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Waspie last won the day on May 12

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    Alloa Athletic

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  1. I wouldn't be getting too worried at this stage, it's July and it was the first game and has to be seen in that context. But certainly it was poor tonight. There were questions about the defence last season and think most fans probably had and have some reservations about the same CBs being retained, albeit manager had his hands tied a bit there. It was a bit dispiriting also to see Devine again apparently injured. But they are all capable enough and we'll have to hope a strong pairing emerges. I'd expect more from the full-backs as we move forward too. Defence wasn't the issue tonight anyway. PJ played well. Midfield was poor and that was the root of our issues. The deeper two of Scougall and Roberts didn't bring any control, despite plenty effort. Roberts at least brought his normal drive but he's never been the man to get on the ball and control a game. The return of Hetherington on Saturday will make a big difference there. The other issue - and it was linked to a fair extent in us not getting the ball down and playing - was the lack of threat from the three behind the striker, on the occasions we actually did have some possession. Kev was anonymous. LD when he came on (late enough to be fair) didn't have any real impact. He is one who has a bit to prove the next few months. Not much came off for Cammy. Buchanan I thought ran around a lot with little end product. All resulted in the old issue of us reverting to shelling long balls to Sammo when our game isn't working and that's not his game. It was unfortunate that Nevans got injured straight away as he might be an option to improve those attacking areas. Thomson was a bright spot out of position. I had hoped we'd have added one or two more permanent additions by now but looks like it's going to be loans. We need another mobile striker (as well as Rankin) and at least one more pacy option for the three behind. Again though, I'd be wary of getting too bogged down on one game at this very early stage, and a game we didn't lose either. There is a lot of work to be done but there's plenty of time to do it and address the issues mentioned by a few posters.
  2. Good argument for winter football as that was dire . Even allowing for us missing a few and squad not being finished it was poor fare and resembled a friendly, never got the ball down and no control in midfield, no threat from the three behind the striker either whenever we did get possession. It was worrying also to lose two players injured and finishing up with 10 men because of that. I suppose we can say the defence did fine. Stevie coming back at the weekend will improve the midfield massively but an awful lot of work to do in the weeks ahead, but we do have time on our side. If anyone deserved a bonus point it was East Fife. Not that they were particularly good but clearly further down the road than us in their preparations.
  3. Looking forward to seeing Alloa back in action tonight. Think we're probably two or three players away still and most likely loans. Given our success with loans last season and previously in the Goodwin era I'd hope we'd be well placed to get some decent prospects in. In the meantime we can hopefully build a bit of momentum through these games ahead of the league starting. Should be looking to do much better at least than the shambolic group stage effort under Brian Rice last season.
  4. Would agree with that. Even accounting for weak opposition we've been much better in recent matches and actually look like a team who know what they're trying to do, in stark contrast to what happened previously under Pedro. Whether or not we can maintain that against better teams time will tell but I wouldn't be wholly convinced either. Even tonight we didn't look great at the back on the few occasions Slovakia got into dangerous positions. Felt for the team back in the studio tonight with all the breaks, pretty tough gig. The star of the show overall was Gemma Fay with very good and frank analysis throughout, equally happy to call out ex teammates in the same way she (rightfully) highlighted terrible refereeing decisions.
  5. As you say, there are questions over every other contender and the league at this stage looks like it could be pretty open. Arbroath clearly have a really good budget, have retained a few solid citizens and signed decent players for this level. Quite reasonable to establish them as early favourites on that basis. It might all go wrong. Equally, a mid table finish would be below expectation. And for what it's worth, we went down in 2015/16 after three seasons in the second tier and had a really good season, finishing second and losing in the play-off final on penalties (to a vastly inferior team). But went up again the year after for three more years in the Championship. We also bounced straight back up at the start of the 2000s.
