Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
mrniaboc

An experiment in optimism

Recommended Posts

So I was trying to make myself even more optimistic about the current potential team and I thought why don't I compare it to a starting 11 from a couple of years ago (in a match where we did well) and see which players I couldn't replace with a better player now. So here is the squad from the 2-2 England match at Hampden in the last qualifiers with my opinions alongside:

Gordon -> Probably McGregor now
Tierney -> Still no-one outstandingly better better at RB
Robertson -> Now have even better version of Robbo
Berra -> Bates, Souttar, and McKenna are all better
Mulgrew -> Bates, Souttar, and McKenna are all better
Morrison -> Fraser, Forrest, Christie all better
Armstrong -> Still Armstrong
Brown -> McGregor has shown he can do the job to a reasonable level
Griffiths -> No-one clearly better, but Fletch did a great job stepping in, Naismith is doing well, and Burke is one to keep an eye on now.
Snodgrass -> Fraser, Forrest, Christie all better and Snoddy is still a great bench option
Anya -> Fraser, Forrest, Christie all better

So in summary I reckon with the exception of goalie, right back, and up front we have younger and better options than we did in the last campaign. That makes me very optimistic about the future!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not far wrong. :)

Keeper is pretty similar.
Defense feels a bit better, and younger, which is fantastic!
Midfield actually feels a lot better to me. We retain the ball so much better than we used to. McGregor is much quicker on the ball than Brown was, and Armstrong it benefiting from the faster play of the EPL. We've got pace and quality on both flanks, and Christie is a solid link player with a goal threat.
Up front we've got guys in form and others developing. Along side the normals, Rhodes is back in contention and Burke is starting to make a case as a center forward.

Things are looking up tbh. I'm still not convinced by McLeish long term, to weak link is in the dugout for me, but he seems to have been forced into accidentally playing our best team and now he kinda has to stick with it because it did well. So.. travelling hopefully.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, andyD said:

Not far wrong. :)

Keeper is pretty similar.
Defense feels a bit better, and younger, which is fantastic!
Midfield actually feels a lot better to me. We retain the ball so much better than we used to. McGregor is much quicker on the ball than Brown was, and Armstrong it benefiting from the faster play of the EPL. We've got pace and quality on both flanks, and Christie is a solid link player with a goal threat.
Up front we've got guys in form and others developing. Along side the normals, Rhodes is back in contention and Burke is starting to make a case as a center forward.

Things are looking up tbh. I'm still not convinced by McLeish long term, to weak link is in the dugout for me, but he seems to have been forced into accidentally playing our best team and now he kinda has to stick with it because it did well. So.. travelling hopefully.

Think you might well be the last person to give up on Jordan Rhodes, he has hardly played for Norwich all season despite being fully fit. But then that does fit into the title of the thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, er yir macaroon said:

We’ve got pace right through the side. It makes life so much easier. I think we’ll qualify without the backstop 🤔

I think that's the big difference between our current side and ones of the past decade. We've had some equally good, if not better footballers in the past but at times it seemed like Anya was our only player with any pace and he wasn't necessarily the quickest compared to the likes of Fraser now.

I think A. McGregor is probably the best he's ever been though I am starting to wonder who our next no 1 will be. Clark, Kelly & Bain all look alright but will any of them go on to be international quality?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/7/2019 at 6:29 PM, ceudmilefailte said:

Think you might well be the last person to give up on Jordan Rhodes, he has hardly played for Norwich all season despite being fully fit.

He's played only about 1 match less (in minutes) than Armstrong has in the Premier League, and I wouldn't say Armstrong's barely played. Rhodes' problem is that Norwich play 1 up top and Pukki is probably the best striker in the league right now (28 games, 20 goals, 6 assists).

Head to heads:

          mins   goals  assists  min/goal
McBurnie: 2466   13     4        190
Dobbie:   1772   19     3        93
Watt:     1754   2      4        877
Fletch:   1479   5      2        296
Harper:   1477   4      1        369
Naismith: 1410   9      3        157
Martin:   1064   1      4        1064
Rhodes:   926    6      0        154
Hardie:   691    5      0        138
Griff:    571    2      1        286
Burke:    351    3      0        105

Looking at that, McBurnie should be nailed on for a place.
Dobbie really should be too (but wont be).
Naismith should be in.
Then you have Burke, Hardie and Rhodes.. all in for the other 2 places.

I know Fletch contributes to the team in other ways, but his goal scoring at club and international level really is a worry. And given our next two games (Kazakhstan and San Marino) we want to be racking up as many goals as possible. If Burke continue his form for the next month and Hardie recaptures his, then I'd say they're in with a shout for sure. Else, to me, you're looking at Rhodes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/7/2019 at 11:37 PM, csinclair said:

Clark, Kelly & Bain all look alright but will any of them go on to be international quality?

