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David

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Everything posted by David

  1. It's different rules down south. Found this snippet of info below:
  2. David

    Alexander.

    I'm fairly sure if we find ourselves in the basement come November or December there will be questions asked.
  3. Unfortunately, if they're under contract we can't get rid unless they agree to leave or another club wants to take them.
  4. You're not the only one. I think both Carroll and McGinley are decent back-ups, but not what I'd call first-choice. I don't see anyone else coming through the youth setup who will be challenging them either, so I think it's one of two for next season unless we sign someone. All things considered, if we can get a decent run with a defence consisting of McGinley, Lamie, Mugabi, and O'Donnell I think we should be okay. There's absolutely room for improvement though, and I hope we see the likes of young Johnston and O'Connor pushing our regular starters all the way.
  5. David

    Alexander.

    The key difference, of course, is that while the team that done Rangers in the playoffs found themselves in the actual playoffs, this current team would be sitting 6th and not caring one jot about the playoffs at all.
  6. A lengthy post, but i have time to kill this morning... So, with the season end almost upon us, I believe below is the situation regarding players out of contract: PJ Morrison Ricki Lamie (pre-contract signed with Dundee) Victor Nirennold Liam Grimshaw Mark O'Hara (pre-contract signed with St Mirren) Liam Donnelly Liam Shaw (end of loan) Jordan Roberts Justin Amaluzor Darragh O’Connor At this stage, I'd absolutely look to retain Lamie if he's willing to stay, possibly Morrison as a backup keeper, and O'Connor purely to see if he has anything to offer. The rest could go as far as I'm concerned. Contract-wise, the rest of the squad looks something like this: Liam Kelly - May 2024 Scott Fox - May 2023 Stephen O'Donnell - May 2023 Jake Carroll - May 2023 Max Johnston - May 2023 Bevis Mugabe - May 2024 Juhani Ojala - May 2023 Nathan McGinley - May 2024 Sondre Solholm Johansen - May 2024 Barry Maguire - May 2024 Callum Slattery - May 2024 Dean Cornelius - May 2023 Ross Tierney - May 2025 Sean Goss - May 2023 Kaiyne Woolery - May 2024 Kevin van Veen - May 2023 Joe Efford - May 2023 Connor Shields - May 2024 Robbie Mahon - June 2023 I think we can all agree that the squad is pretty bloated at the moment, although that was intentional due to potential Covid suspensions and us needing cover for that. The same applied to other clubs in the league. With that said, I'd look at things this way: Goalkeeper It's pretty obvious that Kelly is going to be our number one, so that's not in doubt. I did notice that the past few games we've had young Matthew Connelly warming the bench for us, which is a good sign, but I think if we're going to renew PJ Morrison's contract there has to be some sort of progress made there. He's been at Alloa this season, and has bounced around on loan at various clubs. But he's 24 now, so he's not a kid. If we're not going to offer him a concrete position as the club number 2 behind Kelly, then let him go. For me we either go with Kelly, Morrison as a solid number 2 and Connelly being brought into the fold with a possible loan in January while Fox is there to see out his contract and assist with coaching, or we go with Kelly as number one, Morrison moving on and a combination of Connelly and Fox backing us up on the bench. Verdict - I don't think we need a new body in for this position. If Morrison moves on we can cover with Connelly and Fox for this season. Right Back A position of much contention this season. With Liam Grimshaw's contract ending we lose an option for that position, but with Max Johnston returning we gain an option as well, if the management team see him as being good enough. If we don't bring someone else in during the window we will start with O'Donnell, Johnston, and also Mugabi as options for this position. Personally, I'd go with O'Donnell if he's fit, and try to phase Johnston in occasionally and at least see what he can do in the last year of his current deal. If he isn't up to the job then we can let him move on next May. In an ideal world we'd be phasing Max in as a replacement for O'Donnell over the next few years. If O'Donnell performs this season I could see him getting another year or two extension, which would hopefully be enough to allow Johnston to come in as his eventual replacement. If he's good enough, of course. Verdict - O'Donnell, Mugabi and a returning Max Johnston should be enough to cover this position. Left Back Although not everyone's cup of tea, I think we're going with Nathan McGinley as our first choice left back next season. He signed a new deal until 2024, he's 25 years old, I think the manager likes him. Jake Carroll has another year left on his current deal, and I think he'll be the one challenging for that starting place with McGinley. I