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January Punt or Keep.


TopCat
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There's been some overblown threads this week, describing our November games as 'must win' or 'most important in our history' etc. Blatant nonsense of course, nothing is won or lost in November.

Where things are won or lost is January, and the transfer window. We went into January 2014 level pegging with Motherwell and Ross County. They spent a fortune between them in the window, we sold our best player in McLean. As a direct result they stayed up comfortably and we got relegated. This example is repeated all over football, seasons are made or lost in the mid season window.

Given our position of adrift at the bottom of the second tier I can confidently say - without hyperbole - that this window is the most important in the football clubs history. In 139 years of senior football in Paisley, we have never graced the third tier of the Scottish leagues. Get it wrong this January and we will. What a disgraceful start to the ' SMISA/Scott ' reign that would be.

Therefore, we need to nail it. The manager and the board must be, and I'm sure will be, planning for it already. I don't know how much financial scope we have, I don't know how much GLS is willing to put up. In my punt or keep I'm going to assume he is willing to put his own capital up to secure the full time future of the football club. Maybe that assumption is wrong, we will soon see.

Here's mine, i would keep all the young fellas like Magennis, MacAllister, Stewart, McLear etc. Just talking about the more senior players here:

Langfield - Punt. Said it before. He's the worst first choice keeper I've ever seen at St Mirren. A nice fella, but an absolutely terrible goalie. Mutual consented ASAP as we can't afford a full time GK coach.

Gallagher - Punt. Another hopeless keeper, would only keep him on as number 2.

Naismith - Punt. Was a big fan of Jason when he broke through. Sadly he's lost what he had since that awful injury at the start of last season. He's not up to it anymore and we don't have time for sentimentality.

Webster - Punt. An utter charlatan. The worst St Mirren captain ever. Bye.

Irvine - Punt. An utter charlatan. The second worst St Mirren captain ever. Bye.

Baird - Keep. I like Jack. He isn't the finished article of course, but he will become a very good player at this level I'm sure.

McKenzie - Punt. He's either injured and not playing or playing and shite. Either way, he isn't what we need. Bye.

Gordon - Keep. Might turn out alright, certainly won't be worse than Irvine, Webster and MacKenzie.

Morgan - Keep. One of the few bright sparks this season, good player.

Hutton - Punt. Nowhere near good enough. A poor mans Stuart Carswell.

Quinn - Punt. Either injured and not playing or playing and shite. Either way, he isn't what we need. Bye.

Mallan - Keep. His record speaks for himself. Been poor this season, but I believe he's still our top scorer. Will get double figures from midfield again.

Walsh - Keep. Has a wee knack of scoring, useful from the bench.

Hardie - Punt. Been a big disappointment, back from whence you came lad.

Gallagher. Punt. Remember him? Nope, me neither. Still on the squad list though. Bye.

Shankland - Punt. The kindest way to describe his physical conditioning is... unprofessional. This kid clearly prefers beer and/or burgers instead of keeping himself fit enough to be an effective footballer. Fair enough, his choice, but our problem. He's stinking out our team and has been for months. First out the door for me. Bye.

Clarkson - Punt. At the end of last term, I thought Rae was going to be a success this season. I thought he was going to rinse pretty much the whole squad and build from the bottom. He didn't, he kept faith in the same failed players from last term, and that's why he got sacked.

The alarm bells started ringing for me when he gave this over the hill dud a new deal, he should have been released in the summer along with a host of others. It should surprise absolutely no one that he and Shankland have no league goals or assists between them in November. What a waste of money. Bye.

Sutton. Keep. Record speaks for himself. Has already scored more goals than Clarkson and Shankland combined this season. Despite this, he is on the bench while they both start. Bizarre. Start Sutton every game and he will get 15-20 goals a season.

I make that six senior players from the whole first team squad worth keeping. What do you think?

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Only players from that rabble I'd retain beyond January are Irvine, Baird, Morgan, Mallan and Sutton. Every other one of them can go tomorrow and we'll take our chances with lads like Kyle Magennis who came on at half time tonight and at least showed that he had something.

