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Everything posted by hislopsoffsideagain

  1. Rank ICT Managers

    I think it's probably best to judge Robbo and Brewster's two spells separately - Robbo's because circumstances are different and they are 13 years apart, and Brewster's because his availability as a player made such a significant difference in his first period in charge. Here's how I'd rank them, from last to first: 10. Foran - an absolute catastrophe. Tactically inept, clearly unable to manage a squad and absolutely hopeless at signing players. If we'd ditched him even in March 2017, we would have stayed up. His spell in charge has done this club a huge amount of harm. 9. Brewster's second spell - after an initial strong start things went badly wrong and the last eight months or so were awful. Another manager who struggled tactically and who wound up all the players the wrong way. And giving Andrew Barrowman a three year contract on a big wage?! 8. Baltacha - certainly had some challenges to deal with, given it was our first year in the league. But not even finishing in the bottom half of the Third Division with that squad was a disappointment and too often our style of football was dull as ditchwater. 7. Robbo's second spell - Controversial perhaps, but the bottom line is that we're still only seventh the Championship even though things have certainly improved after a terrible start. Assuming we don't go back up this season, the big test for him will be improving the squad this summer despite a likely reduction in budget. 6. Christie - I have a soft spot for Charlie, who signed some decent players and who often sent out the team to be quite adventurous. And the 2-1 win over Rangers in December 2006 is still one of my favourite ICT moments ever. But he couldn't crack top six. 5. Brewster's first spell - we went from relegation candidates to missing the top six on goal difference in five months. His ability and leadership as a player were undoubtedly huge factors. He also brought in Craig Dargo and established Ian Black (signed by Robbo) in the team. 4. Robbo's first spell - beat Celtic in the cup in his first half-season, won the first division and got us to two cup semi-finals. He had started getting us on the right track for survival when he left for Hearts. Oh, and he signed Darren Dods, who improved our defence about one-hundred fold when he got in the team. 3. Paterson - deserves his legend status because of our rise through the leagues and that incredible win at Celtic Park (and the oft-forgotten win at Tynecastle two years later), along with the reckless attacking football that we played. That said, he had a lot more to work with than most managers in the bottom two divisions did, and couldn't get us over the last hurdle. Not our best manager, but the guy who was managing us when we were the most fun! 2. Hughes - I imagine this will be heavily criticised! If this ranking was entirely on coaching ability he would certainly be top (he turned Carl Tremarco into a footballer!!!) and if it was entirely on transfer market success he would be near the bottom. Bottom line is he took us to third in the league and a Scottish Cup win, feats which may never be repeated - and did so with us playing some pretty sexy football. The fact that his reign started and ended pretty badly shouldn't detract from that. 1. Butcher - obviously left us in pretty acrimonious circumstances, and no-one would suggest that he was a tactical genius. But...he nearly kept us up in 2009 (we were five points adrift when he took over). He got us back up at the first attempt. He turned us into a top six team. The number of quality players he signed was quite remarkable. And man he was good with the media, talking us up all the time. (puts tin hat on, awaits incoming fire)
  2. Falkirk (A) Preview : 27/01/18

    You're right re there being specific rules - the guidance is here https://sportscotland.org.uk/media-imported/1534421/scottish-sports-concussion-guidance.pdf That said, at the end of last season Alex Fisher talked about getting concussed at Dens Park in the penultimate game of the campaign and still started against Motherwell 4 days later. Make of that what you will.
  3. James Vincent

    I'd be tempted if he were cheap (which he won't be) and wasn't injury-prone (which he is). His bust-a-gut bursts into the penalty area to support the centre-forward and the amount of running he would do in games always made a positive difference. That said, in our current system he would best fit into the role that is currently occupied by Polworth, and he wouldn't be a sufficient upgrade to be worth taking any risks on.
  4. New Striker

