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25 minutes ago, macclyde+ said:

 

Regarding Smith I thought he looked weak, and even disinterested today (maybe harsh), could it be that at 32 we have picked him up too late ? Dearly hope I'm wrong, and plenty time for him to prove that's not the case.

 

Possibly yes

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Lennon continually says he hasnt finished recruitment so lets see where we are come start of the season. I thought for parts of the game we played well . lost some poor goals as highlighted by the manager so think he os aware of where we need to strengthen.

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Lennon obviously knows there's a problem; we spent the first half refusing to push McNiff forward (except at set pieces); he wasn't even taking throw-ins over the halfway line. We were also allowing Airdrie to play out from the back to presumably leave less space in behind. Unfortunately, that keeping your shape idea doesn't really suit us as we've got a central midfield who all want to press, and two wide players who can't defend, meaning that McNiff got roasted the couple of times he was left man to man. Contrast with Cuddihy on the other side who was tested for pace and trickery and came out on top. 

No surprise we went a bit more gung-ho after the break, pushing McNiff higher, and played slightly better; Smith probably should have scored right before Airdrie's third, and that would've made a huge difference.

I said when we re-signed McNiff that he'd be our third/fourth choice centre half, or our back-up left back. I see no reason why that shouldn't still be the case. That's what he was last season at a lower level. 

Howie is clearly still adjusting to how open we like to generally play. You could probably make a reasonable compilation of some of the stuff he did in the games so far. However, he was dragged woefully out of position for Hamilton's first (Mitchell even shouted "Where you going Howie?"), produced a poor defensive header for their second, should have brought Smith down for the third, and had an awful clearance before the penalty today. Not pretty. He's quick, but not exceptionally quick. In fact, that's the case for pretty much our entire team; we do lack someone who can play at a different pace to the opposition, like Lang or Banks.

I hope we've learnt a fair bit from the pre-season games/League cup ties. Smith/Johnston as a pair of wide players don't track back and that idea needs binned asap. Syvertsen needs someone right up with him if playing as a 9 (which he hopefully won't have to). We are going to need to be sharper playing out from the back, or get Mitchell a better out ball to aim for; we've just played two teams who knew they had to take Grant out of the game. McStay and Wallace need to be sharper in possession. 

The three subs all played very well today. Lamont came onto a very good game late on. We'll need to play something similar to that system against Thistle, with Johnston behind a main striker and protection for the full-backs. A very soft penalty award (certainly not as good a claim as Lyon had in stoppage time) and Airdrie's ensuing meltdown put an unfair slant on the scoreline.

Plenty of effort went into last season; this year is going to be even more of a challenge. That said, we'll surely know that the Airdrie 4. likes to overplay, and we'll also have Lamont buzzing around Wedderburn from kick-off, the next time we meet them.

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11 hours ago, Domino the Dug said:

McNiff alongside Rumsby? 

 

Some clearly sampled many of the local narcotic delights this afternoon, if that is a serious suggestion. 

 

They were a complete shambles together in the dozen or so pairings, in a far inferior league, playing at times against immotivated jobbers, and conceding at alarming rates.

 

Neither was particularly at fault, it was simply a partnership made in hell, but for Christ's sake lets hope the Clyde management don't seek advice like this.

McNiff had an outstanding season, mostly as a centre-back last year. While I agree that we need a better quality player - whether we're talking CB or LB - he's shown more than Howie, hence why I'd have him beside Rumsby.

While things are as they are, I'd be playing a 3-5-2 to paper over the cracks - give us the relief of two forwards pressuring their defenders so that they don't build easily on us (pressure relief), keep the numbers advantage in the middle if they're playing a four, and give us an extra body in the centre of the defence which is outstandingly vulnerable while it's just two of Rumbsy, McNiff or Howie in there. Wing-backs would be Cuddihy and Duffie on his bad side, or Tony Wallace on the left. I think it recommends itself as a formation, to be honest.

Edited by Sao Paulo

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I am sure Danny is searching every avenue possible, he will know where we need to strengthen. Conversely though really pleased to see young Chris Johnston starting well which included a lovely cross for DGW's 2nd.

With Rankin and Ally Love returning going forward I think Clyde will be fine. 

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McNiff was in many ways, our most valuable player last season with his goals, throws and drive once he switched to LB. This despite not looking particularly comfy in that role, but we have moved up a division AND lost key defenders.

I don't expect DL to conduct negotiations in public, but Wallace, Smith and Johnstone were all signed while while we were giddy with our success but the pressing need was at CB. 

Smith hasn't impressed yet, I wonder if we can have him on the same pitch as Goodie, Norway and Love.   A similar point could be made about our embarrassment of riches in mf; all this plays out with our obvious gaps at the back and we are forced to talk about 'trust' and 'hope' rather than having a notion of security and sure-footed-ness in recruitment. 

