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It's hardly the managers fault when players don't do the basics or the ball does not run for you. Yes he is the man in charge and usually the fall guy but our senior players have just not turned up this season. On another night we score 6 and this thread is postponed for another week.

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Our fans wanted a left field appointment over some one like Jimmy Calderwood, who I'm 90% certain would have kept us in the division. So suck it up, 'Well fans.

Think I see the Jimmy Calderwood shout as a safe option.

 

Just someone that's been there & done it & would have steadied the ship til the end of the season.

 

For me ( easy in hindsight I know ) him or someone like him would have been a sensible option

 

The problem for Baraclough is the run that Ross County have hit. When you bring in a new manager you hope he has that sort of impact & for whatever reason ( barring 3 or 4 games ) it's just not happened for him.

 

Would have been interesting to see if Van Der Gaag had got the job & had the same impact as Baraclough if he would have got the same reaction from us fans.

 

I don't think we'll change regardless of what happens but me personally I'd change at the end of the season

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cheap option has bitten us in the arse. Just like St mirren

 

He was the cheap option,

 

 

The post was advertised with a fixed salary so no, he wasn't the cheap option.

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What do you mean?

Ross County were worse off than us by a long shot, yet with new management and shrewd player signings have overtook us in the league. Yet you say nothing could be done at MFC due to the January transfer window being sub standard players. The difference is they picked wisely to get out a hole and unfortunately we've dug ourself into one.

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Our problem was the inexcusable run from January to about March when we hardly took any points. Even average to slightly below average form during that period and we'd probably have been fine. That period also completely destroyed our goal difference.

 

Ross County's run was started by us and a poor performance up the road. Again we win that or even get a draw and Ross County probably don't get the lift and momentum that they did.

 

Ross County's result today has actually cemented my attitude on Baraclough. . When has a team that's been as poor as we have been over a season had so many chances to claw it back? If he doesn't take one of these chances then I'm afraid he's totally failed as a manager and next week must surely be the last one. A win next week blows the whole thing open again but if we don't win then I really don't see how Baraclough can continue with any kind of credibility.

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If we had won last night, with the results today, next Saturday would be massive.

 

At the same time....could St Mirren still catch us? If they win next week and we lose, the game against them is then massive. Surely no manager could survive a situation where his team are 10 points clear of bottom with 5 to play and still finish bottom?!

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Right, tin hat time!

 

I'm probably the only person on this forum who still thinks he should be given the summer to actually put his stamp on the team.

 

 

You're probably right, on this forum, but not in the Well support.

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The post was advertised with a fixed salary so no, he wasn't the cheap option.

Lol. I don't think many people were basing the "cheap option" claim solely on salary,

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If he was able to steady the ship when he took over in the same way Locke initially did at Killie then as Ya Bezzer pointed out then things wouldn't look so desperate.

 

Jim McIntyre took over at RC on the 14th of September. They had a woeful run under him too until, Motherwell at home. That game was a catalyst for them and potentially could be our ultimate undoing (pay-off).

 

I did feel Ross County's run would come to an end, but way before yesterday. It was impossible for them to finish the season with 13+ wins on the bounce. It's just galling that the next fixture could have evened things up, but that all depended on getting a result on Friday. Galling when half our regular home support makes it to the last two fixtures.

 

I've tried to stay off the Baraclough bandwagon but as chronic as we were under McCall, he did address the scoring issues ..... eventually. It's just the defensive frailties haven't and he's had the gig long enough now. Maybe we underestimate the malaise that festered at FP earlier this season, but I've seen countless new managers across many league take up post and stopped shipping goals. However I do feel a seasoned internationalist on top wedge should be leading the line much better.

 

A lot of his signings appear now with hindsight to be a tad kneejerk and no doubt cost the club a lot of money which the WS ultimately will have to cover. While a few of them have been key to moving clear of St. Mirren, a couple less allowing us to get a higher quality player (left back) would have served us better.

 

I can't fault his enthusiasm and positivity. Just need to see it rub off on the players. All the momentum we had built has eroded back to nothing.

 

With Partick virtually safe now, I wonder if come the last game the commercial benefit of us over Ross County (£30k vs £1-2k) may count in our favour. Of course there is professional pride but we can't deny the league as a whole benefits from our continued presence over theirs and that won't be ignored. Question is, will it play any prominence? Integrity wise, you'd hope not. But I'm not caring much about that at present, funny how you let that slip when it's your own team.

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Lol. I don't think many people were basing the "cheap option" claim solely on salary,

 

You mean someone who wouldn't be troubling the directors for too many win bonuses?

