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About laukat

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  1. I don't think Steven Lawless will struggle to get a contract in January. I would assume Livingstone would be favourites right now. However unless Hastie suddenly comes good we need a wide player in January and wee really need someone who can make an impact straight away. I have my doubts that is Lawless given his lack of game time but equally a youngster from a premier league team brings the same issues. I can't think of many other wide players who will be available in January, who we can afford and who can immediately slot into what is hopefully a team chasing promotion. Is Alan Forrest not getting a game at Livingston or injured?
  2. I thought this was a goal at the time and if you pause the clip just as 3 seconds starts when it hits the ground it looks like its a good foot over the line. Couldn't understand the lack of protest. To me it looks like we have another ghost goal at the same end end again. In general I thought we were ok yesterday. Never looked like losing but struggled to create anything. Hamilton came with a game plan to deny time on the ball to congest midfield and protect their back 4 at the cost of isolating their striker up front. We needed to be able to move the ball on the ground a lot faster than we did. Smith helped with that when he came on but the biggest hinderance to us was the state of the pitch. The pitch was a lot better than the ICT game mainly because the grass has been cut and it wasn't as wet but its very uneven and the wide areas next to the Jackie Husband stand have tram lines going up it. I fear that with games against Raith and Arbroath at home in a few weeks that the pitch may hold us back.
  3. If Lawless was playing and ready to step into the starting eleven in January I would gladly take him back. My fear is he would need time to get fit and up to speed. Lawless's staunch twitter comments are always dissapointing however his ability was not in question and I never saw any lack of desire or commitment when he was in a Thistle top. To my mind in our relegation season he was one of the few who were willing to go the extra mile. God knows what Chico would have tweeted about the other cheek if he had been a player nowadays.
  4. I think the Ayr result shows that we have a team selection (Graham and Rudden starting) and formation that is effective against the bottom 5 teams. I hope the Kilmarnock performance indicates that we have a team selection (1 striker starting) capable of beating the top 5 teams. The test of this will be next month when we have Arbroath, Raith and ICT. If we can get 5 points or more from those we are in good shape for the playoffs. 7 points or more would make start to raise expectations. Agree that we need to strengthen in January with cover for Docherty, a wide player and better backup than MacIver being the priorities. Extending Rudden, Akinola, Foster and Sneddon is just as important.
  5. Great result and great performance. Rudden was a constant threat up front and converted his only real chance. Back 4 and goalkeeper were solid. Midfield looked really good with the 3 central players closing down really well and particularly first half putting some nice passing movements together. Tiffoney did a really good defensive job today. Special mention to Murray who had a really good first half playing just in behind Rudden, His movement and link play brought balance in attack and protected the midfield when required. Everyone in the Thistle team played their part. Possibly our best performance of the season so far definetly our best result so far. Top of the league table looks a lot tighter after today's scores.
  6. I can think of a few penalty saves that have meant we progressed in the cup or played a part in promotion or better technical saves but the save from Arthur in the Peterhead game was probably the most vital. Another season in league 1 at that time would have crippled the club and we could easily have ended up like Airdrie and Clyde.
  7. I think its probably Kenny Arthur in this
  8. Talking of a central midfielder reminded me that Welsh was playing for ICT yesterday and showing some of the qualities we miss in midfield. In the first half he picked up the ball facing his own goal near the Jackie Husband side of the pitch turned and flashed a high cross field pass onto the ICT rightwinger putting the winger 1 on1 with Holt. If that had been Bannigan or Docherty picking up the same ball it would have been played on the deck in the direction they were facing resulting in a 5 yard pass to a defender who then plays it sideways or hoofs it or back to the keeper who would then hoof it. To my mind Docherty is the modern championship level defensive midfielder however I'm starting to less convinced that Bannigan has the range of passing to be the midfield playmaker.
