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Just Back
29 October 2017 01:00 Post ID: #1558874
Legend MO
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No time for a full report, but thought it worth mentioning that Millwall were very good value for their draw today.

I know another reporter was less than impressed with this Millwall performance. Well, he's entirely entitled to his opinion and maybe he's right.

But I think he's entirely wrong. We went to a side who, had they won, would have returned to the top of the Championship. Yet a superbly disciplined display meant Cardiff were given few chances to score. And when they were, Archer was in outstanding form to deny with three excellent saves, one of them magnificent.

By contrast, Millwall's forwards lived on half-chances and scraps. Except one in the first half when Morison seized on a under-hit back pass and in a one-on-one tried to flick the ball past the onrushing keeper with the outside of his right foot. The ball cannoned into the feet: a firmer dink would have paid dividends.

And for all Gregory's tireless running his only chance also fell in the first half when he took a touch which sent him slightly wide and gave the defender a chance to get a challenge in. A first time effort would have been the better option.

Gregory received little protection from the referee and no help in the game at all from the officials. Straight from the second half kick off he was cynically taken out of the game on the edge of the box which should have resulted in a straight red and cardiff being reduced to ten meant for the entire second period. And he forced the goalkeeper into a clear handball as he picked up outside the box.

Both front players, as usual, put in massive performances which had the Cardiff officials and directors singing their praises to me. To say either or both were dire is unfathomable.

In defence Hutch was massive. His tackling stupendous and his work in the air highly impressive. Cooper was a little shakier and dodged a bullet in injury time when he clearly fouled a Cardiff forward in the box. But, in fairness, the referee was poor for both sides.

Most impressive, though, was Millwall's overall discipline and teamwork. Indeed, this was a Neil Warnock-type performance and there must also be special mention for Tunnicliffe who really looked a class act throughout. His one mistake led to their best chance, allowing space for a drilled shot from the edge of the box heading for the inside of the post until Archer dived sharply to his right to pull off a remarkable save.

A deserved point against a side that might well be playing Premier League football next season. And a performance to be massively proud of, with Millwall never for a moment looking phased by Cardiff's position in the League table and each player working for the other with solid professionalism. And impressively stopping their hosts from getting their game together by denying them any room in which to play.

For my money, nothing like the doom and gloom perceived by others. Well done you excellent Lions!



Edited by whiskylion 29/10/2017 01:49
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29 October 2017 01:34 Post ID: #1558877 - in reply to #1558874
Legend MO
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Many thanks Whisky for your take on the game. I was fearful that we might come away with nothing from this game and maybe even get our noses rubbed into the dirt too. You are right when you say they could be promoted at the end of the season so this was a very creditable point. Can we go a step further at Hillsborough on Tuesday. Time will tell!
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29 October 2017 01:54 Post ID: #1558876 - in reply to #1558874
MOhican
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Thank you Whiskey for an excellent report. Our team spirit has been excellent so far this season. That has to be down to NH.
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29 October 2017 03:33 Post ID: #1558878 - in reply to #1558874
MOjo
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Agree whisky. I thought we did very well. Moro really should've stuck that 1 on 1 away but the workrate of our boys was terrific and Archer was on absolute top form. I can't really think of a goalkeeper who is so inconsistent. All players have dips in form but Archer always seems to be one of two extremes - either absolutely fantastic or absolutely awful; fortunately today he eas the former. Although limited in time i thought Elliot looked a handful when he came on too.
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29 October 2017 07:47 Post ID: #1558879 - in reply to #1558874
Supreme MO
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Last year we were losing at home to Shrewsbury.
Yesterday, we could conceivably have beaten one of the top championship sides.
We were certainly not disgraced.

In my book that is remarkable progress in less than 12 months.
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29 October 2017 07:59 Post ID: #1558880 - in reply to #1558874
GeroniMO
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As with boxing, you are only as good as your opposition lets you be.

The reason many have said that the oppo have been shit this season is because defensively, from front to back we are one of the best in this league, if our strikers had been scoring we could be sitting where Cardiff are in the league right now.
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29 October 2017 09:05 Post ID: #1558882 - in reply to #1558874
Legend MO
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When we play Sheffield Wednesday it will be our 15th league game of the season - for all intents and purposes, a third of the way through the season.

We have seen some excellent and aggressive displays at home, as well as some very disciplined performances, such as yesterday v Cardiff City. As Whisky says, cannot understand how people can be disappointed with that performance and result.

When I posted the 'Sheffield Wednesday' thread I was highlighting the one thing that is missing thus far - an away win. By golly we deserve one. And my point was that Wednesday offer us an excellent opportunity to really go for it, as we did at Forest in the opening game. We are aggressive, organised and disciplined and could really hurt Wednesday in their current predicament.

