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Andy_P

Game 26: St Johnstone (A) 12th February 2020

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I totally missed that manzinga got sent off. Didn't even know he was on. I had to go to a meeting when there was about 25 mins to go.

We didn't look at all threatening from what I did watch. Whatever worked for us up until accies (luck?) has gone. We have been pretty lucky with other results this season, which put us in a better position than we probably deserved, but we still have a chance to take 3rd if we can turn the form back around.

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16 minutes ago, star sail said:

Still got some way to go to match Craigan’s goalscoring record.

Really disappointing tonight but no panic yet. Remember Aberdeen have been through an equally poor run and turned a corner last night. It happens.

Yes we done very well the first 2 rounds of fixtures and you know we have to have a bad spell at some point. I’m just hoping that we are now done with our bad spell. And go on a nice wee run towards the split.  COYW 

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8 hours ago, star sail said:

Really disappointing tonight but no panic yet. Remember Aberdeen have been through an equally poor run and turned a corner last night. It happens.

Yes, it happens and if you goalscorers in your team, you can turn the corner. Too often at the minute, we're relying on the opposition goalkeeper throwing one in or spilling one...

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Before winter break we were full of confidence and now we seem bereft of it. Clearly a few poor defeats will do that but we need to get our mojo back ASAP. 

Gillespie has been solid this season but he was certainly culpable for the 1st goal even if Donnelly (I think it was) had a part to play. The latter has gone off the boil for me and is starting to resemble the player we had last season. Gallacher has been a great signing but a few times his ability or attempts to play football at the wrong time are costing us. Again (based on highlights) he loses the ball playing out in the last minute and the rest well. Thought it might have been an own goal. But 93rd minute is painful. 

I also think our luck has run out. We have been winning games when opposition has had more chances than St Johnstone last night but failing to take them. My concern is up front. Watt is clearly not up to speed and we have no other real option apart from Long. Even St Mirren seem to have better striker options than we do and that is on the management and recruitment side. I accept we have a modest budget but so do St Mirren. 

Not panicking yet, but if we fail to get through in the cup and only manage to take 2-3 points or none in the next 2 games then we are really stuck in reverse.  We are right to take time with Turnbull recovery but I am now thinking if he could have been ready to play next few weeks that would help us. Still we were well clear in 3rd or 4th so there was no urgency back then. 
 

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Just watched the highlights and I have to say Gillespie looks culpable, to some degree, at both goals. For the first he put us in immediate trouble with his throw out, as he did several times on Saturday, and he was in no mans land for the second. Maybe time to recall Trevor Carson.  Manzinga's second card was deserved but you see that kind of thing week in week out with no action taken.

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9 hours ago, Shaka said:

Wasnt a total disaster. We have a couple quid in the bank! THATS all that matters at the end of the day

In many ways it actually is. The club was in danger of folding due to irresponsibly spending and those running it now are determined that does not happen again. It’s quite clear  that running the club without any debt brings huge advantages and income from the sale of players can now be invested where needed. I get that you’re one of the posters that want’s to see money spent on players and others retained but the club has made it quite plain that players will need to be sold every season in order to break even and I don’t see that changing. They felt the offer for Scott was a fair one, personally I agree with them but it’s always going to be open to debate. No doubt when Turnbull goes the same arguments will ensue.

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30 minutes ago, Yorkyred said:

In many ways it actually is. The club was in danger of folding due to irresponsibly spending and those running it now are determined that does not happen again. It’s quite clear  that running the club without any debt brings huge advantages and income from the sale of players can now be invested where needed. I get that you’re one of the posters that want’s to see money spent on players and others retained but the club has made it quite plain that players will need to be sold every season in order to break even and I don’t see that changing. They felt the offer for Scott was a fair one, personally I agree with them but it’s always going to be open to debate. No doubt when Turnbull goes the same arguments will ensue.

See, I actually agree worh us selling players. My point is that selling Scott WASNT a necessity! We sold 3 kids last summer for decent fees and had £80k of external debt, that isnt dire straits. We would still have got £1m or even more in the summer. 

There needs to be some forward planning, or what happens when we sell all our assets and are left barren for a year or two and at the same time drop down the league or god forbid get relegated? That money in the bank would dissappear very quickly, then we would be in a world of trouble.

