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Should Hughes be SACKED?


Guest Mahonio

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Personally I thought we were back to our usual fast paced, direct style of play tonight rather than the slower, short passing game that was on show in recent fixtures.   Maybe Hughes was trolling us

I'll have you know that Yogi lets me pick the team every week.

Brill is actually well on the way to rivalling or bettering the amount of clean sheets in a season at 20 (a record currently held by Ryan at 23) This doesn't tally with the current hand-wringing about

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Having studied the Well game I agree that there are a few tactical faux-pas and bizarre selections. Personally I have always had reservations about Brill - he has really good games but his bomb scare moments are not just now and again they are becoming regular. That does not instill confidence in those around him. I can see Esson being drafted in the near future and the acquisition of a keeper has to be one of the summer priorities.

I also agree that there appears to be a degree of trying to put a system - especially in midfield - to fit specific individuals. I am surprised by the recent selection of wide players and a lack of consistency in identifying support fer Billy - I am even more surprised as I suspect that this is as much to do with Latapy as it does with Hughes.

I will continue to reserve judgement until next season. I just hope that this is a honeymoon period for Yogi and Latapy and that they are bedding in and looking at what extra is needed fer next season. In many ways our current position may actually be good fer us as we now have a bit more leeway to experiment.

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I wouldn't want Calderwood anywhere near our club. He's a bully and a complete reptile.

 

like Butcher ?

 

 

If Butcher was bullying players then that should be condemned and I wouldn't want him back.

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I still feel Brill is dodgy and some of his kick outs were appalling

 

You did indeed make that observation last year IHE, and expressed some reservations about Brill's competence with the ball at his feet, despite most other posters indicating that he was the best keeper we've ever had!

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Well he is a bit of a more upmarket and more consistent goalkeeping version of Lionel as far as I am concerned. All keepers have their jittery moments but they are usually flashes in the pan. There are games that I have extolled Brill - especially the Cup Semi-Final BUT I still have doubts / concerns every time that I see him play. The bottom line is I suppose two-fold. He makes errors on to frequent a basis and if he does not inspire confidence in moi what are the defenders feeling ?

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You may also have observed, Sneckboy, that until Brill came along we were leaking goals on a regular basis, the defence were playing without direction and we never had a keeper that could deal with  crosses into the box. 

 

That said IHE is correct in his feelings of misgivings about Brill's capabilities with dealing with back passes and clearance kicks but most of the time it is because he is put under huge pressure by the passers back not dealing with the issues themselves or giving him little chance to get to the ball and clear it safely.

 

He has been instrumental to the success we have had this season and I for one still think he deserves his place.

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It's such a specialised role, goalkeeping. years ago, if you were a good 'shot-stopper' and could gather crosses, you'd be a top 'keeper....in the days when you could simply pick the ball up from a back pass! (It looks totally 'alien' now if you ever see a clip of that happening from old footage).

 

Can't remember if it was Peter Shilton or Ray Clemence, but one of those former England goalies has since said that he was glad to have retired before the passback rule was changed, as he was 'hopeless' with a 'live' ball at his feet!

 

Nowadays, a goalkeeper needs to be competent with both feet at clearing, despite oncoming strikers closing him down. It pains me to admit it, but Andy Goram was terrific at clearing danger and was comfortable on either foot.

 

I remember when I was at school, and my PE teacher was ex-Caledonian custodian Derek Dewar, he gave me a rollicking for scoring an own-goal from an intended pass-back.

 

His advice was logical and simple - when passing back to your 'keeper, play the ball back in a committed fashion so you don't under hit it and let the striker nip in, but more importantly, place it wide of the goals, so that the goalie isn't obligated to deal with it to prevent a goal - only a corner would be conceded.

It's literally schoolboy stuff!

 

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A number of errors in your table, Laurence, but I've got a program that shows the table between any given dates.

What really strikes me is the 'goals scored' column - we're easily the poorest in the division since Hughes arrived.

You may also notice in your table that we have one of the best defensive records in the league in that period also, so not turned into the defensive shambles many have claimed.

The thing with pretty much any team in the SPL is that by and large they're fairly evenly matched. How often in the past have we seem evidently bigger and more seasoned clubs surge into 3rd one year and then have a stinker the next?

