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GazzyB

SPFL Table Prediction

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It's the "punching above our weight" patter that annoys me the most.

There's a hundred good reasons a club with less resources can field a competitive team, and classifying it as "punching above our weight" is patronizing at best.

As for the league, it's impossible to predict what our team will do this early in the season with a stack of new players and more to come. Far too soon to write us off or have us in the top 6. The way things are structured now, you typically don't get a feel for things until September.

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I’m sure it was Terry Butcher that first started the “punching above our weight” line at a time when we were still in administration when, to be fair, we probably were given the circumstances. Alan Burrows when he posted here began parroting it regularly and others latched on to it from there and it’s stuck ever since with some fans.

When you have been a top flight side for 36 years, won the Scottish Cup and regularly finished in the top half of the table and qualified for Europe then you have more than earned the right to say that you are at the level you deserve to be at.

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We are at the level we deserve to be at, we're the 7th or 8th best supported team  so we should be there.

The issue is when folk lose their shit when we finish 10th as of its a disgrace and not just part of our natural cycle. 

Over the past 20 years our average league position will be 7th and our cup performance will be probably around 7th best. 

We've never had the lows of relegation like so many of our peers but also not had the highs of a cup win (though or 2nd place finishes in the league are unmatched by any of the smaller clubs, these aren't as good as cup wins).

 

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22 minutes ago, C&A not the shop said:

We are at the level we deserve to be at, we're the 7th or 8th best supported team  so we should be there.

The issue is when folk lose their shit when we finish 10th as of its a disgrace and not just part of our natural cycle. 

Over the past 20 years our average league position will be 7th and our cup performance will be probably around 7th best. 

We've never had the lows of relegation like so many of our peers but also not had the highs of a cup win (though or 2nd place finishes in the league are unmatched by any of the smaller clubs, these aren't as good as cup wins).

 

I don't disagree with the majority of your post but I'd take issue with the term "deserve to be at". Maybe its just the way you phrased it? Historically, we have finished on average 7th or 8th so I get that. However there's more to finishing well than just size of support. You need to take into account the way a club is run. Surely well run clubs deserve to finish higher than those which are poorly run? Not saying we've been perfect by any means but in recent years clubs like Sevco, Hearts, Dundee, Dundee United have all been basket cases, and some still are.

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3 minutes ago, Kmcalpin said:

I don't disagree with the majority of your post but I'd take issue with the term "deserve to be at". Maybe its just the way you phrased it? Historically, we have finished on average 7th or 8th so I get that. However there's more to finishing well than just size of support. You need to take into account the way a club is run. Surely well run clubs deserve to finish higher than those which are poorly run? Not saying we've been perfect by any means but in recent years clubs like Sevco, Hearts, Dundee, Dundee United have all been basket cases, and some still are.

Well that's fair. We need to be well run, our average position is possibly above Hearts who have far bigger support than we do. Probably Dundee United as well.

Our being well run has us closer to the teams with bigger supports than others with similar supports (killie etc) but still the biggest factor in success is over the long term is money and the best way to get money is from the fan base.

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For a club of our size, fan base annual turnover etc we have done well over the years, we have been in 4 cup finals since 91 and been unlucky to end up playing the best team in the country in all of them.

There have been three 2nd place finishes, numerous European adventures,  and a champions league qualification to enjoy, yes we were having a laugh with that one.

Every other team in the country apart from the ugly sisters would love a record like that, along with continual premiership status for over 35 years now I think.

So taking everything into account I think we have been and still are one of the best run, if not the best in the country, so if all that meets the description of punching above our weight then I'm happy with that.

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19 minutes ago, Kmcalpin said:

Surely well run clubs deserve to finish higher than those which are poorly run? Not saying we've been perfect by any means but in recent years clubs like Sevco, Hearts, Dundee, Dundee United have all been basket cases, and some still are.

