(15) Craig Cathcart

Discussion in 'The Team Bus' started by hornmeister, Mar 3, 2017.

  1. Chumlax

    Chumlax Squad Player

    I would essentially agree with Jumbo's reply to your question, with Femenia either a back-up option/someone who can possibly play against the right opposition, or that can at least be compensated for in terms of defensive failings in a team that is otherwise more balanced.

    At no point did I think we would actually buy every one of the players we need/ed, and I'm sure I could find posts of my own from the summer acknowledging that, but my main points/complaints would be:

    A) Of those we did buy, we did quite a poor job, or at least a poorer job than we could afford as a collective - we have one effective midfield player, let alone signing, with Etebo admittedly being a possible second to that had he not got injured, and we didn't really seem to have any strategic view at all - as has been noted, we have about 6 midfield shuttling back and forth-ers, none of whom really play in a defined position or give us any options or variety positionally at all. Louza is the only one who is in any way different and so far has been barely picked, as well as now being gone for the most impactful period of our entire season; something we always knew would be the case.

    B) More importantly, I didn't and don't believe that it was acceptable to carry on without upgrading the centre of defence - it should have been our joint first priority, minimum. I didn't think it was acceptable at the time and said as much, and I wasn't fooled by what happened in the Championship last season. The recruitment was deeply misguided and unbalanced, in my opinion, and there was no possible way we should have come out of the window saying 'we're fine how we are' in that department, regardless of any theoretical difficulties faced - it isn't, and wasn't good enough.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2022
  2. A fair answer.
    I guess my logic is still we had to focus on the strikers first. Starting this season with Gray and Deeney upfront with Sarr didn’t bear thinking about. As I say the defence had just had a very successful champ campaign. Not good enough for the prem maybe but not as unfit as our strikers and the back up midfield behind H&C. We’ll never truly know what happened with H&C or whether they tried and failed to bring a defender in or felt that we could get by with the 4 we had.
    It was always going to be tough to stay up this season.
     
  3. reids

    reids Squad Player

    Read an interesting article yesterday, apparently according to Opta there were over 14,500 clearances in the PL last season. Clearances in terms of stats are regarded as a good thing, however out of those 14516 clearances, 1063 of those ended with the opponent taking a shot within the next 6 seconds.

    This would suggest that not all defensive actions are necessarily good.

    So they basically created a new metric looking at poor defensive actions (headers/tackles/interceptions/clearances) that then leads to a shot. They then applied this metric to everyone in the PL this season.

    Cathcart comes out at 4th bottom (only Schar, Godfrey + Andersen rank worse).
     
  4. wingco

    wingco Reservist

    I've always seen Cathcart as a very low risk taker. He's perfect for the Championship as he's not rash, tends to be OK positionally and isn't caught out as much for pace.

    This is why he sticks out like a sore thumb in this league. Sitting back and waiting for the perfect moment to make a tackle means you've probably already allowed somebody the chance to shoot.

    I think if he had more aggression to his game he'd have been a far better player, but then there's plenty you could say that about
     
    nornironhorn likes this.
  5. Chumlax

    Chumlax Squad Player

    I feel like this speaks highly to my ongoing campaign against his neverending prediliction for mindlessly choosing to bang a header straight into the middle of nowhere/immediately back to an opposition midfielder whenever he's under a loose ball, rather than bring it down, control it, and keep possession that we can then use/build with etc.
     
  6. Since63

    Since63 Squad Player

    I wonder if the hierarchy seriously believed we were going to sign a 'real' CB only for it to fall through, hence the decision to sell Wilmott. Underwhelming as he may have been for us, he could not have been any worse than what we've seen so far. If they decided to sell him knowing full well they were not going to bring another CB in, then 'despair' is the only word I can find.
     
    Burnsy likes this.
  7. Burnsy

    Burnsy First Team

    I can tell you, whether you believe I have contacts or not, that this isn’t true.

    The club didn’t deem a first team CB necessary in the summer.
     
