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Everything posted by Andy_P

  1. Fortunately much like fanzines when they came along, blogs the explosion of podcasts in recent times means there is a wealth of really good material on football be it Scottish, English, European or whatever that means you can skim over/ignore the output that doesn't take your fancy on radio or TV. I accept there is a desire for immediate discussion of a game and reaction from the key players following its conclusion that virtually no pod can provide but give it 24/48 hours and there's loads of stuff that will keep you occupied enough to ensure you won't feel too bad about missing Derek Ferguson's latest insight on what a great wee club Accies are.
  2. With the hindsight of seeing the Aberdeen result yesterday this wasn't too bad a weekend at all. Yeah, an opportunity missed perhaps but another game ticked off whilst Aberdeen and Hibs failed to gain any ground on us isn't bad. There are also the positives of the game time afforded to the likes of Illic (albeit I still remain to be convinced about what he offers at Premiership level) and the first start for MacIver who didn't look out of place. The experience will have done both a power of good. There were also a series of pretty good displays across the team and even Seedorf managed to get beyond his defender for the first time in a wee while. On the game I thought we were comfortably the better side and unfortunate not to win. There are days when pretty much everything you hit goes in and then there days like Saturday when every other shot seemed to be blocked when it looked to set to go in. The second half was both a worry and relatively pleasing at the same time. They had the clear cut chance that seemed to hit the post and go along the line before being hacked clear and one or two other moments where you wondered if the momentum might swing to them and they would capitalise on our failure to get in front, but credit to the team on each of those occasions they wrestled back the initiative on each occasion. I also thought Robinson got it largely right with his substitutions. You always hope that changes make a positive difference, but as we saw against Hamilton, that doesn't always happen. I thought Robinson got it right between trying to make a change to give Hibs a different problem but not being so overly bold as to leave us wide open chasing a winner. I've said it before already this season once or twice that I've seen us fail to win games we've played well in, and won games we've not played especially well in, and this was very much one of those.
  3. Your thoughts and votes please...
  4. Your thoughts and votes please...
  5. Noticed in the weekly local rag over this side of the M8 Willie Kinniburgh is managing Airdrie junior side Gartcairn. Took up the position just before Christmas.
  6. On O'Hara, where he finished the game last night when Donnelly replaced is where he offers most. He's been filling in for Donnelly but whilst he can play there it isn't where he is most effective. But all things being equal he isn't going to be replacing Liam Polworth. What I will say for him is that despite losing quite a number of headers to his opposite number, and whilst not necessarily having a scintillating game, he didn't hide and continually made himself available for the ball; and when assuming Polworth's position after he went off injured made several runs that weren't picked up by his team-mates. No questioning his attitude or desire for me and perhaps a similar vein to Richard Tait last season just because he was playing left-back doesn't necessarily mean it's best position. On Seedorf, I think I posted something along the lines of this prior to Christmas, somewhere if not here, that he looks to have lost something by not being involved as frequently as he was at the start of the season. The wonderful goals at Palmerston, against Hibs and at Tynecastle feel a long time ago. He really does look like he's regressing rather than improving. It is has been said that Stephen Robinson prides himself on making players better. It will be interesting to see if he turn Sherwin's form around in the months ahead. On Hartley, he concerns me a good bit. I remember an incident at Dumbarton in the League Cup where he looked so far off the pace he looked done. For him to build on that, get back in the side and perform (largely) as well as he did deserved immense credit. But he seems to be at the stage of his career that it takes him longer and longer to be at his optimum level. And when something knocks him off kilter you are back to that cycle of taking however many games to get back to his peak again.
  7. Your thoughts and votes please...
  8. Hold your breath Dave (maybe) it's unreserved seating so that should in theory give you a degree more choice of seat.
  9. Andy_P

    2019-20 Rebuild

    By all accounts we have already adjusted more than minimally simply to avoid standing still. With the best will in the world I cannot foresee that budget being upped to match spending levels of perceived top six teams. The leap between our existing budget and that level would by no means be considered minimal.
  10. Andy_P

