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Mcghee Out?

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Mark McGhee has made some good signings, some mediocre ones and some poor ones. Most managers do the same. I wonderhow Lee Clarke's record at Rugby Park compares. The current team is performing slightly better than our historic average. We've seen some very good teams at Fir Park and a lot of dire ones. Even Tommy MacLean had a mixed record. Yes he made some very astute signings but he also signed quite a few duds. For years his teams were ultra defensive and boring to watch but they got results. However they were capable of defending. I think our current problem is that the squad we have is not cut out to play the way Mark McGhee wants them to on many occasions. Some resemblance to the Jim Gannon era. I loved his footballing tactics but the problem was that the players he brought in weren't capable of playing that way.

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How many first team squad players do we have now?

 

Depends what you're classing first team squad players? Are you including the likes of Thomas and Moore (who are out on loan), MacLean and Ferguson who are u20s players on the fringes of the first team or McFadden who's registered as a player but primarily has a staff role.

 

Looking at it on the basis of those who have regular matchday involvement or were obviously signed for the first team I count 21 "first team" (which seems a reasonable number compared to those clubs around us) supplemented by 5 from the u20s group.

 

Goalkeepers:

Samson, Griffiths (on loan from Everton)

 

Defenders:

Tait, Heneghan, McManus, Hammell, Chalmers, Kennedy, Jules (on loan from Reading)

 

Midfielders:

Cadden, Ainsworth, Clay, Lasley, Lucas, McHugh, Pearson, Frear

 

Attackers:

McDonald, Moult, Bowman, Blyth

 

U20s:

Ferguson, MacLean (injured), McMillan, Hastie, Campbell

 

Out on loan:

Thomas (on loan at QotS), Moore (on loan at Ayr United), Mackin (on development loan at Alloa Athletic)

 

Player/Asst. Manager:

McFadden

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Depends what you're classing first team squad players? Are you including the likes of Thomas and Moore (who are out on loan), MacLean and Ferguson who are u20s players on the fringes of the first team or McFadden who's registered as a player but primarily has a staff role.

 

Looking at it on the basis of those who have regular matchday involvement or were obviously signed for the first team I count 21 "first team" (which seems a reasonable number compared to those clubs around us) supplemented by 5 from the u20s group.

 

Goalkeepers:

Samson, Griffiths (on loan from Everton)

 

Defenders:

Tait, Heneghan, McManus, Hammell, Chalmers, Kennedy, Jules (on loan from Reading)

 

Midfielders:

Cadden, Ainsworth, Clay, Lasley, Lucas, McHugh, Pearson, Frear

 

Attackers:

McDonald, Moult, Bowman, Blyth

 

U20s:

Ferguson, MacLean (injured), McMillan, Hastie, Campbell

 

Out on loan:

Thomas (on loan at QotS), Moore (on loan at Ayr United), Mackin (on development loan at Alloa Athletic)

 

Player/Asst. Manager:

McFadden

Thanks for that and I agree with your assessment. It seems staggering to me that we couldn't field two strikers on Saturday. God forbid that either or Moult/McDonald get injured on the run in. Toothless with one down, relegation material if we lose both.

 

After three transfer windows McGhee has delivered us an coterie of ancient, unproven, and not fit for purpose players. You'd struggle to name six players from that squad that would get a pass mark for their contribution this season.

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Thanks for that and I agree with your assessment. It seems staggering to me that we couldn't field two strikers on Saturday. God forbid that either or Moult/McDonald get injured on the run in. Toothless with one down, relegation material if we lose both.

 

 

Fair comment. Its hard to say why Bowman wasn't fielded on Saturday. It could be because Mark McGhee always intended to play just one out and out striker or whether he just doesn't rate Bowman, in which case why was he on the bench?

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I think the influence McDonald has on our team (and in McGhees selections) can't be understated. I'd go as far as saying that we'll miss him much more when he goes than we will miss Moult

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Fair comment. Its hard to say why Bowman wasn't fielded on Saturday. It could be because Mark McGhee always intended to play just one out and out striker or whether he just doesn't rate Bowman, in which case why was he on the bench?

