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thebiglemon

PTFC V ICT

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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.

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26 minutes ago, laukat said:

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.

They mentioned on stream today that the majority of the ground staff have been isolating because of COVID

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7 minutes ago, laukat said:

 

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.

Agree with a lot of what you say but not this… I think he is extremely wasteful with his attempts at crosses.. but he’s not alone in that. As a team we have been really poor with the final delivery over the last 3 games.

Generally too slow and ponderous middle to front unless Tiffoney is on the ball, but today he showed he still has a lot to learn about when to take on another man and when to pass.

Bright spot is the defence having conceded only 1 in 5 games and the two centre backs and Sneddon in particular growing in confidence although next week will be a tougher test. 

Not sure that McCall will find a blend middle to front that’s going to improve things short term. He still doesn’t appear to know his best 11 or formation and those that have been subs over the last few weeks are coming on for 20 mins or so and not really getting a chance, which seems to result in a hurried approach which results in them being subs again the following week. If McCall doesn’t rate some of them then he’ll need to find something better come Jan.

I thought we would take enough points from around half the league to secure us a play off spot come the end of the season, but the last 3 games have been a real disappointment in terms of our poor attacking play. 

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3 hours ago, javeajag said:

Tifffoney was very poor today ….tried to do to much , gave the ball away and his crossing was inept 

A lot better wide players than Tiffoney will also run hot and cold. The overriding problem being we don't have a player on the right flank to mirror him. Mind yon season Higginbotham was often on fire. He wouldn't have been nearly as effective if it wasn't for Lawless and vice versa. 

Tiffoney can swap wings as much as he wants. A good ploy to confuse opponents but ONLY if he's someone credible to swap flanks with. Murray is right footed so too Smith, who's not even a wide player anyway. Clearly the only player that can offer balance is Hastie but he's not at the races.

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What I took from today is that we won’t be anywhere close to winning the league. Inverness were significantly better than us. Gardyne, Doran, Walsh and Mackay are quality players at this level and I think caley will be there or there about come the end of the season.

i had been keen to see more of hastie but on that showing I don’t think he’s got any interest in being at firhill. We’ll need a few tweaks to the squad in January to stay in contention for a play off spot. 

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Yesterday was my first time at Firhill in little over 2 years, due to COVID, travel restrictions and being in Glasgow when the Jags are away (Normally miles away). It’s only 1 game but I don’t see anything in that team that was better than the team we got relegated with.

There is next to no pace in midfield, defense only defends no overlap no bombing down line. Tactics appear to launch a high or long ball for Rudden to chase.  5 out the last 8 we haven’t scored, and Hamilton game is a blip that’s masked that. 
 

As I said it’s only 1 game I’ve witnessed (in person) but on that we won’t be anywhere near play offs, and could start to slide as 1 goal looks like it would finish us off, and I saw no Plan-B yesterday or personnel coming on better than what was taken off. Back 18th of December for my next game and hopefully I see us score at Firhill as my recollection is I haven’t seen a goal at Firhill since 2018 

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1 hour ago, Norgethistle said:

Yesterday was my first time at Firhill in little over 2 years, due to COVID, travel restrictions and being in Glasgow when the Jags are away (Normally miles away). It’s only 1 game but I don’t see anything in that team that was better than the team we got relegated with.

There is next to no pace in midfield, defense only defends no overlap no bombing down line. Tactics appear to launch a high or long ball for Rudden to chase.  5 out the last 8 we haven’t scored, and Hamilton game is a blip that’s masked that. 
 

As I said it’s only 1 game I’ve witnessed (in person) but on that we won’t be anywhere near play offs, and could start to slide as 1 goal looks like it would finish us off, and I saw no Plan-B yesterday or personnel coming on better than what was taken off. Back 18th of December for my next game and hopefully I see us score at Firhill as my recollection is I haven’t seen a goal at Firhill since 2018 

Spot on. However the difference from last time is that other teams are much worse and on the occasions when it does work, we do have a cutting edge.

