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  1. Looking at that squad, if we go with the back three, then it's one of Cooper, Hendry or McKenna. We did look better in the reverse fixture when we switched to a back four, so I suppose it's not completely out of the realms of possibility that he does that from the off this time, but I expect he will go with the 3 in any event. A few years ago I would not have thought we would be dearly, dearly wishing Grant Hanley could play in a crucial match, but here we are. The guy has been a colossus since he came back early in this campaign.
  2. Aye, looks good, glad to have McTominay back and shouldn't be surprised by the return of McLean. Ferguson can consider himself a wee bit fortunate to be in given that he can hardly be described as 'in form' at the moment, but Clarke is on record as admiring him for a while and he presumably showed up well enough in the last camp to be recalled. Cannae wait for this. Huge game in the group and hopefully the last time we play Israel for a considerable period.
  3. I personally don't think the entire team were honking against Russia in the 1-2 defeat at Hampden. I'm not sure anyone apart from maybe McBurnie were 'honking' that game, and even then it is his pressure that spooks the goalie into spilling the Fraser cross to McGinn for the opening goal. Cooper, however, did struggle quite a bit and had a poor evening. Was he alone in that? No. I thought Hendry was fine against Czechs, actually. Anyone laying blame at his door, especially the second Czech goal, is extremely harsh in my mind. Hendry has, impressed me in other matches, particularly in his last outing versus Austria. Some of the criticism of Cooper might well be harsh, but I hardly think 'I've yet to be impressed by him' falls into that category. That's not harsh. No like I left the guy without a name, or called him something OTT like, I don't know, 'honking'. We agree on why he is left out for Tierney, but most telling for me is that he is also left out for Hanley in that central role in the three. Simply put, he has looked less defensively strong than the Norwich captain. That is why I'm not convinced about him stepping in for said Norwich captain. I can't honestly say I'm convinced about any of our alternatives, to be fair, but it hardly seems the 'obvious' choice, at least in my opinion. I don't think there really is an 'obvious' choice.
  4. I don't know that I'd go as far as to say I don't like him, but I don't recall ever being that impressed by him. He has done okay in some games, but he had quite a poor game in his debut at home to Russia, and he didn't cover himself in glory versus the Czech Republic in the Euros, either. There's a reason that he is consistently left out of the XI. Granted, much of that is due to accommodating Tierney, which means he's going to miss out in that back three, but he is still losing his place as a central defender to a guy who isn't really a central defender and he is consistently overlooked for the role of the middle centre back. Generally, unlike, say, Grant Hanley, I don't recall ever thinking 'wow that was impressive by Cooper there' or 'good defending from Cooper' or 'what a good game Cooper has had', be it for Scotland or even the few bits and pieces I've seen of him for Leeds. I'll no be throwing a fit if he fills the space Hanley leaves in the upcoming game, but aye, yet to be impressed by him. Hardly character assassination, but hey ho.
  5. Airdrieonians 3-1 Clyde Alloa Athletic 1-2 Cove Rangers Falkirk 3-0 East Fife Peterhead 0-0 Dumbarton Queen's Park 1-1 Montrose
  6. It looks like he was playing right sided midfielder in a central 3 and got forward quite a bit in the highlights of their game versus Bologna, but that's highlights from one fixture, so one can only take so much from it. I don't anticipate he'll be called up, despite starting the last 3 games in Serie A for his club (56 mins in a 3-0 defeat, 90 mins in a 2-0 win and 71 mins in a 4-2 win)
  7. Tomorrow it is, then. Not anticipating many surprises, but I don't really mind that. A lot to be said for a settled squad and consistent XI.
  8. I wouldn't really mind if he replaced Ferguson, but either way you're talking about a player who is unlikely to feature much if at all in the Israel match, so it's not a big deal. Clarke likes Ferguson, so presumably he'll still be in the squad.
  9. Hahaha well at least I took you down with me.
  10. Well that's reassuring. There was always the possibility that I was talking mince.
  11. Don't anticipate it being the absolute stroll it was last season, and I imagine we'll concede especially if Fordyce isn't back, but we ought to have enough to win this game. I'll no be betting on it, mind you.
  12. Tomorrow or Wednesday, I would expect, aye. Be very unusual for it to be the week of the game. I'm not sure Hickey will get called up, actually, but would be more than happy if he is. I wonder if Paul McGinn will be included once more, too. Might Clarke also consider Liam Henderson? Probably not. As you say, 26 is a big squad for a double header, but given the way the squad was ravaged by various issues earlier this month, I imagine you're right and that he will give himself cover.
  13. Shrug. Sure looked like that's where he was playing, at least to me.
  14. I'd not have considered Hendry for the middle of the three had he not done so well in the european cup. Yes, it was one game, but still, given the calibre of opponent... I've not been convinced by Cooper thus far, I have to confess.
  15. Might give this a bash, cheers. Wanting a pub closer to the stadium given possibility of more delays to stadium entry than usual.
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