Fascinating watching the two games in parallel. Think they showed we have some very good players. We can't tell from the games as to how the team-building is going on, but the play was fine.
Impressions. Gabby looked fit and lively for the first time for a long time, and had a good goal. Bjarnason was pretty good but didn't get much service going forwards. Green and Davis had very positive games. Thought McCormack didn't really click and neither did Gardner, but most of the other first team players had good games.
Some good youngsters as well. O'Hare stood out, very lively and creative. Sarkic was fine in goal.
At least we didn't have to trundle out the excuse that getting fit was what the games were about, rather than the (poor) scores. A positive start, now for Shrewsbury.
Shrewsbury today. Wonder what the team will be like. Will Bruce use it to experiment with his formation? Hope not; I don't think 3 at the back is for us. I hope the team he puts out will not be too far off his best. Or two teams; he has the option of changing this around for the second half.
Assuming Terry's avalable and not at Wimbledon, think I'd start with something like:
Hutton Terry Chester Taylor
Green Lansbury Hourihane Amavi
and then make plenty of changes through the second half.
Think Adomah, Baker and Richards are definitely out.
Starting Team: Johnstone, Hutton, Chester, Terry, Taylor, Green, Veretout, Hourihane, Bjarnason, McCormack, Hogan.
Last chance saloon for McCormack? Thought Gabby looked far better on Wednesday. Forgot about Bjarnason in my lineup, the obvious choice for left midfield. Veretout being given a run out rather than Lansbury.
0-0 half-time. We're doing some good stuff, while not showing much where it matters, in their box.
GREEK, get out the Ouzo, we ARE shit!!
2-1 final score. Shrewsbury 2 in the last 15 minutes, us a pen on full time.
Bruce stuck with the same team into the second half, to no great effect. Mass changes on 60 minutes disrupted things. Some of those coming on looked lively enough, but the defence was make-shift (Richards and Hutton centre backs) and it showed.
Poorer performances: Amavi gave the ball away a lot, Hourihane seemed ineffective, Hogan looked fast but that was it, McCormack wasn't even fast.
We need a forward who puts pressure on defences, and at the moment that seems to be Gabby. We also need to keep the ball better in the final third; too many attacks just broke down.
Good performances: Green and Hutton linked up well on the right. Bjarnason kept up pressure on the left. The initial back four looked well organised, solid. Of the initial side, play Gabby for McCormack, Lansbury for Hourihane, and you'd have a good side, even a very good side. Jedinak for Veretout, although Veretout didn't do badly.
Team: Johnstone, Bree, Samba, Terry, Taylor, Lansbury, Hourihane, Bjarnason, Amavi, Green, Agbonlahor.
Don't know why Amavi is playing if he's leaving. I'd drop him and play Hogan up front with Gabby.
edMore Ouzo requi
0-0 draw. Shocking!
how can a squad that is the same as last seasons inc all the deadwood be favourites to go up?
I know pre season is all about fitness level with blending new players in but we haven't got that problem as all our squad arrived last January, yet we still look as bad as last season?
the style of football is old school hoof ball that got Mccleish, lambert the sack, yet Bruce hasn't done anything different to change this.
we spent the majority of last season struggling and thus far look just as bad.
really feel we are going to be mid table this season, playoff place at best if other teams are not performing as they did last season ,Leeds, Sheffield, Fulham etc but we just look way off what is needed with this bunch.
not confident at all.
I'm trying to be positive, but having watched the last 2 games it is hard to find positives.
The only one I can come up with is that John Terry looks a different class to all the other players on the pitch. Calm composed and anticipates play well. But he will not play 40 plus games and the rest of the squad looks as bad as last season.
We need Kodjia fit asap or we will be fooked!!
Was happy with the first two games. Lively matches, easy wins against admittedly lower grade opposition. The results were what we should have expected, even though the line-ups were make-shift.
These last two games bring back all the doubts about Bruce. We need to win, even in pre-season, particularly against lower teams. Rather than play something approaching his strongest line-ups, to allow things to gel, the team selections are strange. Why are we still playing the likes of Veretout and Amavi, who are likely to be oiff, and Richards, who shouldn't be near the squad? McCormack still doesn't look fit.
There are no tactics, no style of play. Passing is hit and miss. We're going backwards. Signing Terry was a good move; the defence looks solid and confident, and is playing a higher line than last season. That's the good news. The bad news is that the teams we've just played look better organised and are the ones applying the pressure.
This tournament coming up is a waste of time. We just have the Arnhem and Watford matches before the season starts. If we're improving as we're supposed to be we ought to be at least competitive against Watford; I can see us getting tanked. Cheesed off!