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Scottish League Cup

Sunday 10 July 2022 - kick-off 3pm

Peterhead v Aberdeen

Stand Free!

Ramsay


BigAl
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I’ll be honest, I haven’t seen it in person, nor can I tell much from highlights as I don’t get the chance to watch many games. From what I did see I didn’t get the hype,  but he’s obviously got something about him or others wouldn’t be sniffing about. Always been the best in the teams he’d been involved with so I wish him luck if he does move. His defensive game needs a lot of work but no doubting his attacking ability. Be great if one of ours makes it in the prem.  And at the top end too.

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2 hours ago, RicoS321 said:

Liverpool for £4M according to the record. Not surprising, I'm guessing there will be a lot of add-ons and sell-ons in there too. Hope he makes it, fantastic talent.

Him not even being in the squad yesterday pretty much suggested a bid has been made.

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So looks like my Scouse client that sent me that text (pre paper talk) has been right on this one 😉

Even I deep down thought it might not have any legs 😂

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1 hour ago, BigAl said:

Just a thought.

Might they loan  him back to us next season ?

If I was Ramsay I would certainly hope not. Getting the chance to train and possibly play with Alex Arnold, Salah, mane, and Diaz, or a modern day Ilfi, tansey, and Curtis main??? You choose!

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50 minutes ago, OrlandoDon said:

If I was Ramsay I would certainly hope not. Getting the chance to train and possibly play with Alex Arnold, Salah, mane, and Diaz, or a modern day Ilfi, tansey, and Curtis main??? You choose!

Get your point, but I think more AFC than Calvin Ramsay

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2 hours ago, BigAl said:

Just a thought.

Might they loan  him back to us next season ?

Think they are more likely to want him closer to Liverpool so as he can train with first team. Suspect we will need to add right back to our list of summer signings. Really hope we do not move McCrorie back there. 

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1 hour ago, Jute said:

Think they are more likely to want him closer to Liverpool so as he can train with first team. Suspect we will need to add right back to our list of summer signings. Really hope we do not move McCrorie back there. 

I actually wonder if right back may end up being his best position for us. He’s got the desire and engine to get up and down and is more of a defender that midfielder. He also lacks that bit of flair / creativity that mids need but right backs don’t need. Assuming we sell Ferguson, we have Barron and polvara in center mid, plus hopefully creative center mid or two signed. (Is dean Campbell back??) gallagher and bates plus a new center defender signed. Right back may be his best option??

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4 minutes ago, OrlandoDon said:

I actually wonder if right back may end up being his best position for us. He’s got the desire and engine to get up and down and is more of a defender that midfielder. He also lacks that bit of flair / creativity that mids need but right backs don’t need. Assuming we sell Ferguson, we have Barron and polvara in center mid, plus hopefully creative center mid or two signed. (Is dean Campbell back??) gallagher and bates plus a new center defender signed. Right back may be his best option??

Agree with this, apart from perhaps the polvara bit. If we're not playing a back three, I don't see McRorie playing at the back, and I don't think he's good enough on the ball to play midfield. I'd have his energy and athleticism at right back no problem though. Just leaves us with a Ferguson replacement, bit I'm guessing Goodwin already has someone in mind.

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4 minutes ago, RicoS321 said:

Agree with this, apart from perhaps the polvara bit. If we're not playing a back three, I don't see McRorie playing at the back, and I don't think he's good enough on the ball to play midfield. I'd have his energy and athleticism at right back no problem though. Just leaves us with a Ferguson replacement, bit I'm guessing Goodwin already has someone in mind.

I’m assuming it’s Barron plus two new center mids (replacing brown, Ferguson, ojo, mcgeough), and polvara off the bench. I also think dean Campbell has another year left on his contract. Not writing him polvara yet, he’s a young guy but has to be given a chance. 

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I still think McCrorie’s best role is as the defensive midfielder/water carrier. Lad himself has said he does not want to play at back and don’t think he is good enough on the ball to be trying to create from wide  as a full back. Breaking up play and dumping ball off to Barron and A N other for them to create is where I think he will be most effective. 