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Make no mistake, most of our problems this year are down to Stuart McCall. Ian Baraclough, for whatever reason, hasn't helped much. It may be that our problems were too deep and long term for any new manager to remedy quickly. That said we've had no luck this season especially with injuries. A lot of money was wasted on bad personnel decisions - Bob McHugh, Stuart Carswell, Josh Law, Craig Reid, Iain Vigurs, Gunnar Neilsen, Dan Twardzik, Simon Ramsden, Mark O'Brien, Lionel Ainsworth, and 2 year deals for Keith Lasley and Stephen McManus. Thats what Ian Baraclough inherited.

 

Stuart McCall neglected our defence and he would have known well in advance that Shaun Hutchinson would move on. He would also have known that our central midfield was in dire need of an overhaul. We also needed a right back. Despite these these glaring weaknesses virtually nothing was done last summer to address them. Thats the root cause of our problems.

 

Ian Baraclough had his hands tied when he came in as he inherited all these problems, with limited scope to do much about them. All that said he hasn't motivated the squad - maybe the causes are outwith his control? He made a number of signings in January, with mixed success at best. Its his tactics though that have been found wanting, as we've seen in the last 2 games.

 

The players though must take their share of the blame for turning in too many flat dispirited performances, admittedly with no onfield leadership.

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Make no mistake, most of our problems this year are down to Stuart McCall. Ian Baraclough, for whatever reason, hasn't helped much. It may be that our problems were too deep and long term for any new manager to remedy quickly. That said we've had no luck this season especially with injuries. A lot of money was wasted on bad personnel decisions - Bob McHugh, Stuart Carswell, Josh Law, Craig Reid, Iain Vigurs, Gunnar Neilsen, Dan Twardzik, Simon Ramsden, Mark O'Brien, Lionel Ainsworth, and 2 year deals for Keith Lasley and Stephen McManus. Thats what Ian Baraclough inherited.

 

Stuart McCall neglected our defence and he would have known well in advance that Shaun Hutchinson would move on. He would also have known that our central midfield was in dire need of an overhaul. We also needed a right back. Despite these these glaring weaknesses virtually nothing was done last summer to address them. Thats the root cause of our problems.

 

Serious benefit of hindsight I think? Aye, the squad felt weaker / unbalanced at the start of the season and a few were predicting we'd struggle, but how anyone could have predicted such a catastrophic season is beyond me. Last years squad was hardly the most dynamic or balanced, but we knew how to win. Half of your 'bad personnel decisions' are basically the backbone of the team that finished 2nd last year and took in a record points tally. Just look at the starts between 6 of them.

 

Lasley - 37

Mcmanus - 37

Vigurs - 34

Ainsworth - 22 (+ 11 goals !)

Ramsden - 18

Reid - 13

 

Every one of them played a huge part in our league success last year. We lost Hutchinson and Faddy - two really big players for us, and Hollis and Neilson - two of the most maligned goalies in memory. Were those changes enough to basically half our points tally and suck the winning mentality out of the team? I certainly don't think so.

 

 

To me, the real blow has come from losing Hammell, Vigurs and the series of niggly injuries to numerous key players which led to a few losses early on and significantly changed the mentality of the squad. Are McCall / Black to blame for the injuries? Maybe, maybe not. Unlike many of the sports scientists on here, I just don't have the knowledge to make that judgement. What I do know is that we started this season with a squad that is better than 11th. It's too easy a stick to beat McCall when the problems are far more complex than probably anyone can fathom.

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Make no mistake, most of our problems this year are down to Stuart McCall. Ian Baraclough, for whatever reason, hasn't helped much. It may be that our problems were too deep and long term for any new manager to remedy quickly. That said we've had no luck this season especially with injuries. A lot of money was wasted on bad personnel decisions - Bob McHugh, Stuart Carswell, Josh Law, Craig Reid, Iain Vigurs, Gunnar Neilsen, Dan Twardzik, Simon Ramsden, Mark O'Brien, Lionel Ainsworth, and 2 year deals for Keith Lasley and Stephen McManus. Thats what Ian Baraclough inherited.

 

Stuart McCall neglected our defence and he would have known well in advance that Shaun Hutchinson would move on. He would also have known that our central midfield was in dire need of an overhaul. We also needed a right back. Despite these these glaring weaknesses virtually nothing was done last summer to address them. Thats the root cause of our problems.

 

Ian Baraclough had his hands tied when he came in as he inherited all these problems, with limited scope to do much about them. All that said he hasn't motivated the squad - maybe the causes are outwith his control? He made a number of signings in January, with mixed success at best. Its his tactics though that have been found wanting, as we've seen in the last 2 games.

 

The players though must take their share of the blame for turning in too many flat dispirited performances, admittedly with no onfield leadership.

 

You certainly can't dismiss the number of injuries we've had this season. It's been catastrophic, we've lost about 5 or 6 players for long periods including Hammell and his deputy for most of the season.

