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Jack Harper

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3 hours ago, Third Lanark said:

I'd rather go Fletch, McB and Paterson; Phillips doesn't seem to play striker for WBA.

I think Eck likes Phillips versatility, so it gives him a extra winger to select from, as well as a target man to shove up front if needed.

2 hours ago, ProudScot said:

All you can say though is why pick guys 30-33 years old like Naismith & Fletcher when we have shown of late (finally) picking youngsters pays off 

Not perfect, but Fletcher had arguably his best two games in a Scotland shirt v Israel and Albania (not counting 6 goals v a glorified pub team who were not even in FIFA at the time), and I suspect (providing is fit) will be the first choice striker for the next year or so (Naimsith only got game time of late because he was all we had available, and for some reason Eck has not taken a shine to McBurnie).

Unless Harper's goals tally can really jump up in the next 2 months, I really doubt he will find his way into the squad this side of the summer, as McLiesh appears to be content with the options he has available up front at the moment.

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16 hours ago, Chripper said:

Really? Serves me right for trusting wiki. ;)

I've seen him for our under 21s and he does seem like an upgrade on McBurnie, so it's baffling why no one has taken him on loan.

I think there is a huge difference between looking good at players of your own  age and older players, not saying he wont be good just that it isn't a very strong argument.The fact he hasn't gone on loan surely that is Evertons decision surely.

 

On 1/20/2019 at 5:40 AM, ErsatzThistle said:

San Marino in March might be a good opportunity to give Jack Harper and maybe even Fraser Hornby a senior debut. Twenty or thirty minutes off the bench.

Not sure why, but I'm not a fan of giving strikers debut games against easy opposition just for the sake of it. Not sure what you learn that you don't all ready know. Not sure what the player learns either.

Think a few on here seem to have forgotten that Harper did next to nothing for the Brighton under 23's and is only looking decent now in the second tier of Spanish football.

La liga is better than the EPL doubt if anyone would suggest the Spanish second tier is better than the championship.

Sooner give the 3 and a half years younger Hornby any free time over Harper.

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3 hours ago, wanderer said:

 (Naimsith only got game time of late because he was all we had available, and for some reason Eck has not taken a shine to McBurnie).

 

Think that's harsh. He was picked as he was the best Scottish striker during that period. His play for Hearts over the past 12 months has been excellent and he brings real experience to the team.

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15 minutes ago, Lion Rampant said:

Good interview. He's had a good season, I'd be disappointed if he wasn't in the next squad. I wouldn't be surprised, though, McLeish probably doesn't even know about Jack Harper.

The journalist could've worded the ending a little bit differently, though:

"Gol de Harper, the kid who came in a caravan."

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16 minutes ago, Lion Rampant said:

Good read and interesting about being lined up for Stoke, then having to fall back on Brighton who signed him despite him being injured. Don't think we knew at the time that he was out due to injury and was being eased back in in the youth side. Glad he took positives from the experience even tho it didn't go as planned.

Not sure he warrants a call yet. Just 4 goals in 17 games. 365 mins per league goal.
Griff = 286
Fletch = 279
Russell = 218
McBurnie = 188
Christie = 159
Naismith = 157
Rhodes = 154
Burke = 105 (skewed a bit as he's played so few games)

Ofc Harpers' link up play could be amazing, I've not seen any of Malaga this season, but he's only got the 1 assist as well, so.. jury still out. But great that he's playing, starting every week and popular with the fans and manager. Means he's doing something right, even if his numbers aren't there yet. Seems to have picked up on Ronaldo's work ethic, and seems to be putting in a bit of extra graft himself, so fingers crossed it all adds up to him developing well over the next year or two.

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15 minutes ago, Chripper said:

The journalist could've worded the ending a little bit differently, though:

"Gol de Harper, the kid who came in a caravan."

I imagine it's something that's said by the Malaga fans, affectionately.

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2 minutes ago, andyD said:

I imagine it's something that's said by the Malaga fans, affectionately.

No. It's something that the Harper family said:

"The family joke about how the Scots came by caravan and by chance"

 

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5 minutes ago, Chripper said:

No. It's something that the Harper family said: 

"The family joke about how the Scots came by caravan and by chance"

Fair enough. Tho, if the existence of the joke is in the public domain (as it is now) then I'd be surprised if the Spanish fans hadn't picked up on it. It's the sort of thing that would appeal to the Spanish sense of humour, i think.

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Is he actually an out and out striker?

I remember when he was in the Madrid youth teams he was described as an attacking midfielder/number 10 so that could explain the low goal output.

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18 minutes ago, Tartan Chris said:

Is he actually an out and out striker?

I remember when he was in the Madrid youth teams he was described as an attacking midfielder/number 10 so that could explain the low goal output.

When I've seen him for Malaga he's playing up front, behind the striker and also out wide. I think his best position is just behind the main striker. He is good up front but I don't think he's a natural finisher.

