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hislopsoffsideagain last won the day on July 20 2018

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About hislopsoffsideagain

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  1. hislopsoffsideagain

    Inverness CT -V- Dundee Utd

    The article you speak of is here: https://nareystoepoker.blogspot.com/2018/12/in-defence-of-liam-polworth.html And you appear to have done your best to misrepresent it. Anyone reading this can tell that the link to Iniesta is quite obviously tongue-in-cheek. I was comparing how elsewhere skilful players are lauded for what they do, whereas in Polworth's case his good bits (his assist for Walsh's goal, his incredible assists record last season, even that nutmeg of Billy King by his own corner flag) rarely get any praise whereas every mistake he makes comes under the spotlight. And the 'neanderthal' description was not used as a reference to the MOTM award (though the people sitting around me were not booing the award because it was 'bizarre', because they were making abusive comments about Polworth at the time too). It was a reference at the end of the article to those who abused his family earlier in the year, who slag him off every week regardless of what he does, who are making him a scapegoat for the team's - and the club's - ongoing struggles. And there are too many of them at home games. Frankly, anyone who thinks that booing their own player will actually improve his performance is not very bright. As for 'just desserts', I'm not sure what that even means? Put Polworth in a team with a centre-forward who shows any intelligence whatsoever in his off-the-ball movement (we certainly don't have one in our squad currently) and watch him fly. I'm fed up of seeing him driving into the final third with the ball and looking for a killer pass to play, only for his teammates to be tightly marked and either making the same runs they have done all game or just not running at all. And when he is either tackled or tries to force a pass that isn't on it's him who gets the blame every time instead of his attackers.
  2. hislopsoffsideagain

    Inverness Ct -V- Falkirk

    I would strongly agree with those who have said that our unbeaten run has helped mask big problems with the squad - problems that were laid bare for all to see on Saturday. First there is the defence. We have been unlucky at left-back with Tremarco injured and then Calder (correctly) being punted. McCart looks solid enough defensively but offers no attacking threat at all there. On the other side Rooney is as erratic as QOS fans said he would be. His attacking play has improved and he offers a set-piece threat but lapses like the one that led to Falkirk's second goal are all too frequent. Brad McKay is going through a dreadful spell of form too. Add in a return of the yips for Ridgers in the last two games and you have a backline that are conceding too many cheap goals, all too often when we are on top as well. At the other end, we've regressed right back to where we were a year ago. The midfield are badly hindered by the lack of pace, movement and holdup play from whoever is playing up front. We seemed to have solved the problem when we got in Austin but he's had a rotten season so far. White (too slow, doesn't win enough against smaller CBs, poor in front of goal) and Oakley (fouls defenders too often, too predictable with his movement) put in typical performances against Falkirk, though at least Oakley got a goal. I think our midfield setup is pretty good but too often Welsh, Walsh, Polworth and Doran got possession in decent areas and didn't have anyone to play the killer ball to - the exception being the opening goal. Our Plan B is to go 4-4-2, which we did for the second half of this game and against Morton too. But then our midfield play breaks down, we only have Walsh as a natural wide player and Doran is a fish out of water as second striker...but White and Oakley are a dreadful partnership. But what else can you do when you only have two senior outfield players on the bench? And therein lies the biggest issue of all. Our squad depth is pitiful. Sure, we had four players out injured this weekend but should we really be down to the bare bones. Our failure to augment the team with loan players is bizarre - just look at the impact Zak Rudden and Aidan Keena have had against us in recent weeks. We have signed only one loan player since Robbo came in - Matthew Elsdon. At one point in February I believe we were the only SPFL team (out of 42!) who didn't have a player in on loan. We can still finish fourth, but to do so we need reinforcements, up front at least.
  3. hislopsoffsideagain

    Riccardo Calder Assault

    The club have confirmed he has been dismissed. The right decision, in my opinion.
  4. hislopsoffsideagain

