27 Aug 2018 18:17:02
IF and I emphasise IF, our current form / level continues then looking at our fixtures for September I can't see us getting many if any points. I wonder if that would result in MH (or MAHU if you prefer) leaving? Personally, I believe he was the wrong choice though I can understand why he was given the chance of managing us. Should he leave his position then I believe Laurent Blanc would be a great candidate to replace MH but I imagine that we'll leave it to late and get relegated. Pessimistic, yes, but also realistic. I don't see many teams worse than us and change is needed throughout the club.

1.) 28 Aug 2018
28 Aug 2018 12:42:31
In the first 11 games under Mauricio Pellegrino we won 3, drew 4, lost 4; a win percentage of 27% and a total of 13 points. We scored 9 (0.8 goals per game), conceded 11 (1 gpg) . So far under MH we have won 2, drawn 3, lost 6; a win record of 18% and a total of 9 points accrued. We’ve scored 10 (0.9 gpg) and conceded 16 (1.5 gpg) . MH has improved our strike rate a fraction but not enough to see us win more games as at the same time, our defence has become even worse than under our previous manager. Extra win aside, the draws acquired under Pellegrino gave us valuable points that supported an early stasis in mid-table.

You may consider this comparison unfair as MH came in at the tail end of last season and kept us up. But statistically speaking its possible that Pellegrino could have seen the team accrue enough points to keep us up in the end. As he was sacked, we will never know, but as the projection for MP over those final 8 games is so similar to the results MH achieved, I think the comparison is entirely fair.

MH has had a full summer transfer window and a pre-season to improve the squad and the tactics but on the evidence thus far, has done neither. If anything, the team looks as fragile this season as it did at its worst under Pellegrino (which was the exception rather than the rule) but in sacrificing the defensive system, there have been little to no gains at the other end of the pitch. The 5-3-2 was dysfunctional at the end of last season and the summer purchases suggested a move away from that formation given the preferred positions of those brought in. Instead, we started with it, and have since replaced it with an equally dysfunctional 4-4-2 with players out of position and considered so unsuitable for it that the ghost of Shane Long continues to haunt the starting 11 as a striker.

Until the players take the field in their strongest positions I find it hard to criticise them when they are simply playing as best they can with the bad hand they have been dealt. This shouldn’t be happening three games into a new season when the manager has signed players, presumably with a formation in mind. If that’s not the case, then it lends great weight to the criticism of MH for Stoke’s last few transfer windows. The deterioration of an already shaky defence also supports the criticism of his coaching of his former team. If MH intended to play a 4-4-2, why did he not acquire the personnel capable of playing the system and why did we not see it in the pre-season friendlies?

My fear with MH has always been his record is patchy, Stoke last season were awful and he has no history of improving players, which is the sort of coach I think we need. It’s no mystery that we saw our best under Pochettino and deteriorated gradually since. It is, of course, still very early in the season and there’s plenty of time to turn things around. If MH can find a formation that suits our players better and make us stronger defensively, we can still have a mid-table season. But the signs, even in the infancy of this season, are ominous. MH, despite citing his tactical flexibility as a plus, has yet to play a consistent team and achieve consistent performances or results. Looking around us, West Ham have a good manager and a good squad who are likely to improve as a result. Burnley may struggle while they overstretch themselves in Europe, but that could end at any time and they’re likely to steer clear of danger in the end. Newcastle may also find the going hard but have an excellent manager at the helm. Huddersfield are certainly struggling and might have a tough season along with Cardiff but neither team are likely to sink without a fight. At the moment, the company we keep is closer to the latter two than anyone who will look to finish in the top half.

2.) 28 Aug 2018
28 Aug 2018 14:00:46
I think we're seeing a lot of panic from Hughes already, the same we saw from MP. He started with a 5-3-2 and in the Everton game at half team took off Cedric and swapped to a 4-4-2 and we all agreed on here that we played much better. Therefore, he's stuck to the 4-4-2 formation hoping he'd get a result. This hasn't worked. I can see the same trends as we've saw last season. He'll get changing the squad until he gets the result he wants.
His playing style isn't really one that suits the Premier League anymore. I feel like the board should have looked for a new manager in the summer, instead of going with the easy option. I think any new manager post MP would have provided the morale boost we needed.

3.) 28 Aug 2018
28 Aug 2018 16:34:53
I know this is partially not true but for flip sake were only three games in!
Clearly we have issues but I genuinely think w'ell stay up and be OK.
everyone chill out a bit.

4.) 29 Aug 2018
29 Aug 2018 05:34:13
I agree with that to a degree but my concerns are
The team need confidence from somewhere the Brighton away win should peek the camp up so hopefully they’ll get something from palace
Hughes needs to find a style and stick with it and he might need to revamp his ideas with our current squad
Hopefully 3 points Saturday hopefully.

5.) 29 Aug 2018
29 Aug 2018 16:44:42
Yup. 'Hopefully' is the problem. After last season and the start to this one, expectations are at a low ebb and rather than expecting or believing we will beat the teams likely to finish in the lower half of the table, home or away, all we have is hope.

I was all for giving Pellegrino more time at the start of last season as he was a new manager to the team and the league who needed time to show what he could do. I'm certainly not calling for MH's head now. MH does deserve more time, though not as much as Pellegrino as he is not new to the league and he got a head start with the end of last season. He knew the players, the deficiencies in the squad all before taking over in the summer.

I just want the team to start playing better and winning points. Then, hope can be replaced with belief and we'll all feel a little more comfortable in avoiding a repeat of last season.

6.) 30 Aug 2018
30 Aug 2018 22:02:23
I agree that MH deserves more time but there has to be a time limit. If he doesn't get things turning the right way by the end of November I think we will need to look at bringing in someone else who can hopefully get things moving in the right direction.