don't see much changing in this position. Verdict - I don't see any changes in this position Central Defence We go into next season with Bevis Mugabe, Juhani Ojala, and Sondre Solholm Johansen on the books at the moment. We could potentially retain the services of Darragh O’Connor and Ricki Lamie as well depending on how things go over the summer. My preferred defensive pairing would be Lamie and Mugabi. I'd keep O'Connor at the club for another year if he was open to it, as I quite liked what I saw of him. Ojala isn't working out in my opinion, and if he was agreeable I'd look to move him on. Johansen is a weird one, as he's looked okay at times but dodgy at others. He's only 26 and has another year to run, so I guess we'll see how he does this season coming. I'd go with Lamie, Mugabi, and O'Connor as my three centre-backs of choice, with Johansen in fourth and looking to prove himself, while Ojala would be a distant fifth choice if we couldn't shift him. If we can't retain Lamie then we need someone else in I think. The idea of Mugabi and any combination of Ojala and Johansen gives me the fear. We've seen that combination enough this season. If Lamie knocks us back I'd get O'Connor tied up for another year and see how he does early season alongside Mugabi, with a new signing coming in also. Verdict - If we can keep Lamie and possibly O'Connor I think we'll stick with what we have here. If Lamie goes then I think we'll need a new signing. I doubt we can shift either Ojala or Johansen before their contracts expire, but if we can that would obviously free up wages for a new player. Midfield As of now we head into the summer with Barry Maguire, Sean Goss, Callum Slattery, and Dean Cornelius on the books. I'm not as anti-Donnelly as many are here, but I wouldn't mind seeing him move on. I have a sneaky suspicion that unless St Mirren come calling he'll get offered another year with us though. O'Hara is offski, much to the delight of some. Again, I'm not all that fussed at losing him. If we go into this thinking that Donnelly is for the off, then we effectively have four midfielders in the squad. If we lose O'Hara and Donnelly we could maybe use some of the funds freed up there to bring in someone else. If Alexander is serious about utilising a smaller squad then this is a good place to implement that. Barry Maguire, Sean Goss, Callum Slattery, Dean Cornelius and a new signing would work for me. Verdict - A new midfielder coming in would be needed I think. Up Front As of now we go into the summer with Kaiyne Woolery, Kevin van Veen, Joe Efford, and Connor Shields as recognised forwards of varying positions. We also have young Robbie Mahon, who seemingly plays up top and on the right, and also Ross Tierney who's played up front for us of late, but can also drop back into an attacking midfield role as well unless i'm mistaken. Van Veen and Shields seem like the two out & out strikers on the books, while Woolery can play down the right and left, while Efford plays down the left and also through the centre. I'd let Jordan Roberts and Justin Amaluzor move on at the end of their current deals. That would free up the wages needed to sign one relatively proven striker if available. I think if we can head into the new season with Van Veen, a new striker, and Shields as options through the middle, supported by a combination of Woolery, Efford, Tierney and Mahon we'd be in decent shape. Verdict - A new striker should hopefully be on the cards to add to what we have. Overall In my opinion we'd be looking to shift at least seven, and maybe even eight players from our current first team squad (PJ Morrison, Victor Nirennold, Liam Grimshaw, Mark O'Hara, Liam Donnelly, Liam Shaw, Jordan Roberts, Justin Amaluzor), with one returning from loan (Johnston) and two potentially being re-signed (O'Connor & Lamie). I'd look to sign a new midfielder and a new striker if O'Connor and Lamie sign again, with either of them needing replaced if they leave. So that would see maybe as many as eight out, two in from loan, and two new signings (three if Lamie isn't coming back), meaning a three-man deficit from this season, which seems about right. Of course, what we'll actually do is release the seven mentioned, lose Lamie and end up signing eight new players no doubt
  7. Having seen where Celtic usually stick the away fans in their stadium i'd be surprised if they were holding any for their own support. I don't know how they'd manage to segregate that corner of the stadium even further to be honest. I could be wrong, mind you.
  8. David

    Alexander.

    Maybe. There's certainly some characters on this forum who've not been as active since the full-time whistle last night as they would have been had we lost.
  9. You'd have to think that at least some Ross County players will be on win bonuses for games, or something to that effect? And players in the Scottish Premier League aren't paid enough outside the old firm to let such bonuses pass them by without trying to secure them.
  10. David

    Alexander.

