Remaining fixtures

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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by TANGODANCER » Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:46 pm

So, let's face it, there's an undercurrent of nerves in us all right now because everything is so uncertain. It's a nervy time because, for the first time for what seems an age we can dare to look at moving on. All the managers in our league must feel the same way, but I reckon a fair amount of them would swap places with us right now.

All that's missing for us is what football is about; goals. We just have to hope Madison is a part answer, or one of our potential strikers will get it together and stop hitting posts, crossbars or side netting. Doyle has done his share (although I hope he carries on doing it), but it would be nice to see others getting in on the act. Been a while since we banged a few in in one game, so come on lads, the time is now. Get in there and stake our claim....COME ON YOU WHITES.... :oyea:
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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by BWFC_Insane » Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:58 pm

TANGODANCER wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:46 pm
So, let's face it, there's an undercurrent of nerves in us all right now because everything is so uncertain. It's a nervy time because, for the first time for what seems an age we can dare to look at moving on. All the managers in our league must feel the same way, but I reckon a fair amount of them would swap places with us right now.

All that's missing for us is what football is about; goals. We just have to hope Madison is a part answer, or one of our potential strikers will get it together and stop hitting posts, crossbars or side netting. Doyle has done his share (although I hope he carries on doing it), but it would be nice to see others getting in on the act. Been a while since we banged a few in in one game, so come on lads, the time is now. Get in there and stake our claim....COME ON YOU WHITES.... :oyea:
Agree. I said a while ago that Maddison finding form might be the difference between promotion and not and this feels more the case after the weekend. If he got going then I think we’d be hard to stop.

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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by officer_dibble » Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:02 pm

Delfonso is the one for me...he should be on for 12-15 goals and 10’assists but as we’ve got better he has got worse.

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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:20 pm

So, to upcoming fixtures…

Broad picture: there’s games on the next three midweeks, including catch-up chances for those with games in hand. They’re not uniformly allotted; us, Tranmere, Morecambe and Newport have games on Tue 13, *everyone* plays on Tue 20 and then Cheltenham, FGR (FWIW) and Newport have games on Tue 27.

As far as we’re concerned we now play Sat-Tue-Sat-Tue-Sat-Sat-Sat; so do Tranmere and Morecambe, currently our greatest challengers for the third automatic slot. Newport also match us game for game, with their one in hand coming on Tue 27 – lots of football to play before then.

Narrower picture: Saturday.
Cambridge v Exeter
Form: last-6: 3rd v 22nd; last-8: 5th v 11th; last-10: 4th v 14th; last-12: 3rd v 13th
That Exeter are still the closest challengers to the top 7 says a lot about how inconsistent this division is: their last 6 games (reverse order) have been DLWLLL. Cambridge, by contrast, are motoring onward and gradually cutting clear by doing Just Enough: only once in the last 10 games have they been two goals clear, but as they’ve won 6 of them they’ll care not a jot. Hard to see the Grecians, who’ve recently lost by a single goal to Tranmere and Cheltenham, doing much different here.

Cheltenham v Orient
Form: last-6: 6th v 2nd, last-8: 9th v 6th; last-10: 3rd v 5th; last-12: 4th v 9th
This one’s more hopeful. Despite being down in 10th Orient are in very good form – better than most of the teams above them, including Cheltenham. They’re unbeaten in seven (W4 D3) and have only conceded 2 in that time, admittedly while only scoring 7. They’ve been particularly effective away, winning 3 of the last 4 despite only scoring 4 goals in them. Tight match; g’wan the O’s (as we must incorrectly apostrophise them).

Scunthorpe v Tranmere
Form: last-6: 14th v 16th; last-8: 18th v 13th; last-10: 15th v 10th; last-12: 16th v 7th
Since and including losing at Wembley Tranmere have only won once in a month, and that was a 2-1 win in which their only two shots on target were penalties. On Good Friday they had their arse bagged by Cheltenham but the week before they wee happy to draw from two down to tricky old Colchester (pengy again). That said, they’ve now got three games in a week against teams in every worse form - Scunny, Walsall and Salford – so let’s see how many of their wheels have come off.