  8. Since63

    Since63 Squad Player

    Then despair all who read that….
     
    Chumlax likes this.
  9. Knight GT

    Knight GT Predictor extraordinaire 2013/14

    If that is true then they complete ******* idiots
     
  10. Hogg-DEENEY!!!

    Hogg-DEENEY!!! Squad Player

    Fully understand giving Sierralta a chance after such a promising season last season, sort of get it for WTE (less impressive, but still part of a record-equalling defence), but we still needed someone to keep them on their toes at the very least!
     
  11. HeiaWatford

    HeiaWatford Reservist

    I can't. A novice in FS and WTE wasn't even very good last season. A declining rapidly Cathcart and always injured Kabs. We sign a youngster in MP and he's out on loan. I'm not saying they shouldn't be looking at younger talent but it should of been him plus a proven starting CB.
     
  12. a19tgg

    a19tgg Squad Player

    I said a few times regarding FS we had to entertain the idea he might not make the step up, there was obviously the hope he would, but absolutely no guarantee. WTE was the exact opposite, to me it was blindingly obvious he would be a liability.

    We came into this season operating far too much like a Huddersfield or a Hull city, basically relying on too many championship players making the step up.

    Munoz - blind hope
    Bachmann - blind hope
    FS - blind hope
    WTE - blind hope
    Rose - Hadn’t performed at PL level for two years - blind hope
    Kiko - previously not up to PL level - stupidity
    Masina - previously not up to PL level - stupidity
    Cathcart - previously not up to PL level - stupidity

    That’s just operating on a wing and a prayer.

    Is it any wonder we are where we are when we have taken so many liberties across our entire back line?

    There is every chance you strike it lucky relying on one, or at a stretch maybe two making the step up, but we were essentially relying on our manager and entire back five becoming PL standard, and that’s with us knowing for a fact three of them definitely aren’t and are just older than when they last failed at this level.

    it’s utter madness and was always going to end in tears.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2022
    luke_golden, Chumlax, Since63 and 2 others like this.
  13. So if H&C leaving was unavoidable (who knows?), we basically needed to replace 10 of the 11 first team from last season with much better players without spending a lot of money and gel them into a cohesive unit ?
     
    Wallosh10 likes this.
  14. hornetboy1

    hornetboy1 First Team Captain

    For me, the defence has never really been good enough. In the 5 years of Premier League, we started well with QSF in season one, and we only conceded 50 goals. Since that season we conceded an average of 1.68 goals per game.

    Season 16-17 68 goals
    Season 17-18 64 goals
    Season 18-19 59 goals
    Season 19-20 64 goals

    If you're conceding over 60 goals every season, you really need to look at rectifying that. Season 18-19 was the final straw for me. The season we got to the cup final. Even in a successful season like that, the defence was far too weak, and you were always going to run the risk of relegation if you average such a high goals against figure.

    To leave the defence alone again this season was nothing more than negligent, and the club are paying the price with an almost certain relegation facing them.

    What I don't understand is why do the club continually fail to recognise this deficiency. Without getting personal about the players who play in defence, the club really have to answer this question. It's a fundamental strategy that is flawed, and I'm not convinced even now that they understand the value of a strong defence.

    This season our defence has plummeted below even the worst ratio we've had under the Pozzo's in the EPL. 36 goals conceded in 18 games. Exactly 2 goals per game.

    So to total all this up, taking the last 9 games from season 15-16 to now, this is how many goals we've conceded. 311 from 179 matches. An average of 1.74 goals per game.

    We're just not giving ourselves a chance. It's just basics and this is what frustrates fans. It seems to be an easy fix. Get the centre of defence right and the rest follows. Get the average down to around 1.44 and we're in business. That would be 55 goals per season, which gives us a fighting chance.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2022
  15. a19tgg

    a19tgg Squad Player

    So how are we bidding £7m for Phillips now, potentially giving Vida a 2.5 year deal, signed Kayembe, happy to sideline rose at a cost of £3m or more?
     
