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Motherwell -V- ICT : Matchday Thread

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Negatives - Proctor - end of. He lost the runs he was meant to be tracking, which led to 2 goals

I hope you aren't including the second goal here.

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I thought we started rather well but then Motherwell found their stride and started to boss the game. Their first goal had a touch of good fortune but they could have been ahead several times prior to that. The defence was very shacky and Proctor had a poor game and was responsible for the first goal and possibly the second. Their third was a peach but we had the chance to clear well before the ball reached Lasley. We did play some neat stuff at times but there was no cutting edge up front. We seemed to make pretty patterns on the edge of the box but Randolph was never really troubled that much and could really have stayed on the beach. The new boys will settle in time. Tansey and Tade would be my pick of the newcomers on this showing. Tade was making some great runs and seemed to have fun turning on the defence with his back to goal. He will score goals when he finds his shooting boots. The stats showed we had 11 strikes on goal..9 of these were off target. We hit the woodwork twice and Randolph made a point blank save which he knew little about so it is clear we can create chances. Yes, a 3-0 defeat is a bad start but I'm sure things will improve in time. Lets hope we have enough of that.

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Think there's a lot of knee-jerk reaction to todays result....and still a bit of bitterness from those who seemed to be waiting for an opportunity to stick the knife in (again) about the loss of Munro and Duncan....move on people, all the bitching in the world isn't going to change things in that regard.

I actually thought we played not too bad in spells today and our biggest problem was that we were a bit too stand offish when defending. The scoresheet might say 3-0 (and I know that's what counts) but I didn't witness a 3-0 performance from ICT. Hit the woodwork 3 times...on another day they would all have gone in and it would have been 3-3 and been a lot more representative of the match as a whole.

Proctor didn't give a good showing, but don't think any of the rest of the team had (individual) bad games.

The difference between the teams today was that one team knew each other and were used to playing together and the other seemed a little rusty at times.

All in all, I saw nothing that can't be fixed. Give the guys a little time to gel as a team and I think we could be in for some very interesting and exciting football from ICT this season.

If mine is one of the posts you're referring to here then, with hindsight and the benefit of a night's sleep, you're correct that it was too much of a knee-jerk reaction, born I suppose of disappointment at the result and performance. You're wide of the mark in your comments about 'bitching' and 'waiting for an opportunity to stick the knife in (again)' in my case at least, but I do agree with you and Alex that it would be pointless to keep referring to the loss of Duncan and Munro, as we need to move on.

However, in trying to put together some sort of match report for this first game, I do think it's going to be necessary to weigh up what we have lost - with reference to all the departed players - against what we appear to have gained on first impressions of the new players. Briefly, as I will need to develop this in more detail later anyway, what concerned me most yesterday was that we appear to have lost a few players who are capable of reading the game and anticipating opponents' moves. Duncan, Munro and Rooney were all particularly strong in this area and thus tended to be in the right place at the right time more often than not. This is why I'd always preferred Duncan to Cox as deep-lying cover for the back four, although I suspect that once he has recovered, this is where Cox will be played. I thought Aldred, despite his undoubted strengths, looked a little prone to be pulled out of position - he reminded me a little of Bulvitis in this respect. Tade, too, didn't always seem sure of where he should be - there was no doubt about his hard work and the amount of running he did, but it did look a little aimless at times. Hopefully, however, this was down to over-enthusiasm and as the team gels and the new players settle into the SPL, their abilities to read the game will emerge and they will hold position better - it was, as several people have correctly pointed out, just the first game of a long season.

Tansey, incidentally, looks an excellent signing - with his vision and range of passing he might be a replacement for Ian Black, a player we have missed badly IMHO.

Edited by alternative maryhill
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That was brutal.

For a start, we were a tactical shambles. Butcher sent the team out with some sort of narrow diamond midfield, with A Shinnie at the top...which meant Hayes was sitting much deeper and tended to be getting the ball nearer his own goal than Motherwell's. Well simply pushed their full backs on and annihilated us that way. The first goal came after Gillet was isolated two-on-one and Proctor failed to track the man at the back post. The second was a smashing passing move, but Proc (there's a theme here) lost Murphy and Tokes was dragged out of position by Higdon, leaving acres in behind. TB then brought Ross into centre mid and stuck Shinnie out on the right, but the words 'stable door', 'horse' and 'bolted' come to mind.

We did have chances of our own - Tansey especially unlucky after hitting the post with a free kick and then being denied by a point blank save, while I think Foran hit the post as well. In the second half they just sat on their lead and we couldn't break them down. Their third was a screamer from Lasley but I want to know why he had the chance to take two touches before hitting it, with no one closing him down.

