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Everything posted by R.R.FC

  1. The problem with any change of shape to get two up front is you will likely have to change the position of our one consistent goal threat at the moment, Aidan Connolly. Anything other than a bog standard 4-4-2 would mean moving Connolly into a more central area where he would be less effective (I know he normally drifts in field anyway but it’s easier to deal with when that’s his starting position). The 4-1-3-2 at the start of the season was murder, I know we have more players available now but I don’t think that’s the solution based on what we’ve seen of it. The narrow midfield diamond worked for us at times under McGlynn but that was with MacDonald and Tumilty providing width. Ngwenya is a willing runner but his quality from the wide areas is sadly lacking and I don’t think Millen has the pace to provide width on his own, he needs a winger ahead, creating space for him. Not saying we shouldn’t try something new, I agree with you that we should be looking to find a solution that gets us two up front to counter our lack of out and out number 9 and focal point but it’s easier said than done, there’s not a blindingly obvious solution staring us all in the face but I suppose that’s Murray’s job to solve the conundrum. For all our lack of cutting edge and focal point up front is our main issue and our defence overall has been fine this season, it shouldn’t be ignored that we have also lost 9 goals in our last 3 games and for the first time, O’Riordan is starting to look like he has a mistake in his game. We need solutions at both ends of the pitch. What a difference a few weeks make…
  2. No midfielder we’ve had in the last 25 years has been a Hendry, if that’s the bar we are using to judge midfield signings then they will all be a failure. Matthews hasn’t been fit all season so we needed someone in his role. Brown has been absolutely fine, only a few weeks ago people were waxing lyrical about the trio of Spencer, Stanton and Brown. Murray has improved us from the relegation form of the second half of last season but not significantly. He deserves time to get it right, put a competent striker in that team and we are well in the top 4. Easier said than done obviously and the signings in attacking areas have been poor, he should get the January window to have another go at it. If we are still making the same mistakes and get dragged into a relegation battle at any point, of course he should go but we’re not at that stage yet for me. People seem to forget because we finished 5th last season, that he inherited an absolute shit show on and off the field that were only saved from relegation by the August-December form.
  3. I don’t think it’s a particularly controversial opinion to say if you swapped Akinyemi with any of our number 9 options, we would be in Ayr’s league position and they in ours. A top quality number 9 makes such a huge difference to any side and as well as being a goal scorer, Akinyemi acts as a great focal point to build attacks from. Obviously any signing carries a degree of luck but Ayr deserve a lot of credit for getting someone like him on a two year deal, reaping the rewards for putting in place a strong structure off the field. Akinyemi will either fire them to a promotion battle this season or they are going to receive a huge transfer fee (for this level). Win-win really. As for the game, with our away form, I’m not confident. I would bring Dick in for Ngwenya as the only change to yesterday’s back 4. Also, Vaughan out left for Easton and Gullan back in up top.
  4. Winnable home tie for me. Although I’d be happy to just avoid Inverness and Livingston. If there’s such a thing as karma we won’t be getting a big cup tie for a while given how we spent the cash from the last one…
  5. Bizarre game of football, we were good for the first half an hour. Great free kick from Murray changes the game and we were poor after that till half time. Start of the second half, Dick missed a good chance at the back post to level it and QP go straight up the park to make it 3-1. Queens Park were the best team I’ve seen at Stark’s this season, excellent on the counter attack and pretty clinical. We had countless chances and I think 5-2 flattered QP but they were worthy winners. We were far too open in midfield, weak at the back and missed too many chances up front, all in all not a good mix. I think Ngwenya has done well since he came in but he was dreadful today. Final ball let him down every time he got into a good position and defensively he was all over the place and Thomas really brutally exposed that second half. A lot to learn for us. Quite a few changes will be made but the biggest concern is how badly going a goal behind affects us. We’re a decent side when we’re on top and have things going our way but dropping behind has way more impact than it should. Think the players and manager need to share responsibility for that.
  6. Big game for both sides. Dundee will be hoping yesterday’s terrific comeback will be the catalyst for them to kick on and put a run together to stretch away at the top of the league. For us, if we want to be in contention for a play off place we can’t rely solely on our home form and need to start picking up points away from home against the better sides in the league. It would a be a huge statement to win away to the side who will still be favourites to win the league but I’d definitely take a draw right now. Our record away to Dundee in the league is dreadful, although we’ve won a few cup games and a play off tie, we’ve not won a league game there since 1995. Same team as yesterday for me. Vaughan looked really sharp off the bench but would definitely be looking for at least one more sub appearance before considering starting him.
