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Motherwell FC 2016/17 Thread

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Hopefully a shite performance today doesn't detract from what has been a very good job by Mark McGhee since he took over. To finish in 5th while having no money to bring in new players and actually downsizing the squad he inherited by getting rid of the likes of Taylor, Robinson, Reid, Twardzik, Clarkson etc while promoting a few of the youngsters has been a great effort. 

 

Think I'm right and saying for next season the squad looks like; 

 

Under Contract

Louis Laing - 2017

Kieran Kennedy- 2017

Joe Chalmers -2017

Josh Law - 2017

Stephen Pearson - 2017

Lionel Ainsworth - 2017

Chris Cadden -2018

Luke Watt - 2018

Marvin Johnson - 2018

Louis Moult - 2018

Dom Thomas - 2018

 

Offered New Deals

Craig Samson

Stephen McManus

Stevie Hammell

Keith Lasley

Scott McDonald

James McFadden

Craig Moore

Ben Hall

David Ferguson

 

Away

Connor Ripley 

Morgaro Gomis 

Wes Fletcher 

Jack Leitch 

David Clarkson 

 

Still quite a bit of work to be done this summer, especially if the likes of McManus and McDonald are wavering on accepting new deals. Think we'll probably see a few more of the younger lads filling up the squad, however based on today's evidence Luke Watt is far from ready to solve our right back problem and Ben Hall better think twice about turning down Motherwell's offer as if any scouts were watching today he won't have many other options.

 

I'd say right now we need;

 

Keeper(Sadly I think this will be Samson)

An experienced centre half(If McManus leaves)

At least one, maybe two new fullbacks

A Central Midfielder

Another Striker(or two if McDonald leaves)

 

Thoughts? 

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I don't get the hesitation or reservation regarding Samson

He has played twice for us and was very decent against Ross County away

Would not be unhappy if he became 1st choice.

Of those under contract. Would rather Watt and Chalmers were not. Rest are fine

Of those offered new deals - not sure about Faddy. Worship him from the past, but other than a positive influence and back up, feel his playing days are over at this level. Suspect a few may knock back less attractive deals and that is fine as I would like to see some fresh blood. Would like Samson, Lasley, Hammell and skippy to re-sign. The rest MEH. Hall shows promise but we would be due compo/development fee if he leaves ?

As for the away, no losses there. Would keep Connor, but he is heading back south.

Interesting times.

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Looking at that list above, working on an assumption that none of those who have been offered deals re-sign then we'd be looking at a team along these lines:

 

GK - ?

RB - Laing

RCB - Kennedy

LCB - ?

LB - Chalmers

RCM - Cadden

CM - ?

LCM - Pearson

RCF - Ainsworth

CF - Moult

LCF - Johnson

 

Subs

1. ?

2. Long ?

3. Thomas

4. Law

5. Watt

6. ? 

7. ?

 

Ideally you'd want to see guys like Campbell, Turnbull, McLean in the 20s being brought through to supplement the squad in the same way Cadden and Hall have this season. I wouldn't be surprised to see Mackin and Watt out on loan for a full season. Having said that there seems to have been a fair amount of chat that quite a few of the current 20s will be released so again, much like the first team it'll be interesting to see who is getting kept on.

 

It's telling that our worst performances last season have been the games where Lasley hasn't been available (Ross County, Hearts, Killie & Celtic) it seems fairly clear that we need to (finally) start addressing the central midfield area and for all I'd like Lasley to re-sign you'd hope that this is the close season where we sort things out with viable mid-term options.

 

I think there are a few question marks about some of the guys who are still under contract for example I get Chalmers was probably brought in to replace Francis-Angol as cover for Hammell at left back and is probably on a wage to match his squad role however we've seen on more than one occasion Johnson being asked to play there when Hammell hasn't been available so you have to ask yourself if McGhee would rather play a left sided striker/winger at left back as opposed to the guy who's actual role in the squad is supposed to be cover for the left back position then it doesn't say much for Chalmers long term viability. For all he's still under contract if there was a Championship side willing to take him on loan for the season and get him off the wage bill it might suit all parties.

