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SteelmaninOZ

Motherwell v Aberdeen 11/09/21

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A really decent performance and result. I always enjoy a result against Aberdeen even more since the 2nd place season!

Lots of positives to take mainly the fact that we are looking stronger defensively. It was clear for too long before Alexander came in we were going soft and losing so many shite and often late goals. Good to see that moves have been made to address this and the new guys have promise.

The shithouse approach we are taking is effective for now and it's good to see a Motherwell team being more streetwise and harder to beat. It gives you the platform to win games. We have some effective attacking players and once we get the right balance in midfield and things gelling more i'm sure some more possesion and a wee bit more flowing football at times will follow. Good start to the season overall.

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1 hour ago, 0Neils40yarder said:

It was said on sportscene that the sheep had 75% possession and it certainly felt that way. This looks like a clear instruction from the manager to allow the other team to have the ball, let them huff and puff and we attempt to hit on the counter. It was evident against both Hibs and Dundee too  At times its really difficult to watch, but who can argue with the results?

That’s exactly the conversation we had at the game, and Alexander said in his post match interview something along the lines of “it’s ok to let the opposition have the ball in areas that don’t hurt us”. As well as being hard to watch at times, it also takes a lot of concentration from the players, as possession in an area that doesn’t hurt us can turn quickly into a dangerous situation, with a good through ball, bit of skill to beat a man, or whatever. 
 

Without wishing to pish on anyone’s chips after a great performance and result, we can’t deny that Aberdeen also created loads of opportunities from their possession, and on a different day (if they’d had their shooting boots on) we might have taken a beating. As is often the case in this league, the first goal is vital. As usual, Kelly dealt well with everything that came his way… but his saves were general in the ‘you’d expect him to save them’ category as opposed to ‘amazing’.

Anyway, loads of positives from a brilliant day.

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A very satisfying game and result today. We did to Aberdeen what they've done to us many a time.  Aberdeen started well and bulldozed our seemingly timid midfield who failed to protect the defence. At that point I was very concerned. However after 20 minutes or so we grew into the game and the first goal was crucial. The midfield then began to settle down and get Aberdeen's measure.  Aberdeen looked very streetwise and I thought that I was watching a young Eoin Jess and Scott Booth again - going to ground at every lost challenge and rolling about in agony.  Their left back, MacKenzie was lucky not to be booked for continuous simulation. For long spells, John Beaton had no control over the game, and missed many niggly incidents and one or two more serious ones that could have caused the game to boil over.

Apart from the early stages I thought we defended well and crucially took our chances. Scoring the first goal was pivotal. We’re now starting to look more organised and harder to beat. I thought we saw the game out well and it was pleasing to see the likes of Declan Gallagher resorting to passing the ball sideways 45 yards from our goal. We deliberately gifted them possession, safe in the knowledge that they couldn’t breach our defensive wall.  Many of us watched “great and entertaining” Aberdeen and Dundee United sides do exactly this for years.

I was especially impressed with our 2 central defenders who look as though they’ll be very solid. I wasn’t convinced by Mugabi against Dundee but he won me over yesterday with an impressive performance at right back. Watt had an excellent game and Van Veen showed some real class but also a temperamental edge. He has a fine line to tread.  I still don’t think our midfield mix is right though. Slattery played well and intelligently but I’m not convinced that Grimshaw and O’Hara are the right combination.     

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Any chance of a MOTM thread mods? Plenty to choose from this week for a change! :P

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2 hours ago, ohwulliewullie said:


Without wishing to pish on anyone’s chips after a great performance and result, we can’t deny that Aberdeen also created loads of opportunities from their possession, and on a different day (if they’d had their shooting boots on) we might have taken a beating.

Exactly this.

Aberdeen had 23 shots and Kelly didn't have a serious save to make.  Pretty much everything they hit that was on target was tame and down the middle of the goal.  

I would precede with caution on giving the opposition possession.  If you have possession you control the game.  If you don't you are depending on what the opposition do or don't do.  Yesterday Aberdeen couldn't shot for toffee so we got away with it.  Does anything think Rangers will have 23 shots at goal and not score?

We deserved the win yesterday but the match stats were a bit of an anomaly.  

Over the season we are going to have to up our possession stats and control the midfield in more matches.  If we don't, there will be consequences over the long term.

I've not updated my stats yet but I think in terms of headed goals we have 6 and the next nearest team is Celtic on 3.  Most other teams are on 1 or 0.  It's a good thing that we are capable of scoring in these situations and I'm not making out that it's not but we cannot depend on headed goals across the season.  Guaranteed teams will learn and be trying to counter act our strengths as we go into the 2nd phase of the season  so we can't be dependent on a single strategy.