 

I also believe the start of the season really set the tone for everything that transpired. We all wanted a winnable European match after some tough draws we got it and we blew it, not once but twice. There was individual player errors but pre season preperation just wasn't good enough and that comes down to McCall.

 

I have a bit more sympathy towards McCall regarding the run down of the squad because I believe basically wasn't given any money, something that Baraclough can't say. He's obviously been supported by the board in a way that McCall wasn't. On the other side of the coin in terms of youth development McCall was utterly useless.

 

Where I disagree with you is the potential of the players. We were very lucky last season to finish 2nd but I felt there was enough there for us to at least fight for a Top 6 place. Never in my wildest dreams did I think we would be 11th with a few weeks to go. You slate players that I think could still do a job for us. With a fit Pearson next to him Lasley looked back to his old self. With Lang, McManus looked a bit more secure. Twardzik, for me is better than Long (and still is 2nd top of the saves table this season). Ainsworth and Vigurs are inconsistant but we need players with a bit of flair and are worth persevering with. Others aren't good enough but I think the core of our team is still good enough that we shouldn't be in this position.

 

Is any one telling me Dundee have better players than us? They certainly have a better manager....

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Serious benefit of hindsight I think? Aye, the squad felt weaker / unbalanced at the start of the season and a few were predicting we'd struggle, but how anyone could have predicted such a catastrophic season is beyond me. Last years squad was hardly the most dynamic or balanced, but we knew how to win. Half of your 'bad personnel decisions' are basically the backbone of the team that finished 2nd last year and took in a record points tally. Just look at the starts between 6 of them.

 

Lasley - 37

Mcmanus - 37

Vigurs - 34

Ainsworth - 22 (+ 11 goals !)

Ramsden - 18

Reid - 13

 

Every one of them played a huge part in our league success last year. We lost Hutchinson and Faddy - two really big players for us, and Hollis and Neilson - two of the most maligned goalies in memory. Were those changes enough to basically half our points tally and suck the winning mentality out of the team? I certainly don't think so.

 

 

To me, the real blow has come from losing Hammell, Vigurs and the series of niggly injuries to numerous key players which led to a few losses early on and significantly changed the mentality of the squad. Are McCall / Black to blame for the injuries? Maybe, maybe not. Unlike many of the sports scientists on here, I just don't have the knowledge to make that judgement. What I do know is that we started this season with a squad that is better than 11th. It's too easy a stick to beat McCall when the problems are far more complex than probably anyone can fathom.

Hindsight - absolutely. I expected us to finish in about 6/7 position this season. Hutchinson was huge loss but we knew well in advance he was leaving and did precious little about it. Faddy - not a huge loss. Despite finishing 2nd last season there were glaring weaknesses which Stuart McCall failed to address - a defence which was shipping barrowloads of goals for years and a poor central midfield - weak since Jennings departed. Carswell hasn't turned out to be the player McCall expected and Lasley was showing signs of ageing - why give him a 2 year contract? Stevie Hammell - maybe worth a one deal if he'd accept that? Where was our emerging left back to step into his shoes - ZFA?

 

Granted we've been very very unlucky with injuries. However questions have been asked about the level of soft tissue injuries as opposed to the unavoidable impact injuries. Iain Vigurs? We knew he was a risk when we signed him and Ross County fans were surprised that we did move for him given his back problems - caveat emptor.

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Twardzik, for me is better than Long (and still is 2nd top of the saves table this season).

Agree with this, I'd still have Twardzik as our player of the season.

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For the last four or five years we've had in the most part the quality in the squad that has allowed us to impose our game and our style of play on the opposition. This year is would appear that the change in playing personnel (for all the reasons mentioned before) has meant most teams are now able to impose their game on us.

 

The problem with Baraclough, and the same was true with McCall at the start of the season, is that he thinks we can can still impose our game when it's clear we can't. We should be trying to make ourselves hard to beat, make sure the defence, and in particular the midfield, is set up to stop us conceding possession so easily which has led to countless goals conceded. By persisting with this 424 formation and two wide men it leaves us badly exposed when it doesn't work. On the few occasions it has worked it has worked really well and resulted in some high scoring positive results, but when it doesn't, and that's against any half decent opposition, it's a disaster. The defensive problems throughout the team we have had all season (poor pressing, poor organisation) have still not been addressed.

 

People in the stands could see that Pearson was contributing absolutely nothing in his last two games (we all presume he is injured), and if we the fans can see it and the manager does he haw about it then there's something badly wrong. We've gone into numerous games where the midfield has been completely overrun, against teams we know will pack the centre of the park. It's not even a surprise when it happens any more.

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For the last four or five years we've had in the most part the quality in the squad that has allowed us to impose our game and our style of play on the opposition. This year is would appear that the change in playing personnel (for all the reasons mentioned before) has meant most teams are now able to impose their game on us.