Pass marks to Esson, who made a good save in the first half, and Foran, who worked hard.

In contrast our back four were rank, but particularly Tokely, who was owned by Higdon, and Proctor. I've never seen anyone trip over the ball as much as Andrew Shinnie did. As for Tade, his attempts to shoot were just comical. He tries, I guess.

I know we still have 37 league games left, but we were so poor st the back and so tactically inept that I'm struggling not to panic.

Dont really give out many green dots but that is as close to what I was going to log as it gets although I also agree with Caley D's points as well.

As I alluded to in the Englandshire threads we have a relatively young, talented, pacy, football playing but inexperienced squad who play pretty patterns with no visible goal threat - but I was concerned about how they would adapt to the hurly burly and experience of the SPL and worried that losses early doors would have an effect on the general confidence. We played a similar system to yesterday at Aldershot where I felt that the midfield was disjointed and we wasted the talents of Ross, Foran and Hayes. At Aldershot our midfield played as four individuals and did not appear to understand each others roles. I have to admit that I was confuesd as well as players also appeared to switch roles as well. For the first time in seasons we had little width or drive down the wings, our full backs were left deserted on many occasions and the central defenders, although solid, were susceptible to balls played down the middle becos of the space they left between each other.

It was to my utter dismay that Terry and Mo followed the same tactics yesterday and Hislop describes what is deja - vu to me.

Put it like this - me and feckin Dewsbury Dude could have double teamed and squeezed through the chasm between Aldred and Tokely at times - where was Hayes playing ? - and it wasnt really a diamond in midfield, it was a parralel feckin line - a bit of the when they get the ball lets get two lines of four behind the ball - fair enough but arent you suppose to watch the wings and the feckin holes down the centre at the same time. Tade works his socks off and may well come on to a game if he gets a few goals behind him but - I ahd to rub my eyes at times, especially in the second half and the strike on the run - as I was sure that it was feckin Lionel smiling back at me !!

Did we miss Grant Munro ? - well no. Aldred is as good if not potentially better all round.

Did we miss Russell Duncan - well no. He wouldnt have had the legs.

But we did miss a leader on the park - somebody sitting in the hole in front of the centre backs and somebody bawling at the others. Foran needs to drop back if he can have that type of influence.

But - hey - lets not take it away from them - Muversmell are a good team and play the ball around well and do look like scoring when they attack. They had width and two attackers who are more in the old fashioned predatory style. Their first goal was beautiful football and the third was a screamer. We will not play many better outfits this season so lets hope that big lessons were learned.

Many at the game appeared to be taken aback at my positivity and I still think that we can turn it around but mid table safety is all I am now looking fer this season. If the Tansy free kick had gone in or he had taken the half chance moments later then PERHAPS the confidence boost would have changed things - but sorry playing the same system and we would have ended up getting beat anyway.

So I would stick with the team - apart from poor Proctor, who's confidence looks shattered. Put him on the bench as he covers a variety of positions. We have two winnable games coming up - against a poor Hibs outfit, in disarray and never good travellers and then Dumbfarmlife, who will be difficult to beat at home. If we get 4 points out of that then I will be happy and it will give the players and the fans a much needed confidence boost.

So in may ways it is over to Terry and Mo. I know it is a bit armchair managerish but surely they can see that the system aint working and needs to be adjusted. My only fear is that their professional pride leads to them persisiting.

And can anybody remember a certain opening day at Livingstone ?

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Despite the result I enjoyed the game, It was a lovely sunny day, the pitch looked terrific, I was so happy to have my bum in a seat watching a live game. Both halves seemed to fly by and I don't remember any part of the game being that boring. I saw loads of positive and some negative parts to the match , It was game one in a long season and I'm pretty sure we will improve in all aspects very quickly. I'm not a betting man but I placed my first ever bet last week, It was ?10 for us finishing in the top six and I still feel confident that I'll be collecting at the end of the season. When I do I'll be more than happy to blow my winnings and buy some of the more positively minded members a drink..

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Despite the result I enjoyed the game, It was a lovely sunny day, the pitch looked terrific, I was so happy to have my bum in a seat watching a live game. Both halves seemed to fly by and I don't remember any part of the game being that boring. I saw loads of positive and some negative parts to the match , It was game one in a long season and I'm pretty sure we will improve in all aspects very quickly. I'm not a betting man but I placed my first ever bet last week, It was ?10 for us finishing in the top six and I still feel confident that I'll be collecting at the end of the season. When I do I'll be more than happy to blow my winnings and buy some of the more positively minded members a drink..