Guys like Quinn and MacKenzie are no use to us constantly injured.

Guys like Hutton and Gordon aren't even footballers.

Guys like Langfield and Webster are over the hill duds.

Guys like Shankland, Hardie and Walsh can go back to their parent clubs.

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You're insane if you think we can punt 12 players in January most of whom are under contract.

The answer is much more simple, return the loan players and bolster up the midfield. The forwards and defence will do much better with a proper midfield operating to supply the front men and supporting the defence. 



Boom, the boys got it in one right there! Been saying from game one that we need two good central midfielders in and two from Shanks, Walsh, Hardie n Gallagher to go. Two new centre mids would balance the team a whole lot better!
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7 minutes ago, Buddy Marvellous said:

 


Boom, the boys got it in one right there! Been saying from game one that we need two good central midfielders in and two from Shanks, Walsh, Hardie n Gallagher to go. Two new centre mids would balance the team a whole lot better!

 

Gallagher's not on loan.

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45 minutes ago, Kendo said:

You're insane if you think we can punt 12 players in January most of whom are under contract.

The answer is much more simple, return the loan players and bolster up the midfield. The forwards and defence will do much better with a proper midfield operating to supply the front men and supporting the defence. 

Plus if you look at what happened with Butcher at Hibs, he quickly decided a chunk of the team weren't up to the job and apparently began telling many of them to look at finding other clubs and had identified who he wanted to bring in as replacements only for Petrie to pennypinch when it came to bringing players in. End result Hibs hardly brought any replacements in and spent the rest of the season with a starting XI who knew the manager wanted most of them out the door.

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Plus if you look at what happened with Butcher at Hibs, he quickly decided a chunk of the team weren't up to the job and apparently began telling many of them to look at finding other clubs and had identified who he wanted to bring in as replacements only for Petrie to pennypinch when it came to bringing players in. End result Hibs hardly brought any replacements in and spent the rest of the season with a starting XI who knew the manager wanted most of them out the door.



We're very much in that boat already, as most of tonight's team knows that anyone with the power of sight doesn't rate them. Funny thing about Butcher is that those players did find other clubs on PCAs and then took Hibs for a salary for months.

Back to us though, it's a hell of a task for anybody. Even just looking at Langfield for starters. He's supposed to be an experienced head and a coach, but his performances are poor and he takes verbal shots at his team mates.
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There is no way the club has the money to mutually consent contracts for most of the first team. Ross's main job this year will be to find 3 defenders out of Irvine, MacKenzie, Baird, Gordon, Naismith, Stewart who can form a decent Championship unit and maybe move 1 or 2 on to bring in 1 other defender. Midfield, I hope that Fowler can redeem the situation with Hutton and tell Ross how to use him in a way that helps us get the best out of him, I think he might be fine at our level, I think Morgan and Walsh are good options, Mallan can provide a good goal return and if we get a reasonable supply to our forwards Sutton and Shankland can get a decent share of goals. I think Ross will mainly have to give the current squad some encouragement and confidence and find ways of getting the most out of them and try and talk GLS into bringing in another defender, 2 midfielders and if the board are feeling really generous another goalkeeper.

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1 minute ago, TsuMirren said:

 


We're very much in that boat already, as most of tonight's team knows that anyone with the power of sight doesn't rate them. Funny thing about Butcher is that those players did find other clubs on PCAs and then took Hibs for a salary for months.

Back to us though, it's a hell of a task for anybody. Even just looking at Langfield for starters. He's supposed to be an experienced head and a coach, but his performances are poor and he takes verbal shots at his team mates.

 

Langfield missed the ball and fell over (against Falkirk I think) when he went to kick the ball out from hand. No mistake is too surprising, basic, or improbable and that's from a coach and supposedly senior pro / old experienced head in the team.

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I realise now how much I overestimated the quality of the squad at the start of the season. Yes, it was always unbalanced but there are too many players in there who we thought were better than they were. 