  9. Part of me wonders if this might be the game to give Hastie his start and experiment a little. Hastie has done little to impress so far but we also know that he is the only one in the squad who can provide proper balance to the team ahead of recruiting someone in January so we need to establish if can or can't start a game and provide that before then. Most supporters expect Thistle to lose and at best get a point. After Saturday's game I think we can now see Kilmarnock and ICT are better teams so we are probably more looking at top 4 which means trying to hoover up points from the bottom half whilst beating Raith and Arbroath. When you add that Graham looks like he is not moving freely and needing a rest perhaps Saturday could be viewed as a free hit. All Tommy Wright teams look to play similar football i.e. keep it tight, make it physical so we probably need another body in central midfield which would hopefully also help imrpove our passing game and provide cover for our fullbacks to get higher up the park. So from Saturday's starting eleven I would drop Graham and Smith and bring in Hastie and Turner to play a 4-5-1 in defence and 4-3-3 in attack. Assuming Hastie works and the game is tight it would allow Smith to come on later in the game and move to a 4-4-1-1, if Hastie doesn't work he can be replaced by Murray.
  10. Managed to get along to Firhill for the first time in a while rather than just watching streams. A few observations on the game We cannot continue to play with 2 strikers against the better teams in the league. Bannigan and Docherty were completely over run in midfield which resulted in us struggling to move the ball on the ground. We desperately needed another midfielder and to a degree when Gordon came on we started to get some possesion and pass the ball. When McCall finally realised we needed an extra body in midfield I have no idea why he put on Gordon rather than Turner. Gordon barely touched the ball when he came on and you would have to think Turner would have provided something more. Rudden played pretty well today but he had 2 golden opportunties and didn't get either on target. I think we need to start Rudden as he is more mobile than Graham but he need to take his chances. Whilst Hastie scored the disallowed goal he was pretty dire. Never loooked likely that he would beat his man or get a ball into the box. Needs a big improvement soon. The 2 central defenders particularly first half seemed to really struggle with long straight balls down the side or over the top. Whilst they were better second half it wasn't a great surprise to concede a penalty to a ball over the top. That being said Sneddon was very good and the settled back 4 does appear to have stemmed the tide of goals although ICT will be kicking themselves for some of their finishing. We appear to have no-one capable of striking a freekick at goal. We had a couple of fouls in central areas within reasonable distance and seemed to want to do everything but take a shot. For most of the second half I was sitting in front of a couple of guys who clearly do not rate Foster which I just don't understand. Everytime I see Foster I think he looks comfortably our best defender and one of the best right backs in the league. The pitch today wasn't good. Particularly the area near the touchline in front of the Jackie Husband and next to the John Lambie stand. In the first half Tiffoney had the ball in that area with the fullback to run at and he struggled to keep his feet and move the ball quickly. A couple of other Thistle players recieved the ball in that area and should have been able to cross the ball but felt they had to move it it off that patch before they were confident they could hit it properly. I presume the recent weather has had a bearing but the grass also looks like it need a cut. We can't go away to Kilmarnock playing the same starting 11. I would hope to see something like the following Sneddon Foster-Akinola-Mayo-Holt Smith-Turner-Docherty-Bannigan-Tiffoney Rudden. Harsh on Graham but to my mind he's not moving freely and I think he will have greater impact coming on later.
  11. On the plus side we seem to have got on top of our defensive issues with only 1 goal conced in the last 4 league games and the same back 4 playing in all those games. Sneddon also appears to have settled in and is starting to prove doubters like myself wrong. On the downside the opposition appear to have figured out our method of attack by putting two players on Tiffoney and not playing a high line. I think Hastie was essential to providing variation in attack but so far he's not shown much and whilst I hope I'm wrong I thought it was telling that when we needed a goal last night he was left on the bench. We have ICT and Kilmarnock next and they will go a long way to determining if we have an outside shot at automatic promotion or are only concerned with the playoffs. If we are still in contention for automatic promotion in January we will need to find upgrades for Hastie, MacIver, Murray and Gordon as well as cover for Docherty. To have a chance in the playoffs will probably mean trying to find someone better than Hastie and MacIver.