 

Beyond that you have Ainsworth, for all there was a feeling that McGhee threw him under a bus after the Thistle game he's hardly taken his chances when they've been offered since then. McGhee's gone out his way to try and find a way to fit him into the side going 4231 and using wingers, he's even shifted McDonald back into midfield in his 433 to try and accommodate him and whilst he's chipped in with goals and assists we've generally looked a less solid unit with him in the side. It's kind of difficult to see where he fits in a McGhee team tbh.

 

So aye, as I've said before I'd hope that we see Hammell, Hall, McManus, Lasley and McDonald extend their deals but other than McManus and McDonald if they are re-signing I'd hope that they're used as cover rather than relying on them as the core of the team for another season. Weirdly the 7-0 against Celtic has left me a bit more comfortable about the idea of new faces coming in.

 

Also, for all Moult has had a superb debut season the last few games have really shown his limitations. He'll put in a shift no doubt and he's got a knack for scoring but he's not a player who'll dominate defenders. Again, it's interesting that McGhee mentioned at the end of the January window that we lack a target man, having watched Plymouth just there it's not entirely surprising that we were being linked with a player like Jamille Matt. 

 

Edit: that's Jack Leitch apparently announced on his Twitter feed that he's leaving.

Edited by capt_oats
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Of those under contract I'd try and punt Chalmers as suggested and if we get any kind of offer for Ainsworth I'd take that as well since he simply doesn't fit into McGhee's system at the moment.

I'd be looking for a left back, a keeper to challenge Samson, a central midfielder and a striker if Moore, Clarkson and Fletcher all leave as expected. I'd happily take that el bak2y from Dunfermline. Campbell can replace Gomis but I want someone to replace Lasley.

It doesn't seem as if McGhee rates Law so if we punt him on loan I suppose we already have Laing, Kennedy and Watt

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I don't get the hesitation or reservation regarding Samson

 

 

Me neither.  Frankly he's been better than Ripley in the later stages of the season.  Ripley has had a decent season but he's liable to drop clangers and when ever I've seen Samson he's had the look of a much more experienced goalkeeper.  Reminded me a bit of Gordon Marshall when he first came in and transformed a leaky back line just through his experience and organisation.  I get that same sort of vibe from Samson.

 

Just a side note I've noticed Motherwell has done a pretty good job of raising goalkeepers for other teams in recent times.  Jamie Ewings is first choice at Dumbarton, Ross Stewart is first choice at Albion Rovers and Alan Martin played for Accies yesterday with McGovern leaving.

 

Unfortunately we have a few guys that I'd like to have seen moved along still under contract.  Chalmbers, Law, Ainsworth, Laing.  That hampers what we can do a bit so here's hoping they get better next season.  To be fair to Law he has improved but I still think we can do better at right back.

Edited by Ya Bezzer!
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If there was any intention of Samson being McGhee's number one, surely he would have stated against Celtic today. Can't see him hanging around if he can get first team football elsewhere.

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If there was any intention of Samson being McGhee's number one, surely he would have stated against Celtic today. Can't see him hanging around if he can get first team football elsewhere.

I'm not sure, when asked a couple of weeks ago (I think post-Hearts) McGhee said of Samson that he'd give him at least another game to show what he could do which he did by picking him against County. I wouldn't necessarily have McGhee tagged as a sentimental type but daft as it sounds I got the feeling that Ripley would have played today out of obligation ie: he's been first choice virtually the entire season so he gets the jersey for the final game.

Given the oddness in circumstances surrounding Samson actually being here (he got out of his contract at Killie because he didn't want to sit on the bench and arrived at Fir Park where...he's sat on the bench) and also given that he's another player that McGhee inherited but is at least in a position where he's not obliged to keep him then I do wonder whether McGhee would at the very least want to consider his options as far as who he may be able to bring in rather than being somewhat forced into keeping on the guy who was already here when he arrived. Samson's been pretty explicit in stating he's only interested in staying if he's first choice, which is fair enough but again McGhee doesn't really strike me as being the sort of guy who would be keen on being told "if I stay you have to pick me" by a player.