    Burnsy likes this.
  16. a19tgg

    a19tgg Squad Player

    My only theory is that having run Udinese for what about 20 (?) years and having never been relegated, they think they have a tried and tested method in terms of where and who to recruit, they think that will just transplant directly to the PL. Unfortunately if that is the case, they’ve been far too slow on the uptake to realise what works for Udinese doesn’t work for us.
     
  17. So you DO think we should have successfully replaced 10 of the 11 in the summer and not required to make any changes in the Jan window ?
     
  18. a19tgg

    a19tgg Squad Player

    Of course not, is that what I said? Surely you understand the point I was making? My point is that we took a punt on the manager and entire back 5 + backup being good enough, we didn’t have ONE single bit of current and proven PL quality in the manager position, GK or defence.

    So even just ONE or TWO would have been sensible/necessary.

    I know you’re hell bent on pushing the narrative that everything is pre ordained because other clubs have a more money, but at some point you’re surely going to have to admit a lot is simply down to poor decision making? At this point you’re really starting to lose credibility by constantly pushing the narrative there was nothing different the club could and should have done differently.
     
    Chumlax likes this.
  19. I'm sure there will be an element of this but I rather think they accepted that replacing Deeney / Gray / Sucess / Penaranda / that wimpy striker from Belgium whose name escapes me, and filling the holes in the midfield was the priority for that window. Given limited funds, competition for signings etc replacing the full team wasn't going to be possible. Maybe the defence should have been a higher priority than other parts of the pitch ? Maybe you think replacing the whole team bar Sarr was possible ?
     
  20. Burnsy

    Burnsy First Team

    Kim Min-Jae went to Fenerbahce for £2.7m.
    Kostas Manolas went to Olympiakos for £2m in this window.

    The expenditure in this January window alone confirms we could have afforded them. The 2 fee’s above are already nearly the price of Kayembe alone!

    I am sure there is debate about whether they would have come - but that’s not really what’s being discussed. What’s being discussed is affordability and the club cutting corners in defence.
     
    Chumlax likes this.
  21. Jumbolina

    Jumbolina First Team

    Don’t think so. Kiko/Ngakia ok. Definitely needed LB but we tried with Rose. Don’t think anyone could envisage Bachmann being so poor or Foster being unprofessional/injured.

    However what was crazy was thinking that the 4 CBS were enough, given previous shortcomings of Cathcart/Kaba, Troost errant passing and doubts about FS stepping up. And on top of that selling Wilmot. According to Burnsy they didn’t even consider a single addition to bolster quality and cover injuries. Idiotic imo and a big reason we are in such a pickle.
     
    Since63 likes this.
  22. You really don't like someone having a different opinion to you do you ? I respect your view but believe you're being too optimistic about what can be achieved in one window for a newly promoted team. Replacing 10 of the 11 or 8 of the 11 with quality additions is atough ask. We have revamped our promoted squad more that the other 2 promoted sides and have King, Dennis, Cucho, Sissoko, Etebo (before injury), Kucka all regularly starting.
     
  23. Jumbolina

    Jumbolina First Team

    My worry is it is due to the refinancing done post window shut!
     
  24. a19tgg

    a19tgg Squad Player

    It’s not that you have a different opinion, it’s that you have a relentlessly signal minded opinion that flies in the face of all evidence and logic.

    It seems that you believe everything is pre ordained, and that making different decisions can’t have an impact on the outcome of something.
     
  25. So replace all bar RW and RB, so 10 players ? Or maybe 9 if it was reasonable to believe Bachmann/Foster would be ok ? I just don't think that was realistic. They obviously took a gamble that S & WTE backed by K & Cath would get them through til Jan at least and I agree it hasn't worked out. But I can see why they prioritised the positions they did. Can you imagine the heat on this forum if Gray and Deeney has started this season instead of King & Dennis ?
     