I think he sees Bowman more as a replacement for Moult. What I've seen of Bowman he doesn't look like he could do the linking job that McDonald.

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I think he sees Bowman more as a replacement for Bruce Clelland. What I've seen of Bowman he doesn't look like he could do the linking job that McDonald.

 

FTFY

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Some resemblance to the Jim Gannon era. I loved his footballing tactics but the problem was that the players he brought in weren't capable of playing that way.

 

Some of the players he brought in were quite adept at playing his system - it was those that were here when he came that couldn't :dash2::biggrin:

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You can look at this thread a number of different ways I suppose. When we supposedly budgeted for 10th and are currently sitting 6th then you'd have to say he's at least meeting expectations. For a thread like things to have over a full page of posts after one defeat, in which several things outwith his control happened is quite bizarre.

 

On the other hand, the fact that the thread is seemingly activated after every defeat probably signifies the inconsistency that's plagued our season. Personally, I don't think it's time for McGhee to go but I do think it's unacceptable not to have won two games in a row all season. However, again on the flipside, despite not being flush with wins, Saturday was our third defeat in eight league games, which as a stat by itself doesn't seem so bad.

 

I think people let their personal feelings on Mark McGhee cloud their judgement and thus fail to make a rational and balanced opinion on the job he is doing at the club. The amount of care people have towards the perceived personality of a man they don't know is quite staggering, verging on sad if you ask me. If you stay away from Fir Park because of him, you were probably looking for an excuse not to go anyway.

 

I think he has definitely failed on recruitment this season. Tait looks to be a good signing as do Heneghan and McHugh, but the jury remains out on Lucas (mainly fitness related) and Clay (puts a shift in but doesn't add much quality). Giving Samson a new contract, for him to have the amount of errors he's had and remained in the team despite the fact we signed a keeper with SPL experience in the summer is staggering. Not having enough conviction in his own summer signings has been bizarre, Bowman not starting in Saturday, Blyth barely featuring (is he injured or is there more to it?) Brill not featuring etc. Belic was a failure too but apparently he came at no cost so that's a risk I suppose that was worth taking. All of that has to be a black mark against his name. I am quietly confident about his January recruitment though.

 

The 3-4-3 formation on Saturday was bizarre, no doubt about it. Ainsworth who has failed in his attempts to nail down the right wing berth suddenly becoming a centre forward is baffling when Bowman has been waiting on his chance. That formation works for Chelsea, but with a battering ram like Diego Costa at the head of it. However, I think those clamouring for Ainsworth's inclusion all the time give a prime example of a player becoming better down to the fact he's not playing. We're now onto the third manager who's failed to get him playing consistently, you begin to think the manager's not the problem (good to look at how many clubs he's had).

 

With those proposing to let him go, what's the alternative? Craigan is going to be the obvious shout but last year he said it would be too risky to give up his TV work and under 20s role which he enjoyed. We're now stuck with the players we have until the end of the season at least, do we just chance that someone else could get the better out of them?

 

I'm sure anyone with rationality would agree that McGhee did work wonders last season to get us fifth, so with a significantly reduced budget to be struggling a bit more (also worth bearing in mind we properly kicked in February/March last season) it's not a surprise. Have we recruited badly? Yes. Have we failed to strike a consistent run of form? Yes. Has it left us in a hopeless position? No.

 

This year so far we have lost to two sides above us in the league and won against one around us. Circumstances aren't always black and white, but judging a manager on two games against Rangers and one against a Hearts side who have just spent a lot of money is harsh.

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I'm more concerned by the fact that we pursued Bowman, paid a fee for him and then he's been pushed to the sidelines.

I couldn't agree more, on Saturday the fact Skippy is out and Bowman isn't considered and rather play Lionel out of position shows he can't be rated at all. To be honest I don't know what position Bowman is or where he fits into our system.

 

Blyth has been injured/unfit but he appears way off the mark.

