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Andy_P

Season 2020’21: Game 29: St Johnstone (H)

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If Hamilton was supposed to be about righting wrongs God only knows what St Johnstone is about. 

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Any kind of win is all that's required don't care if its a 90 min shitfest as long as we win, its the time of the season for results not silky football. 

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With O'Donnell suspended and Mugabi doubtful we don't look to have many options at the back.  O'Hara dropping into the back 4 alongside Magloire, Lamie and Carroll looks the obvious option,  unless any of the other new signings are fit enough to contribute something.

I think we need to move to a midfield 4 to give us a bit more width there.  Probably means Crawford and Polworth back in alongside Campbell and Maguire. Problem we have is that while Maguire can play out on the left of the 4, the other 3 are all more suited to playing centrally and have little pace.  Having Lawless back to play wide would be ideal but assume he's still out. Seedorf is a man short so wouldn't even consider him.

Watt and Cole upfront, at least the 2 can't be faulted for effort and Cole has hit the net a few times lately.  

We really need wins on the board but I'd take a point from this one. 

Btw, Watt picked up a few bookings lately,  including the Killie and Accies games, anyone know how close he is to a ban?

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we have 10 first team defenders on our books - if we need O'Hara to drop in there's something far far wrong. Lamie, McGinley, Magloire, Nolan are all defenders.    Maguire was initially a centre back til he found to be too slow and Foley was also considered to be a defender come midfielder. 

We need IMO to stop playing 3 midfielders who all want to sit centrally and defend.  Want to see at least 4 through the middle which might mean Polworth but also likes of Temple/Foley/Lawless.

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Despite having about 17 defenders on our books our defence could be an absolute riot for this due to injury and suspension.

Got to pray Gallagher is back then he could partner O’Hara which would actually be my first choice pairing anyway. If not, god help us. 
 

Watt could be suspended for this one also. It never rains but it pours. 

Really need to pull something out the hat here but can’t see it.

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13 minutes ago, wellsince75 said:

we have 10 first team defenders on our books - if we need O'Hara to drop in there's something far far wrong. Lamie, McGinley, Magloire, Nolan are all defenders.    Maguire was initially a centre back til he found to be too slow and Foley was also considered to be a defender come midfielder. 

We need IMO to stop playing 3 midfielders who all want to sit centrally and defend.  Want to see at least 4 through the middle which might mean Polworth but also likes of Temple/Foley/Lawless.

Sign of the season that out of those Gallagher, O’Donnell, Mugabi, Dunn, Grimshaw, Nolan, McGinley, Donnelly, Foley all appear to be suspended/not fit/injured, you can also add Carson and Fox to that list. OHara actually looked solid when he played there.

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We need to ditch 4-3-3.

Im fed up seeing our midfield getting overun and putting unecessary pressure on our fragile defence. 

Go 4-4-2 play a diamond and try and scratch out some sort of result. 3 points would be incredible  under the circumstances but Id happily take a point. 

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Selection wise, defence is is going to be an issue. As things stand, the back 4 could comprise some combination of O'Hara, Lamie, Magloire and Carroll and Maguire. I'm not for throwing in youngsters like Max Johnston, Dean Cornelius, or Yusuf Hussain, unless we really are in dire straits.  Without knowing any details, I hope that one or more of Gallagher, McGinley and Foley are fit enough and that we don't pick up any more injuries this week. 

We need to resort to a 4-4-2 and that could mean a return for Crawford, if fit. I'd be wary about promoting Polworth as this doesn't seem like his kind of game. As usual St Johnstone will be physical, hard working, organised and last but by no means least, streetwise. It might also mean promoting a winger. Maybe some creative thinking required like playing Long in a central midfield role. Hopefully Smith will be fit as we sure as hell will need some height on Saturday.

GA will also need to drum into his team the need for hard work. St Johnstone are beatable, but we don't need our lads virtually applauding them as they zip by them. A bit of guts and fight would be a start.

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Having watched the St Johnstone v Celtic game earlier I have the fear for this game. Saints midfield look really strong and we need to match them in there otherwise we could be looking at a re-run of the Accies game. They will shit fest it and we need to be up for the physical challenge and I just hope we get a response from the players. I would even go as far as to consider a 4 5 1 as we really need to take something from this game. I would quite happily take a borefest 0 0 after yesterday.