People say "Oh but we finished 4th last season and were up top with Butcher" Yes that's true, but the season before that we flirted with bottom, and before that had a strong return to the top flight.

Also do people not remember that last season we didn't win in our first 7 games? 5 draws and 2 heavy defeats. People wanted Butcher out, he then took the team to 8 games unbeaten (2 of which are part of the no wins in 7), winning 4 of them. Which also coincided with only losing 1 in 17 (winning 9)

Up until the 30th of January we'd only lost 3 games. Twice to Motherwell (4-1, 5-1) and Celtic. We'd won 9, drawn 10 in 22 games. Doing well and everyone was happy.

We then lost 7 in 16, Including 4 in our last 5. Only winning 4 in total from January 30th onwards. 2 at home. That run at the end and a final day loss to RC cost us a place in Europe.

So to get to the point, perhaps, just perhaps it's not necessarily just down to the manager. We seemed to have developed a habit of doing well early on and being in a good place in January before form deserts us and we fall away. Maybe more down to the fact we have a small squad of players, all made up of free transfers. They have qualities but also limitations. Unless we manage to get a top class team the likelihood of season long consistency is unlikely. Also with a small squad, injuries, suspensions and fatigue all play their part.

If someone told me 2 seasons ago that we'd have an average position of 4.5 and still in with a chance at Europe I'd be quite happy. No ecstatic.

So stop being typical football fans and be done with these fickle notions.

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Brill is actually well on the way to rivalling or bettering the amount of clean sheets in a season at 20 (a record currently held by Ryan at 23) This doesn't tally with the current hand-wringing about him. He makes the occasional mistake and as a goalkeeper is in the full glare of publicity - nowhere to hide and all that. For the manager to drop him at this stage in the season and with that kind of record would be odd in the extreme. If you looked at his averages for kick completions etc., I'd be surprised if he was worse than anyone else in the league, apart from Forster. I certainly couldn't see Hughes behaving towards him in the same way that Adams has towards his goalkeepers this year and thank goodness for it.

In terms of Hughes, I still feel that Wednesday night had width in the side and it was a game that we could have taken something from and that against a side that has a massively better playing budget than ours and a commensurately massive level of debt attached to it. So does Aberdeen. So does Motherwell (although their debt figures are better) Celtic are ahead of everyone else. So where does that leave us? As high in the table as we are likely to ever logically be. Football is good at defying logic though, but a small and increasingly knackered squad is less likely to challenge it. As well as the physical demands, the mental strain of two or three games a week for weeks on end catches up. I know that people expect high standards, but they are bound to vary. It wasn't the "rubbish" that others have posted.

There's a case for bringing Christie, Polwarth et al in but not yet at least en masse, not until our season is over. We are 5 points behind United with a game in hand. Our next games are against St Mirren (with Motherwell in the middle) and County, theirs are against Aberdeen and Celtic. Which would you rather have? After the split everyone will take points off each other. Season over? Don't think so, and with all due respect it's a bit short sighted to contend that it is.

There's much concern about the current passing from the back game that we seem to be adopting. Getting the ball up the park as soon as possible appears in post after post, despite the fact that Butcher was lambasted for that approach in his early reign - keep the ball on the deck was the cry at that time. Of course it's early in Hughes's reign but their are signs that he wants an already passing team to do it even more. Can that be bad? With a fresh team and more options, especially up front we might see a different beast next year.

Some of the criticism and language directed at Hughes recently has been saddening. Ok the guy doesn't have a PHD in english, but did he have to? The remarks scattered around on here about his command of english are  a poor reflection. He is a far more insightful and perceptive individual than his predecessor who is wedded to the ideas of the club, not his own personal power base. He is far more open and frank and engages on a far more equal basis. If he deals with the players in the same manner, I am more than happy that they will buy into his philosophy and take the club forward. That has to be better than the constant carping, sniping and infighting that is the alternative.

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I was asked for my opinion and I have it - warts and all as ever !! And I have probably been as defensive of and as complimentary of this side as I ever have been - and they deserve that level of support generally. I also have confidence that we will continue to achieve on the level that we have been and that we have the right partnership in control.

