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Stenhousemuir -vs- Forfar Athletic


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Where do you begin with that? Predictably we lose a goal before 5 mins have passed - an unlucky deflection but one our midget keeper was never going to save. And then nothing happened for 40 minutes. We were awful. Brutal. Declan Hughes and Ross Forbes in particular. What is going through Swift’s mind when he sticks Hughes, just an awful player, in as the creative midfielder, and sticks Forbes, a left footer who looks like he towing a truck, out on the right wing. And then there’s Orr. Some sympathy in that he was completely isolated looking at high balls coming his way, but it really isn’t happening for him.

It says a lot that we were virtually camped in the  Forfar half of the pitch for the entire 2nd half without ever actually looking like scoring. And then between the 90th and 95th minute we could have scored three, but only got one. So while a draw was good given the 90 minutes it still felt like more dropped points.

There was no urgency in the team until Thomson and Brown arrived. We finished the game with players that gave us energy and urgency. Hughes I never want to see in the team again. Forbes if he isn’t playing in the middle, then get him out of the team. 
 

Second week Euan O’Reilly has been superb. Get him some support eg Thomson and Brown, and who knows.

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1 hour ago, Nigel Blackwell said:

Where do you begin with that? Predictably we lose a goal before 5 mins have passed - an unlucky deflection but one our midget keeper was never going to save. And then nothing happened for 40 minutes. We were awful. Brutal. Declan Hughes and Ross Forbes in particular. What is going through Swift’s mind when he sticks Hughes, just an awful player, in as the creative midfielder, and sticks Forbes, a left footer who looks like he towing a truck, out on the right wing. And then there’s Orr. Some sympathy in that he was completely isolated looking at high balls coming his way, but it really isn’t happening for him.

It says a lot that we were virtually camped in the  Forfar half of the pitch for the entire 2nd half without ever actually looking like scoring. And then between the 90th and 95th minute we could have scored three, but only got one. So while a draw was good given the 90 minutes it still felt like more dropped points.

There was no urgency in the team until Thomson and Brown arrived. We finished the game with players that gave us energy and urgency. Hughes I never want to see in the team again. Forbes if he isn’t playing in the middle, then get him out of the team. 
 

Second week Euan O’Reilly has been superb. Get him some support eg Thomson and Brown, and who knows.

I'd agree with all of this. It was a frustrating afternoon - Forfar Athletic, like Cowdenbeath, like Elgin City, were there for the taking but we couldn't turn our dominance into three points and it feels like another missed opportunity. Doubtless, Stephen Swift will be content and tell us this results proves we're a good side and we're heading in the right direction but I think we would have won the match if we started Robert Thomson and Adam Brown. I simply cannot fathom why the team isn't built around the big forward - he's gives us a threat through the middle and from out wide, he's physical and athletic, and he's always a nuisance for defenders. Instead, we toiled and only looked good after we made changes on the hour mark.

I think it's in everyone's best interests if Tam Orr is dropped for the time being. He played poorly again today, failing to hold up the ball and bring his team-mates into the game, and he's offering us nothing at the moment. You can talk about the apparent lack of support and the scraps he's sometimes having to work from but Thomson did more in his first five minutes on the pitch (beating a man out wide and setting up Brown for a presentable chance) than Orr's done in the last three games. It's time for a change. I'd also drop Declan Hughes (a greetin'-faced nyaff who does very little in the middle of the park) and Ross Forbes (slow to the point where it looks as though he's participating in walking football). I'd also like to see a naturally left-footed player deployed at left-back because Ross Lyon always looked to come onto his right foot and was easy to defend against.

Forfar weren't amazing - other than their goal, which took a huge deflection on its way into the net, David Wilson (who is, at best, a second-choice goalkeeper, I'm sorry to say) had little to do - so it's hard to tell how well we played. The defence won a lot of their headers, Nat Wedderburn showed some nice touches, and Euan O'Reilly was the best player on the park for two consecutive matches. He was direct and aggressive and one of the few players who looked as though he could make something happen. There was a great moment in the second half when he shuffled the ball from one foot to the other and dumped Ross Meechan on his arse and motored down the left. He was involved in a lot of our best moments and I'm sure he forced the corner that led to the equaliser; I'm pleased he's over his illness and can continue to star for the team.

