The ghost of Jim Morton

Saints V Alashkert Europa League Q1 2Nd Leg Thurs 9Th July 2015

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The whole game last night was a shambles

£27 to get it is too much for any game involving Saints as well as £5 parking. - total rip off

Team selection was awful, a defender in midfield when caddis was on the bench?

Players were not fit or interested- was more a shock when brad scored, it was not a surprise the date of this game so Scottish teams need to buck up their fitness ideas about euro games

Last night left a bad taste

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i very rarely slag the club and still believe they got the ticketing policy correct for this match. not even sure if having seperate turnstiles for cash n tickets would have mad a big difference but as i stood in the queue for turnstile 13/12 no. 14 ran out of tickets and the folk had to go to the north stand but there was no attempt to let the rest of the queue know. Id have been ragin standing all that time only to discover uyouve wasted your time when you get to the front.

As for the ammount of folk sitting on peoples seats this is plainly down to idiots that want to sit with there mates or cannae read a ticket. the knock on effect is ridiculous . someone didnt want the hassle of saying to the people who were sitting in there seats so just found 2empty seats they ended up getting moved 4times and when eventually going to a steward he simply told them to find empty seats rather than move the folk who were in their original seats

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Still in shock from what happened last night. Definitely up there with Minsk and the promotion-that-never-was at Hamilton in terms of all-time Saints disappointments.

Over the last couple of weeks I've seen a lot of references to Alashkert as a "pub team" and I think we seriously need to put that nonsense to bed. The fact is they were better, smarter and quicker on the ball than quite a few sides in our own division, and I actually think Tommy Wright could do a lot worse than look to add a few of their guys to our own team.

That said, even with the injury problems (and possibly the most makeshift starting line-up I've ever seen), we should have had enough to beat them over two legs. Yet again we've shown that we don't know how to play against sides we're expected to beat. We've seen it in the last two Euro campaigns when we've knocked out top sides and then flopped against "minnows", and we saw it in the league last season when we regularly outplayed Celtic yet struggled against sides like Partick and Ross County. Had we gone through, I actually think we'd have again risen to the occasion and we would have all seen a very different Saints performance against Kairat.

Our players bust a gut for the cause and I don't think attitude is the problem, so it has to come down to our tactics and signings. Other than O'Halloran (who I thought was exceptional last night) we have no creative spark, and that should have been addressed by now. That's now proven very costly. I really thought we were going to learn from our mistakes and make a real go of it in Europe this season, but that's the worst I've seen us play in a Euro match. Even against Minsk, when a lot of people said we were awful, I thought we got the ball down on the deck and played some really strong, imposing football. Last night we had zero composure and just couldn't seem to take control and string some passes together. Alashkert completely stopped us from exercising any sort of game plan and I think their manager deserves a lot of credit for that.

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Jesus where to start?

Strange starting team for one thing. Was clearly never going to work and by the 20th minute should have been tweaked. Fair enough we were probably marginally better than Alashkert but never really fully in command and apart from our goal and the flurry near the end we created the route sum of **** all.

I've no idea why we seem to **** it up against these so called minnows. Maybe we are just shite.

Lying in bed last night thought of the 1999 team and how they would have hoovered this lot up and quite probably by a distance.

Take off the blue tinted specs and might be the case that although this era will be remembered as a successful team they are nowhere near the best Saints one. Maybe that's just down to the overall picture and standard dip in the Scottish game in general I don't know.

Now, to clarify, I'm not saying Scottish football is necessarily boring or crap to watch etc, but the standard throughout is way below what it was.

So who would you have started? The only player who should've started the game and didn't is Caddis. In terms of the fact he is an actual midfielder and was arguably our best central midfielder on the night when he eventually did come on. I think people seem to be missing the point regarding the line up. It wasn't through choice. As Blueheaven says in his post, it's about as makeshift a team as you will see. Having said that I thought it was a bad decision to start Anderson who was clearly nowhere near fit enough to play. Trying to imagine how it could've been any different...