 

I wonder if Mackin would have got a shot if he wasn't out on loan but think as a result of the project Brave scoring system more youth players will go out on loan

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You can look at this thread a number of different ways I suppose. When we supposedly budgeted for 10th and are currently sitting 6th then you'd have to say he's at least meeting expectations. For a thread like things to have over a full page of posts after one defeat, in which several things outwith his control happened is quite bizarre.

 

On the other hand, the fact that the thread is seemingly activated after every defeat probably signifies the inconsistency that's plagued our season. Personally, I don't think it's time for McGhee to go but I do think it's unacceptable not to have won two games in a row all season. However, again on the flipside, despite not being flush with wins, Saturday was our third defeat in eight league games, which as a stat by itself doesn't seem so bad.

 

I think people let their personal feelings on Mark McGhee cloud their judgement and thus fail to make a rational and balanced opinion on the job he is doing at the club. The amount of care people have towards the perceived personality of a man they don't know is quite staggering, verging on sad if you ask me. If you stay away from Fir Park because of him, you were probably looking for an excuse not to go anyway.

 

I think he has definitely failed on recruitment this season. Tait looks to be a good signing as do Heneghan and McHugh, but the jury remains out on Lucas (mainly fitness related) and Clay (puts a shift in but doesn't add much quality). Giving Samson a new contract, for him to have the amount of errors he's had and remained in the team despite the fact we signed a keeper with SPL experience in the summer is staggering. Not having enough conviction in his own summer signings has been bizarre, Bowman not starting in Saturday, Blyth barely featuring (is he injured or is there more to it?) Brill not featuring etc. Belic was a failure too but apparently he came at no cost so that's a risk I suppose that was worth taking. All of that has to be a black mark against his name. I am quietly confident about his January recruitment though.

 

The 3-4-3 formation on Saturday was bizarre, no doubt about it. Ainsworth who has failed in his attempts to nail down the right wing berth suddenly becoming a centre forward is baffling when Bowman has been waiting on his chance. That formation works for Chelsea, but with a battering ram like Diego Costa at the head of it. However, I think those clamouring for Ainsworth's inclusion all the time give a prime example of a player becoming better down to the fact he's not playing. We're now onto the third manager who's failed to get him playing consistently, you begin to think the manager's not the problem (good to look at how many clubs he's had).

 

With those proposing to let him go, what's the alternative? Craigan is going to be the obvious shout but last year he said it would be too risky to give up his TV work and under 20s role which he enjoyed. We're now stuck with the players we have until the end of the season at least, do we just chance that someone else could get the better out of them?

 

I'm sure anyone with rationality would agree that McGhee did work wonders last season to get us fifth, so with a significantly reduced budget to be struggling a bit more (also worth bearing in mind we properly kicked in February/March last season) it's not a surprise. Have we recruited badly? Yes. Have we failed to strike a consistent run of form? Yes. Has it left us in a hopeless position? No.

 

This year so far we have lost to two sides above us in the league and won against one around us. Circumstances aren't always black and white, but judging a manager on two games against Rangers and one against a Hearts side who have just spent a lot of money is harsh.

 

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. Not having enough conviction in his own summer signings has been bizarre, Bowman not starting in Saturday, Blyth barely featuring (is he injured or is there more to it?) Brill not featuring etc.

 

I don't think there is any mystery. When they have played they have looked like complete haddies, if they are struggling at training they aren't going to get a game.

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I think he has definitely failed on recruitment this season. Tait looks to be a good signing as do Heneghan and McHugh, but the jury remains out on Lucas (mainly fitness related) and Clay (puts a shift in but doesn't add much quality). Giving Samson a new contract, for him to have the amount of errors he's had and remained in the team despite the fact we signed a keeper with SPL experience in the summer is staggering. Not having enough conviction in his own summer signings has been bizarre, Bowman not starting in Saturday, Blyth barely featuring (is he injured or is there more to it?) Brill not featuring etc. Belic was a failure too but apparently he came at no cost so that's a risk I suppose that was worth taking. All of that has to be a black mark against his name. I am quietly confident about his January recruitment though.

