What’s wrong?

I read an article about how American Football teams are using GPS systems to learn about their players. This technology gives them acceleration/deceleration numbers, everything a player does. Using it a team was able to learn that a star player was moving better to his right than his left. They noted that if this had got out around the league he’d have been toast. They found another player who was showing extraoardinary abilities to run fast then stop dead; they hadn’t seen this with their eyes but the numbers allowed them to build it into their approach.

I say this because I’m still struggling to pin down exactly what Fulham are doing that’s so awful. I mean it. I can tell in the abstract, and if you’ve been reading this for a while you know that we know about the shots thing. But with my eyes it’s just not that simple.

Here’s the thing though: the defence looks awful but isn’t getting any protection. So is the abject defending their fault?

The attack is almost non-existent. But the forwards are getting no service. Is the lack of penetration their fault?

The midfield will complain that they’re overrun. They will complain that the forwards aren’t moving. So are they blameless?

Here’s what we know:

Stekelenberg is probably as close to blameless as anyone here.

I have never been convinced by Sascha Riether’s defending but the width he gave us was meant to be a helpful counterpoint to that. He’s not playing at the moment.

Philippe Senderos is attracting flak, but he got that when he was playing well so in a downswing he’s like a magnet for the ire of our fans. We know that he has performed reasonably in Fulham defences in the past, so the fact that we’re being sliced apart every week can’t be down to him. Sure he’s struggling but as noted before, Jaap Stam and Franco Baresi couldn’t keep teams quiet in this Fulham XI.

Amorebieta impressed at left-back but I suspect his play in the middle has been a bit rusty. It’s a new partnership and perhaps hasn’t gelled as it might have. These things take time though, but time is short when you’re allowing a shot on goal every other minute the opposition have the ball.

Richardson I thought was doing okay for us but he had a stinker at the weekend. He’s Riether’s equal but that still only means a 6/10 player probably.

Parker is everyone’s idea of a good player to have around and it’s true that he was doing the bizzo for England not long ago.

Sidwell is a mystery. I always think he’s a good player but suspect he’s a bit frenetic to be relied upon in an engine room these days. I find it hard to conjure up an image of him in possession, which is weird. He has a nice nose for goal and tackles well but – I’m guessing – is fairly ordinary overall. Like I say, I can’t quite pin him down.

Kacaniklic and Dejagah are what they are. People got angry with Ruiz, these two played instead, and oh look, neither did anything. This was completely predictable.

Kasami continues to catch the eye as one player who can rise above all this stink. I don’t know what he is doing differently but it is refreshing, and I was quite wrong about him.

Berbatov has the track record but now people are naming their best XI without him in them.

Bent seems well suited to a late subs’ role. If you watch the Football League show it’s littered with players who got lots of goals but never managed to stick in the top division. Now the top division seems bereft of pure finishers, with the likes of Defoe and Bent both marginalised despite good goals records.

So what? How does the above lead to what is becoming an absolute disaster of a football team. We shouldn’t be THIS bad. Nobody is this bad.

First, we need to think of a football team as a chain. The Match of the Day people pointed this out in a way after the United defeat. If our forwards defend like they haven’t a care in a world then this puts pressure on everyone else. If the midfield is unreliable then so does this. We all have our limits: think of playing cricket. Facing a 40mph bowler your technique’s pretty good. Against 90mph the footwork’s not so clever. So it is for the likes of Senderos and co at the back. They can defend when given a chance, but breaking point comes when there’s no protection. The lack of protection can be traced from the lack of defence throughout the team, but ends up making the defence look like idiots.

I can’t really find an excuse for our lack of attacking menace. We are still picking attacking teams but not achieving anything. I suppose if we cast our minds back to early Jol when we were either awesome or awful there was at times too much fluidity. The 4-2-3-1 just seemed to result in a mess at the top and nobody quite knew what they should be doing. That’s probably what we have now. Kacaniklic and Dejagah can’t get into the game because they’re not good enough to take over (think about how Clint Dempsey would be playing at the moment for a good contrast). Berbatov is mentally gone and plotting his January move to Galatasaray. Ruiz is shell shocked. Sidwell and Parker are overloaded in their problems. The full-backs aren’t all that anyway.

To cap it all I think that mentally the squad must be in bits. When you’re playing this badly it’s hard to turn things around. There may even be a subconscious desire to get Jol removed. There may be something we don’t know about.

