alternative maryhill

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alternative maryhill last won the day on November 11 2018

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About alternative maryhill

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  1. That was good crack. Got to admit that I assumed that our chickens were coming home to roost after a few decent results despite dodgy performances recently. We were clearly second best against Dundee Utd, Alloa and in the first half against Partick, and yesterday Queens again played the better football in the first half, and then absolutely tore us apart for about 20 mins at the start of the second. Up until he scored, Dykes didn't impress me all that much, but after that I thought he was superb. When Dobbie finally got his goal against us, I assumed that the unbeaten run was coming to an end, and deservedly so. Ridgers, uncharacteristically, looked shaky, Charlie Trafford's touch and distribution in the middle of the park were miles off (again) and the team as a whole looked like it was scared of taking any risks. It only changed once Trafford and Oakley went off and we went to 4-4-2, and when Walsh and Polworth seemed to start playing without fear after it went to 3-0. Both were superb, and hopefully they'll take that into the Falkirk and Ayr games, as we can't keep starting games so hesitantly and still expect to get results. Great to see young Roddy McGregor get a run at the end, and he almost helped to set up a winner for Austin at the death after some superb interplay with Polworth cutting through Queens in the middle of the park. Definitely looks a player. Agree, sadly, with the comments about Doran. He seems to have lost both pace and confidence. He's got the talent to tear this division apart, but I don't know whether it's just injuries taking their toll or something psychological. If he can't regain form over the rest of the season, then Robbo might have some hard thinking to do.
  2. I wasn't there last week, when apparently we were very good, but in footballing terms today wasn't a great performance, although a definite improvement on the Utd and Alloa matches. Partick probably played the better football and made the better chances in the first half, although they barely tested Ridgers; we definitely had more of it in the second, with Polworth controlling things in the middle, but even then, to secure the win, we had to rely on a brilliant penalty save from Ridgers and a horrific miss from Aidan Fitzpatrick when he was through on goal in the final minute. It was, however, a battling performance, and you could see what it meant to the players with the celebrations at the end. Coll Donaldson seemed to be playing most of the second half with an injury and still won everything; McCart had a fine game alongside him; Chalmers was tenacious and mostly solid, filling in a position where he struggled badly at the start of last season, Welsh and Polworth were excellent and Walsh never stopped looking to create, despite some frustrating final balls, and was eventually rewards with a great goal after a terrific run. Even Trafford, whose touch and distribution were ropey at times, and who must have sensed the crowd's frustration, never hid and never stopped fighting. And Ridgers, of course, was Ridgers. To be honest, the tense, scrappy nature of the win probably made the end of the match more cathartic and satisfying than a 3-0 stroll would have done, but it would make our games an easier watch if we had better final product and better movement up front at times. Hopefully this is something that will improve over the season, although with our budget and squad size there are always going to be limitations, not helped when one of our more creative outlets makes his position untenable. Hopefully the freeing-up of Calder's wage will allow us to bring in someone else who can add width and creativity to the team, in January if not before. In the meantime, we have a great opportunity to build on finally breaking the run of draws in Dumfries next week.
  3. @RiG pretty much has it covered. We did start well and played some fluent stuff, but I was surprised that Falkirk stood off us so much and allowed us to do so. I'd have thought, given our decent record against Falkirk last season, that Paul Hartley would have recognised the importance of getting his players to press high against Chalmers and Trafford from the start. When they did so in the second half, they had much the better of the game. The nominal 4-4-2 formation looked a little lopsided, as while Walsh did provide some width on the left, Polworth's instinct is to play centrally - which is, in any case, his best position - and so he tended to tuck in, leaving Rooney to provide most of the width on that side. There were a couple of consequences of this: first, despite having two quite imposing forwards, we were hardly able to get any crosses into them from the wide areas in the final quarter of the pitch, which was a missed opportunity as Fasan, the Falkirk keeper, seemed very reluctant to come off his line for high balls; and second, with Rooney being stretched as the game went on, we looked particularly vulnerable on the right hand side of defence, where Mckay was increasingly exposed. On the other hand, we probably could have killed the game in the first half when Austin was through but hesitated over his shot and ultimately hit it straight at Fasan. It's obviously very hard to make any predictions based on the first game of a season. Falkirk have a largely new team and will undoubtedly improve; I'd like to think we will too, but I do think that under this system, it might be easy for opponents to stifle us or to take charge of matches. A bit more pace and strength in the centre though (Welsh, perhaps?) and width on the right (Doran?) and we should hopefully be able to compete with most other teams.
  4. Fair dos! Slightly surprised there isn't more discussion of likely line-ups and formations on here tonight, with the league season starting tomorrow. Or perhaps the fact that I'm sitting here posting on a Friday night is just evidence of my creeping antiquity.
  5. We'll probably just head down to Sportsters after getting into Falkirk High around 1. Taxis from there. Falkirk has been a pretty meh away day since Brockville closed.
