Your expectations

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Forest Boffin
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Your expectations

Post by Forest Boffin » Sun Sep 06, 2015 1:27 pm

Hi, I help write a blog following Nottingham Forest, and The Championship in general, and was hoping you would assist by answering a question about your expectations this season?

Now that you've had chance to see how the team is shaping up, where do you think Blackburn will finish this season?

If you want to give me a specific position in the table that would be great, otherwise you can choose from one of the following options: Top 2, Play-offs, 7th-12th, bottom half or relegation.

I collected similar information for an article before the season started (Blackburn fans 'average' expectation was 13th by the way), it will be interesting to see how this has changed for teams throughout the division now that the transfer window has closed. I'll possibly return in a few months to get another snapshot of your expectations, if you'll have me.

Thanks for your time and I'd really appreciate any help. Good luck for the season.

Forest Boffin

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Re: Your expectations

Post by Simon » Sun Sep 06, 2015 9:58 pm

Bottom 6, with a squad nowhere near fulfilling its potential.

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Gibbon
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Re: Your expectations

Post by Gibbon » Mon Sep 07, 2015 8:43 am

It's too close to call this season. We've made a poor start, but that really doesn't mean much when you consider the squad still needs to gel. If it all clicks then playoffs - if not then mid table.

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Rover the Top
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Re: Your expectations

Post by Rover the Top » Mon Sep 07, 2015 10:13 am

Forest fans will feel the same way as we do about the grossly unfair "Financial Fair Play" rules. We're limited to a small squad, have sold two key first team players to reduce our (affordable) losses and are unable to spend on replacements. We have brought in some new faces but it would be unreasonable to expect the new-look side to settle immediately. With the restrictions it would be rational to think we should do worse than last season, lower half of the table if the team gels, possible relegation if we have injury problems or start looking for miracle fixes again. :(

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dwayne cage
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Re: Your expectations

Post by dwayne cage » Tue Sep 08, 2015 12:05 pm

If we avoid relegation I consider this season a success

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Re: Your expectations

Post by starrover » Tue Sep 08, 2015 5:52 pm

Ditto,If we avoid relegation it will be a godsend.COYB

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Re: Your expectations

Post by Simon » Wed Sep 09, 2015 9:43 pm

The thing is, the squad we have should not be relegation contenders. Our wage bill is considerable at this level, we have a number of senior internationals in the squad, an £8 million striker etc etc. The squad we had last season should have been serious playoff contenders, but underachieved.

The expectation level has been lowered dramatically due to the FFP restrictions in the summer - ultimately we have still only lost two first team players (Cairney wasn't even starting games late into last season). The key problem lies in the way we approach matches - we play one dimensional football and are too content to take a point from games we should be winning.

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Re: Your expectations

Post by Gibbon » Thu Sep 10, 2015 7:45 am

I think we're just not quite clicking. Loads of chances not being converted into goals and passes going astray through a lack of understanding. I'm still optimistic that it will come.

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Re: Your expectations

Post by Rover the Top » Thu Sep 10, 2015 10:12 am

Simon wrote:The thing is, the squad we have should not be relegation contenders. Our wage bill is considerable at this level, we have a number of senior internationals in the squad, an £8 million striker etc etc. The squad we had last season should have been serious playoff contenders, but underachieved.

The expectation level has been lowered dramatically due to the FFP restrictions in the summer - ultimately we have still only lost two first team players (Cairney wasn't even starting games late into last season). The key problem lies in the way we approach matches - we play one dimensional football and are too content to take a point from games we should be winning.
The squad we have is massively over-rated by Rovers fans. Which is strange, because many of the individuals in it seem to be regarded as useless. If you go through one by one, they're nearly all rejects and freebies, with a few youth team graduates who no one seems to like. Rhodes is the one exception, but he was a lower league hot shot who we paid well over the odds for, gambling that he could do the same in the Championship. To use his fee as some kind of justification for saying the whole team is underperforming is irrational. There's a number of other strikers in the league who could be regarded as at the same level as him.

Last season we were one in a pack who had a chance of the playoffs if things went our way, but more likely would have to settle for mid-table. It's either ignorance or delusion to think we were easily one of the best teams in the division. Brighton, Wigan and Reading had finished above us in the previous season. Fulham and Cardiff had just been relegated. That's five teams who on paper could have been in the top 6 who actually ended up below us. This league is highly competitive and there's fine margins between all the teams. We used 4 different goalkeepers due to form, and 7 centre halves and 4 right backs due to injuries. The mega-rich sides like Man City and Chelsea would struggle to cover that sort of disruption without some loss of consistency. We had to deal with it under embargo for the second half of the season. It would be unreasonable to think it didn't have an effect on how the season went for us.