  26. a19tgg

    a19tgg Squad Player

    We’ve always got Louza though, as we all know that could’ve been spent on defence.

    I appreciate we can’t upgrade all 11 players, but equally I don’t get the point of upgrading any of them if we were just going to ignore an entire section of the squad that we knew wasn’t good enough last time.

    If it all comes down to money we would’ve been better off doing a Norwich, because any money we did spend is ultimately going to be flushed down the drain twice over by ignoring the defence.
     
  27. I don't believe anything is pre-ordained ? I do believe it is tough for us to compete with richer or established prem clubs for established players who are clearly better than what we have.

    I don't have a "relentlessly single minded opinion". I just have a view that is consistently different to yours. I don't think it was ever going to be possible to successfully complete the level of squad surgery that you believe was required and possible, and I understand why they prioritised where they did. We just disagree that's all.

    As I've said before, I just believe some posters like to forget the good stuff and find something to criticise/whine about. There will always be something to criticise. Others take a more balanced view. I don't think we will ever become an established prem club without new richer owners.
     
  28. But can you imagine the fan reaction on here if we had "done a Norwich" and the Pozzos had just pocketed the money :). At least they have attempted to upgrade much of the squad without bankrupting the club, even if not quite 9 or 10 of the 11.
     
  29. a19tgg

    a19tgg Squad Player

    But your view isn’t balanced? Your view is the least balanced on here because it’s relentless that the club can’t compete and can’t do anymore than they’ve done. I and many others like Burnsy etc. actually have a more balanced view, because despite criticising the club on some things we will still praise them when it’s warranted.
     
  30. Of course it's balanced. I give praise and criticism, others prefer just to criticise it seems.
    We are in the prem again for the 6th year so on balance they have got more things right than wrong. Do you accept that ?
    It's tough, but not impossible, to compete against richer and established prem clubs for in demand players. Do you accept that ?
    We made a lot of cheap (relatively) signings in the summer and have improved the quality of a number of first XI positions. King, Dennis, Sissoko, Etebo look quality additions. Kucka, Cucho, a bit meh. Louza looks promising but not ready to contribute to the extent that must have been anticipated for the money paid. Tufan and Rose look poor punts.
     
  31. Burnsy

    Burnsy First Team

    Surely that depends on whether you deem being in the PL as the only yardstick by which to measure success?

    PS. Etebo has played less than 5 games - I still don’t understand the clamour to label him as a quality addition.

    PPS. Punt Klaxon!
     
  32. Yes presume that's a pretty big one though ? As long as they don't achieve it by bankrupting us of course by signing 2 x £10m CBs :)
     
  33. a19tgg

    a19tgg Squad Player

    It depends if you choose to look at things collectively, or chronologically. I prefer to look at things on a timeline, and since the FA Cup final the owners have made increasingly bad and bizarre decisions. We’re in a significantly worse position now than at the same point in our first PL season, this is because of poor decision making. We were on an upward trajectory until 18/19 and now we aren’t.
     
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  34. We are in a worse position now agreed. How much of that is down to poor decision making and how much is down to the effect of continually having to swim against the financial tide would be open to debate and I doubt we'd agree. They have made planty of poor decisions since then, some looked bad at the time others like Welbeck and Dawson looked good at the time. Given we were highly mortgaged at the time, relegation at the time of covid will have scared them ....and us. We will always rely on leftfield signings, some will come off and some won't. When they have spent "big" it really hasn't worked out. Their communication and involvement of the fans is poor. I'm not sure we will be more successful on the pitch under a new owner and I doubt we will be an established prem team again. Just my opinion of course :).
     
  35. Burnsy

    Burnsy First Team

    I listed above 2 CB’s who are far better than what we have who we could have potentially signed for less than £5m combined. And they went to middling European clubs outside the major leagues.

    It doesn’t always have to be about ‘bankrupting the club’ or even spending what we don’t have. The money spent on an unknown quantity like Kayembe shows that.
     
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