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Not withstanding the Accies match where we also played more as a team, I feel we rely almost solely on individual performance.  Just maybe we are overloaded with experience and don't sing to the same hymn sheet? Absolutely no doubting team spirit so that could add credence to that theory in so much as the major fault lies at coaching off the field. The positive from that being we've probably got enough talent in the squad to challenge at the top end. A negative of course being we've seen precious little fluidity in the team so far to suggest management are on the case of getting us play as a unit.

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2 hours ago, Norgethistle said:

Yesterday was my first time at Firhill in little over 2 years, due to COVID, travel restrictions and being in Glasgow when the Jags are away (Normally miles away). It’s only 1 game but I don’t see anything in that team that was better than the team we got relegated with.

There is next to no pace in midfield, defense only defends no overlap no bombing down line. Tactics appear to launch a high or long ball for Rudden to chase.  5 out the last 8 we haven’t scored, and Hamilton game is a blip that’s masked that. 
 

As I said it’s only 1 game I’ve witnessed (in person) but on that we won’t be anywhere near play offs, and could start to slide as 1 goal looks like it would finish us off, and I saw no Plan-B yesterday or personnel coming on better than what was taken off. Back 18th of December for my next game and hopefully I see us score at Firhill as my recollection is I haven’t seen a goal at Firhill since 2018 

We’ve been a bit up and down but that is a vastly better team than the one we went down with. The likes of Akinola, Holt, Rudden, Graham, Tiff are a major upgrade on McGinty, Saunders, Robson, Jones, Mansell etc. That team still makes me shudder 

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I was speaking to a few mates who are St Mirren fans re Camny Smith. He played just off the striker when he was player of the season when they got promoted. So....that's where we should play him. Not sure why Turner isn't playing but he at least is different option to the docherty and bannigan crab play. As for the lack of threat from our full backs I get that , but unless we switch to 3 center backs that won't change. Plus foster and holt not up to that task. We definitely need to try something different. I'm hoping the faster surface at rugby park might actually suit us as our pitch not helping at all...

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2 hours ago, Norgethistle said:

Yesterday was my first time at Firhill in little over 2 years, due to COVID, travel restrictions and being in Glasgow when the Jags are away (Normally miles away). It’s only 1 game but I don’t see anything in that team that was better than the team we got relegated with.

There is next to no pace in midfield, defense only defends no overlap no bombing down line. Tactics appear to launch a high or long ball for Rudden to chase.  5 out the last 8 we haven’t scored, and Hamilton game is a blip that’s masked that. 
 

As I said it’s only 1 game I’ve witnessed (in person) but on that we won’t be anywhere near play offs, and could start to slide as 1 goal looks like it would finish us off, and I saw no Plan-B yesterday or personnel coming on better than what was taken off. Back 18th of December for my next game and hopefully I see us score at Firhill as my recollection is I haven’t seen a goal at Firhill since 2018 

As you say it is one game, although Hamilton was one game too. I didn’t think the pitch was looking too great yesterday and wonder whether the fact It was the 3rd game in a week where the weather has been pretty atrocious has anything to do with it. 

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1 hour ago, Stephen1876 said:

We’ve been a bit up and down but that is a vastly better team than the one we went down with. The likes of Akinola, Holt, Rudden, Graham, Tiff are a major upgrade on McGinty, Saunders, Robson, Jones, Mansell etc. That team still makes me shudder 

While I agree generally the team is better, Graham and Rudden were in the squad that was relegated- Graham of course scored the final goal that season 

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1 hour ago, Stephen1876 said:

We’ve been a bit up and down but that is a vastly better team than the one we went down with. The likes of Akinola, Holt, Rudden, Graham, Tiff are a major upgrade on McGinty, Saunders, Robson, Jones, Mansell etc. That team still makes me shudder 

I agree that the individual players are better. Not so sure that the team is. We are way too predictable and easy for teams to set up against us.

