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Kmcalpin

2019-20 League Cup

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56 minutes ago, GazzyB said:

Hartley makes it 2-0!

I've got us -2.5 goals, please score again Motherwell!

I had us at minus 2. A surefire way for the score to end with a 2 goal margin of victory. 

I blame the grass....

 

 

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A win is always good. Still getting up to speed and a work in progress?  Undoubtedly, but only to be expected. This is glorified pre-season with the bonus of a league cup place ( more likely the threat of no place if you bugger it up. Another ninety minutes of match play, another  clean sheet, hopefully no injuries. Yes, six or seven goals would have been nice, but would really have meant very little.

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Not long in from my first game of the season. What happened to the free flowing attacking football I was promised?

Seriously, they plugged away against a determined Dumbarton team who defended deep and the pitch didn't help either. I've seen us make a mess of this type of game but we could have scored a good few more tonight. 

Really liked the look of Gallacher and McGuire did well in midfield. Some nice touches (and a few heavy ones too) from Long when he came on. 

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Lots of patience required tonight. As soon as I saw the pitch I felt it was going to be harder than I had envisaged. Fair play to Dumbarton. They were very organised, defended well and the long grass stopped us from zipping the ball about and slowed our wide players down.

It was exactly the kind of night that would have seen us come a cropper in the past but this was no Edinburgh City or Stranraer.

We dominated the game, barely allowed them anywhere near our goal, let alone concede one and kept probing patiently looking for the opening.

Yes we could have used the ball better and quicker at times and we might have done better with some of the chances we did create, however, it was a pretty comfortable victory which sets us up nicely for Ssturday where we should be much more effective on our well watered bowling green.

PS. I thought Maguire had a very good game and did what he was asked to do. Didnt think he looked out of place at all.

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Turned out to be a tricky match. Grass you could hid elephants in, uneven, tight little pitch.  Hot evening as well with no sight of sprinklers.

Dumbarton didn't cause us any problems, outside of Hartley thinking he's a footballer and giving the ball away.

However the game was squeezed into a narrow area with Dumbarton usually playing with 11 men behind the ball.

First half couldn't really get the wide players going and didn't create a whole lot despite having must of the possession.

Second half Hylton came more into the match but often the final ball wasn't great.

Thought Maguire did fine, Gallagher strolled through the match again and Hylton gave their number 2 a grilling in the second half but with a very crowded penalty box he couldn't quite pick out a man.

Overall this one in terms of the opposition and the conditions wasn't suited to our strengths but we got through it comfortably in the end.

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5 hours ago, weeyin said:

A lot will depend on whether Dumbarton decide to park the bus tonight, or decide they can go for it in a game where the result is meaningless to them.

Those were my prematch thoughts as well.  I had the suspicion that Dumbarton would make life more difficult for us than they did for either Morton or QoS. Against those 2 sides they may have felt slightly more confident about playing more open football.  Against us it would damage limitation from the off.  I didn't reckon on them leaving the grass longer however.  

Still a win is a win and we record another clean sheet which isn't bad going.  More players getting game time too.  Seems we took a decent crowd to the game.  How did our 2 ex players fare?

 

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36 minutes ago, Bert the Sailor said:

Crying out for an actual midfielder in the ‘Gorrin’ role. Shoehorning defenders into that role is killing the creativity in the middle. 

Thats my fear too so far, without having seen Sloth play. Gorrin was able to support our defensive midfielder but also support the attacking midfielder -  a true all rounder who was comfortable on the ball and I'm not sure Maguire or Donnelly fit into that category.    

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44 minutes ago, underboyleheating said:

League cup, could this be our year? 

Nope.

Now ask me a difficult one :ph34r:

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14 minutes ago, Kmcalpin said:

Thats my fear too so far, without having seen Sloth play. Gorrin was able to support our defensive midfielder but also support the attacking midfielder -  a true all rounder who was comfortable on the ball and I'm not sure Maguire or Donnelly fit into that category.    

I suspect Sloth was brought in to play that role, but difficult to tell until we see him get some decent playing time.

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Just Ross County and ourselves that have won 3 out of 3 so far, so can't be too disappointed with the current form.