  7. If you had told me at the end of last season we would be sitting 3rd in the table after 14 games with Liam Dick as our first choice left centre back, I would have laughed in your face. He’s been brilliant since moving there, although I felt he was even solid at left back this season, albeit Ngwenya moving there and giving us more going forward has been an important change. The improvement in the likes of Dick and Stanton from last season and in Millen since the start of the season are huge credit to Murray. Another positive from yesterday was that for all the criticism of Murray’s recruitment this summer, myself included, 6 of our 10 starting outfield players were his signings and all played their part in a very good result and performance. Things can change so quickly in this league so won’t get carried away, it was only a couple of weeks ago we went to Gayfield fearing a defeat would leave us in huge trouble at the bottom but we appear to be heading in the right direction. I’ve still not seen a team in this league to be fearful of. Saturday will be a huge test, we only have two wins away from home and those were against the bottom two sides but our recent away performances have been improved. I would take a draw but a win would be a huge statement against the side I still consider league favourites.
  8. Matthews came on wide left for Easton last week to close the came out. It’s not a viable option for the start of a game when you are looking to win. Matthews is a centre midfielder, he can only come in for Spencer, Brown and Stanton who are all playing very well both individually and as a collective. I really like Matthews but it’s no surprise he isn’t starting yet, he’ll have to be patient and wait for a drop off in form from one of the midfield 3.
  9. I assume you weren’t at Stark’s Park in September? I know Kyle Connell isn’t actually very good but he gave Ayr and Frankie the runaround that day.
  10. May be completely wrong but from the outside looking in this reminds me of our title battle with Ayr in this league in 2017/2018. One side easy on the eye, scoring goals for fun but capable of leaking them too (Ayr and Falkirk) and one side pretty dull to watch, direct and efficient with a strong defence and a knack of grinding out results in close games (Raith and Dunfermline). We were well beat on our two visits to Ayr but were consistent enough in the other games to take it to the wire (and then f**k it up). Will be interesting to see what happens in this game but nothing will be decided either way. John McGlynn hasn’t lost a home game against Dunfermline since March 2010 and I think home advantage will give Falkirk the edge. To balance things for the Pars fans, his record at EEP is dreadful. Don’t think he’s won there since August 2009!
  11. I will keep saying it but I really, really like Scott Brown, can’t believe there are some Rovers fans who don’t rate him. There is just something I love about someone in the centre of the park, wearing the captains armband, snapping into tackles, barking orders and dominating the game. He usually keeps things simple in possession, which is perfect for his role but he has more to his game when needed, played an outstanding first time pass to Millen (I think) in the first half yesterday. I am a huge Ross Matthews fan but he will have to remain patient for now as you can’t change that midfield 3 at the moment, they complement each other so well, great balance.
  12. Has he? He’s conceded 2 goals in his last 5 games, one of which was a penalty and the other an excellent header there was no saving. The defence have stopped him being overworked but I don’t recall any glaring errors other than the dropped catch today. His outstanding save at Arbroath in the first half was key to our victory.
  13. That result never got us relegated. Probably more to do with going 13 games winless at the start of the season, long before Ambrose joined. I mean, it’s literally the result that got you relegated…
  14. Can we claim our own injury crisis with potentially Jamie Gullan, Ethan Ross, Lewis Vaughan, Tom Lang, Ryan Nolan and John Frederiksen out as well as Jamie McDonald and Kyle Connell having slight knocks? Clearly Inverness have a lot of injuries but they have a pretty strong squad to deal with it so whatever side they put out will still be decent. If Sean Welsh was fit to make the bench on Tuesday you’d imagine he should be fit enough to play some part today. Likewise they had Billy McKay on the bench on Tuesday who will surely come back into the team and it’s very rare that all the ‘doubts’ miss out, usually one or two pull through. Doesn’t matter anyway, Inverness could be down to 10 available players, they’d still win.
  15. Stomach issue for Ross, awaiting results from a scan. The main thing I took was Murray said it was unfortunate because he really likes Ethan as a footballer and a person. I know he’s hardly going to say he doesn’t care but certainly gave a very clear impression he was a fan and no danger of him getting the Zanatta treatment in January as some speculated.
  16. Excellent, very important win and a deserved one in the end. Not pretty by any means but doesn’t matter. Arbroath fans were right about how toothless their attack is, although we defended well. That last minute penalty on Saturday is the only goal the Dick and O’Riordan partnership have conceded in 4 games now, they both played well. Hard to believe O’Riordan just turned 19 today, oozes class. Best player on the park though was Sam Stanton, as he seems to be most weeks at the moment. Murray can be questioned on a lot of things so far this season but he deserves huge credit for transforming Stanton. I also really like Scott Brown, think he is quite underrated amongst a lot of the support. We still badly need a centre forward. At least Connell got into positions to miss those chances I suppose…
  17. Brad Spencer’s face after that latest miss by Connell says it all.
  18. Arbroath have had the bulk of possession and been the better side but MacDonald has only really had one proper save to make (it was a brilliant one tbf). A strong wind at their backs has obviously helped them to keep us pinned in but probably hasn’t helped their final pass which has been overhit on numerous occasions. Will be interesting if it holds up second half and who it benefits. Good finish by Stanton, we’ve at least carried a threat on the break. Only really been up the park towards the Arbroath 3/4 occasions but we have created decent opportunities each time with Stanton putting one past the post and Connolly hitting the bar in addition to the goal. Not a great game, two evenly matched teams, still all to play for second half.
