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Auld Heid

Linlithgow Rose - 2019-20

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1 hour ago, Auld Heid said:

Looking to rely on others - that's only an admission we can't rely upon our own results.  The issue with our defence isn't new - they cost us on numerous occasions last season as well.

 

Defence cost us a crack at the title play-off last season. We scored a biblical number of goals, but the three lost at home to Ormiston and losing 4-3 at Broxburn despite having a 3-2 lead late in the game were the real hammer blows, among many others. Broxburn were brilliantly resilient, they kept grinding it out week after week, but if our defence had been at the level it should we'd have topped the conference. 

4 hours ago, Auld Heid said:

All the green shoots from a few of the earlier performances were wiped out on Saturday. 

I wouldn't go that far. The defence was much better on Saturday than away at Blackburn. Had we faced a stronger opponent that day we'd have been rag-dolled. Bradley does seem to be firefighting though - he damped down the flames in central defence by moving Barbour there, but now there's a fire in midfield. In trying to put out the fires though, he's playing many out of position. Others may disagree but IMO none of Darren Smith, McKinley, Thom, Barbour, Scullion and Slaven were in their best positions. It's generally through necessity, for injury or to fix specific problems, but right now it's not a balanced team.

For me, the biggest disappointment this season and last has been [helmet on] Gary Thom. I really hate saying it because he's a good footballer and seems to be a smart guy. He sets a good example and is a proper pro that everyone respects. He has the attributes, so I can't see a reason why he wouldn't be a good organiser at the back. You watch Barbour playing there and he's always turing his head, checking the positions of the rest of the back four, bringing them out, barking instructions. At one point on Saturday Camelon had a free kick from just inside their own half, a gap of about 25 yards had opened between our centre halves and he immediately closed it. But Gary Thom... he just doesn't look around enough and he doesn't talk enough to his partner. He's too focussed on his own game. I can't see any reason why that can't be fixed, and if it were, Barbour could get back into his midfield job and Ruari could push forward. Thom and McKinley are both decent defenders, they just don't act as a unit. 

It's frustrating because we're nearly good, but we are where we are. The positives are that we've been lucky to have had relatively less difficult fixtures so far, it's still early in the season, there are options to fix the problems and there are lots of goals in the team (even on a poor day they got two against a decent team and nearly stole a draw). Hey, it's not boring...

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4 hours ago, grinderbrokeyourhearts said:

That's a fair point but if four are underperforming I'm not sure three us a good option.

I'd like to see: -

Gray, McKinlay, Thom, Hutchison

Barbour, Scullion

Danny Smith, Ruari, TC

Allum

Solid at the back and the four up front have the license to play.

Whit ! That is horrendous. Might be a bit tighter in defence but creative football would be oot the windae.

No thanks.

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All about opinions and if we don't tighten up we'll win nothing.

Out of interest what would you start with?

Whit ! That is horrendous. Might be a bit tighter in defence but creative football would be oot the windae.
No thanks.

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Linlithgow won at Blackburn. Blackburn won at Camelon. Camelon won at Linlithgow.

The above 3 early season results should tell you that anyone but can beat anyone else on the day.

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That's a fair point but if four are underperforming I'm not sure three us a good option.

I'd like to see: -

Gray, McKinlay, Thom, Hutchison

Barbour, Scullion

Danny Smith, Ruari, TC

Allum

Solid at the back and the four up front have the license to play.


If you go with a back 4 I think the problem is pace down the middle and at left back. If we get Jamie back and fit then we have that. Meikel looks like the solid centre mid we have been missing to let Ruari and Barbour get forward. Reads the game well and gets back quickly. Up front we haven’t seen much from Ronald for months, I don’t see smith as being more than a squad player that can come in and cover a number of positions and runs his heart out.

Gray, Thom, McKenzie, Hutchison

Barbour, Meikel Ruari

Slaven, Allum, TC

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That's pretty much our team at present. I'm thinking of ways of shoring up the defence.

Meikle has been excellent I agree, so maybe harsh not to have him there. Maybe with McKinlay dropped from that 11 and Scullion back at CB.

I didn't mean Darren I meant Danny Smith. For me he's been the most creative player thus season.



If you go with a back 4 I think the problem is pace down the middle and at left back. If we get Jamie back and fit then we have that. Meikel looks like the solid centre mid we have been missing to let Ruari and Barbour get forward. Reads the game well and gets back quickly. Up front we haven’t seen much from Ronald for months, I don’t see smith as being more than a squad player that can come in and cover a number of positions and runs his heart out.

Gray, Thom, McKenzie, Hutchison

Barbour, Meikel Ruari

Slaven, Allum, TC

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Our real problem is we have no positional discipline.

To many only want to play when we are in possession and not so keen at tracking back or picking up runners when we lose possession.




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23 hours ago, Deanburn Dave said:

Linlithgow won at Blackburn. Blackburn won at Camelon. Camelon won at Linlithgow.

The above 3 early season results should tell you that anyone but can beat anyone else on the day.

It also tells you that home advantage isn't that relevant at this level.  Except, of course, if you have an idiosyncratic pitch like Bonnyrigg or Broxburn where local knowledge can give you a goal's start.  A good playing surface like Linlithgow or Bo'ness is "a level playing-field".

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5 hours ago, th1stleandr0se said:

It also tells you that home advantage isn't that relevant at this level.  Except, of course, if you have an idiosyncratic pitch like Bonnyrigg or Broxburn where local knowledge can give you a goal's start.  A good playing surface like Linlithgow or Bo'ness is "a level playing-field".

My hope for this season is that everyone takes points off everyone else. It doesn't really look like anyone will run away with it, so it's not like last season where a couple of bad results are fatal. We're good at putting away weaker opponents, so you never know.

Relevant to your point though, we lost away at all three of our main opponents on the league, and lost heavily at Beith and East Stirling in the cups. Are we good at home, or bad away, or a bit of both?

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Gordon imo our away form is pretty good! Those defeats you mention are all tricky away games! Here’s hoping for 3 points on Saturday at Dunbar!

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6 hours ago, GordonS said:

My hope for this season is that everyone takes points off everyone else. It doesn't really look like anyone will run away with it, so it's not like last season where a couple of bad results are fatal. We're good at putting away weaker opponents, so you never know.

Relevant to your point though, we lost away at all three of our main opponents on the league, and lost heavily at Beith and East Stirling in the cups. Are we good at home, or bad away, or a bit of both?

The only value in opponents taking points of each other - comes from winning your own games.   Unfortunately over the last year we have not stepped up and won the big asks and indeed have often lost heavily in these games.   That unfortunately has to ask question of our character as a team.

19 minutes ago, baker2 said:

Gordon imo our away form is pretty good! Those defeats you mention are all tricky away games! Here’s hoping for 3 points on Saturday at Dunbar!

Tricky games are the ones that define a season.

For me the issue comes down to doing the basics well and players being more disciplined in their given role and working harder when out of possesion.

Saturday was a bad result - mostly of our own making.  Yes the team selection was poor - but we still had enough quality on the park to win.  

Going forwards, I have no doubt theat we have the personnel and ability to do well.  That needs to start on Saturday and the following week at Jeanfield or it will be a very long season.

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