Just Back On The Island... Hull

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Just Back On The Island... Hull

Post by SM » Wed Aug 31, 2022 8:51 pm

What a thoroughly satisfying night under the lights in W12!

Following last weekends excellent performance at Vicarage Road, it was refreshing to see us pick up from exactly where we left off, literally straight from kick-off. It’s still early days, but we’re definitely getting closer to understanding what a Michael Beale team looks & feels like.

I’ll exclude Chair’s desire to shoot on site from any long-term footballing philosophy - he’ll be trying to take our goal kicks next... But the emphasis on overlapping full-backs, the creative freedom given throughout the team, the high-press & snapping into tackles, the attacking runs and movement off the ball… We look a fantastically well drilled, well coached outfit.

Performance-wise, I will single out Illias Chair, who is absolutely thriving under Beale. There are certain players that just ‘click’ under a particular manager, and Chair has taken his game to a whole new level this season. He was scintillating against Watford, and every bit as good against Hull last night. A lot of fans, myself included, laughed at him for even attempting to shoot from the distance that he did against Watford, but he has confidence running through his veins at the moment, and his cultured finish on the end of yesterday’s work of art was as good as it gets. As was the case on Saturday, Chair pick the ball up in an advanced position, and as he cut in from the left, his shot looked on course to end up in the South Africa Road stand it before bending back into the top right hand corner, leaving ex-QPR goalkeeper Matt Ingram without a hope in the world of getting anywhere near it.

Can’t shoot from distance eh? Stick that in your pipe and smoke it!

The individual moments of brilliance from Chair & Willock have been a regular theme so far this season, but equally as pleasing has been the cohesion amongst the players, and again, this was on full show again yesterday. I felt slightly cheated re-watching the highlights coming home last night, the second goal was so much better than the cropped clip that Sky lazily uploaded to their website.

There’s not been many managers (we’ve had enough of them!) that have managed to mould a free-flowing side together like this so quickly - and I look back with nothing but fondness at those Gigi De-Canio times and the attractive brand of football we played under him... Beale seems to be very much of the same ilk.

I mentioned in my Watford summary that perhaps the Willock goal was an early sign of the kind of thing we may see on a more regular basis - and that proved to be the case a matter of minutes after celebrating the Chair stunner.

There’s was some really neat interplay between Field, Laird, Dykes and Dickie… With Dickie eventually stepping forward to feed the ball forward to Willock… Just as was the case against Watford, the ball was pushed wide with the outside of his boot which left the entire Hull back-line scrambling for position... The quality on Paal’s cross was exquisite, and he found Laird who had made a late run into the box and made no mistake in diverting the ball into the bottom corner to give us a 2-0 lead (interesting to note that we had no less than 4 players in the box - Chair, Johansen, Laird & Dykes).

A beautiful goal & a clinical finish - my only cause for complaint being the supporter to my right that couldn’t decide whether he wanted his rail seat tucked up or left open… Having waited so long for these seats to be introduced, it turns out that they’re perfectly positioned to cut through your legs like a hot knife through butter when left down - my celebrations cut short whilst I bled out - just as QPR turn into prime Barcelona.

The game was effectively killed the moment that we went 3-0 up with 40 mins on the clock. I mentioned last time out that Johansen was noticeably playing in a more advanced role, and it was his hassling high up the pitch that presented Willock with a chance to open his account for the evening... If he gets the ball in that area, there’s normally only one outcome, and it was no surprise to see him cooly slot into the bottom corner and secure the 3 points.

True to form, and just as we did against Watford on Saturday, we dropped one howler on half-time. As good as the football was, and it was exceptional at times, we really overplayed at the back here, and Field inexplicably passed the ball directly to the Hull striker who had just Dieng to beat... Such was his shock at being presented the opportunity, he didn’t react quickly enough and Dieng gratefully snipped the ball off of his toes to retain the 3-0 lead. Had the referee not blown for full time, I think Dieng would still be staring Field down now, not impressed, at all.

The second-half was a very professional performance from us, played at a much slower tempo. It was clear how much further it dropped when Willock was substituted, but it was very much a case of job done - and you never really felt that Hull had any chance of getting back into the game.

I would love to say that we sailed through the rest of the half with no major talking points, but I can't not to address the elephant in the room - THAT Lyndon Dykes miss. Yikes!

To be clear, I've been very critical of him this season. He should have a lot more goals to his name, and it has cost us points. I don’t think his performances have been anything like what we should expect from our first choice striker. But, but, I also won’t take away the fact that his work-rate is second to none, and there are occasions where his presence really complements the more technical, skilful players around him.

However, the concerns remain, and this moment of horror tells you everything about where he’s at... A stark contract to some of his team-mates who like they could walk on water - Dykes looks like he’s struggling to walk at all. It’s one hell of a miss, but I genuinely felt nothing but sorry for him here. To the fans credit, they remained completely behind him, with his name sung multiple times during the second half... I fear it won’t be quite so forgiving if he misses this at 0-0 or if we’re losing, but he needs that goal - and he needs it now.

Player Ratings

Dieng - Very much back to his best after an indifferent game against Watford. Made a brilliant point-blank save in the first half, and a smart one down to his right after a well worked move from Hull at a critical point of the game. Their goal should have been flagged for offside, little he could do about it.

Laird - We’ve not had much luck with our signings from Manchester United over the years, and I still get a nervous twitch whenever I hear the name Will Keane mentioned - but they’ve gone some way to repairing the damage with this wonder. I’m still questioning how we managed to get this one over the line. A phenomenal piece of business and a true game changer at both ends of the pitch. Defends well & attacks exceptionally. Delighted to see him get his first goal.