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In 2018 in the lead up to the Scottish Cup Final they kicked the utter shite out of us as the season came to a close, Murray Davidson throwing his elbows about and avoiding a red card as per. We ended up getting pumped 5-1 that day as the players clearly didn't want get into a physical battle. They play Livingston in the League Cup Final the following Sunday after our fixture, I would love to see a role reversal where we take an aggressive approach as you would hope their minds would be on that game but knowing us we'll muster up something like yesterday.

I don't generally enjoy seeing Celtic or Rangers win but I'm glad St Johnstone lost today as it keeps them right in the mix at the bottom and now we have a game in hand so their is the potential for a four point gap over them. It will be interesting to see what the lineup will be for this match, despite having such a bloated squad it appears we are struggling to put out one side with any real quality. 

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45 minutes ago, santheman said:

Having watched the St Johnstone v Celtic game earlier I have the fear for this game.

St Johnstone's performance against Celtic today taken in isolation wouldn't necessarily concern me unduly. The level of performance that can be achieved in a high profile game like that, with the cameras there, isn't necessarily replicated in the immediate game thereafter. I've seen countless heroic displays by Motherwell sides over the years against one of the Old Firm that have immediately been followed up by utter dross. 

What is of more concern is the general level of consistency they've achieved both in performance and in results. The worst they've had since before Christmas is single goal losses to both Rangers and Celtic. It's the kind of record that we aspire to currently.

That all said there hasn't much between the sides.  A win and a draw in the league and we tossed away a good opportunity in the League Cup from a winning position.  Factor in what I anticipate will be some kind of reaction to yesterday's debacle and I'll be hopeful of avoiding defeat at least.

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34 minutes ago, Andy_P said:

St Johnstone's performance against Celtic today taken in isolation wouldn't necessarily concern me unduly. The level of performance that can be achieved in a high profile game like that, with the cameras there, isn't necessarily replicated in the immediate game thereafter. I've seen countless heroic displays by Motherwell sides over the years against one of the Old Firm that have immediately been followed up by utter dross. 

What is of more concern is the general level of consistency they've achieved both in performance and in results. The worst they've had since before Christmas is single goal losses to both Rangers and Celtic. It's the kind of record that we aspire to currently.

That all said there hasn't much between the sides.  A win and a draw in the league and we tossed away a good opportunity in the League Cup from a winning position.  Factor in what I anticipate will be some kind of reaction to yesterday's debacle and I'll be hopeful of avoiding defeat at least.

 I've watched them a few times recently and like you say, they play the way I would like us to play in that they are solid back to middle, give little away and are set up to be hard to beat. That is why we need to match them in the middle of the park. Offensively they don't worry me as much but if we let them get the first goal they will be hard to break down.

Saying that its in our own hands and if we don't get a reaction to yesterdays debacle then I'm not sure what will motivate this set of players. Hopefully it was just one of those days and we get back to the way we were playing prior to this game.

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2 hours ago, Kmcalpin said:

 

We need to resort to a 4-4-2 and that could mean a return for Crawford, if fit. I'd be wary about promoting Polworth as this doesn't seem like his kind of game. As usual St Johnstone will be physical, hard working, organised and last but by no means least, streetwise. It might also mean promoting a winger. Maybe some creative thinking required like playing Long in a central midfield role. Hopefully Smith will be fit as we sure as hell will need some height on Saturday.

completely agree about the 4 man midfield - which would include Lawless if fit.   In reality Polworth could be decent in a 4 man midfield.

What's not clear or well reported by the club is who's injured/why/expected return.  Piss poor communication

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2 hours ago, santheman said:

Having watched the St Johnstone v Celtic game earlier I have the fear for this game. Saints midfield look really strong and we need to match them in there otherwise we could be looking at a re-run of the Accies game. They will shit fest it and we need to be up for the physical challenge and I just hope we get a response from the players. I would even go as far as to consider a 4 5 1 as we really need to take something from this game. I would quite happily take a borefest 0 0 after yesterday.

