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Walsall Match Thread

By AgentEves22/2 23:02Mon Feb 22 23:02:59 2021In response to Re: WARNING: DO NOT READ IF NOT AGENTEVES

Views: 154

Fair enough. Can't argue with that.

I still don't think Coker is good, based on what I've seen him do as an individual. But your argument about our defence is a fair, and it's impossible to dispute our defensive record. There are facts to back it up. I just don't think a solid defensive record is specifically down to the defenders, and I think that replacing Coker is one of our more important requirements for next season, if we want to continue to improve from what we have put forward since Christmas. I have turned the corner somewhat on what Wildin offers, but that's largely due to his attacking ability. I still think he's a pretty mediocre defender, and looking for a new right back (and pushing Wildin to right midfield) should also be a priority for next season. I just think

I think we'll have to agree to disagree about Norris. I accept that Newton has been frustrating all season, but the logic I used in my other posts is why I think he should be ahead of Norris. I appreciate all of what you're putting forward here, and what you've said elsewhere, but I just don't think that what Norris brings to the table is enough to justify the low goal return. His goal return at Swindon and Colchester was 23% and 24% respectively (157 game period). You're right, that is reasonable, but nothing more than reasonable. For comparison, Newton's goal return with us is 22% (over 108 games), and it seems to be a general consensus on here that Newton's goal return isn't good enough. So I think either Newton's is reasonable too, or Norris' isn't good enough. I'm probably likely leaning towards the latter. (Another comparison is Beardo, who's goal return was 15% over 121 games, which is pretty terrible. But his work rate, determination and ability to win back possession was at least (if not better) than Newton's, and arguably justified the low goal return.)

As I said elsewhere, since Norris and Newton's goal returns are essentially the same, I'd rather have Newton. Sure, he gives the ball away quite a lot, and his decision making is questionable, but his sheer persistence puts opposition players off, makes them give up possession and creates chances for us to win the ball back. Do I think he needs to be replaced with someone better down the line? Absolutely. I just don't think that player is Norris.

I'll try and stop banging the drum about Norris though. Everyone knows my stance on it now, so we'll just see how it plays out. I hope he proves me wrong and turns out to be a good signing. A 25-30% goal return, along with the other things he brings to the game, would be adequate, I think.

(Side note: I looked up Norris for the sake of these stats, and I did not realise he was only 27. When it said he was born in 1993, I assumed I had clicked the wrong link. I assumed he was a journeyman striker who was 30+).

Pett and Lines isn't comfortably our best midfield partnership. They are probably our best partnership, but I think that's maybe a little harsh on Read to say he's comfortably behind the other two. I think I prefer a midfield partnership where at least one of them offers a little more bite. IMO, Read & Lines or Read & Pett is a more balanced midfield pair. But I also think it really depends on the game and how much possession we expect to have. I think it was noticeable that Lines was missing for a few games, whereas I don't know that it's as obvious when Read and Pett aren't there, so it's just a case of who pairs with Lines. I think that's a pretty close contest.

When Pett is on his game, he is outstanding, but I think his top end performances are too inconsistent. There have been plenty of games where he has been completely anonymous. (In fairness, those games generally seem to be when he is on the wing. He's much more consistent in the middle.) So, all things considered, I think he's average. Actually, he's above average. But I only said he was average before in response to someone saying that I only ever rate players as exceptional or terrible. So Pett got thrown in as average. He isn't average, but he isn't exceptional, either. I was more just using him as an example rather than crticising him. One thing I was wrong about, though, was complaining when we re-signed him. He has far exceeded my expectations and I'm delighted we have him back in the team.

I too am excited by the return of Osborne. He's looked great in the last two games, and he was one of the signings at the start of the season that I was excited about. I think he is a little wasted on the wing (maybe less so on the left, cutting inside) but I also think displacing Read, Pett and Lines for Osborne is a little harsh on those three. Happy for Osborne to regain full fitness by playing on the wing, and am optimistic about his future as a solid central midfielder for us. I can certainly see the logic behind signing him and Vincelot and making them our primary partnership. On paper, they make a complimentary pairing. Obviously Vincelot hasn't turned out as good as maybe the management team hoped, and Osborne got injured.

For the first time in a long, long time, I'm actually excited about how we might be able to build on the squad we currently have, rather than feeling like the whole thing needs to be torn down. I think Read's contract expires in the summer, and if he can't secure a League One deal, I'd really hope we can sign him permanently. If we can add a new left back, a new right back, and a permanent left winger, I think we'll have the makings of a pretty good team. If we are patient with List as a striker, I really think he'll be a semi-consistent goal scorer, and I think Wildin could do a really great job on the right wing.

I accept your apology when offered.
You're right, saying your logic was moronic wasn't a reasonable response. I apologise, and I'll try to be more respectful in my responses.

Edited by AgentEves at 23:03:41 on 22nd February 2021

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