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Walking Down The Halbeath Road


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Saturday was strange. First half was ok, I thought. There were spells we looked quite good and you could see what they were trying to do and they did it well. Second half, particularly once we conceded the 2nd, was just awful. We fell apart and Morton deserved their win.

If that had been the first game of the season, under a new manager, I might not have been so negative based on the flashes of good play that we had. However, we’re desperate for a win and never looked like winning that game. The interim managers should have prioritised winning and set the players up for a battle, not trying to play pretty football and hoping for a result. 13th game of the season and we have no identity.

We have so many individuals that are good enough, but I don’t see any kind of system that would work as a team. Breen looked alright and should keep that position. He looked fairly good defensively and should get better as he plays more. But our defenders are not suited to playing it out from the back. We seemed to have a plan in place for certain runs to be made to free up certain players (both full backs, Todd and Dow) but the defenders still couldn’t spot any of these runs or any teammates in space. It was quite concerning. Connolly was dreadful, but I can’t see Vytas being better at that sort of thing. Allan and Todd looked ok, but if they don’t have defenders that can play it out from the back, they’re not really a partnership that will cope at this level. I thought it was the first time Todd looked like a fairly decent midfielder at this level. He deserved his goal.

A lot of things broke down once we got it to Dow/Thomas/Kennedy. Dow was awful, he just isn’t the player he was pre-injury. But we have zero cover/replacements for anyone in those roles, if we stick with the 4-2-3-1. Thomas and Kennedy looked lively, but kept choosing the wrong options (trying to beat 1 man too many, shooting rather than passing, passing to a man surrounded by defenders, rather than a man in space).

O’Hara was too static and we’d be better with someone who could come deep to help out and/or create space for Dow/Kennedy/Thomas to make that run in behind. Wighton seems off the pace though and Todorov just doesn’t fit into this team at all. Our goal came from the defenders being drawn to O’Hara and out of the centre of the box and Todd running into that space. But we didn’t see movement like that often enough. That’s not just coaching. Players in attacking roles should see that kind of space and make these runs without needing to be told. Likewise, O’Hara should notice that both CBs are following him and make runs into the channel or come deep more often, creating space in the box. Then he has to trust his teammates to make those runs.

Early in the season I’d probably be saying “they can work on that in training and it’ll get better”, but these guys have been given the task of trying to get a win/wins now, before a new manager is appointed. Wasting time trying to play pretty football and setting up a system/style that can take weeks to get right is not what’s required now. Setting up a team to win is all that matters now.

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Hughes might be fine.  However I'm sure I've seen a situation where Hughes is tasked with saving a squad of shitehawks with bad attitudes assembled by an incompetent manager before.  Not sure where though.

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There's no danger Kenny Miller will be appointed. 

I know we've been absolutely fucking terrible this season but there'll be a few teams in that bottom half that must be sh1tting themselves that we might somehow win a game. They must all be looking at our results every week praying that we get beat. If we manage to win a game or even 2 then it's all up in the air. It can all turn around quite quickly.

Just get a half decent manager on board. Soon.

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Went to watch on Saturday more out of morbid curiosity than anything else. Thought the young boy Breen stood up to Ugwu really well for 21 and there's certainly potential in him to be a strong centre half at this level. I always thought Connelly was a solid centre half at the bottom end of the premiership but looked poor on Saturday.

 

I think Dunfermline need to get this appointment right as they now look in real trouble. Morton were poor, but left with 3 points and 3 goals. They didn't create a huge amount but they were just solid and the Pars struggled every time a cross went in the box and I am unsure if at any point they won the second ball. Also Pars fans, what up with this trying to play as many wingers as possible. Kennedy, Thomas, Dow & O'Hara all shoehorned in. 

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Possibly a question for the likes of @craigkillie but what is longest winless run to start a season from a team who has then gone on to stay up in this league?

I still think Dunfermline will be safe, there is enough about that squad to stay out of trouble reasonably comfortably by the end of the season with a competent manager but there can’t be many teams who have stayed up after going the first 13 games without a win.

Even the Raith Rovers team of kids and French duds who had never played 11 aside football assembled by Claude Anelka didn’t take that long to get a win FFS.

