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Everything posted by harry94

  1. On the Russia point, I think it's an oversimplification. He basically said we should go through the procedure and engage with the international framework, facilitating the legal requests made by Russia to analyse samples. It was nowhere near an extreme point of view IMO. If you have evidence someone has done something like that, you don't expedite the process and give them extra ammunition and accusations of the process being illegitimate etc. The Egypt comments were stupid though. I think that and the commenting on the Facebook photo of the guys mural with all the big noses, star of david and illuminati symbols are the examples that are genuinely quite bad. He did in fairness apologise for the second and maybe has some plausible deniability that he didn't quite grasp what he was engaging with but with all the sensitivities about the issue, it's hard to phantom how he felt it was appropriate at the time to go peddling theories like that.
  2. Not really sure what the wingers could have done to avoid that game. Todd has been treated very harshly, he's a hard working player who plays to a system, decent defensively (as evidenced with his pressing V Aberdeen) and whilst he's not the most flashy player, he does provide some intent and width. If you're going to play without having a long-ball option to a striker, you need to be pretty good at playing from the back line. That's the way we play and in the first derby, it was a complete disaster as it relied on a very slow Ness to partner Byrne and play through the side, we were exposed badly. The second derby, the strategy was the same but it wasn't as bad as we had another body in the middle. Until we actually drill into the team that one of the strikers can be used as a direct outball (and no, I don't mean after five minutes of passing on the half way line and a paniced hoof to our forwards who has easily been marked out the game and has no space to attack into), we're going to be very predictable and have little margin for error in possession with most of it being in our own third. I think right now, we're pissing about with formations and although some things are marginally better (i.e. we improved with the introduction of second winger on Saturday but were by that point chasing the game), it's pretty much the same problems however we set up. The only exception to that is against Aberdeen where we acknowledged we couldn't play through them so allowed Johnson to play as a target man, we ended up creating more chances than most games this season and the entire midfield were brilliant in getting on top of the second ball. I'm not saying we need to go total hoofball and there are certain games where I think the football can be useful (i.e. Alloa and Arbroath who sit deep) but we're just set up so one dimensional right now. In fairness to someone like Mackie being shite and a liability on Saturday, I think if he was encouraged to hoof the thing when uncomfortable, he wouldn't have been such a worry. One weak link in this sort of style of play and we're vulnerable, sometimes it'll come together but teams in this league are smart enough to watch a few videos and press us high. IMO as good as a player as he is, we've signed Dorrans without really mastering the basics and knowing where he actually fits in best. It's pointless having that sort of talent at this level if they aren't getting to play in the last third and do the damage and right now, we're just throwing centre midfielders in to keep everyone happy.
  3. For what it's worth, this was an issue Ed Miliband faced as well when he whipped for Palestinian statehood.
  4. I've actually mixed it up a bit. It's from a Datapraxis poll published at the weekend. My confusion is that it's also of the pricey MRP variety and they used YouGov data to compile their prediction but the predictive work wasn't done by YouGov. As far as I can see, Datapraxis are a new business and not worked at previous elections. Last time round, we got a nice infographic and map on the YouGov website which gave us breakdown data for every seat in the country so I'd be looking out on their site.
  5. She also had this in the last election as well. I think she's got a particular style of articulating herself and it doesn't quite fit with how Neil sets up, I think she will probably not be happy with herself but no one is perfect. I don't really think it's that good a style of interviewing as people think it is tbh. If you are bold enough to throw shite at the wall, Neil tries his contrarian thing at everything and will get sidetracked. The Boris interview will involve him not answering a single question but getting in the line about Corbyn and his two referendums a dozen times and that's all his team will really want.
  6. Some of the expensive MRP data has leaked, full release on Wednesday at 10pm. It suggests Boris' seat is still in play and with some tactical voting, he could be gone. It also shows Dominic Raab, who currently has a majority of near 40% (which is insanely huge), struggling and getting by on a couple of percentage points. Also risks for IDS and a few of the notable 1922 members. Goldsmith well gone (although not entirely unexpected as really narrow majority) Take of that what you think but from those early reports, that's about 6 heavy hitters with really comfortable majorities in the south floundering a few weeks out whilst really big national leads are being reported. In the top 10 Tory target seats, there's 2 of them held by the SNP (Wishart and Crawley) and they look like they'll comfortably hold firm and the SNP will expand their leads there. 2 of them in the south held by Labour are showing that the Lib Dems may leapfrog into first place and it's not a sure thing. Maybe the full data will show an easy wipeout and Labour losing seats in the north but I think people talking about massive majorities should hold fire. FPTP leads to a lot of interesting fuckery and there seems to be realignments all over the shop.
