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thediamonddude

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About thediamonddude

  • Birthday 16/04/1986

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    Airdrie
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    Airdrie

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  1. You’re correct - we didn’t force Mutch into a save in the first half, but we had a number of good opportunities where, if our forwards had made contact with the ball properly, they’d have been on target, if not in the back of the net. The difference on Saturday was how ruthless you were in front of goal - we had 16 shots (4 on target), whereas Falkirk had 4 (all 4 on target). We may not play against a weaker Falkirk defence this season, but you won’t play against a more wasteful Airdrie frontline again this season…I hope! Like I say, Falkirk were just more efficient on Saturday. We had more of the ball, worked it well and got ourselves into better positions more frequently, which while it didn’t get us the result we were after on Saturday, is encouraging for the season ahead for me.
  2. ^ My brief take on the game yesterday from the match thread. Got to say that while I’m as disappointed as everyone else here about only taking 1 point from a possible 9 so far, I’m massively encouraged by the way we’ve played in the past couple of weeks. I think any notion that this is some sort of disaster start is a wee bit premature, given we know how easy it is for teams to drop points to anyone - no one will be running away with the league this season. I’m happy with what we’ve got defensively - we just need to cut out the silly mistakes, which should be easy enough to do. We’ve bossed the midfield the past two weeks and as others have said, this is probably the best midfield we’ve had in God knows how long. Finally, we’ve got forwards that are capable of finishing - Gal and Kouder-Alissa are proven goal scorers at this level and I think McGill/Smith, while not necessarily prolific, will chip in too. I’m sure few folk will agree with me here as well, but I’d give credit to Murray for the formation switch. None of us were happy with the 3-5-2 a few weeks back and, despite him clearly favouring it as he’d used it so effectively last year, he’s switched to the 4-3-3 and we’ve looked much more comfortable. Like I say, the issues yesterday are easily fixed - cut out silly errors at the back and take your chances when they come up. I’d be much more concerned if we weren’t playing well and creating the chances in the first place. I think we’ll find that the next 3 or 4 games will really see us hit our stride and if I’m wrong, then I’ll re-evaluate my thoughts. Way too early to be panicking about anything though - I genuinely think we’ve got the best squad we’ve had in years, just need some patience.
  3. For the second week running, I don’t think we got out of the game what we deserved. Credit, of course, needs to go to Falkirk for the way they defended when they went down to 10 men, but I think we certainly deserved something from the game with the possession we had and the way we hemmed them in - it’s just so frustrating that we squandered so many good opportunities. Ironically, I would say that we probably played as well as (if not better than) we have done in the past 3 seasons against Falkirk, yet came away with nothing when we were maybe lucky to do so in some of the previous encounters. I also have to disagree with this notion of us playing route 1 hoof-ball - yes, we played long but they were pinpoint passes that were designed to expose Falkirk’s weaknesses in the full-back area and it worked a treat. All in, there was nothing yesterday to change my views on the season as a whole - we’ll both be in the top 5 come May. In what position though is anyone’s guess - going to be very tight between ourselves, Cove, Montrose and QP.
  4. Re-directing the conversation a tad in relation to Saturday - I was delighted with the response from the players and management after what was such a poor performance the previous week. Aside from the opening 5/10 mins when Dumbarton hemmed us in a bit and forced one straightforward save out of Currie, we were utterly dominant. Two efforts cleared off the line in the first half, as well as a looping cross from McGill that nearly caught out the keeper and then Easton’s superb long range effort that came back down off the bar, meant we really could and should have been further ahead before the madness on the hour mark. The incident has been done to death here, but in my view, it’s one of those knife-edge 50/50 decisions that can swing either way. The frustration was that even if you are giving that against Wardrop, it’s never a second yellow. For me, the handbags at dawn and play acting have panicked the referee into making that call, which I think was wrong. I think it’s also absolutely fair to say that Maclean was ridiculously over the top - he rolls about in the first instance, thinks about getting up but goes back down when he sees the ref still hasn’t done anything, a Dumbarton player then tells him to stay down a bit longer (at which point he rolls some more) and then when Currie picks him up he stands on his feet throws a hissy fit at him and then goes down again. It was pathetic and that was what annoyed me - not whether it was a foul or not. In any case, whilst what happened next was frustrating, I’m not overly concerned by it. Should we have seen it out? Yes. Did the players, staff and fans lose the plot a wee bit? Yes. But it’s football - we’re all human beings and it happens. We need to remember this was a highly charged game with players and staff that had been at both clubs - so the perceived injustice and subsequent ruckus could always have had that effect. If we did it on a regular basis and let things like that cost us, I could understand but it needs to be looked at in context. This is a new team that is still gelling together - it’s just important they learn from this. Like I say though, I saw enough to suggest we deserved more than we got out of the game and on another day, might have done just that. Yes Dumbarton had us under the cosh for the last half hour, but aside from some goal mouth scrambles, didn’t create too many clear cut chances of note. We simply didn’t remain calm enough and again, that’s something we need to learn from. I think the formation suited us better and we looked way more comfortable with the back four. Dycey, Watson and Rico looked pretty comfortable until the red card and, while I’ve been disappointed with Wardrop so far, he’s had a bit of bad luck with the injury he was carrying against QOTS and then the sending off on Saturday, so willing to give him the benefit of the doubt at this early stage in the season. The midfield was what really impressed me - Easton, Frizzell and McCabe bossed it when they settled into the game and there was some really nice play to connect with the front 3. Gal worked his socks off as ever and just needs that first goal to get him off the mark. Whilst it was great to see Callum Smith back - he had a quiet game in terms of his impact on the attack, but he worked tirelessly. Gabby McGill was the guy that really impressed though - took his goal well, ran at defenders and never stopped. He was the one signing I was pretty indifferent about initially, but more performances like that and I think we’ve uncovered a wee gem! As I say, as disappointing as it is to surrender the lead after being so dominant, I think there is way more for us to take away in terms of positives, rather than dwelling on the outcome. It’s just important we learn from that and take the same attitude, effort and work rate into Saturday against Falkirk.
