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  1. It was only a very small minority of very excitable Alloa fans who said Rice should go. That said though, there has been plenty debate and I'm still not convinced I'd go as far as saying we have done "really well". The league has been poor and of sides I expected us to be competing with QoS have been way below the level expected, Montrose have gone backwards a bit, Kelty IMO have underachieved and Airdrie very up and down compared to last season. Edinburgh the only side who have overachieved by getting into the battle. In the circumstances and with the squad he has, the play-offs should be a very realistic target for Brian Rice. I think he would already pretty much have have it tied up had he found a settled team. If we do get across the line then then I'd agree with pretty good! As for Saturday, think Airdrie on their day are the most dynamic side in the league if you let them play their game. If we compete in midfield though and get our creative men on the ball then we are more than capable of causing Airdrie lots of problems. I'd really hope the manager doesn't change what has been working of late but wouldn't be surprised if he he does.
  2. Good listen as always. I really hope we stick with four across across the back with Robbo and Miller in front. Airdrie at their best can be the most explosive side in the league IMO. Three at the back and midfield diamond can leave us potentially very vulnerable. With Robbo and Murray together in CM we can give their midfield a real challenge and the back four is more compact too. And while they are very dangerous with their tales up, I do feel Airdrie are there to be got at if we compete in midfield. Our real strength is our attacking midfielders. Robbo and Murray can provide a real foundation for Donnelly, Scougall, Cawley etc to do their thing a bit further up. 4-2-3-1 or something close best suits our squad and IMO particularly useful in this game.
  3. It won't be in the picture but it will be on the top itself. I had the top in the basket yesterday morning at £63 but got the message that it was out of stock. Tried again, got to the same stage and it was £76 and again out of stock. Crashed after that and £90 was too much anyway. I'll probably just wait and pick one up at a cheaper price down the line. As others have said the SFA could have done really well had they produced loads and charged a bit less.
  4. Just catching up with the podcast and another good listen. I absolutely feel that the frequent changes in personnel and shape at the back means we are inevitably not going to be as solid as we could be. Here we are in March and there isn't an established CB partnership. The best Alloa teams have been built on a well drilled defence and indeed an established midfield axis in front of them, something else we have lacked. The counter argument which I saw from AlloaStats on twitter is that we are capable of frequently switching shape. That's a fair point but I'd still argue that it's possible to adapt and swap shape without changing personnel and formation anywhere near as frequently as we have this season. There is a balance! Enjoyed the Sammo debate too. I'd also be a fan of the big man and would also quite often be frustrated by him! He is clearly a confidence player but also hasn't been helped by ending up being paired with MacIver fairly regularly, something which doesn't suit either player or the team. A friend of mine who is a Killie fan always says Sammo was at this best with Eremenko just behind him and we are well off in terms of creative men who can play that role. That's the best way to use Sammo and if we are playing someone up with him it needs to be a tricky player rather than MacIver - and that's also the kind of partner MacIver needs if he is up top in a two. Rice's first match saw Sammo have a stormer with a quick, tricky partner in Boyd and Scougall in behind. Similarly we will all remember the damage MacIver did up top with Henderson against Montrose. But as a pair it tends to be hard work. To be fair to the manager I don't think he would have intended them to end up playing together as a two so often. Brilliant score at the weekend. The first game at Meadowbank was obviously a really sore one but the team have done well to get some revenge by taking maximum points from them since. Must be aiming now for 6 points from the next 2 games which would put us in a really strong position going into the last few weeks of the season.
  5. Have to say I don't remember the penalty claim you refer to, but the free-kick decision which led to your goal was extremely dubious. Falkirk didn't deserve to win that match and their failure to do so wasn't down to the ref. Similarly there was a great debate about a tackle in the box in the cup game that Falkirk fans were convinced was a penalty, indeed there were numerous tweets about this showing how bad Scottish refs are. It did indeed look like a stonewaller from the highlights but with a clear view from behind the goal it was obvious that it was actually a fantastic tackle and great call by the ref. Although it did turn out he missed some jersey pulling in the box at the other end. That didn't cost us the game though, we just didn't take our chances while Falkirk did. Easier to blame the ref I suppose.