Book me in fer a double voddie and coke please. :tongueincheek:

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Despite the result I enjoyed the game, It was a lovely sunny day, the pitch looked terrific, I was so happy to have my bum in a seat watching a live game. Both halves seemed to fly by and I don't remember any part of the game being that boring. I saw loads of positive and some negative parts to the match , It was game one in a long season and I'm pretty sure we will improve in all aspects very quickly. I'm not a betting man but I placed my first ever bet last week, It was ?10 for us finishing in the top six and I still feel confident that I'll be collecting at the end of the season. When I do I'll be more than happy to blow my winnings and buy some of the more positively minded members a drink..

Book me in fer a double voddie and coke please. :tongueincheek:

Ok, you're pencilled in at the top of the drink list.

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I notice the ref was Steven Maclean. He was the worst I'd ever seen when he officiated over our 2-0 defeat by United earlier in the year

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I think 3-0 was a fair result. Playing a back 4 who clearly hadn't gelled without adequate cover in defensive midfield looked incredibly naive and invited Motherwell to wait for chances to come their way without having to commit many men forward. While we had our moments going forward, teams will quickly learn that they can afford to give Tade all the space he wants because the guy is incapable of controlling a football. Full marks for effort though. We had more possession in the second half but only because Well were happy to sit in at 2-0. Even then, it was embarrassingly easy for them to create opportunities as our defensive looked uncomfortable for the entire game.

If we're to avoid a relegation battle this season then i think we need a right-back, a centre-half, and a striker. It's also important that Cox gets and stays fit to provide a bit of steel in a centre midfield that was far too lightweight yesterday. If Proctor has a role in this squad then it should be as cover in midfield, but maybe even that is too close to the defence for comfort. Butcher has a job on his hands form a team here. A glance at yesterday's bench confirmed that. And if things don't work out then the names Russell Duncan and Grant Munro will continue to feature regularly on this forum.

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I suppose there are two ways to look at this result and performance.

Positive - Well are a good side, top six last season and cup finalists. They haven't really been weakened in the close season and beating them away was always going to be a difficult one for us. Even so, we competed well and with a bit more luck (two shots hitting the woodwork) could have got something out of the game. We have a few injuries and haven't finished close season shopping yet. Despite the result Greg Tansey looked good and Richie Foran ws sharp, showing he's benefitted from a full preseason.

Negative - We were easily cut apart, our defence looked brittle, Tokely and ALdred aren't a partnership, Proctor isn't a right-back, Andy Shinnie was completely anonymous, tactically Butcher got it wrong so we ended up with Hayes and Ross getting the ball too deep, Tade and Foran didn't have much of an understanding and frequentlyh went for the same balls, we were left with a bench consisting entirely of kids, our rivals this season have signed experienced players whereas we have gone for kids and we are all doomed.

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No surprise we got beaten by Motherwell (a top 6 side). Butcher told the press a couple of days before the match that the season was starting too early to allow him to get the players in to complete the squad. (Never mind getting them to Gel). Our defense was makeshift yesterday. Thankfully we are part way to fixing things at the back as we have signed a experienced right back (unfortunately his international clearance was not through in time for yesterday). Another 2/3 signing's should be forthcomming..

Not only are we waiting for the team to gel, but tactics too are still at the experimental stage. So all in all, I don't think too much can be read into this result. In fact we sounded a little unlucky in the final 3rd, on another day we would have scored one or two. Things can and will get better.

Edited by kiltarlity

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If we're to avoid a relegation battle this season then i think we need a right-back, a centre-half, and a striker.

Do we not already have a 'new' right back signed (subject to International approval) as well as a striker (subject to fitness following injury)?

If Proctor has a role in this squad then it should be as cover in midfield, but maybe even that is too close to the defence for comfort."

What is with the sudden constant slagging of Proctor? A couple of poor early season games suddenly deletes the fact that he has been pretty solid in previous seasons (aside from his short spell as centre half under Brewster)?

The team both tactically and match fitness wise will take a few weeks to gell. This is the same for a lot of teams and I recall Pele always used to say that knee jerk reactions for the first few games may be misleading.

I also seem to recall we started on fire in the first quarter last year before showing relegation form for the November to March period.

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First time I have awarded two green dots in a day far less a feckin month - Jhesus am I becoming soft ????

Any of the previous "whingers" wish to ammend their entries ??

