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Double Winning St Johnstone FC Thread


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Usually when a team's been struggling, you go back to basics, become solid defensively, grind out a 0-0 or two and build from there.

It worked last season after Xmas we had draws with Ross County and Accies then started to build on that.

But this season, it feels as though it would be difficult to go even more defensive-minded. But it's hard for a team that's looked so disjointed on the ball to suddenly out of nowhere become a fluid attacking side.  Apparently we give the ball away more per game than any other team in the league, and average less than 3 passes per possession. For the stats afficianados amongst us.

The problem is we don't have a squad who look capable of dominating the ball, and Dundee are a side who like to have possession, but are suspect at the back, so..

Are we best suited tonight to sit in, let them have the ball at the back and pass it around midfield etc, but make sure we have pace and a threat on the counter?  

It's not really how I'd like to see us play, but I think points are the most important thing out of the next two matches, scrape points where we can up until January then hopefully make some additions then.

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Had an interesting chat with a player (a defender) who played against us very recently and he admitted it was a weird game because it wasn't like we were even trying to score.

opposing teams know this, and that is precisely why we're losing games, they know they can just be patient and control the game without any worries at the back end, and eventually that pressure is going to give, or at the very worst it will end 0-0

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8 minutes ago, steviemay17 said:

Had an interesting chat with a player (a defender) who played against us very recently and he admitted it was a weird game because it wasn't like we were even trying to score.

opposing teams know this, and that is precisely why we're losing games, they know they can just be patient and control the game without any worries at the back end, and eventually that pressure is going to give, or at the very worst it will end 0-0

I also think teams have turned our pressing game against us. Without McCann we struggle to keep the ball under pressure, and we don’t pose much threat in behind, so there seems to be a collective realisation that we’re easy pickings if teams squeeze up on us.

The lack of wide players as an outball hurts us as well. It feels as though a 4-4-2 or 4-5-1 as suggested elsewhere to gain some possession and give us more width is the way to go. 
 

The three centre backs suited us as they were three of our better players so had to all play, but the personnel have changed so we should be playing to our strengths.                   

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2 hours ago, PauloPerth said:

average less than 3 passes per possession.

Is that good or bad...

We've not averaged over 3 passes per possession in any of the last 6 seasons, and are actually higher this season than a couple of TW ones.

Less ball losses than last season too.

% of shots on target up this season.

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21 minutes ago, RandomGuy. said:

Is that good or bad...

We've not averaged over 3 passes per possession in any of the last 6 seasons, and are actually higher this season than a couple of TW ones.

Less ball losses than last season too.

% of shots on target up this season.

To give it context, where does that place us compared to the rest of the league in each category?

Would imagine our first couple of months were reasonable, but it feels as though other than the first 30 minutes of Utd and Hearts matches, we have been very poor at keeping the ball for about the last 6 games or so.

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41 minutes ago, RandomGuy. said:

Is that good or bad...

We've not averaged over 3 passes per possession in any of the last 6 seasons, and are actually higher this season than a couple of TW ones.

Less ball losses than last season too.

% of shots on target up this season.

You can dress that last one up however you like, we're 11th in total shots and 12th in total shots on target so it's still absolutely rotten, regardless of percentages

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1 hour ago, steviemay17 said:

Had an interesting chat with a player (a defender) who played against us very recently and he admitted it was a weird game because it wasn't like we were even trying to score.

opposing teams know this, and that is precisely why we're losing games, they know they can just be patient and control the game without any worries at the back end, and eventually that pressure is going to give, or at the very worst it will end 0-0

Yes ... but ...

We looked rank on Saturday but still went in at half time a goal to the good. Bryson hasn't had a great deal of flak on the forums and the sending off might have been a wee bit harsh, but not too many complaints about it. Obviously we'll never know but I'd put money on an 11 man Saints getting no worse than a draw. 

I'm not for one second defending the quality or entertainment value of what we're serving up at the moment, but an ugly win on Saturday might have changed the mood ever so slightly. Fine margins etc. 

1 hour ago, PauloPerth said:

I also think teams have turned our pressing game against us. Without McCann we struggle to keep the ball under pressure, and we don’t pose much threat in behind, so there seems to be a collective realisation that we’re easy pickings if teams squeeze up on us.

The lack of wide players as an outball hurts us as well. It feels as though a 4-4-2 or 4-5-1 as suggested elsewhere to gain some possession and give us more width is the way to go. 
 

The three centre backs suited us as they were three of our better players so had to all play, but the personnel have changed so we should be playing to our strengths.                   

I don't think we really are pressing, with the possible exception of MOH. At our best we had a full front-3 pressing against defenders, sometimes with a midfielder in the mix (Bryson or McCann when he was here). Every line seems to be sitting deeper this year. 

I think that with McCart, Gordon and Brown there's a drop off in quality but it's still a solid back 3 for this level. I've said it elsewhere but Rooney is having a horrible season and we've not had the best out of the Spoony/Booth partnership, so I agree we're weaker on the flanks. I'm hoping that Viv can give us something up the left until January and we use MOH as RBW, and leave Rooney to push up at RCB and be there for set pieces. 

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58 minutes ago, PauloPerth said:

To give it context, where does that place us compared to the rest of the league in each category?

Definitely 12th for losses, but just by a handful from a group of clubs.

Passes per possession I've no idea, but thats a more stylistic metric than performance to me really.

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16 minutes ago, Zamora Fan said:

I think if sticking with this system we should use O’Halloran at RWB and Rooney/Brown at CB in most games. MOH is easily nullified by defenders doubling up but that should hopefully create space elsewhere.

I think we need a central threat.

Got by last season as Wotherspoon/Booth caused problems on the left, but thats gone now. It really is a case of stop our right side and you stop us.

It's why I want(ed) Vertainen to get a chance. Hes willing to drop into central areas, turn, and run at folk. You pay for that as he'll lose the ball a lot and maybe won't defend aswell as others, but it would pose a different problem for sides.

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If we'd had Bryson and Craig in there instead of those two competition winners I think we might have got something out of that game.  

Said it In the match thread, Crawford and Macpherson are the absolute stereotype of a relegation squad midfielder. I'd rather see a hungry young fringe player get the jersey than those two shitebags.  

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