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Season Ticket 2017-2018
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    Northern Ireland OWC

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  1. PeteM

    Line up/Match Thread

    Have to agree with Clint. Norwood's far too important to us to replace. And at 27, I can't see him being fazed out of the lineup for a few more campaigns unless form or fitness drops. If McNair was making a name for himself at club level in the exact same position, and doing the same role, then I'd be inclined to think differently. But that isn't happening.
  2. PeteM

    Euro 2020 Qualifying Draw

    Agreed. The pace in the current England team would destroy us right now.
  3. PeteM

    Line up/Match Thread

    It would need to be injury or suspension to 2 from those 3. Corry Evans would be starting in midfield ahead of McNair.
  4. PeteM

    Line up/Match Thread

    I don't think it was a case of Jones being terrible, to me it was just inexperience. He's obviously quick and direct, but there's things you can probably get away with doing in the final third in the Scottish league that you can't do against an international fullback/defence. And he clearly found that out last night with the poor decisions he made. One the other side, McGinn was ineffective. He was one of the more senior players in the starting eleven yet didn't seem to be showing for the ball. Maybe he got fed up during the first half, and the head dropped. Regarding Corey Evans, it's not that he played better than he usually does, he just played more advanced than usual. It was more noticeable in the second half when Davis was dropping deep into the position usually occupied by Norwood, with Saville doing a lot of the chasing. Evans just seemed to have more freedom to push on last night. I haven't rewatched the highlights, but that was maybe allowed by their midfield. I'm not sure why the midfield three were set up like this, as we're more used to seeing Davis further up and being more effective in team possession further up the pitch, rather than starting the attacks off. Maybe it was Michael's decision to drop Davis further back to facilitate what Norwood usually does, so he either doesn't trust Evans/Saville to do that as effectively, or just wanted to mix things up a bit. Further back, it was taking Carson ages to find options when he was looking to distribute the ball. Evans and McAuley were dropping wide of the box at goal kicks, with acres of space left dangerously vacant outside the D. Overall, it was just a really frustrating game to watch. Hopefully the things Michael wanted to test during this mini campaign have given him the results to go into the next round of qualifying with the right plan. And I'm hoping two up front is part of that plan.
  5. PeteM

    Republic of Ireland (A) - Nov 15

    While a few folks on here say they're not going, the fixture will still attract a large volume of fans, due to the proximity and the opposition. I wouldn't be surprised if the number far exceeded 3k.
  6. PeteM

    Republic of Ireland (A) - Nov 15

    Didn't even notice the U16 bit, I'm just too skeptical! I'll probably end up buying a ticket. It just stings when it's not justified at that price.
  7. PeteM

    Republic of Ireland (A) - Nov 15

    Especially when home tickets are priced at 15 euro on ticketmaster. Have to say it's only the pisstake of a price that's putting me off right now. Filling in vague travel details on a form and collecting tickets from a set location isn't really a problem, and probably to be expected. But being subject to an inflated price for a friendly in a half empty stadium is not on.
  8. PeteM

    Post mortem

    I wouldn't agree with point 1, the dominant team in a match should be getting at least 15 shots away, and you should be testing the keeper with about half of those. But over those last 3 competitive games, only 12 were on target, 8 of them in the B&H home game. Israel aside, we're going through a spell where our striking isn't great (I wouldn't say terrible, as we did have some bad luck). But it will click soon. Once Michael has figured out his preferred personnel for the upcoming games, and how to use them, it'll get better. The same goes for the defense really.
  9. PeteM

    Post mortem

    It seemed there was communication and organisation problems in that back line, centering from the BPF/Cathcart/JEvans triangle. It'll come good eventually, but it's unfortunately costing us points (and seeding places possibly) in the meantime. It's been a long time since we've looked that fragile at the back. But Cathcart and Evans are our two best centre backs, and they'll just have to sort it out by the time the next stage of qualification comes round. And BPF looks technically sound, he just needs to gel with his back line. I'm not getting too disheartened about the lack of goals just yet. We're playing some good football in the midfield and attacking third, and creating opportunities. Another quarter of a season in, hopefully a bit more game time at club level, and the attacking players will start putting them away.
  10. PeteM

    Post Mortem

    100% - Josh may not be the most gifted striker we've ever had, but he is effective, and his contribution at times has proven that. While I don't totally understand why he's been played up front on his own, I can see how MON has tried to fit him into his gameplan v Austria. We all have the benefit of hindsight, but Michael had a plan prior to the game which didn't work on the night. Magennis needs to be played up front with someone, either dropping or someone dropping off him to get onto the scraps (ie Grigg). Either way, I just don't understand how followers of the NI team can deem him to be useless, considering Michael O'Neill brings him into the squads ahead of others. Not to mention the fact that a Championship club in England have also put their faith in him.
  11. PeteM

    Team Formation v Austria

    I can see MON starting Cory Evans in this one - a tough away game where we concede a lot of possession. And therefore Magennis starts up front on his own. Can't see Saville, Davis and Norwood all fitting in though, unless Davis plays wide right. We know MON likes a bit of pace out wide.
  12. PeteM

    Republic of Ireland (A) - Nov 15

    I'll be going as long as the travel situation isn't a pain in the arse. It's likely I'll go to this one on my own, keep away from drama, and watch a game of football. Only because it's the football team I love playing an hour and a bit down the road, and not for any other reason.
  13. PeteM

    Israel (H) friendly - Sept 11

    There was some message about Israel/Palestine etc written on a manky bedsheet hung from a flyover on the Westlink yesterday at rush hour. No idea what it said, the wind and rain had turned it into no more than a wet rag by the time I was going past. Suspect there'll be more later today.
  14. PeteM

    Post mortem

    I rewatched the highlights last night and reckon they were both at fault.. BPF seemed to signal to his ear before going to the ball, I'm guessing he didn't get a call from Cathcart that the ball was going to be headed in his direction. But his movement towards the ball was a bit strange, it seemed to go past him a bit too easy? I don't think the distance was too great for him to dash quicker to the ball and get hands on it, or hoof it clear. Just looked like a breakdown in communication and bit of blame-game, instead of taking charge of getting the ball safe. That said, he's still fairly inexperienced and should be given a chance to show his worth. Funnily enough I was thinking about how this match reminded me of that Azerbaijan game, which I think also had Lafferty up top on his own initially. When we play a possession based game, he just doesn't look as effective as a lone striker. He doesn't get into the right spaces to have the ball played into his feet, maybe because he attracts tighter marking because of his size. If MON is going to push for us having the ball more, he needs to consider either two strikers, or starting with one that is better with back to goal (Boyce?). That would then also give the likes of Dallas better options, instead of just skinning a full back and putting a cross into a deserted box.
  15. PeteM

    Post mortem

    Really strange game to sum up, but the result was definitely our own doing. Really strong starting lineup, but poor decision making in the attacking areas and lack of concentration at the back cost us the game. I thought Norwood controlled the game well from midfield, but poor set pieces let him down. And there's absolutely no need for short corner routines in professional football. I have a sneaking suspicion that Bosnia team are not as poor as their first half display would suggest - they looked shambolic to begin with, but played to their strengths in the second half and got the result. The away match will definitely be harder for us.