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Motherwell FC - A Thread For All Seasons


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Based on the results at the tail end of the season and Swello's point, are we now transitioning a 5-3-2 full on opposed to a 4-3-3 to death regardless of opposition, form or success?

---------------Kelly-------------- Bench: Fox

-----McGinn--Sol/Bevis--Lamie---- Bench: Ojala

-SOD--------------------McGinley- Bench: Johnson, Carroll

----Spittal--Slattery--Cornelius---- Bench: Tierney, Maguire, Goss, Mahon

----------KVV--Shields----------- Bench: Woolery, Efford

Obviously one glaring issue with this plan, McGinley is the Dr Pepper  ... "ahh f**k it, what's the worst that can happen?". Also, possibly all this talk of SOD or McGinn is premature, it could be to make our right flank cast iron and impenetrable.

Anderlecht performance team putting in a few extra hours tonight.

Edited by Kapowzer
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8 hours ago, crazylegsjoe_mfc said:

He’s the type of signing I’d be absolutely fine with if we were looking for a right-back.

However, when we have two players who can competently play there, with a potential third waiting in the wings, especially when the chat of a smaller squad is rife and there are three or four other positions I’d have strengthened first, I begin to question it. 

Maybe departures in the coming days / weeks might see it make more sense.

I don't disagree in so much as Paul McGinn probably wouldn't have been high up on my shopping list (or necessarily on my shopping list at all) but it's interesting that he's been presented as "versatile defender" Paul McGinn rather than "right back". That "versatile" is carrying a lot of weight IMO.

Taking a step back and being objective about it;

  • Motherwell fans: our defensive record last season was a shambles, we need to do something about it.
  • Graham Alexander: our defensive record last season wasn't good enough, we need to look not just at individuals but the "system".

Framed like that, us signing a "versatile defender" who spent his time at Hibs last season playing RWB/RCB shouldn't seem that surprising.

As I said yesterday, given we pivoted to a 3412 at the tail end of last season and, to the surprise of no one, it actually got the best out of SOD playing in his actual position then if this is the direction we're going in it's an entirely sensible signing.

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As @thisGRAEME also pointed out yesterday you can see Carroll fitting in that gap at LCB/LWB (McGinley too IMO) while I suppose there's also a chance Johnston's loaned out again for development in the absence of Reserves football and for all big Bev did us a turn at RB last season I don't think anyone's looking at him as being viable as a RWB.

Edited by capt_oats
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Looking at that maybe McGinley is the back up for Lamie in the back 3?

I’m hoping for a left back/wing back and a starting striker minimum.

If I’m being greedy another centre back and a midfielder that’s better than we’ve got as well. We may have to move a few people on to achieve that.

If it were possible I’d punt Joe, possibly Goss, not going to happen but McGinley and unless he’s in better shape in pre season then Ojala too.

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1 hour ago, Gianfranco said:

Looking at that maybe McGinley is the back up for Lamie in the back 3?

I’m hoping for a left back/wing back and a starting striker minimum.

If I’m being greedy another centre back and a midfielder that’s better than we’ve got as well. We may have to move a few people on to achieve that.

If it were possible I’d punt Joe, possibly Goss, not going to happen but McGinley and unless he’s in better shape in pre season then Ojala too.

Aye, I mean, I'm not saying that is/isn't happening it just seems like a vaguely plausible direction for us to go.

As far as the midfielder goes, I guess if there was anything in the chat that we were interested in speaking to Davis in the event Rangers didn't want him it suggests we might be looking at that area. Granted that may have been an "opportunity" thing and we were looking at him in a player/coach capacity but still.

Either way apparently "we still have work to do with the squad",

Whether that's enough to stop a very specific subset of usual suspects living in the club's mentions who just "call things as I see them" having to wring out their underwear because we haven't signed an entire new squad inside 12 days of the transfer window opening remains to be seen (I expect not).

1375167217_ScreenShot2022-06-23at07_18_35.thumb.png.f5dcd3ee950958e027f9ac36f07ff641.png

Edited by capt_oats
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1 hour ago, capt_oats said:

1375167217_ScreenShot2022-06-23at07_18_35.thumb.png.f5dcd3ee950958e027f9ac36f07ff641.png

Interesting, this. Following Turnbull/Campbell/Scott/Hastie it felt like there was a bit of a drop off (as we've seen in the first team certainly), probably not helped by a global pandemic interrupting all football, but reassuring to hear there's at least a handful more who can potentially make the grade.

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9 minutes ago, thisGRAEME said:

Interesting, this. Following Turnbull/Campbell/Scott/Hastie it felt like there was a bit of a drop off (as we've seen in the first team certainly), probably not helped by a global pandemic interrupting all football, but reassuring to hear there's at least a handful more who can potentially make the grade.

Big shoes to fill, those 4 made us £5m up front and potentially for another few with sell ons.

Exciting for the club and on the pitch if they come to fruition as Flao alludes.

Austria is 10 days away, maybe another couple before the trip. Loanees and another when we get close to the window shutting in August and clearing happens.

However if the next announcement is a 3rd choice keeper, this thread will meltdown for two pages.