“Deserve to”? No, the only position a football club deserves to finish is the one it earns through results on the pitch. How well run they are will inevitably affect that over a period of time, but any other definition of who deserves to win what is getting into delusional ugly sister territory.

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6 minutes ago, numpty said:

“Deserve to”? No, the only position a football club deserves to finish is the one it earns through results on the pitch. How well run they are will inevitably affect that over a period of time, but any other definition of who deserves to win what is getting into delusional ugly sister territory.

So it doesn't matter how you achieve the results on the pitch? Maybe a case of the old adage thats there's just 2 golden rules "Just do it" and "Don't get caught".

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1 hour ago, Kmcalpin said:

So it doesn't matter how you achieve the results on the pitch? Maybe a case of the old adage thats there's just 2 golden rules "Just do it" and "Don't get caught".

I'm sure we'd all like it to matter, but the reality is that it doesn't, as Rangers and others have shown repeatedly over the years.  Being well-run helps to even out your performance peaks and troughs over time, but it doesn't entitle you to achieve anything... just means you're more likely to keep coming back for another go every year.

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If it's true that our average finish over the last 35 years is 8th place then we are extremely fortunate not to have been relegated once in that time.

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We will finish from 5th to 8th.  To be refined after the first quarter.

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34 minutes ago, GazzyB said:

If it's true that our average finish over the last 35 years is 8th place then we are extremely fortunate not to have been relegated once in that time.

Especially since we finished bottom.

We had a huge bit of luck that our financial meltdown coincided with Falkirk trying to get promoted without a stadium. 

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I think it's very difficult to make predictions when the squads still aren't stabilised.  Also the spectre of Covid is still out there and could cause any team big problems. Based on 'now' I'd say.

1. Rangers - won't match last seasons points tally but should still win the league

2. Celtic - will still finish 2nd despite being in complete disarray at the moment.

3. Aberdeen - based purely on their impressive performance against Hacken

4. Hibs - up and down but better than most of the rest, will be crossing their fingers they don't lose some of their better players.

5. Hearts - maybe a bit of a surprise but having a nailed on goalscorer like Boyce is a big advantage in this league

6. St Mirren - look stronger on paper than last season so maybe they can go one better.

7. St Johnstone - think they will lose key players before the transfer window and everyone knows 'wee' teams have a shitter after winning the Cup so could finish lower.

8. Dundee Utd - Have a young-ish squad but again I think having a goalscorer in Shankland (who will be better now Mellon is gone) will keep them out of serious trouble.

9. Motherwell - Right now I think our best chance is 'grinding' out occasional results like we did under Alexander last term.  But our squad is weaker and we will need good quality reinforcements to even maintain last terms finish.

10. Dundee - Dispatched Kilmarnock with ease so I think they should do enough to stay up.  Pretty much the same squad as last season though so another team that needs a few bodies in.

11. Ross County - Not the best squad and you have to question if their manager is going to be able to work at this level without the kind of resources he'll have been used to.

12.  Livingston - Worst team in the league in the last third of the campaign and not been great in the league cup this term.  Also had a lot of disruption to their pre season with covid and injuries.

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8 hours ago, Ya Bezzer! said:

I think it's very difficult to make predictions when the squads still aren't stabilised.  Also the spectre of Covid is still out there and could cause any team big problems. Based on 'now' I'd say.

3. Aberdeen - based purely on their impressive performance against Hacken 

You still sticking by that after last night?

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The budget to stay in the league patter does my nut in. The reality is we are historically 6th best over league football history in Scotland I believe.  

We should be setting a target of 7th every year I believe. For the club to be relegated I consider that to be a sackable offence on the managers part as we more than have the budget to stay in the division. The "stay in the league and anything else is a bonus" ethos is not ambitious enough - in which case, it leaves me asking what's the point? For example...Accies sole goal each year was to stay up, look across at what a miserable existence their supporters must have where the one highlight they get is staying up or beating us every year. (Now they don't have that). The club has no atmosphere, ambition or culture on show. That is pretty much what we are putting ourselves on a par with if our goal is to merely stay in the league. We are so much more than that.

