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Winter of '63

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About Winter of '63

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  1. Livingston 2nd leg

    We have sleep-walked into a desperately disappointing and potentially disastrous relegation. The most galling thing is that we wouldn't have had to have been very much better to have avoided this but we spurned so many opportunities to escape that we deserved to go down. I don't necessarily go with the line that our players didn't try...they just don't have the right mix of ability and nerve. Other than the full backs, I reckoned that the side selected was our best line-up, we tried to pass the ball and switch play but the fundamental flaws in this side were still there...we just don't make many clear cut chances. Neither McGinn or Elliot can beat their man or put in a decent cross and that makes it relatively easy to defend against us. When we started shelling high balls into the box, I knew the game was up. It feels like the end of an era. I'm sure Doolan and Eskine will be far more gutted at what happened than any supporter but they both had poor games today....Lawless had probably his best game ever and no doubt will find a club in the top League. McCarthy did not have a good game but he should have played more particularly in the first half of the season - it might be best for him to move on. Cerny is a good keeper - why wasn't he told before today to release the ball early instead of punting it up the park? Of the rest, Booth is a decent left back, Barton has shown only glimpses of his ability on the ball but been very poor in midfield, Spittal has potential and had an excellent game today...I wouldn't miss any of the others if they didn't play for Thistle again. Presumably, there were off-field issues but I am mystified why Gary Fraser was given an extension to his contract and then sent on loan while a journeyman in Woods played every game?...and why did Dumbuya not play either when he is better than McGinn and Elliot?...and what happened to Abdul Osman? In the Season's defining moment he lay on the ground supposedly injured and left the space for Dundee to score their equaliser which sent us on the downward spiral to the Championship. Archie is a real Thistle man and I hoped it would turn out differently but unfortunately there have been too many faults that can only be put down to managerial errors.
  2. Who Are The Jags Players In This Photo?

    This was the first game I saw at Firhill...we were on a long unbeaten run and as I have mentioned on here before there was uproar when the half-time results went up on the old scoreboard as we were top of the League...and then came the Winter of '63
  3. Thistle v Motherwell

    It's a draining experience supporting Patrick Thistle. Tonight was the season in miniature - we started reasonably well, the opposition didn't look a better team, we didn't make many clear chances, we lost a soft goal and we didn't get the break that might have got us a point.. I haven't been to any away games and I miss out on Old Firm games but only Dundee in the first game at Firhill have outplayed us...and we won that game. I haven't actually seen us play well or embarrassingly badly this season, just a whole series of frustratingly ordinary performances. Barton looked classy then disappeared, not for the first time this season Erskine's substitution lessened the prospect of us creating chances, Doolan is more likely to score than Sammon, Storey has not been a good signing, we missed McCarthy & Booth...and how was Edwards voted Man of the Match? He runs about like a terrier after the ball but seldom wins it, he lacks composure on the ball, he seldom plays an incisive pass or runs past defenders...he has been a regular in the side for most of the season which has frequently been over-run in midfield. We have beaten a poor Hamilton side twice at Firhill, they have lost a fortune and their best players , they have stuck with their uninsp[ring manager and they have lost 8 of their last 9 games...and they are safe from relegation. Even with the flaws in the team, we should have done better...our League position reflects the failure of the management and players to step up to show the character and ability to win matches when it matters. We haven't been good enough this season but we can still stay up...if we do, the Club will have some tough decisions to make to improve the performance of the team.
  4. Ross County 4/5/18

    We started quite well, scored a good goal and finished strongly in the last 10 minutes but we did next to nothing for most of the second half - a draw was a fair result. County looked a better side than Hamilton but if we can't win these games, we won't stay up and won't deserve to. We might make the play-off but my confidence that we will beat the Championship side is not high. The backing from the Thistle fans was impressive and you couldn't fault the team for commitment...Chris Erskine in particular gave everything and was a threat. McCarthy again looked a decent player though he faded a bit. However, we lacked composure and incisive passing - Barton and Spittal showed brief glimpses that they have the ability but they just haven't contributed enough this season. We really missed Booth's deliveries from the left wing...Elliot had a poor game and his crossing was dreadful. I have never been convinced that Sammon is a great asset to the team and he was pretty hopeless tonight. I never expect Storey to make a good cross or pass or do anything other than run quickly in the direction he;s pointed. It's very disappointing that the strong position we were in this time last season with money in the bank from the top-six finish and the sale of Liam Lindsay has been squandered on relegation standard signings and injury-stricken players. The split certainly generates exciting and meaningful games at the end of the season though.
  5. Hamilton

