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Mr November

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  1. This was always my main concern with appointing McCabe. It’s a massive gamble and if it goes wrong, we’re potentially losing one, possibly even two, of our best players. It’s early days, we’re still only two points off top and in general I think that he’s done well so far, but I do wonder what would happen in that situation. To be fair to McCabe, we’re still waiting on this support model the announcement seemed to promise. As @David Fernándezsays, that was more frustrating and concerning than the Edinburgh game. To go with what ostensibly was a game plan to get long balls in behind their defence and to persist with that for a full game when it clearly wasn’t working was bizarre. I’d have brought Devenny on for Jamieson and went with an extra man in the middle to try and control the game but the lack of subs, both on the bench and coming on, shows the lack of options in the squad. Were Watson, McMaster or Devenny going to change that game? I’ve been fairly supportive of McCabe’s recruitment strategy but as I said after Salim went out on loan, you do need players there to provide different options. A very tough game on Tuesday. It’s far from a must win but I’d say it’s almost must not lose, as four defeats out of five would be unheard of for this team, to paraphrase Alex Turner. Picking a team for it is tricky. I’d probably go with something like this, as I’d always start Gallagher, it’s clear we need Devenny’s running in midfield and I think Jamieson needs a rest after a very poor month. Henderson Watson - McCabe - Fordyce Ballantyne - Telfer - Devenny - Deveney Frizzell Gallagher - Smith
  2. Other than Gallagher I think everyone who played today is full-time. Really poor performance. I thought we started the better team without creating any clear chances but seemed to fall out of it after the game was stopped for a couple of minutes about 20 minutes in. After that Kelty were the better team and they controlled the second half. I thought we were far too soft today. There seemed to be plenty of times, the goal included, where Kelty players managed to run off ours without a strong challenge. The gameplan of long balls over the top, all of which landed on Jordan Forster’s head, wasn’t exactly ideal either.
  3. I realise the last thing we need is another small, technical midfielder but I’d have been all over this. There’s still time for us to announce a late signing before today’s game but as much as I agree with McCabe’s mantra of quality over quantity, there does need to be a balance of having enough players to cover for when we get a few injuries and suspensions.
  4. Am I right in thinking Stranraer were playing Scott Robertson as an attacker earlier this season? If so, you need Salim a lot more than we do!
  5. This is a strange one. He’s clearly not going to be a regular starter for us so getting regular games makes sense but we’re not exactly blessed with loads of options at the moment that we can afford to let players go.
  6. A new ground for me as well so looking forward to it, when you’ve been stuck in League One for this long anything new is welcomed. Any tips on the best places to park? I suspect we’ll go back to the team that scudded Clyde a couple of weeks ago, perhaps with a defensive reshuffle with Ballantyne coming back in for ATS or Deveney. I’d like to see McCabe back in from the start too but I reckon he might keep himself on the bench again. Kelty have had a poor start and this is a game we should be looking to win if we want to challenge, though it’s worth noting that oddly Kelty’s only points so far have came against Dunfermline and Falkirk. They certainly have plenty of good players for this level who can cause problems but if we turn up and play close to our best I fancy us to take all three points.
  7. There's talk of Stevie Crawford going to Dundee United as Liam Fox's assistant, so Agnew as the new East Fife manager makes sense. If he does end up there then it'll be interesting to see how he gets on. It's hard to judge these things but I certainly feel a lot more confident with McCabe than I would have with Agnew.
  8. Dunfermline Athletic 4-0 Peterhead Falkirk 3-1 Clyde Kelty Hearts 1-2 Airdrieonians Montrose 2-1 FC Edinburgh Queen of the South 1-1 Alloa Athletic
  9. I didn't watch the game so can't comment on it but while you never want to lose, I can't say I'm bothered at all that we're out, other than missing out on a potential away trip to Wales or Northern Ireland. I think it was the right decision to rotate the squad and give others a chance, even if it seems like they didn't take them unfortunately. I saw this on Twitter earlier and it really shows how important Frizzell is to us. Just such a great player to watch, he has everything you want in a midfielder.
  10. After today’s result in Paisley, does this mean we’re better than Celtic?
  11. His strengths are all things we lack but I suppose the concern would be his limitations might be very exposed in our style of play. Fordyce is our only natural centre back, Watson has generally played beside him with Ballantyne now at right back but we’ve looked a bit shaky defensively so far, notably Fordyce who is far from his usual reliable self. I’m not too sure what other League One teams needs centre backs but I suspect at least a couple of teams at that level or high end League Two clubs would be after him.
  12. I thought Deveney was poor yesterday but the one thing you can say about him is that he never hides. He’s actually quite good at winning the ball back and carrying it forward, only to them do something daft and give it away again. He’s still young and hasn’t played much senior football. He’ll have his off days but he’s generally been decent for us and even when he is struggling, he keeps going rather than shirking out of tackles and looking scared in possession. I’m very much here for Salim coming on at the end and stat padding his way through the season. I don’t think he quite fits how we play well enough to start games but his physicality and ability in the air is a great option from the bench. This does give me the fear. Fordyce is a much better defender but I always felt Sean Crighton was very solid for us until he took on a coaching role at the club as well as playing and being captain. His form fell off a cliff from there and he never really recovered. It’s a big role that might just take some adjusting to so hopefully this is just a rare blip given Fordyce has been the most consistent defender in the league since he joined.
