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Motherwell FC - A Thread For All Seasons


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15 minutes ago, capt_oats said:

Out of curiosity, did McGhee ever play in a back 3 for Dundee?

Also, I didn't realise that he was born in EK.

Yep, that was McPake's original plan. McGhee, Jordon Forster & Josh Meekings. Forster as the 'brute' was an absolute disaster and the formation just didn't work out until Christophe Berra came in and organised them.

Best on the right side of a three.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Ludo*1 said:

Yep, that was McPake's original plan. McGhee, Jordon Forster & Josh Meekings. Forster as the 'brute' was an absolute disaster and the formation just didn't work out until Christophe Berra came in and organised them.

Best on the right side of a three.

This is what surprises me about the move, should it be happening obvs, as ignoring whether McGhee is an ok player for the league or not, he certainly isn't a massive upgrade on what we have, he definitely isn't the 'leader of men' type we need regardless of playing three/four at the back and  we just signed McGinn who covers there too.

Fair enough JM can possibly cover a few positions but again we already have bodies for the middle of the park, we need a genuine first pick six rather than yet another worker who can run up and down.

 

Edited by Handsome_Devil
typo
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Hes probably seen as replacing Mark O'Hara and Liam Grimshaw in your squad.

CM who just rubs about lots, can cover at the back in a few positions, won't moan about being sat on the bench most weeks.

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https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/paul-mcginn-hibs-exit-admission-27402871

Interesting quote from the article in link above.

That’s his decision but at my age I don’t want to be having to fight my way into a team, I want to be playing all the time.

So Paul McGinn was told he would not be a regular starter by Lee Johnson so he chose to move on. Maybe wishful thinking on his part but it almost suggests he was told he would be a starter ? Possibly he weighed it up and thought I will have better chance at Motherwell. But as has been debated on a few occasions are we going to see a change in formation to 5 at the back. Like Scotland but with ODonnell as wing back pushing further up the pitch as he does / did for Scotland. 

Surely would take a lot for the gaffer to move away from his beloved the 4-3-3.

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7 minutes ago, RandomGuy. said:

Hes probably seen as replacing Mark O'Hara and Liam Grimshaw in your squad.

CM who just rubs about lots, can cover at the back in a few positions, won't moan about being sat on the bench most weeks.

Perhaps...but we already have five or six midfielders, if we're trying to trim the squad (as stated) and keep a pathway for kids (as stated), I really don't see the point in adding another journeyman who doesn't definitively solve a problem in the first XI.

It's rare we don't have to do a complete rebuild of the squad over summer, the whole idea of only having to add a few players was to use the money saved from several departures on two-three of (relatively speaking) high quality who would make a difference. Or so I thought. Culling MOH, Donnelly, Grimshaw etc seemed a good idea, but it's rather pointless if we're just going to sign identikit replacements.

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, welldaft said:

Surely would take a lot for the gaffer to move away from his beloved the 4-3-3.

I mean 2 of our biggest performances last season came playing a back 3, it's a shape that gets the best out of our captain, we've signed players who play as #10s, both McGinn and McGhee are "versatile" players and the manager spoke post-season about looking at changing the structure of the team but OK.

Quote

"Our defensive record is not good enough,” he said. “Plain and simple.

"We have scored a lot of goals this season but we have to look at the structure, how we set up, a lot of things, but the goals against, if you look over the course of the season, have hurt us a little but so we have to look at that." 

Link

Don't get me wrong, looking to solve defensive issues by bringing in a defender from the only team in the league to have conceded more goals than us is a quirky approach but still...

Fwiw (in the event McGhee signs):

1757213902_ScreenShot2022-07-06at09_05_03.thumb.png.5152d78a8142d442cd81ec32c448e82e.png

Edited by capt_oats
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13 minutes ago, Handsome_Devil said:

Perhaps...but we already have five or six midfielders, if we're trying to trim the squad (as stated) and keep a pathway for kids (as stated), I really don't see the point in adding another journeyman who doesn't definitively solve a problem in the first XI.

It's rare we don't have to do a complete rebuild of the squad over summer, the whole idea of only having to add a few players was to use the money saved from several departures on two-three of (relatively speaking) high quality who would make a difference. Or so I thought. Culling MOH, Donnelly, Grimshaw etc seemed a good idea, but it's rather pointless if we're just going to sign identikit replacements.

Whilst I don’t disagree with your last sentence. The sad reality is that all we can probably afford is similar standard of players so unlikely to be a huge step up in quality.

That said with LD and MOH specifically any player we sign that can avoid any long term injury would be a bonus. As both those players were regularly on the treatment table. And sadly in the case of Liam was rarely off it. As for Grimmy…we’ll he was just not getting a game or in the squad. 