Go there and win with an aggressive display and it is an excellent start to the season - making any notions of Harris being 'tactically bankrupt' nonsensical.
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29 October 2017 09:07 Post ID: #1558883 - in reply to #1558880
Legend MO
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cold blow - 29/10/2017 07:59

As with boxing, you are only as good as your opposition lets you be.

The reason many have said that the oppo have been shit this season is because defensively, from front to back we are one of the best in this league, if our strikers had been scoring we could be sitting where Cardiff are in the league right now.


I read somewhere that we were the second best tacklers in the division, statistically.
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29 October 2017 09:32 Post ID: #1558886 - in reply to #1558882
Legend MO
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Moody - 29/10/2017 09:05

When we play Sheffield Wednesday it will be our 15th league game of the season - for all intents and purposes, a third of the way through the season.

We have seen some excellent and aggressive displays at home, as well as some very disciplined performances, such as yesterday v Cardiff City. As Whisky says, cannot understand how people can be disappointed with that performance and result.

When I posted the 'Sheffield Wednesday' thread I was highlighting the one thing that is missing thus far - an away win. By golly we deserve one. And my point was that Wednesday offer us an excellent opportunity to really go for it, as we did at Forest in the opening game. We are aggressive, organised and disciplined and could really hurt Wednesday in their current predicament.

Go there and win with an aggressive display and it is an excellent start to the season - making any notions of Harris being 'tactically bankrupt' nonsensical.



Millwall have the best defensive away record in the division - just five goals from 7 games.

That doesn't come about by being tactically bankrupt - a rather shrill and hysterical comment, I'm sad to say.

Without doubt we can improve in the transitional play and ensure Gregory's extraordinary workmate and cunning is better rewarded by being presented by more clear chances.

However both he and Morison are the first line of frustrating the opposition when on their soil.The midfield was excellent in that they stopped Cardiff building up any real head of steam with Tunnicliffe barely giving the ball away in 90 minutes. And the defence, led by the brilliant Hutchinson, stuck to their tasks against some quality opponents.

I have never known a Millwall team just promoted to go to one of the top sides and match them the way they did. And with out style, there is something of the 1966/67 Benny Fenton team about them.

Yes, I'm sure we could be more gung-ho away from home. But what Harris has done, and I am with him here, is build a mindset which makes us very hard to beat. And that is no bad thing. Especially when freshly up and against sides with a budget which dwarfs ours.

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29 October 2017 09:37 Post ID: #1558889 - in reply to #1558879
Supreme MO
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BigPaul - 29/10/2017 07:47

Last year we were losing at home to Shrewsbury.
Yesterday, we could conceivably have beaten one of the top championship sides.
We were certainly not disgraced.

In my book that is remarkable progress in less than 12 months. :clap:


Spot on, Paul.



Thanks for the report, Whisky - conscience and to-the-point, not like the other blokes'.





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29 October 2017 09:39 Post ID: #1558890 - in reply to #1558874
Legend MO
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I would only like to see us go a bit more gung ho when we smell blood - and Wednesday are looking the most like a unsteady gazelle of any of our away opponents thus far.

As you allude too, our mind set has allowed us to be in every game this season - superb, given some on here were predicting us finishing bottom without a win (only a slight exaggeration).
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29 October 2017 09:51 Post ID: #1558891 - in reply to #1558874
Big MO
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from what I have seen there are no standout teams in this league this year -

it is a very even division , one might say below average -

I watched Cardiff get thoroughly outplayed by Birmingham a few weeks back, so just how good are Cardiff? . It is premature to talk about any side being promoted I think it is possible for any 3 of 14 teams to go up.

This was a good result but performances should not be judged by results - we have a style of play that is effective in its way because the players are clear on their roles and stick to them -

we have enough talent with the new players (and team spirit) within that system to avoid defeat away from home enough to stay up

However no successful team these day plays our way - direct play has its role and is often the best option depending on who one is playing but it has to come with an alternative style within games where ball retention becomes a component. We gave the ball away countless times yesterday in the haste to get it forward quickly when a shorter simpler pass would have meant building play forward as a team with the opportunity for overlaps from full-backs and better dynamics in transition.

This is the tactical limitations we have and why pretend it is not. We need to improve to have a sustainable team in this division beyond this season. Many on here will recall the Division 1 team of guts and glory - work rate and long ball - what happened in the 2nd season ? We did not develop because the style was inflexible and we got sussed - this is what happens and I think is simply what some people are pointing out - this does not make them negative nor blind to what Harris has done for the club.