It is as much a defence that keeps clean sheets. I had reservations about him from the off and I do feel that he has made more than the "occasional" mistake. That saps the confidence of those in front of him - perhaps wrongly expressed by Foran recently.

I also agree that we have had a very, very challenging run of games both in regard to the quality of the opposition and the frequency. I also agree that things may be clearer and improved prior to the split and then as is said - anything goes and any team that goes on a run at in with a shout of top three alongside Cellic.

Possession football is the name of the game and to me what we have been lacking in is both the ability to attack rapidly and from deep and a worrying lack of support to Mckay when we do. I also feel that we have been utilising the long ball to McKay too much instead of looking to attack from wide positions! seeking out ( or even seeing) some of the fine runs that McKay has been making.

That is where we miss the likes of Rankin in the middle and Shinnie in the hole? Playing three in the middle in such circumstances is folly

I do not feel that criticism with rationales is summat that should not be posted - and there have been some tactically well driven ones of late - although the personalised "told you so" crepe is futile and embarrassing.

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I'd like to see our tactics become more variable, that is true, as it is for most football supporters.

And it would be good to see if the kids, albeit gradually, can be introduced can hack it. Find an alternative for Mckay, not expect him to play 90 minutes every week.

It's no surprise that his goals have dried up in the same period that our only back up strikers left. He's probably a little jaded. So sure, start him but maybe look to bring on Evans, or use Foran or Watkins up top. See how it works.

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TB would make Oscar Wilde look like a stuttering redneck, and whoever took over was going to be on a hiding to nothing on that score, certainly in terms of the media.

The cliches are just his style, we all have our foibles, so be it.

Hughes will be in place next season and by then the honeymoon period will be over. He will be targeted with top six again, and I think if that is achieved, then we will know we have a manager in place that can do the business. Falling very short of that, then we can talk.

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Guest Mahonio

I am going to ask this here instead of a new thread so if mods want to move it then fair enough :).

One lad says that a GK is needed in transfer window, do you guys agree with that poster or not?

Unfortunately, I disagree with him, Brill has had some good games but also some horendous mistakes but I wouldn't sell him or even drop him until end of season. All that we need for next season is a couple of Strikers, any other position that is needed?

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Ryan Christie for me has been a standout when he has appeared yet he has not been handed a start, Polworth scored last night but will he get a chance on Saturday? Adam Evans has been good for the U20s so why not reward him? 

 

I think Hughes is more likely to give youth a chance ....

 

Ryan Christie -  0 appearances under Butcher .... 9 sub appearances under Hughes. 

Liam Polworth - 2 starts under Butcher (in 2 seasons), 4 so far under Hughes in 3 months

Evans - 2 sub appearances under Hughes. did not make bench once under Butcher ....

 

 

 

He makes the occasional mistake and as a goalkeeper is in the full glare of publicity - nowhere to hide and all that. 

 

Its the scale of the mistake for me. He is a very good keeper but when he does make mistakes they are absolute feckin belters and on at least 2 or 3 occasions that I can recall have led to goals against. really stupid cringeworthy ones ! 

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I wouldn't sell Brill or chuck him at the end of the season plus he is under contract. Perhaps one of the problems is that he has nobody to challenge him. I have to admit that the last keeper who made me nervous was Reguero. Again had some great games but lacked that bit of stature and composure. Esson has taken more and more of a back street so we need to sign a keeper anyway.

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There's a famous quote by Thomas Jefferson which is "Dissension is the greatest form of patriotism".  So it is with this.  I don't want to criticise Hughes, he seems a nice man and does seem to genuinely want to be here, but the fact of the matter is, I have to.  There's nothing wrong with playing possession football and we all want to see the ball on the deck, but Hughes strikes me as a man who is a slave to his philosophy.  People are debating whether or not it is Dean Brill or Josh Meekings to blame for the second Dundee United goal, but they are missing the elephant in the room entirely.  If they weren't instructed to pass the goal around the defence so much, this wouldn't have happened and Tuesday wasn't the first time they've been caught out, as we know.  Hughes's teams have had this problem at the past.  His Livingston side did much the same thing.  Keeping the ball at that end of the field and not going forward with it, just invites the opposition to press forward and put us under pressure.  This then leads to the inevitable pass back to the goalkeeper to hoof the ball up the park.  If this is 'good football', I for one am not impressed.

