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Graham Alexander

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On 3/27/2021 at 10:25 AM, David said:

We've had a good few players come through the youth setup the past number of years, but it's only natural that we're not going to churn out a Turnbull, Campbell or James Scott every year. There will be years where none of the youngsters really hit the heights. 

I've said this a number of times but....

We don't need to produce a Turnbull, Campbell, Scott every year.

We just need to produce players that are capable of playing in the Scottish Premiership and holding down a position.

Of course we'll take a Turnbull if they come along, but the primary objective of Motherwell FC's youth development should be to produce players for Motherwell FC.   

Paul Quinn level players are fine.  And I get that we need money but I think the aims of our development system has been warped slightly by the pernicious influence of the quick sell on.  We need to develop 'workmen' like players too.

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During half time in extra time, Jock Brown picked up on Alexander spending a few minutes with his staff before getting in about the players. Anyone else find that a bit weird? 

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7 minutes ago, Lobey_Dosser said:

During half time in extra time, Jock Brown picked up on Alexander spending a few minutes with his staff before getting in about the players. Anyone else find that a bit weird? 

It sounds weird, but there again maybe he needed all the coaching staff’s opinions!

Have to say his substitutions were a bit strange as well, thought they were crying out for a change long before he brought on the first sub Hastie on the 81st minute.

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This feels very similar to the Barraclough era for me.  

GA has come in and helped us to safety - snap
Needs time to replace some of the squad - snap
Talks about the need to work hard, blah blah - snap

lack of willingness to change the formation or adjust during the game - snap

Bit like when we stayed up people are happy to give him the benefit of the doubt and see what he does next season

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5 hours ago, wellsince75 said:

This feels very similar to the Barraclough era for me.  

GA has come in and helped us to safety - snap
Needs time to replace some of the squad - snap
Talks about the need to work hard, blah blah - snap

lack of willingness to change the formation or adjust during the game - snap

Bit like when we stayed up people are happy to give him the benefit of the doubt and see what he does next season

There was somewhat a bit of naievety about Barraclough though. Alexander seems to have a proper axe to grind in his approach. More grit Nd fight about him. I don't think he's the type to be taking any passengers that's for sure and it is pretty clear that a number of players will be out the door this summer and rightfully so.

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Alexander was brought in to stop the rot and keep us up which was everything to us all in the current economic crisis. Barring a catastrophic disaster he has accomplished this , so for that I am certainly grateful. Sadly a lot of people have forgotten though that Robbo and his signings put us in the horrible position he came into.

The however in all this for Alexander and the club and fans is if you honestly think resigning/being left with the core of players that put us in this position is going to improve us next season you are deluded - resigning Crawford and  Mugabi has already set the tone for what is in store next season and Alexander signed some dross when he arrived as well. Some will be happy with the small wee club , punching above our weight for years pish but I’m not . We should be challenging top 6, especially with the revenue we have generated of late,  have some form of entertainment value along with giving youth a chance - signing crawford and mugabi alongside Lamie I just don’t see us improving. I’ve seen better junior and under 18 players  .

I hope I’m proven wrong but just can’t see it . Robbo and those that gave him free reign have a lot to answer for . 

 

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Hopefully the likes of Crawford, Mugabi will be squad players next season and not regular starters otherwise we will be in for another dismal campaign. I’m happy for GA to get the summer transfer window before he is properly judged in the job.

As for your point on the “punching above our weight” mentality, that is something that is unfortunately deeply entrenched in the club these days and I believe plays a huge part, perhaps subconsciously, in a lot of the apathy we have seen over the last few years, even on the park. Any player or manager joining us will know that there is no real expectation to go the extra mile or to try and win a Cup, because so many within the club and the support are happy to see us as this tiny wee club that are miraculously able to play in the country’s top league. 
 

I love the club and always will, but I truly despise that outlook.

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Right manager, decent squad, no reason why we can't compete for top 6 - and better - most years. We'll have poor campaigns, happens to everyone. Since our last relegation Dundee Utd have spent 5 seasons in Div 1/Championship,  Hibs 4 and Hearts have gone down twice in the last 5 years. 

Sometimes we'll have to grin and bear it, but the trick is not getting into a tailspin. Given our apparent inability to buy, never mind buy big, recruitment and management are everything to us. Whoever recruited this crop needs hunted (if they're still here) and Alexander will get his chance to prove this isn't good enough over the summer. 