 

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Couple of posts above saying we should not get carried away and that on another day Aberdeen would or could have won. 

As far as I can see everyone including myself is enjoying the moment and a great win. Also a recognition that maybe we have got our transfer business right this time around.

The two new centre backs were very impressive yesterday. One game I know but I don’t think anyone had the right to expect Sondre in his first game to be so assured. Van Veen is going to be some watch this season. He does not give a f*ck. Ane we need that attitude v the better teams. Yes he will come unstuck and a red card is probably just around the corner. But he has been a breath of fresh air. 

My final point and main one is who did not expect Aberdeen to have the majority of possession and play some decent football ? Their wage budget must have increased massively this season. Normally it is double our budget at least. Scott Brown was on £25k per week at Celtic. You would imagine he is now on around £8-£10k per week. Fantasy wages for a team like Motherwell. So I was not surprised at the possession stats. What did surprise my was how well we defended and generally looked comfortable after going 2-0 up.

A great day and a great win. Harder tests lie ahead but it has been a promising start to our league campaign. 

 

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15 hours ago, steelboy said:

Beaton was shite but we are putting a lot of pressure on the referee by fouling in the opposition half a lot.  It's cynical but as long as we get away with it....

 

Sorry but I thought Beaton had a good game as far as Scottish refereeing performances go, he basically had mostly every decision correct, I know at the game we tend to disagree but watching on TV after the game he wasn’t far wrong, although I do agree that if it had been Willie Collum  refereeing Van Veen would have been sent off for a second yellow.

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4 hours ago, ohwulliewullie said:


Without wishing to pish on anyone’s chips after a great performance and result, we can’t deny that Aberdeen also created loads of opportunities from their possession, and on a different day (if they’d had their shooting boots on) we might have taken a beating.

I disagree with that. They created one good chance early in the first half, and I'm willing to put that down to our new combiniations in defence taking a few minutes to get up to speed.

After that, and especially after we scored, I didn't think we allowed Aberdeen anything much. The defense kept things really tight and only ever offered longer range and restricted sights at goal where the only option available was to hit it straight at Kelly.

They didn't have their shooting boots on because we took them off.

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For various reasons it’s been very difficult to get a picture on what Alexander sees as his first choice XI, but I reckon we have that now.  If everyone is fit and available I reckon yesterday’s team is pretty close, with the most obvious likely changes being: O’Donnell for Mugabi; Goss for Grimshaw, with O’Hara moving to the right; Roberts for  Woolery; possibly Carroll for McGinley. 
 

That looks decent, with good options from the bench across every department. 

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10 minutes ago, middleeastdave said:

Sorry but I thought Beaton had a good game as far as Scottish refereeing performances go, he basically had mostly every decision correct, I know at the game we tend to disagree but watching on TV after the game he wasn’t far wrong, although I do agree that if it had been Willie Collum  refereeing Van Veen would have been sent off for a second yellow.

It was a mixed bag.

But I actually applauded him at one point when he booked an Aberdeen player (Ferguson I think) for pulling on Woolery's shirt. 

That's a big bugbear for me and I think referee's need to clamp down on it.  If you are obstructing a players movement by jersey pulling why is that different than chopping him down?

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I thought, overall, Beaton was OK. Given the needle in the game I was happy that he was able to keep control without flashing a red card (which I was expecting). The biggest difference between him and Collum - which was especially obvious watching the stream - is that he was chatting to players with a smile on his face at various points during the game.

I also think he cut Watt and Brown a bit of slack because he knew they were mates winding each other up.

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5 minutes ago, Ya Bezzer! said:

It was a mixed bag.

But I actually applauded him at one point when he booked an Aberdeen player (Ferguson I think) for pulling on Woolery's shirt. 

That's a big bugbear for me and I think referee's need to clamp down on it.  If you are obstructing a players movement by jersey pulling why is that different than chopping him down?

Was that the first booking because I couldn’t work out what that had been for?

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2 minutes ago, weeyin said:

I disagree with that. They created one good chance early in the first half, and I'm willing to put that down to our new combiniations in defence taking a few minutes to get up to speed.

After that, and especially after we scored, I didn't think we allowed Aberdeen anything much. The defense kept things really tight and only ever offered longer range and restricted sights at goal where the only option available was to hit it straight at Kelly.

They didn't have their shooting boots on because we took them off.

