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  1. Watched most of the Man Utd game and McTominay was great; they've definitely missed him in recent weeks. Very mature and assured performance from the young lad.
  2. This is pretty much what I was going to post
  3. Last season he said he hoped being in the PL would get him an England callup.
  4. From the brief bits I've seen of him this season he's clearly a prospect but those who were saying he should get a senior call up are getting way ahead of themselves. Ideally I'd like him to go to wherever he can get the best coaching and see where he's at when he's 20/21.
  5. Was disappointed with Jack last night. Unless he improves then he’s not the answer. The times our defence had pressure on them it was because the opposition had just ghosted past him or McGregor (I can’t remember the last stand out performance he had) with Jack especially making little effort to chase back. Not what we need from our supposed anchorman. hopefully we look a bit more solid with McTominay back and if Allan Campbell can play well in the next few months then maybe he’s worth looking at? Glad to see such a good performance from Palmer after all the stick he got on here before the game. Id love a settled back line but personally I’d go for Gallagher & Findlay going forward when the latter is fit again.
  6. Clarke pretty much said in his last interview he’ll always make a few changes in the 2nd game of a double header to utilise fresher players
  7. I'd keep the defence the same for some consistency but swap a few of the attacking players just to freshen it up, with Fleck sitting back whilst McGinn and Armstrong provide support for McBurnie.
  8. exactly, if he didn't want to play then he wouldn't turn up.
  9. So he's played from under 19 to the senior side for 6 years as well as coming from a Scottish family but still not considered 'Scottish' by some on here. What a joke.
  10. Reports just say 'ruled out' at the minute with no more detail
  11. In: Eamonn Brophy Out: Lawrence Shankland
  12. csinclair


    Shaun Maloney: Belgium's elite brain on his journey from Celtic academy to Cruyff Institute By Clive Lindsay BBC Scotland Sport 3 hours ago From the sectionScottish Sharethis page Shaun Maloney has worked under Roberto Martinez as a player and coach While his home nation make heavy weather of reaching the Euro 2020 finals, it's been plain sailing for one Scot who is now guaranteed a place at a tournament being partly hosted in Glasgow. It's not long since Shaun Maloney gave up on his dream of playing at a major finals, but two years after hanging up his boots with Hull City, the 36-year-old has made it as part of the coaching team guiding the world's top-ranked side. Maloney views working under Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez as a natural progression in his football philosophy, influenced by an upbringing steeped in Celtic's Lisbon Lions - and one that sparked a love of Matt Busby's Manchester United, the Johan Cruyff-inspired Ajax, and Barcelona under the Dutchman then Pep Guardiola. Here, the former attacker talks to BBC Scotland about being described by Martinez as having "an elite brain" and his ambitions once he completes his masters in coaching from the Johan Cruyff Institute. Deep-thinking student of football history That elite brain comment came as Martinez explained why he had added the Scot as an assistant alongside former Arsenal and France forward Thierry Henry last year. Martinez's season as a player with Motherwell coincided with Maloney's breakthrough into the Celtic team. And the Spaniard thought at the time that the 18-year-old's "appreciation of space and technically ability" set him apart from players normally brought up in "the British system". Having been born and spent his early years in Malaysia as the son of a Scottish mother and English father before moving to Aberdeen, Maloney has always come across as more worldly wise than your average footballer and, after later signing him for Wigan Athletic, Martinez also found him to be "a deep thinker". Ask the quietly-spoken, ever-modest Scot for his reaction to those remarks and he shifts uncomfortably in his seat but does admit to having a long appreciation of football at its most beautiful. "I really enjoyed the history of the game even when I was a younger player - different eras of the game," he says. "At Celtic, you are brought up with the Lisbon Lions and their European Cup win in 1967. "It was just fascinating watching some of the footage of that, then going through into the Busby teams, Ajax teams of the 70s, Barcelona under Cruyff and that led to Guardiola. That is the same philosophy - Roberto has grown up with that." Maloney (left) scored seven goals in 47 Scotland appearances Positional play's lightbulb moment Maloney was an established Scotland international, had won five Scottish titles and eight cup winners' medals in two spells with Celtic, and had a less productive six months in between in England's top flight with Aston Villa before heading to Wigan. However, he admits: "When I worked with Roberto as a player, it was like a light coming on. I knew there was a way of playing that other teams had. Now I had a manager who wanted to play that way." That way is "positional play" - a style of possession football based on organising the team structure to defend and attack collectively in a way that "generates superiority" in crucial areas of the pitch. The roots of what the Italians call Giochi di Posizione and the Dutch call Positiespel are disputed, some even suggesting it was adapted from the teachings of a Barcelona handball coach, but Guardiola is the most celebrated of its converts following his successes with the Catalans, Bayern Munich and now Manchester City. "I've got huge admiration for teams that do it other ways," Maloney concedes while citing Livingston as a contemporary success story for a more direct style. "There's not one specific way to win a game. "Leicester won the league playing a counter-attack system that was just so effective, but positional play is a style that inspires me. I think it's the best way to win games - and