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Everything posted by SpoonTon

  1. I'm not one who's big on the look of the shirt usually, but for me this is a massive improvement on last season when the plain blue back didn't feel like us at all. Having the hoop look all the way round is a big step in the right direction. I can understand why some might think it's a bit uninspired but I just think it will be really nice to see us playing in a strip that looks more like us. To me it feels like what a Morton kit should look like and I'm happy with that.
  2. No worries, Owen Coyle will talk his way into that job.
  3. After the struggles of recent years, it was so nice just to go on and simply purchase a season ticket.
  4. We're as good as any other team in the league on our day. So frustrating to not have a few more points, because we've been so close to getting them. Fine margins from being in the title battle on Friday night. As it is, we hope for the best but play like that again and we'll put ourselves in the position to take the good bit of luck if it comes. Outstanding today.
  5. Players like Easdale, Garrity, and Lyon were all given contracts during last season and will all probably leave before the end of them. Imrie has made use of McGrattan but I've never really been convinced of how much Imrie was really keen on those players. We seem to have wanted to give home grown players a chance over and above what Imrie actually thought their worth was. You could also say that this have changed since then and we have less need for such squad fillers, but they definitely stand out as being different cases to the other players that Imrie has brought in. It's not surprising to see them leave.
  6. I thought Water's had perhaps his best game for us on Saturday, solid at the back and passed the ball better, but our best chance with his crosses is definitely still another flukey back post goal. We don't want to rip it up and start again, but we do need a little bit more quality if we want to step it up a level (and it could be a tougher league next season so we might need to step up to even stay where we are in terms of league position). There might need to be one or two pretty ruthless calls if there are better players we might get in.
  7. It could be that Strapp 'and his agent' think he's worthy of being something like the top earner at the club but Imrie isn't willing to shift to that level on that. I'm not sure what has been said makes sense otherwise. If Strapp and those around him have taken the position that he's a higher level player who's happy to stay if he's paid as such, Imrie might have responded by saying that this could well be but we're not going to pay him what he's looking for here. Sometimes moving away works out, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes it's best for players to test themselves outside of their comfort zone, sometimes that comfort zone is the best place for them. It would have been nice to have kept Strapp on as long as possible. I think it's positive to have some longer term players. I doubt Imrie is trying to be charitable to Strapp at the expense of the club - he either think he wants to much money or, well, maybe he just doesn't like him. It's impossible to know form the outside what's happened, but it is disappointing.
  8. I agree with that to a large extent, but would add that with better finishing, being slightly more solid at the back and with a little bit better game management we'd be at least 5 points better off from recent games and still in contention for the title. I think it's less running out of steam than it is not making sure the we got what our general performances have deserved recently. The margins that have stopped this season from being absolutely outstanding have been paper thin. It is probably just that case of not managing to add the right quality in January. But we've been very close and there can't be many complaints at all.
  9. I think Schwake has been more assured in recent weeks, and did a very good job in difficult conditions last week, but the high ball in for the third goal is going to fall and bounce in the six yard box before Oakley makes a meal of it. That's absolutely the goalkeeper's ball to claim. The problem is that he doesn't anticipate/read the cross and doesn't react to it, and that is clearly a weaker point in his game. I'm not singling him out for that goal, though, and it's not out of place at all for goalkeepers at this level. It happened to be something that Jack Hamilton was pretty good at last season, despite some errors, and it immediately takes some pressure off if a goalkeeper is going to be able to take more of those than Schwake does. Giving away free-kicks doesn't help and Oakley not dealing with it also gives O'Connor two players to cope with (and one of them scores). I'm not sure I quite get Imrie's criticisms because I can see plenty of blame spread among plenty of players in recent matches. The Dundee 'keeper made a meal of a few things as well. Goalkeeping at this level can be pretty ropey.
  10. King's a talented 18 year old who does silly things. Ideally he'd be out on loan playing every week and learning more about that side of the game. It's probably really frustrating for Imrie when he's telling him not to do things like that - more frustrating than errors from not being good enough because he's choosing to make a challenge like that when he'll have been told not to (but it very much feel like an inexperience thing which game time very much helps with). Blues and Grimshaw both lose back post challenges. The third goal is a bit of a mess. I'm honestly not sure if the ball should be dropping in our six yard box that often.
