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Motherwell FC - A Thread For All Seasons


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Just now, Archie McSquackle said:
16 minutes ago, CoF said:
He also skinned a man not on the highlights. 

There's been talk of an offside Efford nodding in a goal-bound shot but that wasn't on the highlights.

He blocked it almost on the line rather than nodding it in himself...at least I think it was going in, would have been right at the post. From SSJ, I think, but in fairness he could hardly have got out the way.

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A bit of KVV chat in the bold Sked's article in The Scotsman:

Quote

When Van Veen is in form he can wreak havoc. He gives the Steelmen an extra dimension.

As things stand, with little striker depth in the squad, he has plenty of responsibility at the top end. He was brought in by Graham Alexander but admits there is a “fresh wind” and “positive vibe” following the appointment of Steven Hammell.

“We are now on the ball instead of setting up more defensive and winning second balls,” Van Veen. “We now want to make the play.

“You will get caught up at times and there are risks but I like playing like that.

"We showed good penetration and that is what the gaffer wants. He wants us to play out and get as many touches. He wants quick football and it is working.

“The more time the manager gets the better we will be.”

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7 minutes ago, capt_oats said:

I've not been down on the squad as much as others but this was pretty much my main takeaway from watching the full 90 of Saturday back.

Essentially it's clear that Alexanderball was a choice.

He had a group of players who are capable of putting in a footballing performance like we saw on Saturday after a fortnight with Hammell but he chose to play percentages. Which is fine, he kept us up and then he finished 5th and qualified for Europe playing that way.

It's been interesting reading the post-game reaction and the number of people who seemed to take the Sligo games as a bellwether for our season rather than a fucking cry for help.

I'm not a football snob by any means so was happy with Alexanderball as long as it worked. What I find utterly bizarre though is GA signed the players he did to then play the way he did...if you're only interested in running, tackling and safety first, having Goss, Spittal, Tierney, Morris etc is mighty odd.

As for the bellweather thing, it's too early to tell. For ages I thought the squad was underperforming and a new manager would get a tune of them. By the time of Sligo - and the two Saints games after - I'd decided I was wrong. Maybe I'm wrong I was wrong...

Not that anyone is getting carried away but I strongly suspect Aberdeen underestimated us on Saturday and beyond that they're clearly a team that wants the ball, to play footie etc, so certainly wasn't able to adapt to us suddenly clicking

Livi on Saturday will be a truly fascinating test given both their well renowned way of strangling things plus their clear attacking threat, above all Nouble, against our still as dodgy as hell defence.

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Posted (edited)

As I said on the match thread, I thought Saturday was promising mostly due to the way Hammell had set the the team up.

It wasn’t some ten men behind the ball, ride your luck and try to nick a goal from a set piece type of display. He had clearly identified weakness to in the Aberdeen back line and came up with a game plan to exploit them in a positive, on the front foot fashion. Even at 2-3 we were still going in search for the 4th instead of simply sitting back and handing the initiative to Aberdeen.  

We won’t play that well every week and our defence still looks a bit suspect but to me it was a sign that Hammell perhaps isn’t the naive youth coach some are painting him as. You could even see after a weeks training against St Johnstone what we he was at least trying to implement. 

Like any young coach, he’ll get it wrong and I imagine we’ll probably take a few dull ones this season but I can’t accept that if we see a similar approach to Saturday. I think most Motherwell fans would. 

I have no grand ambitions for this season, considering Hammell’s starting position and the money being chucked about by the City clubs. If Hammell can stay clear of the relegation fight, bring a bit more entertainment back to Fir Park as well as bringing a couple of the young boys through I’d count that as a successful first season. 

Edited by Casagolda
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2 hours ago, stu92 said:

Mugabi is definitely a confidence player and we know he can be better than he’s currently showing. We’ve yet to see anything better from Sol. 

Defintley. Huge confidence player and always takes 3-4 games at least to get close to form after a suspension or injury. He was much better on Saturday compared to the previous games I thought but, like all our defenders, has a howler in him no matter what. 

