alternative maryhill

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Everything posted by alternative maryhill

  1. Cheers! And thank you for taking the time to offer a few suggestions for future pods. We have been taking turns to do player ratings at each match, so a player of the month is potentially something we could do, as is goal of the month, of course. I think we'd all really like to do more episodes like the Dunfermline game one, so hopefully there will be others - the biggest barrier is the fact that all the recordings then needs to be edited into a coherent episode in a fairly short time-frame. And among ourselves, we have already discussed the possibility of trying to set up interviews with past players, so fingers crossed that could happen too. Thanks again for the kind words. To address the comments about swearing that have come up, obviously we've no desire to offend or alienate any ICT supporters, and I don't think that we set out to swear in any given episode (direct quotation from Paul McGowan in Ep 3 aside), but in a 60-75 show that is pretty much unscripted apart from the intros and links, and in which we are speaking pretty much in the way we might speak to each other in everyday life, it's probably inevitable that the odd swearword will emerge. And there are times when a more restrained, mannered word or phrase just doesn't seem adequate to capture the emotions involved in a particular topic or recollection. For example, when I was discussing John Hughes' quoted predictions for Dani Lopez versus the reality of his contribution, a couple of s-words slipped out; that wasn't pre-planned, but I can't regret it either, because it reflected the way I felt far more accurately than anything else would have done. In any case, there were, I believe, fewer swearwords used in the most recent pod than in the previous one, so maybe we're getting better! And as Caley Stan pointed out above, while the other three of us might be able to rein it in successfully, it would probably be a lost cause trying to persuade RiG to tone down his language, as he's so intractably foul-mouthed.
  2. I missed the first 10 minutes, when it looks like Ayr could have gone two or three ahead, because I was standing queuing at the ticket portakabin with @RiG for quarter of an hour and then we found that they'd closed all the turnstiles and we had to get let in through the main entrance. Struggling a wee bit to see how that's supposed to improve efficiency, tbh. It was a really disciplined, hardworking performance from ICT. It looks like Robertson and Kellacher are more focused on coaching players on their individual roles than either Foran or Hughes were: Doran is tracking back and covering Tremarco far more then he used to, and Storey did the same really well on the opposite flank and provided real strength there, which is obviously necessary for us when Rooney goes off on his peregrinations. I thought Storey would be absolutely useless if not played through the middle, but he did an excellent job yesterday. Vincent worked his socks off in the middle and Trafford did fine when he came on, although it is going to be a big blow for us if Welsh does turn out to be long-term injured again. I thought Ayr played some lovely stuff going forward - some great interplay between Forrest, Kelly and Moffat, and McCowan looked dangerous too - but Donaldson in particular dealt with them really well. And Rooney is just an absolute force of nature at the moment, and looks like he's loving playing for us. He's probably always going to struggle defensively if he's up against a fast, tricky left winger, but those rampages forward have been getting more and more audacious and basically made the difference between the teams yesterday. It's an absolute nap that he's going to get caught out at some point soon, and some team is going to ruin us on a counter-attack down our right, but it's worth it. Biggest cult hero we've had since Tokely. When I first saw the tweet about him getting abuse about his mum's death, my instinct was to not to believe it, simply because why on earth would anyone want to shout that sort of thing at someone else, but if it was his partner who tweeted it then it must be true, as she's not going to say something like that lightly. I'm sure, though, it'll just have been one or two utter morons who don't represent the attitudes of ordinary Ayr supporters in any way, shape or form. It would be nice if it was reported so the club was able to act appropriately.
  3. Only our lovely host went to the Academy. Of the other three of us, two went to Millburn and one to Culloden. And Red Card Riley from Ep 2 went to borstal. Thanks for the kind words, btw.
  4. Yeah, the nature of podcasts is that they're audio only, and while we'd perhaps like to involve ex-players and possibly current players eventually, it's an independent venture, much like this forum, which allows us to express and solicit opinions without feeling like we're beholden to anyone. Give it a listen and feel free to criticise!
  5. This is the plan for podcast 4. We're going to invite them on, cross-breed them in the lab adjoining the studio and create the ultimate ICT supporter, a statistician in a vest known only as Grimpson.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. @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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. '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.
  14. 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.