Or there may just be things beyond the naked eye. When I talked about the GPS at the start it was with Scott Parker in mind. What if, at 33, he’s a fraction of a second too slow to do his job? What if a couple of players are carrying injury that is causing them to be 15% off the pace? What if there’s other stuff happening that we can’t quite pick up on?

Because really, our absolute uselessness doesn’t make sense unless someone’s a lot worse than I think. People will say yes, Senderos and Berbatov and Ruiz, and maybe that’s right, but it feels like all three are good players. Is it some kind of ridiculous bad chemistry problem, the opposite of alchemy, where we have happened upon a group who simply cannot play together? Or what? Or what? The answers I read over and over again don’t explain this. The facts make it very clear that we’re very awful, but I can’t see why we’re this bad. This is a historically bad team at the moment and really it shouldn’t be. I don’t really understand it.





24 thoughts on “What’s wrong?

  1. The whole squad’s confidence is shot. Whatever Jol is telling them to do clearly isn’t getting through because it looks like we have no tactics, attacking or defending. Berbatov – the seasoned pro and medal-winner who the likes of Kaca, Dejagah and Kasami will look up to – spreads hugely negative vibes on the pitch (I guess we don’t know what he’s like off it). Jol’s way of dealing with adversity appears to be to try and stay ‘relaxed’ but (again, in his public appearances at least) it only comes across as extreme complacency. The combination of these two dominant personalities is, at the moment, toxic: we look unmotivated and… well, just drifting.

    Confidence works both ways too: others teams are licking their lips at the prospect of facing us, therefore relaxing and playing better, which doesn’t help. Liverpool would have loved Saturday after their tough game at Arsenal the previous week.

    Change is needed – not necessarily because someone else would be a better or worse manager than Jol per se, but because the players (and fans) need to feel like something has changed to snap us out of it. Otherwise we’re going down, I’m convinced of it.

    1. That’s exactly how I see it.

      I think Jol is punch drunk – unable to understand why things aren’t working out and since he knows that he’s a good manager all he can do is continue as is.

      All teams need to do to beat us is get in our face and deny us time and room – just be reasonably fit and motivated in fact. Way too easy.

      A new manager isn’t an instant solution but an ambitious guy who wants to succeed will inject a new approach. He’ll also have a few weeks to work out what else he needs.

      I want to see two banks of 4. Concentrate solely on defence.

      If Hangeland is fit stick Hughes alongside him. Restore what used to work – they’ll each be happier, you’d think.

      Amorebieta at left back.

      Boateng and Parker to replicate Etuhu/Murphy. Dejagah works well with Reither. On the left the best defender amongst our wingers – probably Duff but maybe Richardson or Riise. Kasami in the hole and now we at least have 9 workers to organise all with recognised roles.

      Berbatov? We know he’s so much better than he’s shown this season so a new manager has to have a serious discussion with him to see what he feels is wrong. He clearly isn’t a lazy evil money grabber and he can’t be happy with his performances. There must be a switch to turn him on.

      Nothing gets better without new leadership.

  2. Jol has always verbally advocated a certain vague style of play, but in his seasons at Fulham there’s never been a style on the pitch I’ve associated with his particular tactical desires — we always seemed like a work in progress. Many other managers seem to have much more specific characteristics to how they play — Martinez, for example, or even Moyes’s Everton teams, which always made very specific kinds of passes in attacking possession. I waited quite a long while for what I assumed would be a style that would be visually identifiable as Jol’s, but I concluded at some point there wasn’t one. His approach seems to be to find quality players, run them out in a particular formation, and let things ride from there. Admittedly, this is exactly how I have had a lot of success playing Football Manager.

    I’m starting to wonder if there’s a disconnect between what Jol is able to do at a macro- and micro-level.

  3. We have reached the point of no return for Jol . He appears incapable of motivating his players and it is the manner of our defeats , rather than the defeats themselves , which worries me most .

    Our policy of bringing in well used but tried and tested players has come badly unstuck and unless we replace Jol as quickly as possible and allow a new manager time to instil a refreshed approach ; giving him funds to replace the truly awful Richardson , strengthen the midfield and centre of defence , then we will be playing in the championship next season .

    I challenge anyone to name one decent performance this season , as frankly there haven’t been any .

