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About Firhillista

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    Jags fan
  • Birthday 01/11/1955

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  1. The shambles at Arbroath had nothing to do with the formation and everything to do with a collective failure on the part of the team to deal with the conditions and the opposition. I don't think fans who weren't there fully get what it was like: by the thirteenth minute the ball had been replaced four times , blown out of the park- I stopped counting after that, but they had to replace it two or three times more before half time. McCall is right, it was a face. That's not to excuse the performance, we were appalling, but it had nothing to do with the way we set up.
  2. Agreed. If we're going with one up front, then the best player we have to support a lone striker is Shea Gordon. He doesn't do much in midfield other than score goals anyway! I'd play with three at the back tomorrow (O'Ware, Brownlie and, presumably, Mayo) with O'Connor and Penrice providing the width and McKinnon sitting in front of the defence, allowing Cole and Bannigan a more forward role; with Gordon supporting Graham up front, I think we could be hard to break down, but still capable of posing a goal threat. For me, the priority tomorrow is simple: don't lose a goal. It's past time we achieved a clean sheet. (And if we can nick a goal as well, all to the good...)
  3. Lyons looks a good signing. Brownlie, assuming the rumours are correct and he's joining us this week, looks a good signing too. I think adding Rudden and Graham as our strikers will make us stronger in that department than we've been in years. Barjonas and MacKinnon will give us options we haven't had in a while, so they're good signings as well. And the loan for O'Connor clearly meets a specific need at right back. Add to that the extension of Cole's loan and there's two more good signings. And none of this excellent work that's being done in this transfer window will matter a toss of we end up being relegated. I'll start getting excited about our new players when we've put together a run of three or four wins...
  4. Absolutely right. I hadn't clocked that. Unbelievable decision on our part. Did our captain decide this on his own? If so, I hope his team mates give him pelters at training tomorrow. (And if the management team had any say in it then God help us....)
  5. In all my years of following Thistle and Scotland there have been many depressing performances to cope with and I have to say that yesterday's was one of the worst for me. Partly because I was really looking forward to the game. I'd never been to Gayfield and I was ridiculously excited to be going to an old fashioned ground. Partly because we'd signed some impressive players by all accounts, including football commentators and opposing fans and I genuinely thought that this was going to be a fresh start - the season begins here, kind of thing. The reality was crushing. Another appalling away performance up (or down) there with all the low lights of recent years. Every bit as bad as the worst displays under Archibald or Caldwell in fact, and - and this is where the depression really kicks in - exactly the same. Why is it that, no matter who's playing for us or who's the manager, we allow ourselves to be bullied out of games, over and over, by teams with more limited resources than us and players who, if we signed, we'd all rightly condemning the club for a lack of ambition? Yesterday's experience can be summed up for me by the sight of Fox taking bye kicks that flew off the right hand side of the pitch over and over again, with the Thistle fans howling in outrage and the Arbroath fans pissing themselves laughing. You'd think he was trying to solve some particularly tricky quadratic equation instead of working out that you kick the ball to the left to compensate for the wind taking it to the right.... It was embarrassing. It isn't any consolation at all, or any kind of excuse, but for those folk who are saying that the wind was the same for both teams, it wasn't. It allowed Arbroath to play to their strengths in the first half and destroyed any chance we could play to ours. It had reduced significantly by the second half. If we had won the toss, that would have been a completely different game yesterday. Where now? We're in a relegation dog fight. Time to start playing like we are.
  6. That was awful. Given the wind meant that no football could be played in the first half, you'd have thought the team might have recognised that and play accordingly. Fox repeatedly booting the ball to the left side of the pitch and watching it sailing out of play - and I mean repeatedly, over and over and over again - summed up how we played. "Let's ignore the conditions and try to play like it's a nice sunny day..." The only consolation I can take from that dreadful performance is that maybe when the new players bed in, we can turn it around. As it stands, we're for the drop.