  13. I’m quite enjoying our new thing of beating Clyde 5-0 every season. The scoreline was a bit harsh as up until the second goal I didn’t think there was a huge amount in it. Airdrie probably shaded it and should have scored more but Clyde had a few chances before then, generally through quick counters coming from very slack play from Airdrie and Henderson made a few very good saves. It’s strange, we’ve lost 6-0 and won 5-0 in his first two games and he’s actually been one of our best players in both games. The game was finished as soon as the second goal went in and other than Smith’s finish for the third, the others were all very easy with our fairly quick forwards getting in behind a remarkably slow Clyde defence. Clyde’s team was bizarre. I laughed when I saw Peter Grant lining up at left back but having four big lumps at the back very narrow with three quick guys up top actually worked fairly well in the first half. The change to a back three didn’t really work, it mostly ended up being a back five and gave our forwards more space to run into. I haven’t seen Kelty or Peterhead yet but I do fancy Clyde to have enough to stay up ahead of both though, even if they don’t have as strong a squad as Kelty.
  14. Both sides putting out questionable teams should at least make this quite interesting. Really not sure what to expect here. McGill might score here but even so, continually leaving out Gallagher is very odd. I’m starting to think McCabe might be @Diamond1924
  15. Giving Morgyn Neill a three year deal always seemed a bit odd as while he's a fine League One centre back, the Championship seemed a step too high. To be fair he did well last season so it's fair to say it worked out to an extent. We could do with some height and another centre back and while he might not be a perfect fit for our team of ballers, we could do a lot worse.
  16. The match preview on the website says that Rae needs an operation on his shoulder. If he’s going to be out for much longer then I’d be on the phone to Hibs asking for Murray Johnson back.
  17. I'd forgotten about that, it's the daftest coaching sending off I've seen since Darren Young tripped up Scott Robertson. Just such a pointless thing to do I expect we'll see a reaction from the team after the Edinburgh debacle, although that now feels like a long time ago. Normally I'd prefer to play sooner after that to get it out our system but perhaps delaying a trip to Montrose wasn't such a bad thing. Saying that, we saw last season that we struggled in most games against a rubbish Clyde team, so tomorrow could be a tough game against an improved Clyde. I was going to say at least Robert Jones isn't around to score this time but as you say, Jordan Allan will no doubt fill that role. McCabe definitely has a few tough decisions to make in terms of the first 11. Ballantyne being out is a blow but Watson is a good replacement there. I'd be very surprised if Watson, McCabe, Fordyce, Frizzell and Smith don't start but I'd say the other six places are up for grabs. Henderson did fine last week despite conceding six goals but if Josh Rae is fit again I'd start him, with Henderson limited to the late sub Jay Cantley role instead. I'd bring Deveney back in at left back but ATS is an option there or at centre back. It's perhaps a bit soon for Telfer to start but Frizzell and Devenny have worked well in midfield so far and I'd give McMaster a go in behind them. I'd go with Gallagher up top with Smith and Jamieson out wide. Jamieson has been poor in the last couple of games but Clyde seem to have struggled at left back and his pace and movement could cause them problems. Rae/Henderson Watson - McCabe - Fordyce - Deveney Devenny - McMaster - Frizzell Jamieson - Gallagher - Smith
  18. Airdrieonians 2-1 Clyde Alloa 1-1 Montrose Dunfermline 1-0 Falkirk Peterhead 1-3 Kelty Hearts Queen of the South 2-2 FC Edinburgh
  19. Clyde 0-2 Dunfermline FC Edinburgh 4-1 Peterhead Falkirk 2-1 Alloa Kelty 1-1 Queen of the South Montrose 1-1 Airdrie
  20. I noticed him there at one of the home games towards the end of last season so hopefully he’s just along to watch games as the last thing this team needs is Eoghan Stokes.
  21. I posted the other night that we had to trust McCabe’s judgement as he hadn’t really got much wrong so far, as even in games like the first Edinburgh one or up at Arbroath I felt there were plenty of positives. His interview today was baffling though and as you say, a reluctance to sit in and keep things tight (which every team has to do at some point throughout the season) is a concern. I remember his interview after the win at Cowdenbeath said going down to ten men when McMaster went off injured was a good test as you have to deal with that throughout the season, today was obviously a very different proposition but it’s something he seemed to be aware of. I think peak Murrayball was a good comparison for that second half. It was the same idea of playing with very few defenders and going for it and while Murrayball often didn’t work and isn’t really a good solution, today lacked any chaos or unpredictability. It was essentially the same style of play but with no full backs and no clear way of creating chances. Hopefully he’ll learn from it and that was just heat of the moment stuff but we’ll see over the next few weeks, as it’s still very early days.
  22. What a way to end the unbeaten run! Even before the penalty Edinburgh looked a lot sharper today and I said earlier, we stood off them far too much and gave them a lot of space to play into. The sending off obviously changes things and while I thought it wasn’t a handball, even so that probably balances out our very fortunate decision last week. Tactically McCabe got it badly wrong. We actually came into the game a bit in the first half but the second goal right on half time killed us. His decision to come out and play a 2-5-2 in the second half was bizarre and left us really expose down the wings. Even then, most of the goals came from players being far too weak, generally Fordyce who was abysmal. We really missed Devenny’s drive in midfield, particularly with being a man down in there, and he was wasted at left back. Montrose is the last place I’d pick for our next game but it’s up to the players and management to show a big reaction. It’s an embarrassing result but hopefully one that McCabe can learn a lot from.
  23. The strange thing about this is that Alex Henderson has probably been our best player
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