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Everything posted by capt_oats

  1. Shocked he's not handing out exclusives about his contract talks to rondoms in the car park tbqh.
  2. 100%. Absolutely buzzing for the shouts for him to start tomorrow though and seethe when he's not.
  3. If nothing else it should mean Tait will get a run of games now rather than just being dropped in now and again. Absolute Yasssss! to the Gallagher, Long and (obviously) Turnbull news...
  4. I suppose the context is that Bigi had/has a similar number of appearances for Newcastle (and by all accounts sold him on the club). The comparison in minutes played is here: Aarons vs. Bigi There's a pretty good bit with Aarons in The Guardian from November when he was at Wycombe. Tbh, what I didn't realise was that he's quite hype - and until 5 mins ago I didn't realise he was part of the same England u20s group as our very own Chris Long.
  5. Kind of overlooked with the fall out from Tuesday but that was Grimshaw's 100th appearance. Good lad.
  6. Aye, for avoidance of doubt I'm not suggesting that's what you were getting at. Just that there's probably a cyclical element to where we are defensively at the moment. Listening to Robinson's post-match his comments that "boys I've been very, very loyal to were making mistakes that we shouldn't be making at the back", "We had a front three that was completely new compared to what we had in the first half of the season but it doesn't look like scoring goals is our problem. We maybe have to be a lot more ruthless defending and we showed that we can do that in the second period..." it's probably the first time there's been a public acknowledgement of a defensive issue and there's a problem to fix. Which is a start I suppose.
  7. Kind of related to my post above but the thing with Hartley is that the way we're set up now needs a different skillset to what we needed when we signed him 3 summers ago. That's fine. There's been a natural (accelerated) evolution around the squad. The Berra comparison feels pretty accurate though dealing with it at the end of the season is probably far more palatable than us Stendeling him. Clearly we'll never know but if Dunne hadn't picked up his injury would Hartley have played as much this season (at all) given the preferred pair for the 2nd half of last season was Aldred & Dunne? With Dunne starting pretty much every game post-winter break and Hartley on the bench after the County shambles then there's precedent of sorts. In fact there were definite echoes of that County game in the first half on Tuesday. Although there were heavy he'll no dae vibes about Donnelly as a defender last season, he's probably got far more credit in the bank now if we were to look at him as an option in the interim (at least until Dunne is fit). With Manzinga - he's always been a punt however from reading between the lines the recommendation came from Kipré as they'd played togther. We've brought him in to have a look offered him a year and covered ourselves in case he turned out to be quite good.
  8. Aye. I'm not sure if it's cultural thing with Modern Fitba' or not (1 year deals, more effective player trading etc) and I recognise that it's a small sample size but it feels like our more successful seasons recently have come off the back of squad overhauls. In that respect it'll be low-key interesting to see how many of the 14 (inc loans) we'd actively be looking to retain - Aarons and Ndjoli's deals at Newcastle and Bournemouth expire in 2021 so unless they're mutually consented neither of those seem particularly realistic (and even if they are released it's probably difficult as we saw with Gboly). The full list of bodies is in the spoiler below. By my count it comes in at a total of 70 players in 5 seasons (18 loans) - not including Scott McDonald's annual will he/won't he re-sign carry on. Last season saw the 12-18 Project which...didn't really work - we kept the core of the 17/18 side and signed players to augment the squad (arguably the only players we signed for the starting XI were Aldred, Ariyibi and though he was a bust McCormack). This season is slightly different in so much as the 433 has been fine - what worked in the 2nd half of last season has largely worked this season (our form for the calendar year had us 3rd overall - despite the dip in form recently we're still 4th which I think we'd all have taken if asked at the start of the season). Gallagher, Polworth, Carroll, Long, Cole and O'Hara were all brought in over the summer for the starting XI and all have been fine, good, POTY level - only Sloth would be the bust in an expectations vs reality respect. Where we've hit a problem is with changes to the team mid-way through the season. Arguably it's less the system that's caused a problem and more our adaptability eg: match fit versions of Cole & Scott OUT, Watt, Ndjoli, Aarons IN - all three of whom weren't anywhere near match fit when they arrived (Watt hadn't kicked a ball since mid-December, Ndjoli's last league appearance for Gillingham was 2nd November and Aarons' last league appearance for Wycombe was 26th December). That's not a criticism btw, we are where we are in terms of how we're able to recruit. On the plus side Tuesday night meant that Tony Watt played more minutes in his first start (with an added goal) than Ross McCormack managed in his entire loan spell. So that's something. In other news, going by his IG stories that was Semple in for an operation (it went well apparently).