  19. Yeah McGlynn’s time from January 2022 onwards was a shambles and he can have no complaints with being offered lower terms/not being offered a deal. Any other Rovers manager would have been sacked before the season finished. The second half of the season in a poor league was relegation form with probably our biggest budget in over 20 years which simply wasn’t good enough. However, let’s not rewrite history, he still did an excellent job overall for us. Promotion from League One, 3rd place in the Championship playing the best football in the league and a Challenge Cup win (well one and a half) will always have to be considered a success for a Raith Rovers manager. A shame the way it ended for all parties but you judge a manager based on what he inherits compared to what they leave and McGlynn clearly left us in a much better position (on the pitch) than what he took over. I can certainly thank him and appreciate what he did for (twice) whilst still thinking it was the right decision for everyone to part ways. If people can’t forgive him for his part in the Goodwillie debacle that’s fair enough but you can’t discredit the job he did on the pitch up until January.
  20. Will be interesting to see how we line up for this, normally I wouldn’t change a winning team. However, if Nolan is fit, there will be a decision to make. Dick did well at centre back and Ngwenya offered a lot at full back but for the challenges Morton provide (saw a stat earlier showing they are the most direct side in the country), Murray may prefer two natural physical centre backs with Dick going back to left back. Would be harsh on Ngwenya though. Hopefully Spencer is fit, if he is, I wouldn’t change the midfield or attackers. I think the only question mark in that area at the moment is the left wing role. Easton and Ross vying for that position with Gullan also an option if Murray wants to start Frederiksen. I would continue with Ross for now though. Couple of cracking results for Morton in their last two games so will be a very difficult game. Cappielow historically seems a place we struggle but our recent form there is actually quite good. Would settle for a draw but I think it’ll finish 2-1 Morton.
  21. And the concerns over his time at St Mirren would be fair enough and certainly better than making things up about his time in charge of Airdrie. There is no doubt that Ross and Murray were an excellent combo at Dumbarton and obviously got the best out of each other. The whole Ross being the ‘real brains’ is more overplayed nonsense though. He joined as assistant in 2011, if he was the ‘real brains’ why were Dumbarton rock bottom of the Championship with one win when Murray arrived in November 2012? Why didn’t Ross have an impact on results under the previous manager?
  22. Can we also stop with the myth it took Murray 3 seasons to challenge with Airdrie? Last season was actually the furthest he finished behind 1st place in his 3 full seasons in charge. They were in the mix for promotion every season with a side that weren’t exactly league favourites when he took over. Criticise his recruitment and time in charge of the Rovers if you wish, there’s enough to warrant it but I don’t understand the weird revisionism about his time as Airdrie manager.
  23. I don’t really think the overall squad is as strong as some seem to think and I am usually a bit of a happy clapper. I wouldn’t be considering sacking Murray until we’ve played at least 18 games, regardless of the next few results. People complain about us only winning 3 from our first 8 but it’s the same as McGlynn won in his last 19 and he had a much stronger squad. I’m not saying Murray has done a fantastic job or is beyond criticism by any means, I think the squad building has been poor this summer. It’s clearly been a difficult market and thankfully there are other teams who have faced the same issues as us but ultimately whether it be through budget cuts or poor recruitment, I would say our squad is quite a bit weaker than last season. This season, we are exactly where I think we should be looking at our squad, whereas last year the form seemed like a huge underperformance based on what we had. Weirdly, it’s one of the reasons I wouldn’t be looking to remove Murray anytime soon, I don’t think another manager comes in and suddenly has this side winning most weeks with its clear deficiencies and these can’t be addressed until January. As I saw someone say before, you can’t midfield your way to success in this league, yes we are strong there but if you have defensive frailties and nothing up front you will find yourself continuing to lose out by ‘small margins’ in most games. Results before the January window should be reviewed and if we are bottom of the league then let another manager have a go at fixing the problems with new players in January. However, if we are still in the 5th-7th range, Murray should get the window to continue to mould his own squad and given the benefit of the doubt over a tough summer market being a one off issue. From last seasons squad we have lost: Tumilty, Berra, Benedictus, McKay, Musonda, Mackie, Williamson, Zanatta, Poplatnik and Varian whilst having Spencer, Matthews, Lang and Vaughan missing for most of this season (admittedly 3 of those 4 were long term absences last season and we saw how the effected us). They have been replaced with: Millen, O’Riordan, Nolan, Ngwenya, Brown, Easton, McBride and Connell. There is nobody that can convince me the squad overall has been improved from last season, which was a side that finished the second half of the season with relegation form. We are stronger in central midfield but I would say weaker in every other position. We could probably name 2 midfields of different players that would be good Championship level but struggle to name one solid back 4 or any dangerous forward line, that’s the problem. The manager absolutely takes criticism for that but we’re stuck with what we have until January now (barring Frederiksen if he ever gets a work permit) and I actually think he is getting decent enough performances out of the hamstrung squad we have.
  24. McGlynn hasn’t lost a game in the Challenge Cup since August 2011…
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