    I think Jol is an honourable man but clearly too nice for the job that is needed here.

    1. West Brom was a pretty decent performance ruined by a terrible piece of defending at the end. 3 goals disallowed and a load of shots too.

      Agree though, beyond that game we have been terrible.

  4. I echo the tone of most on here when pinpointing what has gone wrong – Jol appears to be out of ideas in how to turn the club around. Nothing changes week to week, we hear the same platitudes from Jol and there appears to be little pressure from the top on Jol, which is probably the single most worrying thing.

    As for trying to understand the technical reasons behind Fulham’s woeful form, for me it keeps going back to our central midfield options or lack thereof. Part of this is anecdotal an based purely on what I (think) I am seeing and part appears to be borne out with some stats.

    First, the anecdotal stuff – I think most fans would agree that the current CM partnership is the worst one we have had since the great escape season. A good but ageing Scott Parker and a rank average ‘I should not be starting in the premier league’ Steven Sidwell. Neither player is a natural ball playing CM and Sidwell is guilty of one of the cardinal sins of a CM – hiding from the ball. Over recent years, we have rarely had such a dearth of talent here, from the excellent Murphy-Etuhu axis to the thrilling 6 months of Dembele and Diarra scaring the crap out of opposing teams. But now? Two tacklers, only one of whom is anywhere near comfortable enough on the ball. For a team that is ostensibly attempting to play attacking passing-based football, not having a central midfield base to work from is disasterous and has a knock on effect on every other part of the team. The attack has a terrible supply line because the CMs are not forward thinking and talented enough, the defence gets no cover because the two CMs are unnaturally forcing the attacking side and not focusing on shape and position – a sort of mini Lampard-Gerrard Conundrum – two similar players who fail to do the one thing they each do best when playing together.

    Second, the more statistical backing – I think it is difficult to measure the impact of a midfield pairing but to see the influence these players have in a possession based system (which I still feel is what we are) I looked at the Avg passes per match over the last few CM partnerships. In the glory days of Murphy,Diarra and Dembele, they had Avg Passes of 60, 56.2 and 46.7 respectively – three of the highest passers on the team, which outside of the CBs is something you would expect. Last season? The player with the highest no. of passes per game is Bryan Ruiz with 45.8. Sidwell’s contribution last season? 39 passes a game. He’s been not only beaten out by Ruiz but also by our centre forward (!!!!) Dimitar Berbatov who has 44.3. So not only are the number of passes per player down, the CM has fallen through the floor to the extent that our two most attacking players are running the team more than the midfield. This season? The introduction of Parker has helped restore some balance with 52.3 passes per game, but Sidwell continues to regress with only 37.2. Which makes me look back to my anecdotal point that these two don’t work together because they are too similar, never knowing who should go forward and who should cover.

    So what is the answer? Well, If I was Jol I would switch to a proper 3 man midfield immediately, with Boateng at the base as the protector/initial distrubutor. The other two CMs would be Parker who could be ball winner/energy and one of Kasami, Taarabt or Chris David, acting as the attacking instigator but is also happy to sit a bit deeper and help transition defence to attack. I’m not sure if this would solve much, but theoretically it would at least give us more protection for our back 4 and maybe the ability to control the ball better.

    1. I think this illustrates why the frustration and anger levels have risen so high. It seems obvious to most people that Boateng should be in there to stiffen up the midfield. But Jol won’t give it a try, stubbornly sticking to the same failing midfield. Perhaps Boateng is not the answer, but until Jol gives him a run, we’ll never know.

      1. Good point about our centre mids, Alex. I can’t remember the last time I saw a Fulham player put through with the sort of pass that makes you think “wow, that was special”, but that’s what we were used to with Murphy and to some extent Diarra. Sidwell’s ppg figure is not only lower, but he rarely if ever produces a penetrative pass.

        Add to that Tony’s point about teams denying us time and space. But why? My perception is that most opponents simply put more energy into their game. I suppose it’s a combination of pace, fitness and attitude. I’m no fan of players with headless chicken syndrome, but if a team has that high energy and they are well organised they will invariably cause grief to the likes of us. Jol himself often complains about our lack of tempo.