  11. I thought he struggled particularly in the first half at Ayr. Around the time he was booked he looked a bit lost. I didn't think that was his best game - scoring with a poor cross doesn't cover the weak performance for me. I thought he struggled with the conditions in the first half last night but was comfortable in the second. He got into a good position to score in the first but took too long over it - I thought that kind of sums him up, he knows what to do but just isn't brilliant at actually doing it. I won't labour the point cause I don't think he's been bad - I just don't think he's very good. If our aim is simply to avoid relegation next season then sure, we could do worse. Otherwise, I'd hope we could do better.
  12. I largely agree, but I haven't been impressed by Waters. He's a basic left back who knows his role well but I don't think he's particularly good at anything - his crosses aren't very good, his clearances could go anywhere, he can't really dribble or pass his way out from the back. He's not particularly weak or a liability of any sort at defending but I'd like to think we could do better.
  13. To be clear, I think the most likely outcome is him signing for a club like Patrick Thistle, Falkirk, or Raith Rovers, but I could also see him signing for a club like Killie.
  14. If Calum Waters could get a top flight club, surely Strapp can too. He's got improvements to make, particularly in his marking at set pieces, but there are worse than Strapp in the top flight.
  15. I was right in line with this one at the end and thought it was a matter of failing to anticipate exactly how the ball was coming across rather than not busting a gut to get there (McGrattan was there too). Ali Crawford's was much worse in this regard, when Muirhead laid it on a plate at the back post and he had gone inside instead.
  16. Half time sub was odd. We suddenly surrendered so much space in the midfield and were quickly punished.
  17. I thought Schwake was poor at two of the Ayr goals. His anticipation and reaction speed is way off at the first goal - he steps the wrong way after the touch and puts himself out of position for the save. I mean, he's a young goalkeeper here to learn to learn from situations like that. The Ayr player is very likely to get a touch on the ball, and that touch is likely to take the ball to the near post. He'll learn from moments like that, and, if anything, it's his speed of thought that's holding him back a bit at the moment. I'll be honest, I don't know how goalkeepers do it but that split second judgement is crucial in adjusting to higher levels of football. The third goal is a debatable one. The defending is poor, and sometimes you've got to leave that wee gap at the front post to cover the rest, but I think he's got to cover that one slightly better (great finish though it was). These are not out of place pieces of goalkeeping at this level, though. I don't want to overstate my opinion of Schwake. I think he's a young goalkeeper who has some good qualities. He made two big mistakes on Friday night, without having a busy game, and I don't think he has been on his best form in recent weeks, but we have had much worse. To be clear, I said what I said on Friday night on the understanding that we could have re-signed Hamilton with a bit more patience. If that's not true then it's not such a big mistake, but I don't think he has been commanding enough and I think his reading of the game has let him down at times. Absolutely to be expected of a young goalkeeper, and the disappointment is probably that the errors have crept in rather than seeing the kind of improvement that was hoped, but I don't think the risk on a goalkeeper untested at this level has been great for us so far. Not awful, not undermining of our goals in the context of the squad we have, but I don't think we'd be in anything like this position if our whole squad was at his level. I very much hope things click for him in the final few games of the season and we see some real progress in his game. I'd be delighted for him to have a storming end to the season and make my misgivings look like an overreaction to certain aspects of his game and the season.
  18. I also think, as I indicated, that Schwake would struggle to help keep us in this division if the back four were also at his level. I don't think Schwake has managed the step up at this point in his career as well as many would have hoped he would. I think Imrie will be included in that and that's what I meant by getting it wrong. I think the assumption from Imrie, people at Livi, and many others was that he would've been better than he has been. I think the hope for Schwake and this loan was that he'd be a goalkeeper much closer to challenging for the number one position at Livi next season - I don't think it's panned out that way. I'm not shifting any goalposts here. Bottom line - I don't think Schwake has been as good for us as everyone hoped and that the judgement on his ability to step up was wrong.
