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Winter of '63

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  1. Winter of '63

    Stats Watch 2018-19

    Ian Spittal who I think is Blair's father played for Thistle in the 1980's
  2. Winter of '63

    Dunfermline 8/12/18

    I'm not sure what to make of that today. Yet again my heart sank when I saw the line-up...Dunfermline hit the woodwork twice, Sneddon has two good saves and they failed to hit the target with a few decent chances...but it still felt like a reasonably comfortable win. Dunfermline were a poor side and it confirmed that the current squad properly organised and motivated should be nearer the top than bottom of this League...Bannigan is too good to be playing at this level, Spittal had a fine game, Penrice was good going forward if a bit dopey sometimes in defence and Elliot looked much better. Not sure about Scobbie and can't say I noticed Jeffries do anything but we kept a clean sheet. Mutombo showed one great bit of skill but was otherwise wasteful...I'm not sure we will see much more of him. Storey scored!!...though from Camallain's video it didn't look as if it crossed the line...and he failed to score with three one-on-ones with the Keeper. The win should give a badly-needed confidence boost so let's hope it's onwards and upwards...we couldn't have gone any further downwards.
  3. Winter of '63

    Falkirk vs. Thistle

    Storey has managed 3 Goals in about 50 appearances. I mentioned this is a recent Match Thread but can anyone remember any goal where he has had an assist? I genuinely can't think of a single one.
  4. Winter of '63

    Falkirk vs. Thistle

    Listened to Radio Scotland - Alan Preston and Derek Ferguson made the obvious points - underachieving with these players - we're poor and lack confidence - slow build-up with no penetration - no service to Doolan - Storey is hopeless - better with Erskine on. Falkirk Manager gave a realistic assessment of his team's performance - Caldwell said we were fantastic, etc. It's early days but I'm having serious doubts about Caldwell - he's continued Archie's failings and added some more.
  5. Winter of '63


    Bannigan, Fraser, Osman & Dumbuya were on the long-term injury list last season and were all expected to return after the Winter Break in January...for a variety of reasons, they barely kicked a ball for us...just about their only noteworthy contribution was Gary Fraser blasting the ball into the stand at Parkhead and whacking a Celtic fan, If any one of them had got back to anywhere near the form they were capable of, we wouldn't have been relegated.
  6. Winter of '63

    ICT vs. Thistle

    I wasn't exactly feeling positive but we were reasonably good in the first half today and though we fell out of things in the second half, we probably deserved at least a draw - a penalty miss and unfortunately young Fitzpatrick made a mess of a great late chance set up by Doolan. Spittal was very good in the first half with a tremendous run and pass,,,but reverted to his more usual form in the second half. Likewise Storey fired in a couple of decent crosses early on but did little after the break - his scoring record is pathetic and I don't remember him ever having an assist. It was disappointing that in the second half, we seemed edgy in possession and hit too many aimless long balls to our small front men but the team and individual performances were ok - we didn't look like a relegation team but we have just got into the habit of losing. With Storey & Spittal both playing wide, Inverness had a lot of space to play through the midfield but it least we weren't the absolute shambles we looked from the highlights from Cappielow. We have a core of decent players and the jury is very much out on Caldwell...played 4 - lost 4 and in the relegation play-off position - if we had won these four, which shouldn't have been beyond us, we would have been in the play-off spot for promotion. It wasn't a big turn-out of Thistle fans but they were admirably supportive. I'm not sure that will last if we don't get a win very soon.
  7. Winter of '63