 

Agree re: Samson in terms of actually re-signing him when he was out of contract but I think with regards Brill any comment on him signing really needs to be caveated with the point that we signed a 'keeper with SPL experience, who had only played 20 mins of first team football in 18 months.

 

I've no idea if this was the case or not but with the benefit of hindsight I get the feeling that we took a punt on Brill given the fact he had been out as long in the hope that with some work and rehab we'd end up with the goalkeeper who did well for ICT and had the potential to be a better option that Samson, allowing us two experienced goalkeepers on potentially less that we might otherwise have expected (with Samson having been offered reduced terms and Brill presumably open to offers as he'd been released and had a well documented injury situation).

 

The reality with Brill was that we just ended up with a goalie who seemed out of shape and in truth wasn't even near Samson's level. Not that that makes the upshot of the signing any better but I think there's a point at which we should probably acknowledge that in signing Brill we weren't necessarily getting the same 'keeper that had been first choice at ICT.

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Agree re: Samson in terms of actually re-signing him when he was out of contract but I think with regards Brill any comment on him signing really needs to be caveated with the point that we signed a 'keeper with SPL experience, who had only played 20 mins of first team football in 18 months.

 

I've no idea if this was the case or not but with the benefit of hindsight I get the feeling that we took a punt on Brill given the fact he had been out as long in the hope that with some work and rehab we'd end up with the goalkeeper who did well for ICT and had the potential to be a better option that Samson, allowing us two experienced goalkeepers on potentially less that we might otherwise have expected (with Samson having been offered reduced terms and Brill presumably open to offers as he'd been released and had a well documented injury situation).

 

The reality with Brill was that we just ended up with a goalie who seemed out of shape and in truth wasn't even near Samson's level. Not that that makes the upshot of the signing any better but I think there's a point at which we should probably acknowledge that in signing Brill we weren't necessarily getting the same 'keeper that had been first choice at ICT.

All very valid points, Brill certainly didn't look that well in shape any time I seen him. I guess it'll be interesting to see if he plays at Colchester, I know he didn't on Saturday. I'd be interested to find out how much Griffiths is picking up in comparison to him.

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All very valid points, Brill certainly didn't look that well in shape any time I seen him. I guess it'll be interesting to see if he plays at Colchester, I know he didn't on Saturday. I'd be interested to find out how much Griffiths is picking up in comparison to him.

 

Brill was on the bench at the weekend in the 1-1 draw with Blackpool so it's not like he's gone straight into the side.

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I don't think there is any mystery. When they have played they have looked like complete haddies, if they are struggling at training they aren't going to get a game.

Blyth has played forty minutes over three sub appearances. I don't know if your training comment is "inside info" but if you can judge a player on forty non-consecutive minutes then we'd be as well employing you as chief scout.

 

Bowman for me looked good against Accies, making three of Moult's four goals. I think the only time I seen him starting since then was against Inverness at home when he was poor. It's obviously not as black and white as a player from the conference (seemingly our level of signing a player) coming up and the transaction being seamless, as he has hit double figures there a number of times.

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I have seen Blyth twice at Fir Park and once on a stream from Ibrox. At no point did in any of three appearances did he make any kind of positive contribution and the kind of things he was attempting to do in the two games at Fir Park suggest that he's not much of a player. Even something as simple as being a target for a shy up the line he was struggling at. You can't properly judge a player in 40 mins but you can see who is never a player.

 

Bowman started against Partick and Hearts and looked a long way short of the required standard. I expect he will get a few more opportunities but he's not looking likely to be a good addition.

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I find it hard to believe that a non-league player such as Bowman is fit for first team action without a professional pre-season.

 

Beating the signing deadline by minutes in the summer window, then being in the first team squad days later, is a laughable failure of management.

 

If Bowman fails at Fir Park it's down to our club and management for throwing him to the wolves. If we are going to pursue non-league players we must give them a full pre-season. If they sign too late, they need to be put through a tailored pre-season before being included in the first team squad ( emergency excepted ).

