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  1. Allan’s a player I wish we kept in hindsight but when he was released I wasn’t bothered about it whatsoever. Definitely not as good as Smith or Gallagher but would have been a good option off the bench. Fair play to Jordan though, it’s a great move for him getting to go full time and probably earn a good wage. I wonder how many teams were in for Allan when he left Forfar. Ian Murray gave him a chance and that has seemingly burst a bit of life into the lad’s career. Quite chuffed for him.
  2. We might miss Jamieson but I wouldn’t be surprised if there are no more forward signings. Last year we had Gal, Smith, McGill, Salim, Allan and when Salim got injured we brought in Afolabi. Right now we have Gal, Smith, McGill, Salim plus Dixon and Bright and then a wide player in McGregor. Definitely could question the quality of the backup options but we’re not short of options and I think McGregor was probably Jamieson’s replacement if I’m honest. It’s unlikely that Bright or Dixon are close to Allan’s level and I’d rather have Afolabi than Salim right now but that’s just our current situation. 7 players for 3 forward positions. I think the numbers in the squad are fine now and any more signings should be purely to add quality to the first team and could be in any position. We don’t need more options anywhere, but improving the team is always a bonus, so any signings should be players that can go straight into the first team and not just be a backup to what we already have. I don’t really expect any more signings if I’m honest except maybe a goalkeeper since we maybe don’t want to be a relying on Hutton as the backup to a guy that’s only just returned from injury.
  3. Frizzell out wide isn’t the answer, 41212 might be. Our best performance this season (4-0 at home to Montrose) we played that formation with Smith playing more of a midfield role than a forward one. Playing centrally allowed Jamieson to cause problems (and score a hat trick) and the extra man in the middle seemed to help too. Not sure why McCabe immediately reverted to 433 in the next game and has stuck to it since. The obvious thing to do just now would be to play Smith and Gallagher up top and have Stanway join that midfield of McCabe, Telfer and Frizzell, but it could also be an extra forward with Smith dropping into midfield. Worth mentioning that using 41212 basically renders McGregor useless, which isn’t a good thing when he’s a new signing and is supposed to be a promising talent. I also think Smith’s at his best playing on the left wing so that’s two arguments for 433. Being able to even have these conversations makes some difference on the start of the season when we basically had a starting 11 and nobody else.
  4. Maybe not something I’d have considered a priority but good to get a natural winger in. At very least it’s starting to look like we’ll have plenty of attacking options off the bench.
  5. He’s signed for Morton. Not sure how he’s getting away with playing for a third Championship side when he was our fourth choice striker in League One not long ago.
  6. I assume Henderson leaving means Lyness will be staying until the end of the season? Can’t see Hutton being Rae’s only backup.
  7. I rate ATS. I certainly wouldn’t say he’s the big physically dominant centre half I’d like to see (despite his height) but he’s hardly out a foot wrong in his few run outs. Nothing spectacular, but a steady defender that I’d like to see start more often. As for rumours of Telfer leaving, I’d be surprised if he got a move to the Championship. He’s grown on me a bit recently after I initially wasn’t very impressed, but I don’t think he’s good enough for that step up. Does that mean I think Airdrie wouldn’t miss him? Absolutely not. If Telfer left Frizzell and McCabe would be our only midfielders that aren’t teenagers. I’d hope he was staying until the end of the season but if not we’d need to get the type of quality replacement that might not be available mid-season.
  8. Nothing wrong with signing these lads (we need the numbers) as long as we get in a couple of first team players as well (preferably a centre half and a defensive midfielder). I do think it’s easier to be 18 and inexperienced as a striker rather than a defender so hopefully Dixon and Bright can have better debuts than Riley.
  9. I thought your suggestion was that we could never win the league with our budget? As far as I’m concerned it’s mismanagement rather than budget that’s put us in this position. Falkirk have mismanaged their larger budget every season and it’s got them nowhere. Regardless of budget we should be performing much better with the core squad we have and I don’t believe the lack of competition in the squad is down to budget but rather poor recruitment. I thought we had an outside chance of winning the league at the start of the season although I was worried about the squad size. A good start masked the obvious weakness of the squad size but I truly thought more signings would be made before the window closed, I was surprised by the lack of activity and even more surprised that we loaned out Salim. I just don’t think we can really blame any of our shortcomings on budget since it’s mismanagement from a rookie manager trying to do two jobs that’s the real issue. I‘d really like to see a new (non-playing) assistant manager brought in and Dycey returning to just player and captain to allow someone to manage from the dug out and Dycey to concentrate on his game. Quitongo’s wage was something I noticed as well. I don’t know how football translates into hours in a working week but 39.5 hours a week at the living wage of £9.50 (which is minimum wage for over 25s) pays the same. You’d earn more stacking shelves in Lidl than you would with a full-time contract at Airdrie. I’m actually surprised there aren’t more players wanting to be part time.
