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League Cup - Helen Mirren vs Depleted Dons


manc_don
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Our midfield was completely overrun today. Some of those players need to be moved on. Leigh should not be offered an extension. Nowhere near good enough. Still cannot get my head round us paying a fee for Ojo. He offers fuck all. Slows game down needlessly and cannot tackle. Gives away so many stupid fouls. How can a supposedly defensive midfielder not be able to tackle. Main is another who manager tried to pay a fee for who is just shite. Never looks like scoring and his touch is awful. Hoping Cosgrove is still getting over injury but he looks every inch the player who was dropped just before lockdown. Campbell looked so weak. He really needs to get his finger out. He is miles behind McCrorie and Ferguson. 

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It's getting bad when your keeper throws one in rather than watch another 30 minutes. Pass marks, maybe, to Hayes. Being very generous though. It was ninety minutes of absolute shite. I'd probably give shittest man of the match to Ojo. I remember in one of the European games against the shitter teams seeing Ojo step forward beyond the player he was marking when the opposition had possession more than once in the game and it was such an amateur piece of football I assumed he was just totally unfit as it was effectively pre season. He did it several times after. It's such a basic thing, putting your body the right side to defend your goal, but again for their second tonight he drifts forward leaving the simple path to goal for their player. It's weird, just like he doesn't want to be there. Thing is, he looks like he can play football, I can see why he was signed, but he's just so reactive, late to every single ball and late to make the obvious pass. Thankfully we were able to take on seasoned professionals like Curtis Main. Edmondson has to go home in January, because if he's behind Main in even the dinner queue at the canteen then he's too shit to play professional football. 

We just looked really unfit tonight and with so many missing or just returning from injury, maybe it was the case. Kennedy, Campbell, Cosgrove, McGinn, Leigh so far off the pace of the game they could have still been at Cormack park.

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Several things occur to me...

We're not as good, or as deep a squad, as we think we are, but we really shouldn't be this bad

Derek cannot adapt his tactics to accommodate different players/situations, with the resources at his hand he should be doing better than this (and Hamilton)

Joe, as a captain, cannot influence the game so needs to be replaced

I'm very, very pissed off by this abomination of a result.

 

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8 hours ago, Madbadteacher said:

Several things occur to me...

We're not as good, or as deep a squad, as we think we are, but we really shouldn't be this bad

Derek cannot adapt his tactics to accommodate different players/situations, with the resources at his hand he should be doing better than this (and Hamilton)

Joe, as a captain, cannot influence the game so needs to be replaced

I'm very, very pissed off by this abomination of a result.

 

I think that's a little disrespectful to St Mirren though. Despite their poor league position, they actually looked a fairly competent side when we played them up here earlier in the season and we were still finding our feet a little. They didn't look crap last night either. If anything we brought them down to our level.

I mentioned it last night, but I'm not sure how you would have adapted tactics to suit last night? We changed to a four at half time, but with that midfield and Main up front we were always going to be in a battle. I can't think of a single formation that would have got anything out of that. 

In terms of our depth of squad, I think it is still fairly reasonable. But in any team you're going to have big players who you struggle to replace. Ferguson, McRorie and Wright fall into that category for me, and with an unfit Cosgrove so does Watkins. We've got a good first 16, which I think is acceptable. We can afford one of Ferguson or McRorie missing, with McGeouch stepping in, but not both. Campbell would be fine learning the game in a three too. Wright, under normal circumstances, should be coverable by McGinn or Watkins and so on. The question is, do we want to build a squad that has the depth for these unusual situations? I'd argue that we shouldn't. As we've seen, by building that squad depth, it inevitably means that players are not match sharp when required. We just don't need Ojo for example, or Hernandez, or Main, or Edmondson (his signing was fine as we started the season with two out) as they are always going to be lacking in fitness when called upon. We often talk about square pegs in round holes, but look at the second half last night, we had everyone playing in a position they should be comfortable in (Hoban at right back, but he's actually good at fitba so it's fine). I'd far rather see a tighter squad and actually playing square pegs in round holes and sometimes accepting that we just have too many injuries. For example, we could have had Hoban in midfield last night and Ojo could have been in space. If we get to the stage where we think that Main is the answer then (in normal circumstances) move Ferguson, or McLennan, or a lamppost up there instead. Obviously the youngsters have a part to play here, but I think the loan system probably allows them a better experience than sitting on our bench, so that should take priority even if it leaves us short on occasion.

I sort of agree about Joe, but a captain just shouldn't make that much difference. Guys like Hayes, Hoban, Considine etc don't need a captain to inspire them or shout at them and of any of them are good enough to be a captain then they'll have assumed that role anyway through talking and shouting throughout the game. I think captain is largely ceremonial these days. A source of pride. 

