08:42, Sun 21 Jul
Been a decent weekend regards results, ok not exactly against amazing sides but a win is a win and the new system and style of play is being introduced game by game.
I’m also chuffed with the Crowley signing and believe there will be 2-3 more this week, not going to make any outlandish assumptions but I’d expect a striker, midfielder and a defender, could be the Wolves lad if rumours are true.
if so, the young unproven, view to making a profit sell on type is the way this club needs to go forward, it’s a sustainable model if your scouting and coaching is good enough.

Rome wasn’t built in a day and the word I’ve heard a lot is process, it’s going to take time to bring in the right players for the system and I don’t think you could do that in 1-2 windows in all honesty, what this club needs is patience and direction and (Dong to keep his finger off the self destruction button), I’m sincerely hoping Pep works out and if worse case scenario he doesn’t then we need to get a manager with a similar footballing philosophy and we see out the process to get to the bigger picture, we can’t afford to keep ripping it up and starting again every 6-12 months.

Anyway just my two pennies worth, I’d be happy with a comfortable-ish season and build on what we have, as I said keep the playing staff turning over by looking out for good kids and diamonds of a good value like Crowley and you never no what could happen, lots of teams have punched above there weight in the championship by using a similar or same model.

I’m optimistic for the forthcoming season, because it’s better than writing it off in July and feeling that inevitability of a doomed season we sometimes go into it feeling.
I think we have a team that will battle but there are some good championship players mixed in, if we get a few more through the door of Crowley’s quality and potential I’d say we’d be looking more upwards in the table than down, the key factor is us fans because there will be some tough nights and afternoons along the way, but we must keep the faith.

09:22, Sun 21 Jul
I think the key point you make is that it takes time.

If we start to recruit the right players this season, then try to implement a style of football we want to play, then build on it next season.

If the financial things are all kept in check away from the pitch then there's no reason why we can't aim to have a decent mid-table finish and then look to build on that.

The other way it can go is we have a few shining lights this season, ie Crowley, Bellingham etc and then they move on for stupid money. We re-invest and slowly build.

Obviously that's a massive assumption on the basis that they both really stand out this season, but that's one of the benefits of buying/imbedding young players with huge potential and a big resale value.

The one thing that worries me though, is our start to the season.

Our first three games are against teams who will want to be in the Playoff mix. I just hope we don't get a thumping at Brentford and then people start to question things or we don't panic and just start going long and abandoning everything.

People need to realise that it will take time. We could lose the first three games but it's gonna take time to change things. Sadly I'm not sure the St.Andrews crowd will be too patient if we start recieving a few hidings.
09:30, Sun 21 Jul
First couple of games will be key, we desperately need a couple of results. Even if we get played off the park but the ball goes in off Jukes arse for a 1-0 win, that'll more than do.

As you say it'll be a slow process but you can see what the club is trying to do. Could be exciting times but I can't shake a bit of dread about the whole thing.
09:37, Sun 21 Jul
The kids on twitter already have us down for automatic promotion, after a couple of friendly wins, same people the week before had us relegated by xmas.
09:40, Sun 21 Jul
Need 4 players

Without a ball playing midfielder orchestrating everything it will not work, it’s crucial we sign one, hopefully this week.

Need another option at right wing back also, if Colin gets injured we’ve nobody.

Need another ball playing centre back

And a forward player
10:29, Sun 21 Jul
Dacres-Cogley started against Swindon so Pep might fancy him as an option. Plus I think Harding could surprise a few people at RWB, as he is good going forward.

We definitely need a CB, CM/DM and a striker though.

I think Crowley will be a huge addition for us and if we can get another good ball-playing midfielder to sit behind him, then it will help us out massively.

Not too optimistic on the striker front. Che was an absolute gem and I don't know what's out there at the moment in the market were dipping into. We will probably need to gamble on a young striker and hope he turns out to be a goalscorer, although there might be some decent young lads in the Prem waiting to go out on loan.

