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Graham Alexander

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2 hours ago, bobbybingo said:

On paper there are a good few clubs with bigger supports, bigger budgets, better players, who should finish above us. But, as we learned this season, that means hee haw. Looking at their performances, given a half decent squad, a clued up manager and a break from injuries, there's no reason we shouldn't be competing with anyone outside the old firm.

Avoiding relegation always makes it a relatively successful season, but a repeat next time round would have to be seen as a failure - unless Alexander starts building a side for further down the line, which we know won't happen.

Fair point. The division will be tougher next year. The return of hearts will see them spend big and with County and / or accies likely gone will mean that bottom fodder will be smaller than for the past few years. This build will be crucial. Alexander already pointed to a smaller squad which most will agree on however it is absolutely essential that the board understand that does not equate to a reduction in spend (which I’m highly doubtful will be the attitude adopted). We need to invest hugely in putting in place a squad which has not only the ability to kick us into the top six next season but also one which has transition plans so we’re not left with another massive job the following summer.

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11 minutes ago, Kmac said:

Fair point. The division will be tougher next year. The return of hearts will see them spend big and with County and / or accies likely gone will mean that bottom fodder will be smaller than for the past few years. This build will be crucial. Alexander already pointed to a smaller squad which most will agree on however it is absolutely essential that the board understand that does not equate to a reduction in spend (which I’m highly doubtful will be the attitude adopted). We need to invest hugely in putting in place a squad which has not only the ability to kick us into the top six next season but also one which has transition plans so we’re not left with another massive job the following summer.

I think you do the board a bit of a disservice in suggesting that they don't have an appreciation of what a particular level of spend will bring.  I remember it being remarked upon at an AGM a year or two back of the necessity of upping the budget for Stephen Robinson otherwise they knew where it would lead.  It didn't necessarily equate to moving up the ladder in terms of spending but it did ensure they weren't being left behind.

I don't disagree the rebuild is crucial but I'm not sure it's any more or less important than any other year.  The Tommy McLean style days of being able to build sides over three or four years knowing you could generally rely on players being there for the duration are I fear long gone.  Whether we like it or not there will be very few of those of the stature we won't to ensure we are an established top six side going to commit to us for anything more than a couple of years at a time. We are always going to be a state of change to some degree.

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6 minutes ago, Andy_P said:

The Tommy McLean style days of being able to build sides over three or four years knowing you could generally rely on players being there for the duration are I fear long gone.  Whether we like it or not there will be very few of those of the stature we won't to ensure we are an established top six side going to commit to us for anything more than a couple of years at a time. We are always going to be a state of change to some degree.

Yeah, I think this is our world for the forseeable. One year at a time. Sweet Jesus. It's a depressing thought that we can't hope to hang onto decent players for much more than a season, if we manage to find them in the first place, but we may as well get used to it. Not much different for the bigger sides and the only testimonials at Celtic Park or Ibrox will be for the kit men.

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54 minutes ago, Kmac said:

The division will be tougher next year.

I hear what you say but from our perspective will Hearts be any stronger than Accies have been this year (0 points out of 9 so far for us). If Accies go down of course. 

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9 minutes ago, bobbybingo said:

Yeah, I think this is our world for the forseeable. One year at a time. Sweet Jesus. It's a depressing thought that we can't hope to hang onto decent players for much more than a season, if we manage to find them in the first place, but we may as well get used to it. Not much different for the bigger sides and the only testimonials at Celtic Park or Ibrox will be for the kit men.

That's life in the SPL especially when you fill the team with guys from down south who will mostly always just look at Scotland as a short term gig. There will be the odd exception of course. Only good thing is all teams will be in the same position.

That's why we need a successful Academy but who knows what the future holds in that direction

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42 minutes ago, bobbybingo said:

Yeah, I think this is our world for the forseeable. One year at a time. Sweet Jesus. It's a depressing thought that we can't hope to hang onto decent players for much more than a season, if we manage to find them in the first place, but we may as well get used to it. Not much different for the bigger sides and the only testimonials at Celtic Park or Ibrox will be for the kit men.

That football in general these days unless you’re one of the biggest teams in the world. Even Celtic have been consistently losing their best players over the last few years.

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It's been going this way for years, but it's definitely a loss to the game that the preferred model for players and clubs is now short term contracts / make a few quid along the way. We've been lucky enough in recent years to have had 3 players who immersed themselves in the club - Craigan, Lasley and Hammell - who had something like 1300 appearances between them. The club were criticised by a few on here for what they saw as the 'jobs for the boys' mentality when they were each offered positions after hanging up their boots, however I don't think we can underestimate the importance of having people around who have a genuine affection for the place. Hopefully the club continue to find ways to keep the heart of the club alive - I expect the academy is going to be one way to do it. 