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8 hours ago, Jute said:

I still think McCrorie’s best role is as the defensive midfielder/water carrier. Lad himself has said he does not want to play at back and don’t think he is good enough on the ball to be trying to create from wide  as a full back. Breaking up play and dumping ball off to Barron and A N other for them to create is where I think he will be most effective. 

I think that's what Goodwin will do too. I'm just not totally sure if we need a dedicated player in there for that role against most teams. He's a bit willow flood in that regard, without the positional awareness to not be a hindrance to others. Not sure we'll see him there for the whole season. 

I actually think Bates would make a very good defensive midfielder in a 4-1-4-1 type format, but I don't think we'll see that either.

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On 08/05/2022 at 18:14, BigAl said:

Just a thought.

Might they loan  him back to us next season ?

He's probably too young to be loaned out, as mad as that sounds.

Basically, the reason Liverpool want him is because they believe their academy/coaches etc will make Ramsay a better player than he would be playing the next three years at Aberdeen. They don't want Scottish players at 21 unless they're quite clearly exceptional, they want teenagers that have potential.

I can't say I'm an expert on all the players Liverpool loaned out this season, but they tend to be in the 20-22 age bracket, and that's because they're past the potential stage and now they need first team football to see if they've got what it takes to make it at Liverpool, or at least impress enough that the club they're on loan to might want to buy them.

So I reckon Ramsay will likely disappear for 2/3 years if he goes there.

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On the McCrorie to right-back debate, this was a really interesting article written just over two years ago when he was still at Rangers, by the excellent Jordan Campbell of the Athletic.

Is Ross McCrorie's Rangers future at right-back?

It is a bitterly cold September night in Paisley and Scotland under-21s captain Ross McCrorie is looking to get home and focus on the next game against their Croatia counterparts. That will be a much tougher proposition than the 2-0 win over San Marino under-21s he has just strolled through, a game of attack versus defence in which he played centre-back and saw as much of the ball as anyone on the park.

In a brief two-minute chat on the stairs below the St Mirren Park press box, I ask the Rangers defender three questions. One of them, a rather clumsily-worded way of enquiring whether being played in midfield on loan at Portsmouth was improving his distribution, rightfully provokes a sharp reply.

“What do you mean?” was a fair enough initial response but once rephrased, McCrorie went on to say that he “feels comfortable on the ball”. There was merit behind the question, though, as just a couple of months earlier, he had been in a meeting where Steven Gerrard and other members of the coaching staff outlined his options for the season.

McCrorie, who had made 30 appearances in all competitions in 2018-19, could stay and play a limited role where he would possibly feature in only seven or eight games or he could go out on loan to a club with similar pressures to Rangers and improve his distribution as a midfielder.

Numbers and charts were produced to illustrate how impressed they were by his physical attributes and ability to be a destructive force in the middle of the park but Steven Davis had been brought in earlier in the year to change the role of that position to a playmaker. McCrorie was tasked with learning to not only destroy but dictate.

Gerrard inherited McCrorie as a centre-back — one who had only recently suffered at the hands of Moussa Dembele in a 4-0 Scottish Cup semi-final defeat to Celtic. He was playing there under caretaker manager Graeme Murty because of injuries and a lack of quality rather than by design but Dembele’s use of his body was too much for him and led to the game’s first two goals before McCrorie was sent off early in the second half for a foul on the same player.

That spell at centre-back, as results unravelled towards the end of the campaign, could have “destroyed” a kid still making his way in the game, Gerrard said. He saw him instead as a central midfielder, his own old position, and it is understood that the Rangers management team still consider that his primary position.

But he has not been playing there for Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett as much as was hoped when the loan deal was done.

So, now 22, where does the McCrorie’s future lie? Not in terms of which club he will be at but which position he will be playing in.

He is approaching the age where versatility stops being a bonus and morphs into a career sentence as a utility man. He does not want to be shunted around as the perennial makeshift piece for the next decade but the difficulty is that he possesses a bundle of traits that are yet to prove a total match for any single position.

The plan was for Portsmouth to play McCrorie in central midfield. Competition for places and injuries at a club chasing automatic promotion from the English third tier have meant that has happened in less than half of his league starts there — but may also have inadvertently helped answer the question as to what his long-term position is really going to be.

