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andyD last won the day on January 3

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  1. andyD

    Scottish Players in Action 18/19

    Just thought I'd note.. Ethan Hamilton's gone out on loan from Man Utd for his first taste of senior football. Joined Rochdale, who are battling relegation in League One. Played 90 minutes in all of the 5 games he's been there for so far, and bagged a couple of goals, which is good. Also racked up 4 bookings in 5 games, so he might be a little bit over excited. But will keep an eye on his progress.
  2. andyD

    Oliver Burke

    Didn't see it, but had the radio on. Sounded like Burke worked hard, made a lot of runs, but no one was really finding anyone. Pretty much on a hiding to nothing as a forward if the balls' not getting near you.
  3. andyD

    An experiment in optimism

    heh was is strachan who started the talk about a pool? I'm generally in favour of a 23-4. 2 for every position and the 3 keepers and maybe another striker for more options. McLeish picking 1 or no right backs leaves me raging. Are we that tight we're not willing to get 1 more plane ticket to stop us having no right back on the pitch if the wrong player gets a knock. senseless to me. For the Kazakhs and San Marino: McGregor(A), Bain, Clark O'Donnell, Paterson Robertson, Tierney McKenna, Mulgrew, Souttar, Bates Armstrong, McGregor(C), McTominay, [Ferguson/McCrorie] Forrest, Phillips Fraser, Johnston(M) Christie, Mackay-Steven McBurnie, Naismith, [Burke/Rhodes] Would obviously be a different squad for Belgium or Russia, but I don't see a reason not to take a couple of youngsters and give them some time, esp against San Marino. Lewis Ferguson and Ross McCrorie are both doing well and we're short of options wide left, so I'd take Michael Johnston. Johnny Russell's the other option there, but he's 28 and it doesn't seem worth flying him from Kansas to Kazakhstan. Burke or Rhodes depending on form.
  4. andyD

    An experiment in optimism

    Probably agree about Crawford, but then I saw Fleck a few times in League One and he was pretty rotten. Now he's suddenly one of the better midfielders in the Championship. So anything's possible. If, and it's certainly an if, any of those players can get promoted and regularly perform well in the Championship, then they're going to be in contention for a call.
  5. andyD

    An experiment in optimism

    Aye, Luton and Barnsley both on 27 conceded. Sunderland on 28. Lindsay's playing basically every game, so can only assume he's doing a decent job. Luton are top and don't look like screwing up, lost just one game since Sept 9th, so got to fancy them for automatic promotion. We probably want Barnsley and Sunderland to come up too given the players at each of them. There's also Ali Crawford at Doncaster, or Siriki Dembele and Jason Naismith at Peterborough, so those sides being promoted wouldn't be a complete loss.
  6. andyD

    Scottish player transfers

    Maybe he'll now he alive to the reality of having to forge a career in football. Having to earn your way is a great motivator, and that's what he's going to have to do now. There's a fair chance he just continues to sink like a stone, but the lack of that Chelsea safety net might just make him kick on. Fingers crossed.
  7. andyD

    Jack Harper

    It's not that he doesn't score enough goals, it that he has a tendency to miss pretty simple chances. Yep, Fletch's holdup play is probably the best we have, and he works hard and is a nuisance, but if the ball drops to him, it feels like it's at best 50/50 whether he'll even hit the target. He's simply not a good finisher. That's not so bad against 'lesser' teams, he'll do fine against the Israels and the San Marinos, but against Russia chances are likely to be at a premium and fine margins will win or lose those games. There are plenty of players who can help get us over the line against Israel and San Marino, but when the chance comes in the tight games, no part of me would want it to drop to Fletch. The one thing we can't be is wasteful.
  8. andyD

    Scottish Players in Action 18/19

    Watched Wednesday vs Millwall Liam Palmer had a decent game for Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday. 6 clean sheets in his last 9 league games, and has looked better going forward. Wasn't embarrassed against Chelsea either, even tho he had Willian to deal with. Got to be on the fringe of the squad now. Fletch had a wasteful day. Some decent link up play, but missed some chances he should really be putting away. Bannan got put out on the left, and was rubbish (as were Wednesday). He was then moved in field and made the team tick, some lovely thru balls that deserved goals. Steve Bruce said afterwards he's learnt how important Bannan is centrally and wont be using him wide again. Jordan Archer was ok for the most part. But late on had an absolute howler that should have cost Millwall the game. A goal kick that he completely miss-hit. It bounced before it reached his own defenders and Wednesday should really have done better, Fletch being greedy and refusing to lay it off when 2v1 against a defender. At the point where Archer really shouldn't be anywhere near the squad imo. He looks a decent keeper most of the time, but always seems to have a bizarre moment of madness in him.
  9. andyD

    Oliver Burke

    Yep, should manage. But there will be games, like Sheffield Wednesday at the weekend where Fletch had, i think, 3 really good chances and missed all of them.. and the game finished 0-0. To me that's the worry. In a 46 games league, you can take the odd game you should have won, but in international football you can't afford to be throwing away chances, as many of our recent qualifying campaigns have shown. So.. yeah, I like Fletch. But I'd be very happy to play give McBurnie a shot at being the main man. Or if Burke or Rhodes continue their form, then go for them. Feels like we need to take someone who can score regularly, but also keep an eye on the future. I'm not against Naismith, but he's 32 and Fletch will be 32 in a few weeks. Giving someone in form the spot against the Kazakhs and San Marino seems like a good plan, as we'll manage goals from elsewhere in the team regardless.
  10. andyD

