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hislopsoffsideagain last won the day on September 16

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About hislopsoffsideagain

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  • Birthday 02/09/1984

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  1. Inverness CT -V- Dunfermline

    The performance was much better than the result suggests. We spurned several decent opportunities, and the Pars keeper made three very good saves. In contrast, Dunfermline only had two good chances, both from defensive mistakes. Whilst the crowd were understandably nervous in the last 15 minutes, the players didn't look panicky in the slightest about only having a one goal lead. Confidence is a wonderful thing. I think every one of the starting XI can be happy with their performance. It helps that we've hit upon a system that works for us both defensively and in attack. In that spirit, it's only fair that I point out that Baird and Chalmers, two of my early-season whipping boys, did well. Using Baird to run the channels and stay on the shoulder of the last defender is far more effective and that was the best I've seen him play for us. Chalmers has found his niche in midfield, and keeps things ticking over nicely so Vigurs and Polworth can concentrate on creating things. The three stars were Bell, Vigurs and Donaldson. Bell must have covered every blade of grass and was out on his feet in the last ten minutes. His movement off the ball is great and he's clearly a really intelligent player. Vigurs meanwhile has reinvented himself as a Pirlo-esque playmaker (yes, really!) and I thought the way he controlled our tempo was terrific. And as for Donaldson...wow. Just, wow. The guy looks a class act, which is astounding given his struggles at Dundee United. Our central defence looks about a million times better for having him, just because his positional sense is so good. Every time a ball came into our box it seemed magnetically attracted to him. Clearly he just needed a change of scenery. We need to sign him on a long contract pronto. I'm dangerously close to getting optimistic about our season...
  2. Dumbarton Preview (Away) : 23/09/17

    Ooh, you've acknowledged Fon Williams' existence at last! Does that mean he's in from the cold, and we'll have a competent goalkeeper this weekend?
  3. Robertsons big changes

    A few thoughts: As I wrote on the Livingston matchday thread, we have a real lack of quality at the back and up front. Out of the back four and keeper that played on Saturday, only Raven can be trusted. Tremarco is a huge upgrade, both defensively and going forward, on Chalmers. In the centre we have a real problem; Warren and McKay are both really struggling - I worry that the former's decline is now irreversible (much like Grant Munro around the time County binned him), while McKay has the physical tools but can't put a solid 90 minutes together without several errors. However Elsdon doesn't look ready and Donaldson is a bit of an unknown quantity so I don't know what we can do here. Moving Raven or Tremarco inside would weaken us in the full-back areas. As for in goal, Robbo needs to make his peace with OFW, and fast. Up front, part of the issue is players seem to have been brought in without a specific role in mind, as shown by the frequent changes in formation between matches. The lack of pace is a real weakness - Baird used to have some but, like Warren, he looks to be past his best. Cooper is neat and tidy but offers very little creativity or threat. Bell looks a clever customer who could work well with a partner, but I was disappointed by how knackered he looked after an hour on Saturday. Oakley? He had a good hour against Dundee United; I often feel it is harsh to criticize sub strikers for a lack of impact as it can be hard to pick up the pace of a game. If we were to play him along with a clever creative player and a pacy winger (Bingham-Ritchie-Wilson anyone?) I think that would be a decent combo. Which brings me to Mulraney - I'm going to go against the grain here and defend him a bit. Too rarely is he put in a situation where he can make a major impact - 20 minutes against a packed Livingston defence is no good for a player who is all about building up speed and dribbling past players, as there is no space to operate in. His few good performances have been against teams who have been playing wing backs (Accies in May) or have very adveturous full-backs (Rangers in January) - Livingston fell into the former category and in hindsight he would have been a far more useful option than Cooper from the start. He's not done a lot to justify my faith but I do feel that he shouldn't be written off until he's actually started a few games in succession, rather than a cameo here and there. And he's the only quick attacker we have. When Doran is fully fit I'd play him, Oakley and Mulraney as the front three. (Puts on tin hat, awaits incoming...)
  4. Inverness CT -V- Livingston

