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andyD

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  1. andyD

    Portugal match thread

    Why not? If McGinn tracked Rodriguez and Hendry showed Bruma outside then O'Donnell could have stood entirely still and we wouldn't have conceded. I'm not saying O'Donnell wasn't pushed up a wee bit too far, but he got back in position quickly and it was by no means an unstoppable goal when they got the ball.
  2. andyD

    Team for albania

    We're lacking cohesion and invention in the attacking 3rd under McLeish. Scoring wasn't a rpoblem under Strachan, but something's shifted. That's why I'm feeling like we need a bit of a wild card player, capable of doing something different. Not many from our player pool have the ability to lay on the ball like GMS did against Portugal. Sure, it's just once, but I'd be willing to give him the chance. For my, Ryan Fraser should be a key player for us, but he's been incredibly unlucky when it comes to being fit for internationals. We've sort of lost the pace from the side again, and that's a weapon we really need. Remember what a difference Anya had when he first came into the side? It pushes teams back or punishes them if they don't. That's something we really lack right now. For me it's not always about "who's the best player in the position?" it's about who brings the most to the 11. Pace matters, and invention matters. Israel and Albania feel like a level at which GMS could make a difference.
  3. andyD

    Team for albania

    Barely seen him since he left Dundee Utd tbh. I guess with Forrest and Sinclair he was never likely to play much, but surprised he didn't make a bigger impact when he did play. Looked like he'd found his feet a bit in terms of goals towards the end of the first season, but then got a knock and didn't get anywhere near the team again really. Haven't seen enough of Aberdeen to say if he's playing to a consistently high level now, so will have to rely on the opinion of others on that one.
  4. andyD

    Team for albania

    I did have McGregor in for GMS originally, i think i might have got a bit excited.
  5. andyD

    Team for albania

    It feels like whichever way we play McLeish will get it wrong. We've played 352 in some recent games.. But generally we've only played with 1 holding midfielder in those games. If you look around the EPL at the teams playing 3 at the back, they all have 2 defensive-minded mids because that's what you need to keep the defensive block steady while the wingbacks bomb on. You need 2 players who are willing to put in the work to really shield the back 3 and even get back at additional centerbacks when one of the outside men of the 3 are pulled wide. If we played 352 with Shinnie and Armstrong in there, with perhaps McGregor or Fraser with a license to get forward, then I think we'd do ok with it. Right now tho, I think I'd go with 4411. McGregor O'Donnell - Mulgrew - McKenna - Robertson Fraser - Shinnie (c) - Armstrong - Tierney Mackay-Steven Griffiths Part of me wants to throw Mackay-Steven in, given that he showed he has the confidence and ability to make something happen the other night. Made me think of Faddy in that he has the ability to just do something a bit different and we very much need that up front. Slotting him in behind the striker makes sense, let him use his skill with runners either side in Fraser and Tierney. Hand Shinnie the captaincy as he's been doing it for Aberdeen and Robertson seems to have been struggling since he's had it. Robertson to left back where he's at his best. Tierney ahead, as Tierney seems far happier to run at people that Robertson does these days, could see him intching to break forward against Israel. Mulgrew's experience is still needed at the back imo, we were a bit naive at times against Portugal, especially the 1st and 2nd goals. Use him while he's still good enough to play give McKenna confidence. Once McKenna's settled we can bring in Souttar along side. Putting all young players in together is a sure-fire way to hurt all of them (Berti). A balanced side, a hard-working side, and with experience and a little bit of the unknown.
  6. andyD