    Scottish Players in Action 18/19

    And if you can keep a clean sheet without making a tackle, and still be picked every week (as Bates is) then you're doing something right.
  11. andyD

    An experiment in optimism

    Would welcome Hutton back with open arms, but I imagine that with playing every minute in the league he enjoys every second of rest he can get for his 34 year old bones. McBurnie is the form player, he's having the best season of anyone by a distance (except Dobbie ofc). Would be harsh to give teh shirt to someone else, tho i can certainly see the appeal of Burke's pace if he continues to score and improves his link up a bit in the next month. For the March games, we're going into those as bit favourites and we can expect to be on the front foot for most of both games. I'd want a right footer at RB for them, so he can offer the overlap and delivery on the right side. So for me, it's Paterson and O'Donnell called up for RB in the next squad. For Belgium, in June, Tierney becomes a good shout.
  12. andyD

    Oliver Burke

    The Wednesday fans seem to be losing patience with Fletcher. They admire and salute his hard work and graft, but bemoan his lack of goal threat. He is isolated tho, the Wednesday side has very little pace about it and Steve Bruce has been playing 2 defensive mids against bottom of the table sides in his opening games (who knows why), so Fletch is a bit on a hiding to nothing with that setup. For me Fletch has always been decent if he has runners beyond, so Fraser, Forrest and Christie would fit that. As Wednesday he has nothing like any of those. He'd also work well with a partner, but again, Rhodes was sent out on loan due to Financial Fair Play and Bruce seems to want to play 1 up top anyway. It's all a bit bizarre at Wednesday these days. For a couple of years (spanning 3 managers) they seem to have been doing their best to not win football matches.
  13. andyD

    An experiment in optimism

    Would add McLaughlin to that list, established and liked at Sunderland already, viewed as very consistent. I imagine he'll be playing week in week out in the Championship next season if Sunderland can shuffle some draws into wins, they've conceded just 1 more than the meanest defense in the league. Can any of them step up. Time will tell. Clark's looked good to me, and Bain's yet to concede a league goal. If he keeps on like that we'll get a good look at him in Champions League games next season, so that'll be useful.
  14. andyD

    An experiment in optimism

    He's played only about 1 match less (in minutes) than Armstrong has in the Premier League, and I wouldn't say Armstrong's barely played. Rhodes' problem is that Norwich play 1 up top and Pukki is probably the best striker in the league right now (28 games, 20 goals, 6 assists). Head to heads: mins goals assists min/goal McBurnie: 2466 13 4 190 Dobbie: 1772 19 3 93 Watt: 1754 2 4 877 Fletch: 1479 5 2 296 Harper: 1477 4 1 369 Naismith: 1410 9 3 157 Martin: 1064 1 4 1064 Rhodes: 926 6 0 154 Hardie: 691 5 0 138 Griff: 571 2 1 286 Burke: 351 3 0 105 Looking at that, McBurnie should be nailed on for a place. Dobbie really should be too (but wont be). Naismith should be in. Then you have Burke, Hardie and Rhodes.. all in for the other 2 places. I know Fletch contributes to the team in other ways, but his goal scoring at club and international level really is a worry. And given our next two games (Kazakhstan and San Marino) we want to be racking up as many goals as possible. If Burke continue his form for the next month and Hardie recaptures his, then I'd say they're in with a shout for sure. Else, to me, you're looking at Rhodes.
  15. There's a lot of reason we've slumped since Brown. An aging side than needed replaced, a succession of poor or non-committed managers, some tough draws, influx of foreign players getting game time ahead of home-growns, an improvement in the general quality of international sides that had previously been classed as mickey-mouse. There's a lot of reasons. None of them are because we tried to play 4 at the back. I didn't just ask if anyone played 3 at the back, i asked for " top 5 of any de´╗┐cent European league " and you gave me St Mirren. The point I was making about 3 at the back is.. no one has any success with it currently, do they? This thing that you're parading as the answer to all our troubles is rejected by every football team that isn't at propping up a league. And while you might think Scotland are hopeless, we just won our nations league group and have never propped up an international qualifying group in my memory. 4231 suits our current personnel. A back 3 does not, ask our captain if you want evidence of that. Your reasoning that "we've failed before" is equally silly. Yes, a different group of players didn't get quite enough results against a different group of different nations.. So let's do something drastic with this new group of players we have now who are showing good signs in the 4231 system. Your logic is.. not logical. You're 100% kneejerking imo. You want change because you're disappointed, and we all are disappointed. But a back 3 is not a magical solution that will make us any better. We don't have the players for it, but we do have a decent crop for the 4231 we've recently played. So the culmination is that you're advocating something silly because you're frustrated with 20 years of not quite getting over the line. But that frustration doesn't make it less silly of a thing. Anyway, if you want to shout abot aback 3, be my guest. Just be aware that you're bonkers while doing it. I on the other hand am now comforted in the knowledge that I've got a fall-back career that i'm suited for should my current gig fail. MOTD2 here i come!