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hislopsoffsideagain last won the day on February 9

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About hislopsoffsideagain

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  • Birthday 02/09/1984

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  1. hislopsoffsideagain

    Dunfermline -V- Inverness CT

    Jamie Durent's match report for the P&J seems to suggest that Cameron Harper's 'injury' looked feigned so that we could sub Brad McKay on - any one got any insights on this? Something doesn't add up. Seems completely crazy that McKay wasn't in the matchday squad in the first place if he were fit. If he were injured then surely we wouldn't have played him for 85 minutes. Did someone make a total ****-up with the teamsheet or something? Are we really as incompetent as that?
  2. hislopsoffsideagain

    CLUB STATEMENT : AGM & Annual Report : 23/11/17

    I'm certainly following this thread with interest. I assume Alan Savage hasn't much/any input at the moment? I assumed after he picked up some of those Hospice shares that he would be getting back into the mix...and also that the return of Robbo had his fingerprints on it.
  3. hislopsoffsideagain

    Caley Jags 2017/18 squad + changes in/out

    I agree that with Austin and Oakley available we don't need Baird, simply because he seems the least able of the trio. However I'm pleased Robbo wants to make a couple of loan signings. A right-back please, so McKay can renew his partnership with Donaldson. And I would still make a few overtures across the bridge, where they have so many strikers that surely they'd let us have a shot of a Mr B. Mckay for the run-in?
  4. hislopsoffsideagain

    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)
  5. hislopsoffsideagain

    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.
  6. hislopsoffsideagain

    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.
  7. hislopsoffsideagain

    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.
  8. hislopsoffsideagain

    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.
  9. hislopsoffsideagain

    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...
  10. hislopsoffsideagain

    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?
  11. hislopsoffsideagain

    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...)
  12. hislopsoffsideagain

    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.
  13. hislopsoffsideagain

    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.
  14. hislopsoffsideagain

    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.
  15. hislopsoffsideagain

    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.