After being sent off on his debut, McCrorie was in and out of Jackett’s team over the next couple of months. If he wasn’t on the bench, he would be playing midfield one week and right-back the next. That was until October, when he also started both Scotland under-21 games at right-back against Lithuania and Czech Republic. Portsmouth knew he was versatile but that’s when their assistant manager Joe Gallen realised that he could be an asset at full-back.

“We watched those games and I had a chat with (SFA performance director) Malky Mackay about him,” explains Gallen. “We play him right-back because his ability to run with the ball has been a big feature of our recent performances. His athleticism is his biggest trait. He has a fantastic ability to get around the pitch and, with his acceleration, he can literally just take off. He has been gaining us 20 or 30 yards within three seconds and his ability to pick the right pass and put in good crosses has got us a few goals.

“We need our full-backs to fly forwards as we play with two holding midfielders, so they have the freedom to go all the way. I’ve been telling him to get in at the back post as he’s a threat. We think he can play as a No 8 galloping around the pitch as well as the holding role but he looks different class when he’s driving forward.”

McCrorie has made 22 appearances for Portsmouth in all competitions this season and is now on 103 senior games — a more than healthy total for a player to have come through the youth academy of a club the size of Rangers.

He was a centre-back as a youngster but that has gradually evolved. Every coach has different interpretations of what profile of player they like for each position and Gerrard was keen on having a destroyer-type midfielder when he first arrived to deal with the physicality of the Scottish game, which is why Lassana Coulibaly was brought in to compete with McCrorie. That thinking has changed but there have been games in the second half of this season when McCrorie’s combativeness could have been useful.

“We don’t think he can’t play there — we just happen to have a player there in Tom Naylor who is very good (he is also Portsmouth’s regular captain),” says Gallen. “We wouldn’t hesitate to put McCrorie in there but his best performances have been at right-back. Youngsters need games to improve on these areas. If you’re going to break up play and then give the ball away, that is the defeating the object. He certainly has improved on the ball, though.

“His athleticism is so good that perhaps, as a holding midfielder, that might not be natural for Ross. He wants to go. He wants to run. He wants to close and press, and off the back of that, get ahead of the ball. He’s an intelligent player, so he can adjust his game but it’s usually best to know what the player is naturally good at and let them loose at doing that. We feel we have let him loose by letting him go box-to-box.

“At some stage, he will have to settle into a position but I have no doubt that he has improved in general. He has certainly grown up since moving away and it has increased his confidence. I was a little worried that he was so far from home, especially when he wasn’t in the team at times but he’s a a first-class bloke and a very straight person to work with. With his hamstring injuries, he’s had to be a bit more diligent in the gym and get a programme together but he is an absolutely natural-looking footballer.”

If McCrorie does develop into a right-back, he will join the growing trend of players who move there from central midfield, including Trent Alexander-Arnold at Liverpool and former Bayern Munich and Germany captain Phillip Lahm, where they are more comfortable receiving the ball facing the play rather with their back to goal. McCrorie would then be competing with current Rangers skipper James Tavernier for a place but, while the latter can be accused of being too relaxed when defending, McCrorie is the opposite.

After that red card against Shrewsbury Town in August, McCrorie vowed not to change his committed style. However, while he wouldn’t be the same player if he lost that edge to his game, it is believed people close to him have urged him to be more selective when it comes to lunging into tackles because he risks injury with the way he stretches into them while off balance.

Rangers’ loans manager Billy Kirkwood has been down a lot watching McCrorie and Gallen said he cannot recall a game where there has not been a representative from Ibrox in attendance. Kirkwood has witnessed McCrorie’s development in the academy but Partick Thistle manager Ian McCall, who coached him four years ago at Ayr United in the first loan spell of his career, predicted he would eventually become a right-back.

“I’m almost sure he’ll be a right-back but I have been wrong many times before,” says McCall. “I always say to people that he had genuine pace — I mean, very top-level pace. That’s how quick he was. At that time, we played him central midfield, in a midfield three and right-back. If he keeps progressing, I’m pretty sure he could be a good right-back for Rangers but Rangers have got a boy in Nathan Patterson who is probably the best young right-back in the country.

