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SteelmaninOZ

St Johnstone v Motherwell 8/8/21

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13 minutes ago, MJC_mkII said:

They beat us 3-0 going on six when we last played them in February at Fir Park.

While there clearly were signs of encouragement to take from Sunday it is clear that we still have defensive concerns, something that was evident in the League Cup group games too. We need to learn to concentrate and ‘manage’ games better, otherwise we will continue to ship goals.

In fairness did we not have to patch a side together that game, young Johnston in at right back with Magloire making his first start, plus I'm certain the second goal was well offside. This fixture was on the back of that 4-1 defeat against 

While it's usually a tough nut to crack, esph at McDiarmid Park, I feel the mid week exercisions for them in Europe will cost them when we play them, if we can repeat Sundays efforts I'm going for a 3-0 win. I think we will start the same eleven, looking forward to seeing what Ojala adds the the team. 

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1 hour ago, MJC_mkII said:

They beat us 3-0 going on six when we last played them in February at Fir Park.

While there clearly were signs of encouragement to take from Sunday it is clear that we still have defensive concerns, something that was evident in the League Cup group games too. We need to learn to concentrate and ‘manage’ games better, otherwise we will continue to ship goals.

We played them 3 other times last season. Beat them 1 - 0 at Fir Park. Drew 1 - 1 in Perth and lost the cup tie 1 - 2 at Fir Park. That's a lot more representative than what was close to our worst performance all year.

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2 hours ago, MJC_mkII said:

They beat us 3-0 going on six when we last played them in February at Fir Park.

While there clearly were signs of encouragement to take from Sunday it is clear that we still have defensive concerns, something that was evident in the League Cup group games too. We need to learn to concentrate and ‘manage’ games better, otherwise we will continue to ship goals.

The defensive concerns I see are mostly down to the fact we have a Manager who insists on playing with only three midfield players. Once teams catch on to that we get over run and the defence is constantly put under pressure. Far too little protection in front of the back four and no creativity to supply our forwards.

Four lower league clubs realised that and at times each and every one of them embarrassed us by taking control of midfield. We changed it  against QOS second half but not against Airdrie. How did those games end up? On Sunday Hibs were a bit slow on the uptake and we more than matched them first half. They moved an extra player into midfield second half and, although we had a couple of chances, that extra man saw them take over the match and run out comfortable winners.

Lamie and Mugabi might not be world beaters but they are not bad players. And when we rescued last season they were at the heart of our defence for a good few games at a time when our Captain was playing silly buggers. And I am pretty sure Lamie is very much in Alexander's plans so I doubt we will see him dropped.

If we stick with a midfield three against Saints I fear they will get outnumbered and bullied, resulting in another depressing defeat.

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8 hours ago, dennyc said:

If we stick with a midfield three against Saints I fear they will get outnumbered and bullied, resulting in another depressing defeat.

What formation would you play? 

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I don't buy this "left sided" centre half pish. Was never an issue until about 10 years ago. 

Get Ojala in there with what ever option is best suited.

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----------------------Kelly

 

O'Donnell-----Mugabe---Ojala----Carroll

 

----------------Donnelly (just sit rather than wandering about)

 

-------Slattery------------Maguire

 

Woolery-----Van Veen--------Watt

 

1-1

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1 hour ago, Busta Nut said:

I don't buy this "left sided" centre half pish. Was never an issue until about 10 years ago. 

Get Ojala in there with what ever option is best suited.

The game has changed though with centrehalves being on the ball a lot more and more building out the back and facing different defensive shapes and presses. I'm looking forward to us playing St Mirren so we can get the benefit of Dunne's inability to pass for a change. 

Going back a fair bit longer I remember the Dortmund match at Fir Park as a kid and it felt like Sammer and the Dortmund defence were cheating knocking the ball about on the halfway line. I had never seen that before. 

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1 hour ago, Kmac said:

----------------------Kelly

 

O'Donnell-----Mugabe---Ojala----Carroll

 

----------------O'Donnell (just sit rather than wandering about)

 

-------Slattery------------Maguire

 

Woolery-----Van Veen--------Watt

 

1-1

I don’t think O’Donnell has what it takes to play two positions at the same time tbh.