Bolton v Harrogate
Form: last-6: 4th v 21st; last-8: 2nd v 22nd; last-10: 1st v 13th; last-12: 1st v 12th
At the start of the season Harrogate might understandably have been happy with 22nd. Maybe they still would, because they reached 48 points and stopped. After winning four in five in late Feb / early March, in the last five they’ve gathered one point – a 0-0 at woeful Walsall – and one goal, a late consolation at FGR. We know we can’t take games for granted, so I’ll say no more bar: c’mon.

Port Vale v Morecambe
Form: last-6: 1st v 13th; last-8: 4th v 7th; last-10: 9th v 6th; last-12: 10th v 6th
The second of our big hopes for helping hands this weekend. Eyebrows shot northwards when Darrell Clarke left Walsall for Vale, then lower in the league: they’re not any more and are the division’s form team on last-six results. As we know from beating them down there – which ended a run of one point from eight games and prefaced a run of five straight wins – they’re a big buggardly side just like Morecambe, so hopefully they’ll beat the Shrimps at their own game. Actually I don’t mind if they turn into Holland 74 as long as they beat the bastards. They also had midweek off, unlike Morecambe, who were chasing games all Easter after going behind early in both games. Viva la Vale!

Walsall v FGR
Form: last-6: 17th v 23rd; last-8: 23rd v 20th; last-10: 24th v 16th; last-12: 24th v 17th
When you’ve been awful for a month, as FGR have (one point in five games), you want to face a team that’s been awful for several, as Walsall have (1 win in 20 since Christmas). FGR should win this but they have the air of a team on the plummet.

Mansfield v Newport
Form: last-6: 18th v 9th; last-8: 17th v 10th; last-10: 22nd v 8th; last-12: 22nd v 11th
Curious lot, Newport, capable of losing to Barrow and beating Bolton in the same weekend. They were top until the New Year, when an FA Cup game against Brighton and a pitch designed for postponements cost them their momentum and they won 1 in 12 league games. They’ll need that momentum back before the playoffs, especially if they have higher designs, which they shouldn’t rule out given this division’s inconsistency. For the Stags, streaky winger Nigel Clough won five on the bounce, then lost most of the next 10 (W2 D2 L6), and the last six have been DDDDLD. Newport to win off a long throw.

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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:36 pm

BWFC_Insane wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:58 pm
TANGODANCER wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:46 pm
So, let's face it, there's an undercurrent of nerves in us all right now because everything is so uncertain. It's a nervy time because, for the first time for what seems an age we can dare to look at moving on. All the managers in our league must feel the same way, but I reckon a fair amount of them would swap places with us right now.

All that's missing for us is what football is about; goals. We just have to hope Madison is a part answer, or one of our potential strikers will get it together and stop hitting posts, crossbars or side netting. Doyle has done his share (although I hope he carries on doing it), but it would be nice to see others getting in on the act. Been a while since we banged a few in in one game, so come on lads, the time is now. Get in there and stake our claim....COME ON YOU WHITES.... :oyea:
Agree. I said a while ago that Maddison finding form might be the difference between promotion and not and this feels more the case after the weekend. If he got going then I think we’d be hard to stop.
Yeah, thirded. It doesn't feel IMO like we need a saviour, but a spark of something slightly different - and as you say, if he starts to perform it could make the difference.

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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by Bertie Wooster » Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:51 pm

officer_dibble wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:02 pm
Delfonso is the one for me...he should be on for 12-15 goals and 10’assists but as we’ve got better he has got worse.
I agree about Delfouneso he's a very good player and can do much better than he currently is, I really don't know what's up with him - his body language is terrible, he rarely breaks sweat and goes missing for long periods in games, he doesn't even celebrate if we ever score.

If he stepped up his game & Sarce comes back in I think we would be favourites for the 3rd automatic spot, but personally I just think that we will be in the play offs, I think that we have really missed a great chance to put some daylight between us & 4th place with these 2 very poor results over Easter. Its negative I admit and I hope I'm wrong but I'll actually be very surprised if we beat Harrogate on Saturday, under Evatt - this team is either hot or cold and I can see a few more poor results in the next few weeks.

