General Everyone’s fit. You’re the manager. Who do you pick?

HampshireYellow

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I thought it would be interesting, given the unsuccessful squad and team that Karl Robinson picked last night, to see what teams everyone would pick if they were in charge (and fitness wasn’t an issue)

I’ll go first:

Stevens
Long Moore Atkinson Obita
Gorrin
Brannigan Sykes
Agyei Taylor Cooper​

I think Stevens deserves a run in the team now. Both fullbacks need changing. Brannigan and Sykes will work hard in the middle and can run with the ball, and that front three has a good amount of pace.

Plan B would be:

Stevens
Long Moore Atkinson
Gorrin
Clare Forde Brannigan Sykes Obita
Taylor​

3 at the back, with Clare and Obita as attacking wing backs, knowing that Gorrin will fill in for them. Brannigan and Sykes especially given licence to get forwards from midfield to support Taylor.
 

ljs

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HY - No Shodipo... based on last night's performance is understandable. No Winnall - unless he will never be fit?


Plan A, 433

Stevens
Long - Moore - Atkinson - Obita?
Brannagan - Gorrin - Forde
Agyei - Taylor - Cooper

or plan B, 442

Stevens
Forde - Moore - Atkinson - Obita?
Clare - Brannagan - Gorrin - Cooper
Winnall - Taylor

or even plan C, 352

Stevens
Moore - Mousinho - Atkinson
Clare - Brannagan - Gorrin - Forde - Obita
Winnall - Taylor

In B and C, I might have Agyei in for either Clare or Winnall.
 
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arthurturner

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How come we make it look so easy? All those pegs in the correctly shaped holes.
If we had no injuries and remained injury free for the rest of the season, where would we be realistically likely to finish in League One this season?
 

ZeroTheHero

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If we had no injuries and remained injury free for the rest of the season, where would we be realistically likely to finish in League One this season?
I guess that depends if you are extending the same conditions to all the other teams in the league of course!
 

BigCrompy

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HY - No Shodipo... based on last night's performance is understandable. No Winnall - unless he will never be fit?


Plan A, 433

Stevens
Long - Moore - Atkinson - Obita?
Brannagan - Gorrin - Forde
Agyei - Taylor - Cooper

or plan B, 442
Sorry, you lost me at 'Plan B'...

...this is KR we're talking about, isn't it...?
 

arthurturner

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I guess that depends if you are extending the same conditions to all the other teams in the league of course!
Agreed. So let's do that. My question was really to eliminate injuries as an excuse for performance and to concentrate on recruitment; management; coaching and tactics.. On Tuesday's showing we are falling short on all of these elements. If nothing changes, then in my view even mid table is a big ask.
'
 

ZeroTheHero

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Agreed. So let's do that. My question was really to eliminate injuries as an excuse for performance and to concentrate on recruitment; management; coaching and tactics.. On Tuesday's showing we are falling short on all of these elements. If nothing changes, then in my view even mid table is a big ask.
'
OK. At the moment I'd say we have two 'significant' injuries. Atkinson and (of course) Brannagan. Hanson probably wouldn't make the team even if fit based on previous performances and the now-injured Winnall (which makes three) is sort of a straight 'rotation' option for Taylor (since KR won't play two strikers anyway).
So we'd have to think how much better the team would have been on Tuesday if Atkinson was playing in defence (probably at Long's expense) and Brannagan in midfield (possibly for Forde?).
I suspect the answer is 'somewhat'! But Atkinson is still very raw and Long was one of the slightly better performers. Brannagan is our most dynamic player, but we'd miss Forde's dead ball delivery. Overall though those two players would improve us - and an uninjured Winnall would certainly have been a lot better than nobody at all up front!
But I don't think we can say that all other things being equal the team should ever perform like that with Long and Forde in it rather than Atkinson and Brannagan. If that's the case then we have a whole load of players who have suddenly fallen so far short of the required standard as to be looking as if they are playing in the wrong league.
So what's the problem? Well we haven't really played well since the first lockdown ended and the playoffs started - whereas at the end of the prematurely terminated last season we were looking very very good. One immediate difference is the lack of crowds. That is the same for all teams of course, but is there something about our club (a manager who is too 'nice' to the players?) that they need a crowd to encourage them, shout at them and moan at them to get them going? Is the lack of a balancing voice (no Faz, no CA, absentee owner) leading to bad decisions? Is the lack of crowd pressure allowing KR to persist with some things he would had to change if we were there?
So I think to answer your poser, I would say that yes, the players have let us down recently - but there are decent players there, we've seen that. I think the manager needs to be more pragmatic and less dogmatic (ie. don't keep doing the same thing because that's what you've decided to do, even if it doesn't work, be creative and flexible). If he doesn't change approach, I think you are right - safe mid table is a big ask. If he can change what he is doing (despite the patchy recruitment, and the injuries and suspensions we will obviously get in reality) then safe mid table is more possible. I wouldn't be any more optimistic than that.
I think Saturday will give us a decent steer - if there isn't an improvement in passion, desire, intensity, work-rate (whatever you want to call it), tactics, shape, team selection and creativity against a team who are actually below us in the table then I'm afraid the football isn't going to lighten anyone's heart over the winter.
 
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Fourthstand

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My first reaction to this question was ‘doesn’t matter who gets picked’ but then after a bit more reflection the bigger question is ‘has Robinson lost the dressing room?’
 

mooro

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Stevens,
Lofthouse, Long, Jones, Elechi
Lopes, LCP, Ruffels
Spasov, Taylor, Goodrham
 

WuTang

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Stevens,
Long, Moore, Atkinson, Obita
Clare, Brannagan, Gorrin, Cooper
Taylor Winnall

or with the injuries

Stevens
Forde, Moore Long Obita
Clare Sykes Gorrin Cooper
Agyei
Taylor
 

pidge

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Stevens
Forde Moore Atkinson Obita
Gorrin Brannagan
Clare Sykes Shodipo
Taylor
 

ljs

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Stevens,
Long, Moore, Atkinson, Obita
Clare, Brannagan, Gorrin, Cooper
Taylor Winnall

Would you definitely have Long at RB and not Forde?

I think Forde would be a bit more solid, and more creative with the ball, not to mention how our set pieces actually look dangerous these days with his delivery.
 

Paul Cannell

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My first reaction to this question was ‘doesn’t matter who gets picked’ but then after a bit more reflection the bigger question is ‘has Robinson lost the dressing room?’

Sadly, he still knows where it is.
 

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