    Portugal match thread

    Here's my analysis. There's a lot of things going wrong and the first goal's a good thing to look at as it highlights a lot of them. 1) McBurnie completely misjudges the ball. I think this is because Naismith's jumped just infront of him and looks like he's going to flick it on. McBurnie's preparing to go after it, but instead Naismith misses it and it hits McBurnie's thigh. Really poor understanding and communication between the forwards. McBurnie needs to be braver and shout to claim it, get Naismith making a run. Better communication up front and this doesn't happen. 2) Hendry backs off and backs off towards the goal, instead of forcing Bruma towards the corner. This is just not good defending from Hendry. He's young, maybe he's worried about the ball being knocked past him, but if he says "go on, go past me to the corner", it's easier for the team to defend. Letting Bruma into the corner of the area opens up all kinds of angles for Portugal to make a chance from. 3) Hendry and O'Donnell's communication. Hendry is right to take Bruma, and O'Donnell is right to cover. Very rarely at any decent level of football do you leave a man 1v1 against a pacey guy like Bruma. The problem is Hendy's backed off despite that letting Burma into a dangerous position and despite O'Donnell being there to cover the cut inside. They should be doubling up and forcing Burma to move the ball before help can arrive, but instead Hendry stands off and gives Bruma all the time in the world. I honestly think O'Donnell is right to be covering behind Hendry, because Bruma can just cut inside and shoot, as he proved later. Ultimately O'Donnell has to go to the overlap, but Really we're already screwed in terms fo stopping the ball coming in by that point. 4) Speaking of the overlap. This is another of the key points. It's the workrate of central midfield in terms of defending. Rodriguez makes the overlapping run.. and he starts that run about 12 yards the other side of McGinn. At that point in play he's McGinn's man, but McGinn watches him run past and just lets him go, jogging back towards the area too late and far from Rodriguez. Rodriguez wasn't sprinting, he was catchable, but McGinn didn't bother. Yes, the goal could have been stopped at other points, but McGinn could have stopped it too and the least I'd want of the two defensive center mids is to get back and defend when the opposition break. Sadly, McGinn couldn't be bothered. 5) Andy Robertson having a 'mare. He's in exactly the right place, ball-side, goal-side and Costa should never get anywhere near it. I'm not sure what happens to Andy. He's aware of his man, he's positioned well, but instead of anticipating the ball in and stepping forwards to meet it he just kinda stalls. Individual mistake. It happens. Won't crucify the lad, but he should be doing better there. So overall: We're badly organised. We don't seem to be vocal enough on the pitch both in attack and defense. We're making individual errors. We're not working hard enough. These 4 things play off each other and make each one of them even worse. First thing we should do is be organised. You can see from the 2nd goal what a mess it is. O'Donnell fighting with 3 Portuguese players who are all lining up to score. Then 7 blue shirts in no mans land, in the area, but completely uninvolved in the play. It's shocking. There's 6 Portuguese being marked by 9 Scots as the ball comes in and they end up with a 3v1 on the end of the cross. This is not how those players play every week. This is how they play under McLeish. Whether we need a new manager or we need a more experienced captain (Shinnie?) who will organise, or a more senior figure at the back (Berra or Mulgrew, both injured for this game) to marshal the line. We need something to change, because these are simple, obvious and very easy to sort out problems. We're talking basics here.
  7. andyD

    Israel Match Thread (11/10/2018)

    Yes, with out personnel, we should be much better than we played against Israel. It was another of those games were we had 8 or 9 players playing well under par. I put it down to McLeish, but to be fair it's something that's been happening for a very long time with a wide number of players. You can probably go right back to the Brown era to find the last time we reasonably consistently played to the level we should. Strachan's last year was pretty consistent too mind, can't help but think we'd be in a better position if he still held the reigns. Player for player we're a lot better than Albania and Israel. We should really have come away from this group with 4 wins. But to lose to Israel is downright embarrassing. Our pick of friendlies is also ridiculous. Picking teams far better than us every time and getting pasted. No surprised if there's zero confidence and no desire among the player to come and get pumped by the worlds top sides every game. We're not helping ourselves at all.
  8. andyD

    Israel Match Thread (11/10/2018)

    Stopped reading at "i stopped reading"
  9. andyD

    Israel Match Thread (11/10/2018)

