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ProudHattersince74 last won the day on May 22

ProudHattersince74 had the most liked content!

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About ProudHattersince74

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  1. Much that I don't want it to be so, I wouldn't be surprised if Pelly was one of the three. Inconsistencies through no fault of his own (hell, why wasn't he tried in goal when Walton left?) and possibly/probably one of the more valuable assets whilst he still has a year left on his contract. If it does happen then I'll probably subtract a few more respect points from our manager's stack as I see Pelly as having a real untapped quality that nobody else in the current squad offers. As regards the others, McQuoid and Lee would be my best guesses - again, because their contracts mean the club receiving a token postal order instead of nowt. Mind you, by my same criteria, Smudger could be in that exit list, especially as he has an option call for a further season thereafter. But he is, generally, a Duracell powered Mr Reliable to stabilise a midfield that's wobbling ... Jeez, I wish Smudger came on vs Blackpool instead of Cook! NJ signed Gray, Mullins and Cook so I can't see any of them being thanked and kissed goodbye. Neither can I see it being Paul Harzzzzzzzzzz
  2. Whilst i agree with the generalisation of "never go back", dare I mention Mick Harford being in a very key role at the club ATM? Anyway, if we had to drag any of our ex-managers out of retirement, John Moore springs to mind over all others and, I believe, commands as much, if not more respect. At least John Moore still loves Luton Town FC, which is more than I can say for Pleat after hearing that he was scouting our youth team for A.N.Other club a season or two ago and recommended one of our stand-out youngsters to them.
  3. Blimey, Wimbo, it's like being in Back to the Future with that report! Can you jump into your DeLorean go back to the day after the Plymouth opening day victory to let me know that that's as good as it's going to get all season?
  4. Resting just 90 seconds after resting for 15 minutes, you mean? Unfortunately, I don't do slightly! I think the 'enormity' of the failure to close out two games (where I thought that we were the only team likely to score any more goals in the matches) really hit home when the L1 PO final was shown on Saturday ... plus the knowledge that I'll be somewhere else other than Wembley next Sunday. Watching the L1 PO final was a real 'could've, should've' moment yet the frustration/annoyance/disappointment felt different this time compared to most of the other important times we've fallen short: mainly because it wasn't totally unexpected! We only continued to highlight our regular season's frailties in those PO matches. With regards to Lee, I'm struggling to recall him ever being tried further up to pitch with a deep-sitting defensive midfielder (Pelly?) behind him. NJ seemed to try every midfielder in every possible position at some stage in his attempts to find a combo that worked with his beloved diamond formation yet, for some reason, it seems that whenever Lee was present, he only played at the base of the diamond. That one selection then displaces Pelly from his strongest position so that two places are weakened by it.
  5. Bobby Robson admitted that every now and again he would have to rip up the teamsheets and tactics that had evolved during a season when his teams hit any sticky patches. He would then revert to his very first (August) reckonings and, effectively, start afresh. To a certain extent, I feel that is where NJ is ATM - his tactics and utilisation of JS's squad after his appointment was truly bloody impressive (even if the home results were inconsistent) and I think most of us thought that he and the team would kick on from there once he made his own signings. By imposing his preferred academy (diamond) tactics he diminished our effectiveness in the most important department, midfield. Opposition midfields either ran around us and attacked our FBs for fun or, more simply, ran straight through the middle depending upon the width of the diamond, the personnel asked to play it and their respective comprehension of a system that hardly any English teams play well, even in the Premier League. Furthermore, by not seeming to want to sign physically large players for a division where 'large' is almost a prerequisite for half of the team, it made us more vulnerable to conceding from set pieces and less likely to threaten at our own. Unfortunately, it didn't usually take opposition managers too long to suss out where our weaknesses were and that was reflected in some (best forgotten) inglorious performances against clubs with fractions of our resources. Tinkering from week to week and seeming to try to squeeze certain favourites onto the teamsheets (fit or not sometimes) has, I believe, cost NJ a huge amount of respect from a large number of fans since last season's efforts. Was the loss of Kevin Nugent a big factor? Would he have been able to steer a novice manager in a better direction than Mr Hart? Who knows? After all, Nugent, himself, has had two or three jobs since he left, such are the demands of modern football. That same tinkering (even after decent victories) and stubbornness to play the dreaded diamond