If we sell players there MUST be a plan to replace them. In the case of James Scott, he brought so much more to our squad than goals! We have been very lucky this season to find ourselves in the position we do. We are where we are DESPITE Robbo's signing policy and squad building, not because of it. Nearly every single fan has noticed how poor our strikeforce is this season and highlighted the need for a target man type central striker, but Robbo is obsessed with signing very poor wingers and if I hear "he can play all across the front 3" again Il punch a hole in my fucking wall. That isnt what we need, and trying it over and over and over is not gonna change that fact. Seedorf & Manzinga wouldnt get a game in the Juniors, Hylton is an honest player who has the odd great moment, but just isnt very good. Long is a good player but is completely out his depth as a target man. What Scott offered was an out ball. He could take the ball for a run and allow support to get up the pitch, he could hold the ball up and play it back to the midfield support. Now the ball is going forward and nearly everytime coming straight back at us, killing our offensive ability and heaping pressure on the midfield and defence. If we were gonna sell Scott, we needed a replacement who could do a similar job. Tony Watt seems to be something like that, but is apparently not fit enough to start which isnt good enough. If we are gonna have a formation and gameplan then we need to recruit specifically to that formation, not sign vague players who can "cover" several positions, in most cases badly

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10 hours ago, fizoxy said:

We didn't look at all threatening from what I did watch. Whatever worked for us up until accies (luck?) has gone. We have been pretty lucky with other results this season, which put us in a better position than we probably deserved, but we still have a chance to take 3rd if we can turn the form back around.

Earlier in the season we won back to back matches against Kilmarnock and Ross County.

In both games their keeper let in a howler and our keeper made a great save in the last minute of the match.

If you'd swapped just those events round we'd have lost both games and since we lost two games on either side that would have been six defeats in a row and probably a crisis on the forums.

In football, especially in the Scottish Premiership, it's all about small margins, I thought we played some decent football at the beginning of the season but we've probably not been that good since about October and we've got by with a bit of luck and the fact the opposition is no better than we are.

We are Motherwell and even our best teams, and despite being in 3rd for a lot of the season this one isn't one of them, have a wobble or two.

The upcoming matches are going to be important but since our recent form shows results against Hibs and Aberdeen and loses to Livingston, Hamilton and St Johnstone I don't even think you can say they will be season defining.

I will say though that if you look at the teams that play 4-3-3 in this division - Aberdeen, Rangers, Motherwell - they are all in bad form and it looks like the tactic has been figured out.

 

 

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Just watched the highlights,2 points to mention, Manzinga's 1st yellow was very harsh, and WTF was Hartley trying to do, Gillespie was waiting to catch the ball :doh:

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Manzinga diving on a yellow when we're tied is worrying on a greater level, just displays lack of discipline and no clue about tactics.

I mean I get the argument, "if he gets the red he's the villain, and if he gets the pen he's the hero". But that's surely only if you're a goal down in the last minute of a Cup Semi(if diving is ever really right)? Not when you are drawing for a point that will keep you in third place.

Robbo's comments about players learning etc or not being in the team is good to hear at least, he never really shows emotion and that from him shows he's fuming with them! Let's just hope he blasted them in the changing rooms after that.

Anyway lets get this double against St.Mirren put away and then I'll be happier!

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1 hour ago, Shaka said:

See, I actually agree worh us selling players. My point is that selling Scott WASNT a necessity! We sold 3 kids last summer for decent fees and had £80k of external debt, that isnt dire straits. We would still have got £1m or even more in the summer. 

There needs to be some forward planning, or what happens when we sell all our assets and are left barren for a year or two and at the same time drop down the league or god forbid get relegated? That money in the bank would dissappear very quickly, then we would be in a world of trouble.

If we sell players there MUST be a plan to replace them. In the case of James Scott, he brought so much more to our squad than goals! We have been very lucky this season to find ourselves in the position we do. We are where we are DESPITE Robbo's signing policy and squad building, not because of it. Nearly every single fan has noticed how poor our strikeforce is this season and highlighted the need for a target man type central striker, but Robbo is obsessed with signing very poor wingers and if I hear "he can play all across the front 3" again Il punch a hole in my fucking wall. That isnt what we need, and trying it over and over and over is not gonna change that fact. Seedorf & Manzinga wouldnt get a game in the Juniors, Hylton is an honest player who has the odd great moment, but just isnt very good. Long is a good player but is completely out his depth as a target man. What Scott offered was an out ball. He could take the ball for a run and allow support to get up the pitch, he could hold the ball up and play it back to the midfield support. Now the ball is going forward and nearly everytime coming straight back at us, killing our offensive ability and heaping pressure on the midfield and defence. If we were gonna sell Scott, we needed a replacement who could do a similar job. Tony Watt seems to be something like that, but is apparently not fit enough to start which isnt good enough. If we are gonna have a formation and gameplan then we need to recruit specifically to that formation, not sign vague players who can "cover" several positions, in most cases badly

I agree with a lot of that in fairness, although I do think Scott is getting better with every post he’s mentioned in.

