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Motherwell FC - A Thread For All Seasons


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We give ourselves a hard time as a fanbase, but I think this proves we're pretty easy to please. All I ask of a player is that he be prepared to leather the ball into the East Stand with no regard for the Jambo c**t in possession of it currently.

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1 minute ago, YassinMoutaouakil said:

We give ourselves a hard time as a fanbase, but I think this proves we're pretty easy to please. All I ask of a player is that he be prepared to leather the ball into the East Stand with no regard for the Jambo c**t in possession of it currently.

All we want is Total Football or c***s getting cemented left and right. Easy.

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I've made it clear what I've thought of Alexander but I've got to give credit where credit is due. To get us 4th (as things stand) and qualified for Europe is a great achievement, especially considering where we were when he took over. If we were offered this before a ball had even been kicked this season every one of us would have bit their hand off for it. We've seen that this team has something about them and can be a really decent team when they want to be be and stand up and be counted when it's needed. I still have my concerns and thoughts about this half of the season as it hasn't been good enough and I'm still worried about next season but for now I give him and the team credit for securing European football and my worries/concerns can be for another day.

What a tackle by Nirennold right at the end. There's not many things better in football than a tackle that brings a whole stand to it's feet.

I thought SODs was great again, just like he was against County. I've done a complete 180° on Shields. For months I was not convinced by him at all, didn't see the fuss that other fans did but he's won me round. He works his balls off for the team. I really liked his performance vs Livi a few weeks ago, he ran their fullback ragged, had the beating of him every time. I'm happy to hold my hands up and say I'm wrong about him.

I was talking to the guy that sits behind me and he told me that the illness the team has had is that Norovirus and they had to take 3 buses up to Dingwall: 1 for the players that had had it, 1 for the players that didn't and 1 for the players they were unsure about. Some of the players hadn't trained anywhere near like they normally would for over a week. I had Norovirus a few years ago and up until I had Covid I'd never felt so ill so it's no wonder we were down to the bare bones of the squad and some players hadn't trained in so long. Van Veen and Tierney in particular were really ill with it and as much I thought Van Veen changed the team when he came on he and Tierney did seem a bit off the pace and that explains why.

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9 hours ago, Kapowzer said:

Have it on good authority a number of players did not leave the building until 3am and were on the park with beers and the floodlights on for a kickabout.

That's the one's that didn't go onto the house party in honour of Las ..... that ended at 6am.

 

 

Yasssssssss

Our boys on the beer, their boys on the Champers, could be a sedate game on Saturday.  Hope the crowd keeps the noise down.

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2 hours ago, AdamMFC said:

I was talking to the guy that sits behind me and he told me that the illness the team has had is that Norovirus and they had to take 3 buses up to Dingwall: 1 for the players that had had it, 1 for the players that didn't and 1 for the players they were unsure about. Some of the players hadn't trained anywhere near like they normally would for over a week. I had Norovirus a few years ago and up until I had Covid I'd never felt so ill so it's no wonder we were down to the bare bones of the squad and some players hadn't trained in so long. Van Veen and Tierney in particular were really ill with it and as much I thought Van Veen changed the team when he came on he and Tierney did seem a bit off the pace and that explains why.


Not looking forward to tomorrow night's event nearly as much,  if I'm as likely to come home with that as KVV's autograph  😕

Still, it's a credit to the players they managed to engineer a win in such circumstances.  

 

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Players commiting to tackles and playing the ball are 1 million% better than just backing off, walking away from the ball and being so slow that you think you were watching a VAR replay live.

 

It may not be pretty to some but having aa committed team work together makes it a much better watch. The chop and change for most of this year helped to kill that. Hopefully, with a main structure of a squad and a few new signings we can make it another good season and maybe.... just maybe make it to a European group stage? Third times the charm?

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Posted (edited)

We used three busses not to stop the spread of a virus it’s because:

1./ We’re massive

2./ Scotland’s third most hated club has to get the green lobby seething too.

3./ We like to f**k with the owner of the Auchterarder chippy thinking he’s selling 150 fish suppers.

Edited by Kapowzer
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Also  just to clarify, if we do win tomorrow (as if but this hypothetical) then would that result in Alexander getting the MOTM award? 3 games in may and 3 wins? After the previous results this year?

 

That means if we do get beat by Celtic, it will guarantee we won't go into the European Qualifiers with the MOTM curse again. Atleastst there will be some good news after tomorrow's game.

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24 minutes ago, Phillips455 said:

It may not be pretty to some but having aa committed team work together makes it a much better watch. The chop and change for most of this year helped to kill that.

I think this is a great point - this season will take a bit of getting our heads round but this is it for me.

I think the manager lost sight (or lost confidence) as to what our best team was after we had a tough start to the calendar year - for someone that seems to be about keeping it simple and playing to our strengths, he made things really complicated and unnecessarily so. We've had ridiculous injury/illness problems in defence on a season-long basis - probably the worst we've ever had in fact - but even allowing for that, it felt like we lost the core of the team along the way and we ended up being less than the sum of our parts.