  6. I don't think anyone seriously believes that can tell Robbo how to do his job, but isn't a big part of the function of a forum to allow supporters to discuss tactics they'd like to see or that they think might work? It can't all be about discussing behind-the-scene politics or financial infrastructure or the state of the support and the club's relationship to it, even though these are important issues.
  7. I suspect you're right about this, which worries me a wee bit as I think there are limitations in that line-up and formation that are ripe for exploitation by opponents. Lazy cut & paste of what I posted on P&B: Really struggling to see what our best line-up and formation could be for this, on the back of our collapse at Tynecastle. For all that we finished last season very strongly, we did look worryingly narrow at times, and lacked pace in the centre of the park - both factors that should make us easier to defend against, and more vulnerable to counter attacks. Yet our summer signings and the way we've lined up in the League Cup games suggest that John Robertson is quite content to continue with this: until Calder came on against Hearts, our only real width came from the full backs, Rooney and Tremarco, and given that we were playing a back four, this placed pretty heavy demands on them, as well as increasing the pressure on the central defensive pairing. The current squad also shows a definite imbalance between nominally attacking players and more defensive-minded midfielders: only Trafford, and arguably Chalmers and Welsh fit into the latter category, and while Welsh hasn't appeared for us yet, neither Trafford nor Chalmers provide enough pace or aggression in that role to allow us to dominate games; we're crying out for a Draper-type figure there. Polworth could potentially do it, but given that he had more assists than any other player in the Championship last season, we'd clearly be losing something in an attacking sense by playing him deeper. Robbo also seems determined to go with a front pairing of two big strikers, and surely we're likely to get more out of that system if we're getting the ball in from wide areas rather than everything coming through the middle. With that in mind, I'd like to see us try something like: Ridgers Rooney Mckay Donaldson Tremarco Doran Welsh Polworth Walsh White Austin Would have no problem with McCart replacing Mckay in that line-up, or Oakley replacing White; if Welsh isn't fit enough to be risked, then I'd rather Trafford than Chalmers as the sitting midfielder, with Polworth ideally playing a more box-to-box role. Daniel McKay also needs to be an early option from the bench, as he looks far pacier than anyone else we've got up front. Suspect, however that the team and formation that we see starting on Saturday will be quite different to this.
  8. 'Balls'. Well, quite. Since 2003, Ipswich's average league attendances have dropped from 25,433 to 16,272, so they are hardly the best example to cite of a club that has sustained its supporter base by developing the 'matchday experience'. Moreover, they are in, if memory serves correctly, the fifth most lucrative football league in the world, and so have far more scope to throw money at developing the various activities and attractions listed above. It's not just unrealistic to criticise ICT for failing to invest in a similarly wide-ranging matchday experience, or for failing to match the sort of 'value for money' that a vast business like Wetherspoons can offer; it's deeply, deeply unfair. I agree that more imagination could be put into ways of attracting supporters - the idea of allowing different food outlets to compete and offer more variety seems pretty sound, and @RedCard has some excellent ideas about flexipasses, for example. But this thread is full of people trying to justify their waning interest in football in general, or in ICT in particular, by placing it largely at the feet of the club, and a lot of it seems really disingenuous.
  9. It's a bit ironic that someone who has, on several occasions, marched half the length of Scotland between games, should be put off attending matches by a 30-second detour to the ticket window.
  10. If he'd had his way, he would have dragged another ten punters from the Stag's Head along with him.
  11. More than I expected after the postponement on Tuesday. I'm always terrible at estimating these things, but maybe 60? As Caley Stan says, it was an utterly dominant performance, but I think we'll probably need to be more clinical on Saturday than we were last night; although, assuming Dunfermline actually come out at us more than Dumbarton did, then we might get more space in which to break and create. Difficult to believe we're in this position, really - if we were to complete the eight in a row we need to make the play-off, it would be some achievement for this squad.
  12. As well as being solid at the back, Donaldson was one of the only players on the park who wanted to carry the ball forward - I'm genuinely surprised that you think he looked like he didn't want the ball. It's true that he misplaced a couple of passes, but I think that was partly to do with the fact that the movement from our players in more advanced areas was frequently dreadful. That game should have been an opportunity for Mulraney to show off his ability, and he contributed nothing. Daniel Mackay provided more width, directness and outball in his first two minutes in the park than Mulraney did all game.
  13. Apropos of 'young and hungry', Falkirk supporters on P&B have us linked with Nathan Austin, who looked a terrific prospect at East Fife but who has apparently disappointed badly since signing for Falkirk. No idea if there is any basis for the rumour, but obviously it would be something of a gamble if true. Some of the Falkirk supporters suggest that he has clear potential and either simply hasn't been used correctly (apparently he is most effective as part of a front two) or has suffered from being part of a poor overall team, while others think that he found his level at East Fife.
  14. No, it's not just you. I do think his attitude hasn't looked good at all - too quick to go down when anyone comes near him, and too quick to let his head go down when things aren't going his way - but he has shown flashes of ability. He wasn't bad in the six or seven minutes he had against Queen of the South on Saturday. Whether or not he can change his attitude and make the most of that ability is a different matter, but it can happen - Barry Robson being a case in point.