    Inverness CT -V- Partick

    I think I'm pretty cool about that second half performance. Partick had a lot of the ball but actually created very little until the last 10 minutes. And the second goal came when we were down to 9 and a half men, with Polworth limping after Oakley had gone off. And for the half an hour after our opening goal, it was indeed just like watching Brazil. I'm not sure how well that 4-2-3-1 will work against teams that sit in against us, but when we're away from home or against opponents like Partick who come to have a go it works really well. White is the perfect striker for it, holding up the ball and linking play really well. His movement also dragged the centre-backs all over the place, opening up space for others to run into. Doran and Polworth fed off him well and both kept finding pockets of space between the lines with ease; they were the two best players on the pitch in that first half. The first goal came when, after a counterattack, the ball broke for Polworth who smacked a shot off the post from 20 yards; the ball spun around the six yard box and White got there before the keeper to bundle it in from close range. The second was from a Polworth corner that was headed back across goal; Cammy Bell then flapped it down to Rooney who hooked a volley into the net. The third, Welsh's penalty, was the result of Polworth (him again, for those people out there who still don't like him) robbing Ntambwe and racing clear, only for the Partick player to haul him down. Even under the new rules I think it should have been a red for Ntambwe given it looked like a shirt tug rather than an attempt to play the ball. Partick had started brightly but went to pieces as soon as White scored. Even when they got a penalty of their own (which looked a soft one to me) Ridgers saved from the hapless Storey. It was great to see Ridgers get such an ovation - a penalty save is worth a goal, after all. The second half was a non-event, but I can't say I felt worried at any point. My main concerns were losing Rooney and Oakley to injuries and Polly looking lame too. A top of the table Highland Derby next week? Sounds like fun...
  5. hislopsoffsideagain

    The Silence is Deafening!!

    Jeez...I shudder to think what Hissy thought of my username then...
  6. hislopsoffsideagain

    Inverness CT -V- Alloa

    Where on earth do you start with an omnishambles like that?! It's easy to forget that in the three minutes before Alloa equalized their keeper made three really great saves - though, as was the theme of the day, the latter two should have been goals. And the only reason that we didn't get the three points was a complete and utter brain fart from our right-back (which I'll get to shortly). But that was just an extraordinary watch. We started like the clappers, but after getting one up we eased off, giving the impression that we thought we could score whenever we liked. When Alloa got their fortuitous leveller, we panicked and we were lousy up till half time. Having been handed the game on a plate by Karadachki's minute of madness we then reverted back to 'score anytime we like' mode - to the point that Donaldson was so casual with his penalty that you'd have thought it was pre-season. Yet when they got it back to 2-2 we went to pieces and they actually had the best chance to win it after that. Even though we were on top, we didn't play well for long spells. Our dip in the first half coincided with the decision to switch Walsh and Polworth, which was weird as Walsh had their right-back on toast. Yet Robbo stuck with that shape until well into the second period. Oakley and Austin continue to struggle as a partnership; I thought Austin looked dangerous today but Oakley was having one of those 'control it further than I can pass it' days. Taking off Austin, our quickest striker, for White, our slowest, was bizarre given we were ahead and playing on the counter. The other changes did counteract this a bit with Calder doing well down the left (though I thought the pen he won was soft as hell) and Doran causing havoc in the middle. However taking Welsh off (I assume due to lack of fitness) robbed us of some vital experience and nous that we could have done with. But then Rooney happened. Only he will know what he was thinking - he had several goes at fouling the guy outside the box before finally deciding to shove him at the back when he was heading for the byline and in a cul-de-sac. It's one of the stupidest things I've ever seen a professional footballer do. And it cost us two points. There's not a lot of positives to take from this one. At least subsequent results have shown Ayr are a better team than we thought they were and our 0-0 wasn't quite as calamitous as it seemed. But this was one almighty kick in the teeth. It'll be interesting to see how we respond at East End Park, but I'm not confident it'll be in the right way.
  7. hislopsoffsideagain

    Hearts field ineligible player against Cove

    There isn't a perfect precedent for this. Albion Rovers were thrown out of the competition, but that was in a knockout tie rather than the group stage of a competition. Just over two years ago Dundee United did something similar in a league game against us where they won 3-2 - they were deducted three points, but we were not awarded them. I think the most likely outcome is that either Hearts are deducted the points, or that Cove are awarded a walkover victory. I don't see Hearts being thrown out because they have three group games left - if nothing else, it would deny other clubs much needed cash from the matches (assuming gate money is split like in most cup competitions!). Either of the above would be obviously to our advantage as, if we beat Raith, the only way a team could finish above us would be on goal difference.
  8. hislopsoffsideagain

    Who would you like to see at ICT next season?

