WHO Poll
Q: 2023/24 Hopes & aspirations for this season
a. As Champions of Europe there's no reason we shouldn't be pushing for a top 7 spot & a run in the Cups
24%
  
b. Last season was a trophy winning one and there's only one way to go after that, I expect a dull mid table bore fest of a season
17%
  
c. Buy some f***ing players or we're in a battle to stay up & that's as good as it gets
19%
  
d. Moyes out
37%
  
e. New season you say, woohoo time to get the new kit and wear it it to the pub for all the big games, the wags down there call me Mr West Ham
3%
  



Elm Park 21 3:28 Mon Aug 8
Why are we never ready on the first day of every season...
It is a few years ago when a new No. 10 made his an appearance on a season day opener at Highbury. The late great Les Sealey. Yes he was a goalkeeper and after another chaotic summer transfer quest, we were left with bare bones on the first day of the season again.

Not one new signing made the starting line up yesterday and unlike our fan base, the team they came to watch were not ready by any stretch of the imagination.

It is a mixture of our owner's and recruitment management's fault that we have to start a game with one (not 100%) CB up against Europe's most feared striker. An unfortunate injury to our new CB in preseason doesn't help but not to have a fit replacement is shocking.

We should not be looking to dine at the top table when it comes from recruiting. Time wasted on putting bids in for Phillips (gone to City) Raphina (gone to Barcelona) Nunez (gone to Liverpool) doesn't help. An ultimatum to Lingard should have been given up to 7 July, same with Broja. It's OK if they don't want to come, move on. As soon as the former told us he wouldn't be coming, we should have put a bid in for Cornet. He may have even been ready for yesterday if we did?

Scamacca has come from an Italian side who I've never heard of and like Cornet, hasn't had a preseason, only Di Canio and Zola are the only Italians that have really lit up the top flight and I hope our fella adds his name to that illustrious list. However, it is a bit of a punt.

We say we are massive and it is fun to sing it but the reality is players from the top table don't think so.

Aim lower to reach higher.

We know what positions we need strengthening, so go out and get players for those positions who want to play for us and are not necessarily wanted by the bigger clubs. If we had have done this in January we may have even been playing in the CL this season.

I know we played probably the best team in Europe, if not the world yesterday but I really don't think it would have mattered who we played because we weren't ready.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

Cor Blimey 8:40 Mon Aug 8
Re: Why are we never ready on the first day of every season...
Les Sealey made is debut on 16 sept 1995 for John Moncur who's contact lens came out and couldn't continue. Our other subs, Alvin Martin and Stan Lazaridis had already been used.
His only other league game for us was on 11 May 1997 when he came on for Ludo in a 2-0 defeat at Man U.

Feed Me Chicken 8:34 Mon Aug 8
Re: Why are we never ready on the first day of every season...
I know I’m just a man on the Internet but surely with all the defensive injuries we have it would have been better having another midfielder in the side rather than another out of place defender?

Eerie Descent 8:24 Mon Aug 8
Re: Why are we never ready on the first day of every season...
Cresswell was lucky he was playing against Foden, who's one weakness is a lack of pace. I don't actually think Man City's front players played particularly well, the ball was spent being passed around their defence most of the game.

One moment which did stand out regarding Cresswell, was Rice played a sublime defence splitting pass down the left into a dangerous area, Cresswell had a 20 yard start in a 40 yard race, and the defender jogged back and retrieved the ball, almost apologetically.

I did have a little LOL

Alex G 7:54 Mon Aug 8
Re: Why are we never ready on the first day of every season...
From memory the Les Sealey match was at the point where the rules were you were allowed to bring on three substitutes. However, as you were only allowed to name three substitutes it meant you either had to name three outfield players and be embarrassed if your goalie had to go off, or if a player got injured after you'd brought on two tactical subs your only option was to throw on your reserve goalie and play them outfield.