 

It's not our role as a club to destroy players confidence. And it's not the role of the fans to be so fucking judgemental when it boils down to a failure by our club to nurture and develop players.

 

On a separate issue, my first view of Blyth was that he had the coordination of a new born giraffe. I wonder if the club would consider allowing our sports scientists to view players before signing them ( maybe we do, don't know ). I get the impression the first time our sports medics see a player is when he turns up for a medical.

 

Once again, so 1970's.

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I wouldn't agree with your 'failure of management' words (signing Bowman then wasn't through choice, it was only because that's when we had the money available), however you make some other good points.

 

You've heard a few of the Conference players come up here and one of the first things they say is how quicker the game is up here. So that's obviously going to mean they are required to be fitter. Your point of a pre-season is absolutely valid, and I think it'll be next season before you can properly judge the likes of Bowman and Freer.

 

I've said from pretty much day one that I believe we've taken Bowman to be the replacement for Moult, and we probably assumed Moult would have been away in January. It didn't happen, but I assume he'll be gone in the summer, and Bowman will get that chance to do a proper pre-season and be the number one striker from August. As Joe said earlier, he played very well in the game against Hamilton, so there is a player there in my eyes. The number of people happy to write these guys off because they haven't hit the ground running is very poor, I also agree.

 

However, you say that it's a failure of management for not developing or nurturing these players. How do you know the likes of Bowman & Freer haven't been signed with a view to next season? They could have been told they are here for the next few months to get fit, get used to the place, with the plan of them being ready for next season. Who knows?

 

For all the chat of "why didn't Bowman play on Saturday?", it was never going to happen. A straight swap with Bowman for McDonald doesn't make sense. They are completely different players. We're not going to stick Ainsworth in the middle of the park because Lasley or McHugh is out, just because they are both midfielders. If there's any time between now and May where Moult is injured or suspended, then Bowman will get his shot.

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I have seen Blyth twice at Fir Park and once on a stream from Ibrox. At no point did in any of three appearances did he make any kind of positive contribution and the kind of things he was attempting to do in the two games at Fir Park suggest that he's not much of a player. Even something as simple as being a target for a shy up the line he was struggling at. You can't properly judge a player in 40 mins but you can see who is never a player.

 

Bowman started against Partick and Hearts and looked a long way short of the required standard. I expect he will get a few more opportunities but he's not looking likely to be a good addition.

 

He came on for three minutes at Ibrox, as in 180 seconds. The fact you find his performance that day worth noting says it all. I doubt he's going to do much for us the way things are turning out but I really don't know how you think you're qualified to make that judgement.

 

I find it hard to believe that a non-league player such as Bowman is fit for first team action without a professional pre-season.

 

Beating the signing deadline by minutes in the summer window, then being in the first team squad days later, is a laughable failure of management.

 

If Bowman fails at Fir Park it's down to our club and management for throwing him to the wolves. If we are going to pursue non-league players we must give them a full pre-season. If they sign too late, they need to be put through a tailored pre-season before being included in the first team squad ( emergency excepted ).

 

It's not our role as a club to destroy players confidence. And it's not the role of the fans to be so fucking judgemental when it boils down to a failure by our club to nurture and develop players.

 

On a separate issue, my first view of Blyth was that he had the coordination of a new born giraffe. I wonder if the club would consider allowing our sports scientists to view players before signing them ( maybe we do, don't know ). I get the impression the first time our sports medics see a player is when he turns up for a medical.

 

Once again, so 1970's.

 

I'm pretty sure Gateshead at full time. Whilst a conference pre-season might be slightly lower than Scottish Premiership for the standard of coaching, I don't think his fitness levels would've been a million miles away. Would you have had any issue with a player coming from Falkirk or Queen of the South, for example, coming straight into the squad?

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I know this is the 'McGhee Out' thread but since there's a bit of chat about Bowman I thought I'd just stick this point in here. I'm in complete agreement with Desp re: him seeming like a longer term replacement for Moult etc however one thing that I do find quite odd is that we've not given him a run of games in the u20s. Blyth's popped up a couple of times, presumably to try and get him some sort of fitness but it seems curious that Bowman's not had a run out there to give him some minutes and at least try to get him in the habit of getting some goals which he's managed to do at his previous clubs; 23 in 54 games wasn't a bad return for Gateshead or 18 in 44 for Torquay.

