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andyD last won the day on April 30

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  1. Fleck's a defensive mid, but he's not really one who breaks up play. He's an architect, moving the ball around, and we sort of need a Broon type 'enforcer'. Someone who will pressure and tackle. To my mind there's not a tonne of those available to us right now. Jack is one, Kevin McDonald and Graeme Shinnie are options. McDonald had a few bad games where he was basically hung out to dry as McTominay was in these last two games, so people seem to be against him. And Shinnie had a very poor game at left back, so people are against him. I hadn't seen anything of Swansea, so don't know what kind of player Fulton is. Jack's pretty much untried, but he seems a bit temperamental to me. Still we can only use the tools we have. Personally I'd probably take Shinnie. Was captain at Aberdeen, so should be able to help McTominay thru and has looked motivated when he's played in the middle. Not saying he's 100% the answer, but it's clear that McLean and McGregor aren't defensively sound enough to play that role. So I'd try Shinnie and McTominay. We have 4 games to prepare now, so we should use them.
  2. 'the celtic players were rubbish too' hardly feel conclusive. There were only 3. Forrest goes missing most games, so that's not unusual. McGregor has frequently disappeared for Scotland, so that's not a surprise really either. Christie came on and looked the like liveliest player on the pitch. Add in that the other 8 outfield starters all looked kinda rubbish, and well.. i dont think it's anything to do with a heavy training session after an old firm game.
  3. So.. this is either 100% misleading, or you just didn't notice. We marked up man to man every set piece, with the same people marking the same people. It was clearly something that Clarke had gone thru before the game, giving everyone their assignment. O'Donnell's man was Dendoncker. If you watch the corner immediately before he's right with Dendoncker in the area. During this play, Dendonker has drifted deeper and is outside the area, you can see him to the right of the ref in the 1st pic. So O'Donnell is in the right place to pick him up if he makes a run, close him if he gets the ball or to pick up a loose ball from a clearing header if the ball goes into the area. O'Donnell is 100% in the right place doing exactly what he should be doing.
  4. There was certainly interest from down south during the last window. 2-3 of the bigger Championship clubs were sniffing around, so I imagine a move is likely in the not too distant future, especially if he gets back to being a regular international starter. McKenna seems steady. Does the basics well and is willing to stick his head on things. I look at Cooper the other night and think back to the Martin/Hanley days and doing the basics well and sticking your head on things seem like a massive step forwards. He's not world class, but he's decent and can get better. I'd probably want Souttar to had down to the Championship rather than linger at Hearts, too. I feel like that'd do him good. Findlay looks like to move in that direction too. Wishing Bates would be getting some games tho. Going to Sheffield Wednesday on loan doesn't seem like a good choice to me. He's competing for a spot with their captain.. so.. unlikely to get on the pitch much, which is a shame.
  5. The lad's still only 20, and never had a serious run of top flight games. He's only played 90 minutes for Celtic 5 times and was 18 (i think) for most of those. So, I'd say it's a bit harsh to dub him among the worst footballers you've ever seen based on that. I'm not saying he's the answer, or deserves a call up or anything like that. Just that we'll certainly be no worse off if he plays 30 odd games in the Scottish Prem this season, and there's the possibility he learns and develops into someone who might be useful. I'd like to see Jack Hendry get away from Celtic Park for the same reason. His loan to Dundee went ok by all accounts. Rodgers seemed to think he had potential and gave him a decent bit of game time when he returned to Cetlic. He's not kicked a ball since Lennon came in tho I don't think. Not even on the bench once this season, and he'll not improve sitting in the stands. I know it's fashionable to dub people awful and discard them.. most of the time you'll be 'right' doing that because there's only 11 players that can play for Scotland at any one time. But I for one hope both those players get away from Celtic Park, play blinders and become regulars for Scotland. Not because I have any affinity or connection to those two players, but because Scotland will be better off the more guys we have with successful careers.
  6. Cooper was on Vertongen, and yeah, horribly positioned and Vertongen would almost certainly have scored if Vermaelen hadn't.. At least everyone else knows where their man is.. McLean's just happy that at some point he was stood near Vermaelen. ffs.
  7. Yeah, so the 433 type is fairly common in the premier league. Liverpool with Firminho, Leicester with Ndidi, Man City with Rodri or Fernandinho. Double 6 with 2 dynamic players would be like.. Man Utd with McTominay and Pogba or Everton with Delph and Andre Gomez. Wolves are a bit more extreme in that none of their 3 center mids are 'proper' defensive players. Neves, Dendoncker and Moutinho are all able to rotate to whatever role is needed. Maybe I'm asking a bit much of Armstrong and McTominay. That's perfectly fair. But Armstrong's played that 6 role plenty of times along side Brown at Celtic, and he has the energy and awareness for it. And McTominay is literally doing it right now for Man Utd. Proper defensive mids seem to not fair well done us lately tho.. Kevin McDonald and Graeme Shinnie, both look like their international careers are over. Is either worse than Jack? I don't think so. Brown had plenty of detractors in the years before he quit the national team too. Once he was gone i think a few realised what he'd been doing all those years.
  8. andyD

