alternative maryhill

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Posts posted by alternative maryhill

  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. 27 minutes ago, Eagle4Caley said:

    Feel's like the last two matches have seen to very decent performances, is there an upward curve in our overall performance level?


    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.           

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  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. 23 minutes ago, CaleyD said:

    Absolutely not and I enjoy reading the views of others when it comes to talk on tactics etc....just not my bag. Anyone who'd ever read one of my match reports will attest to that 😂

    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. 13 minutes ago, IMMORTAL HOWDEN ENDER said:

    This is where we could actually end up BUT lets hope that we get a few points under the belt tomorrow first - What watering hole ?

    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. 26 minutes ago, CaleyD said:

    Robbo and his coaching staff are infinitely more qualified than me to decide on the selection and formation most likely to bring a result, so I'll make no comment on that. 

    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.   

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  7. 4 hours ago, IMMORTAL HOWDEN ENDER said:

    Butt is he fit enuff. Should we chuck him in head first ? Robbo usually does not do reactive changes unfortunately. I suspect that there will be few changes. Perhaps the only one to miss out will be Trafford.

    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:


    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. 2 hours ago, caleyboy said:

    if our people have the balls this would be worth a try.

    '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.           

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  9. 12 hours ago, Joonya said:

    Something alluded to in an previous comment is having tickets in advance. When the club first announced you couldn't pay at the turnstiles and needed to purchase in advance, it put me off going. 

    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.

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  10. 4 minutes ago, TheMantis said:

    Gutted to miss that one. Did we have many there?

    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. 

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  11. 5 hours ago, Doofer said:

     how the hell was dolandson the MOTM!! His passing in the 1st half was awful as he looked lazy and that didn’t look to want the ball. 

    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. 

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    On 26/12/2017 at 11:12 AM, jingsmonty said:

    Should either go for a young hungry striker who hadn't broken into a team yet (like Wyness at Aberdeen was), an experienced & proven striker at the tail end of their career or one of our own youth players (Daniel Mackay springs to mind). Options 1 &/or 3, please. Unless we get a big name (highly unlikely) - last good but ageing striker we had that I can think of was....Brewster (crap manager but great player).

    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. 

  13. 22 hours ago, Renegade said:

    Is it just me then who thinks Calder has some ability?  Now granted he's not always shown it, but if he can get his attitude sorted, I think he *could* come good.


    22 hours ago, Caman said:

    Yes. It is just you. :blink:

    How many folk with a bad attitude are capable of changing it. I have yet to meet one. 

    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.

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  14. 2 hours ago, Renegade said:

    If you're in Maryhill, I believe this fine establish will be showing it!




    15 minutes ago, ictchris said:

    I’m sure that place has been shut for ten years. You must be feeling pretty stupid right now.

    Most bigger pubs will probably put it on at least one screen if you ask.

    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... :wink:  Anyway, here is a more accurate representation of Maryhill - the view from my preferred local...


    46 minutes ago, Caman said:

    It's bound to be on in The Clansman in Craiglang. Bobby is bound to let you watch it. :crazy:

    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.   

    2 hours ago, Caleyjag said:

    Mr Caleyjag and I will be in Glasgow next weekend and wondered if anyone knew of any pubs likely to be showing our game next Saturday? Its on BBC Alba.

    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.    

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  15. 13 minutes ago, IMMORTAL HOWDEN ENDER said:

    Forgot about Trafford - But I did say I fancied the sweet left foot of Chalmers in midfield - how did he fare ?

    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.      

  16. 2 hours ago, IMMORTAL HOWDEN ENDER said:

     Robbo looks like he has finally sussed out his preferred starting eleven. Concern is that it looks like you can add young McKay but the others appear to be add-ons. Seedorf and Elbouzedi may add another 2. But that aint good enuff and suspensions or injuries would really take its toll this season. 

    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.

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  17. 10 hours ago, Robert said:

    Also, did Mulraney do much better today? 

    I know there were sceptics when he signed, but Donaldson seems to be having lding our central defence together. I have been surprisingly impressed by him given the negativity when he was signed.

    Keen to hear from those who made it to Falkirk.

    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.

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  18. Today should probably serve as a reality check for people who have been seeing reasons for optimism in the fact that we have started several games quite well this season. Today was another example of that - we got ahead early and kept possession well for the first twenty-five minutes or so. By half time, though, it was clear that our movement up front, particularly from Oakley, was without clear purpose or game awareness, and that we had very little penetration down the flanks - Bell seemed to start wide but was drifting inside from early on, and Tremarco is far more effective in an attacking role when he's overlapping on the counter-attack at pace, rather than playing as a conventional left winger, which is where he was started today. Steve Aitken probably told his players at half time that if they took the game to us in the second half, we wouldn't know how to respond and our frailty at the back would let them in, and so it proved: the equaliser was a volley by a player in too much space from a simple lobbed cross, the winner came from a free kick that we couldn't get clear; standard for ICT so far this season, and against a team that barely threatened in the first half. In response, our players either seemed hell-bent on taking the ball into the most crowded areas of midfield and promptly losing any momentum or fluency, or punting it long and losing it altogether; we created next to nothing of note. 

    No-one really played well: Tremarco and Polworth tried hard, and OFW was an upgrade on Ridgers; Trafford and Bell were decent in the first half but both tired badly; and Donaldson and Chalmers deserve special mention, Donaldson for the quite remarkable badness of his distribution from the back, and Chalmers for shiteing out of a challenge which he was probably 70-30 favourite to win. Oh, and whatever the question is up front, Oakley isn't the answer and never will be.

    No point in calling for Robertson's head, as it would presumably just cost us even more money that we don't have, but if he walked tonight I'd be fairly happy, although still angry at the mess he's made of spending the small budget that he was given. And of course, more questions about the competence of those running the club: if Robertson didn't care enough about the job to apply for it, why on earth was he offered it in the first place?          

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  19. 7 hours ago, dougal said:

    can anyone honestly envisage the PSG bus pull up to the blue lagoon on argyle street tomorrow night to let Neymar,Draxler, Mbappe and Cavani etc off so they can get battered haggis or mars bars?

    The Blue Lagoon on Argyle Street is absolutely howfing. They'll go to Gennaro's on Great Western Road if they've got any sense.

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