 

What has become of our slick and effective counter-attacking?  A good example of this was on Tuesday.  Vincent won the ball when the United centre-backs were back-peddling.  Under Butcher he'd have driven forward or switched the play and had teammates striving forward to score.  We were good at that.  What did he do?  Put his foot on the ball and pass it back the way.  There was no drive to get forward from any of them and any chance of creating a goalscoring opportunity was gone.  When we do get forward, we seem to be trying to pass the ball into the net.  It's usually ineffective and we need to do more of what Polworth did on Tuesday - putting a foot through the ball.  People can talk about making progress and waiting for things to click, but as I said earlier in the thread, Hughes was manager of Falkirk for seven years, yet they didn't score many goals and were nearly relegated as a result.  It should be no surprise that our goals have dried up as well.

 

You can tell things aren't going to plan by looking at Foran.  He's getting back to what he was like a couple of years ago when things didn't go to plan.  An irate seething man, who's liable to do something rash, with his general performance negatively affected as a result.  Does Russell Latapy actually do anything?  He looks to me like a boy on work experience.  Remember, this was a man who's played at the highest level and managed his national team, yet he stands out the front watching, only for Hughes to come over and whisper in his ear every few minutes.  What's the deal with that?  And here's another thing:  Has anyone else noticed that we've been poorer since Duncan Shearer disappeared from the dug-out?  Has his absence had an impact on the players?  Surely he'd be a good foil for Hughes as well.

 

Did the board make the right choice?  I don't think so.  Our results and performances have nosedived since he's come in.  Should Hughes be sacked?  Absolutely not.  He was the man chosen by the board and given a two and a half year deal.  He deserves to get the end of the season and up until the first round of fixtures next season.  If we're heading on downward spin and things are really looking bleak, then that'll be the time to really discuss whether he is the man for the job.  Don't get me wrong, there's a number of things I do like about Hughes.  He seems a genuine and nice man and I like the way he's not afraid to get the youth involved, but things have slipped to a worrying state when you consider where we were and what we were like when he took over.  He shouldn't and will not be sacked any time soon, but if things continue as they are over the course of next season, then serious questions will need to be asked.

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While I agree with most of what you have said Renegade, players have to take some responsibility and in the example you gave about Vincent, why didn't he just do what you said. Was it because the individuality has been coached out of him, was it because his confidence has gone and he did not want to take risks or simply he is frightened of the manager!!. Would be really interesting to know the real reason.

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The players were doing what they were instructed to do under Butcher. The players are doing what they are instructed to do under Hughes.Can't see how they can be faulted as individuals for that.

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So basically, Yogi wants all the players to play football, passing it here and there.  Even defenders.  Ermmm, can anyone remember when John Hughes was a player?  I thought he was terrific.  But NOT due to his passing ability.  Far from it.  He was an all-action Warren kind of player.  Couldn't pass to save his life.  And it's not working for ICT.

 

Yogi wants players to express themselves and play with a smile on their face.  We've been playing pretty well since he came here.  And yet, we've been woeful.

 

Butcher wants to win.  He doesn't care about smiles-on-faces.

 

I thought Yogi was chosen because he was the same as Butcher?  This isn't a boys club.  It's professional football.

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Renegade is right in much of what he says. We remind me a bit of Killie a couple of seasons ago: the Shiels philosophy was to always play it out from the back and keep possession....like Barcelona! Nothing wrong with the idea, except that Barcelona have players with outstanding ability, vision and skill, meaning that they can take a pass under pressure and still find space and make a pass. We don't have players at that level, which means teams will press high up the pitch and force errors. We used exactly that tactic against Killie to enormous effect under Butcher. I don't mind a guy with a philosophy, but it takes a class manager to realise when it's not really working And to change the tune. Not quite sure Hughes has that in him, which will be his downfall eventually. A solid base, width, pace, counter-attacking football is the recipe that works for us: all of that can be achieved on the deck without the need for a hoof up the pitch.

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