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andyD

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  1. andyD

    Strength in depth

    The 0-3 loss to Slovakia..
  2. andyD

    2020 Draw Thread

    Well.. that's shameful then. The random computer's done much more advantageous things for us than the SFA ever managed to do.
  3. andyD

    2020 Draw Thread

    The Russia games are the first up in each of the double-headers we play them in. We picked to play them first, before Belgium, and I think that was a good plan, so we'll be fresh against Russia, no danger of tiredness or heads-down after a potentially dispiriting defeat. We can't 'hold ourselves back to be fresh', cos that's not the order the games come in.
  4. andyD

    2020 Draw Thread

    ideally, yeah. but i think it makes sense to make russia our priority games in the two pairs of dates. feels a better idea to go fresh into russia and then see if we can nick something from belgium, rather than give everything to narrowly lose to beligum then have a must win against russia.
  5. andyD

    First 11

    I can't play Tierney at right back unless we're utterly desperate. It kills the entire flank as he can't go forwards on that side. Certainly against the three smaller sides I'd go with O'Donnell. Other than that, same team as for the last two, tho it would be nice to have Mulgrew and Souttar available, in case of form.
  6. andyD

    2020 Draw Thread

    We've been trying to do that since the dawn of time.
  7. andyD

    2020 Draw Thread

    Some sensible fixtures in there, which is nice. Both Belgium games are the 2nd games of a pair, meaning we're not going into a potentially important game having been pumped by Belgium. Should help us win the first game, tho does look a bit like conceding that we'll lose both Belgium games. Feels like realism tbh, but there will those who will say we should be trying to beat them 100%, Poland beat Germany etc. Personally I think having them as the 2nd game of the pairs is the best idea. Both long trips, Kazakhstan and Russia are followed by San Marino games. Again this seems like a very sensible bit of scheduling. Be fresh for the long trips, then play the easiest game we could play afterwards, in case we're not at 100% because of the travelling. The run in is as friendly as it could be. Hopefully that doesn't work against us and we complacently drop points. Should put the pressure on Russia who finish with Cyprus (a), Belgium (h), San Marino (a). Only worrying thing for me is the opener being away to the Kazakhs. Perhaps we should try and squeeze in a long distance friendly before it. Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan.. something like that, so the lads don't make any mistakes in prep for a long trip.
  8. andyD

    Strength in depth

    haha ffs.. he was supposed to be the SS but i typed mcgregor for no reason.
  9. andyD

    Strength in depth

    So, hopefully we're now settled on a formation and a system for the remainder of McLeish's reign (and maybe beyond). For me, 4231 is the only thing we should be considering, but do we have enough depth to be able to play it despite call offs? GK: McGregor, Gordon, McLaughlin RB: O'Donnell, Paterson, Palmer, Ralston (or Tierney) LB: Robertson, Tierney, Douglas, Kingsley RCB: Souttar, Bates, Devlin, Hanley, Hendry, Lindsey LCB: McKenna, Mulgrew, Tierney, Berra CDM: McGregor, McTominay, Shinnie, Fleck, McDonald CM: Armstrong, McGinn, Bannan, Cairney RW: Forrest, Russell, Phillips, Burke LW: Fraser, McKay, Morgan, GMS SS: McGregor, Paterson, GMS, Bannan, Snodgrass CF: Fletcher, Griffiths, Naismith, McBurnie, Rhodes To me it feels like right back and left wing are our problem areas in terms of depth. But overall it feels like we've got a bit more quality among the wider squad of players than we've had for a long while.
  10. andyD

    Player ratings over international break

    My favourite (and pretty much only) German phrase is 'ich habe einen geburtstag'. It translates as "I have a birthday". For some reason it's funnier to me than to the Germans trying to figure out what I must have meant.
  11. andyD

    Forrest

    Don't doubt it, he'll be in or around the squad his whole career most likely. I just wouldn't want the starting 11 to rely on him, like how Scott Brown became vital. If we're going to go with a model of one sitter and one forward running defensive mid, then McGregor and Armstrong have shown they can do it. Shinnie, McTominay and Fleck can probably do the sitting role comfortably. Cairney, Bannan, McGinn likely competing for the more forward role? The problem maybe becomes.. who can come in for Christie? Which is a bizarre ting to say so soon into his international career. Paterson, GMS, Bannan maybe? We could also really do with Morgan and Burke getting regular games as backup out wide too.
  12. andyD

    Forrest

    Not sure about this. McGinn has his good points and his bad points. What we lack as a team is a bit of defensive organisation. Not surprising really as the core 4 (2 centerbacks and 2 defensive mids) have barely played together. I'd rather we had an organisational solution to the lack of closing down rather than just relying on playing a guy who will do it in a somewhat haphazard way. Refining the system so that anyone can slot in there seems the best way to me.
  13. andyD

