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partickthedog

Declaration of Arbroath

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Outside the old firm every other clubs are just over rated Juniors. The result today only confirms that Scotland no real senior football players, if we came up against a junior team today the result would be at best 50/50. I have said that I don't rate McCall as a manager, saying that he is only in the same league as the rest. Jock Stein and Alex Ferguson  then a collection of also rans. McCall cant produce consistent results, every game played is a lottery. Like all who have came to Thistle in the past, a notion of grandeur comes into play and a delusional feeling of how in reality actually are blinds them, jut ask big Conrad. How do you sell Thistle to young supporters "Just happy to participate and remember 71, Which in all probability will never happen again in your life time". .......Auchinleck for the cup. 

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12 hours ago, Garscube Road End 2 said:

Far from it. As we are clearly incapable of winning games from losing positions as we are mentally weak, then it is surely topical that it falls at the manager's doorstep.

Today’s problem wasn’t a mental weakness. Arbroath were stronger than us physically all over the pitch. However, that also is down to the manager. We really missed Rudden today as we had no other pace is the team aside from Tiffoney who has gone right off the boil.

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Pre match I thought the defeat at Gayfield was reversible. We had been on top in that match for a while up there and we've by and large cut down drastically on defensive errors. To say I underestimated Arbroath is an understatement. They're the best we've played in the league, certainly going on their performance yesterday.

We didn't help ourselves tho'. I think I counted no more than three times when Sneddon re-cycled the ball thru defence and midfield. Instead we were witness to aimless (certainly completely inaccurate) punts up the park, a high percentage of which were easily dealt with by the Arbroath central defence. Btw this started long before we had to change things when Smith went off. Also, did our full backs cross the half way line in open play? Both these points are probably interrelated and presumably a managerial decision as opposed to player error.

Finally substituting Tiffoney with Hendrie when we were chasing the game is a weird one. Tiffoney may have needed to be replaced but why were Murray, and even for that matter, Hastie, not preferred? A strange decision largely compounded by my point about the full backs not getting forward often enough.    

 

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16 hours ago, Barney Rubble said:

Back to earth with a resounding thump folks.

1) That was so predictably Thistle.

2) Dick Campbell once again proves he has our number. Why then was he such a calamity as Thistle manager?

3) Defence has had a glorious few weeks, but got done very easily today. In the long term that may be a good thing.

4) The worry for me is the attack - they've been nullified several times since Hamilton away, and conceding today exposed that fully. There was no discernible reaction.

5) Zak Rudden was more absent today than When The Levee Breaks from a Led Zeppelin live album. Why?

Off to join GRE in the SuckItUp bar.

Good points. I can't answer them all but

2) Campbell when he was our manager had a reputation (earned) of being able to get teams up to the Championship  but could never keep them there.  Obviously with Arbroath  he has learned from these years.  We need McCall to show he can learn too but more quickly.

4) Hit nail on head here.  I feel we don't seem as organised in attack, kind of hit and miss. As a result we don't keep sustained pressure on teams and goals are harder to come by.  Tiffoney is an example - he still shows great skill, and can still beat a man but seems to do it far less in dangerous areas, and does things like running into midfield, beating a couple of men then losing the ball. 

One thing today I noticed we didn't back up our forwards - they created enough problems that defensive headers landed in no man's land but our midfield was too far back to pick the loose balls up.  When they hit long balls it was the opposite - 3 or 4 Arbroath players charging forward and picking up loose balls from the battles between their forwards and our defenders which was basically how they were more dangerous than us.

Rest of your points speak for themselves.

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6 Wins 4 Draws and 1 Defeat in 11 games, having conceded 2 goals, is terrible right enough.

I get the, 'you're only as good as your last game' piece, but this is taking it a bit too far.

I'm sure we've not played well in every game of the 11 but our run has kept us in the mix.

At this point, I'd still be happy with a play-off place come the end of the season.

If we win 2 and draw 1 of our next 3 games, I might be hoping for more.

We're quick to write this team and Manager off and it's a bit ridiculous tbh. The exact same thing happened last year.

Let's stay behind the team and convey some positivity in what is a massive December for us all.

Up The Jags!

P.S. I'm up next week, so we had better win.

Edited by CotterJag
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1 hour ago, CotterJag said:

6 Wins 4 Draws and 1 Defeat in 11 games, having conceded 2 goals, is terrible right enough.

I get the, 'your only as good as your last game' piece, but this is taking it a bit too far.