 

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44 minutes ago, MJC_mkII said:

Hopefully the likes of Crawford, Mugabi will be squad players next season and not regular starters otherwise we will be in for another dismal campaign. I’m happy for GA to get the summer transfer window before he is properly judged in the job.

As for your point on the “punching above our weight” mentality, that is something that is unfortunately deeply entrenched in the club these days and I believe plays a huge part, perhaps subconsciously, in a lot of the apathy we have seen over the last few years, even on the park. Any player or manager joining us will know that there is no real expectation to go the extra mile or to try and win a Cup, because so many within the club and the support are happy to see us as this tiny wee club that are miraculously able to play in the country’s top league. 
 

I love the club and always will, but I truly despise that outlook.

Likewise I really hate the "we are not Barcelona " pish .... as if we are expecting to be anything like Barcelona. If St Mirren and St Johnstone can win two cups in my lifetime why can't Motherwell.-

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1 hour ago, FirParkCornerExile said:

Likewise I really hate the "we are not Barcelona " pish .... as if we are expecting to be anything like Barcelona. If St Mirren and St Johnstone can win two cups in my lifetime why can't Motherwell.-

Lucky teams win cups, and in the context of Scotland that usually means the rare seasons that both ugly sisters have went out in earlier round.

We have made 4 finals since 91 which I think is a decent record for a club our size. 

2005 LC Rangers 

2017 LC Celtic 

2011 SC Celtic 

2017 SC Celtic 

So no easy Diddy teams in the final for us, occasionally a team will have a good result and beat Celtic or Rangers in a semi final as we did in 91 but it is very rare for both of the ugly sisters to be out before the semi finals.

So would the likes of StM or StJ have won had they been playing Rangers or Celtic, probably not.

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On 4/17/2021 at 9:26 AM, wellsince75 said:

This feels very similar to the Barraclough era for me.  

GA has come in and helped us to safety - snap
Needs time to replace some of the squad - snap
Talks about the need to work hard, blah blah - snap

lack of willingness to change the formation or adjust during the game - snap

Bit like when we stayed up people are happy to give him the benefit of the doubt and see what he does next season

The major difference is both joined us when we were 11th -  Alexander now has us sitting comfortably in 9th with 4 games to go and we're 5th place in the form guides. Barraclough took us to rock bottom at one point then scraped into the play-off spot. 

Different squads with different problems, but I have far more faith in Alexander than I ever did in Barraclough. 

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4 hours ago, Motherwellfc1991 said:

Alexander was brought in to stop the rot and keep us up which was everything to us all in the current economic crisis. Barring a catastrophic disaster he has accomplished this , so for that I am certainly grateful. Sadly a lot of people have forgotten though that Robbo and his signings put us in the horrible position he came into.

The however in all this for Alexander and the club and fans is if you honestly think resigning/being left with the core of players that put us in this position is going to improve us next season you are deluded - resigning Crawford and  Mugabi has already set the tone for what is in store next season and Alexander signed some dross when he arrived as well. Some will be happy with the small wee club , punching above our weight for years pish but I’m not . We should be challenging top 6, especially with the revenue we have generated of late,  have some form of entertainment value along with giving youth a chance - signing crawford and mugabi alongside Lamie I just don’t see us improving. I’ve seen better junior and under 18 players  .

I hope I’m proven wrong but just can’t see it . Robbo and those that gave him free reign have a lot to answer for . 

 

Excellent post.

I’ve often posted on these pages about a distinct lack of ambition at the club and the ‘wee club’ mentality. Yes, in world football terms we’re tiny but in Scottish football, we’re not. We’re 34 years in the top flight, the 8th largest support in the country and generated revenue streams in recent years from prize money and player sales that 39 from the other 41 professional teams in the country would only dream of. 
There is a distinct lack of vision which is very evident at times from the club. The AGM chat surrounding short term contracts was telling. Yes, players have more freedom to move on, but any club needs a nucleus of players which embody the values of the club, in order to be successful and have continuity. St Johnstone are a prime example of this currently. Hibs have their long serving players as do Aberdeen - when it comes to that, we’re rudderless. I cannot see the vision in the signing policy currently. In my mind, we only have 2 players signed for next season which would be starting for a top 6 team, in O’Donnell and Watt (Carson if fit). Disconnection with fans has never been higher for any club and utilizing this window to inject new impetuous and energy and bring people back is absolutely critical. Instead, we’re signing squad players that are already  part of the worst Motherwell side I can remember in 30 years. 
Before anyone says it, yes the window isn’t open so we cannot sign players however we’ve been quite open with the fact we’re planning on running with a much smaller squad next season (ie. 18-20 players). As I understand it, we’ve already got 12/13 players now signed up for next season however, suggesting that we’re bringing 6 or so players in over the summer. They’re going to need to be shit hot to keep the club and their largely inept team mates in the league never mind kicking on and competing well above the relegation spots and pushing for top 6.