  7. The first pricey MRP YouGov poll is coming Wednesday evening, got the constituency vote very close last time out. I think once we see that, we'll have a good idea whether this thing is actually in play. Still plenty of mileage IMO. For all the commanding leads we've seen, voters do poll as knowing Boris is a lying and untrustworthy b*****d by almost record levels, much worse than Corbyn in this regard. I don't think he's in a very comfortable place. I think Farage is an important ally who Boris needs to get the Labour vote, there's a certain demographic who would never vote Tory in their life but would let Farage take their vote. I think they need to pull that enemy act off well and get the dynamic just right to get their majority. Maybe the manner of the alliance backfires, hard to tell.
  8. "Why aren't the nationalists voting for Labour?!"
  9. tbf I think most are of the view that the current squad is actually relatively decent. Most players in their mid 20s etc, I think a fair number of them could be here a while. The issue with Meekings is that he's spent years of his career on the physio table, it's not his fault but he's lost a lot of pace and he's not really got any brilliant aerial ability or footballing brain to fall back on. Similar story to Vincent, he was just absolutely broken and ended up struggling quite a bit at top flight level, he wasn't actually as hated as made out on here and he did give us some decent games but I think the anger was that we spent a big three year deal on someone with an injury record like that. I think most would have conceded he could maybe have been a fine back-up option this year but we had other issues and weren't going to give him another wage, especially with young Finlay Robertson coming through and obviously the perception of him being a waste of a wage had already set in. Williams I think maybe does have a case for having quite a harsh time here, I thought he looked fine in the first couple of games but was then not deployed on the wing ever again (instead asked to play wing back or the middle of a central 3 in a 5-3-2 type thing). Hartley expected to throw him into the team and him to be Greg Stewart 2.0 and I think a lot of the support did too. Hartley and McCann made some utterly dreadful squad management decisions and sometimes signed individuals without really any plan on how they'd be used and I think that's probably what caused us to have a massive turnover. There also does seem to be this thing where players just seem to be better in the Highlands in general. No idea if that's substantiated or not but it does feel like yourselves and County do often sign players derided elsewhere who do go on and be decent. Maybe the location requiring players to move up is a good thing for young guys to screw the head on and not get into trouble (maybe relevant for someone like Donaldson who seemed to take quite badly to the pressure at United and almost try and square go with fans etc), no idea though.
  10. Dundee have spent the whole league campaign trying to play the ball out and having no target man, I feel Inverness spent five minutes researching us and just didn't allow us to play that game. I'll defend McDaid, I thought he was good and he is a livewire but he was our only midfield player who started with any attacking intent and he had to do way too much alone. There were times where he'd traveled 20-30 yards alone and beat a couple of players yet had zero outlet because we had 4 old centre midfielders on with no attacking intent or any speed of any sort. The set-up was embarrassing and a 1-0 defeat flattered us, some better decision making and I think you guys should have given us a humping. I always think Ridgers is a bit shaky for you guys (maybe reinforced with his howler in the League Cup) but Donaldson and McCart were both immense and when we did bring on the second winger towards the end of the game, both of them handled things really well. I don't know how bad your finances are with the recent stories but I could definitely see interest in both of those guys as soon as January. I'd love to trade one for captain dimwit if you guys were daft enough to take that trade.
  11. Good template, it represents a collosal wastage! I'd personally rule out Soutar who was just a squad filler to cover in an emergency and also Twardzik was also an emergency signing but was parted with early when Gibson was fit again and Motherwell needed cover. Willie Dyer was out his depth when we went up but he gave us a decent season in the league winning campaign so wouldn't touch him in respect of thay. Probably a position we're actually quite good in though and we've had plenty of reasonable left backs. Similarly Cummins was a cover signing who only had two starts and we only conceded one goal, he was a bit unfit but was otherwise wasn't a disaster. Graham Bayne was god awful in his second spell. I think some of the other forwards could argue they didn't get a fair crack of it but he was quite consistently poor over a season. I'd go a weird 5-3-2 thing. Schenk Casement Malcolm Inniss Grassi Meggatt Klok Hughes Monti Bayne Doris Tom Hateley is probably the best shite player we've had in the last wee while IMO. Playing at a decent level (excluding Inniss) still and he did actually have a few good games looking back. We were promised a lot more though.