    2019-20 Rebuild

    Good news. I'd love to read more about it but as ever any time I try to open anything on the official site I get a lovely big white page full of nothingness. As for the current custodian for me it remains his position to lose until the point he loses form or we no longer have anything meaningful to play for and he has confirmed he is moving on. Until then he remains firmly first choice for me.
  11. Best of the Decade... Randolph Tait, Kipre, Hutchinson, Hammell Ainsworth, Lasley, Campbell, Humphrey Sutton, Higdon Lots of contradictions and 50/50's in there. Tried to go for longevity but still went for Kipre. Wanted to squeeze in Lionel and Humphrey. Sutton nudged out Moult as he did the business twice.
  12. Andy_P

    2019-20 Rebuild

    Not that I'm in any way demanding we unveil raft of signings at a minute past midnight but I did notice a couple of re-tweets from the SPFL twitter account about signings, one of which was one-time target of ours Ryan Stevenson signing for Stranraer. May have been out of contract of course.
  13. I don't think there was anything untoward involved at all. Sure there might have been one or two that were feeling it fitness wise but we had started like a house on fire and had the momentum. We failed to kill them off and gradually the tide turned. That isn't uncommon in games of football. Unfortunately by our own doing we then inhibited our ability to regain any momentum as an attacking force. I don't think there's anything more to it than that. Taken on its own it still remains an infuriating loss but in the grand scheme there has been significant improvement over the calendar year (and indeed how we have coped with the busy December spell which has caused us issues in Robinson's tenure). For all the talk about weaknesses here and there coming back to bite us we're third I believe in points in gained across 2019 and third in the table in the current season. If can replicate the form we've shown after the January breaks over the last couple of seasons, add a player or two to the squad (be that new signings or returning players) then we are in as strong a position at this stage of the season than we've been for some time.
  14. Just as an aside, even though it doesn't matter much in truth, even that image isn't a true reflection of what they bring for derbies, that's from their Challenge Cup Final in early nineties against Dundee I think it was. I think in relatively recent times the biggest they'll have brought was for the Scottish Cup when they held us at Fir Park and the replay was at Broadwood.
  15. Well that was a chastening experience. I'm sure there have been plenty but off the top of my head I'm struggling to recollect a game that we were so far ahead of the opposition, in terms of dominance if not scorewise, and contrived to be so soundly beaten. I thought we started brilliantly. I've read one or two remarks saying we did nothing after scoring but I thought we could easily have been three or four to the good before 20 minutes had passed. If we had managed to get the second during that twenty or so minutes of dominance then I doubt Hamilton would have come back, but we were made to pay for our failure to kill them off. Understandable that we might not be able to maintain that intensity for the whole first half but we became increasingly sloppy and allowed them to come back into it. We did however seem to have withstood their period of pressure and created a further opportunity ourself. Over the piece they must have been pretty happy to have escaped at half-time just a goal behind. But that second half. Dear God... A painful, but hopefully heeded reminder, that for all we are sitting third, have improved immensely over the calender year, have played some terrific football and have some very capable players, that if we aren't on it we can be very cruelly exposed. It isn't something you can throw at the team too often but they didn't look like they wanted it as much as Hamilton as that second half grew on. It frustrates that we didn't even need to be cut apart either. It was fairly basic, ball in the box stuff and watch us panic. Thoughts will focus on the substitution. A difficult one. A change was most certainly required but did the inclusion of another defender just illustrate our panic? It certainly did nothing to make us less susceptible to their increasing attacks as it turned out but not unnatural to look to try to make yourself more difficult to break down if you are on the backfoot (regardless of opponent and position). What it did do in removing both Hylton and Scott was cripple us in terms of us returning to a more offensive outlook when they equalised and the game was completely up when they went ahead. It's glass half empty, glass half full stuff about the other results. We've ridden our luck with Aberdeen dropping points and Hibs and Kilmarnock losing. But what an opportunity lost to strengthen our position. But all things considered that doesn't really come into it when the pain of the defeat is still fresh. We've turned in one of the worst halves of football in quite some time, lost a derby in front of one the healthiest home supports in some time and that stings pretty badly at this moment in time.
  16. Your thoughts and votes please..
