07:02, Wed 12 Feb
I think most people’s issue with pep is, we could see what the problems were but they took so long to be corrected. How much interference from above had to do with it, I suppose we won’t know but it’s no coincidence that we have reverted to a similar formula from last season and it’s working for us. We now need to build on this, strengthen in the summer, not another major overhaul.

Basically, the club had yet another mare in preparing for the season. Which is more or less standard with our owners. As you say, it's difficult to know what was the board and what was Pep.

I've said many a time that I think Pep is out of his depth. More than happy to be proved wrong and the last few games have certainly been an improvement. It's frustrating that it's taken so long for him to find his 11 and we've had a couple of wasted transfers along the way.

It is now the board's turn to learn, because you could see us having a good end to the season and then them going and ripping it all up again.
07:50, Wed 12 Feb
Of course I wouldn’t swap them all for Che/Vassell.

That doesn’t mean they’re adequate replacements though.
Tell you what that crack is really moreish.
07:57, Wed 12 Feb
But you wouldn't swap them 😆
Fat Buddha - 'Rab C Nesbitt. He's a contrary fecker, but invariably right. He has his finger on the motherfecking pulse.'
08:11, Wed 12 Feb
We could swap Juke for Allison and it would be a massive improvement for the team, doesn’t mean Juke was replaced adequately though?
Tell you what that crack is really moreish.
08:17, Wed 12 Feb
When that happens, we'll see.
I'd take that swap btw.
My question was based on this season to last season. Reality
Fat Buddha - 'Rab C Nesbitt. He's a contrary fecker, but invariably right. He has his finger on the motherfecking pulse.'
08:56, Wed 12 Feb
I think we're underestimating the influence of the coach. Paco was clearly brought in to transition us to Dongball. Our form dips as presumably his personal problems started to intrude.

Alberto Escobar arrives just after Christmas, and after a settling-in period (coinciding with the return of our key defensive pairing) performances solidify back to Monkball (no doubt led by Pep, who obviously knows the system).

Then we bring in Hogan and draws/defeats start turning into wins.

We won't challenge for the play-offs - it was never on (and injuries will put pay to that, unless you think Hogan and Juke are going to remain fit and available for all matches from here on in). This squad would have had to hit the ground running and enjoyed an unbelievable run of form and luck with regards to injuries, plus a Hogan-like predator emerging miraculously fully formed from the U23s.

This season must be a transition - focus on sweeping past 50 points as soon as possible and then hopefully securing a top-half finish (a single-digit one would be a major step forward). From here, we need more prudent investment over the summer - paid for by losing Bellingham as a permanently contracted player but hopefully getting a further season from him on loan - to iron out the squad's imbalances. That might put us in with a chance of genuinely challenging for the play-offs. Whether that's with Pep/Escobar (who has form at this level for promotion) or someone else is anyone's guess, and can be discussed at season's end.
09:10, Wed 12 Feb
Playing a settled team in a 442 which they are all suited to. Dong ball has been abandonned. Gardner, Camp, JCS and Roberts have gained confidence by the faith he has shown in them

Bellingham is a revelation, Bela has improved tremendously. Sunjic, Colin and Pederson have remsined solid and reliable. Juke is benefitting from having Hogan share the load, who has in turn become the missing link.

It's taken 30 odd games of Villalba, Crowley, Giminez, Davis, Maghoma Mrabti et al who have flattered to deceive to stumble on this formula. We are a top half team now, maybe even play off contenders next year if nothing changes.

Not sure if Pep has designed this, or injuries and departures have lead to it. He certainly didnt set out this style at the start of the season. Continue in this manner and go into next season with the confidence this generates and then we can judge.

Hogan may bring out the best in Crowley or Mrabti if we suffer with lack of creativity, but at the moment its confidence and consistency that is bearing fruit.

A good summary. But regards your point about going into next season with continuity. We all said the same last season and even in seasons before that. I wouldn't trust the board not to shake things up again in some way in the summer.
09:16, Wed 12 Feb
From what some are saying it sounds more like it is the players themselves who have influenced the recent turnaround more than anybody.
09:17, Wed 12 Feb
Those like me, who were prepared to give Pep a chance and those like nearly everyone else on this board, have no idea how good, or bad Pep is. It is too early to say.

This was a season of transition for him, stepping up for him being as much a transition for the team, then we've had all the little bumps in the road that some say are part and parcel of the job, but you still have to negotiate them safely, and you have to learn how to do that.

I stayed away from this board during and after the game because, as happy as I was at yet another win, I know there would be plenty of posts on here that would just depress me.

3 wins on the trot, and you stay away from a forum because it will be full of moaners.

What on earth has happened to us?
09:21, Wed 12 Feb
Weve been fed sh1te for too long and we are fed up with it.
10:52, Wed 12 Feb
9 out of 9 points and some of you still aren't happy!

Pep done the right thing & we haven't completely abandoned Dongball,

We understand the importance of the old dogged determined blues when needed and I think a combination of the 2 is exactly what we should be looking for.

Horrendous conditions away at Barnsley on a Tuesday night, Football was never going to be played.

He realised what was needed to get the 3 points. I think we will see a different blues at home Saturday against Brentford
11:03, Wed 12 Feb
Most are happy with the 3 wins.
Lots are just realising that we’re actually a decent team, way better than we showed for 5 months
Fat Buddha - 'Rab C Nesbitt. He's a contrary fecker, but invariably right. He has his finger on the motherfecking pulse.'
11:11, Wed 12 Feb
and he's been given time to turn it around (for now). Some people wanted him gone and to start again and no doubt there will be another period where this will happen. Perhaps, just perhaps giving him time (not that long really) is quite a good idea from the board and supporters.
11:11, Wed 12 Feb
We played much better against Fulham, Albion and Leeds (3 defeats) than we did last night. It's a struggle to win games when 2 out of 3 first choice centre halves are out. The defense was in total control last night and we never looked like conceding.
11:14, Wed 12 Feb
Or maybe, with a manager more capable in place we’d have been getting these results a few months earlier, without the players deciding that they know better . Seems they were right too
Fat Buddha - 'Rab C Nesbitt. He's a contrary fecker, but invariably right. He has his finger on the motherfecking pulse.'