WHO Poll
Q: 2022 Summer Transfer Window - How many 1st team players will we sign before August 6th
a. None as Sullivan will wait until the last week before he gets his scattergun out the cupboard
28%
  
b. A couple of freebies paraded as superstars, usual hype to follow
26%
  
c. I'm more optimistic as surely they know we need to strengthen, 3-4 with decent money spent.
43%
  
d. Who gives a toss as we have a great squad already, I've already ordered the new replica kit, socks and all and can't wait to wear it at our first game, down the pub of course, I bleed claret & blue
3%
  



Pub Bigot 12:58 Thu Dec 16
Drop in form
Since returning from the international break, we've been off it. Chelsea aside, there seems to be several cracks appearing in the team. Injuries and tiredness may be playing a part, but generally speaking, we've been on a downward trajectory.

I think tonight was our worst performance of the season against an Arsenal side with a lot going on in the background, and should have been there for the taking. Still, we were second best all night, as we were against Wolves and Man City, but we were hardly convincing against Brighton and Burnley.

I know some dubious VAR and referee decisions have gone against us, but that is a small part of poor results and poor form.

We need bodies who can hit the ground running in January, to freshen the side up because some of our big players are stinking the place out.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

scott_d 4:34 Sat Dec 18
Re: Drop in form
For us to even talk about a drop in form tells us how much progress we have made under David Moyes.

Prior to his appointment we never had any spells of sustained success which you could call "form" or "consistancy".

Now we find ourselves for 2 seasons in a row, having a realistic go at finishing in the Champions League places.

It's right that we ask questions and I have now doube that Moyes and his team are asking the same questions, but as long as we are being constructive and supportive.

We have not been in this position for a very long time. Some of our players and support staff have never been in this position so they might make some mistakes and some misjudgements but as long as they learn from it then that is ok by me.

We have no divine right to be up there (nor do any of the other teams) so let's enjoy it and support everyone who is doing their best to keep us up there.

Sir Alf 11:25 Fri Dec 17
Re: Drop in form
Multiple factors / variables which everyone has mentioned. There is not one specifically. The tiredness of same players playing week in week out ( we have used least players I believe?) which in turn reflects small squad and more importantly a lack of quality options. We have overachieved to some extent through excellent team play via great organisation, fitness and coaching. Then of course the injuries to 3 key defenders. One of those defenders ( Cresswell ) is also the source of the quality balls into the box that create so much. We should not forget too that after a successful season or so playing a certain way with players excelling that teams then start to design / change their tactics to stop those players or counteract what we were doing so well. I watched Chelsea struggle to beat Everton last night who were set up to sit deep, be compact and counteract Chelsea's ability to play one twos etc. between the lines of midfield and defence. You need other "quality" options to be able to play a different way. We rely on counterattacking. Worked well when most teams thought they could take the game to us but now many sit deeper or crowd the midfield. And finally the fact we have been fighting on 3 fronts with the Prem, Europa, League Cup. No rest time even though recently we played a 2nd 11 against Zagreb.

The squad strengthening is the most important thing to address. The acquisitions of Vlasic and Kral have not worked out so far or put another wau have not helped at all so far this season. Maybe they will have a positive influence after Xmas or next season. So the Jan window we have to try to do something to freshen it up and especially in an attacking sense. Quality versus quantity is again the approach that works so it wont address that overall squad strength but hopefully, as per Lingard last season will give us something teams have not planned for. I don't think Lingard will necessarily be the best acquisition though. His form with us was tailing off towards the end of last season as teams had woken up to his influence but its just my opinion that "lightening don't strike twice" usually or that repeating something that worked before will be as successful second time around. Rarely happens.

To me, Nat Phillips for the CB birth is a no brainer. Never seen him have a bad game. He's young, strong physically, great in the air, good passer etc. and getting better all the time. 10 million is a snip IMO but I just sit in my armchair blowing off so will leave Rob Newman and MOyes to make that call as perhaps his attitude/personality is not a good fit?

I think we still need a player with pace and strength in midfield. I was hoping Kral was that player? He might be and he certainly works hard and is good at getting a foot in etc. but have not seen enough of him alongside Rice, Soucek etc. to know. He has played alongside Noble almost exclusively? An ageing Noble, cannot cover the pitch and will mean Kral having to chase more than in a partnership with Soucek or Rice.

Then the biggest issue is up front or at least creating or scoring goals. It will be a really tough challenge to get the quality at a price a club like West Ham will pay in a Jan window. Got to hope Newman or someone has identified a gem. Lastly and not least, the introduction of a youth or two from the U23s might help too. Their enthusiasm alone can rub off butunfortunately it seems the ones most likely to step up are all defenders. Oxoflex might be worth a punt but thats about it.

We need another Lingard like success. While I don't Lingard can repeat that I would love to be proved wrong if that is the way we go.

grasshopper 9:21 Fri Dec 17
Re: Drop in form
Post was in response to iris.

Don’t think we had any VAR complaints during the Chelsea game comma.

pdbis 8:32 Fri Dec 17
Re: Drop in form
Teams know if they put an extra person in midfield they can work us out.

Mex Martillo 8:22 Fri Dec 17
Re: Drop in form
Covid break did the tream wonders at the end of the 19/20 season, maybe this sorts out our drop in form...