  17. Immense credit to the team, management and those who travelled up to back the side yesterday. A great reward for everyone's efforts after what is arguably the best way to win a game. I think it says a lot when you go through the team and see Seedorf and Tait starting for the first time in a while, O'Hara making only his second start in a few months, Scott playing centrally for the first time in a good bit and also missing the likes of Donnelly, Long and Cole. Albeit the red card made a significant difference but it is both encouraging and reassuring that those on the fringes of the team can make a positive contribution when called upon. The Follow Follow forum has been an enjoyable wee time-killer during lunchtime. Clearly more kudos involved in beating Partick Thistle in injury time and running on the pitch to celebrate than there is against Ross County.... It's us in this instance but it could be anybody really. As one of their own even admits they've been on the park more than any other team since they made it to the top flight. What I actually find quite interesting is the painful and slow realisation in some of them that the grip they believe have held on Scottish football and perhaps even Scottish society, going by some of the angst ridden posts, is slipping away from them. For me I'm content enough that when we are pissing off either half of the Old Firm then we must be doing a good deal right.
  18. Forget about nine points in a week. Forget about staying third. Just pump them. And the rest will take care of itself.
  19. Your thoughts and votes please...
  20. A big win in a number of respects. Any win is good, obviously, but this felt very significant and I think was celebrated as such. It felt like there was something psychological about it, a kind of passing of the baton after Kilmarnock's success of last season. That we overtook Aberdeen to return was the icing on the cake. I thought we started the better of the two without threatening a huge amount, bar Campbell's deflected effort and they gradually came into it more as the half wore on. Nothing in it at half-time. Again I thought we started the second half the better of the sides but this time we were looking a bit more threatening. There was the disallowed goal and whilst he was only on the pitch as a consequence of Donnelly's injury the introduction of Polworth brought a crispness to our passing and directness that was missing in the first half. I was a bit baffled by the removal of Hylton. It seems to be the done thing, along similar lines to the Cole-Long rotation, to see Hylton and Seedorf rotate but Jermaine seemed to be coming on to a good game when he was replaced and Sherwin never really cut the mustard. It's a debate for a different day but he certainly seems the poorer for his failure to start games. I don't know if there was a collective "feeling" about the free-kick amongst the support or just that it took a while to set up but I've seen several different videos of the goal from various angles from our support. Each as enjoyable as the last!! Gillespie made a couple of terrific saves as Killie threw the kitchen sink at us towards the end but our set up wasn't a million miles away given the way we were hitting them on the break. Had Sherwin passed when Cole was free, Polworth's blocked effort wouldn't even be mentioned. Scott winning several corners towards the end was brilliant showing a good measure of maturity and demonstrating his terrific touch which had a galvanasing effect on the support behind the goals as we edged towards full-time. A really enjoyable afternoon.
  21. Your thoughts and votes please....
  22. There are always one or two things that are mentioned on the night that I'm a bit hesitant at putting out and I wasn't sure if it was appropriate to mention the Hastie fee but since it's out there already it was quite interesting to hear how they came to that figure to avoid a tribunal. Effectively Rangers took the position of a "cross border club" and the sum was reached as if we were dealing with "Carlisle" as was used as the example . I thought it interesting that despite widespread belief that they were playing hardball the deal was concluded early enough that the fee went in the accounts for this year that were concluded on 31st May. Definitely Ross County have a higher budget. Robinson referenced that in discussing the Cup game last season where he said they were a top flight club in all but name. He went on to say that a friendly due before the Cup game fell through which he believed had a big impact on our display in that game. They will ensure they have something in place ahead of Dundee. He insisted though the trip away was incredibly beneficial and quoted stats about how well we have done after these breaks. Robinson also mentioned the use of contacts within the squad to take advantage of facilities at very favourable terms in both Tenerife and Northern Ireland. I'll carry on from here about the other couple of bits of interest... On the Bois Hearts banner thing the club acknowledge it could have been handled better and didn't appreciate the size of the banner and that this should have been checked out prior to immediately before the game. Alan Burrows mentioned a meeting on the Sunday with the inference about mending fences. On Rangers, as