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Ronnie McDevitt

Ally Macleod At Motherwell

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Hi guys.

 

I am currently writing the biography of Ally MacLeod looking at his whole career withhis time at Fir Park between 1978 - 1981 covered.

 

During my research I can see he spent a lot of time promoting the club and meetingsupporters and am keen to get some more information on this angle.

 

I was hoping older members may have some memories of his dealings with thesupporters clubs or other functions or indeed any memories of his time at FirPark.

 

If you can help I would be most grateful.

 

 

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/More-Than-Argentina-Authorised-Biography/dp/1909626317/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1394801991&sr=1-1&keywords=argentina+more+than

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Pulled from the shoutbox... not much info there

 

i remember his first game in charge. Went to firhill and hardly recognized the team.

Ally totally gutted the team and put in a bunch of youngsters if i mind right.

 

weeyin : MacLeod was OK when he first came in. The team had been dire and needed a real shake up. But his tactics weren't the greatest. Davie Hay romped the First Division with what was basically MacLeod's team.

 

steelman1991 Thistle away that season 1978-79 Ally gave full debuts to Iain MacLeod, Stuart Rafferty and Meikle, though Rafferty appeared as a sub earlier that season - under Roger Hynd, so not quite plucked from the Juniors - he had been signed earlier that season by Hynd.

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I think the lack of response to this topic, clearly illustrates Ally's short time at the 'well - uninspiring and forgettable in equal measure.

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Personally I would think it's more down to the age factor. Folk are generally happy enough to reminisce positively or negatively if given the opportunity.

 

I mean I'm 40 so I'd have been between four and seven when McLeod was manager. I can remember my tammy getting used for the sweep on the bus or going to places like Berwick where it seemed like it took the whole day to get there and getting excited about seeing big fuck off oil tankers in the North Sea. But I couldn't for the life of me offer a meaningful contribution as to McLeod's success or lack of as manager.

 

I'd guess a lot of posters would be the same in that their knowledge of the game would only just be forming around the time he left.

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I'm old enough to remember a bit more. Ally had returned from Argentina with his tail between his legs. Even that baggage was enough to see him a better choice than the outgoing Roger Hynd though. Jose Mourinho couldn't have kept us up in 78-79. I remember the headline splashed on the back pages when Ally put something like ten first team players up for sale and brought in youngsters. The only win we got in our last 16 league games was a 2-0 win at home to Rangers.

79-80 we had a poor start with no wins in our first seven games. Ally brought in Brian McLaughlin from Ayr and things improved but we still ended up 8 behind second placed Airdrie. We came closer the next year, just three behind 2nd placed Dundee but we had another slow start.

For some reason I went into 81-82 full of confidence. We had ended the last year with only one defeat in 16 games. But again we had a slow start taking just one point from a tough league cup group that included two Premier teams and that was enough to see Ally out, Davie Hay in and we know the rest. Davie brought in Alfie Conn and, later in the season, Tommy O'Hara and we strolled the league.

Would Ally's team have won the league? Possibly but maybe not so convincingly. Ally had spent a few years building that team and maybe deserved the chance to see the job through.

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I remember the initial excitement of Ally MacLeod coming to manage Motherwell, however, apart from that it’s a bit of a blur. The official site doesn’t offer much of an insight, and even manages to misspell his surname (maybe that’s a sign).

 

 

After the World Cup, McLeod returned to club management with Ayr United but this post lasted only 74 days before Motherwell offered him a fresh challenge.

 

The team he inherited was doomed to relegation and so he set about wholesale changes, putting the entire first team squad up for transfer and blooding youngsters.

 

Despite being favourites for a quick return to the Premier League, Motherwell fell short in season 1979/80 and again the following year – costing McLeod his job.

 

 

 

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For some reason I went into 81-82 full of confidence. We had ended the last year with only one defeat in 16 games. But again we had a slow start taking just one point from a tough league cup group that included two Premier teams and that was enough to see Ally out, Davie Hay in and we know the rest. Davie brought in Alfie Conn and, later in the season, Tommy O'Hara and we strolled the league.

Would Ally's team have won the league? Possibly but maybe not so convincingly. Ally had spent a few years building that team and maybe deserved the chance to see the job through.

 

 

I agree with the optimism at the start of the season.

 

The programme for the Dundee Utd game on the Wednesday night (the day after Ally was sacked)obviously had his Manager's column where he said he was glad that the League Cup had reverted back to a section of 4 format as it prepared us perfectly for the important league campaign, and that he was confident that we now had the team that would take us back to the top division.

 

I feel that if he had been left in charge that we would have won the league and of course we wouldn't have been looking for a new manager for the following season after Hay left us hanging on while he waited for reply from his big job in America.

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Thanks for your replies guys. Jim H and Brainier I would like to use your quotes in the book. If you want to email me on [email protected] with your full names you will be credited.

Incidentally Alfie Conn was an Ally signing Brainier, possibly his last. Not sure if he played in any of his 5 League Cup games start of that season. Im pretty sure he was injured for at least the Partick game so It may very well be that Hay gave him his first start.

 

Also the first programme for the season V Partick says pretty much the same as the Dundee Utd one Jim in that he welcomed the return of the League Cup group format in preparation for the promotion push.

Edited by Ronnie McDevitt

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