Fair enough, but I disagree with your disagreement, ha ha! There were quite a few crosses / headers and shots from in and around the box, that were either straight at Kelly or over the bar (hence why most of his saves were in the ‘routine’ category). And there was also the early cross fired across the six yard box. I still think it’s risky to allow so much comfortable possession and not be punished. Having said that, you can’t press and try to win the ball back for 90 minutes, and there were signs of us doing that at times yesterday. Eg it seemed clear to me that the players were under instruction to close Joe Lewis down at every opportunity, as he’s obviously not comfortable with the ball at his feet. 

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1 hour ago, Ya Bezzer! said:

 

I've not updated my stats yet but I think in terms of headed goals we have 6 and the next nearest team is Celtic on 3.  Most other teams are on 1 or 0.  It's a good thing that we are capable of scoring in these situations and I'm not making out that it's not but we cannot depend on headed goals across the season.  Guaranteed teams will learn and be trying to counter act our strengths as we go into the 2nd phase of the season  so we can't be dependent on a single strategy.

 

If Grimmy could use his head it would have been 7

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In reference the posts about possession. 

Giving up a high percentage isn't an issue until it's in the final 1/3.  Allowing teams to have 15+ shots each game will at some point hurt us. Last 3 games we've allowed something like 48 shots , 16 on target and only conceded 1.  Not convinced we'll keep up that average - at some stage these shots will hit the net. 

To build upon our grit and physicality I'd play 5 at the back that flips to 3 when wingbacks push up will work, to keep the ball out of our final 1/3 and have more possession.  That means only 2 upfront who'd be KVV and Watt.

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54 minutes ago, ohwulliewullie said:

For various reasons it’s been very difficult to get a picture on what Alexander sees as his first choice XI, but I reckon we have that now.  If everyone is fit and available I reckon yesterday’s team is pretty close, with the most obvious likely changes being: O’Donnell for Mugabi; Goss for Grimshaw, with O’Hara moving to the right; Roberts for  Woolery; possibly Carroll for McGinley. 
 

That looks decent, with good options from the bench across every department. 

Looks like we have a stronger squad. We will need all those players throughout the season as individuals go out with injuries and suspensions. 

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While I am delighted with the result. This taking off all attacking options with 15 to 10mins  to go, is not pretty. Its gives the other team the momentum and leaves you sitting in the Cooper watching a match at the other end of the park.

I get it that it worked, but I felt at 2 up we should have kept on the front foot and really finished them off. Just my opinion.

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6 minutes ago, yosemite sam said:

While I am delighted with the result. This taking off all attacking options with 15 to 10mins  to go, is not pretty. Its gives the other team the momentum and leaves you sitting in the Cooper watching a match at the other end of the park.

I get it that it worked, but I felt at 2 up we should have kept on the front foot and really finished them off. Just my opinion.

That does seem to be how it works at the moment but may change as time goes by or maybe depend on the opposition. As Alexander mentioned in his after match interview, it’s work in progress but you have to pick up points along the way. At this point in time I think he sees our best option being to shut up shop. Hopefully that will change as the season progresses. Certainly a lot more entertaining to kill a game off by scoring more goals. 

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33 minutes ago, yosemite sam said:

While I am delighted with the result. This taking off all attacking options with 15 to 10mins  to go, is not pretty. Its gives the other team the momentum and leaves you sitting in the Cooper watching a match at the other end of the park.

I get it that it worked, but I felt at 2 up we should have kept on the front foot and really finished them off. Just my opinion.

I understand why it's done but as I said in my original match post I think we did it far too early in the match, there was over 20 minutes to play with injury time.

Perhaps Alexander wanted to give the 5 at the back a decent run out for the match at Ibrox but otherwise I think it put us more at risk more than anything else.  

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Just a daft wee stat but Motherwell are the only team in the Premiership to score in every league match this season.

Hopefully we can keep that up another week at least...

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20 minutes ago, Ya Bezzer! said:

Just a daft wee stat but Motherwell are the only team in the Premiership to score in every league match this season.

Hopefully we can keep that up another week at least...

JINX

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5 hours ago, ohwulliewullie said:

For various reasons it’s been very difficult to get a picture on what Alexander sees as his first choice XI, but I reckon we have that now.  If everyone is fit and available I reckon yesterday’s team is pretty close, with the most obvious likely changes being: O’Donnell for Mugabi; Goss for Grimshaw, with O’Hara moving to the right; Roberts for  Woolery; possibly Carroll for McGinley. 
That looks decent, with good options from the bench across every department. 

I think GA is getting closer but there are still a couple of questionmarks. Goss may comed in but for who? O'Hara or Grimshaw. Woolery is in pole position up front but may have to see off competition from Roberts? Playing devil's advocate here. Will Mugbai challenge O'Donnell (on the basis of one good game) and will McGinley challenge Carroll?

As you say good to have real options from the bench.

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