I have kept my powder dry about the squad until we had a decent amount of games, we have had 11 now which is an ok number to judge so here it is.
This squad has me baffled to be quite honest. On paper we have a pretty decent squad, one that should be comfy in the bottom 6 with a outside chance of top 6 IMO. However the reality is in stark contrast. The funny thing is I am sure at lease 90% of us were more than happy with our business in the summer, on paper it was quality over quantity and it was looking pretty good but needing a bit more depth.
As the season has bore on the performances have been up and down at best and that is just within individual 90 minutes. Is it the players? Dens seems to have a curse that good players anywhere else walk through the doors and turn into dug meat. Is it the management? Early signs were good but the past few games any system we had seems to have gone right out the windee.
On the player front, only couple are getting pass marks from me. McGhee, Robertson, Nelson. Johnson and Hemmings are barely getting a pass but in fairness the service they have got so far has been pish poor. For everyone else - Hamilton is an ok shot stopper (which all keepers should be) but at all other aspect of being a keeper are below par. Kerr simply isn't good enough (despite his screamer yesterday lol) for all his effort he is not a good player, he can tackle and that's about it. Forster is slow and a bombscare. I am unconvinced by Marshall but he's not been the worst. Meekings is a broken man, a shadow of the player he was before his injury issues. Feel a bit sorry for Byrne tbh he is a sitting midfielder who should be sweeping up and doing the unnoticed but invaluable work, however he is being asked to charge about midfield which just isn't his game at all. Ness clearly has quality but isn't showing it for more than a flash, he should be strolling this league but has barely got out of first gear. Todd is not a winger, he is a No. 10 or a centre mid (which QoS fans said was his best positions) and so far he has not started in either position, played there in the second half v the Pars and he looked dangerous but overall he has been poor. McDaid is just your typical hot and cold winger but he has offered less than expected if I am honest. Gowser has simply been pish since the league cup, did fine v the scum when they took the foot of the gas but overall in the league hes been poor. Can't say much for McPake and Mackie as they are just in the door.
For the gaffer, the early signs were very promising IMO. Seemed to have a plan and clear instructions. However, as time has went on some of the selections and in game changes have been worrying. Pretty much every game he has had to scrap is starting set up and change constantly in game and has barely played the same team and set up in consecutive games. Our best team performance was in the cup v the sheep and should have been the baseline to continue in the season but was thrown out the very next game. The derby summed it up for me really. Most of my pals and family were over the moon he was setting up to attack Utd but I had been saying all week that it would be madness to go out an attack them and we should be defensive, overrun the midfield, stifle the game and hit them on the break. I was told "Nah they are sh**e, we will pump them" despite McDaid and Todd being out of form, despite Hemmings and Johnson being woeful together to that point, depsite ICT ripping us open quite a few times the week before. Seems Jazza let the fan side of his brain get the better of him. And yesterday should have been win no matter how we do it, just win. But after controlling the game, he surrendered the midfield and the rest is history. It might have been the Teacake Wafer Cup but it was simply not good enough.
I was never expecting to win the league. We have came off two of our worst ever seasons and are going through a total rebuild, it would have been a massive ask to win the league but we should be comfy in the play-offs at the very least.
We are desperate for another CB but I am not holding my breath so looks like we are stuck with the defence and keeper we have so I feel we are going to have to play 5 in midfield to protect them more. 4-5-1 or 4-4-1-1 to a 4-3-3 when on top and attacking.
Kerr McGhee Forster Marshall
McPake Bryne Todd Roberston McDaid
Nelson (on current form)