  10. I think that’s nonsense. I’m certainly not calling for McCabe’s head and I don’t think he’s done a dreadful job considering he’s had to balance playing and managerial duties and it’s his first season as a manager, but Murray’s first full season with us was better than this and then he gradually improved us over the course of 4 seasons to the point where we had a team that would’ve won the league any other year and deserved to go up. Our budget is certainly less than Falkirk or Dunfermline’s but Arbroath’s budget was less than Raith Rovers’ a few years ago and we’ve finished ahead of Falkirk with a smaller budget the past two seasons. Regardless of budget, we went into this season with several players from last season (McCabe, Frizzell, Smith, Fordyce) that any team in our division (even those with a bigger budget) would’ve gladly taken and added another two anyone would have in Ballantyne and Rae. We’ve been unlucky to lose Rae through injury and for Frizzell to have had a spell out injured too, but the core of our squad is good enough to challenge and we should be doing much better. We didn’t lose yesterday because we don’t have enough money, we lost because the defending wasn’t good enough (a common theme this season) and there was absolutely no game management from the manager (only one unforced sub?). Would a sudden influx of money put us in a better position? Undoubtedly, as it would for any team. But evidently there are funds available to sign players. If there wasn’t how would we have signed Lyness after the window had closed? We also just signed Stanway on loan, and there was more room to bring in other loans in the summer but we didn’t do that. Under Murray we utilised loans really well, last season alone we had Paterson, McGill, McInroy, Afolabi, Devenny, Caves, MacDonald, and while some of them were much more effective than others the sheer numbers are there to see. In previous seasons we’ve seen Turner, Paton, Connell, Smith, McCann, Ryan, Glass, Campbell etc all brought in on loan. This summer it’s just Jamieson and McMaster other than Wylie who left soon after joining and just there we’ve brought in Stanway. It’s criminal that more hasn’t been done to bring in players to accompany what actually is a decent core squad. We desperately need a centre back and have all season. As far as I’m concerned Fordyce is our only natural centre back since Watson seems far more comfortable playing right back. Even just a player to provide a bit of competition at the back is fine. Not one of that back four has his position threatened at the moment. One good centre back signing would give Watson competition, which in turn would give Ballantyne competition since Watson could play right back, and since Balamtyne could play left back Deveney would also be threatened. Failing that we need to sign a proper defensive midfielder to allow McCabe to play centre back and return to last season’s centre half pairing. Said it a few times now but Josh Kerr (let go), Scott McGill (could have been re-signed on loan) and Jordan Allan (let go) would all improve this squad. You could even make a case for Scott Walker (who wasn’t good enough) offering something in terms of competition at the back.
  11. First half hour it felt like 2-0 going on 6-0 so to come out with nothing is really disappointing. Can’t complain about either penalty, the second one was a stonewaller and the first one was maybe a bit soft but I looked to the ref as soon as I saw Riley put his hands on the attacker. Can’t complain about the red card either as it was two very clear yellow card challenges. What I don’t understand is how we were 4-1 down against that team earlier in the season with 10 men and were playing with 2 at the back and going for it (which we all agreed was wrong), but today at 4-3 and 11 on the park we didn’t really seem to be going full throttle to get back into the game. I think there’s been a lack of game management, rather than the squad being too light, inexperienced, or not good enough. I don’t want to be too critical of McCabe as I like him as a player and last season I had very little doubt he was a great leader in the squad and a potential captain for us, but that game wouldn’t have unravelled like that under Murray. Murray would’ve tinkered with the shape to regain control and wouldn’t have been afraid to hook Riley when it clearly wasn’t going well.
  12. Disaster of a debut for Riley. At least Kyle Turner’s debut was funny.
  13. 18 played and 18 to go. Who else has Gallagher as their player of the year so far?
  14. Ah I see. I think ideally we should be bringing in at least a centre back and centre mid that improve the current starting 11, and a few more needed purely for numbers certainly.
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