    Our midfield trio are pretty swish, but that's no use to us if the defence are hopeless and the attack are impotent. It's not clear from watching today what Robbo is doing to rectify these problems, as our issues have been pretty much the same since July. That back four and keeper have now conceded seven goals in two matches. Three of the defenders have been at the club for more than a year, so it's not as if they need time to gel. Raven seemed decent enough defensively today, but the other three were catastrophic. McKay frequently loses concentration and either gets caught out of position or loses his man; Warren is now frequently bested in physical battles by players who he would have easily dominated 2 years ago, and has become slower than a week in jail; Chalmers is easily beaten by wide players and is so woeful in possession that I might change my username to 'Chalmersgivesitawayagain'. Ridgers might have been quicker out for the second goal (that may be harsh - I'll need to see TV pictures to check) but was faultless for the first and third goals today which I suppose means improvement. At the other end of the pitch, our complete lack of pace means that defences never have to worry about a ball in behind. Bell's movement is clever enough to partially compensate for this, though I actually wondered if his goal today was a miscued cross, going by his bodyshape and Alexander's reactions. Cooper just dribbles sideways till he either passes it backwards or loses the ball, while Baird has the opposite of the Midas Touch - anything he does seems to go wrong. His linkup play is dreadful and so is his decision-making. He's a player whose game is based around a lot of hard running, but now he's 32 and lost a yard he is completely toothless against a reasonably organized defence. I can't remember the last time I heard a cheer for an ICT player being subbed, but he was so awful that even the lovely elderly couple on holiday from Plymouth who sat in front of me were slagging him off. Meanwhile Trafford does a solid job of breaking up play, while Vigurs and Polworth both put in great shifts today, desperately looking for teammates in front of them to actually make enough space for a killer pass. I felt desperately sorry for them. Sadly, I don't think we've hit rock bottom yet. Yes, we had lots of possession, and Livingston's three goals came from their first three chances...but did we make more than three clear-cut chances in all that time? I don't think so. And the three goals we conceded were either from corners or from not properly clearing corners (at least the third involved a quality finish, which makes a nice change). Teams that can't defend set pieces are badly organized, and badly organized teams are usually badly coached. The problems at the back will not be completely solved just by installing a competent left-back. We know Elsdon is out of his depth, so unless Donaldson turns out to be the second coming of Franco Baresi we're screwed at centre-back for the near future. And up front does anyone really expect Zzsuschchen or Oakley to be the answer? In conclusion: this is just the pits.
  5. Brechin City -V- Inverness CT

    Bottom line is that the club are at risk of getting into trouble because of the behaviour of these supporters. It doesn't matter if said supporters think that's unfair - its the way the SFA are running things right now. Is it really worth damaging the club's reputation (and bank balance, potentially) just to set off a smoke bomb in front of a few hundred fans at Brechin? On a personal level, I groan with dismay whenever I see flares and smoke bombs. People have been badly injured (or killed in at least one case I read of) because of these devices. I also know of fans with chest complaints such as asthma or COPD who are made breathless if they are in the vicinity. Oh, and in a piddly little ground like ours (or Brechin's) they just look naff.
  6. Transfer in and outs

    I couldn't disagree more with the bit I've highlighted. Technique-wise we're not talking North Caledonian Super League level and to say otherwise is just being ridiculous. He's a talented enough player that another Scottish club have paid a six figure sum for him - Rangers and Celtic aside, Scottish clubs have paid six figure fees for players only ten times this decade. No, of course he's not Lionel Messi, but he's a player who would walk into most Premiership midfields. As for the omelette metaphor, we didn't want to make an omelette, but we've managed to drop all the eggs on the floor. The young lads who are coming through are not necessarily going to get better - in fact Cooper has already failed at Championship level with Falkirk and didn't impress at League One level with East Fife. Part of the problem is that we are building a team around youngsters who are not proven at all and who are at least as likely to fail as succeed. I agree completely with everything RiG has said on the subject.
  7. Inverness CT -V- Dundee Utd

    Hugely frustrating. We were good value for a draw, mainly because Dundee United offered little going forward too. But for all our possession we were relatively toothless in the final third. Our best passages of play came in the early stages, when Baird lined up wide right and Polworth tucked in to give us an extra man in the middle of the pitch. Polworth, Draper and Oakley were linking up really well and the overload in the middle dragged United players infield, giving Calder loads of space. Curiously, we drifted into more of an orthodox 4-4-2, maybe in an attempt to get Baird into the game...but the veteran striker remained anonymous and Polworth was wasted out on the flank. We ultimately offered little other than high hopeful punts into the box, which United's excellent keeper and centre-backs dealt with fine. The loss of Calder made things even harder; Mulraney had a great initial impact but United dropped so deep that he had no space to operate in. I'd have liked to see him on the right flank, cutting inside and having a go at goal. Some good performances - Calder, Vigurs (some misplaced passes in the second half but his attitude was light-and-day from last season), Oakley (who looks like he could be a flat-track bully against weaker defences than this). And some stinkers - aside from Baird, Chalmers and Elsdon were awful on the left hand side of our defence. If Chalmers can pass himself off as a professional footballer, there's hope for me yet. McKay grew into the game, but I believe it was his panicky tackle that gave away the penalty? As for Ridgers, I get grumpy with keepers who are poor with their feet;' for a professional goalie to be incapable of kicking the ball properly from hand is unacceptable. Fon Williams was in the stand today, he must have had a good laugh. A few reasons for optimism, but a few for concern too. The defence will be fine with Warren and Tremarco in it. But I'm not convinced this team is going to score too many goals.
  8. Transfer in and outs