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In the last 30 years....

Finished 2nd four times.

Finished 3rd three times

Top 6 fourteen times.

Champions League once.

Europa League five times.

UEFA Cup three times.

Cup Winners Cup once.

Scottish Cup winners once.

Top League Scorer twice.

One of only three clubs to not be relegated.

One of only four clubs (inc Old Firm) to play in Champions League.

One of only four clubs to play in all four European competitions.

One of only four clubs to split the Old Firm which we've done twice.

Came within 5 points of winning the league.

 

 

Aberdeen have also never been relegated, have four 2nd place finishes and have split the OF, but they have never played in the Champions League.

Hearts have played in the Champions League and all four European Competitions, have split the Old Firm but only have two 2nd place finishes, and have been Relegated twice.

Hibs have split the old firm but have never finished 2nd, have never played in the Champions League and have been relegated twice.

Rangers, well....that could be debated in a hundred aspects til the cows come home.

30 years is just to give us a larger sample size and discount any "flash in the pan" or purple patch. In fact most of that was done in the last 10/12 years so it's not even as if anyone can point to "current wee team harking back to past glories".

Anyone that thinks we should be aiming to stay up and anything else is a bonus, or who lumps us in with the Killies, Livi's, St Johnstone's of the world are absolutely bananas.

There literally isn't a club other than Celtic who can clean sweep us across the board, and no other non-city club that's even in the discussion.

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Hear! Hear! :clapping:

Far too many of our support and indeed some inside the club itself but into the “we’re only a wee club punching way above our weight” guff. 
 

You may argue that it doesn’t matter if some have that outlook but I have to disagree. That attitude of “we’re only little Motherwell” rubs off on players, coaches and managers and is why, in my opinion, the likes of Mark McGhee felt so comfortable disrespecting us as a club on both spells he managed us.

It’s also why Stuart McCall had such a shocking record in Cup games and big games, because he came to us viewing us as this little tinpot outfit and during his time here no one inside the club seriously attempted to persuade him otherwise. When there is a mindset of “as long as we stay in the league it doesn’t matter if we lose Cup games” then it gives a ready made excuse for failure right from the off. You can also attribute our dreadful record against Rangers over the past twenty years to that mindset as well. 
 

It’s why we also have over the past couple of seasons assembled a squad of players whom many of don’t appear to give a fuck about the club and don’t appear to be striving to go the extra mile. It’s just a job to them and one that takes them on coffee outings for social media likes. That’s all of course after the same social media platforms have been full of fans queuing up to welcome them to “our great wee club”. :rolleyes:

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2 hours ago, Al B said:

In the last 30 years....

Finished 2nd four times.

Finished 3rd three times

Top 6 fourteen times.

Champions League once.

Europa League five times.

UEFA Cup three times.

Cup Winners Cup once.

Scottish Cup winners once.

Top League Scorer twice.

One of only three clubs to not be relegated.

One of only four clubs (inc Old Firm) to play in Champions League.

One of only four clubs to play in all four European competitions.

One of only four clubs to split the Old Firm which we've done twice.

Came within 5 points of winning the league.

 

 

Aberdeen have also never been relegated, have four 2nd place finishes and have split the OF, but they have never played in the Champions League.

Hearts have played in the Champions League and all four European Competitions, have split the Old Firm but only have two 2nd place finishes, and have been Relegated twice.

Hibs have split the old firm but have never finished 2nd, have never played in the Champions League and have been relegated twice.

Rangers, well....that could be debated in a hundred aspects til the cows come home.

Anyone that thinks we should be aiming to stay up and anything else is a bonus, or who lumps us in with the Killies, Livi's, St Johnstone's of the world are absolutely bananas.

There literally isn't a club other than Celtic who can clean sweep us across the board, and no other non-city club that's even in the discussion.

