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Winter of '63

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About Winter of '63

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  1. Who Are The Jags Players In This Photo?

    I think the Thistle Player in the top photograph is Donnie McDowall - I don't remember seeing him play but he was a youngster who was in team photos around 1970/71 - he was a 5ft 5inch striker which was probably why he never made the grade. This must have been a reserve game.
  2. Ryan Edwards

    I wasn't listening particularly closely but I think it was Alan Preston who mentioned on Radio Scotland yesterday that Ryan Edwards was sitting nearby in the stand at Tynecastle - he commented that there were other Hearts midfielders returning from injury who would be preferred to him and that Edwards would be no more than a squad player. Edwards always tried but I was surprised when Hearts signed him...he and Barton were a midfield combination of relegation calibre.
  3. Who Are The Jags Players In This Photo?

    I was at that game - it was a Cup Replay played on a Wednesday afternoon during the Miners'Strike/3 day week - no floodlight games permitted because of the fuel shortage. I don't recognise any of the Hearts players in the photo but do remember Donald Ford was brilliant in that game - probably the best individual performance I've seen from an opposition player at Firhill - a goal and three assists, setting up a tap-in hat-trick for Willie Gibson who I think subsequently played (not very well ) for Thistle as did his son. Tommy Rae scored a lot of goals for Thistle in his first spell...and hardly any for Aberdeen when he was transferred. I just remember him from his second spell at Firhill - he wasn't very good but he was in the category of "faithful club servant".
  4. Thistle vs Falkirk - Relegation Decider?

    Much better performance and a deserved win although Falkirk were a poor side - we are short of players but I prefer giving our youngsters a chance than their job lot of anonymous English Lower League Plodders. O'Ware and Slater are decent signings who are an upgrade on Devine and Edwards...Penrice and Gordon stepped up their games...Spittal and Storer threatened a few times but didn't quite open up their defence. I'm not convinced that Elliot is good enough at right back nor that Storey is a sole striker...his pace did stretch their defence but he fired in crosses to no one and was caught offside umpteen times. Erskine had an excellent game...I'm sure Denis McQuade would have enjoyed seeing the goal...reminiscent of one of his specials. A moving tribute to the Partick Thistle Legend, David McParland and great to see most of the 1971 team back at Firhill...it brought back some wonderful memories...and reminded me that supporting your team is far more than just about a game. Jury still out about the prospects for the season.
  5. Seven figure sum?

    We were 6th at New Year.
  6. Ayr at home

    My first look at the team this season was a real shock to the system. I thought we had the core of a side which would at least make the play-off position which is the minimum acceptable for a Thistle Side and with a fit Bannigan and some more depth to the squad, would be genuine promotion prospects. However today's performance showed the same faults as last season but worse. Lots of possession, ponderous build-up , few clear chances, easy to defend against - in his post-match interview Archie correctly identified that we moved the ball too slowly - when is he going to do something about it? Craig Slater looked a good player - strange substitution; Erskine tried very hard and showed a few flashes; young Fitzpatrick wanted to go forward...that was about all the positives. I never expected I would see Elliot dribble along the bye-line and lay on a goal - a catastrophic error; Keown was rusty/not very good; McGinty was a really bad version of Dan Seaborne; Penrice was awful and lacking confidence; Gordon's sole contribution was one good tackle - McCarthy did far more in his short spell - why are we playing an inferior loan player?; Spittal has ability but didn't show it; Storer can make an incisive pass but is an atrocity waiting to happen. I was baffled at the almost universal acclaim for re-signing Storey on this Forum and Pie & Bovril. He was desperately poor last season - he can run quickly but can't pick out a pass or cross and is a dreadful finisher...a sclaffed shot and heading wide with the goal gaping today with repeated failures to look up and find a team-mate from good positions. Last season I kept posting that although we hadn't played well the opposition didn't look a better team - that wasn't the case today. Fantastic Strike from Shankland - I almost applauded.
  7. Davie McParland

    Although Davie McParland played in all the games my father took me to at Firhill back in the 60's, I was too young then to appreciate how good a player he was, I do remember how highly he was thought off both for his ability but also the manner he conducted himself and not only by Thistle fans. 587 Games and 110 Goals speaks for itself. I has just started to go to games regularly on my own when he took over as Manager in 1970 - he transformed a team which had just been relegated into an exciting side of home-grown youngsters which surged to promotion...and then the best time ever to be a Thistle fan within the space of a few months in 1971 the John Gibson inspired win against Rangers, the astonishing 8-3 game against Motherwell, the dramatic 5-1 Quarter-final victory against St Johnstone and of course that glorious day at Hampden , winning a trophy in the most sensational game in Scottish Football History. I don't really get greatly affected by the death of people I have never met but I was genuinely sad to read of Davie McParland's passing. He gave me my best ever memories as a Thistle Supporter. He is the Partick Thistle Legend...but sadly I always had the feeling that he was never fully recognised by the Club. Let's hope that the new Training Ground is a fitting legacy for him.
  8. Cerny