Edited by R.R.FC
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27 minutes ago, WestHibee said:

Went to watch on Saturday more out of morbid curiosity than anything else. Thought the young boy Breen stood up to Ugwu really well for 21 and there's certainly potential in him to be a strong centre half at this level. I always thought Connelly was a solid centre half at the bottom end of the premiership but looked poor on Saturday.

 

I think Dunfermline need to get this appointment right as they now look in real trouble. Morton were poor, but left with 3 points and 3 goals. They didn't create a huge amount but they were just solid and the Pars struggled every time a cross went in the box and I am unsure if at any point they won the second ball. Also Pars fans, what up with this trying to play as many wingers as possible. Kennedy, Thomas, Dow & O'Hara all shoehorned in. 

O’Hara is not a winger.

I thought on Sat they were playing a 4-2-3-1 with Dow, Kennedy and Thomas playing behind O’Hara.

Why you’d play that team and smash long balls forward is a question for the great thinkers of our game.

Edited by Cardle is Magic
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3 minutes ago, Cardle is Magic said:

O’Hara is not a winger.

I thought on Sat they were playing a 4-2-3-1 with Dow, Kennedy and Thomas playing behind O’Hara.

Why you’d play that team and smash long balls forward is a question for the great thinkers of our game.

I wouldn't say O'Hara is striker either.... can drop off a sticker and play in the hole but he's no exactly going to hold up the ball. Especially the balls Connelly was playing 

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3 hours ago, R.R.FC said:

Possibly a question for the likes of @craigkillie but what is longest winless run to start a season from a team who has then gone on to stay up in this league?

I still think Dunfermline will be safe, there is enough about that squad to stay out of trouble reasonably comfortably by the end of the season with a competent manager but there can’t be many teams who have stayed up after going the first 13 games without a win.

Even the Raith Rovers team of kids and French duds who had never played 11 aside football assembled by Claude Anelka didn’t take that long to get a win FFS.

St Mirren took 15 games to record their first win in 2016/2017, and had only 4 points at this stage of the season. In fact they had only 4 points going into December

Edited by Duke Gekantawa
stupid typo
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I still think Dunfermline will be safe, there is enough about that squad to stay out of trouble reasonably comfortably by the end of the season


Can people please stop with this nonsense? 13 games into the season and we haven’t won a game - not through luck, but due to being horrendous at football. 11 good individuals don’t always make a good team. We have individual quality, nobody has questioned that. But it’s hard to see any style of play that would work for this ‘team’ the defence is suited to long balls. The strikers are not suited to long balls at all, our central midfield options are either not very good or unproven (in the case of Allan) at this level.

Our best creative players (Kennedy and Thomas) need us to play a quick attacking game, where they’re running at defenders. But we either punt it up the park or play a really slow passing game. Honestly, it’s hard to see a way that these players come together and find a way of playing that works right now. We have a group of decent individuals, not a team. It’s a recipe for disaster. Grant just signed anyone who he thought was good, with no idea how they would fit into any sort of formation/style of play.
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25 minutes ago, da_no_1 said:

Not when he held off 14 of your players at once in front of the Norrie a few years back at the end of a 1-0 win. Legendary.

His season of sluggish water carrying for us was far less legendary.

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Not when he held off 14 of your players at once in front of the Norrie a few years back at the end of a 1-0 win. Legendary.

Legendary for holding a couple players back in the corner?

Quite a fall from grace that he’s now jobbing about for Stenhousemuir at the mere age of 30.
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1 hour ago, da_no_1 said:

I know we've been absolutely fucking terrible this season but there'll be a few teams in that bottom half that must be sh1tting themselves that we might somehow win a game. They must all be looking at our results every week praying that we get beat. If we manage to win a game or even 2 then it's all up in the air. It can all turn around quite quickly.

Just get a half decent manager on board. Soon.

Given that you just got turned over by the second worst outfit in the league on your own midden, I doubt anyone will be 'shiting themselves' at all about your trips to play the top (competent) half of the division. 

You've literally just cut yourselves adrift. 

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7 minutes ago, D'Jaffo said:


Legendary for holding a couple players back in the corner?