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8 minutes ago, capt_oats said:

I mean 2 of our biggest performances last season came playing a back 3, it's a shape that gets the best out of our captain, we've signed players who play as #10s and the manager spoke post-season about looking at changing the structure of the team but sure.

Don't get me wrong, looking to solve defensive issues by bringing in a defender from the only team in the league to have conceded more goals than us is a quirky approach but still...

The McGhee rumours may be true but yes would be an odd addition. Clearly he was doing very well to be voted POTY by Dundee fans season before last but may just fall into the versatile affordable category. I would worry about his injury record the past season or so. 

On the bright side signing Paul McGinn from the team who had the best GA record outside the Old Firm is a good sign 🤞.

I find it interesting that GA clearly acknowledged that defensively we were poor last season. To be fair that was obvious to all but a blind man. But (so far) we have seen little change in that area of the squad 🤷‍♂️. Perhaps because of contract situations but seems a little strange unless he is simply hoping all our current defenders improve greatly after full pre season. 

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2 minutes ago, welldaft said:

Whilst I don’t disagree with your last sentence. The sad reality is that all we can probably afford is similar standard of players so unlikely to be a huge step up in quality.

That said with LD and MOH specifically any player we sign that can avoid any long term injury would be a bonus. As both those players were regularly on the treatment table. And sadly in the case of Liam was rarely off it. As for Grimmy…we’ll he was just not getting a game or in the squad. 

I'm clearly not aware of the exact details but we signed MOH for money and extended Donnelly when he was in mental form - obviously they'll have been overtaken by others in terms of wages since but they must have earning a decent whack. Combined with a few things of varying benefits (I imagine we'd have maximized the clause hinted at on Watt, maybe there's more for Campbell post Scotland cap already, a wad from Europe, cutting the squad size etc), I really thought we would have a little more room to play with.

I'm definitely not expecting superstars but as I said a few pages ago, Kelly/Slattery/SSJ/Ojala being signed indicated a certain level of ambition and I thought we'd maintain it...still time of course.

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, Handsome_Devil said:

I'm definitely not expecting superstars but as I said a few pages ago, Kelly/Slattery/SSJ/Ojala being signed indicated a certain level of ambition and I thought we'd maintain it...still time of course.

Tbh, I think that's fair.

One of the more curious aspects thus far is that we've not actually heard much from anyone about our plans - granted last season marked a shift in our approach but by this time last summer we'd had an interview with Alexander in May and Burrows had appeared on the MFC Podcast talking at length laying the groundwork and very much highlighting that we were aiming to be patient and aiming for "better" targets.

This summer though it's been tumbleweeds. That's not necessarily a criticism it's just how it looks from the outside there's been a bit of an information vacuum.

As it stands we've only been credibly linked with a handful of targets (if that) everything else has had the distinct air of agents on manoeuvres and flying kites for their clients.

I mean, even this McGhee chat is coming from a guy on Dundee's TDBF saying he's "been told" and as @Ludo*1 says while it's unlikely the guy is a WUM there's nothing about his posting history to show he's ITK - in fact I noticed a post from a guy who seems to be a bit more ITK saying that McGhee missed their game due to injury and the manager isn't aware of any approach - it's a bit of an ITK-off on that forum.

Of the couple that we've been *credibly* linked with ie: Scott Burns type links we've signed Spittal and McGinn while Steven Davis extended his contract with Rangers.

For me Davis fell into that bracket of showing some "ambition". Who knows if we have plans beyond that though.

If we're to take an objective look at it there were 9 first team players out and we've signed 2 and those we've signed are pretty fair swaps (IMO).

  • Justin Amaluzor
  • Liam Donnelly
  • Liam Grimshaw
  • Mark O’Hara
  • Cody McLeod
  • PJ Morrison
  • Victor Nirennold
  • Darragh O’Connor
  • Jordan Roberts
  • Liam Shaw (end of loan – Celtic FC)

From that list I'd say Spittal replaces Roberts and McGinn replaces Grimshaw. I'd guess if it comes to pass McGhee fills the "versatile" spots vacated by O'Hara/Donnelly.

Edited by capt_oats
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34 minutes ago, Handsome_Devil said:

I'm clearly not aware of the exact details but we signed MOH for money and extended Donnelly when he was in mental form - obviously they'll have been overtaken by others in terms of wages since but they must have earning a decent whack. Combined with a few things of varying benefits (I imagine we'd have maximized the clause hinted at on Watt, maybe there's more for Campbell post Scotland cap already, a wad from Europe, cutting the squad size etc), I really thought we would have a little more room to play with.

