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New Article: Momentum, Stability, Progression

While some still cling to the remote possibility of making the play-offs, and Henderson is correct to say that while it is mathematically possible the players should keep going, realistically attention now switches to the summer.

Every team in every division is always "only just two or three players" away from success but if only it was that easy.

As well as finding and affording those two or three players clubs need to hold on to their existing stars and for one season more in the Championship stay within reducing FFP rules.

At the moment we have the got into the habit of winning games, playing well and having confidence that results in yet more positive results and so a virtuous cycle of victories continues. Even the setbacks of losing at Derby and falling behind at Cardiff were overcome such is the new found confidence and resilience.

Can we keep it going this season might be less important that can we carry this form and positivity into next season.

For that I believe we need two things. No, not a centre forward and a creative midfielder although they could well be products of what we need.

Stability.

The bumpy ride statement I made back in February 2014 has become a bit of cliche but like many cliches it has a grounding in fact.

Four coaches, players coming in one window and being loaned or sold at the next alongside short term contracts and loans. CAFC aren't the only club where this happens but rarely does that lead to success.

We have Luzon in place now and it seems to be working. He still has to prove himself over a whole season when every game matters but so far so good.

So he needs to stay. Luzon's 18 months at Liege is the longest any coach has lasted under Roland. We may never see the longevity of a Curbs or even an Alex Furgusson again given the nature of modern football but good sides are built over seasons not months with stable management, coaching and direction. Yes, some clubs chop and change and still do well but usually when they can afford a large number of mistakes. If our aim is to break even then we don't have that luxury.

Progression

But to justify an extended stay Luzon and the club have to progress. That means off the field with the academy re-build and investment in IT and other infrastructure at the Valley but also on the pitch with the squad.

There is already some quality and now, finally some depth and experience, in the squad and it is showing in the results. Guy needs to be allowed to strengthen the squad he has. Not in only September or February but early on. Yes we can gamble that there will be bargains like Johnson and Eagles but we saw this season how the progression made in the early unbeaten run was allowed to slip away because the obviously needed re-enforcements never arrived.

More importantly, the net for potential recruitment needs to be spread further than Standard Liege reserves or even the rest of the network. The majority of success stories have come from outside the network and a large number have been those with experience of British football.

That doesn't mean UK and experienced is the only or even the best place to shop as Igor and JGB show but neither should its importance as a factor of success be underestimated. Imagine what might have happened if Tony Watt had signed in August. Annoying isn't it?

If we can keep Luzon (and before you say "why wouldn't he stay?" remember Jose Riga), keep the key players and add greater quality and depth then we might keep this form and momentum into next season when it could really takes us somewhere.

There are a lot of ifs and maybes above. It is never that easy or simple and every other club will be looking to improve as well but when you find a formula that works then you should stick with it and add to it rather than starting all over again from scratch with a new head coach and squad every 12 months regardless of what the model says.
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Comments

  • edited March 2015
    Luzon was hounded out by the SL fans. Their loss our gain.
  • I've got a feeling this has been said before, but it all depends on what the owner wants and how quickly he wants it, doesn't it?

    I don't think he has a fixed strategy for each of his clubs; I think he is capable of adjusting the priorities, resources, etc, for each, as things pan out. Perhaps the best thing a really good run in the remainder of this season can achieve is to raise our priority in RD's eyes. Which is, of course, what we were all thinking last autumn about the January window.
  • Agreed. Critical in maintaining this momentum will be to hold on to what we have, prinicipally Luzon, Watt, Vetokele and Cousins. The big question is whether or not RD will sell ... he certainly has done in the past but the promise of the PL may hold him back.

    We should also aim to keep Ben Haim, Bulot, Eagles, Diarra and Johnson.

    Consistency will be essential and another turnover of staff will destroy that.


  • There are a lot of ifs and maybes above. It is never that easy or simple and every other club will be looking to improve as well "spunk money up the wall" ...

  • Good one Henry

    We know little about the real footballing ambitions of the owner except that he believes in his network, likes the current FFP regulations and wants his clubs to break even.

    With the FFP regs becoming a lot easier after next season it means that next season will be the best chance for a club that values financial probity to be successful and reach the Premiership.

    So Mr D (via Ms M) let's have some of Henry's stability and progression and go for it.
  • even an Alex Furgusson

    Who?

  • stonemuse said:

    Agreed. Critical in maintaining this momentum will be to hold on to what we have, prinicipally Luzon, Watt, Vetokele and Cousins. The big question is whether or not RD will sell ... he certainly has done in the past but the promise of the PL may hold him back.

    We should also aim to keep Ben Haim, Bulot, Eagles, Diarra and Johnson.