ChesterRd 2:55 Fri Dec 17
Re: Drop in form
Players are knackered, physically and mentally. It was inevitable that the decision not to sign a striker or other areas we needed more quality in depth would catch up with us. I'm surprised it hasn't happened sooner. No player deliberately plays badly, they know better than anyone when they are out of form. Then start trying too hard to compensate and it makes matters worse. Antonio is playing in the strikers role but he is not an out and out striker. Hopefully Kretinsky's presence will make sure that little shit Sullivan is kept in line.

, 1:00 Fri Dec 17
Re: Drop in form
Grasshopper,

From that list did you forget our Chelsea game or deliberately leave it out?

dealcanvey 12:36 Fri Dec 17
Re: Drop in form
Nutsin

Not sure I agree with that one.

Diops goals to games ratio is better than Ogbonnas.

He may not be as good defensively but at set pieces there really is not much between them.

Nutsin 12:27 Fri Dec 17
Re: Drop in form
We use to be good at set pieces and corners.

We were always a threat when we had a corner with Oggie and Zouma going up for the ball, Dawson too.

Now we don’t have the same threat with Diop out there…..

Another reason we need another center half.

grasshopper 11:40 Thu Dec 16
Re: Drop in form
Can’t blame VAR for our recent performances.

Outplayed by wolves

Outplayed by Brighton at home in the second half.

Created very little against Burnley

Did fuck all last night.

irisiris95 11:37 Thu Dec 16
Re: Drop in form
Stowie...

That 2-0 vs Brighton and the game would have been killed off.
VAR robbed us plain & simple.
They were kept in the game & equalised....annoying

wansteadman 9:59 Thu Dec 16
Re: Drop in form
We’ve forgotten what we’re good at. Getting the ball and getting it forward quickly and supporting them was what we were good at. Now the first thought is not give it away so it’s sideways and backwards. And we end up losing it. When we are getting it forward quickly we open teams up but when it’s slow and ponderous we don’t

kylay 9:06 Thu Dec 16
Re: Drop in form
Masuaku cannot handle good forwards and he even struggles with mediocre ones. He cannot be relied on in a back four, especially with reserve CB's.

Ogbonna and Zouma are clearly vital to our success.

Arsenal looked like a team at full strength without 6 games in Europa and 3 of the hardest draws in the EFL. Fatigue is a huge factor for us right, and ain't no rest for the weary at xmas in this league.

Sniper 8:27 Thu Dec 16
Re: Drop in form
I’m ever thought Arsenal were there for the taking but last night was, mostly, like an early 00’s game where we were just hanging on, rather than 4th v 5th.

Admittedly I don’t think there’s many teams who would cope without 3 of their first choice back four and their first reserve full back. But the other issue is that other first team era who are tiring (soucek and Antonio) aren’t rested or replaced. Vlasic needs to be given a run and kral needs to play a few games with rice to show what he can do. But aside from them, there isn’t really anyone on the bench who you look at and think ‘he can turn things around’

We really could’ve done with - lingard last night a someone a bit bigger than fornals, lanzini and bowen who could get the ball and just carry it forward.

Instead bowen was practically a second right back and we had to endure the eternal nightmare of masuaku trying to contain saka…

Texas Iron 7:31 Thu Dec 16
Re: Drop in form
Thin squad
Few quality replacements
Played many games with same players
No striker backup
Wasted big cash in Vlasic for mo return
Antonio a fraction of former self
Injuries decimated our best defence
Moyes insistence on same players...few alternatives
Key players off form
GSB lack of investment to strengthen squad
Refs and VAR against us
Barest of Bare Bones and a tired squad

Where's Moyes' Plan B ?

Stowie.40 7:13 Thu Dec 16
Re: Drop in form
We’re we robbed V Brighton? I get the offside goal but the least they deserved was a draw.

irisiris95 7:10 Thu Dec 16
Re: Drop in form
Well we were robbed vs Brighton, wasteful vs Burnley and yesterday I thought Arsenal just wanted it more than us.
More energy, more will, more play acting of course.
I'm not too depressed about an away defeat - we'll have them at our place.

We looked "old" yesterday compared to Arsenal's youthful exuberance so why not try and introduce some of the youth we have. Ashby didn't look bad at all in his short cameo.

I think we're pondering too much on the ball. Quite a few yesterday were super slow releasing the ball enabling Arsenal to hustle us out of possession.
Antonio has been very erratic and I agree with everyone we need an alternative there but I think our defence has generally looked good. Midfield solid but not spectacular.

We need some finishers thrown in there.
That should be our priority in Jan.
Goals change games.

We need to hurt the opposition more as we are mainly creating a lot of chances.

BRANDED 1:27 Thu Dec 16
Re: Drop in form
Maybe they are knackered. Its pretty tough going. Lets hope we get the three points against Norwich.

GreenStreetPlayer 1:27 Thu Dec 16
Re: Drop in form
It could be partly due to this but rather than looking at the back 4, I believe it’s what’s happened up front is the main factor.
With the loss of form of Antonio, the belief and desire that was around the team before just isn’t there, and it’s rubbing off on players.

paulon 1:09 Thu Dec 16
Re: Drop in form
Just have to look at how badly Liverpool's form dropped away losing three of their back four last season

Chigwell 12:32 Thu Dec 16
Re: Drop in form
It is tiredness I'm sure, not just physical but mental too. The team has been overperforming when you look at the history and monetary value of the squad (Rice excepted), and was always susceptible to a collapse like this if we lost a few first-team players though injury, or if individuals lost a bit of form.

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