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Guy

Same as a year ago in the Prem.

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Funnily enough after the 1-1 draw with Burnley last night we now have identical points and league position to this time last year.....3rd place with 50 points basically. Except we had a superior goal difference a year ago of +26. It will be interesting to see how this season pans out but you cannot help but think we might finish exactly where we did in the end last season also in 5th!  

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1 hour ago, Guy said:

Funnily enough after the 1-1 draw with Burnley last night we now have identical points and league position to this time last year.....3rd place with 50 points basically. Except we had a superior goal difference a year ago of +26. It will be interesting to see how this season pans out but you cannot help but think we might finish exactly where we did in the end last season also in 5th!  

We’ll be fine !!

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4 hours ago, STUHILL said:

I think 5th is a likely outcome but with players coming back and teams around us all struggling for consistency as well, we are still more than capable of getting over the line this time. 

 

Freak amount of injuries and a lack of squad depth are costing us right now. As Rodger's said though, we just have to get on with it and find a way. 

The problem is that the gap to 5th, 6th and even 7th is probably smaller than last season.

 

If we have a collapse like last season then we will struggle to even finish 5th. Last years points total for Top 4 was very low, this year could be similar but I think 2nd to 6th/7th will be fine margins.

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If we finish 7th or 8th I weren’t judge Rodgers. Atm we’re replacing rolls royce’s with Dacia Sandero’s. If we sign players like Thauvin, Soumare, Edouard and still collapse then I’ll judge Rodgers. 

Edited by Heymister2015
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3 minutes ago, Line-X said:

Problem solved. 

Perez playing pushes Youri back to his best position but to be honest Kel and Vardy works so having Fofana back pushes Youri back to so just little wins with injuries at the minute help. It may not be a boost for you but it would be for the squad and him i'm not they are not a fan of seeing there colleagues and mates sitting in the physio room 

 

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10 minutes ago, filbertway said:

Definitely gonna be a trivia question in a few years

 

Which premier league team spent 74 games out of 76 in the top 4 of the premier league but never managed to qualify for the champions league in that time?

We haven't not qualified yet. By all means be worried, but perhaps people (not necessarily you) could stop getting in a tangle before something has actually come to pass... 

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It feels different to me this time.  We don't have a 14 point cushion this year but last year's implosion seemed self-inflicted to some extent (Bournemouth, Watford).  I fully expect us to fall away again now but this is due to extraordinary circumstances.  I've never known an injury crisis to last an entire season before.

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36 minutes ago, goose2010 said:

The difference this season is we are getting players back in the next few weeks instead of getting injuries like we did last season. Yes if you are a pessimist you could say that we could pick up injuries but looking at the squad there is a bit of light at the end of the tunnel. 

 

We had Fofana back last night, Perez more that likely involved at the weekend. Evans I imagine was just rested / given a week to recover. Praet will be back soon and Maddison may be involved against Sheff United. 

 

After Brighton we have 1 league game in 3 weeks! with the FA cup in there as well. 

 

If Barnes is only out for 6 weeks (might be longer) he could potentially be back for the West Ham game which is only 3 league matches away. 

 

The figures might look the same as last season but the squad certainly doesn't. 

You're absolutely right. Look at the long term positives of this. Second successive year we're in the mix going into the final 11 games. Injury ravaged, yes, and we might fall away, but this season has proved we're no fluke now.

 

Building the squad up, getting a clean slate of fit players, planning for the future as we evolve away from JV. Going into 21/22 and 22/23 will be so exciting because now we know that we are capable of being a constant, consistent team in the top echelons of the Premier League.

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9 minutes ago, goose2010 said:

Perez playing pushes Youri back to his best position but to be honest Kel and Vardy works so having Fofana back pushes Youri back to so just little wins with injuries at the minute help. It may not be a boost for you but it would be for the squad and him i'm not they are not a fan of seeing there colleagues and mates sitting in the physio room 

 

:facepalm:It was a joke. 

 

Actually, Youri had one of his better games last night, Our problem was when we played him as an out and out no.10 against Slavia Prague last week - as someone sagely commented on here, the issue being, he had no Youri Tielemans behind him. Absolutely correct, Youri should not be deployed in an advanced role - we know that - you're telling us nothing new, but we were confronted with extraordinary bad luck of Madders, Praet and Perez all out.  