    Liam Cooper

    Can't argue that they're well protected, our midfield disolved in both games, with only McTominay showing up and he was overwhelmed as a result in both games. But.. and there's a big but.. there are errors which should not happen. e.g. McLean just not bothering to mark Vermaelen. There's zero excuse for that. Before the ball comes in, McLean looks over his shoulder, seems Vermaelen and i guess thinks "it's ok, he's back there somewhere" and then watches the ball until it's in the back of the net. He's not close to his man, he's not goalside of his man, he just knows he's somewhere that McLean can't see him.. and he's happy with that as the situation. That's not acceptable play. Similarly, Cooper stepping up off Golovin for Dzyuba's goal.. Did he not see him? If he saw him it's a crazy thing to do, and if he didn't see him then.. well.. that's appalling awareness, and awareness is half your job as a defender. If it was one mistake, ok. But squaring up instead of going with your runner (as he did for Russia's second) is schoolboy stuff. Seeing that O'Donnell has covered your man that you let go, and not making the effort to cover O'Donnell's man is schoolboy stuff. Another incident off the top of my head was when he nudged a clearance out to Tielemans on the edge of the area which should have then been punished. These aren't failures of the team, leaving him exposed, they're individual things. Things he could personally do better, and should have done better. Contrast that with Robertson for Belgium's opener.. he's screwed at that point. 2v1 and while he tries to position himself correctly, de Bruyne's good enough to make that lay off with ease. There's no error by Robertson there.
  9. andyD

    Liam Cooper

    To be fair to Clarke his hands were tied for this double header. But for 4 injuries, Cooper wouldn't have been in the squad at all let alone the 11.
  10. I'm not sure any would argue we're world-beaters.. but short of chucking it in all together, we do need to put a team out.
  11. You're correct, neither is an out and out destroyer. But Both have/do play as part of a double 6 for their clubs. Not sure the Lampard/Gerrard comparison is valid, since they were 2 100% forward minded players trying to play in a central 2. We've looking at a midfield 3 made up of a number 10 and 2 box to box types. Apples and oranges a bit. If you're playing a single anchor in a 3 man midfield, then they probably need to be that destroyer (kante) type, because they've so much work to get thru, with just some support from 2 other center mids. The defensive responsibility is mostly on them. Brown could do this,, so that say Morrison could go play more. A double 6 lets either one be a box to box player at any given moment, with the other dropping in to cover. That can be a really useful weapon as it makes it more difficult for the opponent to pick up our runners. It also needs the two to develop an understanding, which is something a lot of the squad lack right now, with a lot of changes to personnel happening recently. I can see a use for Jack in that role maybe in games like last night, maybe even in Russia, where it feels like it would have been sensible to commit a man marker to Golovin given how central he is to them creating opportunities. This is part of using the squad well tho, right? Like using Tierney at right back against teams like Belgium, but not against Cyrpus. It also remains to be see whether Jack can cut it at a level above the Scottish Prem. He's had the odd good European game, but he's not been tested on the international stage. One of those to look at over the coming 4 matches i guess.
  12. Gk: Marshall's done ok. Made some good saves. No calamities in his distribution the last couple of games, so long may that continue. McLaughlin still thought of as one of the best players at Sunderland. Shame that Kelly is now just sat on the bench for QPR tho. RB: O'Donnell did well enough against Belgium imo. Tierney would be the first choice as a defensive RB, but O'Donnell looked much improved on the Russia performance. Palmer still to have a real opportunity. Ralston perhaps going to play a decent number of games this season. LB: Depth as always. Robertson, Tierney, Taylor, Douglas. No worries. CB: Mulgrew's experience still feels like it's valuable. McKenna, Souttar, Bates, Devlin, Lindsay, Findlay.. Porteous and Halkett even. Lots of options, but mostly young and in need of experience. CM: McTominay and Armstrong are solid. Henderson, Fulton, Byers, Turnbull, McCrorie, Hamilton and Gilmour all on the periphery. McGinn maturing and hopefully McGregor can get over whatever his problem is at international level. Christie in attacking areas, Ewan Henderson on the horizon and dare to dream; Ryan Gauld. Wings: Fraser is the main nailed on one. Forrest is hit and miss again sadly. Snoddy and Russell have something to offer still. Hastie, Burke, Johnston, Morgan, Middleton all coming thru. ST: Griff is the main hope if Fletch has finally decided to hang up his international boots. We're incredibly short of optoins behind them tho. Naismith for a nother year or two i guess. Rhodes might get a fair shake under new manager Gary Monk. Harper seems to have slipped into obscurity again. Then it's Shankland, Hardie and Hornby coming thru. All's not lost, for sure, but there's an awful lot riding on whether a lot of young kids will develop as well as we hope they will. Some will, some wont. I think it's important to now be getting a look at players in an international setting.
  13. andyD