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From what I've seen (a couple of games for Malta and few games for RMD U19s in the UEFA League) he's more used behind the 9. When he does play up front his role is less as the main goal threat and more similar to how S Fletcher was used in the last Scotland game. Get the ball to his feet and feed the runners.

Don't think he'll ever be a prolific goal scorer but he's got some good attributes that make him worth keeping an eye on. Good feet, quick without being lighting, strong, big enough to cause problems in the box at set pieces and be useful for defending them. He's make a good understudy to Fletcher if that the system McLeish wants to play going forward

 

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12 hours ago, SlamDuncan said:

From what I've seen (a couple of games for Malta and few games for RMD U19s in the UEFA League) he's more used behind the 9. When he does play up front his role is less as the main goal threat and more similar to how S Fletcher was used in the last Scotland game. Get the ball to his feet and feed the runners.

Don't think he'll ever be a prolific goal scorer but he's got some good attributes that make him worth keeping an eye on. Good feet, quick without being lighting, strong, big enough to cause problems in the box at set pieces and be useful for defending them. He's make a good understudy to Fletcher if that the system McLeish wants to play going forward

 

Yeah so in a 4-2-3-1/5-3-2 he'd be contender for number 10 role while likes of Fletcher and Mcburnie would be central striker.

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2 minutes ago, Tartan Chris said:

Yeah so in a 4-2-3-1/5-3-2 he'd be contender for number 10 role while likes of Fletcher and Mcburnie would be central striker.

I think he could play where Fletch did for the last 2 games. It wasn't like he was trying to get on the end of every chance, more just holding up the ball and bringing forrest, fraser & christie into play in the final third; something I think Harper would be capable of. The worry is that people will judge him solely on his goalscoring and not what he can bring to the team in terms of build up play.

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2 hours ago, Tartan Chris said:

Yeah so in a 4-2-3-1/5-3-2 he'd be contender for number 10 role while likes of Fletcher and Mcburnie would be central striker.

Not quite, I'd see him as the 1 in the 4-2-3-1 or central attacker in a 4-3-3 but in both scenarios would be looking to play the ball into his feet for him to feed the runners from wide or deep. Less about getting on the end of things in the box and more dropping deep, pulling out the CB's and making space for runners to get behind. Get the ball into his feet and he can either lay off to the runners or bounce it straight back to the deeper midfielders to play the through ball into the space behind he's created for the runners.

2 hours ago, csinclair said:

 The worry is that people will judge him solely on his goalscoring and not what he can bring to the team in terms of build up play.

Aye, unfortunately too many people watch football without ever understanding what they're watching. Our goal threats would be the wide/deep runners (Fraser/Forest/Christie etc) getting chances because of the work he does in the build up but you'll still have people moaning that he plays up front and doesn't score enough.

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2 hours ago, SlamDuncan said:

Not quite, I'd see him as the 1 in the 4-2-3-1 or central attacker in a 4-3-3 but in both scenarios would be looking to play the ball into his feet for him to feed the runners from wide or deep. Less about getting on the end of things in the box and more dropping deep, pulling out the CB's and making space for runners to get behind. Get the ball into his feet and he can either lay off to the runners or bounce it straight back to the deeper midfielders to play the through ball into the space behind he's created for the runners.

Aye, unfortunately too many people watch football without ever understanding what they're watching. Our goal threats would be the wide/deep runners (Fraser/Forest/Christie etc) getting chances because of the work he does in the build up but you'll still have people moaning that he plays up front and doesn't score enough.

I think part of the reason for Fletcher coming in for so much criticism under Strachan was that we didn’t have the same quality of runner and no 10 to benefit from Fletcher’s hold up and lay off play.

I thought the last 2 games were arguably Fletcher’s best for us but there’s no doubt his work is appreciated much more when there’s an end product to his unselfish work.

But aye I do agree with you that many don’t rate him purely because “doesn’t score enough goals”.

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54 minutes ago, Rab The Crab said:

I think part of the reason for Fletcher coming in for so much criticism under Strachan was that we didn’t have the same quality of runner and no 10 to benefit from Fletcher’s hold up and lay off play.

I thought the last 2 games were arguably Fletcher’s best for us but there’s no doubt his work is appreciated much more when there’s an end product to his unselfish work.

But aye I do agree with you that many don’t rate him purely because “doesn’t score enough goals”.

Fletcher was outstanding in the last two games. I see Hornby as his natural successor in terms of playing style.  Harper seems more direct to me although I’ve not seen that much of him, as yet. It’s encouraging that his career seems to be taking off. 

Edited by er yir macaroon

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On 2/8/2019 at 4:03 PM, Rab The Crab said:

But aye I do agree with you that many don’t rate him purely because “doesn’t score enough goals”. 

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.

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