    I wasn't at the Brechin game so can't comment on Layne's performance. But Brechin fans are not complimentary about him on P&B and he has only 15 goals in nearly 3 years - mostly at Scottish League One level. He isn't the answer. Sounds like we're looking to offload Zssuschchen in January - whilst injuries have held him back, he certainly didn't impress in his handful of appearances. Certainly he's not the 20 goals-a-season forward we're looking for. Neither are Baird or Oakley though. It's more likely that we will grab someone on loan from the Premiership - or someone who is let go from a Premiership club in January. Fisher had come to mind for me too - he only played at the weekend because Moult was unavailable, but is on the bench most weeks and Well probably want him as a reserve. County have loads of strikers, but only play one up front under Coyle. Billy Mckay (!!!) and Thomas Mikkelsen aren't in favour. Just saying, like. Young Premiership forwards who might be available on loan include youngsters such as Steven Boyd (Hamilton), Aidan Keena (Hearts), Willie Graham (Kilmarnock) and Kevin Nisbet (Partick). Oli Shaw of Hibs would be a great option but he's impressed so much that I doubt they'd loan him out. Or we might get a random striker from down south I suppose.
  5. CLUB STATEMENT : AGM & Annual Report : 23/11/17

    My tuppence worth... Turnover was about £3.7m - they haven't given a figure but we know what the drop from last year is, and what the drop from the previous year was. That was our lowest turnover since 2013-14. Budgeting for seventh isn't as crazy as it sounds. Firstly, there is a big leap between sixth and seventh in terms of prize money, income from post-split games etc (assuming one at home against Rangers or Celtic) compared to between seventh and tenth. Moreover, the nightmare scenario is relegation. Budgeting for seventh should get you a squad which at worse finishes tenth - in which case you run at a loss for the season, but its not a disaster by any means (Of course, we gave said budget to Richie Foran, which resulted in said nightmare scenario). Our footballing budget was £2.7m, the third highest in club history (but I assume a little bit lower than in Yogi's last season). Whilst I daresay that includes coaches, we don't have too many of them. Given that 20 players on £1k a week would give you an annual bill of just over £1m, it begs the question - what sort of stupid wages were we paying our players - particularly some of the complete duds?! That said, an oft-recommended ratio of playing staff wages/turnover is about 60% so we should have been close to that mark. The main worry is the prospect of being outwith the top flight beyond this year. Whilst the board seem to have got us sorted till the summer, obviously significant cuts will be required if we are still in the Championship next season (as is likely). That in turn will weaken the playing squad, and we are at risk of being stuck in a cycle where the longer we are out of the Premiership the harder it will be to get back.
  6. 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...
  7. 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?
  8. 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...)
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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...
  14. 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!
  15. New Manager

    I'm told it's true. I'm also told that it may be expanded on in another newspaper tomorrow...
  16. 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.
  17. 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?
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Richie Foran Has Left The Building

    Why, thank you very much sir.
  21. Inverness CT -V- St Johnstone

    Well, that was a kick in the teeth. We were well on top for the whole of the first half, and certainly looked the more likely to score (though that wasn't saying much) until Cole's moment of lunacy. And then the team went completely to pieces; St. Johnstone could have scored two more in injury time as we basically lay down and let them walk through us. It was humiliating. McCart, McNaughton, Mckay and Polworth (after he was brought on) can hold their heads high. The rest of them should be embarrassed by their poor performances and complete lack of fight. The three goals we conceded were all embarrassing - Fon Williams blundered for the first, a stupid penalty given away for the second and a third goal that St. Johnstone literally walked in to the net because all of our players had given up. Bad teams concede bad goals...and every week we seem to concede really bad goals. It's hard to fault Foran for his lineup because the first half display was very decent - though it was typical that the day we finally started with a target man was the day that we decided to pass the ball instead of hoof it - but he takes a decent amount of blame for the way we fell apart. We finished the game with three strikers and no right back in some sort of 3-3-3 formation because he decided to bring on Boden even though Cole had been sent off. I know other results mean we aren't completely doomed, but it sure feels that way. We need to start thinking about next season's Championship. If we can afford to, we need to change manager now - not to save us, not even Jock Stein could keep this lot up - but so the new guy has time to get us prepared properly for next season. There is no reason left to stick with Foran - 1 WIN IN 21!!! - apart from the cost of paying off the remaining years of his contract.
  22. Team for Saint Johnstone