For what it's worth I think Samson's perfectly entitled to want first team football and I'm pretty sure there are a few clubs he could go to and be guaranteed #1 pick.

Edited by capt_oats
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I wonder what Moore is going to do. He hasn't signed the contract we offered and said he was waiting on Ayr's playoffs. Now they are up he might decide he is better off in the Championship getting a game every week, I suppose it depends on wages but presumably we would be due compensation as well.

 

We should also make it clear to Joe Chalmers he has no future at Motherwell

Edited by Jim McLean's Ghost
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How does the compo work with moving to lower leagues? Would we be due any if Moore did choose Ayr?

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We should also make it clear to Joe Chalmers he has no future at Motherwell

I imagine seeing Marvin Johnson line up at left back in the two post split games where Stevie Hammell was absent has already made that point pretty clear to Joe.

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I personally think some of the under contract players could possibly leave. Anyway signings we should be looking for is a left back and a right back as don't think Hammell has much longer left and Chalmers isn't really up to the standard we need. Also feel that we could bring in someone better than Law for the right back slot as he has been making a fair amount of mistakes costing goals. Also Midfield and Upfront will need to be strengthened wouldn't mind us signing Bannigan for centre midfield who is out of contract at Partick and is usually a solid player. Would also like to think we will sign Faissal El Bakhtaoui for upfront!

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Whilst I'm up for taking a chance on lower league talent, going into next season with the lad from Dunfermline as a main striker could come back and bite us big time!

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We will still have Moult and hopefully Skippy too would be a brilliant front 3 tbh

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I'm inclined to agree about some of the under contract guys possibly moving on, however that scenario obviously necessitates another team wanting them. I'm fairly sure if a team came along and enquired about the likes of Chalmers, Law, Ainsworth amongst others then we wouldn't be particularly difficult to deal with. Even if it was just a season loan deal to free up their wages then it wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.

 

I'm possibly reading too much into this but McGhee's trialling Laing and Johnson in the full back positions and the attributes he highlighted with regards them both ie: pace, athleticism etc suggests that ideally that's what he's looking for in his full backs. For all they have a certain value as squad players neither Law nor Chalmers fit the profile of marauding full back particularly well.

 

Agree 100% with Mitch about El Bakhtaoui. I wouldn't be against taking him on but I wouldn't be chucking money at him and relying on him to be our main striker. As I said in my post last night, if we are looking at another forward player then I'd have thought an physical centre forward would be higher on McGhee's shopping list than anything.

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We will still have Moult and hopefully Skippy too would be a brilliant front 3 tbh

 

McGhee's on record as saying that we couldn't afford both McDonald and El Bakhtaoui's wages. So it's one or the other. Personally I'd stick with the guy who's proven at this level and look to invest that other wage in the centre of the park.

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I'm possibly reading too much into this but McGhee's trialling Laing and Johnson in the full back positions and the attributes he highlighted with regards them both ie: pace, athleticism etc suggests that ideally that's what he's looking for in his full backs. For all they have a certain value as squad players neither Law nor Chalmers fit the profile of marauding full back particularly well.

 

Is our biggest concern at the moment, for me. I think the fact that he's starting Johnson at full-back over Chalmers highlights the need for new players there. The amount of goals we lose from balls in behind our full-backs is incredible.

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Is our biggest concern at the moment, for me. I think the fact that he's starting Johnson at full-back over Chalmers highlights the need for new players there. The amount of goals we lose from balls in behind our full-backs is incredible.

We definitely need cover. But who could we get?

Available? Yes.

Left back? Arguable.

Hero? Without a doubt.

Straker28012015F.jpg

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If any of our u20 squad started playing hard ball in contact negotiations saying he can get better elsewhere i'd get up shake his hand and tell him and his agent "good luck with that pal, there's the door you can see yourself out". What kind of message would that send to the rest of the u20 squad if we back down to Hall and give him daft money ?! I really hope we tell him tae f**k off.

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We definitely need cover. But who could we get?

Available? Yes.

Left back? Arguable.

Hero? Without a doubt.

Straker28012015F.jpg

And a playoff winner, again. Some guy. Bring him home, Mark. Make him the new McGarry.

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