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Season Is Damaging Players - They Need 12th Man

Just one interesting point that I`ve tried to make a few times but was put well by ... wait for it... Gordon Strachan the other day.

He was on the FA Cup highlight show and said the following about Villa. Now, I know, many will say 'he hates us` etc. However, even putting aside his management career, we have to admit he did have an illustrious playing career and doesn`t know what it is like to be a professional footballer.


"People talking about they are young players. That`s the problem sometimes the Chairman`s want young players but the youth team coach needs to be able to say they aren`t ready yet. It can be a problem, if you throw them in too early and they get this sort of experience (the thrashings and constant losses and losses to div 2 and 4 teams) it can effect them for a long long time."

He added

"They are trying, they are absolutely trying" and goes on to say that defenders often develop later than strikers, it is all about instinct and that they need the help of older, more experienced players (same as Martin Laursen amongst others have said).

He ends saying Lambert hasn`t become a bad manager over night and is just going through a dodgy spell.

So, I guess, especially now we know Lambert is staying, the one thing fans have to try to do, is just support these players.

There were reports of the players who bothered to go over to the fans at Millwall were abused. That isn`t going to help surely? I think they are trying. Just some aren`t ready and some just aren`t good enough.

Just a small thing but the only thing we can now do is be the 12th man, support them and *****ng well pray to the good lord Paul McGrath that we pick up enough points to remain up.

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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday January 28 2013

Time: 5:00PM

Your Comments

I agree with strachans general points. Looks like this is it for the foreseeable, so all we can do is turn up and support.
Bikini Inspector
I also agree with Strachan's point of view, but, we are not generally putting young players from the youth team in are we. They are not youth players, they are players with no experience of Premiership football generally... when signed anyway. Why weren't thady in the Premiership? Because generally, they weren't good enough... as proved. It may of been easier if we had some experienced quality to play alongside them and talk them through, but again, generally the experiened (not quality) were either injured long term or not being picked by Lambert.
Pride of Lions
I totally agree. While I have often despaired at what I have seen on the pitch, and have been known to have a moan on various message boards and phone-ins, I have never booed a player or manager during a game, and always remained seated during the "stand up if you hate Ellis" chants. I never wanted McLeish as manager, but once he was appointed I think we owed it to the club to get behind him and give him a chance. Undermining the manager's authority can only be bad for morale on the pitch, and I wonder how it affected performances last season. This season, when I suggest the prospect of relegation is far more real, it could be the difference between survival and obscurity. At the Bradford game I was sat in the lower tier of the Doug Ellis, and two rows behind me was a man who spent most of the second half (I think he left before Weimann's goal) traducing the players. Given his proximity to the pitch, there is a good chance the players would have heard his abuse while going forward, and surely that is at best a distraction when trying to go for the winning goal. Yes they are paid a lot, yes they are professionals who should be able to cope with it, and for what it's worth I think Lambert has made some bad mistakes in bringing in so many lower division players and expecting them to just step up to the mark. But what useful purpose does the abuse serve? There is a time and a place for recriminations. And I would suggest when your team is searching for two desperately needed goals is not really that time.
Mark from Dudley
If anyone thought a complete rebuild was going to be easy and happen over half a football season should now get their head out of their arses and support ...... or stay away until the better days come back. Because they will and I believe Lambert will bring them back, but this time in a sustainable way with a proper foundation to build on. He thought the so called experienced players would step up and help out ..... he was wrong, he's had a rude awakening that not all players have the desire and hunger he had, only Nzogbia has been trying lately and he has only been back a few weeks. You can't buy these lessons in management but he will learn and get better for it, but with us and not some other club hopefully. UTV
Fair points astonmilan and your sentiments are admirable. There are a few steady heads on here like you and Glensider, and it's great to see positivity in the face of the crap we're all going through. Surely though, Lambert should have some idea of tactics by now. Playing 10 up front used to be great at junior school, but last Tuesday was the first time I've seen it done in a professional game. Can't decide which striker is best? Chuck the lot of em on! I have never wanted so badly to be proved wrong as right now. Hopefully you and the other glass half full boys will have the last laugh at the end of the season. If you do, we'll all be laughing with you.
Very good point made. It's all hands to the pumps now, including the fans. The lads have enough negativity to deal with as it is, and we should not be adding to it unless we want to continue to do so from one level down. The players who came over to applaud showed a lot of guts and unity with the fans, and the response they received from some should not happen again.
Virginia Villan
totally agree astonmilan.. Apart from the Bradford game I think PL's tactics are refreshing to be honest. Its good to see a manager react to other teams shape, after MON & ECK i thought tactically we were inept..However i think its character thats let them down. Some of the goals we have conceded have been dire, but mostly individual errors. For instance, Bradfords second, id argue (as a former GK) that given should have reacted quicker, after vlaars initial error... these are things that PL cannot control. Its also refreshing to see our club trying to do it the right way. Im not going to lie, a little bit of me would love some oil money to splash on neymar blah blah blah, but then, we i see a performance of say Westwoods against Le'Arse im reminded thats a better way to do it. hopefully it'll continue. Anyway, we are THREE WINS FROM 10th, time to back the team and kick on next season
its not a 12th man they need its some simple coaching, 1) how to defend set pieces - look up and down all levels of football this is bread and butter stuff. You can be undone by pace, skill or guile but no being able to defend set pieces is indefensible. 2) how to move off the ball to team mates options. 3) shape and formation, where to be and when. Even very average players can acheive if they do the basics and have organisation. The problem is on the training pitch and is nothing to do with the fans. Lambert perists ith his we'll be fine mantra and gives the players time off when he should be sayin g we're up to our necks in it and performances haven't been good enough and getting the players in for extra training

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