Just Back On The Island… Swansea

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Just Back On The Island… Swansea

Post by SM » Sun Sep 04, 2022 7:03 am

“I’ve got to be honest with you, I thought about it last year, and I’ve thought about it already this year and that is basically to pack up being involved in the sport. The standard of officiating, unfortunately as far as I’m concerned, is at an all-time low.

As far as I’m concerned the integrity of the sport is being compromised. They’re consistently so poor.”


The above is an extract taken from a Nigel Pearson interview a couple of weeks ago… He’s come out with some pretty extraordinary things in his time, who can forget his infamous “ostrich” outburst, but he’s bang on the money here - and I completely resonate with his feelings.

I think we’ve all witnessed these inept officials for many a season now, their mediocrity accepted as ‘part and parcel’ of the game. You throw in the cancer of gamesmanship that every club in the division exhibits - and there are times where football can be a thoroughly miserable, infuriating experience.

But even when judging a standard lower than a snakes belly, there are occasions where a set of officials hit new lows, and you move from the (standard) territory of bizarre to all out bias. All this from Oliver Langford - one of the most experienced referees that the EFL have to offer.

I could honestly rant and ramble on about this all morning… afternoon… evening… and weekend… but whilst we pulled the short straw with that diabolical set of oxygen thieves purporting to be professionals of their trade - we only have ourselves to blame for losing here.

We’ve drawn plenty of praise for our exceptional performances over the last couple of games, but something just wasn’t quite clicking yesterday.

It’s hard to really put a finger on, I’m still torn between whether it was just on of those days, complacency, or maybe just a game too far for the same eleven that have been asked to play at 100mph for the 3rd time in a week.

As good as we’ve been recently, we were sloppy all over the pitch yesterday. Our touch was heavy, the control was loose and defending was hap-hazard. The fluency on show against Watford & Hull simply wasn’t there, with our only threat posed through brief passing spells, or individual snapshots of brilliance from Willock or Chair. That was literally it.

Dykes, true to form, offered as much threat to Swansea as the strong breeze passing through South Wales… and even that would have at least hit the target against Hull. What an insipid season in-front of goal he’s having.

I touched on Sam Field and the clanger that he dropped on Tuesday night - on another day that costs us - and that day came to roost yesterday afternoon with another uncharacteristic error. He’s dropping gifts all over the shop at the moment, I’m half expecting him to show up to Huddersfield with a herd of reindeer in tow.

I’ve not seen it back yet, but the penalty appeared incredibly generous on first viewing. It seems like an eternity since we’ve saved one in open play - so it wasn’t a moment too soon, and thankfully justice was served there.

It could have been all so different just moments earlier. Chair broke from midfield, and we had a 2v1 situation with Willock in behind the final defender... If Chair finds the pass we undoubtedly go 1-0 ahead here, but it wasn’t to be as the pass was skewed. A key moment, and one which Chair will be kicking himself all the way back to W12 over.

Before the close of the half, Willock treated us to another show of absolute quality. After picking up the ball out wide, he tip-toed past the full back, and dazzled his way beyond two defenders… He blasted the ball low and hard into the box, but it just didn’t fall right as Dykes and Johansen got caught between themselves, and the ball was gratefully booted clear.

There was also a moment where an innocuous ball was played in behind Swansea which appeared to be misread, Chair raced in behind with their CB fighting to make up for lost ground… Chair bought himself a yard, and saw his vicious effort palmed over by the keeper from very close range on his left foot.

At half time, I personally still felt that the 3 points were there for the taking. Swansea’s defence was questionable at best, and I truly believe they fall like a house of cards if we get the leveller.

Beale tried to chop and change it, but we just couldn’t find a way through.

So, so many half chances and close calls, but nothing that really tested their keeper or gave them a real cause for concern until the final throws of the game.

On the positive, Iroegbunam looked a real player, and he almost set up a goal on his debut after nice footwork on the edge of the box. After evading his man, his delicate ball saw Chair through on goal, but it just didn’t quite set right, and the ball was eventually hacked clear after an almighty scramble.

But as was the case in the first half, we just couldn’t build up a head of steam… Whether it was the quality on the final pass, poor positioning, players misreading the flight of the ball or getting tangled amongst themselves - or the referee literally just blowing for Swansea free-kicks for the hell of it, we just couldn’t find the back of the net.

Beale will be grateful for a weeks rest. Let’s see what Huddersfield brings.

Onwards & Upwards!

Player Ratings

Dieng - Excellent stop for the penalty, followed up with point blank save with his feet shortly after. Had absolutely no chance with their goal after ghastly mistake.

Paal - Another really good performance and definitely pick of the bunch from our defenders. Saved an almost certain goal after making up huge amount of ground with last ditch sliding tackle, and always an option out wide.

Dunne - I thought he was really poor. I’m not marking him down for the penalty, as I maintain that was incredibly harsh. But caught flat footed numerous times during the game and his use of the ball was pretty awful. For my money, Dunne is the best CB at the club, but this high line, high octane style of football we’re playing really doesn’t look suited to him IMO. He doesn’t have the mobility for it. It’s early days of course, but my gut feeling is that he’ll be one of the casualties for the way Beale wants to play.

