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vikingTON

End of Season Scorecard

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With the season now officially over in the most unusual circumstances possible, it's time to evaluate whether it was actually any good or not.

 

Tl;dr analysis below

 

 

 

My main targets for the club at the start of the season were as follows:

i) improve on our points total or maintain our place finish from last season

ii) progress to the appropriate rounds of the cup competitions (2nd Round for Betfred, 4th for Scottish or longer depending on the draw.

 

The team has fallen slightly short on the first category, as the magnificent, Partick-relegating points per game formula would have us on 46 points, exactly the same as last season. We were of course enjoying an excellent start to 2020 so could arguably expect to have done better in real life but given our historic track record of losing every dead rubber match going it's not an overly harsh projection either. The team has however fulfilled the second category by getting out of the Betfred Cup before putting up a creditable display at Easter Road, as well as eventually getting to the 4th Round and being predictably papped out at Saint Johnstone.

 

Another major point to consider, though not an essential category for a successful season, is the manner in which the team played. Despite the constant wailing about 'hoofball' this was for me a breath of fresh air after the turgid, possession-based, negative drivel of last season. We started the season by ritually skelping seaside league diddies again like an Allan Moore side rather than trying to scrape a 1-0 win, and despite a ropey spell after the thumping at Inverness carried that on to the league campaign as well. 19 games with over 2.5 goals, 12 with over 3.5 goals is by far the most in this division, and with the second highest goalscoring total (well ahead of anyone apart from the eventual champions) they weren't all at the other end of the park either.

 

 

 

Verdict: B-

 

A decent campaign in its own right and the budget cuts have to be taken into account as well. It falls a little short for me though because of the standard of the teams that we have finished beneath in the table. It was a brutal standard of league and had we got act together sooner in the autumn then we should have been sitting 3rd or 4th when the action was stopped. I'd also throw in the club's continued failure to take the Challenge Cup even remotely seriously, not because this is the benchmark of a good campaign but because some sort of run in this competition would IMO have taken some of the sting out of our troubled league form after the first Inverness game. When a newly built team is not playing well you need to have some goodwill to fall back on but the club passed up the chance to earn that again.

 

 

 

 


The site is supposed to be a place for the extended 'family' of Morton supporters - having an affinity with people that you don't know, because you share a love of your local football club. It's not supposed to be about point scoring and showing how 'clever' or 'funny' you are, or just being downright rude and offensive to people you don't know, because you can get away with it. Unfortunately, it seems the classic case of people who have little standing/presence in real life, use this forum as a way of making themselves feel as if they are something. It's sad, and I've said that before..

 

So, having been on Morton forums for about 15 years I guess, I've had enough... well done t*ssers, another Morton supporter driven away. You can all feel happy at how 'clever' you are

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It’s kind of hard to judge for me, and not just because the season now feels like a lifetime ago. Like most on here, before the Alloa game in December I thought Hopkin’s position looked untenable. Yes we had to consider the budget cuts, but we were shockingly bad for quite a long period, picking up one of the worst results in the club’s history against Brora as well. Things were far from perfect by the last month and the home draws, Alloa especially, were extremely frustrating but there was clear improvement from where we were at the turn of the year. I’m hopeful whenever the season begins we’ll be a bit more consistent and have the defence/midfield reshuffled.

 

I’d give us a B- as well.

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It felt worse than it actually was. I dunno if that was due to the brand of hoofball under Hopkin, but we managed to get our act together after the new year. If we had won a couple more of the draws (I think we drew our last four home games), we would've actually have been well in the playoff hunt...not that it would've mattered much in the end (apart from prize money).

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The early season batterings had such a huge impact on fan opinion and and it made it very difficult for Hopkin to turn that round. I wasn't calling for his head but at the same time, i had serious doubts he could change it. To his credit he did and over the last 12 games we are actually top of the form tables which is incredible to think looking at the first 12 games. We dropped a lot of silly points in those 12 games but every team will have their hard luck stories.

 

If we can keep a nucleus of Tumilty, Strapp, Baird, Jacobs, McAlister, Colville, Cadden, Nesbitt, Lyon, McGuffie, Orsi and McHugh next season, with a few quality additions i can see us having a successful campaign.


All in with a Doyle Brunson

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The early season batterings had such a huge impact on fan opinion and and it made it very difficult for Hopkin to turn that round. I wasn't calling for his head but at the same time, i had serious doubts he could change it. To his credit he did and over the last 12 games we are actually top of the form tables which is incredible to think looking at the first 12 games. We dropped a lot of silly points in those 12 games but every team will have their hard luck stories.

 

If we can keep a nucleus of Tumilty, Strapp, Baird, Jacobs, McAlister, Colville, Cadden, Nesbitt, Lyon, McGuffie, Orsi and McHugh next season, with a few quality additions i can see us having a successful campaign.

I'd bet that we're unbeaten until Christmas.

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B- seems reasonable to me as well.

 

Hopkin was always clear and consistent that his aim for the season was avoiding relegation based on the budget and that it would take time for the squad to get settled. Those excuses were overused and don't justify either the initial mess of defensive recruitment or our results from autumn to December. In particular the constant references to experience when we had one of the most experienced squads in the division were grating. No one was expecting us to waltz into the top four but that prolonged run of form which left us ninth at the end of 2019 was entirely preventable with better management and we went into January in serious danger of being cut adrift.

 

Ultimately though Hopkin had always maintained that after he had months of working with the squad we would see an improvement in individual players, in the organisation of them and we'd see more cohesive performances and better results on the back of it. That absolutely happened in 2020 and we were improved by just about every measure. That wasn't just young players like Colville and Tumilty noticeably improving as they got more first team experience either, you had someone like McAlister in his best form since coming back to the club. We were going to stay up comfortably, Hopkin achieved what he said he would and we've no reason to believe he won't manage to continue that improvement if he can keep the core of a squad together.

 

We have no idea when we'll be playing again and maybe it'll be so long before they can train that some of that cohesion of players who've improved through working together will be lost, while we have no idea what the financial state of Scottish football will be and what'll happen with players out of contract this summer. Therefore we can't really hope for any momentum being carried into next season from our improvement, but there are plenty of reasons to be positive about getting off to a much better start and seeing the benefits of keeping the core of the squad together.


Brian Wake my Lord, Brian Wake

Brian Wake my Lord, Brian Wake

Brian Wake my Lord, Brian Wake

Oh Lord, Brian Wake

 

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