    A few thoughts on the guys we've signed/been linked with: Baird - the sort of hardworking striker that fans generally love to have in their team. The Championship is his level - brief steps up to the top flight with Dundee and Partick didn't go well for him. Only scored 8 league goals last year though (and none since February) despite being a regular in a good Falkirk side. In my view he's a decent squad player to have but he won't get anywhere near Adam Rooney's goals total from 2009/10. Ridgers - seems to have spent his entire career as a backup, aside from one season at Airdrie. Didn't impress when given his chance at St. Mirren a few years back. I'd have been happy with him on the bench but not convinced about him as first choice at all. Chalmers - was a decent prospect at Celtic and initially did ok at Motherwell before struggling badly last season. His confidence looked shot - if Robbo could build it back up then he could give us decent cover. Ferguson - Still young but didn't impress when Motherwell gave him his chance. McAllister - I saw him play for Peterhead in March and wasn't impressed - not as mobile as he used to be. I'd be amazed if we wanted him, or if he wanted to come to us. Nick Ross - we haven't been linked with him yet but hopefully we will be! I'd take him back like a shot. My mum saw him in the Retail Park Tesco on Monday...
  9. New Manager

    My sources say the same. As alluded to in my post yesterday, I heard about the story in The Sun yesterday lunchtime. The club's statement smacks of a desperate attempt at damage limitation. I bet the new chairman may have been told where to stick his 'Duncan Shearer Cup!
  10. New Manager

    I'm told it's true. I'm also told that it may be expanded on in another newspaper tomorrow...
  11. New Manager

    Hey, if Robbo is a success again, then great. And I'll be rooting for him in the same way I would have done for any new manager (unless Brewster had been brought back for a third go!!!) But how many 'political' appointments as manager tend to be successes? Not many. I would rather our manager was an outstanding candidate, rather than somebody's mate. And there is nothing on Robbo's recent (or not-so-recent) managerial CV to suggest he was an outstanding candidate. The whole process raises concerns about the way Inverness Caledonian Thistle is run. And I think that it's pretty reasonable for supporters to focus on those, as they are likely to have a big impact on the future of the club.
  12. New Manager

    I'm concerned about this as well. I find it extraordinary that the quality of applicant was so poor that we instead headhunted a guy who hasn't managed a club in 5 years, hasn't managed a Full Time club in 10 years, and who hasn't had any sort of managerial success in 13 years. The whole process stinks of 'politics' as stated here, or sheer laziness; do the board not realize that there are other options beyond reappointing former employees?
  13. New Manager

    I'm going to cling to the positives: - Robbo got us promoted before - Ex-players such as Bobby Mann (in a Tell Him He's Pele interview) and Michael Fraser (in the Courier today) speak very highly of him - He must have plenty of decent contacts, which hopefully will result in some good signings; my own feeling is that being a good recruiter is more important at this level than being a good tactician. On the other hand, he's only managed one club in ten years - East Fife for 16 months - and none in 5 years. That raises concerns. The names that have been linked with this post have been hugely unimpressive - the focus on old boys such as Robbo and Sheerin suggest, frankly, laziness on the board's part. I find it hard to believe that there weren't any candidates outside our own 'old boys' circle or indeed beyond the usual names in Scottish football (Danny Lennon?!). It doesn't seem likely that outside applications were welcomed at all, and not just because Ossie Ardiles hasn't been linked. It's all dreadfully underwhelming.
  14. Season Ticket Prices

    We will have one fewer home game next season too - so the cost per game will actually be higher even though we've been relegated. In contrast, we dropped season ticket prices by £100 following relegation in 2009!!! Basically, this is a thinly disguised attempt at fleecing loyal fans, or 'mugs' as the rest of the world would call us.
  15. Richie Foran Has Left The Building

    Why, thank you very much sir.