Dickie - Thought he was absolutely excellent here. Solid, great on the ball, and didn’t really put a foot wrong.

Dunne - See above. My only criticism, and I say this as one of his biggest admirers… He has a tendency to try seeing balls out for a goal kick and then gets caught in absolutely lethal areas. Really needs to stamp that out of his game.

Paal - Really looking every bit the player he was in pre-season, and getting sharper with every game. Defensively sound, wins a surprising number of headers for someone of his relatively small build, and now offering assists at the other end of the pitch. Beale will be delighted with him. A proper modern full-back.

Field - Not his best performance, and almost gifted Hull a way back after a bizarre bit of play. Needs to improve on this showing, and no doubts that he will.

Johansen - Followed up on his improved Watford performance with another great game here. So much better when playing in an advanced position. Two assists through sheer perseverance. A proper captains performance, long may it continue.

Dozzell - Another man that looks reborn under Beale. Just as energetic and forward thinking as he was against Watford. He’s upped his game massively, and definitely staking a claim for a regular start now. Fair play to him.

Willock - Clearly not yet 100% fit, but still far too good for most teams in this division. A constant handful, and opens up so much space for Chair to go and exploit. Finished his goal brilliantly. Correctly taken off early with the game won.

Chair - Wow. Another dazzling performance. A touch of class for the goal & covered every blade of grass out there. Exceptionally good.

Dykes - Ironically, I thought he was having an okay game. But that miss will dominate and overshadow his performance. Feel gutted for him. He looks shot to pieces at the moment.

Substitutes

Adomah - Perhaps could have done better with a chance after being set away from Dozzell. Helped see the game out.

Armstrong - Typical performance here. Lively, and gave the crowd a boost. Would have liked to see him given a bit longer.

Roberts - No real impact.

Kakay - Relatively solid, although not really tested with Hull well beaten.
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Re: Just Back On The Island... Hull

Post by WA Hoop » Thu Sep 01, 2022 1:10 am

Another detailed, informative and entertaining report SM. Keep up the good work and I hope your seat ravaged leg is on the mend!

P.S. Just watch Dykes go and break his drought with a hat-trick.
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Re: Just Back On The Island... Hull

Post by SM » Thu Sep 01, 2022 7:26 am

WA Hoop wrote:
Thu Sep 01, 2022 1:10 am
Another detailed, informative and entertaining report SM. Keep up the good work and I hope your seat ravaged leg is on the mend!

P.S. Just watch Dykes go and break his drought with a hat-trick.
Haha, thank you WA Hoop.

I hope you’re right on Dykes… Will be interesting to see if Beale gives him another start on Saturday.
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Re: Just Back On The Island... Hull

Post by ZENITH R » Thu Sep 01, 2022 8:19 am

SM wrote:
Thu Sep 01, 2022 7:26 am
WA Hoop wrote:
Thu Sep 01, 2022 1:10 am
Another detailed, informative and entertaining report SM. Keep up the good work and I hope your seat ravaged leg is on the mend!

P.S. Just watch Dykes go and break his drought with a hat-trick.
Haha, thank you WA Hoop.

I hope you’re right on Dykes… Will be interesting to see if Beale gives him another start on Saturday.
Yes, he missed a sitter
Yes, he has only scored once all season
Yes, he looks like he couldn't hit a cows backside from 2 paces

However,

He puts in a shift every game
His presence makes space for others to score/ exploit
His contribution to the team is extremely important

What matters at the end of the day is - did we (our team) score? Did we win? Are we moving in the right direction?

So, as frustrating as his finishing is in front of goal is ... Lyndon Dykes is part of a winning team that is in the top half of the table.

He seems to go on runs of matches where he scores a few, hopefully, he will start one of those on Saturday.
Saturday 9th November 1968: QPR V Burnley in the First Division - I saw the Hoops for the first time and my obsession began!

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Re: Just Back On The Island... Hull

Post by SM » Thu Sep 01, 2022 2:17 pm

ZENITH R wrote:
Thu Sep 01, 2022 8:19 am
He seems to go on runs of matches where he scores a few, hopefully, he will start one of those on Saturday.
It’s ironic really - he’s played significantly better in the last 2 games than he did before.

Very tough call for Beale, I don’t know whether I would drop him or persevere. I’m glad we’re away Saturday though, that will help.
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Re: Just Back On The Island... Hull

Post by Giorgio » Thu Sep 01, 2022 2:46 pm

...and as it came out...Dozzell...a player that had always failed to impress me...or even showing anything in the last couple of seasons...
and all of a sudden he has flourished as a PLAYER....may be MB found the way to discover his potential...and I am very happy to swallow all my critics I expressed on him....well done to the lad....hope he keeps on this way... aniclap aniclap aniclap

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Re: Just Back On The Island... Hull

Post by SM » Sat Sep 03, 2022 7:18 am

Giorgio wrote:
Thu Sep 01, 2022 2:46 pm
...and as it came out...Dozzell...a player that had always failed to impress me...or even showing anything in the last couple of seasons...
and all of a sudden he has flourished as a PLAYER....may be MB found the way to discover his potential...and I am very happy to swallow all my critics I expressed on him....well done to the lad....hope he keeps on this way... aniclap aniclap aniclap
Me too. I couldn't see a future for him at QPR - but he's really showing something now.

It will be interesting to see if he holds his place with the new Villa midfielder coming in...
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