    Consistency will be essential and another turnover of staff will destroy that.

    What has he sold? You don't refer to STVV? It's widely expected in Belgium that he will be pressured into selling Standard if STVV get promoted.
  • The problem is we have no idea what our owner wants or will do when this season is over. That is why we held the meeting to try and establish dialogue with him or so I believe. Winning games is great, of course, but if we don't keep most of the team together when the season is over, it won't have been worthwhile. We all hope RD wants to build on this season, but have no idea whether he will invest in building a future together or that's just to sell season tickets.
  • edited March 2015

    stonemuse said:

    Agreed. Critical in maintaining this momentum will be to hold on to what we have, prinicipally Luzon, Watt, Vetokele and Cousins. The big question is whether or not RD will sell ... he certainly has done in the past but the promise of the PL may hold him back.

    We should also aim to keep Ben Haim, Bulot, Eagles, Diarra and Johnson.

    Consistency will be essential and another turnover of staff will destroy that.

    What has he sold? You don't refer to STVV? It's widely expected in Belgium that he will be pressured into selling Standard if STVV get promoted.
    Wow! Really? Even though he doesn't personally own STVV any more, and he got away with that trick the first time they were promoted? I can see that events since have demonstrated that STVV is still very much part of his empire as far as player swapping goes. Have you got any links?
  • edited March 2015
    I do wonder if, slightly simplistically, RD's plan is:
    A) don't get relegated at any cost AND
    B ) if there's a chance to get into the premiership, go for it

    It would sort of make business sense and tie in with what has happened so far. However, probably too logical and too simplistic.
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  • I think he means selling players e.g. Standard Liege's clearout
  • stonemuse said:

    Agreed. Critical in maintaining this momentum will be to hold on to what we have, prinicipally Luzon, Watt, Vetokele and Cousins. The big question is whether or not RD will sell ... he certainly has done in the past but the promise of the PL may hold him back.

    We should also aim to keep Ben Haim, Bulot, Eagles, Diarra and Johnson.

    Consistency will be essential and another turnover of staff will destroy that.

    What has he sold? You don't refer to STVV? It's widely expected in Belgium that he will be pressured into selling Standard if STVV get promoted.
    I obviously do not mean the club - I am referring to players.
  • stonemuse said:

    Agreed. Critical in maintaining this momentum will be to hold on to what we have, prinicipally Luzon, Watt, Vetokele and Cousins. The big question is whether or not RD will sell ... he certainly has done in the past but the promise of the PL may hold him back.

    We should also aim to keep Ben Haim, Bulot, Eagles, Diarra and Johnson.

    Consistency will be essential and another turnover of staff will destroy that.

    What has he sold? You don't refer to STVV? It's widely expected in Belgium that he will be pressured into selling Standard if STVV get promoted.
    Wow! Really? Even though he doesn't personally own STVV any more, and he got away with that trick the first time they were promoted? I can see that events since have demonstrated that STVV is still very much part of his empire as far as player swapping goes. Have you got any links?
    Nothing published that I have seen, but the Standard Socios are very strong on this idea. The Belgian FA rule bans ownership of two clubs in the division. It looks odds on that STVV will get promoted. It was always considered that selling STVV to his wife (partner) was a sleight of hand, but up to now it was not an issue. The problem is compounded by his various public spats with both the FA and the chairmen of other clubs. I guess this means that those chairmen will push for the FA to enforce its rules. I think someone else commented on here recently that STVV is his 'favourite', it being his home town, and also a model for the commercial development around it; indeed it turns out that he has promoted the STVV ground development as a template for Jena, as we learnt yesterday. And why not, I think it's pretty sound. But all that tends to suggest that of the two he might wish to sell Standard
  • The key points to improve are to maintain what we have, and add where we need to.

    To do this we have to -

    1. Keep any player who has a decent sale value - i.e. Vetokele, Gomes, and Cousins.
    2. Ensure players with only one year remaining are tied to longer contracts - i.e. Gudmundsson
    3. Sign on any players with expiring contracts who are considered crucial to the team - i.e. (and some of these may be debatable?) Johnson, Eagles, Bikey, Ben Haim, Diarra.
    4. Try to sign permanently the loan players who have performed well - i.e. Buyens, and Bulot (or replace them with equally good loans/signings).
    5, Get rid of dead wood and sign better squad players - i.e. Wilson, Church, Harriott, Lennon, Onyewu, Etheridge, Nego, Reza, Parzezcek (sp?), Pigott.
    6. Continue to bring through the youngsters (even if that means being hard on some other Academy graduates who aren't going to make it) - i.e Ahearne-Grant, Obileye, Holmes-Dennis, Edwards, Mitov, Muldoon, Gerrard, etc.
  • Bit early to write off Aheane-Grant only 17
  • Pedro45 said:

    The key points to improve are to maintain what we have, and add where we need to.