 

I feel for Perez, I really do. Lurking somewhere in there is a good footballer, but overall, he's been woefully inadequate and ineffectual for us. We can convincingly make the case that he's not a natural winger and he can't play up top so encouragingly the best way to deploy him is in the hole and he seems much better suited as a number ten which I think is his preferred role. Saying that, we often look weaker when he starts. I admire his close control and he's reasonably good with the ball at his feet - on occasions he looks a really intelligent footballer and you can see what he's trying to do. But too often his brain lags behind the ball and those feet are several steps behind his brain. He's too easily dispossessed and although Madders similarly lacks physicality, he often leaves opponents on their arse - you can't get near him, because he doesn't telegraph his intentions. 

 

I think you're right, the return of a player can only be a good thing for squad morale - goes without saying, I'd rather Madders or Praet, but Ayoze will at least improve Brendan's set up in terms of options during this challenging time. 

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Comparing last season's collapse and this possible influence of this season's injurie issues is a bit problematic to me. I think we have the resources to muddle through this season. With only Barnes and JJ unlikely to return. Last seasons collapse was less about injuries and entirely to do with impetus and motivation. We lost it over the Xmas period when Liverpool battered us and Vards/Wilf were out. We never rekindled it and the Covid lockdown sadly cemented the malaise. Worryingly when we returned in May Brendan just couldn't re-fire them. I didn't ever see it being about injuries. 

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Last year we didn’t have players like Castagne and Fofana in the squad, nor did we have such decent young players ready to step up.

 

A lot depends on the next three or four games. We should beat Brighton and Sheffield United. But if we lose to both of them...

 

Incidentally, look at Man U’s forthcoming fixtures.

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45 minutes ago, LanguedocFox said:

Last year we didn’t have players like Castagne and Fofana in the squad, nor did we have such decent young players ready to step up.

 

A lot depends on the next three or four games. We should beat Brighton and Sheffield United. But if we lose to both of them...

 

Incidentally, look at Man U’s forthcoming fixtures.

Man United are surely an irrelevance to us, they will qualify. We are surely looking at taking one of the other two places off Chelsea or Liverpool (or less likely West Ham/Everton/Spurs).

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1 hour ago, HighPeakFox said:

We haven't not qualified yet. By all means be worried, but perhaps people (not necessarily you) could stop getting in a tangle before something has actually come to pass... 

I deal with disappointment and potential disappointment by laughing about it :D 

 

In all seriousness, we'll have the majority of our players back in 2/3 games by the sounds of it, so there's no reason from the position that we're in that we can't finish top 4 this season.

 

For once I'm glad there's an upcoming international break. As long as Youri isn't ran into the ground.

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3 minutes ago, filbertway said:

I deal with disappointment and potential disappointment by laughing about it :D 

 

In all seriousness, we'll have the majority of our players back in 2/3 games by the sounds of it, so there's no reason from the position that we're in that we can't finish top 4 this season.

 

For once I'm glad there's an upcoming international break. As long as Youri isn't ran into the ground.

Indeed. 

Edited by HighPeakFox
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2 hours ago, jeffschlupp said:

Man United are surely an irrelevance to us, they will qualify. We are surely looking at taking one of the other two places off Chelsea or Liverpool (or less likely West Ham/Everton/Spurs).

Apologies, I didn’t make my meaning clear (I know, not like me). Looking at Man U fixtures and comparing them with ours, we could be a few points ahead of them come the Cup game. And they will have played Milan a couple of times as well, while we have been resting.

 

Always look on the bright side of life.

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I'd say the two are very different scenarios, honestly.

 

Last year when we lost players we went from having league-leading players to inexperienced/sub-par players (JJ at the time, Thomas and Mendy in place of Chilwell, Ricardo and Ndidi), plus Vardy/Maddison out with no real backup for those positions. Combine that with the very weird situation of the restart which we didn't adapt well to, and we struggled heavily.

 

This season we've strengthened the depth of the squad a lot, or at least the players we already had as backup have now improved, and whilst we've got a lot of injuries we're able to rotate through a bit as players gradually return. Rather than relying on inexperienced fullbacks like JJ/Thomas, they've both stepped up a gear (or two) this season and we've now got Castagne as support, and Ricardo is mostly back. We've got actual options at CB rather than relying on an aging Morgan and an out-of-position Fuchs. Tielemans has been pulling strings for us in a way we didn't have last year, and when Maddison/Praet/Perez come back in the next couple weeks we'll start to have more solid options again and be more effective. Up front is our biggest worry with Vardy looking off-form and Barnes being out, but with Thomas improving at LB and Ricardo happy to play at RW, as well as Kelechi having some good moments this season, we should have enough to see us through until we have more of the main squad at full fitness.

 

 

Its far from ideal, of course, but we're still up there where we want to be competing despite having dealt with these issues (to a lesser extent) all season long, so its on the whole looking relatively positive.

 

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