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1 hour ago, Shaka said:

See, I actually agree worh us selling players. My point is that selling Scott WASNT a necessity! We sold 3 kids last summer for decent fees and had £80k of external debt, that isnt dire straits. We would still have got £1m or even more in the summer. 

There needs to be some forward planning, or what happens when we sell all our assets and are left barren for a year or two and at the same time drop down the league or god forbid get relegated? That money in the bank would dissappear very quickly, then we would be in a world of trouble.

If we sell players there MUST be a plan to replace them. In the case of James Scott, he brought so much more to our squad than goals! We have been very lucky this season to find ourselves in the position we do. We are where we are DESPITE Robbo's signing policy and squad building, not because of it. Nearly every single fan has noticed how poor our strikeforce is this season and highlighted the need for a target man type central striker, but Robbo is obsessed with signing very poor wingers and if I hear "he can play all across the front 3" again Il punch a hole in my fucking wall. That isnt what we need, and trying it over and over and over is not gonna change that fact. Seedorf & Manzinga wouldnt get a game in the Juniors, Hylton is an honest player who has the odd great moment, but just isnt very good. Long is a good player but is completely out his depth as a target man. What Scott offered was an out ball. He could take the ball for a run and allow support to get up the pitch, he could hold the ball up and play it back to the midfield support. Now the ball is going forward and nearly everytime coming straight back at us, killing our offensive ability and heaping pressure on the midfield and defence. If we were gonna sell Scott, we needed a replacement who could do a similar job. Tony Watt seems to be something like that, but is apparently not fit enough to start which isnt good enough. If we are gonna have a formation and gameplan then we need to recruit specifically to that formation, not sign vague players who can "cover" several positions, in most cases badly

Scott’s done his ankle ligaments in training and could be out for the rest of the season 

Could quit easily done the same with us and then we’re £1m + quid down 

Wish the boy all the best but these thing happen in football sometime better to strike when the irons hot

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Ya Bezzer! said:

Earlier in the season we won back to back matches against Kilmarnock and Ross County.

In both games their keeper let in a howler and our keeper made a great save in the last minute of the match.

If you'd swapped just those events round we'd have lost both games and since we lost two games on either side that would have been six defeats in a row and probably a crisis on the forums.

In football, especially in the Scottish Premiership, it's all about small margins, I thought we played some decent football at the beginning of the season but we've probably not been that good since about October and we've got by with a bit of luck and the fact the opposition is no better than we are.

We are Motherwell and even our best teams, and despite being in 3rd for a lot of the season this one isn't one of them, have a wobble or two.

The upcoming matches are going to be important but since our recent form shows results against Hibs and Aberdeen and loses to Livingston, Hamilton and St Johnstone I don't even think you can say they will be season defining.

I will say though that if you look at the teams that play 4-3-3 in this division - Aberdeen, Rangers, Motherwell - they are all in bad form and it looks like the tactic has been figured out.

 

 

Agree

When you play 4 4 3 your defence has to be up to the job

As you say earlier in the season we were getting away with it

As for our defence while Gillespie is a great shot stopper his distribution is shite

We have 2 fullbacks who cannot defend for their lives

In Hartley we have a centre half who’s slower than a week in the jail 

Thank god for Gallagher ( who by the way I think is carrying an injury )

So to be in the position we are says al lot for the rest of the teams

 

 

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Only one man to blame for the first goal for me unfortunately, Donnelly has acres of space and somehow manages to get caught on the ball. At times he moves it on really well, but he is probably the worst of our midfielders for getting caught in possession.

 

https://gyazo.com/4ad607ac7d11e7c91772ac6dc9e16af0

 

I think Donnelly has been poor lately, which is a shame because he was having a very good season up until recently. Also he had a very blatant kick out at a St Johnstone player on the floor in the first 10 minutes of the game last night. He has a right nasty streak about him at times.

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3 hours ago, Shaka said:

See, I actually agree worh us selling players. My point is that selling Scott WASNT a necessity! We sold 3 kids last summer for decent fees and had £80k of external debt, that isnt dire straits. We would still have got £1m or even more in the summer. 

There needs to be some forward planning, or what happens when we sell all our assets and are left barren for a year or two and at the same time drop down the league or god forbid get relegated? That money in the bank would dissappear very quickly, then we would be in a world of trouble.