    Cerny was a very competent Keeper. I commented previously that he, Erskine, Doolan & a fit Bannigan were undoubtedly players of Top League calibre so I can hardly blame him for moving on. Unfortunately, the combined efforts of players and management last season did not reach even the low bar which would have avoided relegation. He does have a reputation as an ace time-waster which is not a quality I admire but I always thought he was just slow and laborious in taking goal kicks, even when we were losing. I was more concerned about his failure to release the ball quickly - he always waited until all outfield players were congested in a small area of the pitch before launching a hopeful punt towards the head of the tallest opposition defender. I didn't know whether to be pleased or annoyed when he actually had a few quick throw outs in the game against Livingston. Last season was not his best but considering that the two worst goalkeeping blunders I saw at Firhill were by McLaughlin of Hearts and Bain of Dundee - they were Scotland's Keepers against Mexico - it adds to my bewilderment that we managed to get relegated.
  9. Playing Squad Update

    The injured players, or at least the midfielders, didn't return. Banzo played a few games at the beginning of the season and there were indications that he would be back after the Winter Break; Fraser finally recovered from injury but almost literally didn't kick a ball for us...apart from the one that whacked that Celtic Fan; and Osman did come back but chose to lie down "injured" while Dundee equalised. Around this time last year when Sean Welsh was released, several posted on here to the effect that we had plenty midfielders but I had reservations about the fitness history of Bannigan, Fraser & Osman, the capabilities of Barton & Edwards and the inexperience of McCarthy. There's no doubt we suffered from injuries but that doesn't absolve Archie from responsibility for not foreseeing and solving the problems.
  10. Club Statement Archie

    Last night I watched the video of our 5-0 victory against St Mirren in the League Cup at the beginning of the Season. Erskine, Lawless, Doolan & Spittal were superb. I don't know if that's the Partick Thistle way...but it's definitely the way I would like Partick Thistle to play. Stuart Bannigan was in the side...the only warning sign for the season which unfolded was Abdul Osman stupidly getting himself sent off. Somehow we ended up getting relegated - St Mirren were promoted...I'm still trying to get my head round this and don't have even the remotest idea of what might happen next year.
  11. New Management

    I got a bit riled by the "Archie Out" Parrots who were on here every time we lost a game...or even when we lost a goal. The most vociferous and repetitive seldom seemed to go to games and their suggestions for replacements were pretty ludicrous. Sacking a manager is not a guarantee of a improved fortunes - I think the statistics show it usually doesn't make much difference. Ross County sacked two managers and went down, Hamilton held on to Canning and survived. West Brom, Stoke & Swansea all sacked their managers and were relegated. My view was that Archie deserved the full season - sadly he failed. I was however a regular critic of many of the obvious flaws in the Team which were clearly down to management failings. They have been raised on here over and over again. I would add that on Sunday, Cerny for the first time had been told to release the ball quickly to our back four whereas for the rest of the season he waited until all 20 outfield congregated in a small area of the pitch before punting the ball upfield for us to lose possession. However, building from the back only works if you have quick full backs or wingers who can commit defenders rather than whole-hearted but limited players like McGinn & Elliot. There is no reasonable argument in the harsh world of professional sport to keep Archie on after his failings this season. In any event, whoever takes over is likely to face a very tough task. I suspect that almost all the current squad will not be at Firhill - Cerny, Erskine, Doolan and a fit Bannigan deserve to be playing in the top league but if they are here with McCarthy & Penrice (and maybe Spittal) we have the basis of a team which might actually challenge for promotion. However, the thought of watching Storey, Edwards and Elliot again is not inspiring and I'm not sure that it will be easy to recruit players who are actually better than Devine, Woods & Sammon far less of the quality of Osman, Dumbuya or Barton (before this season.) Of the suggested candidates, Jim Goodwin has done quite well at Alloa and comes over as a determined and focused guy. I actually warmed to him a bit when I heard him as co-.commentator when we played Airdrie in the League Cup at the beginning of last season - he knew a huge amount about every one of our players. I'm not very enthused about any of the other candidates but who knows. Giving Archie the chance to put things right is not the worst option. I am still coming to terms with how avoidable relegation was, even considering how poor we were. I think surviving this season was far easier than getting promoted next year will be.
  12. 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.
  13. 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
  14. 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.
  15. 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.