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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by Abdoulaye's Twin » Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:13 pm

Bertie Wooster wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:51 pm
officer_dibble wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:02 pm
Delfonso is the one for me...he should be on for 12-15 goals and 10’assists but as we’ve got better he has got worse.
I agree about Delfouneso he's a very good player and can do much better than he currently is, I really don't know what's up with him - his body language is terrible, he rarely breaks sweat and goes missing for long periods in games, he doesn't even celebrate if we ever score.
He reminds me a bit of Chris Eagles. Someone that had the ability but also something missing (drive) that meant his career never quite hit the heights the talent had the potential for. On their day excellent, but too few of them. I guess that's why he's in div 4 and not div 2.

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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by The_Gun » Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:58 pm

I used to follow a lot of England youth football, and I remember when Delfouneso was considered amongst the best prospects for his age in the country. I thought he was going to become a star for Villa and England, so it'd be fair to say that he's definitely not fulfilled his potential.

He's one where he's not necessarily making loads of errors, but rather doesn't seem to be doing much at all in a lot of games. If Elbo, Maddison or Arthur were showing more consistency then I think he'd be dropped, but right now he's seemingly getting picked by default due to us not having better options.

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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by officer_dibble » Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:31 pm

He did look better when we looked worse...I dunno I’d drop him and hope it’s the kick up the arse he needs. He played very well when he first signed and I don’t think he is someone who shirks either (but he does have large periods where you forget he is playing at the moment).

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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by Worthy4England » Wed Apr 07, 2021 6:03 pm

I think it's easy to drop into "change everything" mode because we've had a draw and a loss, in consecutive games, but we've had a reasonably set XI since January transfer window and since the turn of the year, we've W11 D5 L3. That form over an entire season would bag you 92 points and comfortable promotion.

The problem was really before Christmas rather than after it (I hope)..

Our ability to hit the onion bag without a Doyle or Sarce goal is certainly a problem, because we're not always going to be able to stop them scoring one. The rest of the regular starting cast has managed 5 between them in the same period. So I do think Fonz's goals drying up is a real problem for us. Isgrove - who I thought was excellent in the first half on Monday and Dapo don't really look very likely to score. Neither do MJ and Lee (after Monday's misses). That sorta leave you with Jones or John, so if Sarce (who's only on 3 since Jan) isn't back anytime soon, we might have to make one change to try and accommodate Miller (2 goals since Jan), Arthur (2 goals since Jan) or Maddison (0 goals since Jan) - which isn't a huge difference, although in "fine margins" might be just what we need. As an aside, Arthur who really didn't take his chance on Good Friday is leading our "assists" charts with 5 - 4 of those coming since Jan.

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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by BWFC_Insane » Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:30 pm

Worthy4England wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 6:03 pm
I think it's easy to drop into "change everything" mode because we've had a draw and a loss, in consecutive games, but we've had a reasonably set XI since January transfer window and since the turn of the year, we've W11 D5 L3. That form over an entire season would bag you 92 points and comfortable promotion.

The problem was really before Christmas rather than after it (I hope)..

Our ability to hit the onion bag without a Doyle or Sarce goal is certainly a problem, because we're not always going to be able to stop them scoring one. The rest of the regular starting cast has managed 5 between them in the same period. So I do think Fonz's goals drying up is a real problem for us. Isgrove - who I thought was excellent in the first half on Monday and Dapo don't really look very likely to score. Neither do MJ and Lee (after Monday's misses). That sorta leave you with Jones or John, so if Sarce (who's only on 3 since Jan) isn't back anytime soon, we might have to make one change to try and accommodate Miller (2 goals since Jan), Arthur (2 goals since Jan) or Maddison (0 goals since Jan) - which isn't a huge difference, although in "fine margins" might be just what we need. As an aside, Arthur who really didn't take his chance on Good Friday is leading our "assists" charts with 5 - 4 of those coming since Jan.
Thing is as you rightly point out our issue is a lack of goals in the side. We can look at the history of players and both Maddison and Miller have a better goals record than anyone currently being picked bar Doyle. Millers record is best but almost entirely based on his early career with Crewe from 2006-12. So how relevant that is how is up for debate.

Maddison has 52 goals in 180 games for Peterborough mainly in the league above this. And relatively recently too. His record across his career is better than Delfs for example.

Given we all agree lack of goals is a hindrance is Maddison coming good the only realistic way to improve on this bar someone in the team hitting a purple patch suddenly?

