Xtratime Community banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,958 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Europe has gone so the league is all we have. On that front we have two of the hardest fixtures of our league season coming up back to back. Two grudge matches away from home. We've taken the full compliment of points in the opening two matches so not much to complain about there but I very much doubt after the next two matches that will still be the case.

First up though is the trip up north and if we really are to be realistic of winning the title this season then we really must be taking 3 points here. If nothing else it would ease the pressure going to Celtic Park. And while that is not the focal point here I think the way Walter sets up will have that game in mind.

I'm happier now with the squad than I was when King Carlos left. That was a real low point. I'm still far from satisfied but for an SPL campaign the only things I think we are missing at the moment are a right back and cover in central defence- ie I don't want to see a repeat of Amdy Faye playing centre half in a crunch match at Celtic Park.

The squad is OK and should be good enough to put in a challenge for the league title. If we were still in Europe then I would be worried because our attacking options are not good enough for that level but for the SPL they are good enough. With that in mind if we are going to be playing 4-4-2 then I feel it's time to give Boyd a run. He is SPL level and proven at that level so as long as it's not a lone striker role he should be playing. Who partners him though is the big question. Miller looks to be the manager's choice and to be honest although I'm not a fan I can't see that Velicka, Darcheville or Cousin offer much more- though the latter would if he was interested.

That brings us to the biggest question of all though. Will we be playing 4-4-2? Really there is no excuse not to. Smith can't say that he doesn't have the players because he has bought enough and the squad is bursting at the seems. So much so that I forgot we still had Gow, Burke, Hamdani and Naismith.

My worry though is that Smith will still use the lone striker in the league and this will be where we see if that is in his plans. I have a horrible feeling he will play a 4-5-1 tomorrow for three reasons. One being that having been humped the last time we went to Aberdeen he will fear the same happening again, two that he will be looking to set up his team with Celtic Park in mind the following week and three that 4-4-2 has never really worked for him.

Not playing a 4-4-2 would be a crime in my opinion at Pittodrie. Aberdeen are no great shakes. We expect them to try harder against Rangers because there is a history there but also we saw last season they tried harder against Celtic too than the rest. But with the money we have spent we should be going out to dictate, not be dictated to. If we have real belief in winning this league then we have to do it by setting up to win games and not hoping we can nick something.

Personally I'd play like this tomorrow:

---------------McGregor

Broadfoot-----Bougherra------Weir------Papac

Davis---------Mendes-------Thomson-----Lafferty

------------Boyd---------Miller

Miller only because as I said I don't see that the others are any better and in saying that I don't see that Miller is any better than Sebo- or offers anything more. In actual fact I would play Novo up there in his natural position where he scored goals in the past and is as good as any of the current crop in that position. But that's not going to happen.

Also in that formation Davis is out of position but we expect Walter to do that- as is Lafferty really. The weak link is right back where neither Broadfoot or Whittaker are good enough. We really should have cut our losses there. There are better right backs in the SPL as they could be brought in cheaply so I don't know why they haven't.

But as I said I expect Walter not to go that way and instead go 4-5-1 so expect Boyd to make way for Walter's favourite gimp McCulloch. He always has to find somewhere for him to play so no doubt it will end up 4-5-1 with Davis moving in one and McCulloch playing right midfield.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,903 Posts
I was working today like most Saturdays so missed the game but watched the goals tonight and the goal that got chopped off.

I had us down for 2-1 too and why the goal was ruled to be offside I'll never know. The linesman must have thought it was a Celtic game he was at and that the opposition had scored.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,867 Posts
Actually looked pretty decent for much of the the first half, despite having Boyd and Miller on the pitch who were both worse than useless.

2nd half we were poor, Boyd got worse, Miller got worse and Smith didn't change anything and use the better options he had on the bench. Why play a winger on the wing when you can have a striker who can't control the ball and who never scores out there!

As for the offside decision. A disgrace!

There is already an alarming trend this season: the celtic penalty against St Mirren, Dundee United being denied about 3 or 4 penalties in their game, McManus handball goal allowed to stand today and our offside goal which would have been a winner.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,958 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I have to hold up my hands as I got the strike partnership I wanted but never expected to see today. But I was basing that on what I've seen of Boyd this season and today he was shocking. I mean truely shocking. Miller too was shite.

When the team was announced I was quite excited by the front two. What concerned me was the team I saw had McCulloch at left midfield and I couldn't believe he was starting again. That was wrong but I was no happier to see Miller there. It's like Walter has got to justify paying the money for him. He was even more crap there than he is up front.

We played well the first half but gave away a cheap goal. It was well against the run of play. But I can't help thinking when an opposition player hits a ball 30 yard into your own 6 yard box then surely the keeper should be there to collect. Good save though by Shagger but he should have snubbed it earlier.

Second half Rangers lacked invention again. It was passed around midfield until finally going back to be punted up the park. Thomson, Davis and Mendes can all play but they were totally non-existant in the second half as a result.

It really stunned me that when the sub was made Boyd and Miller stayed on and Nacho came off. Not the best of games for Nacho but he did make chances for himself and if we were going to score there was more chance of it coming from him than the other two.

The disallowed goal was a joke. A really basic error from the assistant which has in the end cost us two points. But I still blame Walter too. If he's have replaced Boyd then it might have stood. That **** is constantly caught offside and it really annoys me. So not only was he a useless tool today but his only contribution was to cost us a winner.

Two points dropped.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,958 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
He was shocking. In the previous games he wasn't that bad and did try but against Aberdeen he was pish. It looks like a few starts and he thinks he's a regular again so can go back to not bothering his arse.

Smith is really going to have to stick to a partnership though and see it through. There is not a chance we will see Boyd or a partnership in the coming game. Back to 4-5-1 I think. So many strikers and nothing seems to work with any regularity.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top