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The problem with the midfield is that we are still extremely short in that area. No arguments about us being overrun and the defence having no protection but who do we put in there that will make much difference?

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4 minutes ago, MJC_mkII said:

I don’t think O’Donnell has what it takes to play two positions at the same time tbh.

Deliberate mistake 8)

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2 hours ago, MJC_mkII said:

The problem with the midfield is that we are still extremely short in that area. No arguments about us being overrun and the defence having no protection but who do we put in there that will make much difference?

Agreed we don't have quality in numbers but at least put the extra body in there so as to limit the space and freedom our opponents always seem to have. Also it might mean our guys are not shattered after 60 minutes. Not saying they are not fit or talented, but the amount of work they are being asked to do is massive. If that means sacrificing one of the three forwards for an hour then so be it.

Any successful side makes sure the core of the team is secure before becoming more expansive.  Sometimes it not just about putting the best individuals out there from the first minute ( as in squeezing in three talented forwards). Why not start with only two with the scope to switch to three in the last 30 minutes when most games open up? 

On Sunday Davidson, McCann and Craig will be licking their lips at the thought of bullying our midfield three and so controlling the game. As happened so many times of late when they have faced us. We need to change it.

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in terms of set up

_______________________Kelly___________________
S'OD.            OJala                      Lamie.      Carrol
     |           Donnnelly.   Slattery Maguire    |
     |                                  Watt                                   |
     |                     VanVeen.    Woolery.              |


wing backs can move up and down the flanks to give protection/progress forward get crosses in
Watt can link the forwards 

And we go on to pick up 3 deserved points 

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2 hours ago, dennyc said:

Why not start with only two with the scope to switch to three in the last 30 minutes when most games open up? 

 

Again I ask the question, what formation are you using? 442? Who is playing wide midfield in your 442? Will your wide men really operate as wide midfielders or wingers, as I suspect Woolery and Amaluzor would do? So you would effectively be playing 424. 

I'm sorry if it sounds like I'm having a go at you personally but the idea that 442 helps you win midfield is a nonsense unless it's  a Terry Butcher style midfield with Pearson and Lasley at wide midfield. The last 442 we played to any kind of positive effect was McGhee second time around and that was a squinty 442 with 3 midfielders and one winger, so basically a 433.. 

The idea of only playing two central midfielders is a nonsense. Teams playing 343 invariably have two attacking midfielders in the front three who drop in to prevent being outnumbered. The 4231 is basically a 433 as the central figure in the '3' is a midfielder, who drops in. 

I seem to recall 352 taking a beating on here during periods when Robinson's team performed poorly. And likewise 433 when he used that. The only time I ever agreed with Maurice Malpas was when he said formations don't win you games, players do. The obsession with 'only' having three in midfield is a red herring. On Sunday we weren't tirng because we were chasing possession so much as we were tiring because of the lack of options on the bench. Hibs were able to freshen things up with no real  drop off in quality. We couldn't...

Obviously if someone comes up with a way to play four in midfield, I'm all ears...

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Totally agree MB. 4-3-3 isn't the problem, it didn't work last season because Maguire was inexperienced, Campbell was off form and Crawford isn't good enough.

 

This season's Maguire (who looks completely different), Donnelly & Slattery will more than hold their own once they're up to speed, with O'Hara there to offer fresh legs.

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I think the line up listed by Wellsince makes sense and is an option. Given our squad and allowing for flexibility with scope on the bench to change things to a more attacking or defensive formation as the game dictates.

I think starting with a three in midfield immediately hands the initiative to our opponents, exhausts the players concerned and eventually leads to us hanging on/ chasing the game late on. We mostly  got away with it against the lower league Clubs although Airdrie held on assisted by the fact that for some reason we only brought on one substitute.

It's all about opinion of course but I would rather see us adopt a more cautious approach to begin with, even if that means sitting a winger on the bench. There is no shame in winning a game in the last 20 minutes which is the time under the current set up where I see us running out of steam as our midfield disappears. Hibs put an extra man in midfield and dominated the second half. I don't believe that was just about quality off the bench.