If we sell players there MUST be a plan to replace them. In the case of James Scott, he brought so much more to our squad than goals! We have been very lucky this season to find ourselves in the position we do. We are where we are DESPITE Robbo's signing policy and squad building, not because of it. Nearly every single fan has noticed how poor our strikeforce is this season and highlighted the need for a target man type central striker, but Robbo is obsessed with signing very poor wingers and if I hear "he can play all across the front 3" again Il punch a hole in my fucking wall. That isnt what we need, and trying it over and over and over is not gonna change that fact. Seedorf & Manzinga wouldnt get a game in the Juniors, Hylton is an honest player who has the odd great moment, but just isnt very good. Long is a good player but is completely out his depth as a target man. What Scott offered was an out ball. He could take the ball for a run and allow support to get up the pitch, he could hold the ball up and play it back to the midfield support. Now the ball is going forward and nearly everytime coming straight back at us, killing our offensive ability and heaping pressure on the midfield and defence. If we were gonna sell Scott, we needed a replacement who could do a similar job. Tony Watt seems to be something like that, but is apparently not fit enough to start which isnt good enough. If we are gonna have a formation and gameplan then we need to recruit specifically to that formation, not sign vague players who can "cover" several positions, in most cases badly

I agree and disagree with various points you've made here, mainly agreeing about what Scott brought to the team and mainly disagreeing about your judgement of other players, especially those that haven't had a lot of game time, but at the end of the day what we got for Scott was bite your hand off money.

Also I think a lot of our problems were already there before Scott was sold.  The striker position has been a problem since Moult left and I've said from the beginning of the season all through the 'good times' that I didn't think our midfield was good enough.  It should be built around Campbell but while Polworth and Donnelly are better than we've had most of the time under Robinson I don't think they are bolted on Top 6 level players.  Polworth might have got assists and Donnelly goals but their overall quality and the specific blend in midfield is, I think, still open to question.  

I accept it was difficult to replace Turnbull and Gorrin from the Turnbull-Campbell-Gorrin midfield of last season but the TYPES of players we have brought in aren't the same.  Donnelly just doesn't have the same quality as Gorrin on the ball and Turnbull provided the goals getting forward from midfield.  Donnelly's goals have mainly been headers and penalties, set pieces essentially, he's not getting into those dangers areas of the box like Turnbull did that turns open play into goals.  As a result Campbell has struggled also due to a level of dysfunction in the middle of the field.

 

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When you’ve got wingers that can’t tackle or give up the ghost when they lose the ball and full backs that constantly get caught out of position our flanks are horribly exposed.

For me that’s where one of the main problems lies.

 

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We all knew a bad run was going to come. We know these guys are good enough, just need to get back on track and make sure we secure top 6 and then worry about if we can make Europe. I still maintain that to be where we are in the league is great and is more than I ever expected at the start of the season. 
 

A bit too much panicking here, every team out with Celtic has had a bad run of games this season.

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2 minutes ago, johnstone said:

We all knew a bad run was going to come. We know these guys are good enough, just need to get back on track and make sure we secure top 6 and then worry about if we can make Europe. I still maintain that to be where we are in the league is great and is more than I ever expected at the start of the season. 
 

A bit too much panicking here, every team out with Celtic has had a bad run of games this season.

I guess as Robinson has said expectation have risen, we are top four, not bottom four but you would not think so at times.

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3 hours ago, Ya Bezzer! said:

I agree and disagree with various points you've made here, mainly agreeing about what Scott brought to the team and mainly disagreeing about your judgement of other players, especially those that haven't had a lot of game time, but at the end of the day what we got for Scott was bite your hand off money.

Also I think a lot of our problems were already there before Scott was sold.  The striker position has been a problem since Moult left and I've said from the beginning of the season all through the 'good times' that I didn't think our midfield was good enough.  It should be built around Campbell but while Polworth and Donnelly are better than we've had most of the time under Robinson I don't think they are bolted on Top 6 level players.  Polworth might have got assists and Donnelly goals but their overall quality and the specific blend in midfield is, I think, still open to question.  

I accept it was difficult to replace Turnbull and Gorrin from the Turnbull-Campbell-Gorrin midfield of last season but the TYPES of players we have brought in aren't the same.  Donnelly just doesn't have the same quality as Gorrin on the ball and Turnbull provided the goals getting forward from midfield.  Donnelly's goals have mainly been headers and penalties, set pieces essentially, he's not getting into those dangers areas of the box like Turnbull did that turns open play into goals.  As a result Campbell has struggled also due to a level of dysfunction in the middle of the field.