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8 minutes ago, Dick Dastardly said:

I agree that the individual players are better. Not so sure that the team is. We are way too predictable and easy for teams to set up against us.

The fact that we are mid table, unbeaten in 5 and still have genuine play-off hopes, rather than being rock bottom suggests we are a better team now

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58 minutes ago, Lambies Lost Doo said:

Lawless was released by Motherwell surprisingly.  Seems still to be a free agent.

We should be driving hastie back to Ibrox and doing what we can to sign lawless.

I think the problem is two fold. First is that the squad, although improved from last season is not as strong as some of the others in the division. Second is that McCall now seems set on playing 442 and we dont have a player equivalent to tiffoney to balance it up on the other side. 

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3 minutes ago, Duke Gekantawa said:

The fact that we are mid table, unbeaten in 5 and still have genuine play-off hopes, rather than being rock bottom suggests we are a better team now

Or that others have deteriorated further. We still have thes same backward passing midfield.  We still fail to create many chance and have the same front two. We still look static at the back when up against mobile attackers. If you compare an average performance this season to one of 2 years ago, you wouldn’t notice much difference and see the same failings 

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Just now, ironfist said:

We should be driving hastie back to Ibrox and doing what we can to sign lawless.

I think the problem is two fold. First is that the squad, although improved from last season is not as strong as some of the others in the division. Second is that McCall now seems set on playing 442 and we dont have a player equivalent to tiffoney to balance it up on the other side. 

Please not Lawless. He is trouble.

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I don’t know what happened at Motherwell, but they didn’t release him between windows without good reason. I am told there were gambling issues when with us and Burton were not too sad to see him go. I wouldn’t touch him

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2 hours ago, Lambies Lost Doo said:

Lawless was released by Motherwell surprisingly.  Seems still to be a free agent.

I hope he can enjoy his freedom for some considerable time.

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1 hour ago, ironfist said:

We should be driving hastie back to Ibrox and doing what we can to sign lawless.

I think the problem is two fold. First is that the squad, although improved from last season is not as strong as some of the others in the division. Second is that McCall now seems set on playing 442 and we dont have a player equivalent to tiffoney to balance it up on the other side. 

One potential problem there  is that Lawless would probably rather be at Ibrox more than Hastie would. 

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1 hour ago, Dick Dastardly said:

Or that others have deteriorated further. We still have thes same backward passing midfield.  We still fail to create many chance and have the same front two. We still look static at the back when up against mobile attackers. If you compare an average performance this season to one of 2 years ago, you wouldn’t notice much difference and see the same failings 

Can’t agree- I don’t believe that this team would be worse than Alloa, as that side was. We’re now an average Championship side when 2 years ago we were an awful Championship side. That’s an improvement, if not exactly exciting or earth shattering. 

Edited by Duke Gekantawa
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13 minutes ago, Duke Gekantawa said:

Can’t agree- I don’t believe that this team would be worse than Alloa, as that side was. We’re now an average Championship side when 2 years ago we were an awful Championship side. That’s an improvement, if not exactly exciting or earth shattering. 

A quick look at the league table not only confirms our averageness, it also shows we're the ONLY average Championship outfit. The positive from that being with this silly league set up we're currently projected to be 26/27 points clear of a relegation play off slot but only 8/9 points short off a projected promotion play off place.

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4 hours ago, Duke Gekantawa said:

While I agree generally the team is better, Graham and Rudden were in the squad that was relegated- Graham of course scored the final goal that season 

A bit unfair including Rudden in this. We all know he wasn’t fit and I think only played a few games that season and he didn’t really get his act together until the Clyde game last season. It is only the last 3 games that he and the others have gone flat. Whether that is down to the other teams sussing us out or maybe we got complacent after the Hamilton game - who knows.

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