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The “wee club, punching above our weight” thing is nonsense. Self defeating nonsense and a ready made excuse for not performing well in games or competitions. I am under no illusions about the size of club we are, we are obviously a ‘smaller’ club than the Old Firm and the City clubs but outside of that, there is not much difference in size of supports etc.
 

From our point of view we have been a top flight club for well over thirty years, in which time have won the Scottish Cup, regularly competed and finished in the top half of the league which has on a good few occasions now earned us European qualification. And yet STILL, we have supporters saying “oor wee club, we really shouldn’t expect anything other than survival” and other such nonsense. Some inside the club seem to buy into that too it would appear.

So how long do you have to punch above your weight before that becomes your weight?

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35 minutes ago, CoF said:

The major difference is both joined us when we were 11th -  Alexander now has us sitting comfortably in 9th with 4 games to go and we're 5th place in the form guides. Barraclough took us to rock bottom at one point then scraped into the play-off spot. 

Different squads with different problems, but I have far more faith in Alexander than I ever did in Barraclough. 

There are still questions Alexander will need to answer next season, but completely agree. No idea how Baraclough's landed the Northern Ireland job, but he obviously impresses some folk.

Always wondered how much the players were on to win the play-off, given how far their collective fingers were suddenly pulled out.

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10 minutes ago, bobbybingo said:

 

Always wondered how much the players were on to win the play-off, given how far their collective fingers were suddenly pulled out.

The playoff final is not a good game to judge Barraclough or the team we had then on, we were up against a Rangers team that were utter dross and the 6-1 aggregate win confirmed that fact.

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1 minute ago, Spiderpig said:

The playoff final is not a good game to judge Barraclough or the team we had then on, we were up against a Rangers team that were utter dross and the 6-1 aggregate win confirmed that fact.

They were poor, but I'd still argue we wouldn't have been in that play-off to begin with if some players had shown as much desire during the season.

Absolutely agree Baraclough shouldn't have been judged on those games, and he should've been shown the door irrespective of the result. Not nice, but necessary.

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Did people believe when Barraclough said he wanted us to be challenging for the title, that in the dressing room he was saying the ambitions of the club are that they should be challenging for the title? 

I expect in most cases not. 

So when Robinson/Burrows/the board say they have a budget that comes in ninth or tenth in the league what makes people believe they are telling the players the sum of the ambitions of the club is ninth or tenth?

 

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1 hour ago, Andy_P said:

Did people believe when Barraclough said he wanted us to be challenging for the title, that in the dressing room he was saying the ambitions of the club are that they should be challenging for the title? 

I expect in most cases not. 

So when Robinson/Burrows/the board say they have a budget that comes in ninth or tenth in the league what makes people believe they are telling the players the sum of the ambitions of the club is ninth or tenth?

 

Spot on, there are only 2 clubs in the premiership who are ever going to win it, of the other 10 there are possibly 4 or 5, Aberdeen, Hibs, Hearts, Motherwell,  St J and Dundee untd, who will fight for a top 6 place and European qualification.

The rest will be fighting relegation and hoping for an unlikely cup win. This has been a poor season for us, but in reality we missed a top 6 spot by a couple of defeats, so for me as a fan, a top 6 finish a decent cup run and a bid for a Euro spot would constitute a great season.

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1 hour ago, Andy_P said:

Did people believe when Barraclough said he wanted us to be challenging for the title, that in the dressing room he was saying the ambitions of the club are that they should be challenging for the title? 

I expect in most cases not. 

So when Robinson/Burrows/the board say they have a budget that comes in ninth or tenth in the league what makes people believe they are telling the players the sum of the ambitions of the club is ninth or tenth?