 

I agree 100% with You about Our Attack and Midfield, (and our Defence is quite poor as well) and my point wasnt meaning our attack was perfect with Scott. Our Attack was poor in the summer, Scott coming through was a plus, and I do think Long is a decent player, but overall we needed a bit of quality and specific types to play the system, in reality we got loads of poor quality wingers who "can play across the front 3" and a couple of project players.

Now, after an awful January window our Strikeforce is overall poorer but more crucially more unbalanced, meaning we are forced to play Long as TM and 2 poor Wingers either side  which gives us no platform to build on, but also exposes our Midfield. I fully agree the makeup of our midfield is wrong as well, but unfortunately thats not gonna change with Campbell & Donnelly on long term contracts. Actually for me, Donnelly is the weak link. We need someone in his role who can do the defensive dirty work and compliment Campbell. Ahead of them, I think Polworth would be fine, but Turnbull if ever fit again would be a better option . Again tho, as our Strikeforce is unbalanced, it pressures our Midfield, who are creaking because they as a unit cant do the job needed, and that then impacts the Defence, and has been mentioned, our Full Backs are very poor defensively and apart from Gallagher, our CB stocks arent exactly exciting either. 

Overall our recruitment has been very poor in that respect and thats down to the manager. He needs to have a specific plan and recruit to that plan, not bring in a heap of "utility" players who can play , badly, across several positions. Things I believe will look up the fitter Tony Watt gets as he will give us a focal point that will hopefully push us on.

We have had a lot of luck this season, and having a better ability to hold the ball up front earlier in the season was allowing us to get more into games, but unfortunately at the moment we arent balanced and due to that we are hoping for opposition errors and our players playing out of their skin, when 1 or 2 are off it, as happens, we have no "safety net" and turn to shit

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9 minutes ago, Shaka said:
10 minutes ago, Shaka said:

 Thinks I believe will look up the fitter Tony Watt gets as he will give us a focal point that will hopefully push us on

 

Going by the comments of St Johnston's fans on the match thread on P&B it might be  a while before  Watt is fit. They could non believe how big he was. 

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I noticed on the official site that Watt's home kit sponsor is "MJC Garage Doors".  I can only imagine their advertising slogans:

"This door will never work"

"Worst door I've ever seen"

"It's OK now, but will be broken by the end of the week"

"I prefer RFC Garage Doors"

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1 hour ago, Shaka said:

I agree 100% with You about Our Attack and Midfield, (and our Defence is quite poor as well) and my point wasnt meaning our attack was perfect with Scott. Our Attack was poor in the summer, Scott coming through was a plus, and I do think Long is a decent player, but overall we needed a bit of quality and specific types to play the system, in reality we got loads of poor quality wingers who "can play across the front 3" and a couple of project players.

Now, after an awful January window our Strikeforce is overall poorer but more crucially more unbalanced, meaning we are forced to play Long as TM and 2 poor Wingers either side  which gives us no platform to build on, but also exposes our Midfield. I fully agree the makeup of our midfield is wrong as well, but unfortunately thats not gonna change with Campbell & Donnelly on long term contracts. Actually for me, Donnelly is the weak link. We need someone in his role who can do the defensive dirty work and compliment Campbell. Ahead of them, I think Polworth would be fine, but Turnbull if ever fit again would be a better option . Again tho, as our Strikeforce is unbalanced, it pressures our Midfield, who are creaking because they as a unit cant do the job needed, and that then impacts the Defence, and has been mentioned, our Full Backs are very poor defensively and apart from Gallagher, our CB stocks arent exactly exciting either. 

Overall our recruitment has been very poor in that respect and thats down to the manager. He needs to have a specific plan and recruit to that plan, not bring in a heap of "utility" players who can play , badly, across several positions. Things I believe will look up the fitter Tony Watt gets as he will give us a focal point that will hopefully push us on.

We have had a lot of luck this season, and having a better ability to hold the ball up front earlier in the season was allowing us to get more into games, but unfortunately at the moment we arent balanced and due to that we are hoping for opposition errors and our players playing out of their skin, when 1 or 2 are off it, as happens, we have no "safety net" and turn to shit

Jeez after that summery I’m surprised we are not bottom.

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5 hours ago, sinjy said:

Going by the comments of St Johnston's fans on the match thread on P&B it might be  a while before  Watt is fit. They could non believe how big he was. 

When Watt signed, Stephen Robinson did describe him as “hungry”

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