  15. If he'd had his way, he would have dragged another ten punters from the Stag's Head along with him.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Tsk. At least 10 years. Rene loves shamelessly misrepresenting the central belt on social media, as witnessed by his calumnious Twitter attack on Paisley before our game earlier this season. I'm glad that not all of us who came out of the Crown are such appalling snobs... Anyway, here is a more accurate representation of Maryhill - the view from my preferred local... Which is about twenty yards to the left of the shot above. Or at least, Osprey Heights is. The original Clansman in Ruchill was flattened about a dozen years ago, around the time the Springbank Cottage in Renegade's pic served its last pint. As Chris says, there are probably pubs that will put it on if you ask - the Crafty Pig on Great Western Road has organised booths with TVs for us in the past where we've been able to watch live ICT matches when the other TVs in the pub are showing different games, although I'm not sure if they'd be quite as keen to do so on a Saturday afternoon. You could also try the Snaffle Bit or the Islay Bar, both near Kelvingrove Art Gallery - they are Highland / Gaelic pubs, as is the Park Bar in the same area, although it's been a bit sniffy in the past about putting games on for us. If you're going to be in the city centre, you could maybe try Rhoderick Dhu or the Drop, both on Waterloo Street by Central Station, as they both have loads of TVs and always show football.
  21. He was played wide left in a 4-4-2, where you've advocated playing him, and he did put in one lovely angled ball and had a free kick from 20 yards that went narrowly by the post, but otherwise in an attacking sense he didn't offer much: nearly all the threat came from Mulraney down the other side. In a funny way, having such an unadventurous player there probably helped us defensively - he held position well and was another body making it more difficult for Falkirk to attack effectively. Unless he's just lacking in confidence just now, though, and we start to see an improvement, then I don't think he offers enough going forward, or is decisive or brave enough defensively, to be a first choice in a team with any ambition to start building a challenge.
  22. It will be interesting to see what he does going forward from this - his hand was forced to some extent by Trafford's injury, but playing Vigurs and Polworth deep protecting the back four did actually work yesterday. Against quicker teams with more attacking width it may not, and when we were going forward there was sometimes too much of a gap between midfield and attack yesterday. This could be addressed, of course, by playing Trafford alongside Vigurs and Polworth as a 10 with one of Baird or Bell dropped, or Chalmers dropped and Bell moved into one of the wide areas. On the basis of yesterday, though, I do think that Warren shouldn't walk straight back into the team when he's fit again, captain or not.
  23. Cheers. My guess would probably have been higher that that, although having said that, only two of the three stands were open and it wasn't all easy to see just how busy the main stand was.
  24. In answer to the first question, yes, definitely - he was more like he was when he first arrived and looked like he was going to be brilliant for us. He's got the pace to beat just about any full back in Scotland, and it showed yesterday. I think the biggest problem with Mulraney has been that his final balls have been so disappointing that people have, understandably, been very critical and it has also affected his ability to establish himself in the first team, and this has knocked his confidence. He's also had a tendency to go down far too easily - he was throwing himself all over the pitch at East End Park earlier this season - and he did do that once in the first half yesterday. He was really dangerous in the second half, and very unlucky not to score, although his final balls were still frustrating. I think Robbo must have had a word with him at half time about being more direct, because in the first half there was a moment when he received the ball in space and had an ideal opportunity to drive in on goal, and instead he wandered off out to the touchline and the move broke down. Hopefully his second half performance, and the twenty minutes us got for Ireland's U-21s last week, will give him his confidence back and he can kick on. Yesterday was undoubtedly our best footballing performance of the season, including the 4-0 win at Brechin, but I think Falkirk's playing style suited us. When teams have got pace in wide attacking areas and can stretch our back four, we have a tendency to fall apart, but yesterday Hippolyte and O'Hara kept things pretty narrow, and this allowed our two experienced full backs to tuck in, forming a solid back line that dealt with everything pretty easily. Mckay looks more comfortable when playing in a deep back line, perhaps because he's less likely to be turned, and Coll Donaldson was excellent. My biggest gripe with Donaldson after seeing him at Dumbarton was his woeful distribution out of defence, but there was much less of that yesterday, and he produced an unfussy, commanding central defensive performance. We did play a lot of long balls yesterday - an inevitable consequence of keeping both Polworth and Vigurs deep to protect the back four - but there was also some fine passing at times from Vigurs to set up counter-attacking moves. I overheard more criticism of Baird yesterday, but I think some of it was a little harsh: he did miss a couple of sitters, particularly a header for which he jumped too early, but most of his chances were created through his own consistent hard work and through some very effective link up play with Connor Bell, who also should have buried a chance with just the keeper to beat. I assume he thought he was offside, as everyone just seemed to stop, but Conrad Balatoni was clearly playing him on, and a more experienced striker would have made sure he put the ball away. I would stick with that pair as our front two just now, though, as both offer better movement and more creativity than Oakley. Didn't catch what the crowd was yesterday, btw, but it was impressive. Assume that there must have been some sort of boost with it being Hartley's first game, but it looks like Falkirk's crowds have held up well despite their poor start.