come-what-may also meant we never managed a decent run of victories until the last three games of the regular season, if three on-the-trot is a decent run anyway! In a league that was probably the weakest of the three seasons since we've been back in the FL, that doesn't represent much, if any, progress to me. The fact that we came up short in the POs against a very ordinary Blackpool outfit didn't surprise me one iota and I put much of that down to the fact that we haven't had a proper captain on the pitch all season long: someone who commands, organises, implements the manager's instructions and tactics but, above all else, has the ability to get those around him to play 5%-10% better just by his very presence. Have we actually progressed? The fact we finished higher up the table suggests that we have improved but I'd counter that with the fact that NJ had a whole season to get us there and not just four(?) months from a start point towards the back of the grid. I always thought football was a fairly simple game but frustration and head-scratching reached a new high for me this season! Just after NJ admitted that he had finally found a position where Pelly excels and didn't go to sleep because he was continually involved, he gets moved to play a wider role to allow Lee back into the team as a deep-sitting quarterback. This is the same Lee who was put on the naughty step by the manager for not showing up when games became physical. Pelly became a passenger in many of the more recent matches and his talents were mainly wasted IMHO. January signings Gambin and D'Ath were never used because Lee and Cook were great at training - well sod that! Surely it's what they do against opposition players in competitive matches that counts, isn't it? The fact that both of those two would have brought greater pace and effort and far more movement to the table seems irrelevant. Dissect the squad make-ups of those teams promoted from this league since we've been back and see if there's a common DNA for success: Burton, Shrewsbury, Bury, Southend, Northampton, Oxford, Bristol Rovers, AFCW, Portsmouth, Plymouth and Doncaster. After typing that list, it has struck me that none of those promoted have been relegated back to L2. Most of them (with the possible exception of Bristol Rovers) have unrecognisable squads from their L2 days, suggests that we need to recruit for THIS league to escape it and then start again when in L1. NJ has been at pains to say that we have a L1 squad - maybe we have, but that ain't a lot of good whilst we're in L2.
  6. No left foot according to NJ!
  7. Must confess that I'd forgotten about that little irritant!* Jeez, can you imagine opposition teams having to face Hylton and Kennedy at the same time? Mind you they'd probably never play together as they'd be taking turns being banned. It's a shame we didn't get to see Oztumer here when JS tried to sign him - his non-stop buzzing around midfield may have woken some of our less active members in that department. * 'Irritant' was the only acceptable word I could think of for this forum cos he a complete
  8. Right, so we've come to the end of another season of failure and we've all had a chance to see most of the opposition we'll still be playing next season. Ignoring the fact that NJ has his own targets (probably negotiating to sign the rest of Jordan Cook's male relatives as I type) and given that you have a magic wand to poach any players away from L2 clubs, who would you go for? Even if they may not necessarily have been at their best against us, who comes in? I'll start the ball rolling: GK Blackman (Chelsea on loan at Wycombe) - probably on too high a wage for us and destined for L1/Championship next season. Would we want a loan GK anyway after Waltongate? Norris (Cambridge) - long contract probably means high fee. Derby's third choice keeper - either of them, Roos or Mitchell! Gary Rowell is fairly new there so, if he signs 'his own' GK, one of them will presumably be surplus. Again, fee or wages would be an issue. CB Pierre (Wycombe) - OOC this summer and their results always seem to improve when he plays ... downside could be the amount of time on the injury list this season. RB Assuming that Justin is off to higher levels, use some of the funds from his sale to reclaim Harriman from Wycombe. Bloody hell that's three Wycombe players already! Gareth next? LMF Cooper (Crewe) - gifted left foot, fit, fast and technically gifted. Fantastic deliverer of set pieces. Young as well so he wouldn't be the midfield general that we seem to agree is missing. I'd see him as an immediate starter (1-2 seasons experience including 1 at L2) and, in the longer term, a replacement for Sheehan. MF Potts (Blackpool) - covers everywhere! Fit, fast, tall and strong with a McGeehan type knack of picking up pieces on the edge of the box. Okay he played wider against us in the POs but he has a very good goal record. IF McG is sold, get this lad to replace him. Midfield general? Haven't a clue ATM! Looking at his previous signings, I'm not even convinced NJ will try to sign a midfield enforcer/captain as he seems to want to control everything himself from the technical area. Is Palmer the best target man we can get? Probably not but possibly yes! There were plenty on show but none that were stand-outs as our defence was, in the main, pretty damned good ... until the last two games.