It's a difficult one, as I don't really think there is much between Lamie/Sol/Mugabi. Seems a bit harsh in Lamie maybe but I'd keep Sol/Mugabi together rather than changing it again. Try for SW consistency for a good run of games.

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1 hour ago, Big John Handsome said:

Just catching up on the thread as I was away getting married on Saturday. What a day - I was even getting live updates during my speech to tell us we 'd went 3-2 up. Fully on board the Stevie train!

Congrats to you and the new Mrs Big John Handsome.

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37 minutes ago, Handsome_Devil said:

I'm not a football snob by any means so was happy with Alexanderball as long as it worked. What I find utterly bizarre though is GA signed the players he did to then play the way he did...if you're only interested in running, tackling and safety first, having Goss, Spittal, Tierney, Morris etc is mighty odd.

As for the bellweather thing, it's too early to tell. For ages I thought the squad was underperforming and a new manager would get a tune of them. By the time of Sligo - and the two Saints games after - I'd decided I was wrong. Maybe I'm wrong I was wrong...

Aye, to sign a bunch of players then actively make a choice to play in a way that doesn't play to any of their strengths is a bold move for sure.

To be clear I'm not losing the run of myself after one good performance but I was reading a lot of furious Aberdeen reactions (in itself very funny - 100% recommend) along the lines of "this is the same team that lost to Sligo Rovers".

I mean, that's factually true, but we lost to Sligo at a point where we were obviously undercooked, hadn't played a competitive game and had a manager who on top of having never managed in a European competition had seemingly also turned Colonel Kurtz on us.

In as much as it's too early to judge what's going to happen with Hammell, it also feels a bit too early for the Sligo debacle to define the direction of travel for the season given we've taken the step of emptying the manager early (which we didn't do with McCall after Stjarnan).

Edited by capt_oats
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1 hour ago, Archie McSquackle said:
1 hour ago, CoF said:
He also skinned a man not on the highlights. 

There's been talk of an offside Efford nodding in a goal-bound shot but that wasn't on the highlights.

Haha, forgot about that! My first reaction was f**k sake Joe, but he really couldn't have done much about it. 

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1 hour ago, Handsome_Devil said:

He blocked it almost on the line rather than nodding it in himself...at least I think it was going in, would have been right at the post. From SSJ, I think, but in fairness he could hardly have got out the way.

Was given offside. so wouldn't have counted even if he did.

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11 minutes ago, Gallus Numpty said:

Was given offside. so wouldn't have counted even if he did.

efford.mov

It was given offside because he touched it and would have been a goal if he  got his clumsy backside out the way!

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47 minutes ago, capt_oats said:

Aye, to sign a bunch of players then actively make a choice to play in a way that doesn't play to any of their strengths is a bold move for sure.

To be clear I'm not losing the run of myself after one good performance but I was reading a lot of furious Aberdeen reactions (in itself very funny - 100% recommend) along the lines of "this is the same team that lost to Sligo Rovers".

I mean, that's factually true, but we lost to Sligo at a point where we were obviously undercooked, hadn't played a competitive game and had a manager who on top of having never managed in a European competition had seemingly also turned Colonel Kurtz on us.

In as much as it's too early to judge what's going to happen with Hammell, it also feels a bit too early for the Sligo debacle to define the direction of travel for the season given we've taken the step of emptying the manager early (which we didn't do with McCall after Stjarnan).

I will now only think of Alexander as Kurtz

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5 hours ago, stu92 said:

Mugabi is definitely a confidence player and we know he can be better than he’s currently showing. We’ve yet to see anything better from Sol. 

I don't know if it's as much confidence as it is style. I'm beginning to think he looked decent under Alexander because his objective was to win the ball and get rid of it, which played directly to his strengths. 

I think he is badly exposed and as a result, struggles when he's part of a team which has a lot of possession of the ball, which we've seen so far this season.

I also think, as I said a few pages back on this thread, when at right back last season, he was out of harms road from making critical errors.

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1 minute ago, crazylegsjoe_mfc said:

I don't know if it's as much confidence as it is style. I'm beginning to think he looked decent under Alexander because his objective was to win the ball and get rid of it, which played directly to his strengths. 