  7. You make some good points here. Personally, I don't have an issue with the number of midfielders ( and I make it seven - Cole, MacKinnon, Bannigan, Barjonas, Gordon, Slater and Harkins - although I've already proved on here that I can't count) as they all look, on paper, to be quality players (okay, question marks on Slater and Harkins). I think we can certainly play a 4-4-2 selecting two strong midfielders from that group, but we're more likely to field three, or even four, midfielders in most games. The issue is, as you say, how to get width into the side if we're playing with more than two midfielders and two wingers? The obvious answer is to ask the full backs to get up the park and provide crosses. We know that's probably the strongest part of Penrice's game and the show reel of O'Connor seems to indicate that's where his strength is too. Alternatively, you play someone in midfield who can move out wide as required. I wouldn't be surprised to see Cardle starting on Saturday behind Graham and Rudden for exactly that reason. Any way you look at it though, you do have to wonder whether we're going to need to add another winger. Given the players we've got, four wingers in the squad seems excessive. McCall said yesterday that a couple of players will be leaving before the window shuts. That should give us a clearer idea of how he wants the team to play. As will how we line up tomorrow!
  8. Okay, I can't count. The premise still stands though - we need to lose a few!
  9. Most teams at our level have a first team squad of 22 - two players per position to ensure cover for loss of form, injury and suspensions. So, currently we have two goalkeepers (Fox and Sneddon), five defenders (Williamson, Saunders, O'Ware, McGinty, Penrice, Robson), seven midfielders (Cole, MacKinnon, Bannigan, Barjonas, Slater, Harkins, Gordon) and seven attackers (Rudden, Millar, Jones, Mansell, Cardle, Zanatta, Austin) to give us a first team squad of 21. The squad's obviously unbalanced. We're short a right back and a centre half, while we're in surplus in midfield and one short up front. What happens next is obviously up to McCall and will depend on the kind of formation he wants to play. Do we need another wide player (a right winger)? If the long talked about loan of Graham comes about, we'll have five strikers for four places and no capacity for another attacker. How do we get the right back and centre half we need if the 22 squad is full? Anyway you look at this, it seems clear that some current players will have to move on.
  10. Maybe it's an age thing, but I don't get the angst about selling tickets to away fans. One of my fondest memories is of us giving Rangers a doing at Firhill - 3-2 in the first league game of '71 season with Johnny Gibson running riot - with me and my pals positioning ourselves in front of two burly cops while surrounded by thousands of Rangers fans. There was no segregation and no tickets either. In fact, the only game I remember having to buy a ticket for back then was the Scotland/England game. Thought I'd take in the Old Firm Scottish Cup final replay the same year - rocked up to Hampden, paid at the gate and joined 102,000 other folk to watch the game. Admittedly, segregation was self imposed for games like that. Limiting access for away fans because we don't like them seems daft to me. I get that it's not much fun sitting next to folk who are celebrating Thistle getting a hammering (it's a long time since we could hope to see a Thistle side giving either side of the Old Firm a doing), but that's the territory currently. To be honest, I'd have no problem being surrounded by Rangers or Celtic fans at Firhill if I could see us beating them. It would, actually, enhance the experience...
  11. Slater's time must be up, surely? McCall assessed at half time, correctly in my view, that we needed to bolster the midfield and he turned to Penrice, leaving Slater on the bench. It was a reasonable decision, I think, although it just showed, yet again, that Penrice isn't a midfielder. Pity we couldn't swop Slater for Docherty and get the new look team underway.
  12. Yesterday showed up all the weaknesses in the current Thistle team. They can dominate a game for spells, but can't score. They give the ball away in midfield carelessly and don't have the players to win it back. The defence leaks like a sieve with defenders prone to making mistakes. There's no point in looking for consolation in the thought that the game would have been different if only we'd scored in the first half hour. Of course it would, but experience of previous games indicates that's the problem right there. Too often we don't score when on top and the opposition realise they've little to fear. The only way forward, I think, is with different players which, thankfully, the manager is working on. I'm fearful, though, that we'll have to suffer more embarrassment next week before any new players can have an impact.
  13. Ridiculous scorelines. There's no way this lot should be two goals ahead. Usual story from Thistle - dominant game but can't score.
  14. Honestly can't remember where I saw this. It was probably on a link in Twitter, but there was some detailed speculation, so it's probably more than some random fan's view. As for the Forrest speculation, I never gave it much credence to be honest.