  9. Presumably losing Danny Green and CMS alone would save quite a bit on the wage medical bill. Keeping the academy graduates is a no-brainer to me - they would be cheap to keep, can progress and develop in spurts so another year at 18 or 19 can show immense differences in physique and ability ... plus, they retain a value to the club even if/when they leave when OOC. FWIW I don't think Musonda has a great chance to be a great CB in a traditional 2CB defence in L2 because of the physical nature of the league - he isn't anywhere near tall enough vs 6'2"+ strikers in aerial battles BUT, his greatest assets are his reading/anticipation and ability to organise - I'd play him in a back three without hesitation as he could mop up the debris of mistakes by the other two. If he does continue with us, because of his reading of the game, I'd like to see if he could adapt into a Doyle-type defensive midfield holding role, especially as Pelly seems to be barred from that position. BTW, I'm fairly sure Famewo signed beyond this summer ... but also thought Smudger was OOC.
  10. The bizarre thing was that Cook was no faster or determined with his supposed fresh legs than Lee. The one thing that NJ could guarantee by swapping Smudger for Lee was energy ("plus a yellow card" I hear someone yell!) but just when we needed the sub to do the chasing for one or two knackered team-mates in the dying minutes we had a player who barely musters a canter at the best of times. Cook's other game-changing contribution was a pathetically taken injury time corner. All the previous ones by Lee and Sheehan had caused havoc in the middle of their penalty box with us having as much chance of heading it as they had (which is highly unlike us). But Cook's corner barely reached the front of the six yard box and the oh-so easy headed clearance allowed them to break to the other end and gain a corner. And that's the end where the ball stayed until it ended up in our net. From attack to defence in ten seconds courtesy of a sh1te set piece by a player who I seriously doubt will ever be accepted by the majority of the Luton faithful now. If nothing else, please, NJ, learn from YOUR OWN mistakes because they are plentiful but I don't get the impression that you accept and absorb some of them as being your responsibility. I fully expect you to make a multitude of mistakes as you're new to the role and haven't a CV as long as your arm to fall back on but when you try the same tactics and same personnel when it/they hasn't worked numerous previous occasions, why try them again? As Wimbo says, PH is only useful to NJ if he is contributing and advising - from the soundbites he has made in interviews I do wonder if modern football has left PH in its wake and would not be at all surprised if his input is minimal. IF PH is a 'yes' man and just runs with all of NJ's ideas then those game issues are solely down to NJ. ONE IS TOO MANY COOKS
  11. Supporting Luton at (most) times is akin to banging your head against a wall: it only becomes enjoyable when it stops. Thank goodness this season is finally over! TBH, I haven't enjoyed much of it at all with minimal (if any) improvement on last season when Jones inherited and utilised JS's squad to better effect than he managed over a longer period with his own signings. Quite what that says for NJ or Mick Harford as chief recruiting officer is another issue, especially as, IMHO, the league this season has been even more open that the previous ones ... and I didn't particularly think they were that strong. Generally, this season has seen the wrong players in the wrong positions attempting to play the wrong tactics (for this level) and I felt that last night's game was a microcosm of our season whereby we give away a poor and preventable goal, are then forced chase the game to get back into it, manage to impose ourselves (just) enough to worry the opposition for a few minutes (but not for any sustained periods, mind) and then contrive to self-implode by virtue of (usually) small individual errors ... but make them in key parts of the pitch and, too often, at key times of the games. Whilst these individual errors are unavoidable at tier 4 level, it's massively disappointing that when we see similar errors from