  5. Well, Thank Goodness this season we have Rich’s posts back amongst the madness of this season – it’s a comforting blanket to read good quality posts about a difficult situation. Small mercies. I’m with you Rich, I fail to see why this squad of players should be turning in such abject performances every single week. I go along and I don’t think they’re not trying as such, but we seem off the pace. If a team were to give us a three goal head start, we’d look OK. That’s about it, and I’ve never really seen a team do that at this level (well, perhaps allowing for QPR last season!)

    We are definitely one of the least ‘pacey’ & dynamic sides in the division…..but how much of this is derived from the fulcrum of the attack, Berbatov? He wants to play the game slowly, indeed practically demands it of his fellow players. So if Jol is concerned about tempo, then why hasn’t he done the obvious and benched the massively underperforming number nine? Last season, we literally had no other striker options, whereas this year we at least have proven options to change it.

    I disagree with the midfield pair – I think they are ‘fair’ for this division. We were spoiled with Murphy – his vision & class were as good as anyones outside the top 2/3 teams in the league, and again spoiled with Dembele who’s movement and ability to beat a player from a standing start was worth the admission fee alone. Yes, Diarra is a miss and a somewhat strange one – is he fit or not? If he is, why hasn’t he been signed up on a pay as you play? But our current chosen two Sidwell & Parker are both ‘fair’ premier league midfielders who would get a game at any of the other 10 or 12 PL clubs in our sphere. Indeed, our poor run at the end of last season (in my mind at least) coincided with Sidwells consecutive red cards. Yes, he’s a more limited player in making passes than some of the super midfielders we’ve had, but he’s box to box, wholehearted and lest we forget, probably our top scorer over the past 18 months from the chances he’s had. He also clearly cares about this side, perhaps more than some of Jol’s vaunted stars. And Parker is a decent foil for him…..but it just looks like they’ve been left to themselves to sort out the midfield (and possibly the team) with no direction, no ‘role’ assigned to them & they’re exposing the centre halves too much at present. There looks like next to no communication between the current choice centre-halves and the midfield two.

    I simply cannot believe that there aren’t decent managers out there who would love a crack at the Premier League with this squad of players. Yes, it needs greater progression in terms of bringing the average age down; Yes, perhaps a few players could be improved on without breaking the bank (full backs noted as above) & Yes, some of the players we currently have might not quite have the same ability as one or two of the really greats we’ve had in the past 5 years. BUT, any decent coach must fancy their chances of getting this side functioning through some solid work on the training field. We don’t expect to beat Utd & Liverpool every time, but you expect that you can make a side work very hard to break you down – we’ve seen this in the past which is why it’s so galling watching the Whites at the moment. They’re simply the easiest team in the league to play against at this moment.

    If (as I would assume) the board are now firmly developing this seasons plan B it should feature one key question: is the new chap prepared to get his hands dirty coaching, in the way that Roy Hodgson did? If so, expect to see a marked improvement in the next quarter of the season & expect to see Berbatov warming the bench before heading to the sun in January you would imagine.

    1. I definitely agree with you Dave about Sidwell and Parker being left to sort out the midfield themselves and the general lack of direction. My point was more towards the fact that it is going so badly because added to the managerial incompetence (taken as a given at the moment!) we’ve seen a decrease in quality at the CM role whilst still trying to play a system that requires a really good CM player, or at least a player with the correct attributes. If we played a long ball game, Sidwell and Parker would be a great combo, but they are being asked to run the team without any direction, as you say.

      Diarra, Dembele and Murphy didn’t need the direction perhaps, but the midfield area just seems to encapsulate how the team’s overall quality has really been hit. Sidwell went from being 4th choice to first choice, despite being 2 years older at the wrong end of his career. That shouldn’t be happening.

    1. Haha. Pretty funny. For anybody not paying attention, the Jacksonville Jaguars are 1-8 this season (they just won their first game). Khan is experiencing the same thing on both sides of the ocean. Maybe Chaka Khan, for all his money, is in the wrong business?

      It’s baffling, to be sure. If a couple years ago somebody said that we’d be having this kind of a disastrous season with Scott Parker, Berba, and Darren Bent all on the team I would’ve never believed it. It’s a totally depressing head-scratcher.

      Good post.

      Sometimes a season is a tale of two halves but it’s hard to imagine a way out of this predicament. I feel like I’ve watched this team play poorly enough times that I cannot envision them playing well. I cannot imagine, for example, a beautiful through-ball to Berba who, with tweo touches, slots it into the back of the net. What a thing like that must look like?!