    Partick Thistle fans I've asked have been effusive in their praise for Welsh - when he's fit. Apparently he's a very good passer of the ball and solid defensively, yet not too bad when he gets forward. Not a bad replacement for Vigurs, potentially. The problem of course is that he seems to be made of glass. He played very little between 2013 and 2015 because of knee problems, and barely played at all in 2017 because of injury, to the point that he was without a club for the first half of last season. Falkirk fans are not positive about his performances for them last season, but he did join a struggling team mid-season which is always tough. Hopefully he's on a pay-as-you-play deal...
  9. hislopsoffsideagain

    Who would you like to see at ICT next season?

    I heartily endorse the McCart signing. I thought he was the most impressive (or, more accurately, the least hopeless) of the players Foran used at centre-back. Given he's only 21 this month, there's plenty room for improvement too. At the very least he offers good depth. It does make me wonder about how Robbo's tactics for next season. Whilst we've signed Rooney, he may still be planning to use Brad McKay as a right-back, perhaps in a similar fashion to how Aberdeen use Considine as left-back to offer an attacking threat at the back post rather than for width in possession. An alternative possibility is that he wants to play three at the back, with McCart, Donaldson and McKay. Donaldson in particular is very comfortable stepping into midfield with the ball...which may compensate for the lack of a deep-lying playmaker. Could this be the solution to life without Vigurs?
  10. hislopsoffsideagain

    Gary Warren told he can leave

    I have a few thoughts after reading this thread. Firstly, it should be acknowledged that none of this is the fault of Gary Warren, a club stalwart for six years and club captain for the last three. In January 2016 (when Yogi was manager, in fact) he was offered a three and a half year contract on (presumably) very good terms, which apparently also contains an appearance fee. He is of course completely within his rights to stand his ground and demand the club honour it. None of us would do anything different in our own walks of life. Even if Warren was willing to leave - because he wants to play regularly, for example - his options are limited somewhat. There is only one other full-time club within 100 miles, so if they aren't interested he either has to move elsewhere (either separating himself from his family or uprooting them) or go part-time (not that his options there are good either unless Elgin fancied him, especially since Brora aren't paying crazy money anymore). And whilst he is a qualified teacher, i imagine he cannot just step back into that role overnight. He may be one of our highest paid players, but a lot of folk don't seem to realize that the wages of SPFL Premiership players (outside the top 5 clubs are so) are not exactly extortionate, especially given that anyone on much more than £1k/week then ends up on a higher tax band. His football career will not have set him up for life, and the contract he is currently on will be his last one of any significance as a professional footballer. I also wonder whether, given he has passed his UEFA A licence, whether his intention was to follow Foran into the coaching setup and that was a reason behind being given such a contract. If that was the case, clearly that door is not open under Robbo. That being said, he is on an onerous contract. Out of those left over from relegation, only he and Polworth (and Fon Williams of course) are still on a contract signed before the drop (Tremarco and McKay have signed new contracts since). And unfortunately his play has declined sharply in the last two seasons; he struggled badly in our relegation season and in the first half of 2017/18, though his form certainly improved in the run-in. McKay and Donaldson are ahead of him in the pecking order though, which means that if he is one of the highest paid players at the club he is not good value for money at all. Worse, his 'appearance fee' means that he costs us less if he sits on the bench or in the stand. If it is true that we could get in three players for his wage - and it may well be - then it is a no-brainer for Robbo to try and punt him, because in such a tight league having those players could make a very significant difference to our promotion prospects. If even one of those three proves more of an asset than Warren is then it will have been worth it. I do sympathise with the manager here - neither he nor the current board were involved with what looks with hindsight to be a terrible contract to give to a player who was already 31; you don't see teams like St. Johnstone offering more than two years at a time to their senior players, and for good reason. His comments to the press appear to be a crass attempt into shaming Warren into leaving by giving people the impression that he is a burden, and I am very uncomfortable with them; they are reminiscent of the way we treated David Raven a year ago. But clearly Robbo had already had the conversation privately with Warren at the end of the season and feels that Warren is not making sufficient effort to find a new club, so he has decided to force the issue. What happens next? I have no idea. The nuclear option would be to freeze him out in preseason, but it would be a shame if it came to that. As stated above, Warren doesn't really have much in the way of alternatives other than standing his ground. It's difficult to see how this plays out in a way that suits everyone. But it does appear that we will be weaker if Warren stays than if he goes.
  11. 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?
  12. 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.
  13. 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?
  14. 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)
  15. 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.