Think we should underline the positives from yestday and not focus only on the 2 problem areas.

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38 minutes ago, Sao Paulo said:

McNiff had an outstanding season, mostly as a centre-back last year. While I agree that we need a better quality player - whether we're talking CB or LB - he's shown more than Howie, hence why I'd have him beside Rumsby.

While things are as they are, I'd be playing a 3-5-2 to paper over the cracks - give us the relief of two forwards pressuring their defenders so that they don't build easily on us (pressure relief), keep the numbers advantage in the middle if they're playing a four, and give us an extra body in the centre of the defence which is outstandingly vulnerable while it's just two of Rumbsy, McNiff or Howie in there. Wing-backs would be Cuddihy and Duffie on his bad side, or Tony Wallace on the left. I think it recommends itself as a formation, to be honest.

McNiff was jettisoned from CB after the Berwick draw, and only briefly returned there to deputise Lang's suspension at Elgin and Stirling home. Games, incidentally, which we conceded in. 

 

It's clear we have a dearth of defenders pool-wise, so i can't quite get my nut around playing MORE of this small pool, as an alert to opponents who'll soon work out its for protection, and not as the necessary evil defenders actually are. Unless, given that we have no natural left back, but pace and strength in midfield, we use actual attacking players in the wide areas. I don't disagree if that is presented as an option. Duffie Rumsby and Niff backline, allowing both L and Rs a slight licence in possession. Cuddihy Grant and Rankin when fit (Wallace until then) across the middle, a focussed McStay in between Johnston and KS flanking Goodie. Johnston, in particular, could be wasted in feeding a 'front two', because the more space he is given, the better. But it won't happen that way. Ever. 

Edited by Domino the Dug

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5 minutes ago, Domino the Dug said:

McNiff was jettisoned from CB after the Berwick draw, and only briefly returned there to deputise Lang's suspension at Elgin and Stirling home. Games, incidentally, which we conceded in. 

It's clear we have a dearth of defenders pool-wise, so i can't quite get my nut around playing MORE of this small pool, as an alert to opponents who'll soon work out its for protection, and not as the necessary evil defenders actually are. Unless, given that we have no natural left back, but pace and strength in midfield, we use actual attacking players in the wide areas. I don't disagree if that is presented as an option. Duffie Rumsby and Niff backline, allowing both L and Rs a slight licence in possession. Cuddihy Grant and Rankin when fit (Wallace until then) across the middle, a focussed McStay in between Johnston and KS flanking Goodie. But it won't happen. Ever. 

Aye, look. Basic point: we really need better players for that line if you want a strong four. Just mind, I was McNiff's principal critic. That is, critical of him as a defender full-stop, until he showed his centre-half chops last season - and he did feature there in many games wherein we kept a clean-sheet beside either Lang or Rumbsy.

However, would I have kept in preference to even an injured Cogill? Probably not. I saw more in Cogill as an inexperienced player in his brief stint than I did McNiff as an experienced one. I don't see McNiff him having enough about him to compete impressively in league one.

Jim Chapman thought McNiff was best on the left hand side of a three, and if that doesn't convice you...

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McNiff and Lang never partnered!! This i can assure you of. 

 

The Chapman analogy is a bit disingenuous SP. He also signed Cuddihy and Lamont, plus our mutual guilty pleasure  Duffie so he didnt get EVERYTHING totally wrong. 

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Willing to believe the first, can't be arsed checking in any case. Point being he was a good centre-half last season; different player.

That's true. Stuart Millar signed/re-signed Marc McCusker etc. Nobody's ever completely inept. Colin Hendry very nearly got a hold of Robbie Foy as I remember - would've been a Kerkar-esque capture, that.

Edited by Sao Paulo

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30 minutes ago, Sao Paulo said:

Willing to believe the first, can't be arsed checking in any case. Point being he was a good centre-half last season; different player.

That's true. Stuart Millar signed/re-signed Marc McCusker etc. Nobody's ever completely inept. Colin Hendry very nearly got a hold of Robbie Foy as I remember - would've been a Kerkar-esque capture, that.

If he were a good CH last season, he'd not have been shifted!!

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1 hour ago, Domino the Dug said:

If he were a good CH last season, he'd not have been shifted!!

You'll be a small minority; perhaps a minority of one in thinking he wasn't a good centre-half last season. Lang and Rumbsy were better options in the middle and he provided a utility in being as capable in the air as he was pushed-up on the left. He wasn't shifted because he was bad. He was shifted at a time when he'd been doing brilliantly in the middle.

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Are we McNiff fixating here? 

Peterhead away was a defining game for us last season I think. Pretty much from then on we had a stable back line Rumsby with Lang or Cogill and BC at rb and MM at lb.  That worked amazingly for us and despite a couple of wobbles Cowden and P/head at home we looked and felt secure all over the park. 