Mannus

Shaughnessey, McKay, Wright, Easton

Caddis Brown O'Halloran

MacLean

Sutton Kane

Even that looks dreadful in the middle, which brings me right back to my point. TW did what he thought was right with what he had available. Dire choices to pick from and horrendous injury list to very key players. He obviously decided just to stick bodies in the middle to try and keep it tight and then hope someone like MOH or Kane could provide a spark. The team did the best that could be expected of them, they won the game they were playing.

Rotten luck and a lack of strength in depth in midfield lost us this tie. Perhaps the injuries are down to the fact the players have had about 6 weeks off in two years!

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Did he start with Scobbie in midfield to allow for more attacking adjustments if Wright and Ando didn't last 90 minutes I wonder? I suppose he didn't want to have to make two defensive substitutions if we were chasing the game?

Just a thought.

Looks like he had that role in mind for Scobbie as he tried him there pre,season. Probably because he has to find a role for him due to having so many defenders & short in midfield. Plus I think he rates Scobbie.

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Would add that I disagree with those saying Caddis should have started in midfield ahead of Scobbie. We all know Scobbie's not a midfielder, but he has a good bit of European experience these days and Tommy took a calculated gamble in going with an out of position but experienced Scobbie over a midfield pairing of Brown and Caddis which could have been disastrous. Given the circumstances, I actually thought Scobbie put in a decent shift.

Brown and Caddis both now have a huge chance to prove their worth, but if they can't establish themselves in the team over the next few months with all of our injuries, then in my opinion they never will.

P.S. What was the card display supposed to say? Can't make it out from the pics.

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Whilst we (well Stevie Brown), will miss the prize money, I think getting knocked out now may be a blessing. We've picked up too many injuries already and the team, as we all saw last night, hasn't gelled yet. Going to Almaty with the players available would probably have lead to an embarrassing gubbing. :(

Hopefully we can get another couple of friendlies arranged to help Tommy get the team playing the way he wants, it will also be invaluable game time for Kane, Brown and Caddis and any some of the other young players who will probably be called upon in the coming months.

Decent Cup runs and another Top 6 finish is my prediction for the season ahead.

C O Y S

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Ah well another European adventure comes to an end...well after Sunday at Methil.

 

In past campaigns we have excelled against seeded teams but this time the Armenian's were up for playing a big team that was seeded.

 

Rather take being in for a round than sitting on Broughty Ferry beach like the Arabs and Scumdee.

 

Onwards and upwards time to get back on track for a tilt at 5 in a row and if we do not want to be in Qualifier 1 its simple......win the Scottish Cup again.

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I see a lot of criticism of our young players on here about their efforts last night and display which from watching a few of these types games over the years are always tricky to get through,in general Scottish clubs are a bit Nieve  in all honesty how to negotiate these type of opponents. One such player last night who has all the experience and is rated as one of our most experience players and consistent players has to hold his hands up for the loss of the goal as well. For Me Alan Mannus could/Should have done better at the goal he was caught to far out of his goal line and gave the forward a easy decision to make by just guiding it over his head, if he had been on his 6 yard box narrowing the angle as the forward run in I think the forward may have had to much of decision to make and fluffed it. We will never Know but Mannus could have done better.

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So who would you have started? The only player who should've started the game and didn't is Caddis. In terms of the fact he is an actual midfielder and was arguably our best central midfielder on the night when he eventually did come on. I think people seem to be missing the point regarding the line up. It wasn't through choice. As Blueheaven says in his post, it's about as makeshift a team as you will see. Having said that I thought it was a bad decision to start Anderson who was clearly nowhere near fit enough to play. Trying to imagine how it could've been any different...

Mannus

Shaughnessey, McKay, Wright, Easton

Caddis Brown O'Halloran

MacLean

Sutton Kane

Even that looks dreadful in the middle, which brings me right back to my point. TW did what he thought was right with what he had available. Dire choices to pick from and horrendous injury list to very key players. He obviously decided just to stick bodies in the middle to try and keep it tight and then hope someone like MOH or Kane could provide a spark. The team did the best that could be expected of them, they won the game they were playing.

