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star sail

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star sail last won the day on August 10 2019

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279 Hugh Sproat

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  1. On paper it was a difficult tie. Away to one of the better Championship teams always provides Cup shocks. A home defeat to Ross County last season should have been enough to make us very wary. I was really surprised by how poor Dundee were. They will do well to hold on to a play off place based on last nights performance. As for us. I should be buzzing after a 3-0 Cup away win but I found last nights game a real Jeckyl and Hyde performance. First the good: the second goal was a thing of beauty and the performances by Gallagher, Long and (IMO) man of the match Campbell were excellent. The problem was that the good was punctuated by some poor performances and at times very disjointed play. Hartley, Seedorf and Tait particularly looked very rusty and against better opposition, I don't think we would have got away with being three players down. Defensively we were all over the place at times and Gallagher's good performance papered over a few cracks. Our shape looked all wrong at the start of the second half, with big spaces opening up for Dundee to exploit. Danny Johnston's run when he came on highlighted this perfectly. Donnelly coming on seemed to resolve this. That is not a criticism of O'Hara because I thought he played well but the balance of the side looked better when Donnelly came on. Let's hope it was rustiness after the winter break as better teams will exploit those weaknesses. I would hope for a kind draw in the next round. We have not had the luck of the draw in recent years in either cup competition. When did we last draw anyone less than Premiership side or top half Championship side in the knock out stages?
  2. Yes. Hollis came into my mind seconds after I posted. It may have been better to say the decade started and ended well.
  3. The BBC did a team of the decade. The one genuine contender for that team from a Motherwell perspective was Randolph. Fraser Foster got the vote and it would be hard to argue with that but there can be few better keepers in Scotland over this last decade. Interestingly he replaced John Ruddy who arguably was as good if not better in his time at Motherwell. I will never forget his triple save at Tannadice which was probably the best save(s), I have seen live at a game. Considering our first and second choice keepers at the moment, we have been fairly blessed over the last decade in this area.
  4. Don't worry, there will be a defeat soon enough to really sink your teeth into. After all it's Christmas!!
  5. Is there any manager in the history of football that you would give pass marks to?
  6. What does this have to do with football? Gallagher was the best Motherwell player on the park (in my option), poppy or not. One of the reasons I support Motherwell is to get away from the political and bigoted nonsense that blights the Old Firm and much of the West of Scotland. Seems you just can’t escape it no matter who you support which is far more depressing than a 2-0 defeat today.
  7. I think we have to be philosophical about these games these days. They are an exercise in staying well organised and disciplined in front of a big crowd. But for the goals Well did that today so I am not hugely dispondant. These games can derail a season and that has not happened today. Negative maybe but tinged with realism. The big disappointment for me is that Tom English is back from the rugby world cup and back to commentating on the football.
  8. Why? Let fake political posturing and wet dreams about conflicts of the past remain the domain of both sides of the Old Firm. Let’s stick to football and not be dragged down to their level. There is opportunity aplenty in other aspects of our lives to pay respect to our war heroes. Posturing undermines genuine sentiment.
  9. If either of the two Edinburgh clubs look beyond the big name catch then Robinson would be a good option. A young, ambitious manager who has shown he can do much with limited resource. A man who works tirelessly, is professional and gives thought to all aspects of the successful running of a football club. Fortunately, I don't think either of the Edinburgh clubs will be able to see beyond the big name so for a time at least, I think we will keep our man. If Motherwell are still 3rd when the January window opens, I think the vulture's will start to circle. People tend to forget that Hibs were going backwards under Lennon when he left. He made an impact when he arrived but they were languishing mid-table when he left and were struggling for form. I am by no means saying that Lennon was a poor manager, his success at Celtic at this moment proves his worth, more that managing Hibs (or Hearts for that matter) is no walk in the park.