has been suggested by another poster on the game thread, the authorities noting the position of the offending banners over the scoreboard and the potential for something to get out of hand stood back. They will review options for their next visit. On the missiles incident Alan Burrows gave an excellent response in comparison to a question about considering shutting the Bois sections (even temporarily) where he explained a preference that if an individual is out of line, it will be the individual who is punished and not the whole section 99.9% of whom may well have behaved perfectly well. Robinson also added that the support from the Bois area is valued and far from shutting the section he wants more people there as he knows how much the players get from that backing. The club however are fully aware they need to handle the missile incident appropriately and also be very clearly seen to be handling it appropriately.
  23. AGM time again. As ever lots of good discussion and info gleaned. Quite a long one this year as things got quite detailed on one or two points. Jim McMahon spoke of as positive a situation in a while. A "normal" situation. At worst case the club are in a position to finish tenth, have no player sales, have no cup runs and be able to knock back bids and still be able to cope with a loss for a year or so. Happily things are much more rosy than that the worst case next year will be a cash neutral position. The importance of staying up is the key risk going forward. Dundee Utd and their lost millions were cited but later Alan Burrows spoke of the potential to come in the form of increased TV revenue and the fall out from the new UEFA competition and through solidarity payments. The phrase transformational was used. There may also be consequences to domestic football to accommodate the changing shape of European football with potentially less domestic top flight league fans and no cup replays some possible outcomes. Looking ahead the club are keen to do something to improve training facilities with Stephen Robinson mentioning plans and ideas that had been considered. The club still want to get to a safe point where they have two "bad seasons" worth of finance to cover them for eventualities although they acknowledge the stadium still remains something that could unexpectedly eat into finances. Well Society input amounts to around £180k a year currently. On David Turnbull the club turned numerous bids until the point was reached where they felt it irresponsible not to accept the offer from Celtic knowing how much that could set the club up. They believe it was right to accept and they got the best deal. No timescales for his return but seeing a specialist to step things up further and he will go to Tenerife on the break. Positive talks about extending his contract between player, agent and club. Hopefully good news soon. No reason why he can't return to previous levels. Robinson quipped he was never fast to begin with so even if he does lose pace... Budget was increased after review over last year but still srcond/third lowest in league. Robinson knows the parameters and what the club is about. Gallagher, Seedorf and Polworth all knocked back better terms to come. Club have gained a rep for providing a platform to improve and develop players for next career move. Potential for one outgoing and one or two arrivals at the break. Investment made in staff too. Conscious that vultures swooping on staff as well as players. Hastie situation resolved amicably with a sell on included. Cadden not so. Anticipated to run for some time yet. An example given of Kidderminster who believed they were entitled to a portion of Marvin Johnson's sell on from Oxford two years ago. Dundee likely to £15/£10/£5 not confirmed but they seem to have talked around Dundee who wanted to charge more. Sloth was raised. Answer simply that not doing enough to get ahead of others to get in the team. Surprised at Manzinga progress not anticipated to be making in roads as early. Some youngsters nearly ready for inclusion but stressed players are ready at different stages. Some will be in and out at different stages. Banner incidents at both Hearts and Rangers games discussed. Games may be played during Qatar World Cup after Group stages concluded. Winter break likely to be brought forward to coincide with groups. One or two bits more to follow in due course...
  24. On the whole I've been impressed with Bevis since he came in. Far from the finished article certainly but the physique is there allied to an impressive burst of pace to help recover situations. He's not been without his flaws but I would hope that with greater experience and time to develop he can continue to improve. As he said himself on the Facebook chat thingy recently it's up to him to take advantage of opportunities that came his way. I think he did exactly that over recent games and wasn't deserving of being dropped for the game yesterday (having played pretty well against Rangers at Ibrox earlier in the season also). Up to Robinson to determine what he thinks is the best blend for each opponent but chuck in the likes of Dunne and Tait at full-back and I'd say the options at our disposal currently are one of the better dilemmas to have.

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