This is what makes us a great wee club! No problem with people using that phrase. You can read whatever you want into that phrase but no reason for a great wee club to have wee ambitions. We should definitely be aiming for top 6 finish every year. I’d go as far as saying we should be aiming for third every year. However, what you aim for and what you budget for are 2 totally different things. It’s got to be very difficult on the budget side with so little between all the non old firm teams. You could end up anywhere from 3 rd to last. But that’s what makes it such a rollercoaster ride. :P

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41 minutes ago, texanwellfan said:

This is what makes us a great wee club! No problem with people using that phrase. You can read whatever you want into that phrase but no reason for a great wee club to have wee ambitions. We should definitely be aiming for top 6 finish every year. I’d go as far as saying we should be aiming for third every year. However, what you aim for and what you budget for are 2 totally different things. It’s got to be very difficult on the budget side with so little between all the non old firm teams. You could end up anywhere from 3 rd to last. But that’s what makes it such a rollercoaster ride. :P

You almost scored a ‘great wee mighty rollercoaster’ hat-trick in the one post there :no:

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2 hours ago, texanwellfan said:

This is what makes us a great wee club!

But we're not a wee club, that's the point everyone is trying to make.

 

Mid table mediocrity isn't good enough for a club like Motherwell. We're never gonna win the league, but we should be regularly competing for top 6 and winning the odd cup, PARTICULARLY now that we are on very sound financial footing.

 

Some posters may be quick to point out that my mentality of getting beat by Airdrie was that it wasn't so bad, but purely because we would always go through to the next round. Had it been mid season and knocked out of the cup, I would have been absolutely seething also!

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We are what we are regardless of what word people use to describe us.  In the grand scheme of things I’d say we are a wee club.  Within the SPL I would not regard us as a wee club. There’s the old firm and all the rest. We should always be aiming to at least be the best of the rest. 

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On 7/28/2021 at 9:57 PM, MJC_mkII said:

I’m sure it was Terry Butcher that first started the “punching above our weight” line at a time when we were still in administration when, to be fair, we probably were given the circumstances. Alan Burrows when he posted here began parroting it regularly and others latched on to it from there and it’s stuck ever since with some fans.

When you have been a top flight side for 36 years, won the Scottish Cup and regularly finished in the top half of the table and qualified for Europe then you have more than earned the right to say that you are at the level you deserve to be at.

It's clearly a phrase which is based entirely on available resources. When you consider the city clubs,  isn't your second paragraph the very definition of punching about our weight? 

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On 7/29/2021 at 3:48 PM, Ya Bezzer! said:

9. Motherwell - Right now I think our best chance is 'grinding' out occasional results like we did under Alexander last term.  

I'm baffled by this. His league record was P18 W8 D4 L6. That's 28 points. By points per game that form would see us finish 4th or 5th most seasons - a very good return considering the mess he came into. 

I sometimes think I'm watching football in an alternate dimension the way folk have analysed Alexander's performance so far. 

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Ayr Utd winning the Champions League would be punching above their weight.

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On 7/31/2021 at 3:20 PM, CoF said:

I'm baffled by this. His league record was P18 W8 D4 L6. That's 28 points. By points per game that form would see us finish 4th or 5th most seasons - a very good return considering the mess he came into. 

I sometimes think I'm watching football in an alternate dimension the way folk have analysed Alexander's performance so far. 

We had 3 wins 1 draw and 1 loss in the bottom 6 last season.  That's 10 of your 28 points from the post split fixtures. 

Overall 9 points were taken against relegated teams (you could argue both relegated teams have been replaced by stronger sides).

We also only had 1 win against a team that finished in the Top 6.

Our points average under Alexander was 1.4 (rounded up) pre split and 2.0 post split.

So a lot of that improvement was due to playing in the bottom 6 post split.  

I'll also remind you that losing Campbell, Gallagher and Cole has significantly weakened our team.

 

 

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