  19. Imrie was pretty harsh on Schwake last night. So I don't get your point there. I'm also not saying it's a huge error. I think on reflection it's a case of Schwake just not being quite ready for what we might have been capable of as a squad this season. I also think he would've been even more exposed if Imrie didn't get so many other things right. It's not revisionism or moving the goalposts to suggest that some elements of what we've done to get where we are have been better than others. I don't think Schwake is at the level of players like Grimshaw, Strapp, Crawford, or Oakley. Nor do I think he's been as good as several others in the squad. I'm not ever been the bigger fan of Baird, for example, but he has shown himself to be a more capable player at this level. Talk of 'these great players' is straw man stuff. Your twisting what I'm saying either because you don't understand it or don't want to understand it.
  20. Well, yeah, it's not the example I would've used for that purpose.
  21. What I heard was that after that Hamilton came back to us and was ready to accept what we were offering, but we were already signed Schwake by that point. No idea if that's true, but in any case Schwake was never going to be the one and only option available to us. Yeah, that's a lot of circling around to show absolutely nothing. And then, to finish, another incorrect appeal to revisionism - I don't even disagree with most of it. Let's be clear, I think Imrie is doing an excellent job. I tipped us for a relegation battle at the start of the season because I thought with the budget on offer it would be a tough job to stay up. Even with the improvements in budget, as far as I'm concerned, Imrie has already achieved his main aim (40+ points) this season. I'm also not arguing that Imrie hasn't been getting a lot out of this squad - for the most part he's had them playing as a very tight unit. Our defensive record this season is good. Not outstanding, but good. Slightly better than the last couple of seasons, slightly worse than under Duffy (for example). I'd argue that having a well drilled, disciplined team is the main factor in this. I'd also say that Schwake is far from being wildly out of his depth. We've had worse - his level of competence has been above what the likes of Ramsbottom and Scully showed with us. But he's not one of our better players, and I think this has become more and more clear as the season has gone on. I posted this on here at the beginning of October: 'I'm not quite as optimistic about Schwake so far. There's loads that's good about his game, but I think he also shows his age at times. That's not really a criticism, because it's what he's here to learn (be more commanding, etc.).' My view hasn't changed very much in the 5 or 6 months since - I wasn't terribly optimistic based on what I had seen that he'd be the goalkeeper we needed throughout the season. And, without being completely awful, I don't think he has been.
  22. Schwake was signed in the middle of June. If rumours are to be believed, Jack Hamilton would've re-signed if we had waited a wee bit longer. There would have been other options as well. I don't blame Imrie for wanting to get a goalkeeper in early enough. It's a tough thing to do to go with one proper first team keeper and get that selection right and he made a judgement. His signings have been, on the whole, excellent. And he's doing a tremendous job. I'm not weighing in with heavy criticism here, but I don't think he got this one right. Schwake hasn't been a key part of what we've achieved - I think he's held us back a bit (not by a massive amount, but we have some good Championship level players and he isn't one of them at this moment in time). It's not totally a poor example. His footwork isn't great at that goal and it has a knock on effect on getting his hands down to it. A top goalkeeper doesn't concede that, the shot didn't have enough power for that. But we're not taking about the top level here - most Championship level goalkeepers would struggle with shots like that. So it's a good example of a difference between goalkeepers at our level and higher level goalkeepers, but not something to beat Schwake up with really. Although, it would be helpful if he was better at things like that to make up for some of his more obvious weaknesses.
  23. It's not revisionism. I've said for a while that you take the rough with the smooth with a young goalkeeper - and I've been kinder than many other around me at matches this season. There are plenty who have never tasted Schwake. A point of his loan is to try to improve on the weak parts of his game and it's far from the first time I've said this. I think he's a young goalkeeper with some decent strengths - and parts of his game are certainly compatible with this level. He could go onto have a decent career, but I don't actually think he's a decent Championship level keeper yet. That was tolerable when he was playing at his best, but over the last couple of months he's got into a sticky patch (which was always a risk) and it has cost us points. He has cost us goals in three of the last four matches.
  24. It'll take a long time to get over that one, and on top of the last couple of weeks we've given ourselves a really tough job keeping up with the teams ahead of us, but it was a really good, dominant performance. But for our finishing we would have scored 4, and we only conceded because Schwake had a howler. It's particularly gutting because of the position we've been left in, but on the whole there's not a huge amount to criticise tonight. Getting the goalkeeper wrong this season is haunting us and we missed a bunch of big chances, that's about it.
  25. Sickening. Finishing was so poor, but we're in no danger of conceding outside of Schwake having another disaster.
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