    Liam Cooper

    1) And Robertson was having to come across to try and tackle Cooper's man because? Oh yeah, because Cooper had left him alone in the area to go chasing the ball for no reason. Not saying Robertson played no part, but Robertson wouldn't be there trying to do that if Cooper had just marked his man. 2) McGregor caused us to loose the ball, yeah. But McGregor didn't let Cooper man run free and slip the cross in, did he? 3) Wrong and wrong. That's a desperate bit of blame assignment there. O'Donnell covered the run of Lukaku that Cooper had somehow not seen.. so it's O'Donnell's fault when Cooper stands around instead of picking up the man in the position O'Donnell vacated. Genius interpretation of events to be fair! 4) Yep, McLean was asleep for the Vermaelen goal. Really no excuse for that. 5) Well, 'out jumped' is an odd term considering Alderweireld didn't jump, but i think we kind of agree. So Cooper's only be the main culprit in 3 goals in our last 2 games. Swap the name Cooper for Hanley.. now imagine the pelters he'd be getting. Weird eh.
  14. It does feel like we have some players who aren't as good as we hoped they were. Robertson, i think dropped in form the moment he became captain. It's a shame, cos he's a good guy, but if it's negatively affecting his performance to be captain, then maybe for his own good he needs to pass on the armband. I agree with Wanderer tho, his 2nd half was much better and he looked more like the Robertson of old. That's the player we need to see more of. Mulgrew was mostly decent over the two games. Yep, got done for the 3rd last night, but the accusation to level at him there is "you're not as good as Alderweireld". Which is kind of obvious and uncontested. No one we have is as good as Alderweireld. McTominay has looked ok over the two games. He wasn't really helped out by those around him in either game, with McGregor disappearing against Russia and McLean seemingly not wanting the responsibility of marking anyone. He'll be a good player, but at time last night he looked like exactly what he is, a young player that could use support rather than the weight being on his shoulders already. McGregor disappeared for most of the Russia game, and did the same for long periods of the Belgium game. Such a shame because he has talent. Maybe he's burnt out, but this isn't the first couple of times it's happened. Starting to wonder if he's a confidence player. With Celtic he knows he's always one of the best players on the park and so plays with confidence and freedom. At international level it's a different story and it seems he might need some mental shift in order to produce his best for us. McLean, sad to say, but he just doesn't look good enough to me. Came on and put us under pressure against Russia. Was solely responsible for the 2nd goal, just not marking his man. He was wasn't paying any attention and was stood on the penalty spot as Vermaelen knocked it in from inside the 6 yard box. I might be paranoid, but he then seemed to make runs to take him away from men, thereby dumping them onto someone else, particularly De Bruyne. That to me is hugely worrying. Snodgrass, was ok, got more involved that Forrest did against Russia. Tired towards the end and got a bit sloppy, but still. Freekicks were a bit disappointing tho. Armstrong.. breath of fresh air when he came on. Energy, drive, much like Christie in the Russia game he came in and made a difference. Makes a great case for him starting. Phillips, still not a striker. Forrest seems like he may have reverted to form for us. So could be time to look at others, be that Johnston or Hastie or Burke or back to Snodgrass when the game suits it. To me it feels like we have an ok 11 for the most part. Griffiths [Johnston/Burke/etc] - Christie - Fraser Armstrong - McTominay Robertson - McKenna - Mulgrew - [Tierney/O'Donnell] Marhsall The problem is there's not much quality behind those players if they're not available.
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