I remember Ian Murray saying how Mallan, Naismith and, to a lesser extent, Baird would be stand-outs at this level, and I'm afraid they're anything but. Sad to say it about boys who have come through the Academy but I don't see any of them playing for a bigger club than us. Beyond that, we've got more than a few guys whose best days are behind them (Langfield, Clarkson, Webster.....) and 3 loanees, none of which have been given a run in the team. It's just not worked at all. I can't see Morton challenging at the top of this league, but they've got a young team full of energy and desire, and that's enough to run over the top of us.

It's hard even to see a core we can rely on at the moment, especially in the middle of the park. Obviously the team will be broken up in the summer, but JR won't be able to change much in January. It's all very well saying "punting x, y and z" but who's going to be available to bring in? Anyway, in the meantime we've got to work with what we've got, and the absolute priority has to be to stop conceding so many goals. We need more defensive players in the side. I think we should be looking at something like this:

 

------------------Langfield------------------

----------Baird MacKenzie Gordon------

Irvine Magennis Mallan Quinn Stewart

--------------Sutton Hardie-------------

Edited by Julian Banjos
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8 hours ago, TopCat said:

 

 

Langfield - Punt. All season we have been put under pressure from his kick outs. He's been awful and he blames everyone else as he thinks he's the dugs baws.

Gallagher -  keep him on as number 2.

Naismith - Keep but needs a spell with the under 20's. Maybe come good again next season with a good pre-season.

Webster - 50/50 on this one.

Irvine - Would like to see him get a run at right back at the expense of Naismith before punting.

Baird - Keep, til end of season.

McKenzie - Punt.

Gordon - On last nights showing he would be one of the first out the door.

Morgan - Keep. Positive player with pace. Will only improve IMO.

Hutton - Punt. Nowhere near good enough.

Quinn - Keep, think he's quite effective when fit.

Mallan - Keep. Needs a good kick up the arse but has potential.

Walsh - Punt. Play our own kids before the loan players who play like it doesn't matter what happens as they think they'll be returning to their own clubs.

Hardie - Punt. As above

Gallagher. Punt.

Clarkson - Punt. Past it and out of shape.

Sutton - Keep, but we need more mobility up front for support.

 

We won't be able to move on as many as this unfortunately so I hope Jack Ross has what it takes to get more out of the shite we have. It was a huge gamble giving him the job when we were rock bottom of the league with the squad we have. Brave appointment from GLS, not one I would have taken if it were my money invested in the club.

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We can only punt the players that won't cost anything - Shankland, Hardie and Walsh. All are heartless and hide at every opportunity refusing to take any responsibility. The rest can be punted when their contracts are up. Our best formation is 4-2-3-1 so we should stick with that and try and get in some decent loanees to plug the gaps in that formation.

New keeper
Naismith, Baird, Mckenzie/Webster/Gordon, Irvine
Magennis, new defensive midfielder
New attacking midfielder on right, Mallan, Morgan
Sutton

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I'll be surprised if we're able to move on any of our contracted players - who'd want them?

I'll buck the trend here and say that unless JR can be sure of getting better in the January window I'd keep one of Hardie/Shankland.

Going back a few years (and I wish we could) DL turned the season round by bringing in Kelly & Naismith from the U-20's, now I don't know enough about the young 'uns to suggest who might be ready to make the step up but the gap in standard has got to be less than it was in 2013 and would surely be worth it in order to shake up the complacency in the current first team players - let them know their appearance money is not safe.

We need to find some way of helping Mallan play to his strengths - running onto the ball in attacking situations. Whether this is the currently favoured 4-2-3-1 or some other combo, JR has to get it sorted - NOW!

COYS!

Edited by Bud the Baker
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You're insane if you think we can punt 12 players in January most of whom are under contract.

The answer is much more simple, return the loan players and bolster up the midfield. The forwards and defence will do much better with a proper midfield operating to supply the front men and supporting the defence. 


