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The Ghost of B A R P

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    Greenock Morton

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  1. That’s a fair stab at what might turn out to be our strongest team. Couple of questions about how to set them up, but the sooner he tries it, the better.
  2. Maybe you should start a forum just for Pars fans… oh wait…
  3. It is kinda (very) funny to think that, on the evidence so far, the most effective way to gain an advantage in this league is… bump the manager. If Grant goes, it’ll be a 20% attrition rate… before the end of fkn September! Who’s next?
  4. A game that appears to have confirmed what fans of Ayr, Dunfermline, and every other team already knew about Messrs Peter Grant and David Hopkin.
  5. Fair enough… actual team clearly determined by fitness issues, but we should at least get a sense of what difference the new guys might make (including Allan in a presumably wide role).
  6. Why would we be crying out for a wide player, get one, and then play him central? And McGrattan in front of Lyon… really?
  7. Alex Neill and Paul Lambert… Utterly fuckin delusional…
  8. Answered a question posted by another Morton supporter on the, eh, Morton thread… if you’ve got a problem with that, I’d suggest you’re in the wrong place…
  9. All good management… apart from the picking him bit (although, as I’ve said, I can see why he’s done it in certain circumstances). We’ll see what happens now that MacPherson has options… but I’ll be gutted if we go with three in the middle… and that three is Jacobs, Oksanen, and Blues. Too often it’s been like playing with 10 men when Blues is given the more ‘creative’, forward-running role of the three; whatever he is, he just isn’t good enough for that. The problem until this week is that there has been almost zero competition for places; now the likes of Blues and Muirhead (and everybody else) are going to have to make a positive contribution when they’re on the pitch or there’s somebody else who’ll come in and keep them out. Let’s face it, Muirhead has been much worse than Blues and must now be a cert for the bench… as, I think (and hope), is Blues. Can’t really see a formation where he’s an obvious first pick.
  10. Pretty sure MacPherson was always going to sign another centre-mid… and that he re-signed Blues as relatively cheap cover, but then had no real choice but to play him (and deeper) in the early games. Up to Lyon, of course, to make the position his own if we play three centre-mids. He won’t get a look in if we only play two.
  11. Oksanen coming in must surely consign Blues to the bench: if we play two in centre-mid, it’ll be Jacobs and Oksanen; if we play three, Lyon has to be the third man, regardless of recent form. We saw the other week that a middle two of Jacobs and Lyon doesn’t work, because Lyon isn’t suited to sitting in and filling spaces, therefore leaving Jacobs exposed. But he’s clearly our best option to complete a three-man central midfield. Blues and McGrattan on the bench, as I think was the plan from the outset.
  12. Now that we actually have a squad, it’s pretty difficult to predict how we’ll line up… which is, for once, a good thing. My best bet would be a flexible 4-4-2 as follows: ———————Hamilton——————— Ledger—Lithgow—McEntee*—Strapp Allan—-Lyon—-Jacobs—-Oksanen ————-Ugwu————Reilly————- Looks a wee bit lop-sided as a starting shape, but it allows Allan to get forward on the right (compensating for that not being Ledger’s game) and Strapp to get forward on the left, with the other three in midfield shuffling across. Becomes a 3-4-3 when we’re in possession, essentially, allowing Oksanen to play more centrally with Strapp outside him. Duffy fiddled around with this when we were at our best under him (I’ll make no comparison with how various French national teams have played over the years…). Alternative would be a more straightforward 4-3-3, with Reilly coming in off the left-hand side to link up with Ugwu. (*Every possibility McLean gets the nod here, at least at first.) Leaves Hynes, McLean, Russell as cover at the back; McGregor, Blues, McGrattan, Russell across the middle; Oliver, Knowles and Bonnie Prince Robbie* up front.
  13. Oksanen and Allan are the ones I’m most hopeful for, particularly the former: almost a full season in English L1 (and a dozen Finnish U21 caps) is far from the ‘untried boy’ category. Could be a real game-changer for us. Allan has less first-team experience, but you have to think there’s ability there. We’ll probably know after a couple of games if McEntee is ready, but Newcastle gave him a new contract at the start of the summer and he’s broken into the ROI U21s. Pleasing all round.
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