    Scotland vs Israel - Match Thread [20/11/2018]

    If that was the best thing for you, i think that's kinda sad.
  14. andyD

    Scotland vs Israel - Match Thread [20/11/2018]

    Overall, great result and some things to be very pleased and optimistic about. Well done to the boys. McGregor - Not at fault for either goal, and make a great save late on. Solid performance. Paterson - Early doors it looked like he would get roasted all night, but he improved and won more than his share of defensive headers. Good job in a position he doesn't play and doesn't like. Robertson - Probably his best game since becoming captain. Balanced, controlled, kept everyone focussed. Bates - Thought he did great tbh. Made good choices and even covered for Paterson on a few occasions. Decent shout of making the shirt his on this evidence. McKenna - Solid. He and Bates looked the part for me. Wouldn't have suspected that we were missing like 7 centerbacks. McGregor - Poor for the opening goal, but hopefully will learn from it and over all had a solid game. Armstrong - A standout for me. Really drove us forward (sometimes literally) and I wouldn't pick a team without him now. Christie - Linked really well, was a threat and what a great assist. Forrest - What to say.. great to see him so happy playing for Scotland finally, and making such a difference. Fraser - Another great game from him. Pace and ability, smart play and unselfish. Fletcher - His best game i can remember. Was everywhere, making defensive headers, linking play well and was all round annoying for their defense. Think he plays a bit part in the success of the 3 behind him. Shinnie - What we needed at the time. High workrate, buzzed around and close down the Israeli players, the lack of which was our main problem all game. Good job in the time he had. McTominay - Did ok. Only had 7 minutes, and didnt really get into it like Shinnie did, but hey. Phillips - Pretty ineffectual. Didn't get much involved, but he was the wrong guy to bring on given how play was going. McLeish.. So.. 1st up.. well done on picking the same side. It was the right side. Part of me still feels like he accidentally fell onto this 11 and just stuck with it cos it worked the last time. I'm not sure that deserves a massive amount of credit, but he presumably had some input on how we played it. However, what on earth were those substitutions. #1 they were late. The game was starting to shift a bit after our 3rd as Israel realised it was all or nothing. We needed to sure up the midfield and waited too long to do so, resulting in the goal. Shinnie was 1 of the things we needed. Someone to just go close down and make them play early. Christie was the natural one to withdraw for that, as it left the rest of our defensive organisation in place. So fair enough on that one, if we'd just done that, then great. But Armstrong off for Phillips.. what? We needed to sure up the midfield and secure possession. Fleck or McTominay were the obvious ones on the bench to come and help with this. Bringing Phillips in as a number 10, reduced our ability to keep the ball. It put more pressure on us. Just a bad idea. McTominay for Fletch. On it's own, not the worst idea. along side it, McLeish pushed Forrest up front and put Phillips out wide. So our out ball to the front man never stuck because Forrest is 3 ft tall. Israel just won the header and took possession before coming back at us. If Phillips had been up front, he might have won some headers, used his fresh legs to close down and relieved some pressure. So again, the change around this substitution made our situation worse. So for me, McLeish made really bad calls 2 out of 3 times he went to the subs bench, and that's worrying looking ahead. For the team as a whole.. The thing that struck me was just how comfortable on the ball we are now. Everyone, and I mean everyone, can take a ball, trust their first touch and move it on. There's no McArthur first touches where it ends up 6 yards away, no panicking in possession and giving it away. Everyone took and moved it comfortably, even when under pressure. It made such a difference and was the foundation for everything we did, and was exemplified by Bates and McKenna playing give and go's on the edge of their box after a corner! We've got some proper footballers suddenly! The other thing of note was a lack of defensive leadership. Not unexpected given that we've got two 22 year old centerbacks. But we lacked someone making organisational decisions. For the opening goal, someone should have been shouting for McGregor to close down. Another occasions, both McKenna and Bates were backing off, and McKenna should really have closed down, but no one told him to as soon as he didn't. Like i said, it's harsh to blame the two of them, especially since it's their 2nd game together, so perhaps it falls on the keeper to be calling it. McGregor's old enough and experienced enough to be helping direct them. It's something that needs sorted in future games. Fingers crossed we can carry this confidence into the proper qualifiers and not be distracted by the fact we have a back door waiting for us if we fail. Looking forward to group B in two years time as well. Right now it feels like a tier we stand a chance of staying in.
  15. andyD

    Forrest

    I think i called him a c*nt more times in the game last night than in any game where he's played badly. In an encouraging way of course.
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