I still think as I did in August/September that we have the basis of a good first eleven and a good squad but it feels like we need to properly rethink our style of play and our approach as we trim the squad and (hopefully) add some of the missing ingredients over the summer. We were a bawhair away from the kind of shitey 10th place finish that Aberdeen supporters have been enjoying and not many managers come out the other side of that kind of form - so I hope he has the humility to learn from the 2022 part of this season. 

 

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1 minute ago, Swello said:

I think this is a great point - this season will take a bit of getting our heads round but this is it for me.

I think the manager lost sight (or lost confidence) as to what our best team was after we had a tough start to the calendar year - for someone that seems to be about keeping it simple and playing to our strengths, he made things really complicated and unnecessarily so. We've had ridiculous injury/illness problems in defence on a season-long basis - probably the worst we've ever had in fact - but even allowing for that, it felt like we lost the core of the team along the way and we ended up being less than the sum of our parts.

I still think as I did in August/September that we have the basis of a good first eleven and a good squad but it feels like we need to properly rethink our style of play and our approach as we trim the squad and (hopefully) add some of the missing ingredients over the summer. We were a bawhair away from the kind of shitey 10th place finish that Aberdeen supporters have been enjoying and not many managers come out the other side of that kind of form - so I hope he has the humility to learn from the 2022 part of this season. 

Not unrelated...this pivot to the 343/523, is it a needs must thing because we've been riddled with botulism or is it potentially a thing going forward?

We tried it earlier in the season and it didn't really take, in fact it was possibly part of the conundrum the manager seemed to created for himself after the break but it's probably no coincidence that we've seen two of SODs best performances in the past couple of games as opposed to him having been stuck in a back 4. There are enough bodies around the squad to make me think it could be a fit.

I've mentioned it before in this thread but it felt to me like Alexander has ended up tying himself in knots trying to fix problems that possibly weren't there. Whether it's load management with players or rotating to keep everyone happy. Losing Watt in the manner we did, at the point in the season we did was a tough one to take because ultimately we're not replacing our best player/league's top scorer in a January window but even given the way it played out I'm still not sure we ever really satisfactorily resolved it.

The language that both Burrows and Alexander have used recently suggest that at the very least they're aware that there are lessons to be learned. Burrows has mentioned it being a "super unusual season" and also a "bumpy old season" while Alexander's post-match had him saying "our form results wise since January hasn't been where we expected"

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Also, we got one more point than last season and that has already guaranteed us at least 3 places higher and a European spot.

 

Also we finished above St mirren to restore the natural order.

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Posted (edited)

Indeed, I'm still struggling to draw conclusions over the season but I think the point about the manager is spot on. 

The start of the year was bad but - with the exception of County - individually each game was kind of ok. We were the better side against Hibs, even with 10 men, we were the better side at Tannadice and missed a sitter 60 seconds before they scored a worldy etc. We were 50-50 at St Mirren. The losses to Hearts and Celtic are obviously in the 'can happen' category but combined you're suddenly in a right bad run.

We then actually had an ok spell (Sheep x 2, Ibrox) and if we'd then recovered I doubt anyone would have bothered too much. The problem is/was that that the crucial, and winnable, County-Dundee-St J spell coincided with GA seemingly losing his nerve. If we'd played 4-3-3 with what was widely perceived to be our best team then, we'd surely have done ok but 1 point having gone full tombola - the 5-2-3, the persistence with Efford, the Slattery debate etc - created the impression that all hope was lost and he didn't have a clue.

Since Slattery came back to start regularly against St Mirren (I think) we've P6 W3 D1 L2. One of the draws was lucky and one defeat unlucky but despite ups and downs in the performances you can make a case we have rediscovered our rhythm and consistency. The panic should therefore be over if we trust GA has learned from his mistakes.

Recruitment wise I still believe he is ok so as the ship is steadied I'm more than happy to back him over summer - but I think he and the club need to do some serious pitching to get the majority of the fan base back onside because going into the start of the season with no slack on the rope is pretty daft.

 

Edited by Handsome_Devil
typo
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Also, I see that's the Bathgate Maldini talking about his pre-contract situation.

Clearly he's actively trying to walk back on the deal with Dundee and fair fucks the manager who signed him was sacked, they've been relegated, he's no idea who their next manager will be and he has a clause that allows him to walk away - it'd be weird to commit to them when the circumstances have changed to the extent they have.

If he's got other options beyond Fir Park (and it seems he does) then tbh it kind of feels like the Ricki Lamie redemption arc here is done and fair play to him if he can get a better paying gig out of things.

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Posted (edited)

It's amazing how fickle being a football fan makes you. After the game the other night, I felt my stance towards Alexander softening somewhat.

You really can't deny that 5th at worst is a great season for a club like us. @Al B's post doesn't half put a lot of perspective on the failures bigger clubs than us have had in recent years.