  6. Those two will certainly be missed - if we had the team that finished the season I'd fancy us to win the league. But I'd argue strongly that what fundamentally changed our season was Andy Graham. We were a disjointed mess before he took over. Taylor Steven didn't look great at all under Brian Rice (and hadn't done particularly well previously at East Fife). You could see there was a player in Bobby Wales, but he couldn't buy a goal. It was under Graham that those boys came on massively - they were like different players - and that's what will give us a bit of belief, that Andy can bring on our own youngsters and any loans that come in. Loans can indeed make a difference but how you handle and nurture them is absolutely key. We might not ultimately get two as good but those two certainly weren't sure to be as successful when we first got them. Agree with your overall point though. I'm sure QoS will be better but clearly going to be a work in progress and we'll see how it comes together. Cove have the same manager who struggled last season and lots of questions there. ICT in crisis. The idea there are three full-time clubs there who are ahead of Arbroath is seriously flawed. It looks pretty open but Arbroath should be really fancying their chances of winning it. From an Alloa point of view we still need some decent additions if we're going to make a real challenge.
  7. Bobby Wales had the chance of going to the Championship in January but asked to come back to Alloa, which worked out very well for him and us. If he was indeed coming back to League One I suspect we'd be very well placed to get him. But in reality I'd be astonished if it happened, if he's going out on loan again it should be the level above (where there would be plenty of takers).
  8. Certainly need pacey options for the three behind the striker but not everyone in there has to be a speed merchant. Indeed, arguably the best three we had with that shape was Kev, Kirkpatrick and Flanny under Jack Ross - absolutely unstoppable for that spell when we started the season on fire. Just three really talented and clever footballers who were so effective there despite not being noted for being quick. I'd still be expecting the manager to strengthen there (and to be fair we do have some quick players already) but that doesn't mean Cammy can't be an option. He did a turn at LB - and can still provide cover there - but clearly he isn't best suited to that role. Seems very much a confidence player and I don't think playing LB was ideal for him in that respect. If Andy can find a role further up where he can thrive and grow in confidence then he's capable of bringing a lot to the team, he is a very talented player. That's the challenge for Cammy, at a stage now where he really needs to kick on. And Andy Graham is the ideal man to try and help him do that.
  9. Agreed, gave me the fear whenever he played last season. Can only assume he's good value for money as backup but I'd be worried if PJ was to sustain a bad injury. Big Neilly has done some wonderful work for Alloa in the past but if he can make Phil a reliable alternative between the sticks that would eclipse the lot. If anyone can.... Good to see Luke Rankin among the goals already, even it's it only pre-season. Would be a massive help if he could kick on and become a real option for the first team.
  10. Delighted for the City fans. Hopefully the club can find some stability now and stick to the promise in that statement to communicate better with the fans. Long term the aim has to be get a better home than Meadowbank but understandably that's not for today. All the best for the new season: look after Robbo and pump Spartans
  11. He missed a chunk of last season with injury (sustained at the end of the season before) but whenever he did play after returning he was his usual solid self. Looks after himself so well, fitness won't be a problem.
  12. Great signing for City, still an excellent player and a top pro. Will be a great influence on the younger players.
  13. Common misconception but Robbo was never really a defensive midfielder. He'd do a turn anywhere but he was always at his best driving forward from the middle. Edinburgh City will be handy for him and his experience and drive will be of great benefit to them. The young players McIndoe signed last season were decent and really just needed an old pro or two to help them out. If they're going with a similar model this season then Robbo will be the ideal man in the middle for them.
  14. Did you watch Scotland regularly over the last 20 years? We regularly had managers who couldn't get the best players to turn up and couldn't set up what they had in a coherent fashion to get anywhere near the best out of them. You might have preferred us not to qualify but I think most of us got pretty sick of seeing that. Clarke isn't perfect and he presided over an alarming loss of form in recent times, he has failed to find an effective plan B and he was again too slow to change approach tonight. But we could do and have done so much worse. We could do better but we could also regress very quickly. He's done enough to decide himself if he fancies another go.
  15. Reach for the stars sounds nice but I was in France 98 and Germany 2024 and endured some amount of pish in between. The bigger picture is important. Clarke has done enough to earn another crack at it.
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