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29 October 2017 10:01 Post ID: #1558892 - in reply to #1558874
GeroniMO
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As stated after the Birmingham game, we look a better balanced side with Tunnicliffe in the middle.

To expect to come from league 1 and adjust to "pretty" football in a vastly superior league, straight away is a recipe for relegation.

So far Harris has got it spot on by introducing the passing game in amongst the long ball.

This team can play as well as mix it up, once the forwards start scoring there is only one way we are going and it is not down.

Incredible what Harris has done in such a short space of time, considering what he was left with it normally takes years to get we are now.
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29 October 2017 10:06 Post ID: #1558893 - in reply to #1558874
MOjo
2000100025
Thanks for your report Whisky, you did well to post this from Kiev.

Interesting debate, a solid team performance or a display that was tactically bankrupt? Having seen all our games other than this one and away at Preston I can sort of see Purley’s stance on the tactics, as on occasion we can appear to be predictable and one dimensional. However this needs to be balanced against the times where we take the game to the opposition – away at Forest, Bristol, QPR, home to Leeds, Brum, even Ipswich - and the team spirit that Harris built. This season the tactics have certainly changed with a lot more joined up football and pressing all over the pitch, sometimes we drop too deep and we can revert to the long ball, overall though I consider us to be in credit rather than bankrupt.

It is also worth remembering that we’ve played four teams from the top six, three of those games away and have five points, a reasonable return.

Liontime point about evolving tactics is pretty on the money as teams will suss us and adjust accordingly.
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29 October 2017 10:08 Post ID: #1558894 - in reply to #1558889
MOjo
2000100025
ParisWall - 29/10/2017 09:37

BigPaul - 29/10/2017 07:47

Last year we were losing at home to Shrewsbury.
Yesterday, we could conceivably have beaten one of the top championship sides.
We were certainly not disgraced.

In my book that is remarkable progress in less than 12 months. :clap:


Spot on, Paul.



Thanks for the report, Whisky - conscience and to-the-point, not like the other blokes'.




Obsequious
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29 October 2017 10:19 Post ID: #1558895 - in reply to #1558874
Legend MO
2000200025
Thanks Whisky, no need for me to write a detailed Just Back.

Re-read the last paragraph of my Just Back 'Lite', I said Morison and Gregory's shooting in the pre-match warm-up routine was dire not the match itself! Maybe ambiguous but that's what I meant!

Agree a determined and resolute performance by the entire team and we are all well chuffed we returned with a point but in recent games we have returned to playing direct.

But for Archer's 3 excellent saves in the 1st half we could have been on the end of our worst defeat of the season.

Nobody has ever criticised Morison or Gregory's work rate and commitment but, I think, between them they have scored just 1 goal in open play with a third of the season gone. Six goalless returns out of 7 away games. Can't see how that's acceptable.

With the exception of the Ipswich and Barnsley games, the defence has been awesome all season. Hutch has marshalled the team well and I really do like McLaughlin. Defends and reads the game well and at present, IMO, he's the only Lions player who looks composed on the ball. Some of his overlap movement both inside and outside the opposing full-back is excellent.

Cooper is a good 3rd choice CD but his distribution is poor and he's vulnerable to speedy breaks.

Meredith is much better than Craig and sticks to his task. Has been exposed on occasions and would like to see him make better progress going forward, albeit yesterday he managed to reach the byline but his layback was cleared.

Tunnicliffe had a good 1st 15 minutes and I forgot he was playing until late in the game. Plays the holding central midfielder well but offers little going forward.

After the 1st couple of games of the season I had Saville a cast iron cert for player of the season but he's lost his way and is not making the type of contribution I expected. His performances are full of energy, he doesn't shirk a challenge and he is always willing to try his luck but the composure he had at the beginning of the season is not there at present. There was an occasion in the 2nd half yesterday when he was around 5 yards outside the box and a simple pass to the left would have put the unmarked AOB through on goal but he chose to have a blast that went high and wide. His play is too frantic at present.

So to avoid any confusion, IMO, this season the defence (which means Archer and all 10 outfield players) has been awesome; the spirit, energy and commitment excellent and out attacking play earlier in the season was exciting and more cultured that last season.

On the negative side our free-kicks and corners have lacked imagination or variety and our ability to tuck the ball away has been poor.

Having seen all the games this season Wolves were the only team that were superior to us. So if we can improve going forward we could make the play-offs. On the other hand, if our defending drops from the current level (due to injuries and/or performance) we could get sucked into the relegation battle.
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29 October 2017 10:26 Post ID: #1558896 - in reply to #1558874
Legend MO
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As an aside - Cardiff City are like Jack Nicholson's character in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

Used to have some much personality and spirit; since the move to the new stadium they are like Randle after the lobotomy.
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