 

I get that Mackin's been in really good form for the 20s this season but Bowman just seems to have been in a weird sort of limbo. There's no chance he's going to start ahead of Moult and McDonald given their form and goals so the only level that you'd think he'd be able to get game time is with the 20s, where Mackin, Hastie and Falconer have also been in form and showing signs of development.

 

Who knows, with Mackin being out on loan maybe Bowman may be able to drop down and get some minutes. Without wanting to veer into cliche I'd have thought that confidence would be a big part of a striker's make-up and I can't really see that being sat on the bench and chucked on with 15 minutes to go if we're chasing a game is conducive to a player being able to make an impact if he's had zero game time outwith training.

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I think there is a fair argument to be made that this is, if not the worst, certainly one of the worst Motherwell teams of the last 30 years or so. We have had teams that might have been in greater relegation bother but in absolute terms this is a squad bereft of real quality.

 

How many players in this team are above average for the league? Moult? Probably, though he is not without limitations. McDonald? Still just about but that depends on sample size and his form at any given point. The rest? No better than ordinary. Can we blame McGhee for this? Well its certainly true that many are his signings. Tait - unremarkable at best. Heneghan - raw. Bowman - clearly not of the required standard. Clay/Lucas/McHugh - practically interchangeable - not without decent touches but no pace, slow feet, no drive. There is no question the results of his signing choices are poor but how much better should we *expect* rather than hope them to be?

 

I am not sure thats a question most of us are equipped to answer. Its apparent now that non-league players from England are typical of the level that most teams in Scotland can shop at and these players are available at that level for a reason. If you are looking for something above that standard then yes, you might find a few but the balance of probability suggests that most will but just what you would expect them to be. Now thats obviously a way that a manager can add value - by finding the diamonds but unless you can either utilise relative spending power or find some sort of market inefficiency thats still a gamble and even the most knowledgeable gambler can still be beaten by pure dumb chance.

 

So i cant with any certainity criticise McGhee for his lack of success in recruitment but we do need to look at where this club is headed. Assuming there is going to be one, what is the next good team going to look like and where will those players come from? Whats the strategy that gets us from this point where the players are poor, the football is consequently uninspiring and results are inevitably mediocre?

 

If that strategy is picking up diamonds from the lower leagues in England then we are doomed. Any market inefficiency there is rapidly swallowed up as its identified as a valid source for players. Out only route out is always going to be through youth development. McGhee has had a chunk of criticism here about his commitment to that cause but there is no point in putting the players in the team if you cant attract and develop the players in the first place. Where other, perhaps bigger clubs, might in the past have neglected their systems and relied on buying in talent we now have well resourced academies at the big city clubs and elsewhere. Even home grown players dont come free and unless we can invest heavily this again is a gamble.

 

So the verdict on McGhee? If he can get a relatively organised team on the park with the resources he has and keep us away form relegation then thats fine. If he can do it year on year till the point we luck out and unearth some decent players then that might be the best we can hope for too.

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Now that we are paying for players, I'd like to think Bowman and Frear have a promising future at Fir Park. Ideally, that involves performing well and eventually leaving for a fee. Next best scenario is becoming important first team players who contribute then move on for nothing (i.e. Randolph). Worst case would be hardly kicking a ball for us and leaving for nothing.

 

This makes me wonder, is Mcghee working with same scouting network / personnel that Baraclough unearthed Marvin and Moult with? Given we have paid a fee for players for the first time in years, it feels like the pressure is on (in my head at least) for Bowman and Frear to be successes. If they have come in based on the same criteria as Marvin and Moult, I'll be slightly more reassured.

 

Aye, a lot of Baraclough's signings didn't work out however if we get a decent fee for Moult to add to the £400k for Marvin, then in at least one sense his signing policy will have been a success.

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