If Crowley and the rumoured scouting of Enobakhare is a sign of things to come then I'm chuffed we seem to have a strategy in the market, looking for decent young players at good prices.
10:36, Sun 21 Jul
True. The most important thing is to stick to the plan though. We can play the way we’re trying to. It just takes trust and the will to stick to it.
Exactly what Zola didn’t do
Fat Buddha - 'Rab C Nesbitt. He's a contrary fecker, but invariably right. He has his finger on the motherfecking pulse.'
10:43, Sun 21 Jul
Absolutely. In all likelihood we’ll have a shit start to the season; Brentford will batter us, Bristol City could go either way, Forest will batter us.

If I’m right about the shit start, it’s imperative that Clotet and the team don’t shit the bed and immediately revert to 4-4-2 at the first instance of idiots in the crowd booing. It takes time to implement an entirely new formation and style of play; we aren’t far off having the starting XI capable of it, and pre season hasn’t been discouraging.

I got the horses in the back
11:05, Sun 21 Jul
Zola was pretty unlucky to start with though, those first few games we played really well but conceded soft goals.

Then the fans and probably the players turned and it all went to shit.
11:09, Sun 21 Jul
I remember watching that game against Derby around Christmas-ish time, it could only have been Zola’s first or second game in charge. We lost 1-0 via a penalty. I watched that thinking we looked like it could actually work, we just needed more confidence in the final third.

It never came. Zola shat the bed.
I got the horses in the back
11:12, Sun 21 Jul
Zola didn't have the players so I don't think it was ever going to work, regardless of how many times we tried to tweak it or persist with certain tactics.

At the moment we still don't have the player which concerns me. However in a week or two time, we may have bought in a few players more suited to that style of play.

Totally agree with the above. Even if the first few games we look a bit disjointed or we perhaps create some openings but don't finish them and lose a few games, just got to keep working at it and not revert to panicking and going long.

Dongball > Longball.
I remember watching that game against Derby around Christmas-ish time, it could only have been Zola’s first or second game in charge. We lost 1-0 via a penalty. I watched that thinking we looked like it could actually work, we just needed more confidence in the final third.

It never came. Zola shat the bed.

That was the key game for me. We played Derby off the park for an hour of that game. It didn’t go for us and the fans turned plus Zola lost his bottle completely.
12:44, Sun 21 Jul
I'm feeling pessimistic because we've replaced a manager with a decent track record for one without one.

The manager is the single most important factor in whether we have a good season or not. Pep seems like a good guy and a good coach. If he can also be a good manager and get us playing attractive football it will be a pleasant surprise.

More optimistic than when we binned Rowett for Zola though.
My memory of that game was we passed it around the back for 45 minutes without really doing anything or having any chances, thought we were pretty poor.

Although I thought we were excellent against Brighton the week before
13:43, Sun 21 Jul
And whist I’m optimistic mate I understand your pessimism too, I’m not blind to the fact a few more players through the door is really important to which way this thing kinda goes..
I’m not really looking past the first ten games, not that you can ever afford to lose any games especially a run of them but as has been mentioned the fans and dong, manager and players must not hit the panic button if things aren’t great to start with! Similar to the start of last season when we seemed to grasp defeat or a draw when we should of won a fair few games tbh, we kept with it and results came with performances, but that was also due to Monk keeping the faith and the players doing what they were asked to do, with Pep that bits the unknown isn’t it.
Agree that a ball controlling midfielder is what we need, a deep lying player who can take it off the back four and control the tempo of the game, a striker also is key and id let Harding compete for the RWB spot and bring in a centre half, I would like to see us have a go for Jake Clarke-Salter is it? He’s the England under 21 skipper and would likely need game time every week rather than be on the bench for Chelsea or a low perm team, you saw what Mount and Wilson did last year to give derby something.
But as has been said a few times in the thread patience is so vital and especially from us fans.