  10. I think you have to be very careful about what you wish for. I think the club would take a big hit if Robinson was to leave. I don't think there is a hype train (what is a hype train?) and it certainly is not huge but some credit must be given for what has been an excellent start to the season. We must remember that Robinson has pulled us out of two tail spins (admittedly one that it could be argued was of his own doing). I have watched Motherwell spanning four decades and I can assure you there has been plenty of brutal Motherwell performances to match the worst under Robinson. He now has the team playing well and the club is in a strong position. I really wonder sometimes what he is going to have to do to win some of the doubters over. We are not going to do any better. Look at Hibs just now. Look at Hearts. Look at Aberdeen. Where are Dundee Utd? Motherwell are doing really well, Robinson is doing really well and clubs and Chairman who don't have Steelboy's exacting standards will be noticing. I hope he is still our manager when we play Aberdeen but in the meantime I am off to google hype train.
  11. Fantastic result. It is difficult not to get greedy but had the Ross County game gone differently the table would look sweet indeed. What excites me most is that this is a team without David Turnbull. If he can come back with the same form as last season (big IF), there could be reason for some genuine optimism this season. Happy Saturday evening!!!
  12. Robinson has indicated several times in the past that he values highly the less glamorous side of the game (tracking back, pressing, tackling). He was ridiculed last term for his phrase 'earning the right to play football' but the point he makes is a valid one. Ainsworth and Bigiramara are the two players I can think of who suffered from similar public outings in the he past from Robinson. Players not taking responsibility is clearly something that riles him. Whether he should be outing these players publicly is something I have very mixed views on.
  13. I was just listening to Robinson's interview and thinking the same thing. If he chose to play Gallagher with a 40 C temp (which btw is totally irresponable if true), then Hartley must be injured or no longer part of the team plans.
  14. I'm not sure that he is. There has been plenty of criticism of him moving Tait to the left hand side and re-shuffling the rest of the team. The big difference is that Neil Lennon has bought a £7 million? (I'm not that clued up on Celtic's transfer dealings) left back, that is available to him, that he does not trust enough to play. Robinson has a first choice left back (who's value is not even one tenth of this) who was not available last night. He then has to look to a young player like Livingstone, who is largely untested at this level or play Tait out of position. Lennon played another multi-million pound player in that position on Tuesday night albeit out of position. Lennon has luxuries that Robinson can only dream of.
  15. I am not going to try and dress last nights performance up as anything more than poor but as always some perspective is needed. Firstly, it is only mid-August. The season has barely started. Secondly, Hearts were never going to be as poor as the pre-match hype suggested. Talk pre-match of Levein being sacked if they lost says more about the circus that is Scottish Football than it does about the current standard of the Hearts team. Remember, this is the side that ran Celtic close in the Scottish Cup Final only a few months ago. Hearts are a top six side and we will do well to finish anywhere close to them this season. The season so far has shown that our squad is better than a Championship side (Morton/ QoS) but poorer than a top six side (Hearts/ Celtic). In other words we are shaping up, at this very early stage to be a bottom six team. Where we end up in that group remains to be seen. My views on the starting 11 have not changed since last week. The midfield 3 are good enough to survive in this league I believe. The comparisons between Vigurs and Polworth are valid. Given that Vigurs is playing in a Ross County side that many feel will survive this season, it will be interesting to see how the two match up when we play them (I was one of the fans of Vigurs when he was with us admittedly). Vigurs was a player, that when on form, I was happy to pay money to watch. Campbell has proved himself already (or should have amongst the Motherwell support) and Donnelly, I think will contribute plenty this season. The big problem with our squad is the new wingers. I think it is fair to say that Hylton, Seedorf and Cole are a concern. They have contributed next to nothing in the last two games and in so doing have put the midfield three and the full backs under real pressure. I see Richard Tait coming in for some criticism but apart from the fact that he is playing on the wrong side of the pitch, he cannot be expected to make runs beyond a player he does not yet trust. His poor positional sense in recent games comes about because he is trying to second guess which way the ball will bounce as it bounces off of (Hylton/Seedorf/Cole). If Robinson has misjudged the ability of these players, we could indeed be in for a relegation battle but it is simply too early to tell. I remember going to ICT in the first game of the season under Baraclough and thinking that Louis Moult looked lightweight and that Wes Fletcher was going to be our main goalscorer for the season. Look how that turned out. Last night was always going to be the first real test of how our season might pan out. A good playing surface against a team we should have aspirations to match if we want to improve on last season. Unfortunately the signs do not look great but it is still very early days.

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