    If Raven is struggling with injury, then we can just slot McNaughton in at right back. I'd drop Warren, to be honest. Our best defensive performance in recent weeks, when we beat Rangers, came with McCart and Laing as our CBs. Warren's had a poor season and his clumsy o.g. at Pittodrie is just his latest mishap. If we play 4-2-3-1. Polworth must play in the advanced midfield role. In turn, Draper must start in a more defensive role than he has done in recent home games - it in turn frees up Tansey to concentrate on starting attacks. However, if our intention is to just punt the ball long, we may as well go 4-4-2 and start Fisher alongside Mckay. However, Fisher's Courier interview today, where he complains about having been left out for months despite being fit, may not go down well with the manager. A few weeks back I saw St. Johnstone win in Dingwall. They pressed high up the pitch, and comfortably dealt with County's hoofball. In turn, they counter-attacked quickly and effectively, and deserved to win by a far more convincing scoreline than 2-1. I expect more of the same tomorrow, sadly.
  23. Inverness CT -V- Kilmarnock

    There were a few signs of life early in the second half, but ultimately we were hanging on at the end - three great saves from OFW kept us level. That's now 1 win from the last 18 league games, which is almost half a season's worth. Our tactics left us up against it from the word go. What manager thinks it is a good idea to play five of his starting eleven out of position - Raven, Brad Mckay, Laing, Draper and Cole (who is not an inverted winger, for the love of goodness). I'm sorry, but that's just idiocy. Laing was redundant as a defensive midfielder - Killie simply kept going wide and bypassing him, whilst he offered nothing in possession. We've been so much better in recent weeks with Draper playing deeper and offering a physical presence and proper protection, allowing Tansey to concentrate on getting on the ball and making things happen. Inexplicably, Foran played Draper further forward so we had no control in midfield at all. Thus the ball was just punted over Tansey's head again and again and again. That's even though Killie rarely pressed our centre-backs. Draper as a second striker just doesn't work. He's not that good in the air, nor is he particularly good at holding up the ball. Just because the guy is big doesn't mean he can play as a target man. Mckay is so isolated it's unreal. Either concentate on trying to dominate possession (which we would have done today with Polworth/Draper/Tansey as our midfield three) so he gets decent service, or play a proper target man alongside him. Ostracizing Alex Fisher at this point is a remarkable piece of self-harm on Foran's part. I refuse to believe that we couldn't compensate for Tremarco's absence more effectively than using three different players at left-back. Brad Mckay probably isn't good enough for this level in his best position (centre-back) but at right-back he's proven himself to be dreadful. Subbing him was an act of mercy. Foran showed his 'tactical genius' by switching the full-backs in the first half after Jones had roasted Mckay for the umpteenth time...only for Killie to immediately switch Jones to the other flank so he could skin him a few times more. Well, duh. It's incredible that Foran couldn't see that coming a mile off. We were lucky no more damage was done before Mckay was hooked. It's hard to know if its lack of confidence, or lack of faith in the plan (or both) but most of the players really didn't want to be on the ball today. I lost count of the number of times that our players chose to head or punt a ball away even with no opponent within 10 yards of them. We look like a team that has already been relegated, not one who still has a fighting chance of staying up.
  24. Should We Replace The Manager ? Poll

    This is our record after 23 games in our last seven seasons since we were last promoted. That's how grim this season's record is! P W D L F A PTS 2016-17 23 3 8 12 26 43 17 2015-16 23 7 8 8 30 32 29 2014-15 23 15 2 6 34 21 47 2013-14 23 11 5 7 29 21 38 2012-13 23 9 10 4 48 37 37 2011-12 23 7 4 12 30 40 25 2010-11 23 7 8 8 31 28 29 For the record, we have the same number of points (and a marginally better goal difference) than at this point in 2008-09, when we went down.
  25. Team for Dungdee

    Agree with RiG's lineup, as long as he can still charge up and down the flanks like in our schooldays (only 16 years ago...) I can at least guarantee that my wrists will be stronger than OFW's. And I can't be any less commanding on crosses...