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7 hours ago, Kmcalpin said:

Thats my fear too so far, without having seen Sloth play. Gorrin was able to support our defensive midfielder but also support the attacking midfielder -  a true all rounder who was comfortable on the ball and I'm not sure Maguire or Donnelly fit into that category.    

Gorrin was our defensive midfielder, always playing deepest of the three when he played...

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Had no idea how to break down a packed defence we badly need a midfielder who can play a killer pass or even just a pass. 

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Having been at all three League cup games, I'm reasonably happy with the way things are shaping up. 

Two good keepers, Griffiths has possession (rightly so) but Carson will be desperate to grab any chance that comes his way. The back four looks like it will shape up as: Tait - Gallagher - Dunne - Carroll, with Grimshaw covering RB, Tait / Livingstone for LB and Hartley and McGuire as cover for CB.

Midfield is more of a concern, Donnelly and McGuire have done ok but that should be tempered by the quality of the opposition, Polworth looked decent v Morton but last night struggled to unlock a packed defence, his also applies to Ilic. Campbell is the only guaranteed starter and even then, I think he is being asked to play further forward than he naturally wants too, the return of Turnbull would allow AC to play the sitting midfielder role either beside Donnelly / McGuire when we are expecting to be defending more or beside Ilic / Polworth in games when we should be on the front foot. A front three containing two of Hylton / Seedorf / Ilic will be exciting to watch but I'm not convinced with  Scott at CF (that's not a criticism, he just needs more experience) and I haven't seen enough of Long or Cole to form an opinion.

All that said, I'm hopeful of an entertaining and enjoyable season. Moan the 'Well.

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I'm seeing a lot of discussion of our midfield over the last few games, mainly negative. It's worth talking about. 

We've gone from a midfield of Gorrin, Campbell and Turnbull to a midfield of Donnelly/Maguire, Campbell and Pokworth. Changing two players in a three man midfield, it's understandable that it will take more than a few games to gel in the same way, irrespective of the quality of the individuals. 

Gorrin is being held up at the minute as the standard that Donnelly and Maguire should be aspiring to. I liked Gorrin but we're talking about a defensive midfielder who started 16 games for us and picked up 6 yellow cards and a red card. Not flawless. Also worth noting he turns 26 next week  Donnelly recently turned 23 and Maguire recently had his 21st birthday. These guys have scope to develop, and I personally don't think they're miles away from Gorrin's level. Those describing them as defenders playing in midfield, I'm assuming have never changed jobs in their career. Tom Hateley was signed as a midfielder, Derek Adams as a striker. Even at a higher level, Vincent Kompany was signed by Man City as a holding midfielder. If the coaching staff feel that Maguire and Donnelly have the skill set for that position (and I gather they've felt for a long time this is Maguire's best position), they see them every day so I reckon they know more than we do. 

Campbell. I hear on here he's being asked to play further forward. Nonsense. In pretty much all the time he's played for us, he's played alongside a holding midfielder be it Lasley, McHugh or Gorrin. His role has pretty much always been to use his energy to press higher up the field . If he's been slightly further forward the last few games, it's been down to opposition midfields sitting deeper. 

Polworth.  The lack of a killer pass has been mentioned and this probably is focussed on Polworth as the most 'creative' midfielder. He has at least a couple of assists already (and it was his ball that sent Seedorf away for Scott's first on Friday). You can talk about the poor quality of the opposition but that's a double edged sword.  We'll play better teams in the league but because of that we'll seldom play teams that sit so deep offering so little space. Also worth noting he has the pressure of replacing a £3m player. Not the same type of player as Turnbull but takes his spot as creator/provider. No one expects Motherwell to bring in players worth £3m so there may be a slight drop off but he's doing ok.

Is there room for improvement? It's Motherwell, there always is. But for me, there's a bit more negativity than is required.  If we lose our first four league games, then we maybe need to start panicking...

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14 minutes ago, MelvinBragg said:

Is there room for improvement? It's Motherwell, there always is. But for me, there's a bit more negativity than is required.  If we lose our first four league games, then we maybe need to start panicking...

We'll agree to disagree about that Greg and also about Gorrin.  The team is shaping up nicely this year but has still to gel fully which is understandable.  Lets also remove Turnbull and the wingers from the discussion.  We were always going to miss him and finding a replacement was never going to be easy.  That said, I agree with you about Polworth.  A creative player with a great cross in his armoury. 

