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  • #31
    Originally posted by QPROslo View Post
    I think the recent experience has teached many fans a thing or two about patience.

    Once again we had a total revamp of the team during the summer transfer window, and once again the player budget was cut in half.

    Warburton & co assembled pretty much a complete new defence. In came Dieng and Dickie and two budget signings in Kakay and Hamalainen. Out went two previous captains in Hall and Leinstner, one of the divisions best right backs in Manning and a very experienced left back in Rangel. Only Barbet out of the defensive five that started the season had Championship experience. Nobody could expect this new set up to click immediately.

    In attack we replaced Hugill and Wells, both 30k a week players, with Dykes and Bonne, both 6k a week players, due to our budget constraints. You have to be a super optimist to think that would work well.

    Add to this the departure of Eze, one of the top three players in this division, the BOS saga (a player that had his mind all other places than Shepherds Bush) and the injury to Amos and it was quite clear that it would take time to build a new team that could deliver on a consistent basis. On the back of a squad that looked more like League One than Championship, survival would be an achievement.

    I think Warburton did very well given the cards he was handed, despite the ten match run without a win. The team played well, but just couldn't find the back of the net. Dykes/Bonne was a big gamble, but was a result of the budget Warburton & co had at their disposal.

    I don't think any other manager that we could reasonable sign with our budget would do better.

    Ruben and Tony were very careful with the money made able to the management during the summer transfer window, when nobody knew how long the pandemic would last. The vaccine development was very uncertain all up to October/November. I think we have to understand that Ruben and Tony took a very prudent approach to the financial side of things. When things started to look better by end of 2020, with the vaccination starting and the situation of Air Asia under better control, I think it was clear to everyone that there would be funds to strengthen.

    I tend to be an optimist, but even I didn't expect the amazing development after the turn of the year. The signings have been spot on and the contract extension of Chair the icing on the cake. The way the defence have come together is just fantastic. All of Wallace, Kane, Cameron and Barbet are better players than before - thats fantastic credit to Warburton and the coaching team. Dickie and Dieng are simply unbelievable - I cannot recall a better keeper and central defender for decades.

    I have never doubted Warburton. We are lucky to have him, but the situation right now is almost surreal. To believe people are now starting to discuss our play-off chances just six week after many people had us as certain relegation candidates is amazing.

    I don't think play-off is a realistic chance this season. We don't have quality in depth, and the hectic program ahead of us will take its toll. I think we might finish in the top half though, which is an improvement on last season, which is great. But I certainly think we can compete for play-off already next season, wherether we can sign Austin or Johansen permanently or not. We have lots of good young players that will become better under Warburton and I can only see us improving.

    Well put Oslo and for much of that I agree, with all the changes that went on in pre season we couldn't have expected a season of success this time around.

    However, it has to be said that Warburton didn't help himself or the team, by just playing a formation with Dykes alone up front.

    Dykes looks out of his depth tbh, and to let him struggle without Bonne alongside him was wrong. Even if Bonne doesn't look like a clinical finisher his movement is quite good and he gets into scoring positions which Dykes rarely does. The two of them up front could have helped each other out and we would not have struggled to score in games where we played reasonably well.

    Having said that, credit to Warburton and his coaching staff for doing what was needed to change things around for the better, and credit to the Board and DoF for the signings made in January.