Sound good to me. I would however offer every player the chance of finding themselves an other club, but none of them should get a pay off for being failures.
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Would say a lot of the punting will have to happen in summer but for me

1.       Jamie Langfield - Punt (wage thief)

2.       Jason Naismith - Punt (wage thief)

3.       Gary Irvine - Would like to see him move to right back again before deciding 

4.       Andy Webster - Punt (wage thief)

5.       Ben Gordon - Would give him time before deciding 

6.       Gary Mackenzie - Likely punt with his injuries but will see if he gets a run

7.       David Clarkson - Punt (wage thief)

8.       Rocco Quinn - Same situation with injuries

9.       John Sutton - Keep 

10.   Stephen Mallan - Punt

11.   Callum Gallacher - Punt

12.   Scott Gallagher - Punt

13.   Kyle Hutton - Punt (as high as bloody possible)

14.   Jack Baird - Punt (not developed enough, had a couple good games recently but overall extremely poor) 

15.   Tom Walsh - Probably punt have to imagine better loan signings

16.   Lewis Morgan - Keep (although very disappointed at how much he's fallen away)1

19.   Ryan Hardie - Punt

20.   Lawrence Shankland - Punt

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While agree with the sentiment behind the OP, Julian Banjos and Kendo have far more pragmatic/feasible approach, and that's what's needed.

In January, we need to get shot of the ineffective loan players and reshape the squad with a 4-2-3-1 in mind.

If that means bringing in two DMs, Gus-style, then so be it, because we clearly cannot count on Quinn to remain fit.

 

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1 hour ago, Sonny said:

We can only punt the players that won't cost anything - Shankland, Hardie and Walsh. All are heartless and hide at every opportunity refusing to take any responsibility. The rest can be punted when their contracts are up. Our best formation is 4-2-3-1 so we should stick with that and try and get in some decent loanees to plug the gaps in that formation.

New keeper
Naismith, Baird, Mckenzie/Webster/Gordon, Irvine
Magennis, new defensive midfielder
New attacking midfielder on right, Mallan, Morgan
Sutton

Sonny.

Agree with you on the cash front.

Forwards

Agree with you on letting both Shankland and Hardie go back to their clubs but would keep Walsh.

Gallager - I am undecided as he does work both forward and back when playing.

I would keep John Sutton.

We would then need to bring in two players one of whom would need to be a striker with pace.

I would keep Clarkston. He could also play in midefield.

Midfield

If fitness could be more or less guaranteed then I would keep Quinn.

Then play Quinn, Hutton, Mallan and Magennis

Defence

Webster has reached the stage where age is catching up on him so I would release him.

If fitness could be more or less guaranteed then I would keep McKenzie.

Also Irvine, Baird and Naismith and Gordon

New keeper - Agree - young Alloa keeper?

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by St.Ricky
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13 minutes ago, bazil85 said:

Would say a lot of the punting will have to happen in summer but for me

1.       Jamie Langfield - Punt (wage thief)

 

2.       Jason Naismith - Punt (wage thief)

 

3.       Gary Irvine - Would like to see him move to right back again before deciding 

 

4.       Andy Webster - Punt (wage thief)

 

5.       Ben Gordon - Would give him time before deciding 

 

6.       Gary Mackenzie - Likely punt with his injuries but will see if he gets a run

 

7.       David Clarkson - Punt (wage thief)

 

8.       Rocco Quinn - Same situation with injuries

 

9.       John Sutton - Keep 

 

10.   Stephen Mallan - Punt

 

11.   Callum Gallacher - Punt

 

12.   Scott Gallagher - Punt

 

13.   Kyle Hutton - Punt (as high as bloody possible)

 

14.   Jack Baird - Punt (not developed enough, had a couple good games recently but overall extremely poor) 

 

15.   Tom Walsh - Probably punt have to imagine better loan signings

 

16.   Lewis Morgan - Keep (although very disappointed at how much he's fallen away)1

 

 

19.   Ryan Hardie - Punt

 

20.   Lawrence Shankland - Punt

 

I agree with Bazil85. 

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