    Utterly horrific watch that was. McGregor was ok. Made a few saves, but most were straight at him and you'd expect him to stop them. O'Donnell was ok. Not his best game, but didn't do much wrong. Roberston. Just totally off form. Feels like being captain is distracting him from playing his normal game, and he's a player we need to be on form. Tierney. Thought he had a decent game. Very stiffled at the back and was dying to break forwards. Mulgrew. Was decent enough. Good nerves for the penalty. A loss when he went off injured. Souttar. Obviously not his finest hour. Coped ok for most of the game. 2 silly bookings tho. Hopefully he'll learn from it. McDonald. His best game for us imo. Was the only one of the central 3 who actually had any effect. God about, made tackles, broke things up and also played a few nice forward balls too. Ultimately let down by those around him tho. C.McGregor.. At fault for the 1st, lets his man go and so Robertson is try to get across, but is wrong side. Did next to nothing in the 90. McGinn. Did his customary bomb-scare give away that Israel should have benefited from. Other than that did little. The odd tackle and generally overhit hollywood balls. Russell. Did what he does.. sat on the periphery of the attack and had a couple of good moments. Generally a bit lost as there was no focal point ahead of him, he was usually the furthest forward, which is not his game. Naismith. Was way too deep and left us with no attacking outlet. Just bad all round. Shape-wise.. it was poor. Naismith dropped deep frequently, meaning there was only Russell in a forward position. And that's just crazy, it's not something that would ever work. The 9 can drop in a front 3 because there are 2 runners looking for a flick or ball thru. Naismith dropped deep and just played 1-2s with the midfield. So it stifled us offensively. We couldn't find our only actual forward (Russell) and the odd time we did he had 2 men on him and no options (hence trying to take on 3 guys on one occassion, and somehow getting a throw). Maybe if McGregor or McGinn had run beyond Naismith we might have had more, but they were both very quiet, seemingly unwilling to do anything on the ball and stuck somewhere between attacking and defending, meaning they didn't really do either very well. So the entire forward half of the team stuttered. O'Donnell made the running on the right, but had nothing much to hit and his crossing wasn't the best. Robertson just kind of disappeared on the left. The back 3 and McDonald kind of worked in the first half, mainly limiting Israel to long range shots that McGregor could deal with. But they're just 4 guys.. and Israel got forward in numbers. One of the most depressing things is that not only did McLeish let the team drop deep and play with no attack, he failed to change it when they kept doing it. Sure, losing Souttar on the hour doesn't help. But we'd been solidly 2nd best for the entire game to that point and McLeish made no moves to sure up the midfield, despite both Shinnie and Armstrong being sat on the bench. So on the pitch we started wrong and we stayed wrong. Looking at what McLeish said after teh game.. good grief. People gave Strachan stick.. but this is just cuckoo land. "we started really well" "the shape worked" "very comfortable first half" the blamed Israel for not being rubbish and the weather for being warm. "Did we ever say we're at a level who should be qualifying for major tournaments?" no.. but is it unreasonable to suggest we don't get played off the park by a team 94th in the world? ffs. We might still come top of the group.. but lets be clear, that was the minimum requirement before we started. Albania and Israel are poor.. and the table doesn't lie. We're on a par with them right now.
  10. andyD

    Team for israel

    Call me old, but i want players to learn to play at their clubs, while the national side is used to play the team most likely to get a result.
  11. andyD

    Team for israel

    He wasn't taken off for being poor against Albania. It was a tactical sub because we were to heavily dominating the midfield that we didn't need an out and out defensive mid. Instead we bought on Armstrong who offers more going forward. To berate McDonald for being taken off is either stupid or wilfully ignoring reality.
  12. andyD

    Scottish Players in Action 18/19

    Re: Bates.. 21 year old scottish centerback playing 90 minutes every game in the german 2nd tier. 5 clean sheets in 6 league games. Likely to be a regular in the bundesliga next season. I for one am glad that we've got a young guy out, playing, seemingly doing well regardless of the quality he's up against and with the potential to be tested at a much higher level than he would if he'd stayed on Ranger's bench. Well done Bates. Keep it up.
  13. andyD

    Team for israel

    He's an absolute bombscare at times too tho. In both the Albania and Belgium games he did things which either did or should have handed the opposition a goal. I agree with you about his contributions elsewhere on the park, if he can cut out the errors he'll be a really really good player. But as is, I have no desire to see him in the side until we're 2-0 up. International football is so often tight margins and McGinn is too big a risk imo. We've got enough in Armstrong, McGregor, Shinnie and McDonald to had a tidy, solid central midfield and comfortably win this game. We don't need the element of risk that McGinn brings, it's not worth it imo. I saw McGinn get robbed by Steven Fletcher the other week. Just far too casual at times. Fingers crossed a season in the Championship will teach him that he needs to be 100% focussed all of the time, you can't sleep in central midfield. So hopefully in a years time we'll have a real player. But right now.. he's just going to carry on making mistakes and we will ship goals because of it. That'll do us no good, nor will it do him any good. I'd protect him (on the bench) until he's tightened up that part of his game.
  14. andyD

    Team for israel

    Aye, but I'd be a tiny big cautious out of the gate. If we play Armstrong more 'behind the 3' and McDonald sitting then we've got a LOT of options going forward and a bit of stability. If by half time it's clear we don't need the protection that McDonald gives then absolutely, switch to McGregor, push him forward and let Armstrong cover more ground. Start with a controlled attacking mentality, then we can go to batter them if we've pushed them right back.
  15. andyD

    Scottish Players in Action 18/19

    Went looking on man utd forums.. seems most were just confused as to why on earth McTominay was playing there at all since there were other options available. In terms of performance: "he was caught napping a bit on the first goal but after that he didn't really put a foot wrong." "I actually think McTominay played alright he wasn't really at fault on the first goal" "He did his job bringing the ball out nicely and defended fine for most of the game but putting him in that position is madness and he's been used as a political tool by Mourinho" Couldn't find anyone slating him aside from the odd "he's sh*t" kinda of comments you get about every player from at least a few on every football forum ever. so seems McTominay did ok, despite the result.
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