Would add McLaughlin to that list, established and liked at Sunderland already, viewed as very consistent. I imagine he'll be playing week in week out in the Championship next season if Sunderland can shuffle some draws into wins, they've conceded just 1 more than the meanest defense in the league.

Can any of them step up. Time will tell. Clark's looked good to me, and Bain's yet to concede a league goal. If he keeps on like that we'll get a good look at him in Champions League games next season, so that'll be useful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always been in the pro Fletcher camp. Given the attacking midfielder we have, they can cause carnage if they have someone big and physical to play off of. I actually don't mind that Role for Phillips who is more mobile than Fletcher to come deeper/wide and allow for the likes of Forrest/Christie to ghost up ahead of him, even though I'm not totally convinced of his quality generally. Striker is definitely an open discussion.

As for defence I hope McLeish has learned not to go back to the 5 at the back system. A lot of that will depend on how or if he wants to accommodate Tierney in the team. I don't hate the prospect of him at Right back but that does get a lot of stick, even though I believe like the original poster said that we don't have infinitely better options there. I would again be interested if we could get Hutton out of international retirement (again controversial I know) but he can clearly still play to a level.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would welcome Hutton back with open arms, but I imagine that with playing every minute in the league he enjoys every second of rest he can get for his 34 year old bones. ;)

McBurnie is the form player, he's having the best season of anyone by a distance (except Dobbie ofc). Would be harsh to give teh shirt to someone else, tho i can certainly see the appeal of Burke's pace if he continues to score and improves his link up a bit in the next month.

For the March games, we're going into those as bit favourites and we can expect to be on the front foot for most of both games. I'd want a right footer at RB for them, so he can offer the overlap and delivery on the right side. So for me, it's Paterson and O'Donnell called up for RB in the next squad. For Belgium, in June, Tierney becomes a good shout.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, andyD said:

Would add McLaughlin to that list, established and liked at Sunderland already, viewed as very consistent. I imagine he'll be playing week in week out in the Championship next season if Sunderland can shuffle some draws into wins, they've conceded just 1 more than the meanest defense in the league.

 

Is that Barnsley? Any one got any idea how Liam Lyndsay is doing. Thought the fact that he looked as good as he did for a poor Thistle team at a young age was promising. His 42 games in the championship last year were rated quite highly by my beloved who scored.com

Hopefully no matter what happens we will see him playing at a higher level soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, ceudmilefailte said:

Is that Barnsley? Any one got any idea how Liam Lyndsay is doing. Thought the fact that he looked as good as he did for a poor Thistle team at a young age was promising. His 42 games in the championship last year were rated quite highly by my beloved who scored.com

Hopefully no matter what happens we will see him playing at a higher level soon.

Aye, Luton and Barnsley both on 27 conceded. Sunderland on 28.

Lindsay's playing basically every game, so can only assume he's doing a decent job. Luton are top and don't look like screwing up, lost just one game since Sept 9th, so got to fancy them for automatic promotion. We probably want Barnsley and Sunderland to come up too given the players at each of them. There's also Ali Crawford at Doncaster, or Siriki Dembele and Jason Naismith at Peterborough, so those sides being promoted wouldn't be a complete loss.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With both McGregor and Gordon now in their late 30s should we be looking now for potential replacements for the WC qualifiers?  Bain seems the obvious choice having displaced Gordon at Celtic but is he actually as good as the other 2 in their prime?  I've only really watched Sportscene highlights so I'm not the best person to provide an opinion.  

McGrorie is on loan at Morton for the rest of this season so it would be good see how he develops this season and over the next 2/3 years

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think if Ali Crawford wins a Scotland cap we are in big trouble. Very much doubt if Dembele(drifting out of starting 11) can play much higher than he is now.

Not too sure how far of being a good enough (right back? )for us Naismith is, but another we need to see at a higher level soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎2‎/‎13‎/‎2019 at 3:51 PM, andyD said:

 

McBurnie is the form player, he's having the best season of anyone by a distance (except Dobbie ofc). Would be harsh to give teh shirt to someone else, tho i can certainly see the appeal of Burke's pace if he continues to score and improves his link up a bit in the next month.

 

Surely I can't be the only one with zero confidence playing McBurnie up front? Far too anonymous on the handful of games he's had for me.

One point I forgot to make is generally I'm not convinced with McLeish's ability to pick a starting lineup. I genuinely think those last 2 Nations League games we found an effective starting 11 by accident our of necessity than anything else. Not gonna crucify him just yet though. Got to piss with the dick we've got.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, ceudmilefailte said:

I think if Ali Crawford wins a Scotland cap we are in big trouble. Very much doubt if Dembele(drifting out of starting 11) can play much higher than he is now.