  9. IIRC Robinson was saying in the press that we'd been speaking to people with a view to pre-contracts for next season, I suppose we'll need to wait and see if we're adding names to that list after recent performances. I've mentioned before but of the first team squad we've got Ferguson, Gillespie, Tait, Hartley, Dunne, Livingstone, Maguire, Long, Manzinga, Ilic and now Watt all OOC in the summer with O'Hara, Aarons and Ndjoli's loans up. There's definitely scope for another rebuild there. We've basically said that if it's mutually agreeable we'd be open to sorting something longer term with Watt - obviously depends of his motivation but it seems daft for us to get him fit for another team. In fairness, Robinson's generally been quite good at moving on players if he's decided they'll no dae whether they're contracted or not: Sloth's the most recent but Craig Clay, Alex Fisher, Bigi, Danny Johnson all had time left on their contracts. We were also able to move #DT23 on as well and we got a bit of help from the tabloids with cancelling Jacob Blyth too.
  10. A friendly reminder to follow @Scotty Tunbridge's advice lads.
  11. In fairness, Maguire's been coming back from an injury. He was playing for the Reserves on Monday. I'm not sure if they're still trying to make him a midfielder or not.
  12. Given part of our problem has been distribution from the back I'd say dropping Donnelly - who can ping a pass - into a nominal role between the two centre backs kind of works. If Carroll is out for a length of time Aarons was an actual left back/wing back at Newcastle. Something along these lines: Actually, is that not roughly what we had before Tanner's knee fell to bits with him playing off Nadir and Main and a back 3 of Dunne, Aldred and Kipre?
  13. Regretting releasing the Danish Prince IMO. In all seriousness, it's been shite timing for Jamie Semple to have picked up his injury as that would have been the ideal role for him to start getting involved.
  14. I think that's what it comes down to tbh. Our hands are tied somewhat in terms of being flexible enough budget-wise to bring in like for like replacements and thinking back was there not a suggestion that we'd had a few options fall through before we eventually ended up with Ndjoli? That doesn't alter the point that recruitment wise we've not been able to replace a player we had a fair idea was leaving. It's also fair to acknowledge that we've kind of lucked out with Watt's availability - it's not something we'll ever find out but I'd be curious to know if we'd made contact with him before signing off on the Scott deal. There's a bit of a knee jerk about the 433 and Robinson being "found out" which is understandable but I suppose the test of that will be whether we're able to tweak things enough to find a shape that will work with a fully fit Aarons and Watt. Tbh, a rework of McGhee's lop-sided 442/433 with one out and out winger seems like the logical shout with Aarons, Watt and Long.
  15. Not really. The alleged incident was on 13th December, he was in court on 16th January - https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/51137769 In that time our record is: P 12 W 4 D 3 L 5 - two of the losses were to Rangers and Celtic. 15th December: L - Rangers (h) 0 - 2 21st December: W - Kilmarnock (a) 0 - 1 26th December - W - Ross County (a) 1 - 2 29th December - L - Accies (h) 1 - 2 18th January - W - Dundee (a) 0 - 3 22nd January - W - Aberdeen (a) 0 - 1 25th January - X - Hibs (h) 0 - 0 1st February - L - Livingston (a) 1 - 0 5th February - L - Celtic (h) 0 - 4 8th February - X - St Mirren (a) 1 - 1 12th February - L - St Johnstone (a) 2 - 1 18th February - X - St Mirren - (h) 4 - 4 eliminated on penalties If you're looking for a correlation in the dip in form then it's that we lost Devante Cole during the January window and sold James Scott on the 31st January. Our form since the window closed is P 5 W 0 D 2 L 3. Up to the end of the window it was P 7 W 4 D 1 L 2.
  16. 1-4 down at H/T to St Mirren is the sort of clown car performance that ends careers so fair fucks for us actually getting back into it 2nd half and showing up. Shipping cheap goals has been a regular theme for a while but last night was clearly a tipping point in terms of acknowledging the issue. Robinson's post-match had echoes of the stuff we've heard before when we've been in a funk - "too loyal to certain players", "maybe scoring goals isn't where we've a problem" etc. What he actually does about it with the options available who knows...