Rotten luck and a lack of strength in depth in midfield lost us this tie. Perhaps the injuries are down to the fact the players have had about 6 weeks off in two years!

tried to think who could have started in hindsight and i had 

 

      Mannus

Joe Ando Wright Easton

M'Oh Caddis Brown Cummings 

     Macca Kane 

 

but even that doesnt look great im guessing with cummings and Tommy kows his team better than any of us.  i just like players to be played in there correct position if possible. Maybe even one of the younsters could have been risked out wide?

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Brad McKay sounds like an arsehole!! In my opinion Tommy is weaking the squad season by season. Maybe this season we won't score more than 1 in a league game

whats ur opinion on Brad based on? just seen his goal - took in really well with the outside of his boot

 

As for theirs hard to tell if it was offside, not sure where Mckay was tho

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I'm not surprised at all we put in that kind of performance. That line up from Tommy was absolutely disastrous and just asking for trouble, the players didn't know what to do with the ball. I really hope Tommy emphasizes just how important it is to actually pass to a team mate and not just kick it in a random area. It's absolutely pathetic that it took us until the 75th minute to actually start playing in this match. At no point in this game did I ever think we were looking comfortable or in control of the game.

 

For me, Tommy has to carry the can for this 1. I'm sick of seeing Maclean put in these performances over and over and Tommy doing nothing about it. For all the criticism Caddis has gotten he actually put in a decent showing when he came on, sprayed the ball about really well and had a decent couple of efforts on goal. I don't think Brown and Scobbie can be criticised much at all given it was a 2 man midfield. They were never going to win that battle.

 

Didn't think Sutton had much, if anything, to work with up front. And when he would have been most effective he'd already been subbed.

 

Kane and M O'H were pretty good when they got an ounce of space.

 

I don't think the backline can be criticised too much either given they had no cover on the wings. Looked pretty shaky though.

 

For those questioning what else Tommy could have done with the line up what about this?

 

Mannus

 

Shaugnessy Ando Wright Easton

 

Scobbie

 

Brown Caddis

 

M O'H

 

Sutton Kane

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The Alashkert players were out to frustrate us from the start with cynical fouls and time wasting, disappointed to go out to them but lady luck wasn't shining on us with the amount of injuries we had to contend with.

 

 

They did exactly the same tactics out in Armenia - so Saints knew what to expect.

 

Easy to blame footballers when things do not go to plan - Personally think we need 2 wingers who can take on defenders and do a final cross that is begging to be put away.

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They did exactly the same tactics out in Armenia - so Saints knew what to expect.

Easy to blame footballers when things do not go to plan - Personally think we need 2 wingers who can take on defenders and do a final cross that is begging to be put away.

When spoony is played out wide and in the mood he can put in a decent cross but yeah, I agree with you a couple of good wingers would go some way to create more chances than we have of late.

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For those questioning what else Tommy could have done with the line up what about this?

Mannus

Shaugnessy Ando Wright Easton

Scobbie

Brown Caddis

M O'H

Sutton Kane

Personally I don't see how that team is any better than the one Tommy picked. There's no width in it at all and the idea of starting a crucial European match with both Brown and Caddis in central midfield really wouldn't have filled me with confidence.

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Personally I don't see how that team is any better than the one Tommy picked. There's no width in it at all and the idea of starting a crucial European match with both Brown and Caddis in central midfield really wouldn't have filled me with confidence.

but brown and macca would?

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but brown and macca would?

No, but given the circumstances I can understand why they were chosen.

One thing that did cross my mind is that Alashkert had clearly singled out MOH as a key man and always put three men around him when he was on the ball. If MOH had switched wings throughout the game it would have been harder for Alashkert to carry on doing that whilst keeping their shape, and perhaps it would have opened up a few more opportunities for us.

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