    To do this we have to -

    1. Keep any player who has a decent sale value - i.e. Vetokele, Gomes, and Cousins.
    2. Ensure players with only one year remaining are tied to longer contracts - i.e. Gudmundsson
    3. Sign on any players with expiring contracts who are considered crucial to the team - i.e. (and some of these may be debatable?) Johnson, Eagles, Bikey, Ben Haim, Diarra.
    4. Try to sign permanently the loan players who have performed well - i.e. Buyens, and Bulot (or replace them with equally good loans/signings).
    5, Get rid of dead wood and sign better squad players - i.e. Wilson, Church, Harriott, Lennon, Onyewu, Etheridge, Nego, Reza, Parzezcek (sp?), Pigott.
    6. Continue to bring through the youngsters (even if that means being hard on some other Academy graduates who aren't going to make it) - i.e Ahearne-Grant, Obileye, Holmes-Dennis, Edwards, Mitov, Muldoon, Gerrard, etc.

    At what point did Lennon cease to be 6 and become 5?
    Curious about your reasoning

  • Keeping the likes of JBG and Igor is vital. Plus extending Eagles and Johnson AND adding a couple more. I wonder if someone like JBG will be sold to pay for new recruits though
  • Momentum, Stability, Progression

    Three words that the meanings can be destroyed with Roland's main goal, which is selling assets of the Football Club to break even/make a profit. This Summer will be interesting, there will be a handful of our players wanted, and we're only a handful of players lost away from being right back to the not so nice side of The Championship.

    Let's wait and see
  • There are a core of players who are potentially lower Prem Upper Championship - Igor, Watt, JBG, Bulot, Cousins ... but I don't think that they have "done it" for long enough for RD to maximise his return from them yet. I suspect each of them provided the right contract extension is negotiated will be here this time next year, but then summer of 16 we could see significant departures at very decent fees. The trick then will be for the recruitment team to then bring in the next development generation. I wonder if we will then see a few young African players who will have earned their EU residency permits in belgium.
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  • The key is Luzon's desire to stay here ; he ticks our boxes and presumably the players and duchatelet's boxes. Had he been here instead of Peeters would he have got a better set of results? who knows. Anyway he has them playing well; even the less able and has seen the rise and rise of Fox, Gomez, Cousins. It is not just outside talent that will play a role next season but the academy and its output; after all isn't that what Katrien has said is a top priority.
  • Good one Henry

    We know little about the real footballing ambitions of the owner except that he believes in his network, likes the current FFP regulations and wants his clubs to break even.

    With the FFP regs becoming a lot easier after next season it means that next season will be the best chance for a club that values financial probity to be successful and reach the Premiership.

    So Mr D (via Ms M) let's have some of Henry's stability and progression and go for it.

    Does he like the FFP rules?
    If I were RD I'd be spitting feathers at the moving goalposts.
    He plans for one thing then it changes on the whim of the influential.
    I imagine he is sickened by the English authorities inability to stick to their word
  • stonemuse said:

    Agreed. Critical in maintaining this momentum will be to hold on to what we have, prinicipally Luzon, Watt, Vetokele and Cousins. The big question is whether or not RD will sell ... he certainly has done in the past but the promise of the PL may hold him back.

    We should also aim to keep Ben Haim, Bulot, Eagles, Diarra and Johnson.

    Consistency will be essential and another turnover of staff will destroy that.

    What has he sold? You don't refer to STVV? It's widely expected in Belgium that he will be pressured into selling Standard if STVV get promoted.
    Wow! Really? Even though he doesn't personally own STVV any more, and he got away with that trick the first time they were promoted? I can see that events since have demonstrated that STVV is still very much part of his empire as far as player swapping goes. Have you got any links?
    Nothing published that I have seen, but the Standard Socios are very strong on this idea. The Belgian FA rule bans ownership of two clubs in the division. It looks odds on that STVV will get promoted. It was always considered that selling STVV to his wife (partner) was a sleight of hand, but up to now it was not an issue. The problem is compounded by his various public spats with both the FA and the chairmen of other clubs. I guess this means that those chairmen will push for the FA to enforce its rules. I think someone else commented on here recently that STVV is his 'favourite', it being his home town, and also a model for the commercial development around it; indeed it turns out that he has promoted the STVV ground development as a template for Jena, as we learnt yesterday. And why not, I think it's pretty sound. But all that tends to suggest that of the two he might wish to sell Standard
    Not wishing to doubt you PA but certainly in English Law a wife would been seen as a different legal entity to her husband. What makes you believe, other than the malcontents from SL's wishful thinking, that he would have to sell SL? That he is not smart enough to have spotted that one when he "disposed" of STVV?
  • Momentum, Stability, Progression

    Three words that the meanings can be destroyed with Roland's main goal, which is selling assets of the Football Club to break even/make a profit. This Summer will be interesting, there will be a handful of our players wanted, and we're only a handful of players lost away from being right back to the not so nice side of The Championship.