 

Perception is often reality 

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Are we actually that far off where we should be ? 8th or so biggest club in Scotland, top six last season and 9th at the moment. I don’t think it’s a problem to want to finish higher, there should always be an ambition to improve but surely that should also be balanced by a realisation that we are not a big city club with a budget to match. Are we saying any Motherwell manager is failing if we don’t finish top six every season ?

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3 hours ago, bobbybingo said:

 

Always wondered how much the players were on to win the play-off, given how far their collective fingers were suddenly pulled out.

The core of the team was Hammell, McManus, Lasley, Pearson, McDonald and Sutton. All good pros who wouldn't be want to be relegated and had an affinity for the club.

2014/15 was a strange season. Even more than this one.

 

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28 minutes ago, steelboy said:

The core of the team was Hammell, McManus, Lasley, Pearson, McDonald and Sutton. All good pros who wouldn't be want to be relegated and had an affinity for the club.

2014/15 was a strange season. Even more than this one.

 

Whatever the reason, the players had the bit between the teeth for those games. Quite possible they were driven by the guys you mention, so I'm probably doing them a disservice.  

In what way did you think it was stranger than this season?

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4 hours ago, Kmac said:

I’ve often posted on these pages about a distinct lack of ambition at the club and the ‘wee club’ mentality. Yes, in world football terms we’re tiny but in Scottish football, we’re not. We’re 34 years in the top flight, the 8th largest support in the country and generated revenue streams in recent years from prize money and player sales that 39 from the other 41 professional teams in the country would only dream of.

Unfortunately, it looks like that revenue stream that we've built up will be somewhat demolished by the fact that the deal offered to fans who bought season tickets this season will see many get their season tickets next season for absolutely nothing.

We can hope that a fair chunk of fans will waive the opportunity for that, but we don't know for certain.

4 hours ago, Kmac said:

There is a distinct lack of vision which is very evident at times from the club. The AGM chat surrounding short term contracts was telling. Yes, players have more freedom to move on, but any club needs a nucleus of players which embody the values of the club, in order to be successful and have continuity. St Johnstone are a prime example of this currently. Hibs have their long serving players as do Aberdeen - when it comes to that, we’re rudderless. I cannot see the vision in the signing policy currently. In my mind, we only have 2 players signed for next season which would be starting for a top 6 team, in O’Donnell and Watt (Carson if fit). Disconnection with fans has never been higher for any club and utilizing this window to inject new impetuous and energy and bring people back is absolutely critical. Instead, we’re signing squad players that are already  part of the worst Motherwell side I can remember in 30 years. 

The contract thing is an interesting discussion point, because there's always those who point at players who sign on a one-year deal, do very well, then move on for free. What no one really brings up though, is the number of players we sign on short-term deals, aren't good, and we're happy to let them move on at the end of the season.

As much as it would be grand to have our best players tied down to long-term deals, we cannot risk having a squad full of players who didn't make the cut but who aren't going anywhere else due to lack of interest.

Regarding the players we've re-signed for next season? We have to place some faith in the manager. I personally think that Mugabe has shown an improvement since the change in manager, and Stephen O'Donnell on a two-year deal is a tremendous piece of business.

4 hours ago, MJC_mkII said:

From our point of view we have been a top flight club for well over thirty years, in which time have won the Scottish Cup, regularly competed and finished in the top half of the league which has on a good few occasions now earned us European qualification. And yet STILL, we have supporters saying “oor wee club, we really shouldn’t expect anything other than survival” and other such nonsense. Some inside the club seem to buy into that too it would appear.

In all honesty I don't even "expect" survival. I go into every season with survival as the number one priority. Once we get into a position where it looks like we won't be fighting it out at the bottom of the table, my aims turn to top six, then top four, and so on.

But I don't "expect" anything. In a league where the likes of Hearts, Hibs and Dundee United can go down, we're certainly not in a position to assume we're better than that.

 

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45 minutes ago, bobbybingo said:

 

In what way did you think it was stranger than this season?

Mainly because of how much McCall declined as a manager by making Twardzik the number one and starting the season with Josh Law in the 10 position. I think those two moves lost him the dressing room.  Robinson had bad spells all through his tenure, McCall was consistently successful then went off a cliff.

There was also the weird stuff with Boyle threatening to sell us to Nobby Solano, Hutchinson coming in and then Barraclough saying he was here to win the league. 

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