  5. I wouldn’t say no to another CM, but I do think it’s a bit unlikely as things stand. I get what you’re saying re: not classing Easton as a midfielder, but with the system we’ve been playing and, as I’ve said before, see us playing all season given we seem to have recruited with that in mind, I think we have to class him as a midfielder. There’s no doubt in my mind we’ll be 3-5-2 when he comes back - that’s how we lined up with him in the side against Annan after all. I’d disagree on Agnew though - whilst he’s not the player of 2 or 3 years ago, I think he still looks really composed and has plenty to offer alongside someone like McCabe, who can do the leg work. All in, we’ll be playing with a midfield 3 most weeks - 2 ‘sitting’ and 1 more advanced. Collectively, you’ve got 6 players to cover those 3 spots, so we’d be looking at 1 more (max).
  6. Not sure if this has been replied to, but was it Rangers in the 2013/14 season?
  7. I’ve steered clear of posting for a couple of weeks, simply as the negativity was getting ridiculous. I hate seeing folk throwing tags like ‘happy clapper’ or whatever the opposite of that is these days around - to me, that’s what people do when someone won’t agree with their point of view and can’t accept it, so they insult them instead. There was a fair bit of that creeping in to the thread and it’s pretty cringeworthy. For me, while this is a football forum and I know the point is for us all to share our views, which is quite right, the levels of negativity from some people at times is majorly off putting. We all want our club to do well, but I think we need to remember at all times how difficult it can be to run a football club, build a team, manage the guys, etc. I think when you look at our owners, board, the manager and players - especially in comparison to some other clubs at our level and above - we’re incredibly lucky to have what we do and for that reason, I think they deserve our backing. In terms of my views of the past couple of weeks… The squad - for me, it’s coming together quite nicely. Forgetting about Kyle Turner for a moment (as he was a special player at this level that we picked up completely by chance) anyone that thinks the quality in the squad is lesser than last season needs a reality check. With the exception of McCann (and I should point out that I really like Rico and have been impressed by him so far) we’re stronger in every area of the pitch when you compare with this time last year. We have been a bit short in terms of depth, but as others have said, why bring players in for the sake of it to pad the squad out? The McGills have come in this past week and each added a wee something, proving to me that we’ve been right to bide our time. We need to remember how unlucky we’ve been with injuries too. Still assuming Robert goes - I reckon we’re 2 or 3 players away from a really strong squad that will definitely be there or there abouts come next May. Premier Sports Cup - When you consider that up until today, we hadn’t lost in 90 mins or conceded from open play in 3 games, I think it’s hard to deny this has been a decent cup campaign for us. Today is a massive blow and disappointment, of course it is, but that was a huge effort put in by everyone on Wednesday, and without 2 of what I’d say is our starting midfield 3 today as well, it was always going to be a tough ask to get the win. On top of that, aside from a cracking night at Tynecastle around 13 years ago, that Motherwell game was the biggest result I feel we’ve had since the heady days of the late 90s. It shows what we can do on our day and should give great encouragement. Of course a cup run would be nice, but I just feel this competition comes too early in pre-season and the deck is stacked against teams at our level. So I’m content with how we did and excited about the real stuff starting next week. Strips - I’m obviously biased, but I really don’t think anyone in Scotland, or world football for that matter, comes close to our kits. As others have said, I hope we stay with Umbro forever, as their designs and material have been spot on these past two seasons. I will admit that this year’s designs aren’t quite on a par with last season, but I still think they’re cracking and will be ‘growers’ - especially the home. To throw my tuppence worth in with the shorts/socks thing, it should always be red/red for me but I do like the black/black combo! Finally, I think the club and FN deserve great credit for the service and timing with the kits the past few years - while the Umbro stuff is well superior, I thought they did so well with the Joma stuff too and they have the club shop looking amazing. Anyway, sorry for sharing my version of War and Peace here, been working on that for weeks! However, to me, things look very good for us at the moment - I’ve no idea how our season will go (no one does), but I have confidence and belief in the club, players and staff. Let’s dae this!!!
