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Diamonds are Forever

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Diamonds are Forever last won the day on July 3 2011

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About Diamonds are Forever

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  1. It's crazy, it's one thing to debate the decision by saying whether it is or isn't allowed within the laws of the game because you've interpreted it differently, but for Mings to admit that he's 'never even heard of that rule' just show the average level of knowledge of the laws of the game amongst players and coaches. I wasn't fully aware of how this should be interpreted myself, but I don't earn a living from football. It's crazy that people at that level do not have a full understanding of the most fundamental laws in the game. You hear it all the time with players and managers after games criticising perfectly good decisions because the decision doesn't fit in with their mistaken knowledge of the laws. You'd think a defender knowing how the offside law works might be quite important. I can't think of any other sport, or even trade, where people get by with such little knowledge of their own speciality.
  2. I don't think that shows anything. Infact Southampton are the perfect example of the opposite, the only reason they have Hassenhuttl is because they correctly sacked Mark Hughes 9 months into the job. If they'd given Hughes time they'd probably be in the Championship now, and wouldn't have got such a good manager. Same with getting Pochettino before that too. And everyone knows Arsenal's problem was giving Wenger too much time. For every case you can point out of clubs standing by a manager and turning out well I could point out equally as many cases of clubs sticking by their manager and regretting it. The old debate about 'giving managers time' is stupid, it depends who the manager is and on the circumstances. If you appoint someone with an iffy track record like Hughes who is clearly turning out to be hopeless then you should sack them, if you've appointed someone who you are convinced is going to be a good manager then you give them time. Clearly it's not as clear cut as that, but a blanket 'give them time' argument which all in the media seem to push is stupid.
  3. Yes, weirdly the issue with them having centre backs out isn't actually shown in defence, it's shown in midfield. Fabinho has been a huge lose in there, and recently Henderson too. Thiago is an interesting one, he is clearly a fantastic footballer and I'm sure if you watch clips/highlights from him in any match he'd look quality, but there is something about his fit within Liverpool's style of play that doesn't seem right to me. Their midfield the last few years have been high energy, dynamic and all about getting the ball quickly through to the front 3, often risking giving the ball away to do this. Thiago is a methodical, possession based player and I think by the time he gets the ball up to the front 3 the other team are back in their shape. Very early days with him but interested to see how he fits into the team.
  4. To stop League 1 and 2 but allow the top 2 leagues to continue makes absolutely no sense. The whole question boils to the fundamental question of what is 'essential' business, as that is what every other industry is having to work by. As much as I love football, if the government are saying that we are in a lockdown and that only essential services should be running there is no argument that can be made that football is an essential business in terms of the running of the country at this point. People making comments about testing capacity in the higher leagues are completely missing the point. I'm sure thousands of people who have had their businesses shut down can afford to test themselves every day and stay in their own bubble, but they aren't allowed to and have had their livelihoods ripped away from them. Why should football be able to but they can't? I'm fed up of the First Minister standing up there saying she is giving footballers 'privileges'. Like she is rewarding us all for being well behaved. I love football but I want to be able to see my family and friends and for people to get their lives back in order, and if we are told a lockdown is necessary to do that then we do it properly, no pointless exceptions and no privileges. They either make the case (whatever that may be) that football is necessary for the country at this point, or it should all be stopped.
  5. Losing to the same team (from a league below) twice in a row by a goal to nil really does not show Murray in a positive light. Firstly, why is he playing about with the team? We haven't had a game for 2 weeks and are out the League Cup in a 27 game season, it's not like the players have had a hard schedule. We've had a couple of good results and should have been looking to build on that and see if we could reverse the score against Edinburgh from earlier in the season. Is it really that hard to just play players in their actual position? McKay was at right back, he can fill in there but that's not his natural position. McDonald at left back, same as McKay. Kerr in midfield, said it before but I'm not having him as a midfielder, he's a defender. Stokes and Carrick both appeared to be playing a central midfield role today, that clearly isn't Carrick's position and from what we were told that isn't Stokes position either. That's half the outfield, it's no wonder we have no structure. The midfield today was a joke, it was as if we didn't have one, but to be fair to the midfielders, none of them are actually midfielders. The teams we lose against may not be world beaters, but the thing they all have in common is a clear structure, players who clearly know their position and the jobs of the players around them. We hardly ever look like that. The issue of falling apart when we go a goal behind has been obvious for a while. I think that is largely down to lack of experience on the park, we have no idea how to manage a game. But Murray has had long enough on this, and it's happened enough times, to work on a strategy yet we've got worse if anything. I don't think we had a proper effort on goal today, it was dire.
  6. Midfield is non existent, giant vacuum in the middle resulting in long punts to no-one.
  7. People (in particular Lennon) are overstating the dominance of Celtic in that game. They started very well and dominated for 20 minutes or so through some high energy play. Once the game settled down they did nothing. McGregor made 1 excellent save from Griffiths and that was it. His save from Edouard was a standard save for a keeper at that level, and I can't remember him saving anything else apart from the offside effort. Listening to the pundits you'd think McGregor made a string of world class saves. In the 2nd half Celtic offered nothing before the sending off and would have probably get a 0-0 draw at best. Both teams were really poor.
  8. Ajer was about 30 yards away when Morelos was rugby tackled, Morelos would have had a clear opportunity to score, I don't see how it is even debatable whether that was a red card for Bitton.