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40 minutes ago, thisGRAEME said:

Interesting, this. Following Turnbull/Campbell/Scott/Hastie it felt like there was a bit of a drop off (as we've seen in the first team certainly), probably not helped by a global pandemic interrupting all football, but reassuring to hear there's at least a handful more who can potentially make the grade.

Aye, where it's also interesting is in what space they're actually going to develop. I'm assuming the Reserves league is still mothballed?

That leaves them either playing in the u18s or being loaned out. Campbell, Turnbull and Scott weren't loaned out but all 3 played regular Dev league football. That level doesn't exist any more and I'd imagine it's far more of an ask for a player to go from playing bounce games and u18s into the first team?

Although they were part of the Mo Ross group Cornelius and Johnston are probably the first of the players to come through post-pandemic. One made his debut at 16 but was loaned out at 17, one has been gradually integrated into the first team without a loan.

Edited by capt_oats
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33 minutes ago, thisGRAEME said:

Interesting, this. Following Turnbull/Campbell/Scott/Hastie it felt like there was a bit of a drop off (as we've seen in the first team certainly), probably not helped by a global pandemic interrupting all football, but reassuring to hear there's at least a handful more who can potentially make the grade.

It is. Tbf the club flagged in advance there'd be a break after those four as the two top prospects, McAlear and McKinstry, were snaffled before the first team stage. Had they progressed as planned they'd likely be moving on around now and the gap to players before and after them would have been much closer.

I do find it a little surprising AB is even hinting at what's to come though - the most hyped prospects have been Miller and Rice, who afaik are only 15 so they're not even getting token run outs till late next season at the very earliest. We haven't been getting much (any?) recognition at the international age groups above their level recently, again afaik, so unless he's talking about Johnston - odd given we'e just signed McGinn? - or Devine it's coming out of the blue somewhat.

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Heard a wee rumour from my friends in the WOSL that we've made enquiries about entering a B team into the Lowland League to join the OF.

Don't know if there's anything in it but would certainly give us a platform for regular meaningful games for the fringe/youth players.

Whether having a LL full of B teams is good for Scottish football and the pyramid system in general is a whole other argument though.

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36 minutes ago, santheman said:

Heard a wee rumour from my friends in the WOSL that we've made enquiries about entering a B team into the Lowland League to join the OF.

Don't know if there's anything in it but would certainly give us a platform for regular meaningful games for the fringe/youth players.

Whether having a LL full of B teams is good for Scottish football and the pyramid system in general is a whole other argument though.

Burrows was asked about this at the last AGM I was at a few years ago and the response was <paraphrase> it's something we'd be interested in, in principle, from the POV of player development as we felt the young players got more out of the competitive games they played in the Irn Bru Cup than the Dev league/Reserves but the associated costs of effectively running two teams would make it unrealistic </paraphrase>.

I wonder if the whole having a new, more robust pitch/playing surface at FP thing plus the additional backroom staff we seem to have hired might make it more viable on that front?

Edited by capt_oats
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"Alexa, show me a picture that explains how long it is since we won at Ibrox in the league, without the need for words"

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1 hour ago, capt_oats said:

Burrows was asked about this at the last AGM I was at a few years ago and the response was <paraphrase> it's something we'd be interested in, in principle, from the POV of player development as we felt the young players got more out of the competitive games they played in the Irn Bru Cup than the Dev league/Reserves but the associated costs of effectively running two teams would make it unrealistic </paraphrase>.

I wonder if the whole having a new, more robust pitch/playing surface at FP thing plus the additional backroom staff we seem to have hired might make it more viable on that front?

It would certainly help in a development sense, proper competitive games on a decent pitch can only make them better players. 

I would certainly go and watch them if I wasn't going to an away game or we were playing at different times.

As you say finances would probably dictate in the end as well as the LL being open to such a move (they're not going to agree without some kind of sweetener)

I know my pyramidster friends are already frothing at the mouth at the mere suggestion and banging on about "integrity"

 

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1 minute ago, santheman said:

As you say finances would probably dictate in the end as well as the LL being open to such a move (they're not going to agree without some kind of sweetener)

About £20 should do it I reckon.

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It would certainly help in a development sense, proper competitive games on a decent pitch can only make them better players. 
I would certainly go and watch them if I wasn't going to an away game or we were playing at different times.
As you say finances would probably dictate in the end as well as the LL being open to such a move (they're not going to agree without some kind of sweetener)
I know my pyramidster friends are already frothing at the mouth at the mere suggestion and banging on about "integrity"
 

How would you feel if Man Utd or Chelsea put a B team in the Premiership?
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It’d probably be quite beneficial to us from a player development perspective, but I’d be quite opposed to a B team in the LL on a matter of principle. I’d be much happier to see us commit half a dozen loans to league 1/2 each season where players could still train with us throughout the week but still get competitive, meaningful football. 

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Not sure if this point has been made by someone else previously, but I thought it interesting that both signings made so far this season have been established senior SPFL players whereas last year we signed players from more or less everywhere but there (Scandinavia, EPL academies, lower league punts, etc). I wonder if that is just by coincidence or design. 

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