  8. I’d agree with you - both in the sense that I’m not massively keen on 3-5-2 (although that seems to be the way the game is going at the moment) and in the sense that it’s good to have an alternative plan. That being said, I think we’re limited in what else we can do for a few reasons (mostly around midfield to front)… 1) We have no wide players…at all really. If you discount the wing backs, Frizzell could maybe play there (although he seems to be a no.10), could Easton? I’m not so sure. It just doesn’t seem like we’ve got any midfield width. 2) The central midfielders we’ve signed don’t lend themselves to a two-man midfield. Agnew wouldn’t likely have the legs for that and McCabe wouldn’t be creative enough, I’d imagine. 3) We don’t really have anyone that could play a lone striker role. Gal runs himself into the ground and has got better at the hold-up play, but it’s really not his game. For that reason, I think he needs a strike partner. The above, to me, certainly suggests that 4-4-2 and 4-2-3-1 will either be out the window or pretty ineffective. It looks to me like we’ve recruited to be 3-5-2. For what it’s worth, I’d agree with the assertion that, as usual, there’s been a major overreaction to the NL Cup. I wouldn’t even be too concerned by the upcoming League Cup games either. The squad isn’t finished, no one will be close to full fitness and it will take time for the new players (of which there are many) to settle and gel. I’d also say that I don’t think we’re weaker than last season, with the exception of McCann who, as Airdrieman says doesn’t exactly play in a vital area of the pitch. I would also say that, with the exception of Cove (who were already strong and have improved their squad), I wouldn’t say any other team in the league looks much stronger than they were last season (bar Dumbarton) and none of them look much further ahead of us, if at all. As ever, we just need to chill and wait for the season proper to start - it will be a tight and competitive league as ever.
  9. Yep, that makes 3 of us in regards to the stream - it’s basically unwatchable for me.
  10. This one… https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/local-sport/motherwells-matthew-mcdonald-set-sign-24428076
  11. Been thinking about what we still need over the past few days and, I reckon we’re probably 4 players off of our final squad - a CB, CM, ST. And before you say anything, yes I can count, I’m just assuming McDonald will be signing. I’m also assuming Robert will be gone. My thinking is based on us lining up 3-5-2/5-3-2 for the season, so we’ve currently got… Goalkeepers - Currie, Cantley Centre Backs - Fordyce, Kerr, Watson (Walker can also cover there) Wing backs - Wardrop, Quitongo, Walker, McDonald (Fordyce, Kerr and Watson could also cover there if absolutely necessary) Centre Mids - Agnew, McCabe, Ritchie (McDonald and Kerr can also cover there) Attacking Mids - Easton, Frizzell Strikers - Gallagher, Allen, Pyott In an ideal world, I’d like another striker on top of what I note above, but I just can’t see us running with 5 of them. Being realistic, another centre back give us cover if one of the three is out, likewise at centre mid, as I wouldn’t want us relying on Ritchie alone and then a decent striker (if we can find one) to partner Gallagher. McDonald gives you a bit of cover in various areas, so his signing would make sense. If that all comes to pass, it’s a 20-man squad, which I’d be fine with - we had way too many wasted wages last year and as long as the 3 additions are of a good quality, I think we’re looking decent.
  12. Can only really speak for two of your signings guys - Page and Balatoni. Balatoni should do okay for you to be honest - always forget he’s not as old as you think, given it feels like he’s been around forever. He only played a handful of games for us at the beginning of the 17/18 season, where he took a young, inexperienced and weak back line and single-handedly solidified it. Unfortunately, and very much expectedly, he got a deal with Ayr at a higher level and moved on. I’ve seen him a few times for Edinburgh City since and he still looked pretty handy. Page, by contrast, was honking. He signed for us for the 18/19 season and I was pretty hopeful given he’d been relatively solid in previous seasons for EF. He started the season at the back with Sean Crighton and they actually looked a decent pairing; however he was part of the defence that conspired to lose 4-3 to Raith Rovers, at home, after leading 3-1 and having a man advantage with 5 mins to go. He hardly got a look in after that and when Murray came in, he rightly binned him. As others have said, he was woefully unfit and didn’t have a great attitude.
  13. Yeah, I don’t actually remember seeing any games where he played well. Sounds like sour grapes to me!
  14. Yeah, would agree with what most say about the Falkirk home top - really smart if it weren’t for the fine red lettering of the sponsor. Also think it would look even better if the pinstripe didn’t suddenly stop at the sides. The idea behind the away kit is a good one - love sky blue kits, but the execution of the pattern is quite blah. It’s also a pet hate of mine when a team releases their away kit and it is the same primary colour as the home - albeit the Falkirk ones are very different shades of blue, they’re both still blue. I know it’s probably just a way for most clubs to justify 3rd kits, but it’s annoying.
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