I'm sure we've not played well in every game of the 11 but our run has kept us in the mix.

At this point, I'd still be happy with a play-off place come the end of the season.

If we win 2 and draw 1 of our next 3 games, I might be hoping for more.

We're quick to write this team and Manager off and it's a bit ridiculous tbh. The exact same thing happened last year.

Let's stay behind the team and convey some positivity in what is a massive December for us all.

Up The Jags!

P.S. I'm up next week, so we had better win.

It seems to be a common theme amongst football fans, especially in more recent times when fingers are engaged on twitter very quickly, that you win 2 games in a row it is "all aboard the promotion train", etc but lose 2 in a row and it is sack everyone!

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I don't think we will win the league, but i am not writing of our chances of getting a play off place yet. Anything can happen in sport, you only need to watch the final race of the F1 season to see sometimes the winner is only decided in the very last minute or so of action.

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7 hours ago, lady-isobel-barnett said:

Pre match I thought the defeat at Gayfield was reversible. We had been on top in that match for a while up there and we've by and large cut down drastically on defensive errors. To say I underestimated Arbroath is an understatement. They're the best we've played in the league, certainly going on their performance yesterday.

We didn't help ourselves tho'. I think I counted no more than three times when Sneddon re-cycled the ball thru defence and midfield. Instead we were witness to aimless (certainly completely inaccurate) punts up the park, a high percentage of which were easily dealt with by the Arbroath central defence. Btw this started long before we had to change things when Smith went off. Also, did our full backs cross the half way line in open play? Both these points are probably interrelated and presumably a managerial decision as opposed to player error.

Finally substituting Tiffoney with Hendrie when we were chasing the game is a weird one. Tiffoney may have needed to be replaced but why were Murray, and even for that matter, Hastie, not preferred? A strange decision largely compounded by my point about the full backs not getting forward often enough.    

 

I would say that Inverness were the best footballing team I have seen at Firhill. However, Arbroath are the team that from pretty much the 1st minute I guessed we were going to get nothing from the game. A couple of the substitutions were a bit odd. Was Bannigan injured or knackered ?

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1 hour ago, Auld Jag said:

I don't think we will win the league, but i am not writing of our chances of getting a play off place yet. Anything can happen in sport, you only need to watch the final race of the F1 season to see sometimes the winner is only decided in the very last minute or so of action.

It may not be as early as that. The rules may be changed mid-race and the winners and losers may be determined later in the court room. Of course that would never happen in Scottish football!?

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56 minutes ago, Lenziejag said:

I would say that Inverness were the best footballing team I have seen at Firhill. However, Arbroath are the team that from pretty much the 1st minute I guessed we were going to get nothing from the game. A couple of the substitutions were a bit odd. Was Bannigan injured or knackered ?

I've only missed one home game in the last thirteen or fourteen years. Guess which game? :). So I can't disagree re ICT. I'd like to think substitutions and some individual performances were due to carrying knocks etc. 

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One aspect of our attacking, such as it was, bothered me: no account seemed to be taken that attempts on goal would have to defeat Gaston,  a big, experienced, capable goalkeeper. Tame shots close to him just weren't going to get past him, yet that was generally what he faced.

Doesn't our expansive management team take each game seriously enough to brief their team on each individual opponent? Uncle Dick had obviously seen to it that his team did their homework - especially by ensuring that Bannigan's one kicking foot was closed down quickly.

If we're going to employ all these coaches, surely they must have the time and desire to assess every opponent - teams and all players - before each game.

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Bug bear of mine but I have never seen us beat Arbroath.  Yes we have beat them since I started going but for a variety of reasons I missed those games.  Have seen us beat Celtic at Firhill, Parkhead and Hampden and Rangers at Firhill but never bloody Arbroath . 

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11 minutes ago, elevenone said:

Bug bear of mine but I have never seen us beat Arbroath.  Yes we have beat them since I started going but for a variety of reasons I missed those games.  Have seen us beat Celtic at Firhill, Parkhead and Hampden and Rangers at Firhill but never bloody Arbroath . 

Fortunately I have, when we had real managers in McParland and Auld.

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8 minutes ago, Garscube Road End 2 said:

Fortunately I have, when we had real managers in McParland and Auld.

I remember the days we could beat them with 8 men and that was with Tommy Bryce as manager!

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We won promotion in 2001 and 2002 with a negative overall record in our games against Arbroath.