The White Horse 7:45 Mon Aug 8
Re: Why are we never ready on the first day of every season...
It’s an excellent post and one that is spot on in every respect. It’s f’king shambolic that we basically started the same team we finished with last season - minus a proper centre back.
It just proves that within we still have the ‘run like a pub side’ mentality. We will never amount to anything until this ‘aim lower to reach higher’ mentality is eradicated.
And that the fans are still giddy with excitement from the last two seasons - we know they understand.

El Scorchio 7:37 Mon Aug 8
Re: Why are we never ready on the first day of every season...
Elm Park 21 7:17

You have to take into account that's Chelsea twice, Man City twice, Man U and Liverpool. And of course it looks worse if you selectively take out anything positive.

Any side outside of those mentioned above would mightily struggle and do pretty well to come away with many if any points. However, I'd agree that 0-4, 0-4, and 0-5 aren't acceptable.

El Scorchio 7:33 Mon Aug 8
Re: Why are we never ready on the first day of every season...
Worth mentioning that City's average possession in league games last season was 67.9%

I'm sure if you factor out the rest of the top four, you'll get closer to 70-75%, just under the 76% they had yesterday. Incidentally in the 2-2 last season, they had 78% of the ball. When they aren't in possession, they press and work phenomenally hard to get it back, just like Liverpool do. Not only are they incredibly talented man for man, they run themselves into the ground as well.

They just don't give you a kick. Almost every other side has huge problems winning and retaining possession from them or putting any meaningful kind of spell together. It's not an indication of anything horribly wrong in our side- just yet. If we're given fits by Forest and Brighton, then let's start to be concerned.

Much as it may have helped us in some ways having an extra body deeper in there or more of a presence, the cost would have been one less in any sort of advanced position and we'd find ourselves still with similar problems hanging on to it or creating anything.

Elm Park 21 7:17 Mon Aug 8
Re: Why are we never ready on the first day of every season...
And if you take out last year's opening day win at Newcastle, lets face it, they had bigger problems than most at the start of last season;

The last opening 6 games of the season:-

1-2
0-4
0-4
0-5
0-2
0-2

For 1
Against 19

I stand by my post

Elm Park 21 7:13 Mon Aug 8
Re: Why are we never ready on the first day of every season...
Wins

Barnsley
Sheff Wed
Spurs
Blackburn
Charlton
Wigan
Wolves
Villa Cardiff
Arsenal
Newcastle

Losses

Norwich
Leeds
Arsenal
Chelsea
Liverpool
Newcastle
Man City
Villa
Spurs
Chelsea
Man Utd
Liverpool
Man City
Newcastle
Man City

Draw

Norwich

slartibartfast 7:04 Mon Aug 8
Re: Why are we never ready on the first day of every season...
Trundle, I like the 10 against opposition where we're likely to see more of the ball, and Lanzini often excels in those games, but when we're sitting deeper I think there's a strong argument in favour of playing 3 midfielders and having a bit more muscle in the centre of the park.

I really thought we needed that extra body yesterday, as we simply had no meaningful control of the ball for about 80 minutes of the game.

zico 7:01 Mon Aug 8
Re: Why are we never ready on the first day of every season...
For ages the Club have ignored what the fans tend to point out for ages what the side is missing. It was only a few years ago we were in desperate need of a right back but the team plodded on with Antonio there. The striker situation has sort of ben addressed but it is a bit of a punt, but as pointed out for ages the centre of midfield is a big problem. If Flynn Downes isn't going to play what's the point of him being here? I know it's early days but I have fears of another Vlasic/Kral situation. Yesterday it was clear as per usual we were overloaded in central midfield so why not bring Downes on for Fornals or Lanzini and go three in the middle? No, Downes comes on as a token with 45 seconds to go!

Lingard should have been given an ultimatum last summer or at the very latest January. If he wasn't sayinhg that he guaranteed that he would come then move on. If any players um's and aah's about coming, move on. Look at Brighton - Cucurella has a little moan and a few days later it's done, gone, no messing about, the player doesn't want to be there bang. As much as we all love Rice and Bowen if they aren't committed, take as good a money as you can and move on, otherwise it tends to fester and stink the place out like this Diop debacle.

