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    Northern Ireland OWC

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  1. PeteM

    Starting line up v Holland

    Imagine coming away from playing away to Holland and feeling sickened by dropping a point or three. I'm assuming Corry Evans was exhausted as I thought it was strange to bring him off when the screw was getting turned tighter in midfield. I can understand bringing Thompson on for Saville, to sit more central and block off lines. But I don't think bringing Flanagan on was the right call. At that point of the game, or earlier, we needed someone with obvious pace to force the Dutch from pushing so many bodies forward.
  2. PeteM

    Post Mortem

    I think this sums it up quite well. The way Germany played last night makes it look like you're doing a good job pressing them back and waiting to capitalise on a mistake, then bang, 3 or 4 passes later and they're within striking distance of your goal without overloading too much. Their positioning and movement was so clever - I can't remember a time when I've come away from a NI game disappointed at not getting something from the game but also enjoyed watching a defeat, if that makes sense? Despite that, I thought we saw some of the best performances from some of our players in quite some time. Everyone put a hell of a shift in and did their jobs. I thought the tactics and starting lineup were spot on. In hindsight, maybe should have brought on Ferguson instead of Magennis, but I can see why Josh was chosen at the time. The atmosphere was as good as it's been for a long time too. I think from pre-match until half time, everyone was sensing another special night.
  3. PeteM

    Germany or Holland Result

    Babel and Depay are the least of our worries in that team.
  4. PeteM

    Germany or Holland Result

    Holland are a better team than Germany. Time for a new plan.
  5. PeteM


    Our future is the boys playing in the under age squads. Only a handful of them played last night.
  6. PeteM

    Starting 11 v Germany

    I'm updating to this and sticking with it. BPF McLaughlin - Cathcart - Evans - Lewis Dallas - McNair - Davis - Saville - McGinn Washington Unless Michael does something leftfield/fortuitously genius and starts Magennis on the right of midfield, or something like that. As sprightly as Jones is, I just can't see him starting against Holland/Germany. These games require experienced heads down both sides of the pitch and through the middle.
  7. PeteM

    Starting 11 v Germany

    BPF McLaughlin - Cathcart - Evans - Lewis McNair - Davis - Norwood - Saville - Dallas Washington Think we'll see Conor McLaughlin back in, he's played 90 mins three times now for Sunderland. The energy of McNair and Dallas will be used wide to stem the threat from the German fullbacks. Assuming Norwood is available again (and obviously MON will have been speaking to him since pulling out) then he'll be in midfield instead of Evans (or possibly Saville with Evans in). Corey Evans has only played a cup game so far for Blackburn. Washington up front, assuming he gets some game time between now and then. Then select from Whyte/McGinn/Jones/Magennis/C.Evans to change the game after an hour depending on how things are going.
  8. PeteM

    Post mortem

    No, but to be honest, I was more thinking along the lines of the players trying to play to their usual standards but only after a few weeks off following long seasons, which was probably more of a factor in the sloppiness. Confident autumn will be positively different.
  9. PeteM

    Post mortem

    A laboured performance and sloppy at times, but job done. Absolutely no arguments with the team selections for both games. I was just surprised when Magennis came off before Washington against Belarus, but in fairness the growing threat down the Belarus left side needed help from the likes of Dallas. Washington put in a hell of a shift and with the right club move, should be back to his best for Germany & Holland. TBH I thought Boyce would have come on for him, with a different ability to hold the ball up and let more players advance to the box. But I reckon MON's insructions to Lafferty were "go out and wind up the big number three, really unsettle him", which probably helped disrupt their back line. All we need now are for some of our players to make the right decisions ahead of next season re their club situations, get a good pre-season in and hit the start of next season running. Also, did we miss Norwood over these four games? Well, we got by without him. But because Davis was deployed differently, he wasn't the attacking threat he has been in the past. IMO we need his craft further up the centre of midfield v GER/NED.
  10. One of those Opta twitter accounts posted the other day saying no one has successfully dribbled the ball past Van Dijk in his last 60-odd Liverpool games! But while someone like Van Dijk is in a completely different league, I'm confident we've got enough ability in midfield and attack to get some shots fired at the Estonia and Belarus nets. We just need one or two to go in.
  11. Need to add Sykes to this FU. Played 9 (7+2)
  12. PeteM

    Germany or Holland

    There's some decent players in that Holland team like Van Dijk, Wijnaldum and Depay, and those wee lads from Ajax that will get big money moves in the summer. I guess we'll have to wait and see how they do in the Nations League finals in the summer. At least it gives MO'N a chance to get a good look at them.
  13. PeteM

    Other groups

    I think Moyes is the favourite, followed by Steve Clarke and wee Strachan
  14. PeteM

    Post Mortem

    For me, BPF asserted himself as our number one. Some wayward first time kicks when he could have taken a touch, but he was catching everything confidently and that 1-on-1 save was what you'd expect from a keeper playing at his level - he didn't rush out until Anier crossed the line into the box and made himself big. Cathcart and Evans very obviously the best players on the pitch. Dallas did ok out of his real position, he wasn't really tested defensively. I think he actually took a knock at the start of the second half but didn't let on to the bench. He didn't push on as much afterwards, and I'd maybe expect to see McLaughlin play there on Sunday. Lewis looks exciting going forwards - I'm keen to see how he fares in the EPL next season, and indeed how it improves him defensively. Davis grew into the match and was far more like his old self in the second half. That pass in to Magennis was lovely. Saville was a workhorse as usual. McNair wasn't that influential but didn't do anything wrong. He was just unlucky with the header because of the trajectory of the ball - if he gets his head under it to put any power on it, it goes over the bar. Jones could have done a bit better. He causes havoc with his dribbling but he could do with working on delivering with his weaker foot - too much faffing about trying to get the ball onto his right when I felt he had the time and space to try and whip a few in with his left a few times in the first half. The cross for the goal was good though. I can see his potential but Ferguson should be given more game time in that position. McGinn obviously had a good game. Lafferty is very frustrating to watch. He did well to set the goal up, and does cause problems for less experienced defenders that are trying to patrol him. To be fair he's probably the best striker we have for doing that, but it's just inconsistent during the match. At the time I was hoping Boyce would come on for him sooner, but Josh looked very keen when he came on and would probably have scored if he had had another 10 mins or so. I thought the performance was fine, but that Estonia team weren't great and their lack of sharpness showed. I watched them do a cross and shoot drill in their warmup and even without defenders the quality was pretty bad. Belarus will be a tougher test, but on last night's showing, we're capable of pushing it on an extra gear and doing the job.
  15. PeteM

    Score Prediction v Estonia

    3-0 with Saville scoring.