Therefore losing to Arbroath should be regarded as a positive sign.

A team equipped to win promotion may not necessarily be equipped to beat Arbroath.

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2 hours ago, Garscube Road End 2 said:

Fortunately I have, when we had real managers in McParland and Auld.

The one and only time i have been to Gayfield. August 1971... 4 -2 win in league cup... the rest is history.

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Not in my experience Jaggernaut! I remember a night game when I went into a chippy only to bump into Brown McMaster coming out. His advice that the fish suppers were not of the best proved correct. The warning bells should have rung louder when a guy came back into the shop demanding his money back. The chips were OK but the fish was something else. It resembled a lump of silicone bathroom sealant. I doubt it had ever been near the sea until I threw it on to the rocks. I think it bounced.  

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13 hours ago, Fearchar said:

One aspect of our attacking, such as it was, bothered me: no account seemed to be taken that attempts on goal would have to defeat Gaston,  a big, experienced, capable goalkeeper. Tame shots close to him just weren't going to get past him, yet that was generally what he faced.

Doesn't our expansive management team take each game seriously enough to brief their team on each individual opponent? Uncle Dick had obviously seen to it that his team did their homework - especially by ensuring that Bannigan's one kicking foot was closed down quickly.

If we're going to employ all these coaches, surely they must have the time and desire to assess every opponent - teams and all players - before each game.

Totally right , team should have been picked to give us a chance especially as Rudden was injured . Surely Hastie should have come into the mix with his pace . In the whole game I don’t think there was any diagonal cross field balls to try and get behind Arbroath’s defence . Do they work on shape at all during the week ?

At  Firhill when teams sit in against us ,there has got to be a different style to break down teams .

 

 

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2 hours ago, jlsarmy said:

Totally right , team should have been picked to give us a chance especially as Rudden was injured . Surely Hastie should have come into the mix with his pace . In the whole game I don’t think there was any diagonal cross field balls to try and get behind Arbroath’s defence . Do they work on shape at all during the week ?

At  Firhill when teams sit in against us ,there has got to be a different style to break down teams .

 

 

McCall doesn't have a plan B

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I think Saturday's result and selection is a microcosm of our issues this season.

Plan A is to play 4-3-3 but with all the squad fit we lack a player who can play wide right at speed. Plan A has only really been tried a couple of times with Murray filling in the gap against Kilmarnock and QoS. The Kilmarnock perfromance was good but the QoS game showed the limit of Murray's capability in that position. Given the scale of recruitment McCall has undertaken it was probably asking too much to get all players required to play his desired formation and style. Clearly Hastie had not provided the missing component but there is some evidence to suggest that the 4-3-3 can be a winning formation against the better teams.

Plan B is to play a 4-3-1-2 but that requires Rudden, Tiffoney and Graham to be fit. Plan B has proven pretty effective against the lower half of the league but exposed against the top 4 as they can more easily mark Tiffoney out the game. If we have to play plan B for most of the season then we will be were we are now i.e. on the fringes of the playoffs

Plan C is to play 4-4-1-1 but that required Smith to play most of the game and for Turner to become a morth orthodox right midfielder.  If we have to play plan C more often then we will do well to stay above the relegation group.

Playing a top 4 side with your 3rd choice formation is never a good start however its even worse when you consider that all of the above options are based on quick passing which needs a decent surface. Firhill is probably the worst playing surface in the championship just now.

With the playing surface not likely to get any better until after winter i.e. March/April then it raises the question of what to do in the January transfer window to make ourselves more competitive with the top 4 sides.

Do we recruit a wide player to make 4-3-3 viable knowing that the pitch will limit the effect but may come into its own in the playoffs when surface conditions are probably better ? Or do we priortise physically stronger midfielders who pass less but who might be more effective on poorer surfaces?

It looks to me like we are still a work in progress compared to Arbroath, Raith and ICT. Perhaps this season is just about hoping to be in the playoffs and the more realistic aim is a tilt at promotion next season.

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The recent run of clean sheets has been great but we’ve been really poor at the other end. We’ve only managed to score in 4 of the last 9 games and apart from the Ayr game haven’t looked likely to score either. We seldom create more than  2 or 3 decent chances in a game so desperately need some attacking options other than the usual hopeful punt up to Graham or Rudden.  Tiffoney is the only player we have who is capable of creating something but is too easily snuffed out when they put two men on him. I’d like to see a creative midfielder and another striker come in in January but not holding my breath. 

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