  12. Ministers should have degrees in thermodynamics IMO
  13. What's the alternative then? Coming from any position of logic, leaving the EU was economically and politically a bad thing and all the ERG efforts about magical Canadian trade deals and closed borders have been widely derided as economically illiterate by anybody reputable. Corbyn is effectively saying to interlock economically and avoid these worst impacts. Even if you argue that it ruins the point of 'sovereignty' etc, that's immaterial as these things were magical concepts that didn't really exist anyway. There is no good Brexit, just versions which are less shit than their alternative in damaging our future growth and GDP.
  14. He's not necessarily a bad guy but used to have a handler at United to stop him walking into walls or speaking to anyone! I'm a bit shocked to see him get this sort of job! Saying that, on MacKinnon (sorry to knock him when he's down), I remember a few seasons back he signed Benedictus from Dundee and was announcing him to the press. In the interview, he made reference to Benedictus being a strong left footed player multiple times and to reinforce this, spoke of how good it was that he'd balanced the defence with him and Toshney who could play on their natural side (reinforcing to me that this wasn't a moment of getting confused and was a genuine belief). Benedictus of course wasn't left footed at all, he scored an unreal goal V Hibs with it but it was an aberration and I assume that MacKinnon's research was maybe searching YouTube. That would have me terrified on the board if my manager was saying stuff like that! I don't know if that's anyone external now ruled out but I know Stewart Petrie to be an extremely capable and competent guy, Montrose play decent football for their status. Maybe he wants to keep his full-time job (I think he works in a bank) but a bit surprised he wasn't well up that McBookie list early on, can't see he was spoken about much here.
  15. I think terms like 'negotiation' and 'deal' make it seem dramatic and there are teams of negotiators locked in a room trying to outwit each other. In some sense, there's truth to that in some of the technicality but it's not how this sort of agreement is broadly structured. We're looking at macro stuff, i.e. define the finances, law, citizens rights and border. It's not really that competitive a negotiation, sure the EU want to squeeze as hard as they can but the bar on approval is very low (it's a simple majority) and not getting an agreement through the UK parliament is a massive pain to the EU as well who would like to see this resolved but not at the expense of no deal (even if they do occasionally make a big song and dance in local elections). Of that package, the first three have more or less been agreed since a few months into the process and aren't really that contentious to either party so will likely be ratified to be more or less what has already been agreed. On the sticking points, the red lines that have been set by Boris and co are structurally different to what Corbyn has pursued. The key point though is that Corbyn's plan involves a much closer relationship to the EU than proposed by Boris and choose a model offered by the EU, not too dissimilar to what May brought to parliament (but presumably they wouldn't have trusted the Tories to negotiate a trade deal based on the back of it). Any reputable economist would tell you that a closer Brexit is likely to be less damaging than a more distant one. It's still a pile of shit but it's implementable and it's not an unreasonable claim for Corbyn to make. Some of the language surrounding the process has massively obscured what is actually happening and that's quite worrying when this is the easy part. For the next stage, that's going to be when our government have the piss taken out them and there is some real competitive negotiation involved.
  16. Hamilton was playing really well after that Alloa game and probably in the best form of his Dundee career, seemed to massively calm down at crosses etc. Hazard has been competent but he's arguably been more fearful of coming for crosses than Hamilton has been this season, seems to stick to his line and it's nearly caused a couple of situations. I think I'd need to see a bit more of Hazard to be sure but another 'keeper would be good if it presented an opportunity for Ferrie to play consistently on loan, feel really sorry for him and his Challenge Cup outing with the pass back, he was very good at Stirling and looked very comfortable at that level. Re Nicholl, it's immaterial as a discussion I think. There's no way of us knowing how much 'input' he's had or how good his advice has been or how much McPake has opted to take of it etc, always find it baffling when it's a talking point and people praise/criticise the assistant. We don't even know how sincere the manager is in talking them up as he's not going to say 'oh they were my last choice and a bit of an arsehole but I had no time so went for this senile moron'! I don't think Nicholl will make a move like that at his age but if he did, I think the only other assistant McPake played under at Hibs was Billy Brown! I was thinking Ian Murray before but he seems to have massively picked up form wise and looks secure Airdrieonians. No one really obvious from his time at Livi, he's nabbed Mackay and Dorrans, only other one I could see in coaching is Lee Makel and Derek Adams.
  17. Is there any chance at all of Gilmour being nabbed by someone else? If so, I'd have him around the squad and capped on those grounds alone if that was an issue! In all seriousness though, you've got a guy who people are hailing as world class and the next Xavi etc coming through at a big club. I don't really think any of us are qualified to comment on what environment is going to be the best for him to play his trade right now but I you get a squad of 23 at international level and if the management wanted to go the route of Wales and reserve a few places for these sorts of players to make up the numbers I've got no issues with that.