  12. I think Turner is a wee bit unfortunate to be sacrificed as he's never been tried with a proper right back behind him. He's had to play with either McKenna, Akinola or Gordon behind him. Might be a bit more assistance for him now Foster is playing there? I think we need to start with the same 11 that started against Hamilton and Dunfermline unless we have injuries but if we are struggling or hopefully a couple ahead I would like to see Turner for Smith. One a seperate note whats this about -
  13. Defensively we seem better ogranised now we have a settled back 4. Thought Sneddon looked good, seemed confident on crosses and made his save when he had to. Smith does seem to provide balance in midfield but we are still fairly lop sided in attack. I thought Dunfermline came with a game plan just to shut up shop and lump it forward in the hope that we would make a mistake. We did ok but just weren'r as sharp or as quick playing the final pass or taking the shot Agree with @partickthedog that Hastie never looked like he would sieze the opportunity. I hope both McCall and Sevco are impresing upon him that je needs to show something in this 3 month spell otherwise he could well be looking at a future outside professional football. He cleary has pace and is a decent height but just doesn't appear to have a firm idea on what he should do when he gets the ball. Not sure if he's rusty and lacking in confidence or he's a player that thinks he's too good to be playing for us? Didn't really understand the subs yesterday. By the end of the game we had 3 wide players with Tiffoney, Murray and Hastie on which meant some of them getting in each others way.
  14. If we lost all 3 it would have a massive impact on us but any team in the league losing their 3 best players would struggle. However we do appear to have more matchwinners in our squad than some other teams which should allow us to cope with small periods were Graham, Rudden or Tiffoney are unavailable. For example Turner and Hastie are players that others in this league would love to have but can't get in our first 11. I think Cammy Smith is a very decent player but even he is playing slightly out of position to get in the team. Overall I think our squad is able to cope with injuries better than others on the edge of the playoffs like Arbroath or Raith. That doesn't mean we will finish above Raith or Arbroath as they could get lucky, keep all their key players fit and maintain their form. However Arbroath will already have to go without Nicky Low until December as he's injured. Raith have already lost Vaughan for the entire season so can't afford too many more injuries especially to key players like Berra or Tait.
  15. Its an interesting start to the season. Of the games we have lost (Arbroath, Raith, ICT and Kilmarnock) only Kilmarnock and ICT looked better teams. Of the teams we have beat we have beat them all comfortably with the exception of QoS. However I think we have improved since our last defeat by having Holt back at left back, Foster at right back and Smith providing a bit more balance in midfield. Sneddon looks more comfortable in goal now that the back 4 looks settled and in general the spate of goalkeeping errors that had a major influence in our losses to Arbroath and ICT have reduced. When you add that 5 of our opening 9 have been away games and that we have ICT, Raith and Arbroath at home in the next set of 9 then there are reasons for optomism. From what I can see the league is now made of 3 categories of teams. 1. Teams battling relegation - Morton, Ayr, QoS and Hamilton Morton, Ayr and Hamilton were dreadful. Hamilton might be ok if they can get Templeton fit but they and Ayr have already changed managers so what do they do if they continue to circle the bottom? QoS gave us a decent game but I just don't see enough goalscorers in their squad to avoid a relegation battle. Morton were so poor they made Shea Gordon look good at rightback and I don't think they can go much longer without changing manager 2. Teams with a shot at the playoffs - Dunfermline (assuming they change manager quickly), Arbroath, Raith Dunfermline have a reasonable squad but a terrible manager. If they bin Grant and get in Campbell I can see them getting up the league. Arbroath have had a great start but their squad size, potential to lose their manager and key players (Nouble is only on loan until January) makes it unlikely they will keep pace. Raith are probably best placed of these 3 teams to make the playoffs but they have so few strikers and such a small squad that an injury or suspensions could derail them more than most teams. 3. Teams who will probably make the playoffs and who may win the league - ICT, Kilmarnock, Us. I thought Kilmarnock looked really good against us and didn't think they would drop many points. However their recent form hasn't been good and with such a weight of expectation you wonder if they might hit the panic button and bin Wright. ICT look a decent team and they have clearly had the best start. They now have a run of 3 games versus Raith, Arbroath and us which will tell us a lot about their prospects. If we, ICT and Kilmarnock are still a few points apart at the of the end of the next 9 games then the league may well be decided by whoever can strengthen/ hold onto their best players in the January transfer window. Whatever way you look at its great to see a Thistle team that scores goals and entertains. Hopefully the next 9 games will be as good or better.