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  1. Mackenzie is a LB suited to a back 4, but has started only 2 league games this season in his natural position, the first two wins in Robson's winning streak. He's had to cover LCH due to the recruitment mess and covered LWB a few times (remember wins against Hearts and Motherwell from memory). Playing out of position (again) today after no start in months against a dominant Celtic. Next season we must have a full squad where players play in their natural positions. Be clear on the style of play and recruit properly.
  2. Finding quality players willing to come to Aberdeen will not be an easy task, in particular a couple of decent strikers. We live in hope. Your solid positives are a decent shout. Even though he was being man marked, thought Barron did well again. Gallagher's been playing OK recently and I expect he may fit into Goodwin's style of play. Bates for me is just too erratic with his decision making - trying to play Griffiths offside at Dens first time round - still riles me!! Since MacKenzie came into the side last season, thought he was one of our most consistent performers each week up to his injury in October. Probably not helped by being wheeled out at Tannadice in November when we only had one CH. Don't think he's even played 180 mins in the league since and struggling for fitness. Hopefully he can get fully fit (pre-October) and provide at least an option. I expect the plan will be to use Hayes only in a more advanced role next season - Goodwin was certainly keen to get him more advanced on Saturday. As for Watkins, another that needs to show more consistency but certainly a player that can turn a game (and I'm not meaning giving away stupid freekicks in the last minute against Dundee!!).
  3. Good points in both posts. There's no doubt Ramsey is a talented young player with a great future ahead of him, comfortable with both feet, can drift past a player and has plenty in terms of delivery. But as seen last night, still a lot to learn - as you would expect for someone so young. The constant promotion in the media in recent months has been an interesting watch - possibly a more aggressive approach by AFC to maximise their investment asap. And why not - there was a clear opportunity here. Firstly, he's a talented player. The withdrawal of English Premiership players from the U21s squad suddenly raised his profile still further. The article that he's the 'World's top teenage defender for Assists' by the local press was the latest example of keeping the foot firmly on the gas with stats and figures. The fact he only has two assists from open play in his entire career (one from wing back) is cleverly always glossed over! It will be interesting how this develops. I'm just aggrieved I was never allowed to take the corners and free kicks - my assist stats were crap!
  4. It was frustrating that the 1st goal came directly from us playing from the back, Joe's kick immediately headed back into the channel, McCrorie outmuscled. It was the best cross I've seen this season! Fair play. We've been done by two exceptional crosses this season...no more please!! Hopefully we've learned that we've been vulnerable from our initial set-up. It was unfortunate Ramsay was off being treated for the 2nd, so it was left to Marley to try to close down the cross from the quick free kick. Still to find out why Fergie ducked!! I think we'll come out on top Saturday too, especially as we now carry a threat up front and our midfield have raised their game. Both full backs put in crosses in the space of 30 secs we should have scored from when 0-0 last time....what I'd give for an opening goal this Saturday!! Its only happened twice this season.
  5. It's worth digging a little deeper what has actually happened in the last three games. Is it partly down to the absence of the young FBs(?), or have other factors had much more of an influence? Such as: - a complete change of shape at the back to help the CBs, in particular Bates who has struggled. You would hope we would be more solid with a further body and wing backs for large parts of the games. The young FBs have actually been quite solid defensively this season in the system they have been asked to play (MacKenzie arguably the most consistent). - Watkins, Hedges and Ramirez now all being available, making a MASSIVE difference to the team. We only scored 1 goal from open play in the 5 straight defeats, Ramirez's goal at Dundee. Pity we havn't seen Ramsey and MacKenzie playing with that front 3 more regularly. - our midfield, in particular Fergie, finally showing what's expected of them in these last few games. You compare yesterday to some of our previous performances, in particular Dundee. My pet tortoise could have closed down McMullan quicker for Dundee's opener! Delighted to see Dylan back too. The midfield have hopefully now started to click more consistently. - Scoring an opening goal for the first time since the United game which actually gave us something to hold onto against Hibs. - Not being severely punished by a few (sometimes minor) individual mistakes by various players, like earlier in the season - our luck had to turn eventually. Small margins etc. Most pleasing for me was the way Glass had the conviction to return to a back 4 for the second half on Saturday. CBs possibly playing now with more confidence and not making costly mistakes, midfielders clicking and the front 3 maintaining a constant threat up front. Campbell and Ojo also playing their part in their LB/RB roles (and doing well, particularly Campbell). However I'm not convinced their inclusion over Ramsey and MacKenzie in the second half as LB/RB, or as wing backs in the first, is the main reason we're now a 'better team'. The young FBs I expect could have been equally effective in those roles. I think the other factors mentioned have had much more influence, which has thankfully given us 7 much needed points. COYR.