    Morton vs. Thistle

    I criticised posters last year who were making judgements on players and the manager when they weren't at the game...and I thought that Gary Caldwell was a reasonable choice as manager if only because I didn't want McIntyre or Hughes. However, I did fear he might be like Derek Whyte - a top level playing career despite never looking particularly great and a well-scrubbed but bland media persona who talked a good game but totally failed to deliver as Thistle manager. I wasn't at Cappielow, but the early signs are worrying - I have shaken my head at each of Caldwell's three team selections and the results and performances have been awful. I thought any manager would almost immediately have identified the obvious flaws - that Storey has started all 3 games makes me wonder. McGinty is a mediocre player but like the rest of our back four there isn't another option. If the reports that his substitution was tactical, this looks like an appalling managerial decision...then playing the hapless Elliot at centre back seems absurd. The apparent threats of a clear out in January are hardly conducive to building confidence and a team-spirit. The recruitment for this season was very poor and we have an unbalanced squad. Penrice was highly regarded on loan at East Fife and Livingston but has looked uncertain, the rest of the back four needs upgrading. I wouldn't be disappointed to see Mutombo, Storer and Storey move on. However, Bannigan, Slater, Erskine & Doolan are certainly good Championship Players, McCarthy and Fitzpatrick have looked well worth their places and Quitongo and Coulibally if fit are surely good enough at this level I don't go along with the idea that we are somehow going to find a whole team of better quality players in January - Mark Ridgers, Danny Devine, James Craigen, Mark Kerr & Declan McDaid are all regulars in teams higher up the League than us but I don't think they would improve our team - Ian McCall is getting the most out of his players...there is no sign that Caldwell is on the right course to get the best out of our squad despite having far superior resources. We may of course be looking back in May on the Morton result as a low point as we celebrate the great turnaround which brought us a spectacular promotion...but somehow I doubt it.
  8. Winter of '63

    Thistle vs. Ayr

    As against Alloa, Gary Caldwell's team selection raised an eyebrow...and I can't say it's worked out well for him so far. It's early days but there was little to be positive about today's performance...already it looks likely to be at best a season when we finish among the also-rans in the Division when it shouldn't be that difficult to reach a play-off spot - Ayr were pretty ordinary today but are almost out of sight. It was an even and uninspiring game but there was no danger of us equalising after they scored. Of the players I like, Banzo had perhaps his poorest game , Penrice was uncertain and Erskine didn't do much when he came on...of the rest, Elliot & Storey had better games but I actually thought Storey had been subbed in the second half because he completely disappeared. Quitongo looked completely isolated in the 4-3-3 formation and Mtumbo, Spittal and Storer did not contribute nearly enough. There is no sign of a brave new era yet...the only thing on the up at Firhill just now is a sense of apathy.
  9. Winter of '63

    Gary Caldwell confirmation

    This appointment ticks a lot of boxes so credit to the Board. Gary Caldwell had a distinguished playing career and has management experience - he comes over as a man with a plan who puts a degree of thought and planning into his role. I don't know anything about his assistant Brian Kerr but it looks a shrewd move to bring in someone with local knowledge. Partick Thistle are a club with a sound financial base, a Board who are not trigger happy with managers, there will be a new Training Facility and there is an untapped fan base - it's a fantastic opportunity for a manager to make his name. We also have some good players in the squad - Bannigan, Erskine, Doolan, Slater and Bell are decent professionals and Penrice, McCarthy, Quitongo and Fitzpatrick have talent which can be developed. The defence badly needs sorting but a former Scotland central defender should be able to improve this although he will need a transfer window. A play-off place with a team which has a realistic chance of going up is an achievable target - anything less will be something of a disappointment. Thistle should always be a top flight club or at least seriously challenging to get there...we can't afford to slip back to the mediocrity of every manager except Lambie from Benny Rooney to Dick Campbell. Gary talks the talk...let's hope he can walk the walk...good luck to him!
  10. Winter of '63

    Thistle v Dundee Utd

    Unfortunately, Archie's legacy of an unbalanced squad will hamstring the club at least until the next transfer window regardless of who the new manager is. Dundee Utd looked a very slick outfit for the first hour - by a distance the best team I've seen at Firhill this season and I suspect they will win the League comfortably. The last half hour was encouraging though, with the eleven who finished the game possibly our strongest side...though there were two decent crosses from the right which Doolan might have finished...he's hardly had a decent pass or cross all season. Banzo didn't have a great day and culpable for their second goal. We need a better option at right back...and I hope never to see Storey play for Thistle again - his failure to play a simple pass to put either Slater or Bannigan clean through was a particular low point. I enjoyed booing Adam Barton. There is real potential both at the Club and in some of our players but it is vital to get the right choice for the new manager to get a positive reaction. The turnout from Thistle fans for what should have been the most attractive home fixture of the season is worrying - personally, I think we need someone fresher and more inspiring than Jim McIntyre or any of the Usual Suspects.
  11. Winter of '63

    Who's next?