  6. Good point about the perils of using full-backs in the centre of defence . It might indeed be worth trying swapping Taggart and Doyle. Doyley a really good player and legend but I agree that Taggs brings more going forward at RB/RWB and (IMO) is also a more composed CB. That was why the Doyle deal wasn't totally ideal, albeit it was still far, far better than using Cawley or King in a defensive role. Disappointing that even with Taggs and Doyle in the team that we still end up with Kev being used there yesterday. But Doyle at CB, while perhaps not all round as composed as Taggs, might well make us stronger in terms of attacking the ball. Or we could go with the radical idea of using a combination of the three natural CBs we have at the club. Would be interested to see these stats. Daniel Church has been excellent going forward and deserves a lot of praise but my impression has been that he still needs to work on stopping crosses. Perhaps the stats wouldn't back that up. A settled defence is certainly a huge help in general but in particular in defending set pieces and other balls into the box. We haven't had a settled defence all season. Think Jay Hogarth deserves great credit in that respect for his work as a young keeper generally doing very well behind a defensive unit which changes frequently. Wasn't really expecting anything yesterday anyway. Next week a much bigger game and we owe them still for the last time there.
  7. Lower league fans did indeed give Livingston a hard time but they weren't particularly liked by a lot of people on their way up the ranks the first time either, not just because they franchised Meadowbank but also because they assembled squads they couldn't afford. The second time they were in administration and seemed likely to go under there were a lot of excited opposition fans on here. I think in more recent times - the Martindale inspired rise up the leagues - there has indeed been far less anger directed towards them. Perhaps that is just the passage of time and younger fans who are not aware of the history and maybe everyone else just got used to Livi being here. Certainly is striking how differently they are treated in comparison to MK Dons. Airdrie too seem to have been forgiven by now for taking over Clydebank (who of course had a good shot at doing the same thing to East Stirlingshire back in the 60s). Meadowbank were a good wee club who overachieved massively in establishing themselves in the second tier. Reached League Cup semi and would have made the Premier League in the 80s but for league reconstruction. They also brought through some very good players, one of whom played for Scotland in the World Cup. They did all that living within their modest means and they weren't in any danger of going under, that was something pushed by the regime who took them over with the intention of taking them to Livingston. Something of an irony that people throw that at Meadowbank who ran a tight ship only to be replaced by a club that was in administration twice in its first 15 years. Whatever people think about the way Meadowbank came into being and into the SFL, their loss was a terrible blow to almost all of their fanbase. A friend of mine was a fan and he never adopted another team. Nor did he ever forgive Livingston. Not sure Livi have grown as a club as much as those behind the franchise would have hoped. Over 25 years now, plenty of top flight seasons and currently established there, and a major trophy, but the crowds really aren't great. Nice wee feature on Pittman though .
  8. Certainly does a good impression of something like a 4-2-3-1 on a few occasions on your highlights! Would make sense to play 1 up with some kind of combination of creative men in behind in our current situation when our 2 available natural strikers aren't so effective together, and even more so when the likes of MacIver and Donnelly in particular can comfortably drift between being the 1 or part of those just behind, which appears to happen at times in the highlights.
  9. Did we go 4-2-3-1 in the second-half? Looks very much like that a couple of times in the highlights and hope that was the case, think it is a formation that really suits our squad and one that could be extremely effective in the months ahead. Excellent result anyway and great credit to team and management for the manner in which they have responded to a tough day at Airdrie.