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23 minutes ago, Yorkyred said:

That football in general these days unless you’re one of the biggest teams in the world. Even Celtic have been consistently losing their best players over the last few years.

Tierney leaving provided the only decent laugh in Only An Excuse for many a year. Their rage when Turnbull follows suit will be fun too.

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1 hour ago, bobbybingo said:

Yeah, I think this is our world for the forseeable. One year at a time. Sweet Jesus. It's a depressing thought that we can't hope to hang onto decent players for much more than a season, if we manage to find them in the first place, but we may as well get used to it. Not much different for the bigger sides and the only testimonials at Celtic Park or Ibrox will be for the kit men.

That’s unfortunately the way it is for us now. Even the players we bring though from our own academy, ie. Turnbull are away after not even being a regular in the first team for a whole season (or at least would have been had he not needed his op in summer 2019). Hastie was away after a brief purple patch and the likes of McKinstry was gone before a lot of the support even knew who he was.

Going back to the early 2000s when we had McFadden and Pearson breaking through we at least managed to get a couple of seasons out of them before they moved on but that just doesn’t happen now which is hugely frustrating.

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20 minutes ago, MJC_mkII said:

Going back to the early 2000s when we had McFadden and Pearson breaking through we at least managed to get a couple of seasons out of them before they moved on but that just doesn’t happen now which is hugely frustrating.

To be fair, Campbell, Cadden played 100+ times each and Maguire has made 33 appearances so far.

Turnbull was a special case - although I would have preferred to keep him for another season, as I don't think there was any risk of his value dropping.

For guys like Lee Erwin and Jake Hastie, at least so far, it looks like we came out ahead on both those deals. Although you can never tell how they might have developed if they had stuck with us.

It's definitely tougher, now though, as even the multi-billion pound teams lose youngsters to rivals on a regular basis.

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Tony Watt was a guest on Off The Ball earlier today and mentioned that Graham Alexander is a vegan. Not unusual these days, however, interesting none the less with regard to players diets. 

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Really happy with Alexander at the moment, however REALLY REALLY concerned for next year if handing out contracts to utter pish like Jobby Crawford is gonna be the extent of our squad! We already have Donnelly, O'Hara & Maguire contracted for next season, we need 1 or 2 QUALITY additions in CM, and by Quality I mean someone able to pass a ball to a teammate, and maybe score now & again. Again same with Mugabi! We are stuck with dross like Lamie & McGinlay next year, Im not convinced Mugabi is anything other than a backup so that means we  still need at least another 2 good quality CD.

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17 minutes ago, Shaka said:

Really happy with Alexander at the moment, however REALLY REALLY concerned for next year if handing out contracts to utter pish like Jobby Crawford is gonna be the extent of our squad! We already have Donnelly, O'Hara & Maguire contracted for next season, we need 1 or 2 QUALITY additions in CM, and by Quality I mean someone able to pass a ball to a teammate, and maybe score now & again. Again same with Mugabi! We are stuck with dross like Lamie & McGinlay next year, Im not convinced Mugabi is anything other than a backup so that means we  still need at least another 2 good quality CD.

Aye fucking outrageous that he isnt making grand signings outwith the transfer window , wheres my pitchfork ?

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45 minutes ago, Shaka said:

Really happy with Alexander at the moment, however REALLY REALLY concerned for next year if handing out contracts to utter pish like Jobby Crawford is gonna be the extent of our squad! We already have Donnelly, O'Hara & Maguire contracted for next season, we need 1 or 2 QUALITY additions in CM, and by Quality I mean someone able to pass a ball to a teammate, and maybe score now & again. Again same with Mugabi! We are stuck with dross like Lamie & McGinlay next year, Im not convinced Mugabi is anything other than a backup so that means we  still need at least another 2 good quality CD.

I’d much rather Alexander handed out contracts than listen to the opinion of a grown man calling him Jobby Crawford, grow tf up ffs

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56 minutes ago, Shaka said:

Really happy with Alexander at the moment, however REALLY REALLY concerned for next year if handing out contracts to utter pish like Jobby Crawford is gonna be the extent of our squad! We already have Donnelly, O'Hara & Maguire contracted for next season, we need 1 or 2 QUALITY additions in CM, and by Quality I mean someone able to pass a ball to a teammate, and maybe score now & again. Again same with Mugabi! We are stuck with dross like Lamie & McGinlay next year, Im not convinced Mugabi is anything other than a backup so that means we  still need at least another 2 good quality CD.

