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 The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Topic Originator: Raymie the Legend  
Date:   Sun 28 Oct 12:58

The older posters will know this was the title of a classic spaghetti western but it's a pretty apt title for yesterday's game.

The Good

1) I was encouraged that the manager made some changes from last week. He recognised that we needed some physicality up front and picked Hippolyte instead of Ryan. The midfield was also beefed up with Beadling replacing Martin and Craigen moved up to replace Connolly. Williamson was given the nod at full back to provide some attacking threat.

2) The first half was better than last week. The tempo was faster and the players showed a bit more desire to get around the pitch.

3) Beadling making his first league start was also a positive


The Bad

1) The defending for the first goal. Not withstanding that McManus was the smallest guy on the pitch, the cardinal sin was that he was allowed to get in front of the defender for his header. I think Williamson may have been the culprit. It's a basic part of defending and the defenders should have had their opponent on their left shoulder and been side on to the free kick.

2) The second goal. Where to start? I think the first mistake came from FEB who tried to flick a header on just inside the Utd half? It went high back into the Pars half and Vincent ran onto it but completely failed to trap the ball. They were then at our back four where we had two chances to clear but didn't, the last being a poor one from Longridge across the 18 yard box. The ball was played back in to King, who had an overload and he dummied Longridge, had a cup of tea and slammed it in.

3) The penalty incident. From memory, Ashcroft slides in, wins the ball and over hits a short pass to Williamson, who panics and upends the striker. Thankfully, the penalty was pash

4) Two down so the manager makes a change bringing on Connolly for Craigen. Strange one. We are two down and have been playing long, ineffective balls up to the front two all day, without success. Why not throw Muirhead, Keena and Ryan on all at once and put their centre backs under a little bit of pressure?

5) So we go three up top with Ryan on for Longridge. Now we are exposed constantly down our right as Hippolyte does not track back, putting Williamson under all sorts of pressure. The whole team are all over the place and it quickly descends into a shambles. The Utd players have cigars out now and are happy to pick the Pars off at times.

6) Another change and the ineffective Vincent makes way for Thomson. Still no sign of a big striker to try and rough up the centre backs, who are now changing into smoking jackets and slippers

7) Andy Ryan gets through one on one with the keeper. Drop the shoulder, feint to shoot, dummy him, clip it over him. No, just telegraph a weak sidefoot finish.

8) We lost the game 2-0. It could and should have been more. Our players should be raging, doing all they can to get back into the game and put themselves about. Pars - one yellow ( FEB ) Utd - five yellows. Read into that stat what you will, but I would have expected that to have been the other way around.


The Ugly

1) Hippolyte and his diving. Let's be frank. It's cheating. I counted three times he dived and how he escaped a booking, is beyond me. The manager should be pulling him up. In fact, he should be dropped as he is poor and his second touch is a tackle.

2) Aird jumping about in front of the man stand, showing a total lack of respect and class. Why did nobody put him up in the air? We are way too nice ( see yellow card count )

Summary

I think it's a decent enough pool of players but the manager is not getting the best out of them. No partnerships of any note anywhere throughout the team. It's now the end of October and I'm certain he doesn't know his best team. Why are we persisting with out of form players like FEB and Ryan? To be fair to them, why are we playing long balls into these guys? As usual, he seems to be found wanting when a game is not going to plan. He has enough on the bench to be able to do that.

We are 5 points off the promotion play offs but only 3 from the relegation one. There is plenty time to get up the league. Is AJ the man to do it? I have my doubts. I said give him to the end of the year, but that's too long. I'd give him to the end of November and review.




It's bloody tough being a legend
Ron Atkinson - 1983
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