opposition teams, we very rarely seem to be able to capitalise and punish them the same way we suffer. Utterly bewildering that at 3-1 up and with a break down our left, Pelly and others decided to pass the ball around instead of getting into the area despite getting behind their RB. Two minutes later it was 3-2 and the twitching began as the belief was sucked out of the team (and fans) by Moore's poor judgement. The fact that, afterwards, both Sheehan and Cuthbert had easy 'out' balls to Moore when they were under pressure (and facing their own goal) but chose to completely ignored him said everything about their total lack of confidence in Moore. Aldred was dead on his feet for the last 20 minutes and the introduction of Marriott (to run at him) or Palmer (to compete for headers) was a badly missed trick IMO. How or why a returning-from-injury Cook even managed to enter the field of play when we had pace in Marriott or Gambin, or endeavour and tackling ability in Smudger as far, far better alternatives is a major concern to me. If NJ can only see Cook as the first substitution after the (quite frankly) pathetic season he has had then I do start to worry about our manager's lack of vision or lack of tactical nous. Let's face it, even the 3CR commentators were saying that the lack of physicality has been the downfall since last August ... August FFS! And it's not as though we haven't seen multiple comments on this forum saying exactly the same things. Our summer shopping list should comprise at least the following IMO: experienced GK, two tall/imposing CBs (one with a left foot!), a midfield general, a creative midfielder (Cooper at Crewe would tick this box) and a genuine target man. Using Vassell as a target for long-balls does my head in! He wins very few as he isn't the best at timing jumps (better than Piggott!) but, more to the point, he is running away from their goal to get a spring into his jumps so he's even further from the place on the pitch where he is likely to hurt the opposition. Let him play off the shoulder of a proper target man so he always faces the oppo's goal and utilise his God-given pace. One of the CBs or the midfield general will also be captain material - sorry, Cuthbert but you ain't a captain in my book! Worryingly, I heard a rumour on Tuesday from an Oxford fan that Hylton signed for Luton on the basis that, if we failed to gain promotion this season, he could talk to L1 clubs. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Hylton, Justin and McGeehan have played their last matches for the club ... I would think that Moore has as well. We haven't been good enough and haven't looked good enough. Dedicating half the season to a sodding diamond formation has been our main downfall IMO - the players looked uncomfortable playing it and SOD's admittance in a recent newspaper article that he's struggled with playing that system only confirmed that it's beyond the comprehension of players (and fans) at this level. I'll be frustrated, annoyed and disappointed if we revert to the diamond next season.
  12. "Bouncebackability" - a word not too synonymous with Luton Town's recent years, despite it's origin being credited to Iain Dowie. I want tonight's team and management to make this tomorrow's 'word-of-the-day' and give me the perfect excuse to use it whilst regaling (to anyone that will listen) exactly why I love the play-off format! Deep down, though, I suspect the word-of-the-day will be "bugger".
  13. Sounds like a viable excuse why the players don't communicate with each other enough on the pitch.
  14. Would like to say that I'm confident at this point ... but, sadly, not. Mainly because I haven't a clue whether the Jekyll or Hyde version of Luton Town FC will show up. But also because NJ can sometimes throw in a completely 'left-field' decision on either starting personnel or tactics. Mind you, maybe the effect of latter sentence causes the uncertainty of the first! Whatever happens, can the players please start both halves as if their lives depend upon it: none of this 'sit-back and see what they can throw at us' lark that has happened too many times this season and caused us to chase games rather than dictate them COYH.

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