I'm definitely not expecting superstars but as I said a few pages ago, Kelly/Slattery/SSJ/Ojala being signed indicated a certain level of ambition and I thought we'd maintain it...still time of course.

If we were working on the same budget as last season then yes I think it is quite a reasonable assumption. But I know for a fact (and I have stated before) that the wage budget (and undisclosed transfer fees) meant that GA was afforded a higher budget than usual last season. To be fair he had a big squad rebuild this time last year. 

This season he has less to play with but still not any less than previous seasons bar last year. It is clear with 9 players leaving we will not see 9 signing. We have had two solid additions and I expect we may see another couple at most. In the unlikely event we got as far or further than the play off round in the conference league that would probably change. 

Looking at Capt Team line up above you could argue we have a full squad already. I would be quite comfortable with the starting line up. I suspect Spittal may be before Tierney but that spot is probably up for grabs based on pre season and friendly / Euro performances. Or Spittal drops back in place of Cornelius. Plus we know GA will start McGinley at LB if he is fit 🤷‍♂️

My main concern is still left back and central defence. Would like to see two 1st team starters in those positions. But whether we will…..

 

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10 minutes ago, capt_oats said:

This summer though it's been tumbleweeds. That's not necessarily a criticism it's just how it looks from the outside there's been a bit of an information vacuum.

Aye, I was chatting to a mate last night and we agreed that while there was no reason to panic (yet, at least), it was notable that this summer, so far, was simply boring.

I appreciate the club are perhaps anxious to avoid hubris but there's been nothing in the build up to Europe, minimal ST campaigning,  almost no announced pre-season games, no pep talk interviews from the manager, no strategy stuff from Burrows. There's minimal clips and mega short interviews from Austria.

For perspective of how dull it's been, several fully grown adults have confessed to eagerly looking on Burrows' timeline for what was essentially a time lapse of grass fucking growing. Yes, yes, I know the whole pitch thing kind of interesting. But still...I could just about understand the muted European celebration, even if I didn't fully agree with it, but the whole attitude of the club seems incredibly muted atm.

I appreciate this is only the public facing side, who knows what's going on behind the scenes - but no matter how good that work is, clubs need to get the fans on board and put some effort in to build momentum occasionally...we just seem lethargic in contrast to previously and where we should be.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, welldaft said:

Maybe wishful thinking on his part but it almost suggests he was told he would be a starter ? 

If its game time youre after, it's a brave move coming to a team with a selection process called The Tombola. 

Edited by CoF
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I think a big part of the lack of media updates is down to the fact that we have now lost two of four components of the media team this summer. 

We are now currently running without the direction of the head of digital/media as well as the “senior producer”. 

Likely that the lack of a suitable applicant for the recently advertised role has left us a bit lacking in media strategy and production. 

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7 minutes ago, CoF said:

If its game time youre after, it's a brave move coming to a team with a selection process called The Tombola. 

I get that it's a bit (and fair enough during the Jan - May 22 period) but the flip of that was that Alexander had been pretty consistent in his team selection from the point he got the job in Jan 21 through to Dec 21.

Kelly literally played every game, Watt, Van Veen and Woolery were a fixed front 3 and I'm pretty sure @crazylegsjoe_mfc pointed out there was a run of 9 or so games where he played the same midfield 3.

On top of that Carroll was largely his first choice left back up to the point he was sent off against Dundee at which point McGinley got the jersey until his injury.

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17 minutes ago, YassinMoutaouakil said:

I've not exactly been upset by the lack of social media updates, tbh...

If you'd really thought about this response before pressing submit, you'd have made it a wee three word slogan.

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1 hour ago, YassinMoutaouakil said:

I've not exactly been upset by the lack of social media updates, tbh...

Aye, to be clear I'm not in any sort of hurry to know what #Grezza's favourite dinosaur is or find out which member of the squad is most likely to sacrifice a goat - I'm absolutely fine with a handful of photos and some nice drone footage but what we've generally been pretty good at in the past and there seems to have been far less of is putting out some broad strategy stuff so everyone has an idea of where things stand.

Like it doesn't need to be a deep dive into how we're going to try to recreate Tony Watt in the aggregates or anything just a general we were happy with X or Y, this didn't work as well as we'd like and so on and so forth.

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36 minutes ago, capt_oats said:

Aye, to be clear I'm not in any sort of hurry to know what #Grezza's favourite dinosaur is or find out which member of the squad is most likely to sacrifice a goat

Pachycephalosaurus and Sean Goss respectively, fyi

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