I wasn't at Dumfries or Dumbarton last night but base my initial observations on the Morton game.  For spells, the midfield struggled a bit, especially in the first half and in the early part of the second half.  They sat too deep when defending but despite that, gave Morton a bit more freedom than they should have done.  Morton also came out on top physically for a fair spell. In the middle we lacked a bit of pace, aggression and ability/composure to hold the ball.  As the game went on in the second half though our midfield did dominate to be fair.  Yes, Gorrin was rash at times, no argument there.  

Its not being negative to suggest that the midfield, or more accurately central  midfield, looks to be a bit short.  New players yes; Turnbull missing yes; players not fully matchfit yes; and its not realistic to expect the engine room to be firing on all cylinders already.  Every team has weaknesses at this stage, as we've seen from other group games, and the management will not be 100% happy.  If they are I'll be extremely surprised.  We're doing well so far and playing attractive football for the most part, but haven't yet met another Premiership team.  Work in progress as they say.     

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We obviously still miss a quality midfielder although Turnbull is actually still with us, just a case of how long he will be out for. I have to join in the not sure opinions on Donnelly maybe not been the right player for that position, Polworth still has a way to go but i’m hopeful he will learn and adapt. I would have Gorrin  back in a heartbeat though, we miss him way more than the likes of Hastie.

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Remember the first half of last season when people on here were calling Gorrin a waste of a shirt and another example of Robinson's ineptitude in the transfer market?

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6 hours ago, grumpy said:

Having been at all three League cup games, I'm reasonably happy with the way things are shaping up. 

Two good keepers, Griffiths has possession (rightly so) but Carson will be desperate to grab any chance that comes his way. The back four looks like it will shape up as: Tait - Gallagher - Dunne - Carroll, with Grimshaw covering RB, Tait / Livingstone for LB and Hartley and McGuire as cover for CB.

Midfield is more of a concern, Donnelly and McGuire have done ok but that should be tempered by the quality of the opposition, Polworth looked decent v Morton but last night struggled to unlock a packed defence, his also applies to Ilic. Campbell is the only guaranteed starter and even then, I think he is being asked to play further forward than he naturally wants too, the return of Turnbull would allow AC to play the sitting midfielder role either beside Donnelly / McGuire when we are expecting to be defending more or beside Ilic / Polworth in games when we should be on the front foot. A front three containing two of Hylton / Seedorf / Ilic will be exciting to watch but I'm not convinced with  Scott at CF (that's not a criticism, he just needs more experience) and I haven't seen enough of Long or Cole to form an opinion.

All that said, I'm hopeful of an entertaining and enjoyable season. Moan the 'Well.

Who is this Griffiths you speak of? :sorry:

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On 7/23/2019 at 4:14 PM, Neilwell86 said:

Again, this might just be me, but testing '2 banks of ball winners' against a piss poor dumbarton to prepare us for games against Celtic and Rangers is chocolate tea pot patter. What is the point in having these match winners to suit them on a bench against the big games, if your game plan is to sit in and try contain them with the hope of catching them on the break then we sure as hell won't be doing that with Liam Polworth breaking away. Who cares if he would get blown over by a strong wind, if he gets one on one with any fullback in the league he's leaving them for dead. 

We already know what Hylton and Seedorf are capable of. The experimentation I suggested was not to combat Dumbarton it was to explore the dynamic and interaction of that set up among the current squad and rotate players in what was essentially a fitness/sharpness builder. As it turned out the pitch stifled rapid wing play and their set up stifled finding openings. This is something we will face this season on a few occasions.

As I said on another thread, it was felt certainly at times throughout 2018 that Robinson hadn't learned to mix things up every cycle of matches and tended not to have anything beyond a Plan C. I do think that has changed significantly. Seeing a front 2 partnership work, or a standard 442 or even a squinty one.

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3 hours ago, steelboy said:

We definitely lack quality in midfield just now. Polworth's set pieces were dire as well.

I think Ariyibi must have left him a DVD of his set piece technique.

Semple's set pieces are usually OK, but I expect he'll be more a fringe player this season.

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