    There was a genuinely supportive atmosphere , I was pleased with the side Archie picked, we came back from losing a goal and won 3 absolutely crucial points. I was however less upbeat about the day than I might have been. We probably deserved the win and Hamilton were not particularly good but the key substitution was Templeton going off - apart from the goal he was involved in creating four clear chances with our defence posted missing. In the previous four seasons, I thought we were clearly a better side than several in the Division and didn't think we deserved to be relegated...I'm not sure that's true this season. Cerny, Erskine & Doolan are still good players but getting older, Osman, Dumbuya & Barton are no longer the assets they were and Bannigan may never recover. Booth is a decent full back and McCarthy looks very promising but pretty much the rest of the squad is of a standard which is likely to struggle to avoid relegation. We pass the ball quite well but it is a repeating pattern that we get into good attacking positions but don't make many chances. Sammon did ok but his clumsy touch when Erskine put him through shows he is not the solution. I still think we have a reasonable chance of avoiding the drop mainly because the other sides are not any better than us . If we stay up, we will have to find a way to improve.
  6. Motherwell

    I can't remember if it's two or three times that Motherwell have not been relegated from the top League despite finishing bottom. They escaped the drop because Falkirk didn't meet the SPL Stadium criteria but the following season voted to relegate Thistle when Inverness didn't have a compliant stadium...and Motherewell were in Administration. They have benefited from being a favoured club whereas Thistle have had to take their medicine so it's hardly surprising that they have had a little more success...and our record in Cup games has been absolutely abysmal for the past 40 years.
  7. Post Split Fixtures

    It's an Omen!
  8. Post Split Fixtures

    My understanding is that the post-split fixtures will be (not necessarily in this order) Motherwell - Home - 3 St Johnstone - Away - 3 Dundee - Away - 0 Hamilton - Home - 3 Ross County - Home - 3 I have added the points taken from the corresponding fixtures this season - just the 12 and Dundee have a far worse home record than we do. We are apparently nowhere as good as any of these sides, trailing a massive one point behind Ross County and with Hamilton (1 point), Dundee (2points) and Motherwell (3 points) all on tremendous form over the last 5 games. We are as good as relegated , I'm not sure it's even worth playing the games. I think our only chance it to tempt Csaba Laszlo away from Dundee United - he has turned their season around after they sacked their under-performing manager.
  9. Kilmarnock 7/4/18

    My half-time text report to a Thistle Fan in England read - Even Game- Dopey Goal - Osman having a nightmare - we just need a lucky break - don't think we will get it. I can recall truly awful performances (both 0-4 defeats to Clyde) when it was clearly time for Whyte/Britton & Dick Campbell to go - today's performance was nowhere near that bad - in fact we played not too badly - some outstanding defensive blocks from Killie defenders, the ball not falling to a Thistle player in the box, MacDonald handling outside the area meant we didn't get the draw we deserved . Although Steve Clarke'assessment that we huffed and puffed is accurate he did accept that his side was pushed back in the second half - I can't remember a single threat to our goal from the League's form side. It doesn't hide the flaws - our passing isn't sharp enough, our crossing was poor and we lack a goal threat. And what has happened to Abdul Osman? He used to be an effective defensive shield but today he hardly won a header or tackle and his passing was dreadful. Under no pressure, he let the ball run under his feet, from the throw in he conceded a needless foul and our defence fell asleep to lose another soft goal. I have reservations about Barton in midfield but I thought he should have replaced Osman far earlier. The Bench was not crammed with game-changers - Sammon was again ineffective and I would also have had Doolan on earlier (preferably at the start). Andy McCarthy had an excellent game . The whole Club - Board , Management, Players and Fans - have sleep-walked into a Relegation Paralysis and we desperately need to get a win from somewhere to break the spell. I'm not convinced the other teams in the bottom six are any better than us so I haven't given up on survival yet. When leaving Firhill today, I heard someone loudly proclaiming that he wanted John Hughes in - I'll never be that desperate.
  10. Why has it went so wrong?

    In the context of the importance of the game, the 4-0 loss to Ross County was possibly the worst defeat in the entire time I have supported Partick Thistle...the loss to Ayr United in the Play-Off game is the only one I can think of which comes close. The management and players have let us down very badly. I sensed we were in real trouble when Ian McCall who is the only Jags-Minded Pundit and a friend of Archie commented recently that for the first time he was worried about Thistle. Had he heard that the spirit at the club was not good? It's a shame but Archie has lost his way this season - what previously came over as quiet determination now sounds passive and uninspiring. We picked up additional money for finishing sixth last season - not a fluke, we were clearly the sixth best side in the League. We also collected a reasonable transfer fee for Liam Lindsay. There were warning signs towards the end of last season but these funds have not been applied to good effect. Bannigan, Fraser & Dumbuya are talented footballers but with known injury problems. Storey has pace but little footballing ability - Sammon has been ok but neither of them fit the quick passing and movement style of play which has made Thistle worth watching over the last seasons. I don't particularly rate many of our players - McGinn and Woods are journeymen, Devine lacks composure, Keown was decent last season but less impressive this year, Edwards is not very good, Barton poor in midfield and his confidence looks shattered. I would liked to have seen more of McCarthy and I haven't ever seen Penrice play. I want to see players with skill and creativity but whether through injuries or non-selection Erskine, Doolan, Lawless and Spittal have not contributed enough - the fact that Lawless's commitment as an emergency left back is noteworthy speaks for itself. Osman has been a declining force for some time but his defensive cover was missed when he wasn't playing. However, the defining moment of the season was late in the game against Dundee - Osman who clearly prides himself on his physique, lay down "injured" leaving the space for their crucial equaliser. It's been a disjointed season - players out injured ( why is Bannigan's fitness a secret?) and Old Firm games, International Weekends and weather postponements has made attending Firhill an irregular occurrence. The most galling thing is that in most games although we haven't played well, I didn't leave Firhill thinking that Aberdeen, Hearts, Hibs and Dundee were better than us - Hamilton, Ross County and St Johnstone were worse. The standard in the Championship seems to be poor this season, and if we finished eleventh, I would expect us to win. Posters who are accusing the players of lacking fight seem to have themselves already accepted we are relegated, with the Training Complex abandoned and the club confined to years in the lower Leagues. I haven't given up yet - we have taken 12 points out of 15 from the post-split fixtures - but the general negativity does not bode well. The worst thing about the season has been the gleeful "I told you so" enthusiasm of some posters after every bad result, simply parroting "Archie must go"" without any insight into the problems or sensible suggestions for a replacement - Steve Clark, Jack Ross, Peter Houston, John Hughes?? Sacking a manager is no guarantee of improvement - Owen Coyle was not a success at County or John Hughes at Raith. The most fervent and repetitive critic has not as far as I can tell been at a single game this season. They are all going to feel stupid when we finish the season with six successive victories
  11. Thistle vs Aberdeen - Game On