  10. Think we established a good while ago that Sammon and MacIver are both good players but really aren't too effective together. The manager will know that. Said it before but ideally I'd love to see this team go 4-2-3-1 which I think would suit our CBs and allow us to play Taggs RB and Church LB (or Doyle and Strachan if required) and give us a solid midfield base with the two. We have potentially a brilliant three behind the striker between Scougall (who could also go into the deeper like Flanny did), Donnelly, Cawley and now Coulson (MacIver could go in there too). Three of those up in support of Sammon or MacIver could be great. I know the manager has the mantra about playing two up but I don't accept that automatically means we are more attacking. The Ross and Goodwin teams were more attacking with 4-2-3-1 than Rice's team with two up, and they had a better midfield base too. They had better players as well, but there is still plenty of talent in this current crop. All that said, I am happy that the manager has in the main stuck with the same shape for a few weeks now and I think we are the better for it, albeit we could be better still. If sticking with two up I'd agree with printer that Cawley with one of Sammon and MacIver would be worth a shot rather than those two as a pair. I wonder would Coulson do a turn there also, he is quick and direct and could perhaps be worth a try. Was disappointing to see the manager so visibly upset by the abuse he suffered at Falkirk. Hopefully it hasn't ruined his weekend and that there are good days to come to give him a lift.
  11. The Alloa figure is misleading. We had a great team that had broken up under Danny Lennon in the summer of 2015 and Lennon did a really bad rebuild. We were bottom of the Championship when he left in December and Ross inherited a shambles. He quickly realised this and made the team much harder to beat (while also shrinking our park for the 2nd half of the season). It wasn't pretty but we picked up a lot more points, drawing twice with Rangers and beating Hibs, and went down with a respectable enough tally. He then put the park back to the normal dimensions and built a new side which started the season on fire, winning the first 10 games. We were scoring loads of goals and the team so full of confidence. We knocked ICT and County out of the League Cup (they were both in the Premier at the time) and then held the invincibles Celtic team at Parkhead for 83 minutes. It was so impressive that we couldn't keep him and off to St Mirren he went. The win ratio is low because of the shite in inherited, but in less than a calender year he had two Alloa sides of wildly different capabilites and playing different styles as such, but getting so much out of them both. Players loved playing for him. He left Jim Goodwin a cracking team and between that and St Mirren, Goodwin owes him a fair bit for his own success as a manager. I thought Ross would go on and be a huge success elsewhere and St Mirren was very impressive. Sunderland wasn't bad given the huge mess he took on and I do think he was making progress and would have got there with time, time he wasn't going to get. Hibs overall pretty good, with a few notable failures in big games. That's perhaps a recurring feature. United obviously catastrophic, I don't know what went so badly wrong. His greatest asset I think is getting people on board and filling them with confidence. At United he very clearly didn't get people on board. Next job will probably make or break him now. Don't know if Motherwell is the right one or is he the right man for Motherwell, but still believe he is far better than the vast majority of managers in Scotland and that he can still do well somewhere.
  12. It is but we often hear about Alloa's wee pitch, despite it being one of the bigger parks. Probably a legacy of the two occasions in the last decade when the pitch was reduced for short spells. We certainly did well in the two recent games against Falkirk and might well have done better than a defeat and a draw. In between those was a real shocker of an away result at Airdrie. We'll need to much better than that to have a chance of getting anything at Falkirk.
  13. Stenhousemuir against Aberdeen was certainly a bigger shock back in the day, they had considerably less resource at the time than Darvel. Tier 6 v tier 1 is going to attract lots of attention but Darvel's cash and the fact that the pyramid isn't near settling makes it very misleading.
  14. I would normally agree that cup games are not a barometer of how a team would do in a higher league but Darvel is not a normal situation, a lot of those boys are playing well below where they could be. I'd happily take a few of their players at Alloa. In this particular League One season Peterhead and Clyde are shite and there is no doubt Darvel have better players than them (and have spent considerably more cash on their squad). They'd also be better and more expensively assembled than several League Two sides.
  15. Could happen and there is perhaps a little bit of pressure on Darvel now with increased expectation, but you just have to look through the squad to see they shouldn't be losing by 3 or 4 goals to Falkirk. They've already pumped Montrose 5-2 away as well as beating Aberdeen and if they were in League One this season they would certainly be above Clyde and Peterhead at least. If they play to potential it will be a test for Falkirk.
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