheeler was given five minutes to make an impression, not enough time.

  • @Right_in_the_Middle said:
    I do wonder how much of the comments are based on thinking Birmingham might be a team we should beat. It was an awful game in awful conditions and their keeper made one amazing save from that one deflected Uche shot.

    I suppose my only other point is to those stating they were glad they weren't there. I'd give anything to watch games live again. It's horrible watching empty stadiums on internet connections.
    I think a crowd tonight might have got us going.

    I doubt whether a crowd would have made the slightest difference. I said before the game (in a text to @EwanHoosaami) that I thought we could do the double over Birmingham but only if we had Stewart, Tafazolli and Obita in the back four. (Not sure how Knight slipped my mind.)

    But I was expecting Birmingham at least to play reasonably cultured football. To be outhoofballed by them was a big surprise and a major disappointment. It must be nigh on impossible to play controlled passing football against such relentless harrying and hoofing. Admirer as I am of Mehmeti and Freeman, I think they would both have struggled to play the way they clearly want to play and the way I think the majority of us would dearly love to see them play.

    I doubt whether too many of the teams we have still to play (21 of them) will feel the need to play like that against us and, for that reason, I expect us to resume the trend towards a more attractive style of play which was starting to become more evident before the Spurs game. Indeed, in the first half of that game, I thought we played some really good stuff.

  • Itโ€™s a good point @micra. If weโ€™re this disappointed tonight, god knows what their supporters make of their performance? Iโ€™d imagine Karanka is on a pretty decent wage and has far more resources at his disposal. But they approached it like a team of underdogs.

    I too expected to see a bit more flair than that.

  • One silver lining: at least one Championship team will not be able to say they beat us this season!

  • 3.45 in the morning. Reading all these posts sums up the game. Really disappointed with that non performance. Two words ABSOLUTE GARBAGE

  • Awful. Why we resorted to hoof ball with no passing is beyond me.
    Muskwe was wasted on the left of a front three.
    More evidence to why we should not be playing three men midfields in the Championship. Iโ€™m fed up of watching the management team make the same mistake week after week. We do not have enough quality in midfield to play three up front and three in midfield.
    As it looks like we will be unlikely to recover letโ€™s use this opportunity to move to one of 4-4-2, 4-5-1 or 4-4-1-1 and actually get the ball on the deck a bit more.
    Play two proper centre mids and two proper wingers. Not one centre mid and 5 attacking players.
    Uche up front with either Muskwe or Mehmeti just behind.
    That performance was up there with the 0-0 at home to Boston United.
    First half I thought it was just Obita, Namdhi and Muskwe being so new to the side and everyone taking time to find their feet but after 90 it was clear it was the players following managers instructions.
    My final thought was that In the last 15 we showed no urgency, we were happy with a point. Every time the ball went out of play we ambled over and took an age to take the throw in, free kick or goal kick.
    Ainsworth has a lot of credit In the bank but weโ€™ve always known he is stubborn and sometimes that has worked wonderfully for us but this season it is exposing his limitations, I hope he can reflect on his tactics and concede itโ€™s not worked and look to try something different which may work in the future should we get ourselves back up to this level.
    Who knows if we try it now something might click and we may just do the unthinkable and stay up!

  • You are right @Commoner Ainsworth does have a lot of credit in the bank , but he can only play one way. Hoof the ball upfront and hope. How when we need wins, he settles for a point and in his post match interview, says he is pleased with a point. Unbelievable. Letโ€™s go down taking some chances, not this rubbish football.

  • @Commoner said:
    Awful. Why we resorted to hoof ball with no passing is beyond me.
    Muskwe was wasted on the left of a front three.
    More evidence to why we should not be playing three men midfields in the Championship. Iโ€™m fed up of watching the management team make the same mistake week after week. We do not have enough quality in midfield to play three up front and three in midfield.
    As it looks like we will be unlikely to recover letโ€™s use this opportunity to move to one of 4-4-2, 4-5-1 or 4-4-1-1 and actually get the ball on the deck a bit more.

    As the much missed @chairboyscentral taught me it's not about formation,it's shape and movement that is important. We, thankfully, play the game on the pitch and not on a tactics board. To be honest anyone fed up with Ainsworth's set up are probably following the wrong tea at the moment. He will evolve things slowly but he has his principles that he will and should stick to.

    Last night was grim stuff to watch but wet cold Tuesday night games often are. I still think some are gauging our performance on how bad they assumed Birmingham would be. Coming off the back of an enforced Covid lay off and a 7-2 defeat this was a step forward. Not as big a step as some wanted but a step none the less.

    We have to find a way to get the ball to our strikers feet but that doesn't mean changing loads of things. It just means getting better at what we do. 38% of our passes found a Wycombe target last night and loads of those were lost soon after.

    Those who want to totally reinvent Ainsworth as a manager are not going to get very far. He's not changing so to get a change in style we'll have to change the manager. I think that would be a big mistake.

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