The idea of a 4-5-1 formation also ocurred to me.  A lot will depend on which players are available of course. To add to our woes I think Watt and Gallagher must be nearing the suspension stage. I hope that Saints don't intimidate us and if that isn't enough of a threat, they'll be streetwise as ever and we'll do well to remind ourselves of the penalties they've "earned" against us in recent years.  It certainly won't be a classic and as you say, a 0-0 borefest would be a very good outcome indeed.

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If O'Donnell or Grimshaw was available I'd say we go 3-5-2 and if Watt is out playing Smith with Cole. Campbell, Maguire and Crawfordnin the middle to just kick everything. Get the ball in the box as much as possible and hope for the best. O'Hara at centre back being the one trusted to carry the ball when required and even push in to midfield at times.

But given we don't seem to have anyone else to play right back i don't know what to do.

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On 2/14/2021 at 7:30 PM, wellsince75 said:

What's not clear or well reported by the club is who's injured/why/expected return.  Piss poor communication

I see the Team News section on the official club site has been updated. 

https://www.motherwellfc.co.uk/club/team-news/

Not sure how much clarity it provides right enough, a few TBC's and an ASAP in there.  Big Bevis not mentioned or any suspension for Tony Watt so hopefully that's good news.

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1 hour ago, Ped_MFC said:

I see the Team News section on the official club site has been updated. 

https://www.motherwellfc.co.uk/club/team-news/

Not sure how much clarity it provides right enough, a few TBC's and an ASAP in there.  Big Bevis not mentioned or any suspension for Tony Watt so hopefully that's good news.

Gallagher now updated to a few weeks despite the main man saying a week or so (on Twitter) roughly about a week ago.

Just fabulous. So a couple of weeks turns into the whole month of February when we will have had 20% of season games just about ! 

Lawless as a tbc is a kick in the haw maws also.  The one player (apart from Kelly) that probably would have been a starter ! Lucky white heather anyone :-(

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2 hours ago, Ped_MFC said:

I see the Team News section on the official club site has been updated. 

https://www.motherwellfc.co.uk/club/team-news/

Not sure how much clarity it provides right enough, a few TBC's and an ASAP in there.  Big Bevis not mentioned or any suspension for Tony Watt so hopefully that's good news.

Going by that none of the new guys with the exception of Lawless are injured then, just not match fit yet presumably.

GA will have a squad of about 30 to pick from in March/April by the looks of it.

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At least Big Dec's hamstring won't interfere with the hand he uses to sign his modified contract.

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1 hour ago, santheman said:

Going by that none of the new guys with the exception of Lawless are injured then, just not match fit yet presumably.

GA will have a squad of about 30 to pick from in March/April by the looks of it.

Unlikely to be the full story.

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4 hours ago, Welldaft Mk1 said:

Gallagher now updated to a few weeks despite the main man saying a week or so (on Twitter) roughly about a week ago.

Just fabulous. So a couple of weeks turns into the whole month of February when we will have had 20% of season games just about ! 

Lawless as a tbc is a kick in the haw maws also.  The one player (apart from Kelly) that probably would have been a starter ! Lucky white heather anyone :-(

Interesting that Grimmy will be back "as soon as possible", whatever that means. Presumably thats different to "To be confirmed". Neither Mugabi nor Foley is  mentioned.

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Lawless was meant to be back in 2-3 weeks 2-3 weeks ago was he not? Now it’s TBC. Be lucky to see him again before the split! Fuck sake!

I honestly don’t think we’ll see Gallagher in claret and amber again. It’s either rotten timing or something else but either way it’s the last thing we need in our current situation with your captain and most competent centre half. 

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47 minutes ago, Onthefringes said:

Unlikely to be the full story.

Don't think it will be either but I wouldn't expect them to plaster the full story all over social media

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You have to ask why we gave these guys contracts, when none of them seem to be fit enough to play. We needed players who could come in and give the existing players competition. Seems like a total waste of money.

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Maybe we brought in guys who had trades behind them to help complete the fitting out of the East Stand. Smith's height will certainly come in useful when it comes to painting the rafters.

Don't see too many ready to provide any help on the park so far to be honest. Robinson recommendations that Alexander doesn't fancy?

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