147man 6:53 Mon Aug 8
Re: Why are we never ready on the first day of every season...
This is our 27th Season in the Premier League

The opening day fixture has produced

Loss 15

Draw 1

Win 11

Lee Trundle 6:51 Mon Aug 8
Re: Why are we never ready on the first day of every season...
I'd like us to ditch the number 10 position and put that body in with Rice and Soucek, and allow our attackers to attack a bit more.

None of our current players are good enough to play a number 10.

slartibartfast 6:39 Mon Aug 8
Re: Why are we never ready on the first day of every season...
Cresswell played quite well I thought, his lack of pace was mostly not exposed. He generally does better when we sit deep, and I didn't think either of the goals had much to do with him.

The problem was in midfield. They packed the centre of the pitch with their full backs and we found it nearly impossible to pass the halfway line as a result.

Rice got smothered, though he laboured admirably, while Soucek's main interventions were headers out from the box and misplaced passes. Lanzini did basically nothing and should have been withdrawn for Downes or Coventry to give us more muscle in the centre of the park.

City are very good at football. I won't get my knickers in too much of a twist until the Forest game. A signing or two this week wouldn't go amiss, mind you.

stewie griffin 6:25 Mon Aug 8
Re: Why are we never ready on the first day of every season...
think everyone knows he's near the end of his time, but that's harsh on Cresswell for me, Hermit. Can't think of any meaningful contributions that Foden made to the game or anything in particular that came down our left side.

In fact, i'd probably have him as the best of the back four by a pretty huge margin - although that's damning with faint praise.

Manuel 6:20 Mon Aug 8
Re: Why are we never ready on the first day of every season...
Hufffers - So everything is shit but all will be okay when Cornet enters the fray? Turn it in, ffs.

Hermit Road 5:42 Mon Aug 8
Re: Why are we never ready on the first day of every season...
The one position I would say we really lacked was left back. I think the centre back situation is just a curse and no amount of centre backs seems to be enough for us so I’ll give them a pass on that. Cresswell though was running in treacle and it showed.

Let’s not forget too that at 0-1 Rice had an excellent chance that he really should have buried. Harsh on him because apart from that he was his normal excellent self but that finish was woeful and cost us dearly

Huffers 5:27 Mon Aug 8
Re: Why are we never ready on the first day of every season...
We would've lost to any team in the league yesterday.

The team has been lethargic and requires an injection of almost anything since December.

We have had a handful of half decent games and a couple of good results in that time.

Dawson wouldn't have improved anything yesterday.

Fornals brings very very little.

Lanzini likewise, as much as I don't like to say it.

Bowen appeared to be affected by the knock he got.

Antonio is what he is. Able to score goals in and around the 6 yard box, mainly first time finishes.

Benrahma has had anything good coached well and truly out of him.

Its a shit opening day fixture anyway, made worse with no new faces in the team to get the fans a bit excited.

Ultimately we have been winning a lot of the games we have in 2022 from set pieces. We are one dimensional but I am confident that Cornet will change that and hopefully a few more new players will do so, even more.

Scamacca looked alright. Knew where and when to flick the ball. Went way too early for his headed chance but at least he got enough power and accuracy on it.

El Scorchio 4:34 Mon Aug 8
Re: Why are we never ready on the first day of every season...
Bloody hell. That's almost as ridiculous as our cup draws tend to be.

mallard 4:28 Mon Aug 8
Re: Why are we never ready on the first day of every season...
14/15 - Tottenham
15/16 - Arsenal
16/17 - Chelsea



Absolute fucking joke!

El Scorchio 3:40 Mon Aug 8
Re: Why are we never ready on the first day of every season...
Exactly. Unless I'm mistaken it's been:

17/18 Man U
18/19 Liverpool
19/20 Man City
20/21 Chelsea
21/22 Newcastle (won 4-2)
22/23 Man City

Hardly surprising we don't have a good record first game of the season. It's more down to bloody tough fixtures rather than anything else.

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