    Let's wait and see

    'Break even or make a profit' shocking way to manage a football club.

  • Henry Irving said:
    even an Alex Furgusson
    Who?

    You know, the bloke who when he finally decided to retire, made sure that those that followed would have to work hard to emulate him.
  • Shrew said:

    Momentum, Stability, Progression

    Three words that the meanings can be destroyed with Roland's main goal, which is selling assets of the Football Club to break even/make a profit. This Summer will be interesting, there will be a handful of our players wanted, and we're only a handful of players lost away from being right back to the not so nice side of The Championship.

    Let's wait and see

    'Break even or make a profit' shocking way to manage a football club.

    yep that owner at Blackpool is receiving high praise indeed for his profits
  • Shrew said:

    Momentum, Stability, Progression

    Three words that the meanings can be destroyed with Roland's main goal, which is selling assets of the Football Club to break even/make a profit. This Summer will be interesting, there will be a handful of our players wanted, and we're only a handful of players lost away from being right back to the not so nice side of The Championship.

    Let's wait and see

    'Break even or make a profit' shocking way to manage a football club.

    yep that owner at Blackpool is receiving high praise indeed for his profits
    Yes but to be fair that is because he is putting profit ahead of anything else. For all the misjudgements we have seen in Roland's first year in charge, it's not fair to say there has been no investment. I know some will argue he has spent less than others will argue, but he has spent more than he has brought in through sales.

    IF there is a sound recruitment strategy ready to replace players we add value to and then sell then there is nothing wrong with a strategy of buy cheap, raise profile, sell high and replace cheap because, when you don't to milk the Premiership TV cash cow, player sales and recruitment is the fastest way to get yourself in and out of a financial mess.

    The problem is, is it's a lot easier said than done but then the right way of doing things isn't always the easy way.
  • First thing that needs to happen is some new contracts for some of the key players - JBG, Cousins, Gomez, Johnson, Eagles

    Sell or release those that aren't good enough to free up cash - this is a contentious area but for me Harriot, Church, Piggot etc

    Then we need to replace those who'll leave or buy them permanently - Buyens, Bulot, anyone we sell to free up cash

    Then we need to look at strengthening - BUY A BLOODY NUMBER 9, probably another winger, maybe a RB too (based on Gomez playing centrally), keeper if Henderson is going to be in and out of the treatment room

    If all the above happens we'll be looking at a solid chance of playoffs
  • Addicted said:

    First thing that needs to happen is some new contracts for some of the key players - JBG, Cousins, Gomez, Johnson, Eagles

    Sell or release those that aren't good enough to free up cash - this is a contentious area but for me Harriot, Church, Piggot etc

    Then we need to replace those who'll leave or buy them permanently - Buyens, Bulot, anyone we sell to free up cash

    Then we need to look at strengthening - BUY A BLOODY NUMBER 9, probably another winger, maybe a RB too (based on Gomez playing centrally), keeper if Henderson is going to be in and out of the treatment room

    If all the above happens we'll be looking at a solid chance of playoffs

    I think that in all probability one or two players we would of liked to keep hold of might go elsewhere, hopefully to be replaced by better or potentially better, without a few months gap. As for the number nine I think TWWW should pick that one up

  • Addicted said:

    First thing that needs to happen is some new contracts for some of the key players - JBG, Cousins, Gomez, Johnson, Eagles

    Sell or release those that aren't good enough to free up cash - this is a contentious area but for me Harriot, Church, Piggot etc

    Then we need to replace those who'll leave or buy them permanently - Buyens, Bulot, anyone we sell to free up cash

    Then we need to look at strengthening - BUY A BLOODY NUMBER 9, probably another winger, maybe a RB too (based on Gomez playing centrally), keeper if Henderson is going to be in and out of the treatment room

    If all the above happens we'll be looking at a solid chance of playoffs

    That's exactly what I meant above. "Dead wood" may be OTT as some of them have done well for the club, but ultimately they have little or no future at CAFC. Lennon has been in or around the 1st team for quite some time, but he isn't going to break-through, so he comes into category 5, not 6 who are Academy players we need to bring on more. Harsh but fair, and that's how a good manager has to be, yes?
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Roland Out!