I think he is badly exposed and as a result, struggles when he's part of a team which has a lot of possession of the ball, which we've seen so far this season.

I also think, as I said a few pages back on this thread, when at right back last season, he was out of harms road from making critical errors.

That's undoubtedly true but a a team playing football can just about survive with one non-playing diddy out of two at centre back, it cannot survive at all these days if both full backs can't handle at least the basics of possession. Remember Lamie at left back etc. 

If we're going full blown Hammellball, SOD and McGinn are the only options at full back until we sign another. Lamie and a new centre back - one we would call top notch - should be first picks in the middle with SSJ and Mugabi back-up. And we're looking to huckle Carroll, McGinley and Ojala out the door as soon as is politely feasible. 

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2 hours ago, Handsome_Devil said:

 

As for the bellweather thing, it's too early to tell. For ages I thought the squad was underperforming and a new manager would get a tune of them. By the time of Sligo - and the two Saints games after - I'd decided I was wrong. Maybe I'm wrong I was wrong...

 

Feel the exact same as this. I was convinced through our shite patch last season and even into the start of this season that our squad really wasn't bad and we had some really decent players but were just being asked to play a horrible system and were low on confidence as a result. On the same timeframe as you, I'd gone from that to thinking that we genuinely need half a new team or we're fucked. Now I don't really know what to think.

Not getting carried away at this point after what was a very promising result and performance but all I can say is that I can't fucking wait to get back to Fir Park this weekend and it's been 18 months (think that was the length of our sentence with Alexanderball) since I've felt that way.

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6 minutes ago, Handsome_Devil said:

That's undoubtedly true but a a team playing football can just about survive with one non-playing diddy out of two at centre back, it cannot survive at all these days if both full backs can't handle at least the basics of possession. Remember Lamie at left back etc. 

If we're going full blown Hammellball, SOD and McGinn are the only options at full back until we sign another. Lamie and a new centre back - one we would call top notch - should be first picks in the middle with SSJ and Mugabi back-up. And we're looking to huckle Carroll, McGinley and Ojala out the door as soon as is politely feasible. 

To that point, these are the players with 1 year left:

Fox, O'Donnell, Carroll, Ojala, McGinn, Cornelius, Goss, Efford, Mahon

We'll obviously do right by Carroll but beyond that it feels like some are better fits than others for what Hammellball may potentially look like. That's true of the squad in general tbf.

2 minutes ago, Mr Hahn said:

Feel the exact same as this. I was convinced through our shite patch last season and even into the start of this season that our squad really wasn't bad and we had some really decent players but were just being asked to play a horrible system and were low on confidence as a result. On the same timeframe as you, I'd gone from that to thinking that we genuinely need half a new team or we're fucked. Now I don't really know what to think.

I think both things are true tbh. We've got a handful of really genuinely good Premiership level players who were being stymied by what they were being asked to do along with a couple other "do a job" types but we also need another 4 or 5 brought in to actually be any good.

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What is the story with McGinley btw? Hammy was quite open with Carroll's injury in his press conference the other day, but very coy about McGinley. I have no recollection of him being injured.

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8 minutes ago, capt_oats said:

To that point, these are the players with 1 year left:

Fox, O'Donnell, Carroll, Ojala, McGinn, Cornelius, Goss, Efford, Mahon

We'll obviously do right by Carroll but beyond that it feels like some are better fits than others for what Hammellball may potentially look like. That's true of the squad in general tbf.

I think both things are true tbh. We've got a handful of really genuinely good Premiership level players who were being stymied by what they were being asked to do along with a couple other "do a job" types but we also need another 4 or 5 brought in to actually be any good.

I'd try to renew Cornelius right now. We're going to offer him something anyway to guarantee compensation should he leave, so get him down on his two more years to 23 before his form picks up.

Fox I strongly suspect will be retiring to be new gk coach.

Carroll (unless we're doing the 'decent thing'), Ojala and Efford will be out the door if we've not managed to do deals on them by then.

SOD, McGinn, Goss and Mahon get the season to convince us or otherwise.

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