    Depends how long Goodwin lasts at Aberdeen I guess.
  11. David

    Alexander.

    I've never been a fan of binning the manager this season, but I'll happily admit that this is a debate that is never over. And neither it should be. He's done a great job overall this season. Top six finish, European football secured. Fantastic, and he and the team deserve a lot of credit. But come the end of the season it's done and dusted. Ground zero, so to speak. It's then on him to make some good moves in the transfer market, identify where we've been lacking and address those issues, and the new season is a fresh slate. If we're sitting 9th or 10th in October or November and the style of football and results haven't improved, his results this season will count for nothing.
  12. Yeah, but they need to be better than what we have already. And maybe the simple fact is that none of the current lot meet that criteria? I'm sure if they did they'd be getting a crack at it.
  13. It will still be a success in my opinion, simply because of how our targets are structured. But it will certainly be seen as a missed opportunity, that's for sure.
  14. It was a big part of the reason. Again, if any club is robbed of one of their best players and their top goalscorer and they are unable to replace him adequately it's going to cause problems. Or do you think that's not the case? As someone else pointed out, Watt isn't just a goalscorer. If it was simply a case of losing someone who puts the ball in the net we'd have continued on our pre-Christmas form with Van Veen leading the line. He's a goalscorer, but in no way would he ever be considered our best player. Watt offered goals this season, plus a ton of other factors. As I said above, losing your top scorer and one of, if not the best player in your team will hurt any team. It's just how it goes. And yet, we're in the top six and those poor teams aren't. I've said it elsewhere in the Alexander thread, but there's a reason why most of the teams in the league have all been poor and separated by the finest of margins. The Covid situation, meaning every club had to inflate their squads which spread the budget much thinner, meaning a lack of quality, played a part. The argument that Alexander is a fraud and a failure would stand up if the other clubs were all battering on as normal, and we'd found ourselves finishing 9th or 10th. But that isn't the case. This season has been mental for a reason. And that reason affected most of the clubs in the league. Top six will never be a "minimum expectation" and rightfully so. Thankfully those that are tasked with running the club know that.
  15. His departure is a fairly prominent reason why we've hit the skids post-January. Is it the only reason? Of course not, and I certainly didn't say it was. But there's a reason why he was being talked about for Scotland, and it wasn't just down to his goals. Anyone who watched us when he was in the team could clearly see he was one of, if not the best player in our team. No team, much less a club with our resources, can afford to lose a player of that importance to them and not miss a beat. I'm not sure I buy into opponents "sussing out" our tactics, as if Alexander is somehow a fraud or one-trick pony in a league full of tactical masterminds. It's worth pointing out that while we were busy being shit, the opposition, far from sussing us out, were busy being shit as well! If this season is going to remembered for anything, it's going to be the fine margins that separated the majority of the league. Our squad this season is bloated, for reasons mentioned elsewhere, and the squads of the teams around us are the same. There's a lot of deadwood that needs removed in the summer now that the situation has returned to normal. For the time being at least. Let's not go overboard? We're playing in a league where the top six should realistically be any combination of Celtic, Rangers, Hearts, Hibs, Dundee United and Aberdeen. By quite some margin. Regardless of how poor those around us were, we still made it into the top six, and we're guaranteed the prize money for finishing 6th. Last time I checked that money is still the same even if the teams around us haven't been great. Which means that finishing in the top six is still worth just as much as it would had we been playing in a league full of teams playing really well. The cup is the cup. It all depends on the draw, and how the games go on the day. I'd love a cup run, but it's certainly not something I consider a concrete target. Our target every season from the outset is finishing 10th or better. Once we know that is in the bag we then start looking to potentially finishing in the top six. It seems the general consensus this season is to play down the accomplishments of the team and manager, and focus on the failures, which is fine if that's how people want to play it. But it doesn't change the fact that we've achieved a top six finish this season, with the money that comes with it. We could easily be in the same position as Aberdeen, or Hibs. Or even Dundee. Then the moaners would really have grounds for their negativity!
  16. I thought we looked up for it at the weekend against United. We just didn't convert on any of the chances we got, which seems to be our major problem since selling our top scorer in January.
  17. David

    Alexander.

    The same rumours and hearsay that surrounds every club whenever things aren't going well.
  18. David

    Alexander.