  18. Obviously Leeds are the bigger club but I think Hull hate Leeds and don't have it reciprocated.
  19. Remember a few years back when Mandleson was in the cabinet as a Lord? He had a portfolio that was relatively big for someone unelected, business secretary and a few titles that basically gave him a huge amount of money to spend in swing seats. Farage getting a peerage and a fairly major cabinet position would not be unprecedented. He's very popular with the Tory membership who even now, seem further right than the party (especially on Brexit). I really don't think it's a stretch to suggest that his ambitions are perhaps much loftier than made out to be and if he ends up in government, he would have a platform and a route to real power if he's got a few friends He's not a stupid guy and I think it's dangerous to call him a nobody - he's the most popular political figure in UK politics by a fair distance and he's manipulated the Tories for years, Cameron had an electable government going that looked like they'd never leave power and he absolutely fucked that and ended a lot of political careers. He's pretty much open about loving chaos and upheaval and I really don't think he's going to disappear. I know that usually incompetence is the more logical theory but I genuinely think that him and Boris have a solid understanding and are just playing out this whole thing for theater - both know that his proximity to the Tories needs to be guarded a bit to protect the soft Tory demographic but otherwise, I'm sure both are aware that former Labour leavers who are very susceptible to populism maybe need an extra nudge. Right now, his impact is more about making certain groups of people stay at home rather than necessarily vote IMO - if you read into the polls right now, taking people at face value on the question of if they are going to vote would see a comfortable Labour majority government but that is weighted down as these voters are historically less likely to turn up.
  20. If you look at the latest batch of MPs, they are taking Tories in and the Labour members that have come have been strictly to the right of the party. Swinson is trying to go for that centre-right thing and set herself up as independent from it all somehow (obviously, she'd need to do something post election and compromise that). You are right though that you are likely to see this consolidation of the Tory vote but also remember that 2015 and 2017 were historically low levels of Lib Dem vote, the lowest since their party existed. I get that the brand is tainted etc but there are surely a lot of people who historically voted Lib Dem but migrated over, Cameron's appeal was being a more sensible Tory and it seems that this shored up his vote and see him take all those sorts of marginals he needed in 2015. FPTP means that a Tory to Lib Dem swing of just 2% would see the Tories as no longer the largest party if applied uniformly. If Labour do repeat their performance from the same point in the polls last time, they form a government. The Tories have a sizable lead but it's based on people who have never voted for them in their lives, from demographics skewed against them, doing something unprecedented. We've not really started yet and even at the extreme end, the swings that would be needed to reverse that aren't unseen in British politics.
  21. Your average voter knows nothing about Arlene Foster. To most, she's a regional lunatic and is just really known as being a staunch unionist. Nigel Farage is the biggest figure in British Politics, there's no hiding from that and everyone has an opinion of that. Around 40% of the Tory vote in 2015 voted to remain. If just a fraction of that actively voted Lib Dem or even stayed at home, perceiving a more extreme position, it could be devastating and possibly more than negate the losses people are projecting for Labour.
  22. Hoping he goes nuclear and declares all out war on Boris. More likely he'll back down a bit though.
  23. Right now, we're on course for 58 points if we keep going at the same rate. I think we've picked up form wise and do better than that, probably around the 65 point mark. If that's right, it's not a horrific attempt at a first season down, not many teams do rebound automatically and last year was a particular disaster that gave us very little in the way of a squad taking forward (unlike the sorts of Inverness and County who maybe continues with 7 or 8 players who had finished the season before, even us in 13/14 were similarish in that regard). I think McPake has probably started to get some cohesion going against the poorer sides and we're looking a lot better and not playing into their hands with a big hoof but against United, the quality level is that bit higher and he's not really sussed out how to adapt when they don't let us play the same game. The worst thing for this season has been that our arch rivals have raised expectations. Neilson inherited a squad with a few decent enough players in it at this level and transformed their form from Csaba level to something that would have seen them likely win the league over a full season (instead coming a penalty shootout away), he's then been given license to add a fair bit which has included a lethal and young goalscorer and then he's had experience doing fairly well in Scotland before. If they don't reach 80 points, I'd be surprised. I'd prefer we landed a few fists on them and don't capitulate in the next showing but I think we've got to be reasonable in how we judge this manager, he wouldn't have been my choice and I'd nearly wanted him punted V Thistle but if we've went down this route, I see little value in hitting reset in November given the circumstances.
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