I guess the Townies have to hold onto the smallest of wee victories against us at the moment.

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19 minutes ago, CallumPar said:

 


Can people please stop with this nonsense? 13 games into the season and we haven’t won a game - not through luck, but due to being horrendous at football. 11 good individuals don’t always make a good team. We have individual quality, nobody has questioned that. But it’s hard to see any style of play that would work for this ‘team’ the defence is suited to long balls. The strikers are not suited to long balls at all, our central midfield options are either not very good or unproven (in the case of Allan) at this level.

Our best creative players (Kennedy and Thomas) need us to play a quick attacking game, where they’re running at defenders. But we either punt it up the park or play a really slow passing game. Honestly, it’s hard to see a way that these players come together and find a way of playing that works right now. We have a group of decent individuals, not a team. It’s a recipe for disaster. Grant just signed anyone who he thought was good, with no idea how they would fit into any sort of formation/style of play.

 

I certainly didn’t say you were unlucky to be where you are. You’ve been absolutely awful and clearly the worst side in the league so far. However, there are still 4 sides above you in easily catchable distance.

Surely a good manager moulds a group of 11 good individuals into a competent team at this level and certainly not one that goes 13 without a win. It’s hardly a stretch to say if you gave John Robertson (for example) this exact squad, as unbalanced as it may be, at the start of the season you may have mustered up 6 points more than you have under Grant/Shields/Whittaker. With that you would be 6th so you’re hardly marooned to the bottom despite your dreadful form.

A competent manager who can instil some confidence in the players (maybe by the plate-full) and get them organised it’s hard to imagine you not having enough to get to safety.

That’s without taking into account you will have a substantially bigger budget than every side around you at the bottom of the table in January to make some changes. Granted January is a difficult window and you may have to limp along till then but I would still be very surprised if Dunfermline were relegated if they get this managerial appointment correct.

Personally don’t really care if you stay up or don’t but I just think there’s enough for a new manager to work with that you’re clearly not doomed.

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I certainly didn’t say you were unlucky to be where you are. You’ve been absolutely awful and clearly the worst side in the league so far. However, there are still 4 sides above you in easily catchable distance.
Surely a good manager moulds a group of 11 good individuals into a competent team at this level and certainly not one that goes 13 without a win. It’s hardly a stretch to say if you gave John Robertson (for example) this exact squad, as unbalanced as it may be, at the start of the season you may have mustered up 6 points more than you have under Grant/Shields/Whittaker. With that you would be 6th so you’re hardly marooned to the bottom despite your dreadful form.
A competent manager who can instil some confidence in the players (maybe by the plate-full) and get them organised it’s hard to imagine you not having enough to get to safety.
That’s without taking into account you will have a substantially bigger budget than every side around you at the bottom of the table in January to make some changes. Granted January is a difficult window and you may have to limp along till then but I would still be very surprised if Dunfermline were relegated if they get this managerial appointment correct.
Personally don’t really care if you stay up or don’t but I just think there’s enough for a new manager to work with that you’re clearly not doomed.

As has been mentioned though, to finish 8th you generally need 40 points. That means we need 33 from our remaining 23 games. That’s a tough task for anyone at this level. To be comfortably safe (as you and others have mentioned), we’d need at least 50 points, which would mean 43 points from the remaining 23 games. Only 2 teams (Killie and Inverness) have bettered the ppg total that we would need for that, so far. It’s just not even a reasonable suggestion.

There is absolutely no chance that we will be comfortable at any point this season, due to what has happened and the squad that we have. That’s the point I quoted and questioned. I’m not arguing that literally any other manager could have got us more points than Grant did. I genuinely believe that they would. I just can’t agree with anyone who thinks, from where we are now, we will be comfortably safe. It’s very very unlikely we will finish above 9th and that is in no way comfortably safe, given it would result in a play off. That’s the reality of the situation.

At the risk of over-simplifying things, I feel the need to point out that being bottom of a 10 team league means that at least 4 teams above you are getting points each week. In the championship, those clubs near the bottom do pick up points and anyone can beat anyone. That makes climbing the league a lot tougher than you’re making out.
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