    Alexander hinted that this was done to ensure we had cover for Covid absences, and that he'd rather work with a smaller squad. Well, now he has his chance. Time for him to get the team together and make the required changes for next season. As mentioned previously, he'll have a few months to get that ironed out otherwise he'll be in danger of losing his job. Personally, I think we'll be top six or thereabouts again next season, playing the type of football that could be described as "industrial" at best, but the board knew that when we hired him. He's a results guy, not an excitement, edge of your seat attractive football guy.
  19. David

    Alexander.

    This is key for me. No one is blindly backing him, and no one is pretending that the past few months of football haven't been terrible. If we're sitting in 10th or so come October/November and nothing has changed then the hard questions will need to be answered, and I'm sure they will. But a top six finish, above the likes of Aberdeen and Hibs, surely earns him the chance to restructure the squad post-Covid and put our issues right next season?
  20. We badly need someone to put away one of the chances we've been making. We've hit the woodwork a couple of times lately, and if those go in it makes all the difference.
  21. David

    Alexander.

    One thing that's worth considering, although I'm perfectly aware that certain people won't, is the Covid situation up until recently. At the start of the season, Alexander and other managers mentioned the fact that they suddenly had to increase the size of their squads due to the rules around Covid. This didn't mean they had a larger budget to play with though. They found themselves in a position where they had to stretch their current budget to incorporate another load of players who would act as cover if there was an outbreak and players were ruled out due to isolating and suchlike. The fact that virtually every team outside the top three has been playing like they don't know what a football looks like tells us something. If it was just us, we could point at the manager and ask the question of why all the other clubs are coping fine. But it isn't. It's every club almost. So in short, we're probably sitting with a squad a good bit larger than that Alexander would have wanted, and due to that we've had to stretch our budget to accommodate that. I imagine that the likes of Victor Nirennold, Justin Amaluzor etc will all quietly disappear. Hopefully we see the club take the wages that were spent on the larger squad for Covid purposes condensed and used to bring in quality over quantity this season. For me, Alexander deserves immense credit for not only saving us from the relegation mire we faced when Robinson left, but he also navigated the incredibly tricky waters of a season where Covid was wreaking havoc with our game and ensured we not only avoided relegation, but that we're going to secure 6th place at the very least, and the bump in money that finishing 6th over 7th, 8th, or 9th provides. With that said, the reset button is hit come the end of the season. He knows what needs to be done to get us back on track, and it's on him to do it. He's got a summer transfer window where he can bring in players based purely on his desire for them to be in his team and not based on needing extra bodies for Covid emergencies, and if we're still playing shit and we're down near 10th come October or November, he'll be facing the sack like any other manager would. But, let's not kid ourselves on that we're going to start playing like Man City. We all knew what Alexander's teams were like when he came into the job, and more importantly, so did the board. That they hired him in the first place tells you that they place results over entertainment, so we shouldn't expect them to bin the guy due to him not playing entertaining football. Gary Neville got rid of Alexander at Salford looking for something more easy on the eye, and has since admitted he got it wrong: "Last season, to be fair, Graham Alexander should have never left this club last season. I should have never made that decision that I made." And for those claiming Alexander is clueless or a total mug, his record in management doesn't suggest that to be the case at all: Fleetwood Town - Won promotion via the playoffs in his second season Scunthorpe United - Took them to the playoffs and narrowly missed out to Millwall, who were promoted to the Championship Salford City - Won promotion to League Two in his first season, got to the final of the EFL trophy which wasn't played due to Covid. He knows what he's doing. It may not be pretty on the eye, but he's got a history of getting results and accomplishing what he's hired to do.
  22. David

    John Boyle

    Seems the idea of Boyle coming in with big ideas, spending a lot of money and then royally making an arse of it is just too mainstream for some people.
  23. David

    Alexander.

    Our slump coincided with our top striker and one of our best players deciding to piss off to a rival club. I think that was a pretty big part of the reason for our slide post-Christmas.
  24. David

    Alexander.

    You could be right, but if I was forced to wager on it, I'd say he's going to be given the first half of next season to get things back on track. If we're looking dodgy by November/December then there's hard questions to answer, but the board have invested in him by handing him a long-term deal, and also by signing players long-term. I don't think they'll throw that away by sacking him if he finishes 5th or 6th.

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