MM was Macnifficent and maybe more than any1 else got us over the line. Delighted he has re-signed, but I don't think we build a team around him. Last 2 games the back line hasn't worked. Yep bring in new players IF we can but maybe swapping MM for Howie in lb would give some stability and build team and fan confidence?

Doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome is one definition of madness.

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28 minutes ago, Sao Paulo said:

You'll be a small minority; perhaps a minority of one in thinking he wasn't a good centre-half last season. Lang and Rumbsy were better options in the middle and he provided a utility in being as capable in the air as he was pushed-up on the left. He wasn't shifted because he was bad. He was shifted at a time when he'd been doing brilliantly in the middle.

He was "shifted" as he injured his ankle against Berwick and ended up being out for a month. When he was fit, Lang and Rumsby were in the team and rightly not altered from that point onwards. The only place he was going to get back into the team was at left-back, and he did that as DL panicked about playing Annan and dropped Stewart.

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Im amazed with mcniff being such a CB that he isnt back in there this season ? or that a team another from league 1 or championship came in from him oh wait a minute hold !!!!

mcniff's goals were crucial in games sorry that doesnt make him a good CB He was dreadful yesterday again doesnt automatically make him a bad player as the season goes on i dont think he will be a regular starter ( if we get a left back into the squad)

the season turned defensively when he came out the centre of defense thats a fact.

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39 minutes ago, David W said:

He was "shifted" as he injured his ankle against Berwick and ended up being out for a month. When he was fit, Lang and Rumsby were in the team and rightly not altered from that point onwards. The only place he was going to get back into the team was at left-back, and he did that as DL panicked about playing Annan and dropped Stewart.

What are the quote marks about? That doesn't contradict anything I've written, does it? Is anyone saying he didn't become a different player a centre-half last season? No. Does anyone want him as a first choice centre-half or left-back enduringly? No. There's no dispute here.

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14 hours ago, macclyde+ said:

Regarding Smith I thought he looked weak, and even disinterested today (maybe harsh), could it be that at 32 we have picked him up too late ? Dearly hope I'm wrong, and plenty time for him to prove that's not the case.

 

I don't think you have picked him up too late. The great thing about Smith is his ability to play up front and on the wing. One of his assets is not only scoring goals and taking players on but the ability to track back as well. There will be times where he is completely anonymous, things aren't going his way and he may look disinterested (don't believe that's the case either) but will then pop up with a match winner. If Clyde's forward players are as good as a lot of you are saying, Smith will help contribute throughout the season.

In other news, thank you for Blair Currie. He looked brilliant against Hibs and in the matches I saw him last season. Lowdon and Nichol also look like decent signings once fully fit. 

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Can't believe to read this thread that it looks like I'm blowing the trumpet for McNiff 'the great centre half'. I spent a season getting a slagging from the same punters who're now ribbing him themselves. Those posts still exist lads. He turned the corner last season under Lennon and became a dependable centre-half; there's no chance I'm imagining that. It was a genuinely surprising and pleasing turn of events. Before, he'd been ropey as hell virtually everywhere. If we're not going to sign anyone else, I'd make a three and play him in it. If we are going to sign another better centre-half, which we need to, I'd have Rumbsy in before him beside the new lad.

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6 minutes ago, Sao Paulo said:

What are the quote marks about? That doesn't contradict anything I've written, does it? Is anyone saying he didn't become a different player a centre-half last season? No. Does anyone want him as a first choice centre-half or left-back enduringly? No. There's no dispute here.

Actually, i appear to be the only one who'd happily have him in the side, albeit if it were my choice too, the system would be different. I think DWs quotations were for me, i used the term "shifted", but the stats don't lie. 

 

A tactical plus of MM out left, was that he was a useful target for long punts, however sparingly this was used. Even against Peterhead, 3-3, he was maurauding at full outside-left like a rampant gazelle. That's how far away from CB he's gotten. 

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1 minute ago, Domino the Dug said:

Actually, i appear to be the only one who'd happily have him in the side, albeit if it were my choice too, the system would be different. I think DWs quotations were for me, i used the term "shifted", but the stats don't lie.

A tactical plus of MM out left, was that he was a useful target for long punts, however sparingly this was used. Even against Peterhead, 3-3, he was maurauding at full outside-left like a rampant gazelle. That's how far away from CB he's gotten. 

We used Callum Home to the same effect under Chapman, against Kilmarnock for example. And Jordan White under Cowboy. Problem is, that's a tactic, not a strategy. We've got a full season ahead of us and having a left-back who recommends himself for no other reason than his ability to win flick-ons isn't clever.

If you're now saying he's a good or accomplished left-back and you'd play him, I've lost you entirely.

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