  17. Joni Lehtonen? 96/97 and 97/98 squads below...what a time etc.
  18. Absolutely. I mean, I'm not having a go...it was pretty clear from the start of the season that the plan was to run with a smaller group so by extension you're not expecting the same sort of results as when we had essentially a full u20s side (Turnbull, Hastie, Maguire, Livingstone, MacLean, Scott, Mackin, Thomas et al). Maybe half of those listed on the Reserves page are u18s - Devine's out on loan and Semple's injured (incidentally in a perverse way it's notable how much the Reserves seem to have missed him since he dropped out the side). There just seems to be a lack of regular football at that level on account of teams having sacked off the League although I imagine there's still games going in the u18s that aren't being reported. They decided that the Dev League wasn't fit for purpose as you were just essentially getting age group playing age group which is fair enough but the 'Reserves' rebrand has been a half-arsed mess. The whole argument you were hearing from ex-pros about how there needed to be a return to 'Reserve' football has been shown up for the misty-eyed nonsense it always was. Looking at the list of fixtures - there are gaps in the schedule all over the place.
  19. I had mentioned something similar with us, possibly even in this thread where our average crowd (in seasons with comparable make up of the league ie: with a version of Rangers in it). hadn't really fluctuated much irrespective of league positions. 2006/07 - 5,877 (10th) 2007/08 - 6,599 (3rd) 2008/09 - 5,351 (7th) 2009/10 - 5,307 (5th) 2010/11 - 5,660 (6th) 2011/12 - 5,946 (3rd) 2016/17 - 4,450 (9th) 2017/18 - 5,448 (7th) 2018/19 - 5,448 (8th) 2019/20* - 5,907 (TBC - currently 4th) - * Celtic & Rangers allocations reduced this season I had always found it peculiar that our average in the Malpas season was roughly comparable with McCall's 3rd place season (his 2x 2nd places were obviously after Rangers had gone out of business). The 16/17 season was the one after Rangers had been promoted and Thistle and ourselves had a quirk in the fixtures with Celtic and Rangers which could explain the dip in that season, along with us being absolutely mince - https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/36564025
  20. Gave away the pen for the 2nd I think. Subbed after 58 mins according to Viva Motherwell. 2-0 down at H/T, go 3-2 up with Killie down to 10 then lose 4-3. 2nd week in a row they've conceded 4. Some bois. In fairness the Reserve League seems to be an absolute shambles. The team selections are getting chopped and changed every week (when we're actually playing). It's some difference compared to the Dev League when there seemed to be a regular XI playing.
  21. Like a new signing... In all seriousness, delighted to see the big man back. Hopefully he can get an injury free run at things.
  22. Had a wee smile at Robinson's pre-match comment: I mean, granted I've not been reading the club's mentions and I've been giving Steelmen a wide berth for a long time so maybe it's being viewed as some great mystery but I thought it was obvious to everyone that removing the physical elements Cole and Scott offered from the front three was one of the main issues we were having. Tbh, there's something vaguely reassuring in Robinson emphasising that point I suppose. I'd be a bit more concerned if he didn't see there was a problem to solve.
  23. I'd say this one's probably a 'must not lose' with a view to sorting ourselves out a bit and taking it from there ahead of the Cup game. Could obviously really do with a win from the league perspective though. Curious to see what Robinson does given this is the 2nd of 3 games against them in a short period of time. I had thought there was a chance that we'd rotate a bit and going by his post-match he seemed absolutely raging with a few - wouldn't be surprised to see Tait or Mugabi involved. Maybe even a glimpse of Ndjoli on the bench after Manzinga's red card. As @Gianfranco says a wobble was always going to be likely at some point but it feels like one of the issues at the moment is that we've went all in with the 433 and a lot of the stuff that was working for us earlier in the season isn't really happening eg: goals from Gallagher and Hartley have dried up, Polworth's assists...etc. There's (rightly) been a lot of talk about how we're missing Cole and Scott (we are) and it's pretty clear we've not really worked out what to do with the front 3 - back to middle is almost exactly the same as it was before the break.
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