It was a positive conclusion to the match but it's been a dreadful first quarter and the manager will have to take responsibility. The failure to settle on his best XI, chopping and changing his team every week, persisting with Ryan Marshall and Tam Orr and dropping Robert Thomson are all mistakes which I hope are corrected going forward. It's hard to tell whether or not the supporters are sticking by him - there were a lot of negative things shouted at him as he left the pitch at the interval - but the Cowdenbeath match in a fortnight's time will be the ideal barometer. I have my doubts but a win and a positive performance would go a long way.

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Got to wonder if a Meet the fans night might clear the air a bit with Swift or would he take the likely barracking to heart? He could certainly tell us why Orr is preferable to Thomson, what he thinks he is getting from Forbes and why he stuck by Marshall. He could also explain what happened to the high tempo football he promised. Then again if he loses to Cowdenbeath he could just call a taxi.

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I keep hearing the word "dominated" from the manager & Crighton also said same in his interview. I just don't see that at all, or if anything it's weak dominance. Decent bit of ball but not an awful lot happening.

Certainly the much better team last 30 mins yesterday though and hopefully the manner of the point might act as a springboard but the optimism is drained so can easily see us going to Cowdenbeath & getting beat.

Not starting Thomson is bonkers. Is there something we are not being told? It's unbelievable if it's just a straight up tactical choice.

Crighton said in his interview don't panic. Meaning don't worry we won't be relegated? That's not a positive. Until we look remotely likely to start moving up the table to be in the play-offs then the criticism will continue. The budget given to the manager is not to avoid relegation.

Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk



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21 minutes ago, Moonglum25 said:

Got to wonder if a Meet the fans night might clear the air a bit with Swift or would he take the likely barracking to heart? He could certainly tell us why Orr is preferable to Thomson, what he thinks he is getting from Forbes and why he stuck by Marshall. He could also explain what happened to the high tempo football he promised. Then again if he loses to Cowdenbeath he could just call a taxi.

I said this yesterday - we haven't had the opportunity to meet with Stephen Swift, have a chat with him and find out about his ideas for his side. I think it would go a long way to clear up some of the anxieties and misconceptions around him and would probably be a decent bit of PR on his part. I don't think he's visited supporters in the Wee Bar after games (something that Brown Ferguson, Colin McMenamin and Davie Irons would do) and even just popping in for five minutes would help his cause.

8 minutes ago, Vimto90 said:

I keep hearing the word "dominated" from the manager & Crighton also said same in his interview. I just don't see that at all, or if anything it's weak dominance. Decent bit of ball but not an awful lot happening.

Certainly the much better team last 30 mins today though and hopefully the manner of the point might act as a springboard but the optimism is drained so can easily see us going to Cowdenbeath & getting beat.

Not starting Thomson is bonkers. Is there something we are not being told? It's unbelievable if it's just a straight up tactical choice.

Crighton said in his interview don't panic. Meaning don't worry we won't be relegated? That's not a positive. Until we look remotely likely to start moving up the table to be in the play-offs then the criticism will continue. The budget given to the manager is not to avoid relegation.

Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
 

I would agree with your point here about "weak dominance". We certainly didn't see anything like it in the first half and in the second, we saw a lot of the ball without doing anything worthwhile with in (until Robert Thomson came on, at least - we created a decent number of chances while he was on the pitch).

In his post-match interview, Sean Crighton also mentioned the fact we've signed so many players and how long it's taken to gel. This is something the manager himself alluded to in his pre-match interview on the club website. I don't know why this line is suddenly been trotted out - including pre-season games, we've played more than 20 matches since the summer and the fact that we still haven't found a settled starting XI, a satisfactory system, and a way of getting a tune out of Ross Forbes and Tam Orr is worrying.

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