There's no hiding from the fact that the style of football has been an eyesore this season and I genuinely think that no matter how accepting you may have been of it when we were getting results, it definitely does grate on you in a spell without any wins. The only other time I've seen us go through such a run without a win was in the admin season (I started going the season after the 1 in 15 season). In that season, the fact that even when we were getting pumped you'd get a good run from Pearo or a bit of magic from Faddy certainly made it a bit more watchable, but there were weeks upon weeks where we didn't seem to one thing that made me want to get off my seat.

Then there's the recruitment - on the face of things, our recruitment looked positive this summer - the background Van Veen, Shields, Kelly, Ojala, Solholm and Slattery arrived definitely suited me, but it's not always worked out that way. I think we were all a bit excited we went all different and Scandanavian with our centre backs this season, but on the face of it, if you asked me now who I'd play at full strength, I'd probably say Mugabi and Lamie. Ojala has been badly off the pace since he came back into the team and I'm sceptical that Sol's poster boy look and willingness to take the megaphone affects the perspective of him. January was an utter write off (Tierney and Nimblerod's injury time tackle aside)

I hope Alexander has learned from the Tombola escapades next season. In January he could just have given Roberts and Shields a few games to see who was Watt's successor from within, but instead that led to changing the whole team and formation several times over. 

There's no doubt he deserves a crack at Europe next season and will be given it. There's been times I've been for getting rid of him, but when you think about the win % that Maloney, Goodwin, Robinson and McGhee have since taking over - it shows you that unless you have a properly good successor - changing the manager for the sake of it just isn't worth it.

Interestingly, Alexander has been sacked as a manager twice whilst in 5th place. Broadly, I think his management style seems to be getting the best out of limited players, before his style gets found out. In fairness to him, you can only finish better than what's in front of you - but I'm a bit worried next season that Aberdeen and Hibs won't be as inept as they have been this season and Killie might be resurgent on their return to the top flight.

On the three at the back discussion - it may be too adventurous for Alexander, but I would really like to see Shields play off Van Veen, with Tierney behind in the number 10. 

 

Edited by crazylegsjoe_mfc
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21 minutes ago, capt_oats said:

Also, I see that's the Bathgate Maldini talking about his pre-contract situation.

Clearly he's actively trying to walk back on the deal with Dundee and fair fucks the manager who signed him was sacked, they've been relegated, he's no idea who their next manager will be and he has a clause that allows him to walk away - it'd be weird to commit to them when the circumstances have changed to the extent they have.

If he's got other options beyond Fir Park (and it seems he does) then tbh it kind of feels like the Ricki Lamie redemption arc here is done and fair play to him if he can get a better paying gig out of things.

He was fully redeemed in my eyes after that through ball for Watt Vs County.

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35 minutes ago, capt_oats said:

Not unrelated...this pivot to the 343/523, is it a needs must thing because we've been riddled with botulism or is it potentially a thing going forward?

We tried it earlier in the season and it didn't really take, in fact it was possibly part of the conundrum the manager seemed to created for himself after the break but it's probably no coincidence that we've seen two of SODs best performances in the past couple of games as opposed to him having been stuck in a back 4. There are enough bodies around the squad to make me think it could be a fit.

I've mentioned it before in this thread but it felt to me like Alexander has ended up tying himself in knots trying to fix problems that possibly weren't there. Whether it's load management with players or rotating to keep everyone happy. Losing Watt in the manner we did, at the point in the season we did was a tough one to take because ultimately we're not replacing our best player/league's top scorer in a January window but even given the way it played out I'm still not sure we ever really satisfactorily resolved it.

The language that both Burrows and Alexander have used recently suggest that at the very least they're aware that there are lessons to be learned. Burrows has mentioned it being a "super unusual season" and also a "bumpy old season" while Alexander's post-match had him saying "our form results wise since January hasn't been where we expected"

It's almost like a 3-4-1-2 type of thing and it definitely seems to be more suitable to our squad. Ojala cannae run so put him in the middle to win headers, get more mobile folk either side of him and let SOD/Carroll play a more dynamic role getting about the park. 

Slattery & Tierney should be in the team every single week as well btw.

 

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15 minutes ago, well fan for life said:

Slattery & Tierney should be in the team every single week as well btw.

That's one of the challenges for GA for next season. Tierney looks like one of the most interesting players we've signed for a while and if used properly could be a cracking player for us (and the type that is actually entertaining to watch) - how do we fit him into the team? (as I agree he should be in our starting 11 come July/August)

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, well fan for life said:

It's almost like a 3-4-1-2 type of thing and it definitely seems to be more suitable to our squad. Ojala cannae run so put him in the middle to win headers, get more mobile folk either side of him and let SOD/Carroll play a more dynamic role getting about the park. 

Slattery & Tierney should be in the team every single week as well btw.

Based on who's currently contracted for next season this is how it looks.

lineup.png.3688d85e135122fe50665bae0c55c80d.png

I mean, there's definite scope for adjustment and movement in and/or out but there's nowhere near the sort of rebuild needed that we were seeing on an annual basis when Robinson was here.

Edited by capt_oats
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