  6. What I find odd is that many appear to forget the goals we've actually conceded in the league THIS season (possibly too painful!), surely the best barometer to judge our defence. I've lost count the number of times I've heard it's all because the young fullbacks are bombing forward together, leaving the CBs exposed and the only ones left defending. Not true. Where we have been vulnerable is when our keeper has had the ball, the starting position of both Ramsey and Mackenzie is approaching half way and we immediately lose possession. When you look at the 13 league goals we've conceded, there are three goals where the initial starting position of the FBs may have been a contributing factor; the first Motherwell goal, the first Celtic goal and the St Mirren first (Joe's poor kick). Goals where the ball is immediately pinged back by the opposition as a result of careless distribution by the keeper or CBs. The FBs are advanced (it only needs to be by a few yards) and cannot influence play. On every occasion the CBs have failed to deal with it (they should have, although fair play, two were from the terrific crosses). Certainly something to improve on there. The Motherwell first goal is a good example. Sorry to break the news, but there's been arguably no goals scored in this way. It's a complete myth. Who actually started this? The only goal from a long ball was on Saturday, but that was a result of Bates trying to play offside rather than do the simple thing and deal with it (some may think MacKenzie should have been back with Bates too - fair point). At a push that's only one goal. Most goals conceded have been a result of poor decision making, poor goalkeeping, not tracking back by midfielders/wingers and just general shit play. Joe's errors, Fergie's duck, Dec's penalty, Bate's St Mirren horror show, collective team cluster fucks like Celtic's 2nd, Dundee's 2nd, May drifting past everyone...it goes on. It appears folk just want to rewrite history, or just don't watch all the games (like your typical pundit). Looking at the stats and the average position of the FBs on Saturday (suggesting this is typical) is totally misleading looked in isolation....we're two down, they're clearly going to bomb forward and try to get us back in the game. Anyway, I expect us to win 2-1 against Hibs, conceding a penalty from a corner.....but reported as a result of the fullbacks bombing forward .
  7. Only 3 goals from 11 from League and Cup have been from set pieces, Fergie's shoulder, Broons heel and Ramirez's header at St Mirren...the latter being well worked. Not as many as you'd think. The Ramirez first goal at Breidablik was training ground and Considine's for the home leg was worked well. Maybe his remit is purely specialised and limited as you say. I'd be more keen on having someone though that realises 2 goals from open play in the last 6 games is unacceptable with all that possession and has a plan to sort this.
  8. First post. I live in hope that Hedges' return this weekend will give us that spark. We need something. We've scored one goal in open play in the last five games so it's no surprise we find ourselves on 8 points (easy to lose sight of that with the focus constantly on the defence). We've conceded 11 goals in the league in 8 games (too many, one a penalty). Without 2-3 errors from Joe, our defensive record would actually be on a par with Hibs. We need to be better up front. Our points total is not just down to the defence. In the last 4 games we've restricted the opposition to only 9 attempts on target. It's a bizarre stat that this has resulted in 8 goals, two from two of the best crosses I've seen this season. If we're persisting with a back 4, we need to land on a pairing in the middle and give them a run of games. Maybe it is time for Gallagher. Hopefully the errors we've seen will start to dry up. Midfielders / wide players must also switch on and take responsibility, we're also conceded goals due to a lack of tracking back. Andy is a loss, not just his presence at the back, but his link up play down the left. It's obvious we miss a left sided CB.
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