the most attractive and exciting." Maloney views Roberto Martinez, Pep Guardiola and Johan Cruyff as part of the same football philosophy Standing at just under 5ft 6in, Maloney was always more suited to a style of play that combines caressing the football with nimble footwork and it's no surprise to hear that it permeates his coaching, first with potential stars of the future in Celtic's youth team and then with Belgium's squad of superstars under Martinez. "Roberto is a good man and an incredibly good head coach/football manager," he says. "The lovely detail he goes into, it's incredible, the passion he has, the style of play - that never changes whether he is at Swansea, Wigan, Everton, Belgium. "It's been an amazing year I've been there and the amount I've learned under him is exceptional." Joining the next generation of leaders While still based in Glasgow, Maloney's own desire to learn has taken him to Arnhem and Amsterdam as part of the online and campus-based institute founded by former Netherlands forward Cruyff to educate "the next generation of leaders in sports management". "The course I'm doing means you are learning from different sports and it has opened my mind to the coaching process," Maloney said. "It is a huge learning curve. "It is a masters in coaching and it's been an amazing experience. I started it in February and hopefully I'll finish that in May. The professors there are from different sports with different ideas on coaching and it's been eye-opening." Maloney is too streetwise, or just typically coy, to make any predictions about where all this gathered knowledge may eventually take him in his career. "When I spent the year at Celtic at the academy, I had an idea and path where I wanted to go and how I was going to get there. And then, within 12 months, Roberto had phoned me and asked me to join him," he recalls. "So that path was not something I expected. "I'm very happy in the role I'm in now and very motivated to do the best I can at that and I've committed to Belgium for two years. After that, I can't plan for anything specific." Maloney started his coaching career with Celtic's youth team Belgian mentality & Scottish knowledge From Nou Camp to Anfield, Bundesliga to Serie A, Maloney traverses the world between international breaks assessing the form and qualities of Belgium's wealth of talent before assisting Martinez in ensuring their side are tactically aware, fit and mentally attuned for match day. While their charges have marched imperiously to the top of Scotland's qualifying group with a 100% record, Maloney has had half a pained eye on his home country's failure to challenge for the two automatic spots leading to the Euro 2020 finals - and their reliance now on a possible backdoor entry via the play-offs. Asked what Scotland could learn from Belgium's ability to punch above their weight in terms of population, he replies: "The players I played with at Scotland had a really good mentality. But when I watch the Belgian squad each day and when I watch the matches, in addition to the tactical intelligence and the technique, the one thing that impresses me is the mentality - no matter what the weather is like, the conditions, the opposition, they give 100% every day." Maloney retains a belief that current head coach Steve Clarke will turn Scotland round in the way he did with Kilmarnock but suggests that the Scottish FA set-up could do a better job of helping upcoming coaches "tap into" the wealth of knowledge gathered by past top-class managers such as Sir Alex Ferguson, Gordon Strachan and Walter Smith. However, when it is suggested that his own footballing education might one day result in him leading his country, Maloney goes no further than to reply: "It is an amazing job, but that's too far to be thinking about. Competing in next year's Euro finals and preparing for that - that's as far as I'm looking."
  13. That Robbo quote makes more sense in context: “I don’t care what game it is, I want to play it and my track record in the last five years has shown that. But I don’t want to pick up more injuries and ruin my season because of it. “The games in March are so big for us and will decide whether we go to a major tournament or not so we all have to be fully fit and fully firing and hopefully confident after these two results." “The call has been made and it has been taken out of my hands. It hurts as captain to miss out but I’ve had to be selfish for the first time in my career and let my body rest. “I’ve had to listen to the people around me when previously I would have told them to beat it. The fact my ankle has swollen up again has made it easier to miss these games." “For the last two and a half weeks I’ve not trained at all for Liverpool. I’ve trained the day before a game, missed a Champions League game other than the last 15 minutes against Genk and missed Arsenal in the League Cup. “It’s a niggling injury which won’t go away unless I give it time. If you know Liverpool and our schedule we don’t have time and after suffering another knock against Man City on Sunday it has gotten worse. “My ankle was already injured but Rodri tackled me late on in the middle of the park against Manchester City and it opened my ankle up again. “I was already a doubt but unfortunately that made it even worse and that sealed it. I probably knew that just as it happened. “For me, when I look back at my career so far I’ve played games I probably shouldn’t have due to injuries and I’ve maybe been lucky not to make it worse. “I am paid to play football and love playing football but if I keep playing this ankle is going to get worse and will be no use to anyone sitting on a treatment table. “I said to the manager after the Genk game that the manager at Liverpool didn’t want to take a chance and would put me on the bench. “The manager knew I was a doubt due to the concerns of my club but I told him I would be up with the lads before the team flies out to Cyprus.”
  14. To be honest, even with the pullouts, against a side like Cyprus I'd expect us to be the more dominant side with McGinn pushing further forward.
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