Jump to content

Wednesday 29th May 2024

Scottish League Cup Group Stage Draw - 1pm

🔴⚪️ Come on you Reds! ⚪🔴

December 2023.


Recommended Posts

We are about to embark on a run from the last day of November to the 2nd last day of December (30 days) which encompasses 10 games.  That's literally a one game every three days for a month.  I mean, that's just fucking bonkers and I honestly can't remember the club every having a run like this whilst I've supported them.  It gets worse though cos then we have County at home on the second of January so it's actually an 11 game in 33 day run...  Which is also a one in 3 average just for longer. Joy. 

 

Obviously, this is going to be quite the test for the squad and the management.  I suspect this is what Robson and Agnew have been talking about when they say everyone has a role to play in the campaign despite lack of game time.  Rotation becomes a necessity now and perhaps even players like Besuijen will be feeling tired come the bells of Hogmanay. The big question marks for me are over dadia, Williams and gueye as these guys have come with something resembling a reasonable pedigree but the few appearances between them have not inspired any praise. 

 

It's not all bad though, including the County game 6 of the 8 league games are at home and they are all very winnable. The two away are Easter road (which is this Sunday) and the fun away on the 23rd.  They are very winnable games also..... though I concede hibs away is defo not easy after coming back from Helsinki.  They are also very far apart as dens is not until the 23rd and we will play at home for 3 league games, 1 European game and then a trip to hampden before that.  

It's impossible to predict how this is going to go.  Key players getting injured seems fairly inevitable though even with plenty rotation..... but then it's not guaranteed either.  We might get lucky and avoid anything more serious than a few minor knocks to the likes of Dante Polvara and Esper Sokler.  If there is an advantage of playing so many games it's that if you get a few results and performances on the bounce you can get some cracking momentum and given the fixtures we have that is far from out of the question.  As such there may be more riding on this Helsinki game than the pride and the 500k for the win it appears to be on first glance.  

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Number of games is mental. Europe obviously plays a part in it but we have two mid week fixtures in the league because of the winter break. Cannot see what benefit winter break brings if players are having to play this number of games in a short period to fit it in. 
 

Be interesting to see how Robson copes with the squad rotation as don’t think he has after European games so far. 
 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good post TLG, although initially thought it was going to be some sort of sixtieth anniversary tribute to the famous Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons track.

Totally agree the number of games is absolutely fucking mental. Apart from the impact upon the players, it is ridiculous to expect supporters to attend eleven games in thirty three days at what can be a particularly costly time of year for many folk

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, BigAl said:

Totally agree the number of games is absolutely fucking mental. Apart from the impact upon the players, it is ridiculous to expect supporters to attend eleven games in thirty three days at what can be a particularly costly time of year for many folk

You think we should do a rotation system for the fans too? Not a bad idea.

8 hours ago, tlg1903 said:

Rotation becomes a necessity now and perhaps even players like Besuijen will be feeling tired come the bells of Hogmanay. The big question marks for me are over dadia, Williams and gueye as these guys have come with something resembling a reasonable pedigree but the few appearances between them have not inspired any praise. 

I think the guys that you mention probably just aren't good enough. It's not unusual when we have such a large turnover to have a few duds, and I think these guys are probably just that. For all intents and purposes, I'd probably just pretend they don't exist. The question then, is, where does that cause an issue? I think the back three will play every game except in cases of injury, as they cover much less ground. That means Williams is an irrelevance in terms of rotation. We have MacDonald and Milne in case of injury, with McKenzie also able to play instead of Jensen when necessary. Key areas for me are right wing back, centre midfield and striker (specifically Miovski). I also think that left wing back is an area in which we're weak, but have plenty cover. I panicked when Devlin went down yesterday, as there was no conceivable cover there (Hayes, probably, but it could also have been MacDonald into centre and Gartenmann into wing back), and he's fairly vital. Obviously Morris coming back can help to an extent, despite obvious limitations.

I have a lot of sympathy for Robson though, no other manager we've had has had to deal with this scenario, and it's a lot for a young manager. Europe doesn't give us enough money to operate two squads, or even one and a half. It's such a fine balancing act, because it's not as simple as saying: "use the squad". He has to consider whether we're strong enough to win games whilst changing that first eleven, and that will mean switching out players at different times in order to conserve as many of the best eleven as possible in every match, as well as using subs efficiently if we're ahead in games (of course, due to tiredness, we're unlikely to be significantly leading in many games). He also has to consider the style of play too, and opt for formations that conserve energy, which is what I think he tried to do in the second half yesterday to limited effect. For example, we cannot afford to try the number six position with Clarkson or Barron, as that will ruin Shinnie, it has to be a conservative two sitting and one in front until January. We have Barron to switch for Clarkson, and Clarkson can play in the role McGrath played first half yesterday (I'd be interested to see Duncan there more often, as I think that will be his best position, and Hayes can play there if we're ahead in games and just need someone to chase people). Polvara can come in here and there to cover a few areas of the pitch, and so can Duncan, but both are a step down and too many Polvaras and Duncans in the side at once will see us losing. Whilst we spend a lot on our side comparative to other SPFL teams, we're nowhere near good enough to rest several players against most teams, especially if one of them happens to be Miovski. Our goal must be to get ahead in games and manage the substitutions well from there. Keep things very simple and don't ask too much of guys like Polvara, Morris etc. Rotate, but not too many in one game.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are spot on on the weak spots though re Miovski at least we have other attacking options to at least play.  Rb and cm though we are so light. Nicky Devlin has been the best fb business we have done in quite a while i would say and if he got injured we would be in trouble as I'm far from convinced by Morris. Same with Shinnie.  Barron, Clarkson, polvara and mcgrath are not holding midfielders.  I wonder if Gartenmann could move forward in a crunch 🤔, he reads the game well and is more than good enough on the ball to win it and move it to a creative player.

Mcgarry coming back is a positive at least, I haven't seen anywhere near enough of him to judge his worth yet. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am hoping we start to see a lot more of sokler, alongside miovski, if anything to take a bit of pressure off sokler getting up to speed. I’d like to hope that had he had a bit more game time sokler would have scored that first effort. He along with RB is critical, as we’ve not currently got the cover so need sokler to be up and running by the time January comes calling. Think it’s fair to assume miovski will be off so we have to have another scoring striker. Doesn’t appear that it’s going to be duk this season. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would like to see how Duk got on alongside sokler 2bh.  As a pairing you could argue Duk and Miovski aren't  overly suited playing with the other as a two.  Not that they can't do well together but both suit playing with a more team orientated cf.  We haven't seen enough of Sokler to say that's what he is but he defo has the potential to be.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, tlg1903 said:

I would like to see how Duk got on alongside sokler 2bh.  As a pairing you could argue Duk and Miovski aren't  overly suited playing with the other as a two.  Not that they can't do well together but both suit playing with a more team orientated cf.  We haven't seen enough of Sokler to say that's what he is but he defo has the potential to be.  

Sokler and Miovski worked really well together against the Hun. Constantly communicating and pushing as a pair. Miovski is a fantastic team player, and it looked like Sokler has the making of one too. Duk is a reactive player, who doesn't really bring others into it. Obviously he has other great attributes, and that reactivity serves him well when a chance just lands to him. I wouldn't hold out much hope of him forming a pairing with anyone though. Not in any real sense. Even last season I got the impression that him and Miovski were scoring independently of one another as they rarely linked up, but just having two goalscorers is good just the same.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...