Not too sure how far of being a good enough (right back? )for us Naismith is, but another we need to see at a higher level soon. 

Probably agree about Crawford, but then I saw Fleck a few times in League One and he was pretty rotten. Now he's suddenly one of the better midfielders in the Championship. So anything's possible. If, and it's certainly an if, any of those players can get promoted and regularly perform well in the Championship, then they're going to be in contention for a call.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, andyD said:

Probably agree about Crawford, but then I saw Fleck a few times in League One and he was pretty rotten. Now he's suddenly one of the better midfielders in the Championship. So anything's possible. If, and it's certainly an if, any of those players can get promoted and regularly perform well in the Championship, then they're going to be in contention for a call.

Think the difference between our views are that you want a 32 man squad and I want a 16 man one😉

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Squad for forthcoming games would be..

Scotland Squad

Goalkeepers

Alan McGregor
David Marshall
Scott Bain

Defenders

Stephen O'Donnell
Kieren Tierney
Andy Robertson
Barry Douglas
David Bates
John Souttar
Scott McKenna
Charlie Mulgrew

Midfielders

Calum McGregor
Stuart Armstrong
John Fleck
John McGinn
Ross McCrorie
Ryan Christie

Attackers

James Forrest
Ryan Fraser
Oliver Burke
Robert Snodgrass
Steven Fletcher
Oliver McBurnie
Jack Harper
 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, bazmidd said:

My Squad for forthcoming games would be..

Scotland Squad

Goalkeepers

Alan McGregor
David Marshall
Scott Bain

Defenders

Stephen O'Donnell
Kieren Tierney
Andy Robertson
Barry Douglas
David Bates
John Souttar
Scott McKenna
Charlie Mulgrew

Midfielders

Calum McGregor
Stuart Armstrong
John Fleck
John McGinn
Ross McCrorie
Ryan Christie

Attackers

James Forrest
Ryan Fraser
Oliver Burke
Robert Snodgrass
Steven Fletcher
Oliver McBurnie
Jack Harper
 

 

3 left backs? why?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, bazmidd said:

My Squad for forthcoming games would be..

Scotland Squad

Goalkeepers

Alan McGregor
David Marshall
Scott Bain

Defenders

Stephen O'Donnell
Kieren Tierney
Andy Robertson
Barry Douglas
David Bates
John Souttar
Scott McKenna
Charlie Mulgrew

Midfielders

Calum McGregor
Stuart Armstrong
John Fleck
John McGinn
Ross McCrorie
Ryan Christie

Attackers

James Forrest
Ryan Fraser
Oliver Burke
Robert Snodgrass
Steven Fletcher
Oliver McBurnie
Jack Harper
 

 

Good squad. I’d still keep Naismith in, though. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Shoehorning players into positions they do not play for their club cost us big-time in Israel.

For that reason, Tierney should not be considered at right back unless O'Donnell is injured. And even if O'Donnell were injured, a naturally right sided player would be preferable to Tierney.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, that Celtic loss to Valencia has come as a bit of a reality check, given that our favoured starting line-up is heavily Celtic-based. The best team in Scotland  in top form is roundly beaten by a Spanish side supposedly not in the right frame of mind and missing key players. We need as many EPL  players as we can get; the likes of Fraser face at least one international-class opponent every week, while drubbing St Johnstone and Hamilton just doesn't compare. So - Snodgrass to come back please, and Armstrong, even if he doesn't play each week. No more of this - " the bottom half of the EPL is distinctly average, blah, blah, blah.."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, Third Lanark said:

Well, that Celtic loss to Valencia has come as a bit of a reality check, given that our favoured starting line-up is heavily Celtic-based. The best team in Scotland  in top form is roundly beaten by a Spanish side supposedly not in the right frame of mind and missing key players. We need as many EPL  players as we can get; the likes of Fraser face at least one international-class opponent every week, while drubbing St Johnstone and Hamilton just doesn't compare. So - Snodgrass to come back please, and Armstrong, even if he doesn't play each week. No more of this - " the bottom half of the EPL is distinctly average, blah, blah, blah.."

I'm a bit concerned that Armstrong hasn't been playing as much under the new Southampton manager. He definitely looked like one of the better players in a struggling side.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, csinclair said:

I'm a bit concerned that Armstrong hasn't been playing as much under the new Southampton manager. He definitely looked like one of the better players in a struggling side.

You don't need to be playing every single game. England have regulars that don't start every week ( Loftus- Cheek, Barkley, Trippier etc.) but they still stick with them rather than go to  Championship regulars.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...