“I think he (McCrorie) can play that sitting role but we believed he could get forward and get in the box. I’m not talking once or twice a game — I’m talking seven or eight times a game. He was so quick and had such great endurance to get up and down the pitch. In terms of the attributes needed to play at a high level, he had a good few of them.”

Former Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha predicted McCrorie would be captain the club and Scotland when he first broke into the side in 2017, which put unnecessary pressure on the teenager.

While it may now be more realistic to say that when McCrorie returns to Rangers, he will simply be fighting to prove he deserves a role in Gerrard’s plans, at least his spell on the south coast seems to have moved him closer to finding out what exactly that is.

 

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My own thoughts on McCrorie at right-back, I don't think he played particularly well in midfield last season under McInnes. If anything he went backwards as the season went on.

I wondered if it would have been different this season with Scott Brown being the deeper of the two if they partnered each other or if Brown played behind him, but instead Glass played McCrorie in defence and wasted him.

We all know we've a good player in McCrorie despite accepting we've rarely seen him at his best.

On Saturday he was excellent at right-back, it was between him & Gallagher for man of the match. So maybe it's not the worst idea to try him there.

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1 hour ago, wee toon red said:

If right back isn't the solution for him, it sounds like he could maybe be the replacement for Ferguson?

No chance. He's not nearly good enough on the ball. I mean, he can play in midfield, and he's not terrible there, but we should be aiming for a lot better in there. Ferguson needs a signed replacement. McRorie as backup if we make a cunt of it.

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5 hours ago, RicoS321 said:

No chance. He's not nearly good enough on the ball. I mean, he can play in midfield, and he's not terrible there, but we should be aiming for a lot better in there. Ferguson needs a signed replacement. McRorie as backup when we make a cunt of it.

FTFY

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I think Mcrories best position is on the right side of a 3 2bh.  Right now I would be going Mcrorie, Gallagher and McKenzie. It has pace, strength and solidity and Gallagher is much better suited to it too. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Rumours that Ramsay is going for a medical at Liverpool. The more I think about this, the more I think we are getting a crap deal if the fee of £3.5m is to be believed.

This is a player they are making us believe is one of the best young right backs in Europe, going to one of the richest clubs yet we are getting about the same fee as Forest paid for McKenna almost two years ago? We should be holding out for a lot more cash.

I would have thought the chance of a big sell on from Liverpool will be slimmer that Forest selling on McKenna too.

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32 minutes ago, wokinginashearerwonderland said:

I would have thought the chance of a big sell on from Liverpool will be slimmer that Forest selling on McKenna too.

If the club has any sense we will have structured the deal based on getting bonuses when he makes a certain number of appearances, international recognition etc.

I agree that unless he's that good that Real Madrid come along in a few years time its unlikely a sell on fee will be substantial. He will either be good enough to stay at Liverpool for most of his career or he will flop and get transferred to a championship club at a cut price deal.

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The structured deal of bonuses based on appearances and progression are a hit and hope. I’d far rather we actually get a decent fee for him and guaranteed money. As we’ve seen with Ryan Fraser, these things don’t always work out, and accepting £3.5 MM with clauses is a total shambles that Aberdeen should be trying to avoid at all costs. To be honest, the best scenario is that he stays with us for another season, improves, and perhaps goes south after that with a few more akin to Patterson to Everton.

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The other side of the coin is what actually happened with McKenna (supposedly, not sure if the club have ever confirmed), where we sold for a lot less than was offered the previous season. Does anybody really think the Dons are in the best shape to advance his potential? I don't, and I think we could see a player in exactly the same place next season. I don't think it's just game time he needs, I don't think he's physically near the first team at SPFL level yet, so whatever it is that Liverpool can offer their young players - and you would assume that it is more than what we could (not financially speaking) - then that could be the difference between him making it and not. I reckon that if we do what's best for the player in this instance, rather than what's best for our team, then it could reap rewards further down the line. Take the money, and structure the deal in such a way that it backs the player on making it (just like we did McKenna) and I think we'll be okay.

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