No matter what formation is used by any team, it does always comes down to the quality of player. You need exceptional players to make 4-3-3 a success. I don't believe we have that quality. Perhaps 4-2-3-1 might suit our squad better, protecting the defence but also allowing scope for the likes of Woolery to play in a wide role. 

Let's see what happens on Sunday. Hopefully I'll be proved wrong

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45 minutes ago, dennyc said:

It's all about opinion of course but I would rather see us adopt a more cautious approach to begin with, even if that means sitting a winger on the bench. There is no shame in winning a game in the last 20 minutes which is the time under the current set up where I see us running out of steam as our midfield disappears. Hibs put an extra man in midfield and dominated the second half. I don't believe that was just about quality off the bench.

No matter what formation is used by any team, it does always comes down to the quality of player. You need exceptional players to make 4-3-3 a success. I don't believe we have that quality. Perhaps 4-2-3-1 might suit our squad better, protecting the defence but also allowing scope for the likes of Woolery to play in a wide role. 

I actually think 442 is less cautious than 433, given our wide players in a 442 will offer not much going back the way. The idea of playing Watt behind Woolery and Van Veen is fine in principle if Watt can be coached to think like a midfielder. If not, it's just 433 with a deep lying striker.  

If you want to start cautiously, with our squad it's 352.. Again you're only playing 3 central midfielders but you've got protection behind them. 

Kelly

Mugabi O'Connor Lamie

O'Donnell Slattery Donnelly Maguire Carroll

Watt Van Veen

Not a huge fan as I feel it can turn into 532 very easily and hand too much initiative to the opposition but if you're looking for a cautious approach, this is how I would go..

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A great result for St Johnstone tonight. It should help us as well as they will surely rest players ahead of the second leg after putting in a huge shift tonight in severe heat.

 

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I'd expect them to rest Murray Davidson. Thats a couple of weeks without an injury, so he's due one.

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Great result for Saint's tonight,  I wish we had that back 3,  but hopefully knackered so great opportunity for us

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28 minutes ago, grizzlyg said:

Great result for Saint's tonight,  I wish we had that back 3,  but hopefully knackered so great opportunity for us

A great result yes but entirely due to very poor finishing from Galatasary and comical goal keeping for the pen, StJ offered very little but you need a bit of luck in Europe so they will take the result. 

 

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They offered far more going forward away to a seeded team in Europe than I can remember us doing in at least a decade.

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Ideal result for us. Chasing the ball for much of the game in that heat but still in the tie so will have at least one eye on next Thursday, which wouldn't have been the case had they been pumped 4-0...

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On 8/5/2021 at 10:51 PM, Spiderpig said:

A great result yes but entirely due to very poor finishing from Galatasary and comical goal keeping for the pen, StJ offered very little but you need a bit of luck in Europe so they will take the result. 

 

Have to disagree with that. I thought for the most part St Johnstone were excellent. They were very disciplined, well organised and when they did get the ball they didnt just hoof it and tried to keep a hold of it and move it up the pitch in a constructive manner. Sure they got a couple of breaks in the first 15 mins and that is the bit of luck you need in Europe as you say. But I never thought at any stage they were being over run or were backs to the wall, so I would say it was a very creditible performance against a very decent side. That will give them huge confidence for the weekend. How they manage the physical recuperation after their exertions and a long flight home will be the key.

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----------------------Kelly----------------

                  Mugabe   Ojala   Lambie

SOD                       Donnelly                   Carroll

                  Mcguire                Slattery

                                    Watt

                                  Van Veen           

 

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St Johnstone got a roasting for the first 10 - 15 minutes but after that they settled down and I thought their performance was terrific.  

They are probably the best organised and best coached team in the league all things considered.

They don't usually score a lot though, especially at home, so if we can get a goal you'd have to think we'll have a decent chance of getting something.

Overall though they look more settled, more disciplined, more consistent, better drilled - you'd probably be happy enough with a point.

 

 

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