Dickie - Bailed us out more than once as Swansea threatened, but didn’t have an awful lot to do. Tried playing out from the back, but not quite as convincing as he’s been in previous games. Substituted for Balogun.

Laird - Very quiet going forwards. No issues defensively, but in the moments that you wanted him to have a go and unlock them he didn’t quite deliver. Frustrating afternoon for him against his former club.

Field - When we speak about looking sloppy, nothing demonstrated that clearer than the inexcusable mistake which ultimately cost us, Field’s second in as many games. We should expect so much more from him. A real shame.

Johansen - Pretty average from him. He won ball high up once or twice, but didn’t effect the game anything like he’s managed in the last two. He’s really looked back to his best recently, but there’s no way he has the legs to play with that energy 3 times in a week, not for me anyway.

Dozzell - Definitely the best of the midfield 3 IMO. He really tried to force the issue, and whilst he perhaps was guilty of attempting the wrong pass on occasion, he showed for the ball and kept playing on the front foot.

Willock - Should have had a penalty after being put through, but stayed honest rather than going to ground and giving the referee a decision to make. A few flashed of class, but couldn’t really get into the game.

Chair - Similar to Willock. Moments of real quality, and always felt he would be heavily involved if we were to break the deadlock, but it just didn’t happen for him. Should really have done better to set Willock away. Became increasingly frustrated as the game went on.

Dykes - I felt sorry for him in the week, but that’s easy to say when we’re cruising and 3-0 up. But we can’t rely on Willock & Chair every single week, and his goal threat at the moment is totally non-existent. He had service yesterday, but he looks like he’ll never score again. I don’t know what Bonne is up to in training, but he won’t, and cant, do any worse than Dykes has in front of goal. For balance, he worked hard, and nothing but sheer perserverence saw him bundle his way through 3 Swansea players in the first half before being claimed by the keeper. But the facts don’t lie: 8 appearances, 1 goal, and a bucket load of hot air. He’s simply not up to it. I appreciate the FFP restrictions, but the difference a proper striker would make to this team… We can only dream.

Substitutes

Adomah - Really poor from him. He worked himself into a crossing position only twice, one a tame, scuffed effort straight into the keeper and one sent into the stand. Two good balls he was on the receiving end of, but couldn’t quite latch onto them.

Roberts - A few nice touches, and one effort comfortably saved. Hoping he’s ready for a start soon.

Armstrong - Didn’t have any real impact at all.

Iroegbunam - If there was a real positive to take, he was it. He looked a class above. Firstly, he’s an absolute unit, but great use of the ball, and clearly a very intelligent player. If we’re talking about competition for places, he will certainly add it if this is anything to go by. A really promising debut.

Balogun - Not really enough time to see what he’s about, but I think he’ll start against Huddersfield next week, very likely for Dunne.

Referee - 2/10. Nothing short of a disgrace.
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Re: Just Back On The Island… Swansea

Post by Andy_N19 » Sun Sep 04, 2022 10:57 pm

The squad is coming together nicely but the elephant in the room is a striker.
We've tried to sidestep the yawning truth for 2 seasons and chickens are now coming
home to roost.

having a striker is imperative, perhaps Roberts can step up to that mark with occasional assistance
off the bench from young Armstrong.

Here are Beale's comments:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDECHQ2Id1c
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Re: Just Back On The Island… Swansea

Post by BiscuitRanger » Mon Sep 05, 2022 2:20 am

Cracking report SM. Thank you.

When you started with the comments about officiating I thought you were going to talk about the first minute tug back on Willock. I'd be interested in your opinion.
From Beales remarks he was sure it was a foul, and the Swansea player was a very lucky boy. I assume if given it would have resulted in a straight red?
Maybe the referee ducked the decision so early in the game? I sometime wonder if they have a mandate from a higher authority?

Sounds like a bump in the road rather than the start of a bad run if form. Like you say, onwards and upwards.
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Re: Just Back On The Island… Swansea

Post by WA Hoop » Mon Sep 05, 2022 2:27 am

Thanks SM.

For me it was simply a case of "just a game too far for the same eleven that have been asked to play at 100mph for the 3rd time in a week".

TBH I think you were very generous with your 2/10 for such an apalling refereeing performance!
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Re: Just Back On The Island… Swansea

Post by SM » Mon Sep 05, 2022 9:07 am

Andy_N19 wrote:
Sun Sep 04, 2022 10:57 pm
having a striker is imperative, perhaps Roberts can step up to that mark with occasional assistance off the bench from young Armstrong.
I totally understand why Bonne didn't play prior to the deadline, but surely he has to be worth a shot?

If Armstrong isn't ready, Bonne is the next best option to play that role IMO.
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Re: Just Back On The Island… Swansea

Post by SM » Mon Sep 05, 2022 9:30 am

BiscuitRanger wrote:
Mon Sep 05, 2022 2:20 am
Cracking report SM. Thank you.