    It was an absolutely unequivocal no from Ian McCall on Radio Scotland - he wanted to return to Firhill in some capacity in the future but he would not take over from Archie. He had some other interesting things to say:- He wished he had told Archie to walk away at the end of last season He thought Jim McIntyre, John Hughes or Jim Duffy would make good choices as manager but more than most clubs the manager had to be the right fit for Thistle. He didn't understand how anyone living in Glasgow could support any team other than Thistle. My own preferences were Neilson, McCall or Jim Goodwin...so that's two down. I'd be completely underwhelmed by any of McCall's 3 suggestions or most of the other names being bandied about.
  12. Winter of '63

    Archie sacked

    A sad day but the appropriate decision. I commented after the Queen of the South game that our home performances last season and this had saved Archie as the really awful displays had been away - the lacklustre show today was the end. I thought that Archie's record merited giving him to the end of last season and really hoped that he would turn it round this season after his reprieve. However, his failure to field an effective midfield last season and the poor quality of defenders this season was just poor management. Archie is a real Thistle man and always acted with dignity. Unfortunately he eventually came up a bit short but the top 6 finish was a fine achievement and the wins against Morton to clinch promotion and against Hearts at Tynecastle to stay up are two of my best memories of supporting Thistle.
  13. Winter of '63

    Ross County Home

    An insipid performance from a team lacking in direction. County didn't have to be particularly good to trouble our defence - they scored from yet another defensive blunder and a soft penalty and defended efficiently for a comfortable victory - I haven't been so bored at a game since St Johnstone were last at Firhill. Bannigan, Erskine, Slater & Spittal are all good footballers with the ability to be challenging at the top of the league but the balance of the side is not right. Elliot has always lacked the guile to beat a defender or make an incisive pass or cross and now repeatedly passes the ball backwards to kill the momentum of attacks. Storey annoys me more than any Thistle player since Leigh Hinds - he received the ball in good positions on three occasions and failed to even get the ball into the box...his only other contribution was to get in Penrice's way. We make space on the wings but carry no threat. Losing O'Wear was s blow but the defensive recruitment has been appalling - Elliot, Keown and McGinty aren't very good but we have no alternatives. My thoughts when leaving the game were that it was the end of the road for Archie...while typing this, I found out that it is.
  14. Winter of '63


    Entertaining first half, tense second half. Banzo and Slater ran the game early on and we passed the ball well but still contrived to lose 2 slack goals. Pleased for Spittal - he has taken a lot of criticism but there is a decent player there - thumping goal and great pass at end for Storey's horrible miss. Back 4 picks itself - there's nobody else which is a worry. Elliot was very poor again - not good in defence and not a threat going forward - our style of play needs good crosses from the wings - he and Storey don't deliver. Home performances have saved Archie - the really awful results have been away - good 3 points but we don't have promotion look
  15. Winter of '63

    “What on earth has he given?”

    Kris Doolan came over very well in an interview on BBC Sportsound this evening - articulate, measured and with a sense of humour - "It's the first time I've scored a Goal and won a throw-in." He also made the point that we were relegated last season by one goal. He is a real credit to himself and the club - a good player and a very good guy. Ian McColl was one of the studio pundits - he mentioned that he had never seen Chris Erskine so angry. I get more agitated when officials bottle decisions against big clubs but this was just bizarre incompetence. I can't say I'm surprised at the absence of a gracious apology from Neil Doncaster and the SPFL - the suggestion that the match officials donate their match fees to the Beatson is a good one. With Christie Elliot's mazy dribble along the bye line against Ayr a few weeks ago, it does make you wonder if there is a force field at that end of the ground which scrambles people's brains.