I think it’s slightly unfair to call Lamie and McGinley “dross”. Certainly in McGinley’s case he’s shown plenty of glimpses to suggest he could settle into being a very decent addition, Robinson spoke about his abilities and how living on his own in a flat had effected him. Lamie has actually improved and been nowhere near our worst player of late. Given it’s still early and GA could easily have let Crawford and Mugabi go he clearly sees enough to work with and we have to trust him in that even if with a level of scepticism.

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St Johnstone have just won two major trophies seven years apart while maintaining most of the core of the squad throughout and a good few players playing in both finals. I don't think football nowadays is necessarily as short termist as people are making out.

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Funny thing is if we signed any of those St. J players a lot of well fans would be furious :-)

The point stands though, for our model to work, we still need a core of players that are going to form the core of the 1st team that are solid premier league players and nothing else, and it would be ideal if one of those players was the captain, to ensure some kind of consistency while we rebuild the other half of the squad each year. 

I'm surprised that Alexander was so quick to tie up Crawford and mugabi, Maybe with our player budget being so high this year we're taking the approach of sticking with some known quantities that are probably cheaper and supplementing with 2 or 3 (hopefully) higher caliber players. Time will tell.

Overall he's done a good job as far as results go. It will be interesting to see if we stick with the 4-3-3 once he shapes his own squad.

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1 hour ago, Yassin said:

St Johnstone have just won two major trophies seven years apart while maintaining most of the core of the squad throughout and a good few players playing in both finals. I don't think football nowadays is necessarily as short termist as people are making out.

There were 3 players involved in both finals. Wotherspoon was there the whole time, O'Halloran and May came back when their big moves didn't work out. Murray Davidson's been there for both finals, but played in neither because of injuries. Probably his injury record that's kept him there. He tried to leave as far back as 2013 and couldn't find a club.

There are a few who played in the League Cup Final and were on the books in 2014, but they were kids who spent long periods out on loan before establishing themselves. The majority of our youngsters who go out on loan never seem to come back and make that breakthrough. Mibbe we don't give them enough time, mibbe they'll never be good enough. Have many of them made a career elsewhere?

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Crawford,Mugabi and Cole have came on loads since Alexander came in his man management must be top drawer.When you look back to that utter pumping we got when Lasley was in charge team was an utter mess,confidence was at all time low and Chapman was in goals.

Next season I will judge him when he has more input,shapes the team the way he wants for now more than happy heading in the right direction.

 

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The rebuild will be interesting. Alexander has already indicated that he thinks the current squad is bloated, so not unreasonable to think that he may be planning a smaller squad with a few higher quality players in it ( if we can get them).

It was the most frustrating part of Robinsons tenure that we appeared to waste any advances we had made by creating very unbalanced squads with no appreciable increase in quality. None more so than in the season following our 2 cup finals, when we were in a very strong financial position to build for the future.

We clearly arent sitting as strong financially right now, but with the right strategy and some shrewd signings, we should still have an opportunity to improve.

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There was a story doing the rounds that we were after Reo Griffiths from Lyon on loan in January, Didn't materialise obviously, maybe an idea of the sort of player we may be looking at in summer.

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17 hours ago, Yorkyred said:

I think it’s slightly unfair to call Lamie and McGinley “dross”.

I agree, it does a disservice to dross world-wide 

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McGinley has been ok  despite picking up a few injuries. Its been a tough year for him off the pitch and he deserves a chance to prove himself.

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2 hours ago, Kmcalpin said:

McGinley has been ok  despite picking up a few injuries. Its been a tough year for him off the pitch and he deserves a chance to prove himself.

That’s my thoughts, I really don’t understand how destroying the confidence of any Motherwell player is a positive.

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21 hours ago, Yorkyred said:

I think it’s slightly unfair to call Lamie and McGinley “dross”. Certainly in McGinley’s case he’s shown plenty of glimpses to suggest he could settle into being a very decent addition, Robinson spoke about his abilities and how living on his own in a flat had effected him. Lamie has actually improved and been nowhere near our worst player of late. Given it’s still early and GA could easily have let Crawford and Mugabi go he clearly sees enough to work with and we have to trust him in that even if with a level of scepticism.

Lamies far too casual for my liking . Even on Saturday he nearly gifted St Mirren a goal with a slack pass back. Id rather be shot of him. Hes generally a bombscare just waiting to happen , he has improved since his early season form but still too casual and likely to cost goals.

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