    A dreich day with driving rain and a sodden pitch...but it was a poor quality game with both sets of supporters a bit quiet. It's been a strange season...I'm not sure that I have actually seen us play well this season but in the home games against Hibs, Hearts & Aberdeen, I didn't leave Firhill thinking they were better teams that us. Aberdeen were less impressive than any time I have seen them since we were promoted - one shot on target speaks for itself. I have never been a fan of Christie Elliot but he was playing well before his injury and had an excellent game today. Booth struggled in the first half though he did improve in the second...but credit to the entire defence - other than two chances in the first half, Aberdeen didn't look like scoring...even in the last 5 minutes. Woods and McCarthy did a lot of grafting in midfield and matched the highly rated Dons midfielders...young Andy's performance did make me wonder why he hasn't played more often particularly when Barton & Edwards were so ineffective there. We didn't look much like scoring either...I don't think Sammon had a meaningful touch of the ball in the whole game...Storey and Edwards will surely produce impressive sport science statistics with all their running but they repeatedly fail to play the right ball. I was a long way from the incident but when Erskine was going through, I had no doubt it was a foul and the only question I had was if it was a red card...a little surprising that the ref waved play on. I suppose it was a decent point...but the losses with those late goals in the two previous games have put us under real pressure.
  12. Our best 11

    I have missed a few Home Games and haven't been to any Away Games but the first half performance on Saturday was the best I have seen us play this season - we retained possession and looked a much better side than Dundee. Dumbuya, Osman & Erskine although not at their best made important contributions. They faded in the second half as did the team as a unit. I rate Barton as an outstanding talent in the sweeper role and would like to see a formation which allows him to play there...but not in midfield. I can see a case for Storey & Edwards as impact substitutes but neither would be in my best starting line-up. I would be happy to see McCarthy & Penrice given more game time - we could do with some young legs for later stages of the game.
  13. Dundee 17/2/18

    I think this might have been when Woods hit a raking crossfield pass to an unmarked Thistle player in yards of space - unfortunately it was Kris Doolan who was on the touchline waiting to come on as substitute. I don't have any issue with or interest in Osman's clothing sideline but for someone with such a muscular physique , I'm more concerned about the time he took to get up from a knock which left a gap in the lead up to their goal. There is some legitimate criticism to be made of Archie's management, particularly fitness/stamina and the repeated loss of late points and goals. However, I don't have much time for Posters who seem to take a gleeful delight in calling for the manager's head without any further insight...but maybe that's because they don't actually seem to go to any games.
  14. Dundee 17/2/18

    We fluked a win against Dundee earlier this season with two late goals so I guess this was payback today. It's a movie we have seen far too often - we played reasonably well in the first half with success down both wings - Storey and Booth had loads of space to run at Dundee's hopeless right back . We moved the ball quite well without making many clear chances. I'm not sure why we changed our formation - Storey was ineffective in the second half. Dundee were a poor side and low on confidence. Instead of keeping a grip of the game - a second goal would surely have ended the contest - we sat deeper and encouraged Dundee to come forward with our midfield failing to win the ball or play it out of defence. Osman, Woods & Dumbuya ran out of steam and Edwards yet again made poor choices and had little influence on the game...and on one of the few occasions when we had the chance to play in their half, he let the ball run under his foot and out of play- from a good attacking position, we almost immediately conceded the equaliser. The most galling thing was that a win would have taken us above Dundee and St Johnstone and 4 points clear of Hamilton - instead we let Dundee take a huge confidence boost. The League Table doesn't look good - what a wasted opportunity!
  15. Who Are The Jags Players In This Photo?

    Could this have been a game in the Summer Cup Competition which ran for a couple of seasons in the 1960's ? It would explain the short-sleeved shirts.