On second thoughts - lets wait until 17.00 on 06/08/11

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i wasnt at the game so dont have the first hand of seeing it infront of me to overall people who were there. The radio did sound promising but what i want to know is where has this sudden expectation come from did anyone actually believe that we could stroll past motherwell playing barcalona esq football. I didnt yes i was surprised and gutted by the margin of defeat but as has been pointed out we are new team trying to adapt a new style vs a very similar and settled squad from last season with a couple of decent additions. I am surprised by the amount of people pressing the panic button, we lost to celtic last season and looked to be outplayed and faced a difficult 2nd match against the team that finished 3rd the season before and nobody expected us to gub them 4-0 so lets not not suddenly bring in the doom and gloom terry says we need more faces and im sure he will and i have just watched the highlights and yes motherwell looked to have two much space to create but on a attacking front we looked like we could create GIVE IT TIME PEOPLE IT ISNT A SPRINT

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Did anyone hear Butcher's interview before the game yesterday? Sounded a bit down in the dumps I thought.

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While disappointed at yesterdays result, i think we need to keep it in perspective -

Their first goal was incredibly lucky, missed the second as I was taking a pish and the third was an absolute peach.

We have a brand new team which will take time to gel, Tade has missed a lot of pre season and was clearly unfit, but showed enough to suggest he'll be a real handful. Tansey looked good and Aldred is no worse than his predessors.

However - Johnny Hayes looked completely cufuddled as to where he was meant to be playing and ended up being completely ineffective, Proctor - well enough said. But my two biggest disappointments of the day were the performances of A shinnie and N Ross. THe game passed them by completely. Roll on Saturday, I still have plenty of belief left.

P.s i thought the atmosphere was excellent yesterday - the stewards left the noisy stander uppers to it which was great. I've had some torrid experiences at Fir Park in the past, so credit to the stewards where its due.

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Do we not already have a 'new' right back signed (subject to International approval) as well as a striker (subject to fitness following injury)?

Good. I hope these guys are first team regulars because Proctor and Tade don't look up to scratch at this level.

What is with the sudden constant slagging of Proctor? A couple of poor early season games suddenly deletes the fact that he has been pretty solid in previous seasons (aside from his short spell as centre half under Brewster)?

I think he's almost always been poor as an SPL defender. His better spells in recent seasons have come in midfield and even then he always lost his place when the squad was at full strength. His versatility means that he's a good guy to have around - especially in a small squad, but i found it depressing that he was our first choice right-back on the opening day of season and his performance did nothing to lift my spirits.

The team both tactically and match fitness wise will take a few weeks to gell. This is the same for a lot of teams and I recall Pele always used to say that knee jerk reactions for the first few games may be misleading.

I also seem to recall we started on fire in the first quarter last year before showing relegation form for the November to March period.

Good points.

Any of the previous "whingers" wish to ammend their entries ??

On second thoughts - lets wait until 17.00 on 06/08/11

Yes. Having seen the highlights, I realise that i was too kind to the defence. Tokely was a complete shambles in every clip. As for 6/8 - don't think Andy Barrowman isn't studying all of this.

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Hayes was to blame for the first goal - actually, it was Butcher for playing him there. Gillet shouldn't have been left on his own against two players. It made him look ridiculous. Then Proctor was missing at the back post.

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Tansey seems to be the ticket--why not play him in a centre-half role to see how versatile he actually could be, put Tokely in at right back temporarily until the new Swiss lad gets parked there and move Proctor right up field, say as an out and out right winger.Then tell him to run at the defences constantly to draw their defence out of the middle to allow Tade to also scare the pants off them by running at the defences in the middle. This will at least hopefully keep the ball in their half where it cant do any danger and maybe a lurking Hayes canthen do the business ?

At least Proctor gets out of the cauldron where he should never be forced to play at all and has a chance to show his usefulness away from danger and we all remember the good work he did for ICT in the past instead of constantly berating the poor fella.....eh?

So, I may not exactly be on the ball but ah'm tinking, ah'm tinking. :getmecoat:

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Having only watched the highlights, perhaps my opinion is a little squewed perhaps and not on the money, but looking at some of the defending suggests to me Tokely and Aldred are nowhere near a defensive partnership. There didnt seem to be any connection between the 2 at all.

I'd like to reserve my opinion on Aldred as he's new and needs to get to grips with the game and get to know his team mates, however he did show a terrible tendency for backing off without having any impact on the run itself. That could, in fairness, be do to with the likes of Jamie Murphy who is very much a bit of a handful. Bit of a baptism of fire so to speak.

The first goal was as lucky and as fortunate (or unfortunate in our and Essons case) as they come and the last was a peach. The second was far too easy and straight forward. I'd say the scoreline was a little harsh but Well deserved the points. (again this is based on match commentary and highlights and Im confident not too many will disagree)

Anyway, it's over and done. Lets look on to next week and get some points on the board.

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