  9. I'm really interested to see how he gets on, I think he's a better manager than he is given credit for by your average football fan. He has achieved some really good things as a manager and equally had some poor spells, but any experienced manager at this level will have that, if they didn't they'd be managing at the top of the Premier League. Even the best managers will have periods of failure on their CV, often these are important for a manager to develop and improve. I'd rather have that than promote an Under 20s manager or senior pro with nothing but a coaching badge. I would assume football management is like every other profession in that you'll make mistakes and it is these mistakes that give you the experience to improve and get better. Even first time appointments who eventually do well like Gerrard usually go through a large learning period where they make mistakes. Given the situation Ross County are in they can't afford that. I always find it strange how in football management appointing someone who has no managerial experience is applauded and an 'exciting appointment', whereas appointing someone who actually has experience of doing that particular job is roundly mocked. In no other walk of life would having no managerial experience seemingly put you in a better position to get a management position. I have no idea who the candidates for the County job were but certainly from the names suggested I think Hughes looked the best fit. Just like players, I think certain managers can fit, or not fit, a certain club. He may turn out to be a disaster, but very interested to see how he does.
  10. Aside from the issues around him actually attending, that is probably the most stupid statement I've ever seen from a football club. They haven't explained themselves, they haven't apologised (beyond a pathetic 'I'm sorry if you were upset'), they have treated their own fans like mugs who don't deserve an explanation, and finally have just massively raised awareness of this to a national audience - the tweet already has hundreds of retweets. Whoever wrote that and/or allowed it to be released clearly does not have an ounce of awareness or common sense.
  11. The basis for Arteta's assertions that they should have won some of these games appears to be based on possession and territory. I thought the obsession with possession peaked about 7-8 yesrs ago where people seemed to think that if you had as much possession as Barcelona then you would win the game, or at least 'deserved' to. In recent years it's become increasingly clear (although it always has really) that being productive in possession is all that matters and that just having possession alone means nothing. When Bayern beat Barca 8-2 a few months back they had less possession than Barcelona, yet it was the most dominant display I can remember seeing at that level. Arsenal are creating absolutely nothing and it's clear that teams are happy for them to have as much of the ball as they want knowing that they'll get a chance on the counter or from a set piece. I'd be really worried if I was an Arsenal fan at the moment, Arsenal are absolutely where they deserve to be. It's strange because when he first came in he won a few big games by playing defensive, organised football and being happy to give up possession, so he clearly knows it's not about possession and has shown a willingness to adapt. At the moment though it looks like he has just decided he wants them to play a certain way but they just don't have the quality to be able to do it.
  12. I think we lack quality, but definitely think we lack experience/leadership too. Not in some hardman type or someone who goes round shouting at people, but I think just an experience of how to play at this level and how to react in games and manage games. Whenever we go behind we seem to panic and completely fall apart. I don't believe a team of experienced players would do the same. This isn't an argument to fill the team with League 1 journeymen by any means, we did that under Findlay and were still hopeless because we went too far in that direction. I think it is more an argument for that old cliche about 'blending youth and experience'. The average age of our team last Saturday was 23, and that's as old as it can get really, apart from Hutton our oldest sub is 24. The average of the starting 11 that beat Falkirk a year ago was 25, so even though we have largely the same squad as last year we have lost a bit in that department. Crighton and Fordyce are the experienced heads in the team at 30 and 28. Sabatini and Robert knew nothing about this level until 3 months ago, McCann, Kerr and McDonald haven't completed a full season at senior level. So half our outfield haven't played a full season at this level. That's not an argument against any of the players, I think the issue is the mix, that's why we see the odd really good performance like Clyde or Forfar followed by complete rubbish. If Murray has no/limited say over the signings then this is the one area I do have sympathy for him.
  13. I'm genuinely amazed that TV companies haven't picked up on this and wanted it changed. Apparently the average time a ball is in play is 60 minutes (god knows what it is in Scottish lower leagues with no multi-ball system and balls getting booted into empty stands). One simple change would increase their playing time coverage by 50%. Given the obsession with accuracy in other areas of the game it has always puzzled me why something as fundamental as how long the game is played for seems to be so 'unscientific' (why is it at the end of a 5-0 thrashing there is only ever 1 minute of stoppage time, no matter how many stoppages there has actually been?!). Like you, I'd probably get bored and not be able to sit through it all. But on the other hand you'd probably get some time back due to a decrease in players time wasting. For a short while at least it would be really interesting to see, I think it would have a bigger effect on how teams approach games than we might think. It would also be much harder for underdogs to beat better teams, which given the power the big clubs hold is another reason I'm surprised it hasn't been suggested.
  14. They have around 3 or 4 players who are top 4 standard I'd say. On top of that they have a style of play that looks so easy to play against - let them pass slowly side to side until they have to cross it. Any respectable Premier League side will eat that up. They have a complete vacuum in that attacking midfield area. Arsenal are the biggest rebuilding job in the Premier League. I said at the time that he was appointed that Arteta would an appointment that would test the nerve of the Arsenal board because it will take years to see real progress given the state of the squad, and giving that time to someone with no track record is a huge gamble.
  15. I agree about the squad. It is not better or worse than last year to any significant degree. The goalies and back 4 are no different really, and still have McKay, Kerr, Carrick and Gallagher in midfield and up front. Ryan wasn't with us long enough (or hit any form) to be classed as a loss from last year. So all we have really done is replaced Smith with Connell and Roberts with Robert. You are right, the issues are relating to the set-up. I think a good manager would have this squad finishing in the play-offs. I think even Murray would accept that if we finish outside them it has been a failure.
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