This season, we are now without the target man the team was built around, plus the playmaker who we relied on to stretch defences and open up opportunities. Two very important players to the side. We're heavily restricted on how we can try to replace them. We're not allowed to pay fees when the league has a net spend of over £100m. We're capped on the wages we can offer. And we're limited to a small squad size which will take it's toll over a 46-game season as injuries, suspensions and dips in form come into play. Clearly, we're in a worse condition in a tight league where any handicap is difficult to cope with. Yet people are still expecting and demanding an improvement on last year. It could happen. But it's more realistic and rational to think that since we're weaker, we should do worse.

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Re: Your expectations

Post by mcteeth » Thu Sep 10, 2015 1:56 pm

Simon is spot on for me and the general consensus is that we under achieved last season, yes we're weaker this season but in no means should we be facing relegation and I don't think we will.

Toppers I'm not quite sure how many times this needs to be said, but we have the best strike force in the division along with Watford, at no point is expecting a proper stab at the play-offs over rating their capabilities. Rhodes and Gestede alone scored more than Blackpool and Wigan did all season and basically the same as Millwall, the three sides relegated. That in itself shows you the power of goal in this division.

You talk about the fine margins in the division, which is very true, I've said before that the teams that get promoted make sure those fine margins fall in their favour. We scored enough goals to win lots of matches, don't forget that we dropped 27 points from winning positions, it was about game management and nothing to do with FFP.

Do you think Bournemouth fans care that Wilson and Ritchie were lower league nothings, no, they just got on with winning matches, which we were scoring the goals to do so. The squad is as good as it is at the time whether players were cheap or expensive, we've got a very good squad and had an even better one last season.

You even mention changings keepers as if it was somehow a problem we had to contend with, Bowyer chose to keep chopping and changings goalkeepers, he did it the season before and he has started this season with yet another change. That is all about choice. He has also chosen to drop the player of the season and higher performing defenders with little justification. And again we've started this season playing well but conceding very silly avoidable goals.

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Re: Your expectations

Post by Ethiaa » Thu Sep 10, 2015 2:11 pm

You guys and your crazy ideas :D

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Re: Your expectations

Post by Rover the Top » Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:54 pm

Mcteeth - how does having a strike pairing that scored more than two of the relegated sides have any relevance to whether we should have got a playoff spot or not? There's 21 teams that they didn't score more than. We didn't have the best strike force last season (nor did Watford): Bournemouth scored 98 goals compared to our 66. I think all the teams that finished above us scored more than us. 41 goals in 46 games is unlikely to be enough to secure any side a playoff spot in any season. And it says little about the quality of our midfield or our defence (which was clearly a problem area for us given the personnel we went through), and how we matched up man-for-man against the stronger teams in the division. I'm finding it difficult to see what merit you thought that point had? Given that Gestede has gone, does that mean we're only half as good this season? :shrug:

Does anyone think any of the 4 goalies we used would walk into all the other 23 teams? How about our defenders? Are the likes of Williamson, Evans, Lowe, Marshall, Brown, and so on coveted by all? I think we've got a decent group of players, but they've been giving their best to get us into 8th and 9th. They sometimes let in goals and give up leads because they're not good enough to avoid doing. I see nothing in their histories or how they've performed here to believe they should be producing more than what they are doing.

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Ethiaa
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Re: Your expectations

Post by Ethiaa » Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:57 pm

Yes, but that aside, it's much easier to blame one man, the manager, and demand a new one. I seem to remember our owners thought like that for a while too.

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Re: Your expectations

Post by -BARON-23- » Thu Sep 10, 2015 4:03 pm

Last season the midfield didn't contribute enough with goals but part of that was due to Bowyer's decision to play two holding players that have poor attacking attributes which i see changing this season with a fully fit Akpan and Guthrie coming into the team instead. I'd say, looking at our team compared to over teams, we should certainly be away from the relegation zone and i don't think the squad is weaker than last season apart from Rudy. If the team gels soon and we pick up a win i don't see why we can't finish around the same area as last season, 12th at a minimum. The big thing is when will we eventually get ourselves out of FFP.

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Re: Your expectations

Post by mcteeth » Thu Sep 10, 2015 5:42 pm

Ethiaa wrote:Yes, but that aside, it's much easier to blame one man, the manager, and demand a new one. I seem to remember our owners thought like that for a while too.
I'm not blaming him alone and don't want him sacked, the opinion on here that he is completely blameless is unbalanced. There are lots of decisions that can be made that don't have anything to do with FFP.

He doesn't need to keep changing goalkeepers for the last two and half seasons, injuries aside. Don't drop Olsson so we can use stupid long throws and drag Spurr out of position to take freekicks. Stop playing two useless defensive midfielders in an ineffective system. Stop playing long ball as we don't have a target man. Spend more time on the training field working on defensive shape and getting everyone drilled into the basics to cut out all of the mistakes we keep making that are continually punished.

I've got plenty of positives about Bowyer, but being a football fan, I moan incessantly about the negatives :P

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