      Personally I’ve felt like the biggest problem is that Murphy and Dempsey were never adequately replaced. It’s not an easy thing for a team like Fulham to just go and replace players like that. Those two were massive in terms of what they gave us and we are feeling the difference without them.

  6. I always believe the style a team plays is a reflection of the manager. Ferguson full of guts and will to win, Wenger an architect sometimes more interested in the style than the result and son. Jol has looked a puffed out, stressed, bewildered and so do our team. We need a manager with energy, ideas and will to win/fight. Poyet looks to have delivered what we need at Sunderland.

    We have a number of mercenaries on our books now, the image of Tarabt and Bent laughing and joking behind an anguished Jol on Saturday really upset me and showed a deep lack of emotional connection with what was unfolding in front of them. You could say that it was his fault for bringing them in or the clubs fault at looking for bargains but either way you don’t trust them to particularly care about what is happening at the club and helping the situation.

    So in short although I have been a supporter of MJ I think it’s time for a change, the club is already in meltdown. Saturday was appalling in so many ways, we need to get back to basics, structure and intensity, though the latter only comes with desire, that’s what I fear the most, lack of desire.

  7. The short answer to your original question is: everything, in the senses of poor defence + poor offence + lack of cohesion + lack of energy…when judged in all cases by premier league standards. Which means we no longer deserve to be a member.

    While that realisation will cushion the relegation blow, it’s particularly vexing to experience it merely four years after our greatest couple of seasons. At that stage — after too long merely making up the numbers — we were at last bringing something to the prem party. But now we aren’t. The Europa era has left no legacy.

    That longer-term diagnosis is more dispiriting than the pickle we are in currently since it is set to outlast it.

  8. I’m going to pick on a couple of guys, but not because they in particular are “the problem” but because they’re emblematic of broader issues.

    “Parker is everyone’s idea of a good player to have around and it’s true that he was doing the bizzo for England not long ago.”

    “Now the top division seems bereft of pure finishers, with the likes of … Bent …marginalised despite good goals records.”

    These are good descriptions of players we should want to have had on our team three or four or five years ago. Parker used to be really good for club and country. Bent used to score a lot of goals. Now they’re both looking markedly past their best. Parker runs around a lot but you yourself (a strong supporter a few months ago) suggested that he might be too slow to do his job. Bent is billed as a guy who has the speed to get behind defenses and tucks away chances but he doesn’t look like outrunning anybody these days (watching him try to beat a fullback to a through ball is an exercise in frustration) and when a chance is made for him (like at Chelsea) he doesn’t finish it. And that’s why both were marginalized at their former clubs. We’re relying on too many players who are a year or three or five past their prime. Bent, Parker, Sidwell, Berbatov, Hangeland (much as it pains me to include him here), Riether, Duff, Hughes, Karagounis. We have this mental picture of them from a couple of years ago as being quality players, not considering that they’re on the downhill side of their careers and not actually as good as we believe them to be. Add in the fact that Richardson isn’t really all that good, Ruiz hasn’t adjusted to the pace of the Premier League game as well as we’d like, Senderos and Amorebieta are alright but not great…

    In short, I think all this “lack of confidence” or “lack of leadership” stuff is our attempt to find a justification without resorting to the humbling admission that the squad just isn’t as good as we thought at the start of the year, with so many players showing their age all at once. And I think part of the reason that we don’t want to admit this is that there isn’t an easy fix like “Jol out” or “bench Berbatov/Ruiz”. We need new players, and in the meantime we need to:

    1) Stick with Senderos and Amorebieta (and the same full backs and goalkeeper) rather than going back to Hughes and Hangeland; as much as we want to reminisce about their pairing, they were at their best four or five years ago. The constant changes in the back line due to injuries and suspensions are just making things worse.

    2) Actually have our central midfielders protect the defense, as Rich has been suggesting for a while now. Maybe this means Boateng, maybe it means Zverotic playing defensive midfield once Riether is back from suspension, maybe it simply means instructing Parker and Sidwell to do so, I don’t know.

    3) Not pull the rug out from under Kacaniklic and Dejagah (who both have some pace and spark, albeit in a predictable “get down the wing and get a cross into the box” manner) over one bad loss on the road against a team we weren’t ever very likely to get a result against and go back to the older guys.