 

The problem with Baraclough, and the same was true with McCall at the start of the season, is that he thinks we can can still impose our game when it's clear we can't. We should be trying to make ourselves hard to beat, make sure the defence, and in particular the midfield, is set up to stop us conceding possession so easily which has led to countless goals conceded. By persisting with this 424 formation and two wide men it leaves us badly exposed when it doesn't work. On the few occasions it has worked it has worked really well and resulted in some high scoring positive results, but when it doesn't, and that's against any half decent opposition, it's a disaster. The defensive problems throughout the team we have had all season (poor pressing, poor organisation) have still not been addressed.

 

People in the stands could see that Pearson was contributing absolutely nothing in his last two games (we all presume he is injured), and if we the fans can see it and the manager does he haw about it then there's something badly wrong. We've gone into numerous games where the midfield has been completely overrun, against teams we know will pack the centre of the park. It's not even a surprise when it happens any more.

I think that what you say is right but how can it be fixed? By making a change in one area of the park another area is compromised. For me the problem has been for some time that the squad is poor to the extent that when one hole is plugged another one opens.

 

A few examples of this would play:

Play two wide men and lose dominance in the middle of the park or pack the middle and lose the delivery from wide areas.

Play Sutton and lose the mobility of Erwin or play Erwin and lose the goal threat of Sutton.

 

These are just two very simple examples. There has been much criticism of Baraclough's tactics without any real suggestions on how to solve the problems. He can only work with what he has.

 

I think he has done the right thing by sticking by Lasley but the reality is that our captain has only had half a dozen decent games all season. When such an influential player is having little influence and there is no obvious replacement the ramifications in other areas of the park are clear to see.

 

I would be interested to hear peoples views on how these issues can be resolved going into the last four games. For example should Grant be given a chance in the middle of the park? The task to find a good balance is actually a very difficult one and as always it's easy to judge from the sidelines.

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I think our best chance is the team that started against accies. With possible exceptons of goalie and left back. The issue for me was the fact taht we chucked it when they scored the second. As you say we might not have been palyin wel lbut we did create so with over 30 mins to go we should have been getting even more fired up to try and get get back in the game. But for whatewver reason we threw in the towel.

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No leaders in the team, seems like

Very much so Haggis. What we've lacked all season is for a strong character to kick backsides and fire up the players when the going gets tough. Now usually thats the job of an experienced player, but not always. What is needed is strength of character. Are there any leaders in the dressing room? Thats the job of the management team to identify the best person for the role. Now that may not always be the obvious choice of fans.

 

On more than a few occasions our heads have gone down at say 2-0 and thats been it. At Hamilton last Friday you could noticeably feel, heads go down (fans and players alike) when an Accies player simply shot past our captain Keith Lasley and brushed him aside as though he just wasn't there. That was worrying.

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Ross County were worse off than us by a long shot, yet with new management and shrewd player signings have overtook us in the league. Yet you say nothing could be done at MFC due to the January transfer window being sub standard players. The difference is they picked wisely to get out a hole and unfortunately we've dug ourself into one.

 

I'm not entirely sure that we can compare our situation with that of Ross County.

 

Sure, we may be in similar positions in the league, but the long-term restructuring at our club isn't happening in Dingwall, is it? Our club has been going through something of a seismic shift over the past six months or so, which has to be taken into account I think.

 

Many a time have I seen complaints on this forum that our transfer policy is all wrong, how we don't rear enough young players of our own, and how we don't get higher transfer fees for them and suchlike. At the start of the season we were seeing people going on about the fitness levels of the team, and how McCall was basically a season to season kind of manager when it comes to signings.

 

I know a lot of people don't really want to hear this, but sorting out the mess at our club is going to take time.

 

I'll be the first to say (and did say before we appointed a new manager) that the best option would have been bringing in an "auld heid" to see us through the season until the summer where proper plans could be put into place under a manager who shared the long-term vision of the owner and board. For whatever reason that didn't happen, and we got that manager in the middle of our worst season since the Malpas era I believe.

 

The truth is, the club could have went for a more "safe" choice as manager, maybe another McCall-type who would have come in, papered over the cracks and continued the status quo. The problem was that the status quo appeared to be causing more damage to the club than most of us knew. According to those in power now the finances were in a more fucked up way than most of us thought.

 

We simply cannot go on with the current system, as it's not providing the stability the club needs.

 

Regardless of our opinion of him over the short-term thus far, the owner and board seem to have a lot of faith in Baraclough. There are some fairly savvy heads running things, some of whom were there before, and some of whom have recently come on board.

 

I'm guessing we simply have to put some faith into the people who are writing the long-term plan for the club, and that includes giving Baraclough time to sort out the poor, ageing squad that he's inherited. He was never going to do that in a January transfer window. He has to move a lot of players on, and bring in some fresh faces on permanent deals.

 

He needs a proper summer to do just that.

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