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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by Jim_McDonuts » Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:21 am

Madz done enough, for me, to warrant replacing Fonz - who was very pedestrian and touchline hugging on Monday (poor touch too, even allowing for the pitch). Couple of times when Madders drove inside and got his head-up was exciting to watch and seemed to provide that spark we've been sorely missing.
Goals have seemingly been an issue for as long as I can remember as a fan but what we've always had has been set piece threat - much as I love our rock-solid central defensive pair, we never seem to have that threatening air that's always been a BWFC feature - that corner nr the end of Monday's game being a case in point (one of many). Odd goals from CB's have often made the difference for us (esp late on in games).
Small tweaks rather than wholesale changes though for me, which I think is really positive all things considered - main thing is holding our nerve (fans/players alike:)

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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by Worthy4England » Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:49 am

I could go with much of that, I wouldn't be agin giving Maddison another start for Delf. Or maybe Arfur, which would see Dapo remain on the bench. From Monday's performance, not sure Delf did anything like enough.

Corners especially, I've given up hope. Set piece, we probably improve our chances with Maddison.

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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by BWFC_Insane » Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:23 am

Worthy4England wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:49 am
I could go with much of that, I wouldn't be agin giving Maddison another start for Delf. Or maybe Arfur, which would see Dapo remain on the bench. From Monday's performance, not sure Delf did anything like enough.

Corners especially, I've given up hope. Set piece, we probably improve our chances with Maddison.
Corners are very frustrating. Delivery is not good but also considering Santos is so dominant elsewhere he turns into a jellyfish in the opponents area. A few goals from
set pieces could be critical.

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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by The_Gun » Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:50 am

From the limited evidence we've had so far, Maddison appears to be by far our best taker of corners, so starting him might also improve our chances of scoring from some of them.

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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by Worthy4England » Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:13 am

BWFC_Insane wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:23 am
Worthy4England wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:49 am
I could go with much of that, I wouldn't be agin giving Maddison another start for Delf. Or maybe Arfur, which would see Dapo remain on the bench. From Monday's performance, not sure Delf did anything like enough.

Corners especially, I've given up hope. Set piece, we probably improve our chances with Maddison.
Corners are very frustrating. Delivery is not good but also considering Santos is so dominant elsewhere he turns into a jellyfish in the opponents area. A few goals from
set pieces could be critical.
Over the course of the season, we've had enough decent delivery to have scored more. The only one I recall was a low near post cross from Crawford to Doyle...

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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by Worthy4England » Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:56 am

Evatt has apparently "hinted" that Maddison might be in line for a start...

https://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/sport/1 ... gate-game/

Other than a quote that "Marcus will make an impact this season", I'm not sure where anything he says indicates "might start on Saturday"....

Edit: Actually looks a bit more likely from this article...

https://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/sport/1 ... harrogate/

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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Thu Apr 08, 2021 1:19 pm

While I understand the viewpoint that there's no need to rip up the playbook and start again, it's another one of those where you feel that if he can't start against Harrogate at home, when can he?

Just as an aside, though - and this is the right thread for it, I suppose - I had a quick look at the possession rates of our upcoming opponents, trying to ascertain how many of them might be ball-phobic deep-sitters. I was quite pleased to find that most of our final seven opponents have had majority possession, with only two long-ballers left to face.

Harrogate 50.6% (10th-highest in L2)
Salford 53.1% (2nd)
Grimsby 51.5% (8th)
Carlisle 46.9% (22nd)
Morecambe 44.5% (24th)
Exeter 52.8% (4th)
Crawley 50.0% (13th)

(In case you're wondering, we're top on 54.2%.)
I know that some teams play differently against us anyway, but it brightened my day a little.

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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by officer_dibble » Thu Apr 08, 2021 1:26 pm

I think Maddison will start. Centre backs at corners is irritating- Baptiste I recall weighing with a few goals in his first spell here so it’s been really frustrating how little we bother the opponents from these situations. There’s no way we are clamoring for Delaney (goals against Bradford and and Cheltenham from corners I think) mind!

I would be tempted with Maddison Miller and Isgrove behind Doyle but that’s two changes and O don’t think Miller is an energetic ten...but we should be on the front foot in this one.

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Re: Remaining fixtures

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Thu Apr 08, 2021 1:59 pm

I suspect Dapo and Maddison will both start. That's only happened three times before (Stevenage, Mansfield and Southend), and we won them all... but in the latter two cases, after both had left the field...

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