    4) Give Rodallega more of a chance once he’s back healthy, since he actually may have the speed that we’ve deceived ourselves into thinking Bent still has, and some strength in the air to boot.

    5) The hardest one, spend some cash on a young midfielder, because the guys we have aren’t cutting it.

    1. Hear, hear. Like Juventus a few years back or Inter now (I think). On paper, the Juve team we gloriously defeated in the Europa League looked absolutely daunting. Yet they would finish 7th that season and the next.

      Makes you wonder why we didn’t do everything we could to sign Enoh over the summer. He was young, cordial with Jol, a D-Mid, and I thought he did pretty darn well in this brief loan here.

      To back up a bit in terms of scope, it seemed like 12-18 months ago the club was clearly in rebuilding mode with the purchase/emergence of Kasami, Frei, Kaca, Briggs, et al; and jettison of others, and continued somewhat last January with the arrival of Enoh, Frimpong, Emanuelson, etc alebit on loan. But it seems that process went full-stop once MAF decided to sell–I forget how long he shopped the team but I know it didn’t occur overnight.

      So one must assume that we’re reaping what we sowed in that MAF cleared any long-term liabilities, and Kahn was almost too prudent in transfer dealings when he tookover. Would make sense considering the trend of newly arrived owners arriving and “splashing the cash”…only to end up ridiculed and heavily in debt.

      Sadly it’s all just all blowing up in our faces right now.

        1. I thought it was always pretty much a foregone conclusion that Emanuelson was only ever a temporary thing (Jol always said that the price to buy him would be too high), and he has been playing fairly regularly for Milan this year. On the other hand De Boer couldn’t wait to sell Enoh to us (though reports were that the price was unreasonable for a player that they wanted to get rid of) and now he’s playing in their reserves, and I think we could use his legs.

  9. I thought both the original piece and the comments were spot on, especially Alex’s well reasoned suggestion as to the crux of the problem – the midfield failings. I have 3 major issues with Jol: the glaring midfield problem, the lack of variety in what we do even in the face of that and the total mismanagement of the integration of our great youth set up.
    Yes, a team is like a linked chain and each player dependent upon the others to perform their roles but with the last 3 games, or more, it has been evident its not working yet Jol blindly continues with exactly the same tactical set up. So I tend to agree that Jol truly just assembles a group of players, nominally puts them into roles and lets them have at it. Otherwise how do you explain him setting out the same team structure against Saints, Manure and Liverpool? Had he really not seen those teams play? From me watching highlights only I could tell that they put lots of bodies into the center of the park and press in the opponents half yet Jol, the professional manager, with a team of well paid assistant coaches and his brother can’t spot that? Its baffling then that we line up Parker and Sidwell against all three teams and they get overrun, every game, all game. Its such an obvious move to change to 3 in the middle and we have bought a player who fits that role in Boateng but he can’t buy a game. We have back up in Zverotic and yet he does not get a run out in that role. What is painfully obvious is that the Gerrard/Lampard thing is going on with Parker/Sidwell, they are trying to do the same thing and in doing so – chasing the same opposing player, tracking back into the same space to get the ball from Senderos or Amorebieta – leaving massive gaps for the opposition to maraud through. So that in my book is down to Jol, either give strong guidance as to who does what – as Hodgson has done with our two senior England midfielders – or change one of the two for someone who plays a different game. I also pulled my hair out when we were 4-0 down and 10 minutes to play that he decides to give Karagounis a run out, no wonder Bent and Tarabt are laughing – both need game time and still do not get it. We not only have the oldest slowest squad in the Prem we have the best, by many measures, U18 and U21 teams yet Jol since he has been here has never provided a path for people to move through and give us our own succession planning. Mesca gets 20 minutes against Chelsea then never seen of again; Frei shipped out, Chris David played in the Eredivisie but for us is stuck in U21’s.
    So on balance we have a manager who: 1. sets up tactically in a losing formation, 2. cannot make tactical adjustments, 3. cannot coach set piece defending, 4. cannot integrate the youth set up effectively for the future, 5. Looks and acts like he is about to be fired, 6. Thinks we will be ok by a process of serendipity as 5-6 teams are worse than us. Sorry but its time to say good bye Martin and get someone in who actually can make a talented but aging bunch of individuals into a team thats tough to beat, ultimately thats what we all want.
    wow, that was way too long a rant…feel better now ;)

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