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12 hours ago, RicoS321 said:

I think that's a little disrespectful to St Mirren though. Despite their poor league position, they actually looked a fairly competent side when we played them up here earlier in the season and we were still finding our feet a little. They didn't look crap last night either. If anything we brought them down to our level.

I mentioned it last night, but I'm not sure how you would have adapted tactics to suit last night? We changed to a four at half time, but with that midfield and Main up front we were always going to be in a battle. I can't think of a single formation that would have got anything out of that. 

In terms of our depth of squad, I think it is still fairly reasonable. But in any team you're going to have big players who you struggle to replace. Ferguson, McRorie and Wright fall into that category for me, and with an unfit Cosgrove so does Watkins. We've got a good first 16, which I think is acceptable. We can afford one of Ferguson or McRorie missing, with McGeouch stepping in, but not both. Campbell would be fine learning the game in a three too. Wright, under normal circumstances, should be coverable by McGinn or Watkins and so on. The question is, do we want to build a squad that has the depth for these unusual situations? I'd argue that we shouldn't. As we've seen, by building that squad depth, it inevitably means that players are not match sharp when required. We just don't need Ojo for example, or Hernandez, or Main, or Edmondson (his signing was fine as we started the season with two out) as they are always going to be lacking in fitness when called upon. We often talk about square pegs in round holes, but look at the second half last night, we had everyone playing in a position they should be comfortable in (Hoban at right back, but he's actually good at fitba so it's fine). I'd far rather see a tighter squad and actually playing square pegs in round holes and sometimes accepting that we just have too many injuries. For example, we could have had Hoban in midfield last night and Ojo could have been in space. If we get to the stage where we think that Main is the answer then (in normal circumstances) move Ferguson, or McLennan, or a lamppost up there instead. Obviously the youngsters have a part to play here, but I think the loan system probably allows them a better experience than sitting on our bench, so that should take priority even if it leaves us short on occasion.

I sort of agree about Joe, but a captain just shouldn't make that much difference. Guys like Hayes, Hoban, Considine etc don't need a captain to inspire them or shout at them and of any of them are good enough to be a captain then they'll have assumed that role anyway through talking and shouting throughout the game. I think captain is largely ceremonial these days. A source of pride. 

I think the way McInnes utilises a team doesn't lend itself to having a big squad.  He has always over reliant on certain players that the rest are ever rarely tried and tested.  The last week is a complete rarity and I agree we shouldn't build with this in mind, however, what it also shows is that the wider signing policy if fucking dog shit. That stops with him.  And I mean, those outside his normal chosen team.  The first XI is strong, no doubts about that, but you have to question why some of the others were signed if that's the level of their output (not that we didn't know that already).  Maybe he's tried to have a bigger squad this season and change this but they're clearly not up to the job.  They were probably concealed by the rest of the team doing their job.

Given Jan is never a time to be able to make proper change, a big summer coming up.

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1 hour ago, manc_don said:

I think the way McInnes utilises a team doesn't lend itself to having a big squad.  He has always over reliant on certain players that the rest are ever rarely tried and tested.  The last week is a complete rarity and I agree we shouldn't build with this in mind, however, what it also shows is that the wider signing policy if fucking dog shit. That stops with him.  And I mean, those outside his normal chosen team.  The first XI is strong, no doubts about that, but you have to question why some of the others were signed if that's the level of their output (not that we didn't know that already).  Maybe he's tried to have a bigger squad this season and change this but they're clearly not up to the job.  They were probably concealed by the rest of the team doing their job.

Given Jan is never a time to be able to make proper change, a big summer coming up.

The only reason we've got a large squad is because the signings were so shite, we had to go out and buy more. You can accept the odd error, like Ojo, but guys like Main just make you lose all faith. I've said before that recruitment should be removed from McInnes and I'd still go with that (despite Hernandez). That said, with guys like McRorie, Watkins and Hayes we've filled in some of the gaps making summer a bit easier. With Devlin, Taylor, Logan, McGinn, Main and Ojo all likely moving on in the summer, that gives us a bit of breathing space. We've got about 3 or 4 windows worth of damage to repair so it'll be a slow one. No more Main, Wilson, tansey, storey types is key. An Ojo or a Forrester is to be expected in each window and that's fine.

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While we are on the subject of our signing policies. Hernandez has been a bizarre signing. He cost us reportedly around 800k putting him not far off our record signing and he's a Venezuelan international. Yet he's not even got a sniff of first team action this season. If he really is that much worse than what we have got how can we get a signing that badly wrong? I think probably Forrester had more game time than he has had so far. 

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