When you started with the comments about officiating I thought you were going to talk about the first minute tug back on Willock. I'd be interested in your opinion.
From Beales remarks he was sure it was a foul, and the Swansea player was a very lucky boy. I assume if given it would have resulted in a straight red?
Maybe the referee ducked the decision so early in the game?
It's a pleasure Biscuit! :D

I agree with Beale, it's 100% a foul and he's the last man - so it's a red card by default. In real time, it just looked like the ball ran away from Willock, but we were up the other end at the time so it was difficult to see what happened.

The standard of referees across the board is just abysmal at the moment. I wouldn't expect them to give a free kick unless Willock goes to ground - although with the mood that ref was in, he probably would have booked Willock for diving anyway.

I've long left that we're far too honest, that is another prime example of why. A team that's a bit more street-wise gets a different decision/result there. Fact.
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Re: Just Back On The Island… Swansea

Post by SM » Mon Sep 05, 2022 9:49 am

WA Hoop wrote:
Mon Sep 05, 2022 2:27 am
Thanks SM.

For me it was simply a case of "just a game too far for the same eleven that have been asked to play at 100mph for the 3rd time in a week".

TBH I think you were very generous with your 2/10 for such an apalling refereeing performance!
Interestingly Beale mentioned this in his interview... Next week will give us a good idea.

I'm fully expecting the new Villa boy and Balogun to start next weekend.
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Re: Just Back On The Island… Swansea

Post by ZENITH R » Mon Sep 05, 2022 10:15 am

My two pennyworth ...

Another great report SM. I agree with pretty much everything you have written apart from Dykes.

I thought he worked hard all afternoon, but got very poor service. There was one point late in the first half where he chased after a clearance, took on two Swansea players and came away with the ball. At that point there were no other QPR players supporting him. No one made a lung busting run towards their penalty area, to make themselves available for a pass. As you have said Albert's crossing was woeful. I don't think we play to Dykes strengths a lot of the time. Like a lot of strikers he needs 3-4 chances to score one (That was often said of Andy Cole - one of the highest goal scorers in Premier League history) Dyke's problem is he's not getting 3-4 chances in a game.

Generally, they all looked tired, and I commented on that during the game. MB agreed with me (although he didn't hear me say it :D ).

I was disappointed, not least because it was a long way to go to see us lose, but it wasn't a terrible performance (I've seen a few of those down the years.)

As for the first minute foul. I thought the referee wasn't in the best position to see what happened as he was behind the play. The lino however ... he had the perfect view and gave the ref absolutely no help. TV showed there was a foul, although not as blatant as I thought it was when I saw it in the stadium. Rules though are rules. The fact it was the first minute was irrelevant.

I thought the young lad from Villa looked impressive, and it will be interesting to see what he can do.

I expect Balogun to start on Saturday for Dunne or Dickie. Personally, I think Dickie has been off the pace lately, he is always likely to get caught in possession if he dithers, and is often robbed of possession - usually sat on his backside claiming a foul he doesn't get. So for me it should be Dickie.
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Re: Just Back On The Island… Swansea

Post by UxbridgeR » Mon Sep 05, 2022 3:58 pm

Personally, I'd be disappointed to see Dickie or Dunne left out to bring Balogun in. I don't think either have been poor enough to merit being dropped, and the team isn't really struggling.
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Re: Just Back On The Island… Swansea

Post by whittonhoop » Mon Sep 05, 2022 6:52 pm

We could go three at the back and then a midfielder may drop out

Both Laird and Paal have shown some real quality at the top end, might be good to free them up a little bit more

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Re: Just Back On The Island… Swansea

Post by BiscuitRanger » Wed Sep 07, 2022 12:46 pm

SM wrote:
Mon Sep 05, 2022 9:30 am
BiscuitRanger wrote:
Mon Sep 05, 2022 2:20 am
Cracking report SM. Thank you.

When you started with the comments about officiating I thought you were going to talk about the first minute tug back on Willock. I'd be interested in your opinion.
From Beales remarks he was sure it was a foul, and the Swansea player was a very lucky boy. I assume if given it would have resulted in a straight red?
Maybe the referee ducked the decision so early in the game?
It's a pleasure Biscuit! :D

I agree with Beale, it's 100% a foul and he's the last man - so it's a red card by default. In real time, it just looked like the ball ran away from Willock, but we were up the other end at the time so it was difficult to see what happened.

The standard of referees across the board is just abysmal at the moment. I wouldn't expect them to give a free kick unless Willock goes to ground - although with the mood that ref was in, he probably would have booked Willock for diving anyway.

I've long left that we're far too honest, that is another prime example of why. A team that's a bit more street-wise gets a different decision/result there. Fact.
So what we have here is a failure to trust and communicate, and a big fitness issue: physical, occular and basic thinking. Lino can also go in the dumper, and let's have that fire a month or two early.
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